• Board of Directors

  • The Chamber of Hickory Nut Gorge’s Board of Directors is made up of community-minded business owners, residents, and active leaders of the Gorge. Our all-volunteer board meets monthly on the 2nd (second) Monday of each month at 9 a.m. and all meetings are open to the public. Officers are elected annually each November and members serve a three-year term on the board.

  • Patrick Bryant, President

    1927 Lake Lure Inn & Spa
    2771 Memorial Hwy.
    Lake Lure, NC 28746

    Patrick moved from Greenville, SC to the Lake Lure area in 2007. After graduating from Easley High School in 2004 and attending Greenville Technical College and North Greenville University, he accepted a position with The 1927 Lake Lure Inn and Spa in 2009 as the Events and Catering Department Manager. Patrick now serves as Hotel Ambassador for the Inn, working on growth potential and new programs. In volunteer efforts, Patrick is on the Board of Directors for the Hickory Nut Gorge Outreach and serves as the President for the HNG Chamber of Commerce. He and his partner Michael reside in Lake Lure near the Flowering Bridge and have come to love an area so full of beauty, charm, and the unique values of a small, vibrant town.

  • Wyn Hardy, Treasurer
    Wyn brings a diverse set of talents to the Board, both professionally and civically. He and his wife of more than 40 years, Chrys, came to the Lake Lure area from Greenville, SC. Wyn holds a bachelor of arts in economics from Bethany College as well as an MBA from Emory University (GA). Although his career started in the financial arena, serving as market and senior financial analyst for the Maryland-based chemical company W.R. Grace & Co., he quickly moved to marketing. He held several executive positions in marketing and management with top corporations such as American Gas Association, Filmco Inc., and Canadian Standards Assoc. before moving into semi-retirement here in Lake Lure. Wyn also dedicated his time to serve in the communities where he lived. He was president of the Aurora Sports Boosters, charter trustee of the Aurora Schools Foundation and elder of his church.


    Mary Jaeger-Gale, Communications Committee Chair
    General Manager, Chimney Rock at Chimney Rock State Park
    431 Main Street
    Chimney Rock, NC 28720
    828-625-9611 ext. *813

    Mary has been a pivotal leader in the growth of Chimney Rock Park for the last 34 years serving in several capacities including sales and public relations director, marketing manager, and VP of marketing. She was instrumental in crafting the agreement with the NC State Parks and Recreation department that formed a public-private partnership enabling her company, Chimney Rock Management, LLC, to continue to manage the park when it was sold to the State in 2007. Mary is active in organizations and serves on committees that not only promote the Park, but help forge partnerships within the state and region. She has held leadership positions in Blue Ridge Mountain Host, The Rutherford County Tourism Development Authority, Friends of the Hickory Nut Gorge, The Foothills Conservancy of North Carolina among others. She and her husband Steve Gale are residents of Bat Cave.

  • April Sottile
    April’s Boutique
    371 Main Street
    Chimney Rock, NC 28720
    In 2013, April traded the heat and salt air of Florida for the incredible beauty of Hickory Nut Gorge and Chimney Rock in particular, where she holds a position on the town council. She is married with two sons, one a Merchant Marine based out of Malta and the other a recent UCF graduate. Before opening April’s Boutique on Main Street in Chimney Rock, she owned and operated a company consisting of four stores and a manufacturing business in Florida for 25 years. She considers herself to be very fortunate to have found this ‘little piece of paradise.’

  • Bill Ashman, Secretary
    Rumbling Bald Resort
    112 Mountains Blvd.
    Lake Lure, NC 28746

    Bill and his wife Barbara have been Lake Lure residents for 14-plus years. Before retiring to Lake Lure he and his family (three children) lived in New Jersey. Bill was a marketing and sales executive at Pitney Bowes Inc. for more than 30 years. Presently he provides private marketing consulting services and creates a vital relational bridge to our residents and businesses in the Rumbling Bald area.

  • Howard Redmon
    Cedar Creek Stables
    542 Cedar Creek Road
    Lake Lure, NC 28746
    Howard Redmon has been a resident of the Gorge since 1997 when he opened his popular Cedar Creek Riding Stables. He and his wife Crystal have two children, Quinn and Phoebe. Howard is a graduate of East Henderson High school. After attending college at Haywood Community College, he joined the U.S. Army and served in military intelligence from 1993 to 1997. He holds dual membership in Polk County Unity and Biltmore Masonic lodges.

  • Valerie Hoffman

    WriterWorks Communication Strategies
    Lake Lure, NC  828|231|9358

    As president of WriterWorks Communication Strategies, Valerie has a 28-year background in corporate and nonprofit marketing, professional writing, public relations, events coordination, and fundraising development. Before leading the marketing initiatives of private corporations, nonprofits, and state tourism organizations across the Eastern United States, Valerie was an award-winning journalist for more than a decade. Valerie also supports the communications, branding, and public information needs for the local governments of Lake Lure and Chimney Rock Village.
    Since moving to the Gorge from Greenville, SC in 2001, Valerie has been an active volunteer with a number of local organizations. She and her husband Lance Johnson, a local builder, make their home in Lake Lure with their four-legged kids. 

  • Diane Barrett

    Rutherford County TDA

    Jennifer Duncan

    Carolina Trust Bank

    Thomas Keever

    Lake Lure Classical Academy

    Ronald Nalley

    Town of Lake Lure

    Andrew Tisdale

    Edward Jones