Welcome Our New Board Members

The governance/nominating committee is pleased to present its proposed slate of new board members for 2022.  Each member of this diverse group brings to RiverLink a rich personal history of knowledge, achievement, and service. 

Amita Peltz

Amita is an attorney with the Asheville law firm of Worley and Peltz.  She received her BA (cum laude) from the University of Tennessee and her law degree from Wake Forest University.  Amita is an active member and past president of the North Carolina Association of Women Attorneys, and participates in the Mountain Area Volunteer Lawyers program with Pisgah Legal Services.  She was a founding member of the Highlands Circle group of the United Way of Asheville, and served on the boards of directors for Junior Achievement of Western North Carolina and Girls on The Run.   She is currently a committee member for OpenDoors of Asheville, and has been a member of Riverlink’s Watershed Resources Committee since 2017.

Doug Baughman                   

Doug possesses over 35 years of experience in environmental assessment and water resource management.  He holds a bachelor’s degree in marine science and a master’s degree in environmental health and from the University of South Carolina.  Doug retired from environment consulting and moved from Metro Atlanta to Asheville in 2020.  Among his many areas of expertise are:  1) water quality assessment and planning; 2) watershed and stormwater management; 3) integrated water resource management; 4) water supply planning; and 5) water and wastewater planning and permitting.  In addition to his environmental expertise, Doug has experience in grant writing, public relations, communications, and management.  

Dr. Edward “Woody” Orris

Woody is a gastroenterology specialist, who currently practices part time at the Asheville VA Medical Center.  He received his BS from Tufts University and his MD from the State University of New York Downstate Medical School.  Before relocating to the Asheville area, he managed a large, single specialty medical office and ambulatory surgical center practice in Albany, NY.  Woody has been recognized as Physician of the Year by the Capital District Chapter of the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation and was a member of their Scientific Advisory Board for many years.  His past positions include serving as Chief of Gastroenterology for St. Peter’s Hospital (Albany, NY) and as Chief of the Medical Staff at Albany Gastroenterology.  He has been a frequent lecturer and speaker for medical associations and has served on a variety of medical and health insurer committees.  

Elizabeth Ann Gullum

An avid kayaker and avowed river lover, Liz lives in Marshall, NC.  For over 30 years, she and her spouse designed pre-engineered hazardous material storage buildings to provide secondary containment of chemicals, and prevent groundwater contamination.  Liz hosts a weekly radio program that provides a forum for local community and nonprofit leaders to share their work.  She is a founding board member of both Sustainable Madison (a nonprofit that encourages governmental and citizen responsibility in protecting our natural resources) and Madison has Heart (a nonprofit providing heating assistance for the needy in Madison County).  Liz is also a board member of Empowering Madison Youth to Succeed, an organization providing tutoring and mentoring in Madison County public schools. 

Jenny Ostendorf

Jenny is a former corporate executive with a wealth of business and human resources management expertise.  Holding a BS in business administration from The Ohio State University, she spent 25 years with Procter and Gamble Company in Cincinnati, OH.  There she held a variety of increasingly responsible positions, culminating in being named department director of global executive compensation in 2015.  In this capacity, she supervised the delivery of executive compensation payments to 14,000 executives in 80 countries.  While at Procter and Gamble, Jenny presented extensive training on a variety of matters including leadership and diversity/inclusion.  Her board experience includes serving as president of the Walnut Hills High School Alumni board of trustees, and on the compensation & benefits advisory committee to the board of directors of the Cincinnati Boys Hope Girls Hope.

Ken Brame                        

Ken is a strong environmental advocate with deep connections to local, regional, and national political communities.  A retired corporate executive, he holds a BA and MBA from Texas Tech University.  Since moving to Asheville in 2008, Ken has served local nonprofits in key positions including as chair of the board (and chair of the finance committee) for BPR Public Radio, and as chair of the finance committee for the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Asheville.  Ken is the current political chair of Sierra Club of WNC and past chair of NC Sierra Club Chapter board.  He is on the steering committee for the Solarize Asheville/Buncombe Campaign and member of the Neighbor-to-Neighbor subcommittee to fund solar on low-and-moderate-income homes.  Ken is a member of the French Broad Water Quality Task Force and chair of the subcommittee to ban single use plastics and Styrofoam. 

Renee Mazurek

Renee is a geologist, educator, researcher, and writer.  Holding both BA (University of Pittsburg-Johnstown) and MS (East Carolina University) degrees in geology, Renée has taught college-level geology and environmental science courses at several colleges and universities, including AB Tech and UNC-Asheville.  Renee served three years on the City of Asheville’s Sustainability Advisory Committee on Energy and the Environment (SACEE), the committee responsible for developing and recommending policy to support topics such as sustainable energy, waste reduction, sustainable economic development and land use planning.  She currently is the Resilient Communities Manager for River Network and a team member of the Urban Waters Learning Network, a nationwide peer-to-peer network of people and organizations working to conserve, restore, and revitalize America’s urban waterways.