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Donald R. Cooper
Chairman/Treasurer and Assistant Secretary 

Donald R Cooper is the chairman of the board and co-founder of CooperRiis with his wife Lisbeth Riis Cooper. Don is also an actuary and a Fellow in the Society of Actuaries. He is a long standing trustee at Warren Wilson College, and serves on the Investment Committee of “The Community Foundation of Western North Carolina”, where he was a former three term board member.

Before retirement, Don’s business career included many senior management positions within the insurance industry, and co-founder and president of Resource Deployment, Inc, (RDI, Inc), a venture capital and consulting company in Dallas/ Fort Worth, TX.


Lisbeth Riis Cooper 
Vice Chairperson 

Lisbeth is the CooperRiis visionary and co-founder with her husband Don of CooperRiis. She is also the CooperRiis Design Director and Photographer.

Lisbeth previously worked in management and teaching positions in the fashion industry in New York City as an internship counselor and an adjunct instructor at the Fashion Institute of Technology, and an adjunct instructor at Parson’s School of Design. Lisbeth formerly served on the Board of Directors of the Asheville Art Museum and Caring For Children, Inc.


Arthur Dewitt “Terry” Ackerman 

Terry has been involved with entrepreneurial endeavors and sales for most of his career. From 1967-1980 he had a successful career with Home Life of New York where he was a member of the “Hall of Fame” and a charter member of the “Top of the Round Table”.

Since 1980 he has been an investment banker for resource and technology companies and renewable energy companies, raising over $50,000,000 for early stage companies. He is also an angel investor in technology and renewable energy companies, and in a LEEDS community in the Mohave Desert which will incorporate hydroponic farming, water production, solar power generation, and residential and resort facilities. He is a Director of Beech Tree Labs, Inc. and the Mohave National Preserve Conservancy and a member of the Board of Advisors of TrakLok Corp.


Sharon Decker 

Born and raised in small towns near Charlotte, N.C.  Sharon Decker’s history offers inspiration for men and women everywhere.  She is a highly successful business executive who has effectively balanced her professional life with responsibilities of the home, service to the community and devotion to her faith.

After graduating summa cum laude from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Sharon spent more than 17 years with Duke Power company, now Duke Energy.  She began with the  company in consumer services and moved rapidly through the ranks to become the youngest and first female Vice President in Duke Power’s history.  Her work at Duke Power led to the creation of its 24-hour customer service center, an organization that still serves as a model for the industry.

Sharon left Duke Power when serving as their Chief Communications Officer, to become the founding President of The Lynnwood Foundation, which was created to restore the Duke Mansion in Charlotte as a conference center and to begin the William States Lee Leadership Institute.  While at Lynnwood in 1998, she also served as the chair of the Charlotte Chamber and was named Charlotte Woman of the Year. She moved to Rutherfordton, NC in 1999 to serve as President of the Doncaster division of Tanner Companies.  She created the Tapestry Group in 2004, focusing full time on encouraging individuals to grow deeper, spiritually, and more healthy ways, physically, mentally and emotionally.

In 2013 Sharon was appointed Secretary of Commerce by Governor Pat McCrory and served in that capacity for two years.  During that time she led the creation of The Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina, a public-private entity, charged with marketing North Carolina globally.  In addition, she led the efforts to form a new Rural Division of the Department of Commerce, a team focused exclusively on creating economic growth in the rural areas of the State.

In January 2015, Sharon was named President of NURAY Media, a media preservation company whose mission is to protect and preserve vintage film and video content by providing preservation services to clients, restoring classic motion picture films and television collections for the public, and creating educational content to advance the knowledge of film history.

In September 2015, Sharon returned home to the foothills region of Western North Carolina to join Tryon Equestrian Partners as Chief Operating Officer of Carolinas Operations.  In this role, Sharon is responsible for the development of the Tryon Resort as a premier lifestyle community.  It is an opportunity to do what she loves most–creating community–in the place she loves the most–North Carolina.

Sharon is wife to husband, Bob.  They are parents of four children:  Rob, Matt, Abby and Emily.  She is a lay pastor in the Presbyterian Church (USA) and currently working towards her Masters of Divinity at Gardner Webb University.

Sharon currently serves on the following boards: Coca Cola Bottling Company Consolidated Board of Directors, UNC Charlotte Board of Trustees, SCANA Board of Directors, and The Center for Christian Study at UVA Board of Directors and St. Timothy’s School Board of Trustees.


David R. Cooper, Esq.

David is an attorney with the law firm of Facey Goss & McPhee P.C. in Rutland, Vermont, where he specializes in municipal, land use, commercial, and non-profit law. Before moving to Vermont in 2003, David practiced for four years in Boston with Choate, Hall & Stewart, LLP where he specialized in bankruptcy law.

David currently serves as Chairman of the Rutland Redevelopment Authority, as President of the Rutland Architectural Review Board, and as a member of the Rutland Revolving Loan Fund Committee.  He formerly served as trustee of the Rutland Free Library.


F. Barton Evans

F. Barton Evans, Ph.D, is a clinical psychologist in Asheville who is a fellow at both the American Psychological Association and the Society for Personality Assessment. He was recently appointed professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at ETSU Quillen College of Medicine. Previously, he held academic appointments at eight universities, including George Washington and Georgetown University medical schools and the American University.

Barton has written more than 50 professional publications, including three books – one of which was on the work of Harry Sullivan, who is considered one of the most original figures in American psychiatry and an influential thinker in compassionate care for individuals with complex problems in living.


Michael T. Riordan 

Mike is a retired Chairman and CEO of two publicly held paper companies, Fort Howard Corporation and Paragon Trade Brands, which made and sold commercial and retail tissue products (toilet paper, napkins, paper towels and facial tissue) and private label disposable diapers, respectively. He spent considerable time in engineering and human resources prior to entering general management. He has a bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering from Purdue, an MBA from Marquette and a law degree from DePaul. He is a registered professional engineer in Wisconsin and a member of the Illinois bar. Mike is a member of the Board of Directors of RR Donnelley, Clearwater Paper and Hilex Poly, as well as three volunteer boards. He and his wife Libby spend the summers in Wisconsin and the winters in Florida since Mike retired in 2002. His hobbies are golf, snowboarding, motorcycling and their six grandkids – not in that order.


Anne Vance 

Anne has had an illustrious 35 year career, beginning working as a Head Nurse /Family Counselor at Desert Hospital in Palm Springs California. She was asked to join the Betty Ford Center start up team in 1983, and for the next 11 years advanced from Assistant Administrator to Administrator, Director of Training, and finally, International Development for the Center.

What followed was a 2-year consulting project based in London, with the European Association of Treatment of Addictions. Ms. Vance worked with all of the members of the Association helping them to write standards for facilities and for staff credentialing. In 1996 she undertook a major project with Eric Clapton creating and building Crossroads Antigua. After working as CEO/President of Crossroads for 5 years she returned to La Jolla intent on working with healthcare facilities. But before long (6 months) she moved to Bermuda developing a program for Bermudian women and children.

It was in 2003 that Anne came to the mountains in Western North Carolina to work for Pavillon as CEO. When she retired after 12 years, she said: “It brings me a great sense of fulfillment as I leave my work here knowing that I have been able to help create what the facility is today – a first class organization that provides outstanding treatment. We have grown from having one building on campus to six that now house and treat 89 clients from across the country who suffer from the disease of alcoholism and/or other drug addictions.” (Pavillon also has an Outpatient Center and Recovery Housing in Greenville, South Carolina.)

Asked about what she enjoyed the most about her work at Pavillon she said: “working with a group of dedicated and talented people who have made Pavillon the national success it is today and as a result, helping so many underserved individuals and families.”


Jay S. Young, Jr. 

Jay was born, raised, and still lives in Lexington, North Carolina. In 1970 he joined the family furniture business where he worked in sales. In 1994 he formed Jay Young Management, an asset management company. Jay has served as Board Chairman of the Lexington YMCA and the Lexington Memorial Hospital. He currently serves as President of the Jay and Kathy Young Foundation and the J. Smith and Helen W. Young Foundation.


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CooperRiis Campuses:

Asheville Campus:
85 Zillicoa Street,
Asheville, NC 28801
(828) 285.8887

Mill Spring Campus:
101 Healing Farm Lane,
Mill Spring, NC 28756
(828) 894.5557


(828) 894.7140


PO Box 600
Mill Spring, NC 28756

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