• Office: 50 S French Broad Ave., Suite 203 - Asheville, NC 28801
  • 828-771-6979

Meet The Board

Alyce Knafich

Alyce Knaflich, Director/Founder

Alyce Knaflich served in the US Army for 19.5 years. Five years after her military discharge she lost her job and was diagnosed with PTSD. At age 41 the VA Medical Center declared her unfit to work. Without income Alyce became destitute and remained homeless for nearly 10 years while struggling with her health concerns. Alyce finally saw light at the end of the tunnel when she reached 100% service connected disability and received alternative health care. Today Alyce volunteers with numerous Veteran related organizations and advocates for Veterans at Charles George VAMC. She received two National awards for her work with Veterans, NAC VAVS Female Volunteer of the Year 2014 and AMVETS Volunteer of the Year 2015.  Alyce’s passion for the past nine years is assisting homeless Women Veterans and founded Aura Home Women Vets a shelter under renovations in Hendersonville, North Carolina.

Dan Palmer

Dan Palmer, Treasurer

Dan Palmer currently lives in Hendersonville with his wife Priscilla.  Originally from Yarmouth, ME.  Retired from 47 years in finance and banking. Board of Aura Home for Homeless Female Veterans; Nat’l Ambassador, STAR Touring and Riding; Asst Mountain District Capt for Patriot Guard Riders of NC.  Dan currently goes on motorcycle trips with friends.

Betty Sharpless

Betty Sharpless, Secretary

Betty Sharpless has been a board member for Planned Parenthood and Loving Food Resources.  She has volunteered with W.A.C.A.P since it's inception.  Betty is a children's reading volunteer at Claxton Elementary.  Betty is a free-lance gardener and writer.

Rosanna Fox Mulcahy

Rosanna Fox Mulcahy, Co-Treasurer/Trustee and QuickBooks Admin

Yvonne Cook-Riley

Yvonne Cook-Riley, Governance

Yvonne Cook-Riley is truly a pioneer of the Transgender movement. She worked with advocacy organizations in the early 1990s to incorporate the word “transgender” and its associated concepts, and that effort took off into the “transgender movement” that we see today.

She became involved with others in what we would now call the transgender community in 1981 and started organizing support groups in 1983. In 1985, Yvonne became active with the International Foundation for Gender Education (IFGE) and served that organization in numerous capacities, including Director of Operations, Treasurer, and a Member of their Board of Directors. She appeared on dozens of television talk shows, over 200 talk radio shows in the late 1980’s and 90’s and made eight appearances on behalf of IFGE at the American Psychiatric Association’s national conferences. Yvonne helped in the establishment of other conferences in the U.S., such as Southern Comfort, Texas Tea Party, California Dreaming, and Be All. Also, she has been involved in numerous other trans-related organizations, including Blue Ridge Pride, Kindred Spirits, and Transgender American Veterans Association (TAVA).

Yvonne Cook-Riley’s dedication to the Transgender movement has been recognized many times, including the Outreach Institute’s “Outreach Medal” in 1991, the IFGE’s “Trinity Award,” also in 1991, and the IFGE Virginia Prince lifetime service award in 1995.

Ellen Gayle Sovinee

Ellen Gayle Sovinee, Advisor

Ellen Gayle grew up with several family members serving in the military but it wasn’t until 2005 when she and a team of holistic health practitioners volunteered to offer their services to returning Iraq and Afghanistan veterans that inspired her to create something after her move to Asheville in 2006. In 2007 Ellen Gayle helped co-create a business which offered a number of services to our veterans and in 2009, Ellen Gayle spent the year turning the business into a 501(c)3 nonprofit which is still active to this day. Currently Ellen Gayle is serving as an Advisory Board member for Aura Home.

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