Our Team

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Mark Mangum, Executive Director

Mark Mangum joined the LIFE Village staff, first as the Development and Finance Director and now as the Executive Director.   Mark grew up in Florida and moved to Boone following a distinguished career in pastoral, hospitality, and non-profit management. 



He holds degrees from Florida Southern College, Duke University, and Walden University. Mark has a wife, Jennifer, an adult son, Nick, and a son, Jonathan, who passed away from Cerebral Palsy complications.  Mark and his family worried about Jonathan's care as he "aged out" of the traditional education and support system for persons with disabilities.  Jonathan passed away before the decision for housing or placement was necessary.   Mark also has a nephew who is on the autism spectrum and another nephew who has I/DD.  This combination of concern for family members and other friends facing similar issues has been the passion and foundation for why Mark is involved with and dedicated to the success of LIFE Village.

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Maggie Farrington, NC Licensed Mental Health Counselor 

Maggie Farrington has been part of the community based system of care for those with mental health and intellectual/developmental disability needs in the High Country since 2005. In private practice, InHabit Counseling & Consultation PLLC, she provides Medicaid funded Specialized Consultation Services to caregivers of individuals with co-occurring intellectual/developmental disabilities through clinical consult, coaching, training and caregiver support to care teams. This support to paid caregivers, guardians, family members, natural supports, community partners, healthcare providers, etc. helps him or her live as independently as desired and with meaning, value, positive supports and whole health wellness. Through InHabit Health, she provides business coaching and consultation for organizations and programs around clinically meeting co-occurring needs,  clinical and program development and sustainability in publicly funded systems of care, and whole person care models. 

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Amanda Upton, Executive and Finance Assistant

Amanda grew up in Florida and graduated from the University of South Florida with a dual degree in Accounting and Administration. She originally moved to Banner Elk after graduating college. She is married and has two children. Amanda has worked in both the administrative and accounting fields for over 10 years and has had opportunities to gain experience in fields ranging from general CPA firms, national sports, and local nonprofits. Amanda’s passion is her children. She spends a lot of her time with them, exploring the outdoors, and watching them both grow and thrive.

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Maddy O'Grady, LIFE Intern

Maddy O’Grady graduated from Sun Valley High School in 2018 and is a current psychology major with a minor in special education at Appalachian State University. She plans to go to graduate school for Educational Psychology after graduation. She researches high school interventions to increase the likelihood of college and career after graduation for students with disabilities. Maddy’s little brother was diagnosed with Autism at a young age which, in turn, prompted her to enter the field. She has worked with students with Autism, Cerebral Palsy, Down Syndrome, and Specific Learning Disorders in school settings and volunteer programs such as Take On Sports. You will find her reading, running, hiking, or watching TV in her free time!


Kara Raichle, Volunteer Coordinator

Kara Raichle graduated from Watauga High School in 2019, and currently is majoring in Psychology at Appalachian State University. She plans to go into Occupational Therapy with a primary focus of increasing the independence of individuals with special needs. Kara was introduced to the special needs population during an art class in high school and became a peer tutor in the EC classroom her last two years at Watauga High. She is a volunteer for the SDAP (Scholars with Diverse Abilities) program at App State and AbleRec, a  modified baseball league, in Boone. In her free time, Kara can be found watching Harry Potter and playing with her dog “Bellatrix”.

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Dr. Greg Corallo, Ph.D., Board Chair

Dr. Greg Corallo, Ph.D. grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area, and went to school at the University of California and the University of Florida. He met his wonderful wife, Cheryl, at the University of Florida where they both studied under and worked for the same professor. Greg had various roles in his working career ranging from a Development Engineer, to executive management roles in Technology and Innovation, as well as Supply Chain Management.  At two different times in his working career, for a total of about 8 years, Greg and his family had the great opportunity to live in Germany.  Greg and Cheryl retired in 2018, and have settled into the beautiful North Carolina Mountains in the Boone area.  Greg is very excited to be a part of the Life Village family, and looks forward to working with the Board and the community to help bring the Life Village vision to a reality.

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W. Thomas Boyd, Jr, Board Vice Chair

W. Thomas Boyd, Jr. is a “recovering attorney” who practiced law for more than forty years,primarily in Chapel Hill, Raleigh and Wilson, North Carolina, before retiring to Blowing Rock in 2017 with his wife, Deborah. He is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and its law school and he and   Deborah have two grown sons. Tom has served on the boards of, or acted as counsel to, several nonprofit organizations including SMART Start in Wilson County, which sought to guarantee that each child could reach his or her potential. Tom believes strongly in the mission of LIFE Village and is excited to work toward its successful conclusion.

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Matt Makdad, Board Treasurer

Matt Makdad attended Penn State University where he graduated in 1992 with a degree in Electrical Engineering.   Matt worked at Seymour Johnson AFB NC for 21 years as a Civilian Federal Employee, culminating as Chief of Design and Construction.  He and his family were called to Boone in the summer of 2017, to start his second career as the Engineering Supervisor at New River Light & Power.  He is also currently a part time MBA student at Appalachian State University.  Matt married his college sweetheart, Theresa in 1994.  They have 6 children, of which the fourth, Danielle has diagnoses of Autism, Tourettes, ADHD, and Oppositional Disorder. Danielle really thrives when she is near her family when she can have frequent family visits. Matt and Theresa met Jim and Sue Taylor at the 2018 Soup4Life event, where they first learned about the mission of LIFE Village.  Since then, Matt met with Candace, became involved in an advisory capacity, and then became a member of the board officially in Jan 2019.  He is excited for the opportunity to apply his experiences in the construction field to the development of LIFE Village, to create an environment where Danielle and others can live long term with the needed support services, while being as independent as possible.

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Ben Henderson, Board Member

Ben Henderson was born and raised in Knoxville, Tennessee where he developed an appreciation of the Appalachian Mountains from an early age. He received a BS degree in Community Health Education from East Tennessee State University and following graduation, worked with numerous public health agencies in Tennessee and Western North Carolina. During that time, he earned a Master of Public Health Administration degree from the world renowned Gillings School of Global Public Health at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. In 1988, he and his wife Mary bought a small retail business, Bare Essentials Natural Market, in downtown Boone. They quadrupled the size of the operation in 1997 and he assumed the responsibility of General Manager at the new location. In 2016, they sold the business and have remained active in religious, non-profit and business communities in the High Country. Ben and Mary love this community. In the 40 years Ben has lived in Watauga County, he’s served on Town of Boone committees and as a Board member of the Boone Area Chamber of Commerce, Board member and Chair of OASIS (Opposing Abuse with Service, Information and Shelter), Member and Past President of Boone Sunrise Rotary, Board member of Watauga Humane Society, Board member of An Appalachian Summer Festival, Board member of Watauga Community Foundation and member of Boone United Methodist Church. Ben looks forward to offering his knowledge of business and nonprofits to bring LIFE Village to fruition. 

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Lee Wilson, Board Member

Lee Wilson promotes a vision of business accountability to a wide range of stakeholders, including shareholders and investors. Key areas of concern for Lee are environmental protection and the well-being of employees, the community and civil society in general, both now and in the future. Lee is a graduate of Appalachian State University in Boone, North Carolina. Lee holds degrees in Sustainable Development and Special Education with focus areas including but not limited to renewable energy technologies and diversity in education. Lee served on the Appalachian State Renewable Energy Initiative where he served as project manager for multiple projects that replaced existing technologies with forms of renewable energy technologies throughout the campus.  Lee is also heavily invested in the special needs community both as a parent and advocate. Lee co-founded the Eye to Eye National Chapter at Appalachian State University, a national mentoring organization that matches college students with elementary students who identify as “Different Thinkers” (LD/ADHD). Lee was also a program coordinator serving Dr. Jim Taylor and guests for KAMPN (Kids with Autism Making Progress in Nature)  Lee now serves on the Board of Directors for LIFE Village.  Lee believes all education is special education. “Great spirits have always encountered mediocre minds.”- Albert Einstein.


Barb Bertke Holdcroft, Board Member

Barb Bertke Holdcroft graduated with a Bachelors of Education from UT in 1968 and taught Phys. Ed. at SUA for one year.  Barb graduated from the U. Dayton with an M.S. Ed. in 1970 and taught in Washington Local for 6 years.  She married Kirk in 1974 and had two children, Kent and Katie.  Katie was born with a disability and lives at home.  In 1986, Barb graduated with BARS (Theology) from Lourdes.  Followed by an M.A. (Theology) from The University of Dayton in 1990. She was the Director of Religious Education; Pastoral Associate at the Diocese of Toledo/Schools office from1986-2006.  Barb graduated with her Ph.D. from UT in 2003 and taught at Lourdes, UT, Owens Com. Coll. and Terra State Community College until 2012.  In December of 2012, she moved to NC and taught as an adjunct professor at Lees-McRae College and Caldwell Community College.  She is the author of I’m Katie’s Mom: Pointers for Professionals and Parents of the Disabled, and wrote a number of other theology articles over the years.  Barb is the Special Olympics Coach and Volunteers for skiing and swimming for Avery County Special Olympics.  Barb enjoys skiing, playing tennis, hiking and writing.


Dr. Jason Miller, Board Member

D. Jason Miller, previously the Associate Professor and Program Director for Building Science in the Department of Sustainable Technology and the Built Environment, was named Associate Dean for the College of Fine and Applied Arts in May of this year.  Jason has served as Interim Dean for the college since January 2020 and, prior to that, as a Dean’s Fellow. He is a 2019 recipient of the UNC Board of Governors Teaching Award, given to outstanding faculty members from UNC System institutions of higher learning, and an Appalachian State University Excellence in Teaching Award from the Board of Governors in 2014. Miller holds a Master’s in Architecture from the College of Design at NC State University, a B.A. from Washington and Lee University and is the owner/principal of his architectural practice David Jason Miller Architect PLLC. He began teaching as a lecturer at Appalachian in 2009.  Jason reached out to the LIFE Team in the fall of 2018 to invite LIFE Village to be involved in the IDEXlab, Integrative Design Experience Laboratory at Appalachian State.

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Connor Burleson, Board Member

Connor Burleson was born and raised in Boone, North Carolina.  He graduated from Watauga High School in May of 2012 and, following graduation, enrolled in SDAP (Scholars with Diverse Abilities Program) at Appalachian State University.  While in SDAP, he took classes in independent living, music and film.  He also worked as a security guard at the Greenbrier and I.G. Greer Theaters on campus and was a member of the Autism Speaks Club and the App Films Club.  Connor enjoys working, spending time with his girlfriend and watching movies.  

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Tom Trueman, Advisory Board Member

Tom Trueman and his wife Julie moved permanently to Boone on Labor Day weekend of 2014.  They had been coming to their vacation home in the mountains surrounding Boone from Maryland where Tom had been working for Lockheed Martin prior to his retirement. The first people they met at church on the Sunday of Labor Day was Dr. Jim Taylor and his wife Sue. They became friends and have been volunteering in fundraising and running meals out to KAMPN (Kids with Autism Making Progress in Nature) each summer since. With his experience in supporting other important non-profit organizations and civic organizations, Tom is interested in sharing lessons learned in how to grow Life Village from concept to reality.

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Mark Gould, Advisory Board Member

Mark Gould came to Appalachian State University in 1994 to pursue a Masters degree in accounting and has lived in Boone since. He met his wife, Kendra as he was finishing his graduate studies and they have 2 children, Caleb (20) and Brynne (19).  Gould has guided fishing trips and owned and operated Elk Creek   Outfitters with Judson Conway before selling his interest in 2002. He has worked in public accounting in   town for Bryce Holder, CPA and has been the Chief Financial Officer for The Mast General Store since   2007.  Gould began his community involvement auditing non-profits in the area while with Bryce Holder, CPA. He has served on allocations committee of the High Country United Way.  Currently Gould is   chair of the Finance Council at St. Elizabeth church. He is on the Board of Directors of The Mountain Alliance, is   chair of the High Country Impact Fund. Gould recently completed a six year term on the Chamber Board of Directors and remains active as co-chair of the Government Relations committee.​

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Dave Kline, Advisory Board Member

Dave Kline was born in Philadelphia, raised in Upper Darby, graduated from Upper Darby High School and holds an undergraduate degree and medical degree from the University of Pennsylvania. Dave was an intern and general surgery resident at the University of Michigan and drafted into the U.S Army  Medical Corps during the Berlin Wall crisis. Through some very unusual circumstances, he was assigned to Walter Reed Institute of Research and Walter Reed Hospital for a little over two years. Dave returned to Michigan for Neurosurgical training finishing in 1967. He went to LSUHSC and Charity Hospital and eventually worked part time at Ochsner. Dave became head of neurosurgery in 1971, Professor of Surgery and Neurosurgery in 1975 and then chair of the Department of Neurosurgery at LSUHSC in 1976. He became one of six Boyd Professors at the medical center. Dave retired in mid-2008 as Emeritus Chair and Boyd Professor. He is the Author or coauthor of over 300 scientific papers and chapters and four medical books. Dave is also the recipient of three gold medals and an honorary member of the Canadian, German, Neurosurgical and American Orthopedic Societies. Here in the mountains, Dave spends his retirement offering support in the community by helping at his church's social functions, as an honorary member of Hospitality House’s Board, with security for some ASU events, as a past Listening Post at ASU and for over 10 years, Dave continues to be a volunteer in charge of volunteers at Daniel Boone Native Gardens as a North Carolina master gardener. 


Rachel Small, Advisory Board Member

Rachel Small is a graduate of Appalachian State University and is now a Project Manager at VPC Builders. During her senior year as a Building Science student at App she participated in the Solar Decathlon Design Challenge where she led a team to produce designs for a net-zero, one bedroom tiny home that was to be a model home for LIFE Village. After graduation she decided she wanted to continue to be a part of LIFE Village and be involved in the community.  Rachel was the Volunteer Coordinator for LIFE. She lives in Banner Elk with her dog, Fish, and can often be found around town at any local coffee shop.


Candace Lang, Co-Founder/Advisory Board Member

Candace Lang attended Nazareth college of Rochester with a degree in Speech Pathology. Candace worked as a speech therapist for eight years in both New York and Massachusetts before she married her husband, Rich. She is now the mother of two beautiful daughters, Erin (19) and Samantha (15).  Erin was born with cerebral palsy and later diagnosed with autism. Candace saw the importance of being a proactive advocate for her daughter and worked to eliminate barriers and build bridges developing a special needs playgroup/parent support group during Erin’s preschool years, a special needs ministry during her elementary years and a dance program during her teen years.  Now Candace and her husband are faced with their greatest challenge, who will care for Erin when they are no longer able. Candace and the LIFE Team share a vision of developing a community where adults with autism and related challenges lead a purposeful life in a place where they are appreciated for their abilities, fully supported and active members of the larger community of Boone.


Dr. Jim Taylor, President Emeritus/Founder/Advisory Board Member

Dr. Jim Taylor president and founder of KAMPN, Inc. began his career in Special Education over 50 years ago receiving his Bachelors degree from Ball State University. His classroom teaching experience and work in an institution was followed by his Masters degree from Ball State in 1968. He then served as a Principal of a school for exceptional children followed by the awarding of a Doctoral degree in Special Education from the University of Florida in 1973. Over those 5 decades, Dr. Taylor had a vast variety of experiences serving   children and families with special needs. He retired from East Carolina University where he served as a professor and program administrator for ten years. He continues to devote time to meeting the ever-increasing needs of individuals with special needs especially the increasing population of individuals on the autism spectrum.