Junior Appalachian Musicians Board of Directors and Staff, November 2022
L-R: Tyler Hughes, Mark Freed, Ivy Sheppard, Tammy Sawyer, Bryan Ailey, Gina Dilg, Cody Bauer, Brett Morris, Anthony Edwards, Michael Webb, Max Dean, Addison Levy
not pictured: Jim Lloyd (staff), Kirsten Griffiths (Secretary), Richard Whisnant
Gina Dilg, Chair, is dedicated to traditional Appalachian music and dance through both her personal and professional life. She has worked primarily in marketing and design for The Floyd Country Store, Handmade Music School and County Sales in Floyd, Virginia. An old time fiddler and dancer, Gina can be found playing for concerts and dances with her husband Jason Dilg and band The YeeHaw Ramblers. She also teaches fiddle in the Montgomery JAM program.
Mark Freed, Vice-Chair, works at Cultural Resources Director for the Town of Boone; adjunct instructor of Appalachian Music at Appalachian State University; and project director for the Blue Ridge National Heritage Area’s Traditional Artist Directory. Mark is the founding director of the Boone (formerly Watauga) JAM program, and he is a founding director of JAM, Inc. Mark continues to help oversee the Boone JAM program at the Jones House Cultural and Community Center in downtown Boone, where he lives with his wife, kids, and a wall full of banjos. Having moved to western North Carolina to immerse himself in the traditional music of the region, Mark has made the region his home since 2002, and he is passionate about teaching and promoting local musical traditions.
Kirsten Griffiths, Secretary, is a resident of Floyd, VA where she is the parent of two JAM students and also director of the Floyd JAMS affiliate program. Through these roles, Kirsten provides insight into parent communication and local-level JAM leadership.
Anthony Edwards, Treasurer, is a Vice President in Credit Administration at Skyline National Bank in Galax, VA. He graduated in 2009 from the Bryan School of Business and Economics at UNC- Greensboro with a Bachelor’s Degree in Finance. He is currently serving also as President of the Twin County Regional Chamber of Commerce, Inc. He was recently awarded honor (top) graduate of the VBA School of Bank Management at the University of Virginia. Anthony served as Chair of the JAM, Inc. Board of Directors from 2014-2020.
Tammy Sawyer, is a wildlife biologist and environmental educator and been involved with traditional music for over 20 years. An award winning dulcimer and bass player, she formerly worked as an instructor and substitute teacher with the Alleghany JAM program. She is also a founding member of the JAM Board of Directors.
Michael Webb is the Director of Development at the College of Arts and Sciences at East Tennessee State University in Johnson City, TN. He combines his love for Appalachian music with his professional skills in fundraising to further JAM’s mission into Tennessee.
Bryan Ailey is Vice President and Chief Development Officer for People Incorporated of Virginia, a nonprofit community action agency serving individuals and families throughout the state of
Virginia. As CDO, he oversees and manages the day-to-day operations of the agency’s affordable housing development, housing management, and capital growth initiatives while serving the agency’s mission to provide opportunities for economically disadvantaged people. He holds a Bachelor of Music degree from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and a M.A. in Community and Organizational Leadership from Emory & Henry College. A lifelong resident of southwest Virginia, he is also an active player and participant in the old-time string band traditions of southern Appalachia.
Tyler Hughes is an old time musician, square dance caller, and community advocate from Big Stone Gap, VA. His musical performances have been featured internationally and at home including performances on WSM’s Grand Ole Opry and at the historic Carter Family Fold. He has long been a supporter of youth music education in Appalachia and today serves as a coordinator for Mountain Music School in Big Stone Gap. Tyler believes that music can help every child in the Appalachians reach their full potential.
Max Dean lives in Wythe County, Virginia, with his loving wife, Janie, of 20+ years, along with his beloved two cats. After high school, he enlisted in the US Air Force for 4 years, serving in Europe and Texas, then enrolled at Radford University where he earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology. He spent the next 38 years working in the field of Behavioral Health at various agencies doing everything from direct client services to senior level administrative functions.
Addison Levy (“Addie”) is a multi-instrumentalist, vocalist, and songwriter from the southwest corner of Virginia. She started pursing music at the age of 10 and has not slowed down since then. She has traveled all over the east coast playing bluegrass and traditional Appalachian music, and represents youth of traditional music education.
Ivy S. Sheppard is a lifetime old-time musician having performed with the Roan Mountain Hilltoppers and South Carolina Broadcasters for many years. She is currently general manager of radio station WEHC in Emory, Virginia. Ivy is a major traditional music record collector sharing discoveries on her syndicated radio show, “Born in the Mountain”. She is currently pursuing a Masters degree at American University in Audio Engineering.
Richard Whisnant is Gladys Coates Distinguished Professor of Public Law and Government at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill School of Government since 1998. He holds degrees from Harvard University (J.D. cum laude and Masters in Public Policy) and from UNC- Chapel Hill (B.A. in philosophy with highest honors). He was a trustee, chair of the board and corporate secretary of the Conservation Trust for North Carolina from 2001-2010. He loves rivers, mountains and old time music.