St. Luke’s foundation board welcomes newest members

Published 7:01 pm Friday, February 14, 2014

St. Luke’s Hospital Foundation recently announced four new professionals – Mike Ashworth, Clark Benson, Renae Waldman and Kathy Wright – have joined the board of trustees for three-year terms.

“We are fortunate to have these individuals join our board,” said Paul Sutherland, chair of the Foundation’s board of trustees. “Their experience and knowledge will be a tremendous benefit as we work to support our community hospital.”

Originally from Virginia, Mike Ashworth received a B.S. degrees in accounting and business management with a concentration in finance from NC State in 1998.  He began working at Paine Webber after graduation and later joined A.G. Edwards in 1999, which then became Wells Fargo Advisors. In 2010, he and his family moved to Tryon to manage the local office for Wells Fargo Advisors. He and his wife, Amy, have four children.

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As chair of the St. Luke’s Hospital board of trustees, Clark Benson also serves on the Foundation’s board. An Illinois native, Benson graduated from the American University and the FBI National Academy. He retired as chief of the United Sates Secret Service Uniformed Division in 1992. During his career he commanded more than 1,100 police officers whose law enforcement duties included the protection of the President and the White House.

Benson and his wife, Martha, moved to Tryon in 1994. Since living in Polk County, Benson served on the Tryon Town Council for 10 years with four years as mayor pro tempore. He has been a volunteer with the Blue Ridge BBQ Festival for 19 years and served on the Blue Ridge BBQ Steering Committee. Benson has also been: president of the Gillette Woods Association, on the Thursday Habitat for Humanity construction crew, president of the Men’s Golf Association at the Tryon Country Club, on the Polk County Visioning Committee, on the TDDS Joint Finance/Construction Committee, a volunteer with St. Luke’s Hospital Auxiliary and on the St. Luke’s Hospital Indigent Care Steering Committee.

Benson has served on the Polk County Community Foundation, Tryon Country Club, Polk County Partnership for Children, Foothills Crime Stoppers and Polk County Mental Health Advisory boards.

Renae Dusenbury Waldman grew up in Tryon with her parents, Vernon and Raye, and her brother, Trey. Waldman graduated from Tryon High School and received her BS in business administration (Insurance/Risk Management) from Appalachian State University.

She began working with Nationwide and the Dusenbury Agency in 1995 and is the current co-owner and principal agent of Dusenbury Insurance Agency LLC.

Waldman has been involved in various community, church, and athletic committees and school committees. She is married to Ethan Waldman, has two daughters, Sydney and Ella, and lives in Tryon.

Kathy Wright obtained her political science degree from the University of Texas. Her first job out of college was in Atlanta in radio news. She then went on to Georgia Pacific for 15 years, serving as division human resources generalist, corporate director of equal employment opportunity and director of headquarters human resources.

Her husband, Jim, and she moved to Greenville, S.C., where Wright was campaign director, director of organizational development and served on the strategic planning committee for the United Way.

Upon retiring, they moved to Tryon where she is currently treasurer and board member of the Tryon Garden Club. She is also on the finance committee for the Polk County Community Foundation. She has also helped Hospice of the Carolina Foothills and part of the team organizing the Tryon Rolling Art Show.

– article submitted
by Jennifer Wilson