Growing Rural Opportunities executive director steps down

Published 8:00 am Saturday, August 25, 2018

Growing Rural Opportunities’ — a local nonprofit that supports rural agriculture — Executive Director Patrick McLendon has stepped down from his position this week, replaced on an interim basis by Erika McMillan, the farmers market manager.

McLendon was one of the organization’s founders, and had been involved with the nonprofit since its inception three years ago. ​McMillan took over as interim director Thursday.

McMillan joined GRO five months ago. She brings over 10 years of experience with nonprofit organizations, and has spent her career specializing in culinary and hospitality tourism communications.

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“With Patrick’s departure, it became clear to the board that GRO could use this opportunity to reorganize and realign our mission,“ said Frank Lilly, chairman of the GRO board. “We felt it best to have an interim director in place to assist in moving the organization forward and making the decisions necessary to continue the successful programming we have in place, like the farmers markets, mobile market and Organic Growers School Farm Beginnings program.”

During this transition period, these changes will remain in place until GRO’s board of directors’ search committee finds a new executive director.

Information about the search for McLendon’s replacement will be announced at a future date. Those with questions or concerns during this transition process may contact McMillan at 828-436-0040 or ​​.

– Submitted by Erika McMillan