Staff Members

Team Values

We will nurture:

  • Authenticity
  • Integrity
  • Innovation
  • Self-empowerment
  • Collaboration
  • Growth & Sustainability
  • Respect & Recognition

Core Purpose

To nurture the #SWVA Creative Economy for future generations with growth sustainability, & sincere purpose.

ADMINISTRATION

  • Kim Davis

    Executive Director

  • Gwyn Hill

    Administrative Assistant

  • Tina Murray

    Facility Manager

Kim Davis

Executive Director

SWVA Cultural Heritage Foundation, Friends of SWVA, ‘Round the Moutain

A native of Bristol, Kim is a seasoned marketing and tourism professional with over 15 years of experience in nonprofit, communications, event management, and marketing arenas.  Kim served as a Senior Director of Marketing and Communications at Visit Knoxville, before moving back to her hometown seven years ago to serve as the Director of Marketing for the Birthplace of Country Music.  At BCM, Kim was responsible for the marketing and communications for the Birthplace of Country Music Museum, Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion, and Radio Bristol.    

Kim holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Communications and Public Relations from the University of Tennessee, and she is currently pursuing her Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree from Louisiana State University. 

As executive director, Kim will lead the Friends of Southwest Virginia team to work with our partners throughout the region to help advance community development and tourism initiatives.

Gwyn Hill

Administrative Assistant

Friends of Southwest Virginia

Gwyn was born and raised in the south; however, after a camping trip to Abingdon, VA, she and her family fell in love with Southwest Virginia. Shortly after returning home, they moved to Damascus, VA.

Gwyn has a passion for baking and cooking which stems from her mother and grandmothers, who always encouraged her to bake with them.  Her biggest accomplishment thus far is owning and operating a café.

With more than 20 years in the industry Gwyn brings years of food and beverage experience and knowledge to the leadership team at the SWVA Cultural Center.  Gwyn’s commitment and desire is to provide the best customer experience while leading a team of strong servers by giving them all the proper tools and guidance. Gwyn graduated from I.T.T. Technical Institute in Maitland, FL with a Bachelors degree in Hospitality Management.

Outside of her day-to-day duties at Friends of SWVA, you can find Gwyn baking something up, on the trails hiking or in the woods hunting.

Tina Murray

Facility Manager

Born and raised in Abingdon, Virginia I began working for the Town of Abingdon- the Parks and Recreation Department- in my early teens. My roots are here. These mountains and its people are important to me and bring my soul alive!  My husband Kirk fondly refers to our little town as the “Cultural Gem of the Appalachian Mountains”, a title I believe very suiting.

Following my graduation from Katharine Gibbs in NYC, I began my professional career with The Pittston Company in Greenwich, Connecticut. There I honed my business skills and eventually relocated back home to Southwest Virginia.  I enjoyed a long career in the coal industry with Alpha Natural Resources and Contura Energy serving in the transportation and logistics field, assisting customers all over the globe.  Working with coal miners has given me such strong respect and love for the people of this area and our heritage.

I have spent my personal life as an “aspiring artist”, enjoying every form of media from clays to glass and doing commission pieces in oil and acrylics.  When I’m not working at the Cultural Center, you can find me hiking the Appalachian Trail with our two Standard Poodles, Bear and Saban Grace,  or enjoying a beautiful day at our little boathouse on South Holston Lake with my Kirk and our Irish Setter Charlie.

Spread love everywhere you go, let no one ever come to you without leaving happier.  – Mother Theresa

MARKETING

  • Chad Thompson

    Marketing Manager

Chad Thompson

Marketing Manager

Chad Thompson is a SWVA native currently residing in Glade Spring, Virginia. Growing up in SWVA, Chad has always enjoyed hiking, biking, and photography adventures. Chad attended Virginia Intermont College where he studied film and digital photography. After college, Chad became a freelance photographer / videographer where he created work for various clients around Southwest Virginia. After years in the field, Chad started a YouTube channel where he started teaching about his profession. Today, Chad still creates content on YouTube as well as personal and freelance photography / videography.

REGIONAL DEVELOPMENT

  • Ida Walker

    Creative Economy Development Specialist

Ida Walker

Creative Economy Development Specialist

Friends of SWVA

Idalina Walker is a tourism development specialist with a background in environmental education, natural resource development. She is a Native of Floyd County and an Alum of UVA Wise. Throughout her career she has worked to promote the many natural assets of Southwest Virginia and engage with and learn from community partners. After spending a few years in Northern Virginia, Idalina is overjoyed to be back in the mountains working to develop partnerships and share her passion and energy for Southwest Virginia’s world class outdoor resources. Idalina will be focusing with the western front of the Southwest Virginia region and looks forward to meeting you to discuss exciting collaboration opportunities and ideas to benefit SWVA Outdoors.

ROUND THE MOUNTAIN (Affiliate Organization)

  • Donna Hensley

    SWVA Artisan Marketplace Assistant Manager

  • Chad Thompson

    Marketing Manager

Donna Hensley

SWVA Artisan Marketplace Assistant Manager

Friends of Southwest Virginia

Donna Hensley, born in Wurzburg, Germany, to Air Force parents from SWVA, attended schools all over the world including the longest stints in the Philippines and Napa, California finally making her way back to Wise County to settle and raise her family with 3 children before moving to Abingdon.  After working at a few restaurants in the hotel industry she has found retail and tourism the most enjoyable.  She is currently serving as an Administrative Assistant for Friends of SWVA and will continue to enjoy working in retail for Round the Mountain.
Her hobbies are: flea marketing and antique auctioning all while hunting bargains for DIY shabby farmhouse style projects, helping to flip houses, and her most rewarding pastime is spending time with her grandchildren.
Fun Fact : Donna can operate rollbacks in her sons towing service.

Chad Thompson

Marketing Manager

Chad Thompson is a SWVA native currently residing in Glade Spring, Virginia. Growing up in SWVA, Chad has always enjoyed hiking, biking, and photography adventures. Chad attended Virginia Intermont College where he studied film and digital photography. After college, Chad became a freelance photographer / videographer where he created work for various clients around Southwest Virginia. After years in the field, Chad started a YouTube channel where he started teaching about his profession. Today, Chad still creates content on YouTube as well as personal and freelance photography / videography.

SWVA CULTURAL CENTER & MARKETPLACE

  • Donna Hensley

    SWVA Artisan Marketplace Assistant Manager

Donna Hensley

SWVA Artisan Marketplace Assistant Manager

Friends of Southwest Virginia

Donna Hensley, born in Wurzburg, Germany, to Air Force parents from SWVA, attended schools all over the world including the longest stints in the Philippines and Napa, California finally making her way back to Wise County to settle and raise her family with 3 children before moving to Abingdon.  After working at a few restaurants in the hotel industry she has found retail and tourism the most enjoyable.  She is currently serving as an Administrative Assistant for Friends of SWVA and will continue to enjoy working in retail for Round the Mountain.
Her hobbies are: flea marketing and antique auctioning all while hunting bargains for DIY shabby farmhouse style projects, helping to flip houses, and her most rewarding pastime is spending time with her grandchildren.
Fun Fact : Donna can operate rollbacks in her sons towing service.

THE CROOKED ROAD (A Partner 501(c)(3))

  • Carrie Beck

    Executive Director

Carrie Beck

Executive Director

The Crooked Road