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Our Team

Travis Smith

Executive Director/Pastoral Counselor

Travis Smith, MDiv. founded Blue Ridge Hope in 2014. Four years later BRH officially became a non-profit. Travis is a grief counselor who served with Hospices in western North Carolina and in Charlotte, NC for 10 years. After his time with Hospice, Travis served as Director of an adult day health facility.  

His experience in helping individuals cope with death and loss is second to none. Travis has overseen many grief groups as well as grief camps for children. Travis prides himself on his ability to work with people of all religious and faith backgrounds. His approach to coaching is client driven. 

Travis earned his bachelors degree in religious studies as well as his Master's of Divinity in Pastoral Counseling from Gardner-Webb University in Boiling Springs, NC. He is married to Allyson and together they have 4 children.

Travis is passionate about removing barriers to access quality health services, promoting holistic integrated care for the community, and driving the vision and mission of Blue Ridge Hope is to connect individuals with resources that will help them be successful in attaining their emotional goals, reconciling personal loss and developing health and wholeness to those who so desperately need it.

Our Team

Travis Smith

Executive Director/Pastoral Counselor

Travis Smith, MDiv. founded Blue Ridge Hope in 2014. Four years later BRH officially became a non-profit. Travis is a grief counselor who served with Hospices in western North Carolina and in Charlotte, NC for 10 years. After his time with Hospice, Travis served as Director of an adult day health facility.  

His experience in helping individuals cope with death and loss is second to none. Travis has overseen many grief groups as well as grief camps for children. Travis prides himself on his ability to work with people of all religious and faith backgrounds. His approach to coaching is client driven. 

Travis earned his bachelors degree in religious studies as well as his Master's of Divinity in Pastoral Counseling from Gardner-Webb University in Boiling Springs, NC. He is married to Allyson and together they have 4 children.

Travis is passionate about removing barriers to access quality health services, promoting holistic integrated care for the community, and driving the vision and mission of Blue Ridge Hope is to connect individuals with resources that will help them be successful in attaining their emotional goals, reconciling personal loss and developing health and wholeness to those who so desperately need it.

Allyson Smith

Assistant Executive Director/Certified Health Coach

Allyson is someone who deeply cares for those brought into her path. Over the last several years she has been on a quest to better understand how our health and wellness plays an integral part in our happiness and quality of life.  Allyson is a graduate of the Institute of Integrative Nutrition and has been endorsed by the institute to offer support, coaching, and training to her community.  Allyson has a presence that makes her clients feel loved and valued and she believes that we all can make changes that better our life.  She is the perfect health coach because she leads with compassion and uses her in-depth knowledge to gently guide clients to hope and light. Along with being endorsed by the Institute of Integrative Nutrition she is also a Yoga Fit instructor. Beside all of her credentials she is most proud to be called a wife and mother.

Amy Cochran

Counselor & Mental Health Coach

Life can be tough. Connection helps. Stay connected. Hold tight to hope. Take care of yourself...your WHOLE self.

Amy (M.A., M.Ed., NCC, LPCA) is a proud native of the Blue Ridge region with an open mind from years of exposure to diverse geographies and people through business and personal travel, collaborative group work and study, extensive reading, and global creative community connections. She is a graduate of Limestone College (B.S. Business Administration), East Carolina University (M.A. English - Professional and Technical Communication), and NC State University (M.Ed. Counseling). She is certified by the National Board of Certified Counselors and licensed in North Carolina as a Licensed Professional Counselor Associate (LPCA). Amy employs an eclectic counseling style that is flexible to each client’s needs. Her integrative counseling approach has a positive orientation that focuses on the present and future more than the past, solutions more than problems, and each individual’s strengths rather than weaknesses. Depending upon the individual client, this integrative approach may include one or more of the following methods: cognitive behavior therapy (CBT), solution-focused therapy, acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT), mindfulness techniques, existential therapy, and/or expressive arts therapy. Amy is a believer in the power of love, hope, acceptance, community, and holistic approaches to well-being.

"Hope is the thing with feathers

That perches in the soul,

And sings the tune without the words,

And never stops at all."

~Emily Dickinson

Kristin Austin

Family Nurse Practitioner 

Kristin Austin, MSN, FNP-C, has 4 years of experience working in Family Medicine and 11 years of combined experience working within the healthcare system in areas including preventative medicine, elderly care, Hospice, and critical care.  Kristin received her Master's Degree from The University of North Carolina at Charlotte and undergraduate degrees from both Gardner-Webb University and Western Carolina University. 

Kristin is Nationally Certified by the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners (AANP).  She has also pursued post-graduate training in Psychiatric-Mental Health.  She became a nurse and ultimately a Nurse Practitioner because of the care and compassion she has for all people.  Her care philosophy is rooted in values of faith and spirituality, relationship, human rights, and stewardship. 

Kristin strives to practice holistically by providing care that empowers physical, mental, spiritual, and social health.  She views her role as a nurse practitioner as immensely spiritual and finds connecting with patients in the most intimate moments of life, and also ordinary days along the journey, a responsibility to be held sacred.  She strives to take time to actively listen and understand her patient’s needs and provide personalized care. 

Kristin is married to her husband, Seth and they have one precious son, Micah. 

Addison Harris

Marketing & Media Intern 

Addie is a homegrown mountain girl: born in Rutherford County and a current student at the University of North Carolina at Asheville, right in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains. In her last year of working towards a Bachelor’s Degree in Mass Communications, she strives to put her studies to good use. Addie endeavors to put creativity into practical application through design, marketing, and social media. She wishes to use her aptitude for mass media to better equip, inform, and inspire individuals to be their best selves. She is passionate about personal connections, sustainability, and creating a better world for all.

 

Addie is currently working with Blue Ridge Hope as the Marketing and Media Intern for the Summer of 2020.

R.J. Aiken

Social Justice & Equality Coordinator 

R.J. Aiken,  a Rutherford County native and small business owner and operator serves as the Social Justice and Equality Coordinator for Blue Ridge Hope. He attended UNC-Charlotte and received two B.A.s'  in European Studies & French. He serves as a catalyst for social justice and racial reconciliation. The youth of our world and community has always taken the forefront of his agenda to continue the longevity and effectiveness of change. But even more so, he has an obligated duty to give back to his community. He pledges to approach any social climates with a critical mind driven to find solutions for our community. 

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 © 2020 by Blue Ridge Hope. 

185 North Main Street Rutherfordton NC 28139

828.202.3075