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Just Economics’ Board and Staff Retreat 2024

Board of Directors 2024

  • Hector Salgado, Chair
  • David Bartholomew, Vice Chair
  • Rachelle Sorenson-Cox, Secretary
  • Ela Twigg, Treasurer
  • Emma Allen
  • Philip Cooper
  • Whitley English
  • Gennie Gonzalez
  • Annelise Hagedorn
  • Laura Haire
  • Su Shen Huang
  • Albert Maybin


Vicki Meath, Executive Director

Vicki comes to Just Economics with a background in community organizing. She has worked on environmental, social and economic justice issues ranging from responsible oil and gas drilling to protecting health and human services in the Ohio state budget. In 2006, Vicki worked with Let Justice Roll and Cleveland Jobs with Justice on the successful campaign to raise the state minimum wage and continued to work with Jobs with Justice on the Cuyahoga County Living Wage Campaign and other worker justice issues. Vicki has a strong commitment to and passion for economic justice work. Vicki has a teenage daughter and has lived in the Asheville area since 2007. Vicki has been involved in a variety of community activities and lives in West Asheville.

Carmen Ybarra

Carmen Ybarra, Community Organizer

Carmen Ybarra is passionate about the work of Just Economics. As a first generation American, she was taught the importance of creating and supporting community. She is focused on doing what she can to improve the lives of others. She is an advocate for affordable housing and for better transit here in Asheville. She is currently a board member of ALAS and the chair at the Buncombe Partnership for Children. Additionally, in 2013, she started SPOT (Supportive Parents of TransKids), and has an activist art project called More than a Hashtag. In her free time, she enjoys photography, teaching Spanish to children, traveling, and spending time with her dog.

Jen Hampton, Housing and Wages Organizer

Jen Hampton is an experienced community organizer best known for her work organizing food service workers with Asheville Food and beverage United. She worked as a low wage worker in the foodservice industry for 31 years in every position imaginable. Jen is passionate about building worker solidarity to fight for better working and living conditions. Jen also has been living in public housing for several years and is familiar with the struggle to find affordable housing and with the less than desirable conditions in public housing.

In addition to organizing workers, Jen is a seamstress and sewing teacher. She hosts a monthly Sewing Club and teaches a weekly middle school sewing class. She enjoys spending time with her 3 children and 5 grandchildren, all of whom live in Buncombe County. Jen attended the University of Texas at San Antonio where she majored in Mathematics and minored in Spanish.

Sam Stites, Living Wage Program Coordinator

Sam Stites is a Transylvania County based labor, community, and political organizer, and he joins the staff as a member of the Living Wage Coalition of Transylvania County, a former member of JE’s Board of Directors, and a graduate of Voices for Economic Justice. Having moved to WNC in 2018 to care for a loved one, he quickly became involved in movement and coalition building, and is thrilled at the prospect of continuing to strengthen rural organizing infrastructure in the greater-WNC counties with Just Economics. Sam received a master’s in city & regional planning from UNC Chapel Hill where he focused primarily on economic security, labor in North Carolina, civil justice issues, and wages. He loves exploring WNC, hiking and swimming, and his two cats.

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