Holly Jones is a native North Carolinian and has lived in Buncombe County since 1996. Holly is married to Bob Falls who is a retired educator and small business owner. Their teenage daughter, Gabriela, attends Asheville Middle School. Holly comes from a family of educators and public servants. Her mother is a retired public school teacher and her brother currently teaches public school in Anson County, where she grew up.
From 1996 to 2011, Holly served as Executive Director of the YWCA of Asheville and Western North Carolina, making her the longest serving executive director in that organization’s 105-year history. Inspired by the YWCA’s mission of empowerment of women and the elimination of racism, she led the organization into an unprecedented era of programmatic strength and financial stability. At the YWCA of Asheville, Holly oversaw a workforce of 100+ employees and a budget of 2.4 million dollars. Under Holly’s leadership, the YWCA completed a multi-million dollar building renovation, expanded vital programs services for children and their families and became one of the community’s strongest nonprofits in Asheville. In January 2012, Holly become Regional Manager for the YWCA of the Southeast Region where she works with other member YWCAs located in seven states.
Holly holds a Bachelor of Arts in Public Policy Analysis and a Masters Degree in Public Health from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill as well as a Master of Divinity, Duke University. Before arriving as Executive Director at the YWCA she was a school health educator at Durham County Health Department. Prior to that she was a missionary with the United Methodist Church in Italy, Baltimore, Maryland and Indianapolis, Indiana.
Holly was first elected to Asheville City Council in 2001. She ran for re-election in 2005 and came in first place that year as well as being Asheville City Council’s all time highest vote getter in several decades. During her tenure on City Council, Holly served as Chair of the Asheville HOME Consortium, representative to the French Broad River Metropolitan Planning Organization, Vice Mayor, and was the council liaison for many city committees including Minority Affairs, and the Greenway Commission.
In 2008, Holly sought to bring her commitment to working families, the environment and open government to the Buncombe County Board of Commissioners. Holly’s message resonated with citizens of all backgrounds and she received widespread electoral support in precincts across the entire county. She was sworn into office December of that year. Holly sought re-election in 2012 and was the top vote-getter in her District.
Since serving on the Board of Commissioners, Holly has played a key role in the adoption of: a steep slopes ordinance; a county sustainability program; a greenway master planning effort; and the return of televised public comment. In budget adoptions, she has fought for strong investments in public education and public safety, and their infrastructure. She is tireless advocate for affordable housing and public health.
Holly currently serves on the following groups and organizations:
- Transportation Advisory Committee of the Metropolitan Planning Organization
- Land of Sky Regional Council
- Community Energy Advisory Council
- Blue Ridge Sustainable Institute
- Pioneering Healthier Communities
- Buncombe Community Health Assessment Steering Committee
- Children First’s “The Success Equation”
- Junior League of Asheville. Community Advisory Council
- Local Food Policy Council
Holly’s leadership abilities and achievement have been widely recognized. In 2001 Holly received the Athena Award from Chamber of Commerce. She is a graduate of the William Friday Fellowship in Human Relations and Leadership Asheville XVI. Holly’s excellent managerial skills were recognized in 2007, when she received the Ken Roberson Award for Management Excellence in the Non-profit Health and Human Service field.
In 2011, Governor Beverly Perdue appointed her to the North Carolina Juvenile Justice Planning Committee.