About Us

Executive Director

Ashley Vandewart Lasher

Ashley LasherAn Asheville native, Ashley Vandewart Lasher has a deep love for Western North Carolina.   She wants Buncombe County residents to have the same fulfilling community experience that she grew up with, so she chose a career in non-profit leadership.

Ashley is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, with a degree in Journalism and Mass Communication and a minor in Women’s Studies.  She has worked in nonprofit fundraising and leadership in Buncombe County since 2005. Her first introduction to the Literacy Council was as a guest at the original Authors for Literacy Dinner & Silent Auction. As a lifelong reader and writer, she was immediately drawn to the Literacy Council’s mission and program impact. After nearly three years as the Literacy Council’s Development Director, she became the Executive Director in Nov. 2012. Ashley believes that the Literacy Council provides essential services to Buncombe County, the impact of which is leveraged by effective board leadership, diversified funding, creative partnerships, and empowered staff and volunteers.

Outside of the Literacy Council, Ashley serves on the board of the Asheville Jewish Community Center, volunteers with Paws on a Mission, and rides in the National Multiple Sclerosis Society’s MS150 bike event. She enjoys reading, crafting, and spending time outdoors with her husband, Clint, and two dogs.


The Book

By Fred Chappell

Poet Laureate Emeritus of North Carolina


It waits as patiently as a forest trail

To take you to a place you must have heard about,

Quiet and exciting, a glade to be alone in,

With those who came before.

At first the journey is one slow letter at a time,

But sooner than you thought, you clip along,

Your pace growing smarter with each step.


You never arrive at an end

Because you never want to,

And a thousand other trails lead off from this one path,

Mysterious, inviting, alive with shadowy light.


The book will go with you as far as you desire.

And if you like, I will come with you.