Molina Honored for Innovation by Young Professionals Group

At the Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce inaugural PROpel AVL Awards on May 7, community members gathered at Highland Brewing to celebrate the exceptional young professionals making significant strides in Asheville and beyond.

PROpel AVL, a component of the Chamber, provides resources and opportunities promoting emerging leaders with valuable insights, skills, and strategies.

Josue Molina

Presented by UNC Asheville, the Innovation Award was given to Josue Molina, an advocate for aging well in Asheville and a leading figure in the senior living industry. As the Independent Living Sales and Marketing Director at Givens Communities, Josue has redefined marketing strategies within the sector by leveraging technology and creative, cost-effective methods. His comprehensive approach to elder care includes promoting cybersecurity awareness, volunteerism, and inclusivity, making him a beacon of innovation and leadership in enhancing the quality of life for seniors.

“I think if you are in sales and marketing, or lead an organization, curiosity is an important trait,” Josue said. “Working in senior living is such a unique and rewarding experience, and I appreciate my colleagues and mentors who have welcomed and embraced curiosity. And it’s important to create an encouraging, supportive environment to allow teams to ask why and how we can better serve. It’s easy to fall into a routine and not have these conversations. This helps fuel innovation and creativity. I learn so much from the folks around me.”

“A special thank you to my partner, Kayla Vreeland, and my family for their support,” he said. “And thank you to Givens Communities for supporting not only me, but residents and fellow team members by creating an incredible space in which to seek endless possibilities.”

Kaila Tolsma Ramser was honored with the Community/Public Service Award for extensive involvement in the Asheville community. The Mentor Award recognized Jonathan Blakely, the founder of Potential Sports and Fitness, having transformed his organization from a modest outdoor initiative into a premier training facility for athletes at all levels. Tessa Scarborough of MAHEC received the Trailblazer Award for her influential role in Asheville’s healthcare sector. The prestigious PROpel Award was given to Catherine Turner, the Senior Program Director of Teen School’s Out programs at the YMCA of WNC.

Each award recipient demonstrates a profound commitment to their respective fields and the broader Asheville community. Their achievements underscore this region’s potential and inspire others to engage, innovate, and lead. Congratulations to all the winners for their well-deserved recognition.

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