Meet the Alumni Club of Asheville Board!

Jeff Robel  President

I earned a Batchelor’s Degree in Astronomy from OSU in 1972.  I am currently working for NOAA National Center for Environmental Information (NCEI) in Asheville, NC as a Physical Scientist.  I help various groups with accessing historical weather data from all over the United States.  I have been with NOAA for almost 37 years and am planning to finally retire at the end of 2020.  I am married and have two sons.  I have been active in the Reutter Center Singers for the past six years. We are a choir made up of senior adults and we do several concerts at the Reutter Center on the UNCA campus and at various locations in the Asheville area.

Gregory McDonald  |  Vice President

I was a member of the United States Air Force during the Vietnam war where I was a Cryptographic Repairman.

I graduated with a BS degree in Biology from the University of New Haven, a MS degree in Biology from the University of Southern Connecticut and a doctor of veterinary medicine degree from The Ohio State University.  I practiced Veterinary Medicine in Santa Barbara CA.

After I retired I moved to Candler, NC in 2013 to be with family and new grandson.  I now live in Hendersonville, NC.  I like to dance, travel in my RV, spend time with my family in Candler, golf and go to Buckeye game watches in Asheville.

John Sawdy  |  Treasurer & Membership Chair

Connie Sawdy  |  Secretary

Steve Tipps  |  Scholarship

I received my PhD degree from The Ohio State University in early and middle childhood education with a focus in elementary mathematics.  After graduation I taught mathematics education at the University of Virginia and the University of North Texas.  I was West Foundation Endowed Professor at Midwestern State University in my hometown of Wichita Falls, Texas.  My final professional years were spent at the University of South Carolina and North Carolina State University,

I retired to Flat Rock, NC with my wife Becky. We enjoy travel, theater, hiking, square dancing and art.

Chris Hatch  |  Events Chair

I was born and raised in Columbus, Ohio and resided in and around Columbus for 63 years.  I attended Miami University in Oxford, Ohio for two years and then graduated from The Ohio State University with a BA degree in Industrial Design.  I owned and operated my own residential construction business for all of my working career.

I retired and moved to Balsam Grove, NC four years ago.  I reside there with my life partner, Sandra Brown and our Bernese Mountain Dog puppy, Finn.  I enjoy hunting and fishing and of course, OSU football!

Jay Hinze  |  Website Content Curator

I received my PhD degree in Metallurgy from Iowa State University.  After a brief stint at Wright Patterson Air Force base I spent most of my career conducting metallurgy research at Owens Corning’s Science and Technology center in Granville, Ohio.  During my job interview when asked by my future boss at Owens Corning where I went to school I used my best southern drawl and said “Ahwa State University”.  My boss exclaimed, “Ohio State University? You’re hired”!

My wife, Ann and I retired to Brevard, NC.  I lead two hiking groups, maintain the Pisgah Hiker website, kayak the French Broad River, maintain Pisgah National Forest trails and pick up litter on county roads.

Jeanette Platt  |  Social Coordinator

I finished my education at Hickam AFB, HI with an MBA in Business from Chaminade University.  I worked as a Contracting Officer for NASA supporting the Atlas and Delta launch vehicles.       I moved to Hendersonville, NC in 2008 where I fell in love with the mountains and bought a log cabin.

Questions? Email us at!