Welcome New HCWDB Chair Sallie Woodring & Vice-Chair Justin Ray

Sallie WoodringSallie J. Woodring is a native of Avery County and life-long resident of Banner Elk.  She has been employed with Appalachian Regional Healthcare System since 2002 and currently directs the career pathways and volunteer programs for the system.

Over the past several years, Sallie has been very involved in the local communities having served as a Rotary president in three different Rotary Clubs and two terms as an Assistant District Governor with Rotary.  She has also served on the Avery Habitat for Humanity Board and the Avery Arts Council Board.

Sallie served on the Region D Private Industry Council in the 1990’s and returned in 2009 to serve on the Workforce Development Board and as the Youth Council Chair for several years and chaired the High Country Youth Summit planning committee.  Her leadership was instrumental in initiating the event and provided energy and enthusiasm during all stages of the planning and promotion of the event and advocating for the next steps that were the result of the summit.  In 2014, she was selected as the High Country Council of Governments Outstanding Regional Workforce Development Board Member, an award selected by her peers on the High Country Workforce Development Board.

“Since my work involves assisting students with enrolling in healthcare educational experiences, I really enjoyed my role with the [now former] Youth Council,” says Woodring.  “I’m very honored and humbled to be elected as the new chair of the Board and hope to be an effective leader in this upcoming year.”


Justin Ray is an Avery County native and Newland resident. After graduating high school, Justin attended Mayland Community College earning an Associate’s Degree in Science – then it was on to Appalachian State University where he graduated with Justin Ray photoa Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice and Computer Information Systems.

Post college graduation, Justin and his family moved to San Diego, California where he began his career in banking. Working in retail banking for a year and a half, he then transitioned into the wholesale mortgage banking division. After a year in sunny California, Justin came back to North Carolina – this time Raleigh – to help lead the transition of a West Coast bank that purchased an East Coast bank. As lead underwriter, he was underwriting mortgage loans nationwide and was promoted to Senior Account Executive – Vice President of Wholesale Mortgage Sales.

In 2010, Justin and his family returned to Avery County where they renovated the old Shady Lawn Motel and turned this once thriving business into a new and current thriving business. The new Shady Lawn Lodge has received Trip Advisor’s Certificate of Excellence Award for the past two years. The award is given to accommodations, attractions, and restaurants that consistently earn great reviews from travelers.

Justin and his wife, Britney, co-owner and co-operator of the Shady Lawn Lodge, have been actively involved in local business and the local community since coming back home five years ago. “We want to help the local community by helping other small business owners achieve their dreams and goals of owning and operating a thriving business in our local community,” said Justin. “Let’s work together to help Avery County and the High Country region prosper.”