Jessica Hocz

Executive director

(828) 206-6159    /

Jessica grew up in Vermont and completed her undergrad there, at Castleton University. She worked on trail crews in the Sierras and at Glacier National Park, before moving to North Carolina to study Landscape Architecture at NCSU. Since 2009, Jessica’s work at Mountain Valleys has included wind turbine installations, over 40 renewable energy projects on farms, stream restorations, stormwater management projects at schools, and helped create the Ivy River Partners watershed group.


Mariah Hughes

Project Coordinator, Ivy River Partners

(828) 206-6159    /

Mariah has lived in the Blue Ridge Mountains her whole life, except for a few years when she was earning her graduate degree at NCSU in science education. A background in environmental sciences and work with nonprofits, a renewable energy start-up, and government agencies has prepared Mariah for the varied tasks at hand in resource conservation work. She joined Mountain Valleys in 2014 to help manage the formation of the Ivy River Partners watershed group and continues to coordinate the development of this project.  


Alex Arnold

Project coordinator, WNC energyCAP

(828) 649-5115    /

Alex joined Mountain Valleys in 2015 to lead the WNC Energy Cost-share Assistance Program, with a particular interest in small farm energy improvement projects. He has a background in nonprofit community development work in North Carolina and Kentucky, and completed a graduate degree in Appropriate Technology from Appalachian State University.