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New Members 2020

We are really excited to have so many new members this year, but have been frustrated by our inability to get to know them all due to the Covid restrictions. We hope that these stories will serve as virtual introductions to some of our newest members.  


Sandra and Warren Emerson, 90 Smokey Ridge Trail

How did you come to choose Walnut Cove?

The Carolinas were always a major draw for Sandra and me, mainly because we have 3 grandchildren (and one on the way) located in Fort Mill, SC, which is predominantly a suburb of Charlotte. We began exploring the area about 7 years ago, and Asheville was always of keen interest due to the entertainment venues, foodie paradise and many more outdoor activities than one couple could ever take in.

We learned about the Cliffs during our exploration of the area and learned the Cliffs staff was presenting in Houston, TX, where we lived at the time. That presentation was likely the one that planted the seed deeply. However, Walnut Cove was not our first choice. We explored Mountain Park and Valley as our primary targets, but the draw of Asheville finally easily won out over the other choices, and we committed and began the journey to retirement and Walnut Cove.

Are you part-time or full-time residents?

We are full-time residents, and our house construction was completed in October 2019.

Any information you would like to share about your family? 

Sandra and I have 3 children, all boys, and each just over 1½ years apart. It was never dull at our home while they were growing up. Our oldest, Jamie, and his wife, Misty, live in Sacramento, California, where Jamie is in the 21st year of a career in the U.S. Air Force. Our middle son, David, and his wife, Ally, live in Panama, South America, where they are the owners of a B&B in Bocas Del Toro. Our youngest son, Tim, and his wife, Jenny, and their 3+ children live in Fort Mill, SC, where Tim is the technical director for a mega church. Our 3 grandchildren are Hudson (8), Porter (6) and Scarlett (4), with one on the way, due in June.

We also have 2 of the most spoiled dogs that ever walked the face of the earth, Cash, a King Charles, and Niko, a Cocker Spaniel, both 11½ years old. Our dogs become our children as we age –lol. Sandra and I have multiple siblings, nieces, nephews, etc., as well as my 84-year-old mother, all living across Texas.

What WC activities/groups are you involved in or plan to join? 

Golf is a major draw for Sandra and me, and what better place to be than Walnut Cove. Enjoying people, we both would like to join groups/committees supporting philanthropic activities predominantly in the Asheville area. We recently joined the WCMA and are just learning about engagement from the group and the many ways we can participate. I am sure there are numerous opportunities we have yet to learn about. The number of new friends we have made since moving to Walnut Cove has been amazing, and we have felt at home since day one.

If you are “sheltering,” how are you spending the time now that you’re home more often?

We are indeed sheltering here at Walnut Cove and have been since the start of COVID 19. We are incredibly fortunate to have golf -we play multiple times a week- as well as the vast outdoors where we walk with our dogs on a daily basis. Amazing how much time you can spend cooking when you eat all meals in, and, most importantly, you can have fun with it.

Any “silver linings” that you would like to share that you’ve discovered about being home more often?

The importance of family and friends has become even more precious although we have been required to stay apart. I think we realize even more how fortunate we truly are. We have found ways to contribute where possible to help others, and, hopefully, there will come a time when we can actively volunteer outside our gates and make a difference.



Sherri and Rob Daniels, 110 Powder Creek Trail

How did you come to choose Walnut Cove?

We decided to move to Asheville to be closer to our grandchildren and have more amenities like restaurants, healthcare, movie theaters, etc. Smith Mountain Lake, Virginia, had been our home since retiring in 2004. Before that we were in the Washington, D.C. area, and we were ready to be out of the hustle and bustle. The lake was a quiet, beautiful place, and we enjoyed it, but we were ready for a change.

A golf course was at the top of our list when looking for a place to live. As soon as we saw Walnut Cove, we knew this was the neighborhood we wanted.

Are you part-time or full-time residents? 

We will consider Walnut Cove our primary residence, and right now we spend the winters in Kauai.

Any information you would like to share about your family? 

Our younger daughter lives in Asheville with her husband and 3 children. We are delighted that they have become Legacy members of the club. Our other daughter lives in Littleton, Colorado, with her husband and 2 boys. We are anxious for them to be able to come to NC and visit.

What Walnut Cove activities/groups are you involved in or plan to join? 

Both of us would like to be involved with golf and plan on joining the men’s and women’s leagues. We chose to live close to the Wellness Center and hope to use it when it reopens. I’d like to be a part of the book club and mah jong groups if there is space available.

Hobbies or other interests?

Rob has been a private pilot for 40 years, and he has moved his planes to the Asheville Airport. He also is passionate about a hobby he started when he retired -classic car restoration. You will probably see his 1931 Chevy truck around the neighborhood soon. In addition to golf, I love to garden. There’s nothing like getting your hands in the dirt to revive your soul! My yard here has lots of opportunities for me to put my touch on it.

If you are “sheltering,” how are you spending your time now that you’re home more often?

Yes, we are “sheltering” here at home. It’s given us a chance to really get to know our new home, and we’ve done lost of projects. My cabinets and closets have never been this organized, and Rob is getting the garage exactly as he wants it.

Are there any “silver linings” you’ve discovered about being home more often?

As far as silver linings, we are both thankful that we have a beautiful roof over our heads and that, after 47 years of marriage, we still enjoy each other’s company!




Gail and David Smith, 313 Secluded Hills Lane

How did you come to choose Walnut Cove?

We were looking for a retirement location and took recommendations from friends and reviews from the internet. After extensive visits to many, we selected Walnut Cove for its facilities and for its location near the wonderful city of Asheville. We bought a lot 5 years ago with the intention of building our forever home and retiring here full time. Several years ago, we began building our home while we were still working and living in Frankfurt, Germany. We moved in last September and are very happy with our choice.

Are you part-time or full-time residents?

We are full-time residents and completed our home in October of 2019.

Any information you would like to share about your family?

We have two grown children, with a daughter in Atlanta, Christine, who recently married Daniel Russell. The couple chose to have a destination wedding here in Asheville last October with the ceremony in Glassy ChapelOur son, David, lives in Cincinnati where he and his best friend run a historical restoration and construction business.

What Walnut Cove activities/groups are you involved in or plan to join?

We picked the Cliffs because we loved the focus on wellness, and we were enjoying all the items that the wellness center offered before things were temporarily suspended. We also loved all the dinner and special events at the clubhouse and look forward to participating when these events are restored. Additionally, we played croquet on Sundays and had planned to join other activities of the WCMA. 

Hobbies and other interests?

We like to walk and hike the trails both in Walnut Cove and in the area. We also enjoy traveling and visiting family and friends. We love food and wine events, and I enjoy cooking and my husband is an avid wine collector. We had joined the Cliffs chapter of La Chaine de Rotisseurs [food and wine gastronomic society] before it was eliminated and look forward to joining the Asheville chapter after the pandemic.

If you are “sheltering,” how are you spending the time, and have you discovered any “silver linings”?

We walk and hike and enjoy working in the garden. I am an avid reader and am happy that we have a digital library in Buncombe county. Since our home still has many “finish” items to do, we are organizing and completing some of them ourselves. We learned how to conduct Zoom meetings, and we have reconnected with many friends and family members on a frequent basis. We probably would not have done this if it were not for the pandemic.



Kim and Jeff Faistenhammer, 68 Running Creek Trail

How did you come to choose Walnut Cove? We moved to Asheville to be near our children and to get out of the Michigan winters. We moved to the Cliffs because we loved the workout center and the nature trails. A friend told us it was a good place to meet new people and socialize, and we liked the club facilities and ability to stay at the other Cliffs locations. 

Any information you would like to share about your family? Jeff retired from human resources at Ford Motor Company several years ago, and I am a retired pharmacist. We moved from Michigan (Detroit area suburbs) to Asheville on December 24, 2019. We just made it here in time, as our daughter, Emily, gave birth to our fourth grandchild 2 weeks early on December 29th.  Our daughter Emily, son-in-law Brett, and two granddaughters, Clara and Chloe, live 15 minutes away in Biltmore Park. Our son Brian, daughter-in-law Ashley, grandson Jackson, and granddaughter Maddie moved to Atlanta last December from Houston.

Hobbies and other interests? We both like to hike and walk. Jeff likes to fish. I enjoy exercise classes, snow skiing and Bible study.

If you are “sheltering,” how are you spending your time now that you’re home more often? We are full-time residents here and feel very lucky the “shut down” happened in the spring. I am so grateful for the outdoor and virtual exercise classes and the FaceTime Bible study. We both appreciate the lovely setting for walks. This has to be one of the best places on earth to shelter in place! Our son-in-law Brett is a cardiologist at Mission and takes shifts in the ICU. At the beginning of the pandemic he moved into an apartment by himself, since he wasn’t sure what his exposure to the virus was going to be. We stepped in to help our sleep-deprived daughter with our granddaughters. Thankfully, Brett was able to return home recently.



Tammy and Bob Nicholson, 30 Running Creek Trail

How did you come to choose Walnut Cove?

We both enjoyed living and working in Richmond, Virginia, but following our retirement 3 years ago, we started thinking about where to spend our retirement years. I have two sisters and a college roommate living in Hendersonville, and Tammy’s lifelong friend is also planning on moving to the area. With family and friends already living in the Asheville area, it was an easy choice to come here.

Walnut Cove was our favorite community because of the amenities and proximity to Asheville and Hendersonville. We love to travel and like the proximity to the Asheville airport. 

Are you part-time or full-time residents?

Walnut Cove is now our primary home, and we plan to be here most of the year. We spend our winters at our condo on Hawaii’s Big Island.

Any information you would like to share about your family?

We each have two children, two boys (Brian and Collin) and two girls (both named Katie!). No grandchildren yet, but Tammy likes to let Brian and his wife, Brooke, know that they need to get moving on that front.

What Walnut Cove activities/groups are you involved in?

I plan to play golf as often as possible and have had some great outings with the Highlanders group. My handicap has been steadily rising since moving to Walnut Cove, and I have a ways to go to learn the beautiful but challenging course here. I also plan to get back into tennis. Tammy also golfs, will be a regular working out at the Wellness Center, and is looking forward to more hiking around the area. We both can’t wait to experience the restaurant scene that Asheville and Hendersonville are known for, and we look forward to the wine tastings and other social events at Walnut Cove.

Are there any “silver linings” you’ve discovered about being home more often?

We moved into our new home on March 2 and had about a week here before “the shelter in place” hit. Most of our time has been spent moving in and getting the house decorated. As we’ve heard so many people say, if we have to be quarantined, this is a good place for it.  About the only “silver lining” from the pandemic is that the “stay home” time allowed us to focus on unpacking and moving in. I have also discovered the benefits of online shopping and am now an Amazon fan. We look forward to meeting our new neighbors and becoming part of the Walnut Cove community.




Dr. Jen Stotka, 171 Walnut Valley Parkway

(Jen's partner is Lisa Wethington, who resides in Hendersonville)

How did you come to choose Walnut Cove?

Coming from the Midwest, we wanted milder winters and longer springs. The mountains of NC or VA were always target retirement destinations. Asheville was a favorite vacation spot and was close to my extended family in Raleigh, NC, and Columbia, SC. The beautiful mountains of North Carolina beckoned!

Are you part-time or full-time residents? Full-time home, but we are avid world travelers. We’ve traveled to over two dozen countries. I reside in Walnut Cove; Lisa is in Hendersonville.

Any information you would like to share about your family?

Lisa and I have been domestic partners for 27 years. Currently, we are a LATS couple (Living Apart, Together Still). We are both very proud of our pharmaceutical careers, having each spent over 20 years with Eli Lilly (first company to mass produce insulin and the polio vaccine), and then a number of years with biotech. I’m retired. Lisa still works in Quality Assurance for a Boston-based company.

We were involved with United Way in Indiana and remain quite active with our alumni associations, especially Purdue (Lisa) and Wake Forest Medical School (Jen). When we moved to Western North Carolina in 2016, we had a spate of family tragedies, personal issues and health problems that derailed our involvement in the community. The pandemic prolongs the disconnection. However, we have strong confidence in our scientific community to discover an end to this plague!

We have 4 nephews and 2 nieces (all 20-something-year-olds) who love to visit us in the mountains with their friends. That will resume when the Biltmore House and brew pubs are back in full swing. Additionally, we count ourselves among the many “dog lovers” in town! We love our strolls together with Kona, our Lab-Ridgeback mix.

What Walnut Cove activities are you involved with or plan to join?

Prior to the pandemic, I was an avid evening-workout enthusiast at the Wellness Center, utilizing the weight machines, Pilates equipment and [indoor] pool. Can’t wait to re-engage with those activities, as well as the outdoor pool. Lisa golfs frequently in Hendersonville, when not working/traveling.

Are there any “silver linings” you’ve discovered about being home more often?

I have been learning to play the piano, having discovered the remarkable Academy for the Arts in Asheville. Virtual lessons have worked out quite well, and practice time is never lacking. I have also had time to plan my abundant gardens. I hope my colorful grounds bring JOY to the whole neighborhood. Lisa has caught up on audit reports from her two-dozen domestic and international audits last year; her travel schedule resumes in September (optimistically). We really enjoy walking in the gardens and on the many trails at the Arboretum. It is another gem in south Asheville!



Louise and Marc Stejbach, 9 Mountain Orchid Way

How did you come to choose Walnut Cove?

We are planners by nature. Thinking ahead toward an eventual retirement, we desired a climate that would allow year-round golf, but still had four distinct seasons. The combination of access to great golf courses, the focus on wellness, and proximity to Asheville made Walnut Cove an easy decision.

Are you part-time or full-time residents?

We bought a lot in 2007 and began building in 2008 just as the market was crashing. We figured we were in this for the long haul anyway so building then had some advantages. The house was done in late 2009, and for 10 years, we would travel down from Philadelphia initially and later Boston, for occasional holidays or long weekends amidst our busy careers and family/kid activities. We learned that our neighbors here in WC referred to ours as "the ghost house" because they never saw anyone there. But it was all part of the plan! Now as empty-nesters and having stopped full-time work, we moved here permanently January 1 of this year.  

Any information you would like to share about your family? 

We both still do some part-time consulting and board work with biotech companies. Our daughter Emma (23) graduated from Gettysburg College last year and works in digital media analytics in NY City. Our son Matt (20) is also in NYC. He is a sophomore at Parsons School of Design, majoring in photography with a minor in film production. But since mid-March, we are all together here at WC. It has been great having them here, but we know they are looking forward to returning to their much hipper, independent, big city lives.    

What WC activities/groups are you involved in or plan to join?

All golf, all the time! We like to walk when we play and look forward to meeting more golfers here. We also enjoyed exploring the Asheville restaurant scene and using the Wellness Center until all of that was shut down. Mark has been rekindling his interests in tennis, cycling, and fly fishing since moving down here.  

If you are “sheltering,” how are you spending the time now that you’re home more often?

Golf, tennis, some work teleconferencing and “Zoom-ing.” Family dinners and Netflix in the evening.  

Any “silver linings” you would like to share that you’ve discovered about being home more often?

We've enjoyed the additional family time with our kids here. But we have had to cancel quite a few travel plans in 2020. We are still holding on to our plans to visit Bandon Dunes in mid-August.  



Debbie and Robert Moreyra, 2024 Songbreeze Trail

How did you come to choose Walnut Cove?

After much due diligence of available golfing communities throughout the Appalachian Mountains, we discovered Walnut Cove. Twenty-five years ago, we had a home in Wolf Laurel and became familiar with Asheville and the Cliffs Valley. It was good to find the Cliffs at Walnut Cove upon our return to the area.

Are you part-time or full-time residents?

Part-time. Our main residence is in Tampa, Florida.

Any information you would like to share about your family?

We have one child, Christina, who went to Wake Forest, is now married to Andrew, and lives in Charlotte, NC.

What Walnut Cove activities are you involved in or plan to join?

Debbie and I currently play golf with the mens' and ladies' groups. I play with both the Highlanders and Lowlanders groups. We periodically get to the fitness center and join in on the numerous activities (outdoor and social) the club has to offer.

If you are “sheltering,” how are you spending the time?

Outdoors, golfing, and doing lots of cooking/meals at home. Also, essentially, all home improvement projects are now complete!

Are there any “silver linings” you’ve discovered about being home more often?

We love each other’s company. But, we already knew this.