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Jessica L. Kryzenske named community development manager for HandMade in America

December 7, 2012 – HandMade in America has expanded its technical assistance program to increase applications and funding for economic development projects in rural communities across its 25-county service area, hiring Jessica L. Kryzenske as community development manager.

The position, funded partially by Community Foundation of Western North Carolina (CFWNC), identifies and helps small towns, community organizations and rural communities develop and seek funding for economic development projects that focus on natural and cultural resources.

Kryzenske will provide technical support, training and leadership skills to help small communities take advantage of existing funding opportunities, such as the National Endowment for the Arts, North Carolina Arts Council and North Carolina Rural Economic Development Center.

“The investment of the CFWNC means so much to the people of Western North Carolina. With this support, HandMade will be able to help communities realize more cultural and natural resource projects, grow leadership and strengthen our communities,” says Executive Director Gwynne Rukenbrod. “Jess brings experience in both workforce and business development, along with a deep understanding of the culture in Western North Carolina. She will be an asset to our economic development work and to the communities of WNC.”

Kryzenske offers extensive experience facilitating meaningful and relevant partnerships through her work with the Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce, Convention & Visitors Bureau and Economic Development Coalition. Partnerships are vital to regions like Western North Carolina, Rukenbrod says.

“I am passionate about our area and building sustainable vitality in our mountain communities,” Kryzenske says. “I admire the incredible work completed by our HandMade communities to date, and I look forward to the projects and partnerships ahead.”

HandMade in America grows economies through craft, transforming both individuals and communities through education, entrepreneurship and economic development. HandMade in America has an 18-year tradition for pioneering innovative ways to empower the people and towns of Western North Carolina through programs that educate and facilitate the needs of creative entrepreneurs and communities. More information is available online at or by calling (828) 252-0121 ext. 307.

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