The Roanoker - January/February 2020 - 35

40 UNDER 40

RACHEL
BLANKENSHIPTUCKER

JULIA
BOAS
3 6 Y E A R S OLD
Events Director, Roanoke Outside Foundation

3 3 YE AR S OLD
Wild Mushroom Forager, The ForageHer

"I LOVE TO SHARE FORAGED GOODS...IT'S
T H R I L L I N G T O W AT C H S O M E O N E D I S C O V E R H O W
DELICIOUS WILD FOODS CAN BE."

" I F E E L L I K E T H E C I T Y I S AT T H I S T I P P I N G
P O I N T W H E R E P E O P L E L I K E M E C A N A C T U A L LY
MAKE A DIFFERENCE."

Rachel Blankenship-Tucker is a fierce steward of the environment. She started
The ForageHer in 2019, providing several varieties of edible wild mushrooms to
local consumers. Since its inception, she has built a network of customers and
other mushroom hunters, and offers information on safety, identification and
preparation of all things wild and edible. Blankenship-Tucker enjoys teaching
people how to go out and feed themselves, as you can never take that knowledge
from someone once learned, and it can be passed down through the generations.
She is also active in the anti-pipeline resistance in our region. She first got
involved when she and her wife went to play music for Red and Minor Terry
while they occupied their tree sits on Bent Mountain. For her, that moment
was pivotal, as she saw what it meant to take direct action against injustice. "It
stirred something inside of me," she says. "Instead of just complaining, it was
clear to me that I had to get involved in other ways - marching, protesting ...
making sacrifices."

Under the leadership of Julia Boas, the Blue Ridge Marathon (a $5.3 million
economic impact to date) has increased 15% each year; GO Outside Festival is
now a national event, growing in attendance from 15,000 to 40,000; an idea
by local cyclists turned into Go Cross, a two-day professional bicycle race, with
attendees from all over the world in attendance; and her events have donated
more than $200,000 to dozens of local nonprofits. Boas has also shaped the
community narrative to show how our community not only recognizes the value
of the outdoors, but also invests in it. "We've been able to change the narrative
of what it means to be a 'Roanoker' both within our own community and on a
national level," she says. "The outdoors is now one of the #1 things that people
associate with the region. ... Events like the Blue Ridge Marathon and the GO
Outside Festival were created as tools to tell that story."



W OR KIN G MUS ICI A N IN H E R BAND, AF TER JAC K




B U ILT T HE B LU E RI D G E M A RAT HON INTO ONE OF T HE " T EN B EST M A R ATH ON S "
( U SA TODAY )
ACT IVE A M AT EU R T ENNIS P L AYER INVOLVED IN LEAG U E P L AY

ALLISON

AARON
BOUSH

BOWERSOCK
3 7 Y E A R S OLD
Owner, RunAbout Sports Roanoke

3 1 YE AR S OLD
Director of Community & Outreach,
Carilion Clinic

ALLISON BOWERSOCK: GENE MARRANO

"I LOVE THE SENSE OF COMMUNITY WE SHARE
AS ROANOKERS!"

"ROANOKE IS A FUN, ACTIVE AND VIBRANT
PLACE TO LIVE ... FOR PEOPLE OF ALL AGES."

Aaron Boush graduated from James Madison University with a Bachelors
of Science in Health Service Administration and minors in Business and
Gerontology, and earned his Master of Healthcare Administration from
Jefferson College of Health Sciences. He oversees Carilion's systems-wide
community health assessment projects and health education programs, among
other tasks. Boush serves on a variety of boards and committees, including
Goodwill Industries of the Valleys and the Jefferson College Health Sciences
Healthcare Management Advisory Board. "I am passionate about local food
system development and healthy food access," he says. "Through my work at
Carilion and with various not-for-profits, I have been able to explore my passion
and develop innovative programs, such as our new Morningside Urban Farm.
It directly brings food access to folks that need it most!"

Allison Bowersock double-majored in Health Science and Nutrition & Wellness
at Bridgewater College, following up with her master's in Kinesiology from
JMU, as well as a Ph.D. from Virginia Tech in Education, Curriculum and
Instruction, cognate in Health Promotion. She has grown the store's free online
training program, Team RunAbout, from 220 runners to almost 700 people,
providing support for runners of all ages and skill levels. She lobbied Roanoke
County elementary schools to adopt additional recess guidelines passed by
state legislature and has been quoted twice by Runner's World. She serves on
a variety of community program tasks forces, including Healthy Roanoke Valley,
and leads fundraising goals for various nonprofits and organizes donation drives
for Matthew's Child. "I'm hopeful my passions impact others by motivating
them to look to physical activity as an antidote for many of the things that ail
on an acute and chronic level," she says.





G R A D UAT E OF LE A DE R S H IP ROANOKE VALLEY C L ASS OF 2018
SE RV E S A S A N LRV PR O GRAM C ONSU LTANT
B OA R D O F DIR E CTOR S AT THE P RESBY TERI AN C OMMU NIT Y C ENTER





TheRoanoker.com

RA N T HE B OSTON M A RAT HON
N A M ED A M ONG T HE TOP FOU R EXERCISE IS M ED ICINE LEA D ERS BY TH E
A M ERI CA N COLLEG E OF SP ORTS M ED ICINE
K EYNOT E SP EA K ER F OR T HE G O RED F OR W OM EN LU NCHEON
JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2020

35


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The Roanoker - January/February 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The Roanoker - January/February 2020

The Roanoker - January/February 2020 - Intro
The Roanoker - January/February 2020 - Cover1
The Roanoker - January/February 2020 - Cover2
The Roanoker - January/February 2020 - 3
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