Foothills Industries is an economic development social enterprise Encircling, Encompassing and Enhancing the Lives of Individuals with Disabilities in McDowell County, North Carolina. 

The Staff of Foothills believes that focusing upon the "Ability" of individuals with Disabilities is the pathway to strengthening them as individuals and enhancing their lives. Our Staff is committed to serving the needs of all Consumers at Foothills Industries as well as striving each day to serve their families and our Community as a whole.

We encourage you to contact the Staff at Foothills and get to know us.

Foothills Industries — "Makers of Special Products  with Special People!"

Staff Members and Responsibilities

Steve Earl, CEO, Foothills Industries

Steve Early


Steve is responsible for this entire social enterprise and reports to the Board of Directors.  He has been given authority to manage the day-to-day operations which includes a service sector serving over 180 individuals with various disabilities and a growing manufacturing sector providing quality products to many well known customers.

Donnita Silver, Director of Services, Foothills Industries

Donnita Silver

Director of Services

Donnita is responsible for the oversight of all of our rehabilitative programs.  She helps maintain national accreditation through CARF (Commission of Accreditation in Rehabilitation), as well as state licensure.  She maintains our Medicaid enrollment and monitoring from our Local Management Entities and handles many organizational administrative duties.

Blanche Waugh, Quality Manager, Foothills Industries

Blanche Waugh

Quality Manager

Blanche is responsible for managing and maintaining the Quality Management System and meeting all regulatory requirements associated with ISO 13485 and FDA.

Janet Owen, Customer Service Representative, Foothills Industries

Janet Owens

Customer Service Representative

Janet is the chief liaison with all of our manufacturing customers.  She is our design specialist in medical components and oversees the Safety Program for the entire program.

Michelle Carr - Employment Placement Specialists, Foothills Industries

Michelle Carr

Production Manager, Medical Manufacturing

Under Michelle's leadership, all aspects of the manufacturing process are maintained, including Safety, Quality, Deliveries, Personnel, and the adherence to all regulatory requirements.

Carla Allen - Employment Placement Specialists, Foothills IndustriesCole Martin, Employment Placement Specialists, Foothills Industries  

Carla Allen and Cole Martin

Employment Placement Specialists

Cole and Carla work with North Carolina Vocational Rehabilitation to help place individuals with barriers to employment into competitive jobs in the community.  their services include evaluation, work adjustment, job coaching, community based assessment and follow-up.

Kristie Harmon, Office Manager, Foothills Industries

Kristie Harmon

Office Manager

Kristie is known as the voice of Foothills with her receptionist’s duties. She oversees a host of office functions including accounts receivable, employee benefits, staff payroll and personnel records administration.

Jack Ellis, Bookkeeper, IT Support, Foothills Industries

Jack Ellis

Bookkeeper, IT Support

Jack is responsible for accounts payable, client payroll, and schedules all vehicle maintenance.  He is chief liaison with annual audit personnel and is the go-to person with internal IT issues.

Board of Directors

Foothills Industries is fortunate to have a very competent and dedicated Board of Directors.  This diverse group of talented individuals represents a broad section of our community and all have the common interest of wanting the best opportunities for Adults with Disabilities.




Ms. Jewell McNeal
Retired Accountant

Vice President:

Ms. Joy Shuford
Retired Foothills Industries CEO


Mr. Ken Burleson
Retired Manufacturing Manager

Board Members


Ms. Patsy Ballew
Retired School Teacher


Ms. Sarah Bright
Parent of Client


Mr. John Cone
Manufacturing Engineer


Mr. Greg Decker
Industry Manufacturing


Mr. Harold Walker
Bank Executive


Mr. Steve Ward
Self Employed


Mr. Danny Willis
Manufacturing Industry


Foothills Industries of McDowell County, Inc.
300 Rockwell Drive
Marion, NC 28752 | 828-652-4088