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Catamount Club

Staff

Julie Miller

 

Julie Miller

Associate AD for Development
Director of the Catamount Club

Julie Miller was named Associate Athletics Director for Advancement and the Director of the Catamount Club by Western Carolina Athletics Director Alex Gary in early August 2021. Miller, who was a part of the Catamount Club staff for five years from 2010 through 2015, returns to WCU after spending the past six and a half years working in athletics fundraising at Arizona State University in Tempe.
 
Miller will also serve as the sports administrator for both the WCU’s men’s and women’s golf programs.
 
Miller assumes the lead role within the Catamount Club after having spent four and a half years as the Senior Director of Major Gifts and Engagement with the Sun Devil Club. Within her role at Arizona State, she has been an integral part of Campaign ASU 2020, a successful university-wide campaign in which Sun Devil Athletics played a leading role. The results included facility support for Sun Devil Stadium, The Thunderbirds Golf Complex, and the Arenas Campaign, while also affording families an opportunity to establish endowments.

As the Senior Director of Major Gifts and Engagement, Miller helped revitalize the sport-specific fundraising efforts for the ASU men’s basketball, women’s triathlon, men’s and women’s golf programs. She was also selected to help lead and develop a comprehensive strategic plan for the department. Her duties at Arizona State also included sport supervision for the Sun Devil women’s golf program.
 
Originally from Jeannette, Pa., Miller earned her start in collegiate athletics as an athletics development intern at Western Carolina in August 2010. A year later, she worked her way into a full-time position as an assistant director within the Catamount Club and ultimately rose to the associate director title in 2013.  She helped orchestrate and key many donor stewardship events including the Catamount Golf Tour, Coach’s Caravans and Holiday Socials, and the Student-Athlete Scholarship Gala.
 
Miller earned a bachelor of arts degree in communication in 2009 from the USC Upstate in Spartanburg, S.C., where she was a member of the women’s golf team.

Portrait of Blake Cantrell

 

Blake Cantrell

Associate Director of Development

828.227.2056
acantrell@wcu.edu

Blake Cantrell was named Assistant Director for Development for the Catamount Club in March 2019. He was promoted to Associate Director for Development in February 2020.

He comes to WCU from Tusculum University (TN) where he served as the Director of Athletic Development. Cantrell was hired by Tusculum as Associate Director of Constituent Relations and Major Gifts in October 2014, before transitioning to his role in athletics. As Director of Athletic Development, he was responsible for leading the fundraising efforts for the athletic department, including major gifts, annual fund gifts, and gifts to capital projects.

Cantrell also led the Pioneer Club at Tusculum, which works to raise funds for the athletic department through connections with parents, alumni, staff and other supporters of the University. While overseeing the Club, he increased membership by 48 percent and gifts by 101 percent.

He earned a Bachelor of Business Administration in logistics/supply chain management from East Tennessee State University, with a minor in marketing. In May 2018, Cantrell graduated with honors with a Master in Business Administration from Tusculum University.

A native of Dandridge, Tennessee, he has two sons, Tate and Hudson.

Portrait of Anthony Miele

 

Anthony Miele

Associate Director of Development

828.227.3047
amiele@wcu.edu

Anthony Miele was named Assistant Director for Development for the Catamount Club in February 2020.

Anthony comes to WCU from Kansas University where he has served as Annual Giving Officer since October 2018. In this role, he brought in over $200,000 in donations, successfully ran a Barbeque Competition to optimize fan engagement, and assisted in ticket operations. As a member of the Williams Education Fund, he was responsible for leading fundraising efforts for the athletic department, annual fund gifts, and gifts to capital projects.

Miele earned a Bachelor of Business Administration in Sports Marketing/Management from Missouri Western State University. In May 2019, Anthony graduated with honors with a Master in Sports Administration from Arkansas State University. A native of New Brunswick, New Jersey, Anthony competed on the baseball team at Allen County Community College in Iola, KS.

Portrait of Jeff Bewsey

 

Jeff Bewsey

Development Assistant

828.227.2244
bewsey@wcu.edu

 

Jeff Bewsey joined the Catamount Club staff as a Gift Processor in January of 2018.  He has served in several capacities at WCU. Most recently Jeff served as the Director of Auxiliary Services at the university before retiring with 28 years of service in May 2017. 

During his time at WCU, Bewsey also served as a Career Counselor and as Associate Director of Auxiliary Services.  In his role as Director of Auxiliary Services, he managed contracted services for several University services including Dining Services, Telecommunications, Cable TV and Soft Drink vending.  He also oversaw the Student ID Card (CatCard) Office, the WCU Bookstore operations and the University Mail and Print Services operation.

Bewsey is married to the former Josie Robinson who also retired from WCU in 2016.  They have two sons who also hold degrees from Western Carolina University. He earned a B.S. in Business Administration and an MBA from Western Carolina University.

lauren rhyne

 

Lauren Rhyne

Assistant Director of Development, Events, and Stewardship

828.227.2013
lrhyne@wcu.edu

Lauren Rhyne returned to her alma mater to join the Catamount Club staff as the Assistant Director of Development, Events and Stewardship. While an undergraduate at Western Carolina, Rhyne spent two and a half years as a development intern with the Catamount Club.
 
Rhyne returned to Cullowhee after working as the College Relations Events Manager at Belmont Abbey College in Belmont, N.C. She also spent two years on staff as the Development and Operations Manager with The Roaring Riot / Riot Foundation in Charlotte working with fan engagement for the Carolina Panthers.
 
Rhyne earned her professional start as the Director of Communications and Events with the Gaston Regional Chamber in Gastonia, N.C. There she advocated for business leaders on a local, state, and regional levels and oversaw all communication and marketing efforts on behalf of the chamber.
 
After beginning her collegiate career at Lenoir-Rhyne as a member of the women’s golf team, Rhyne transferred to WCU and earned her Bachelor of Science degree in communication in 2017. While at WCU, she was the co-President of the Student Catamount Club, a women’s basketball student manager, and worked with WCU’s Athletics Marketing. Rhyne is also a member of the Phi Mu Fraternity. Her father, Ronnie Rhyne is also a WCU Graduate from the Class of 1982.
 
Rhyne is currently pursuing a MS degree in Sports Management from West Virginia University.

jp hill

 

JP Hill

Assistant Director of Development

hillj@wcu.edu

JP Hill joined the Catamount Club staff as the Assistant Director of Development in January 2022.
 
Hill made the move to Cullowhee after spending the past year as an Account Executive at the Hood Container Corporation. He also served as a Commodities Trader with Georgia-Pacific.
 
Hill was a part of the first Graduate Management Training Program at Smurfit Kappa North America, a two-year program focused on various business functions. He rotated between four different locations where he worked in all areas of business with an underlying focus on sales. He later earned a full-time position as a Sales Professional at SKNA.
 
Hill earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Marketing and Packaging Science in 2014 from the College of Business at Clemson University. Hill was a walk-on in the defensive secondary for the Tiger football team.

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