Meet the Team


Erich Schlenker

Managing Director

Erich is the Managing Director and brings skilled leadership, direction, and endless possibilities in coaching students toward growing their own businesses.

Erich brings a range of experience to the position. Most recently, he assisted a start-up international mining company in addressing challenges and growth opportunities on faces working in Guyana in South America.

Prior to moving to the High Country in 2008, Erich founded and operated Synaptis, a Raleigh-based software training company. He also brings 11 years experience managing marketing strategies for the Intel Corporation, where he received the highest honor an employee can achieve, the Intel Achievement Award


Jonathan Carpenter

Assistant Director

Jonathan is the Assistant Director and brings creativity, enthusiasm, and a passion for entrepreneurship to support bringing ASU ideas into reality.

As part of his job, Jonathan develops and delivers entrepreneurship programs for middle and high school students as a Gear Up program specialist for Appalachian.

Finally, most people don't know that Jonathan brings a great sense of adventure to the Center and once sailed across the Atlantic ocean from Africa to the Bahamas with a crew he met on a bulletin board. He has traveled and worked around the world and recently developed the marketing strategy and e-commerce platforms for an import company that created opportunities for artisans overseas.


Sara Figlow

Program Specialist

Sara is Program Specialist and brings expertise in small business and non-profits with a focus on fiscal discipline and compliance.

Sara uses her own entrepreneurial background as the co-owner of a commercial/residential contracting and building company to support entrepreneurship efforts on and off campus. Sara manages marketing and communication on and off campus. Sara has recently been the Executive Director of Climate Voices US where she served as the primary spokesperson to the organization’s constituents, media, and the general public.

Sara worked in the accounting department of Appalachian Institute for Renewable Energy. She also served on the Board of Directors of High Country Local First.