Our Leadership Team

Sandy Bernard – Branch Administrative Officer/President

Sandy Bernard

Sandy Bernard joined AAUW in 1972 and was president of AAUW New York State, the AAUW Legal Advocacy Fund and AAUW National (1997-2001). She is a member of the Asheville, Hendersonville, and Tar Heel, NC Branches and the Greenville SC Branch.

Her work experience included kindergarten and Head Start teacher, freelance landscape designer, interim executive director for several organizations and executive director of the (then) largest women’s network of its kind in the country.  During those years she also served on the National Women’s Hall of Fame Board and on the NY Legislative Advisory Committee on Women’s Issues.

Sandy is now happily retired — from work but not AAUW! In addition to serving as the Hendersonville President, she is currently the Carolina Funds Chair, serving on both the NC and SC State Boards of Directors in the same capacity.

She also loves a lively book group, gardening, travel, good friends, family, and her place at the beach!

Margi Rex – Branch Finance Director

Margi’s career started in insurance and in particular, being on the ground floor of the establishment of the 401(k). As motherhood took over, she became an active member of AAUW in suburban Philadelphia.

When Margi returned to work, she worked for a startup company in CAD (Computer Aided Design), followed by establishing a European sales office for a Virginia manufacturing company. Her last job was as a financial and operations manager for a Pennsylvania manufacturing company.

AAUW gave her the opportunity to use her organizational skills and to improve her ability to work with people from all walks of life.

Carol Walters – Membership Director

Carol WaltersCarol served as public policy chair for North Carolina Libraries for a number of years.  In that role she organized annual national advocacy trips to Washington for library funding as well as annual efforts to the NC Legislature for Public Library funding.  These interests & efforts were fueled by 10 years in broadcasting and advertising prior to completing her Masters in Library Science at the University of Carolina Greensboro (UNCG) and becoming Regional Library Director for 35 years for NC’s largest Regional System with 5 counties and 15 Libraries where she mentored women and 5 completed Masters degrees.  During her tenure the System won more than 25 State and National Awards.  The Public Library Association’s Allie Beth Martin Award was presented to her in 1994.  In 2006 she received The UNCG School of Education Distinguished Career Award, and in 2013 she received the North Carolina Library Associations Distinguished Career Award.

She is a member of Delta Kappa Gamma, Toastmasters, Arts Councils. In her retirement she joined AAUW, where she has served on the program committee.  She has A BA in History and Masters in Library Science from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

Princess Ferguson – Community Outreach Director

Princess Ferguson

Princess Ingrid Ferguson has lived extensively overseas and in Alaska and Hawaii.  She received her Masters degree in Social Work (MSW) from the University of Hawaii at age 46 after 11 years of classes.  As a retired woman she has taught ESOL (English to Speakers of Other Languages) and tutored reading, engaged in numerous volunteer activities, and is an advocate for women’s rights.  She also finds time to keep track of her six children, 14 grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.


Diana Bagwell – Branch Member-at-Large

Diana has long desired to help girls and women to meet their individual goals. Aside from working in many aspects of AAUW, she has served as a mentor and support person for girls hoping to go to college and start careers in science and other fields.

She founded the Mecklenburg County Guardian ad Litem Advocacy Foundation to support girls, boys, and Guardians involved in the
Courts. Since her retirement as biology teacher, principal, and assistant superintendent for high schools in Charlotte-Mecklenburg.  She has stayed busy working on special projects and has still enjoyed being retired!

Pat Vestal – Branch Member-at-Large

Pat Vestal

Patricia (Pat) Vestal joined the Hendersonville Branch in 2014, shortly after retiring to her home state of NC . She served on the Community Giving (BRCC scholarships) Committee and then as its Chair for several years.

Pat’s career encompassed publishing and higher education in NYC and Florida. She earned her B.A. in Media Communications from SUNY/Empire State College and M.A. in Drama from New York University. Her creative projects have included Off-Off-Broadway and NYC TV productions and readings of her plays in FL and NC. Community work involved producing short documentaries for a NYC public access video group and serving as literary manager for a FL new play group. She continues to teach script and fiction writing. Patricia is the author the speculative fiction series The Living World, available on Amazon and through bookstores via Ingram.

Branch Communications Support Members

  • Newsletter Editor: Jan Allen
  • Directory Production: Mary Ann Bents
  • Regional Media: Pat Argue
  • Webmaster: Mary Ann Bents
  • Assistant Webmaster: Jan Allen

AAUW Hendersonville Branch Legacy Leadership Award Recipient 2022

  • Mary Ann Bents

AAUW Hendersonville Branch Legacy Leadership Award Recipients 2020 and 2021

  • Diana Bagwell
  • Cathy Veal

Read More about the Legacy Leadership Award Recipients

Diana Bagwell

Diana Bagwell

Cathy Veal

Cathy Veal

Mary Ann Bents

Mary Ann Bents






AAUW North Carolina State and National Leaders

Pat Ashe

Pat Ashe






Julia Brown

Julia Brown

Gloria Blackwell

Gloria Blackwell