Meet Our Staff

Richard Liston, Founder

Richard holds a Bachelor in Music from the North Carolina School of the Arts, a Master of Music from the Eastman School of Music, a Master of Science in Computer Science from Wake Forest University, and a PhD in Computer Science from Georgia Institute of  Technology. He has shared the stage with some of the world’s finest musicians, performed research with some of the world’s finest scientific  minds, and has worked, studied and taught at a broad range of institutions of higher education. He is passionate about making teaching and learning as enjoyable and effective as possible, and directs Sphere's Mentorship and Mentorship Development Program. 

Lynn Komlenic, Project Manager

Lynn brings diverse experience to Sphere College Project. In her 30-year career, she served as a top-level division manager at a major health insurance company, and as a business  development and editorial consultant to numerous small enterprises. Lynn is passionate about education: She teaches a conscious communication program based on Marshall Rosenberg’s Nonviolent Communication, and directed a health education program West Palm Beach, FL. As an editor and production manager for health books, her contributions ensured numerous top book awards. Lynn graduated from Lehigh University with a B.S. in Business/Finance with an emphasis on Public Relations. When not working, she enjoys hiking in the mountains of Western NC. 

Brian Connolly, Development

Brian Connolly is a life-long, multi-generational community organizer, and founder of several non-profit and for-profit organizations, largely in the fields of health and publishing. Raised in Hell’s Kitchen New York City, Brian assisted tenants in low income housing in organizing and purchasing their buildings from the City, led a successful opposition to a proposed utility sub-station construction, and, years later, developed one of the City’s and nation’s most well-attended consumer health expositions. Brian has created a number of highly successful magazines, and award-winning book publications, and is driven by a passion to contribute to the well-being of others. His foray into the world of education is supported by his love for learning and the arts, literature in particular, which he studied at New York University. Brian is listed in Who's Who of New York Business Owners, and when he is not working, enjoys spending time cultivating community, and crops, at his homestead, which he shares with his partner Vickie and five animals.

Meet Our Board of Directors

Audrey Yatras

Audrey moved to Asheville ten years ago from Alexandria, Virginia, and is active with a number of local social and racial justice organizations. Audrey holds a seat on the Boards of Building Bridges of Asheville, Sphere College Project, and the Asheville 12-Step Recovery Club. Prior to moving to Asheville, Audrey spent 25 years in the defense contracting industry, starting her own federal government contracting information technology firm, AMA Systems, Inc. She was awarded the Minority Small Business Person of the Year—given in recognition of outstanding performance and commitment to excellence as an entrepreneur—for the Washington District Office by the SBA. Audrey holds a BS in Psychology from Morgan State University and attended the  Minority Business Executive Program at the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College, and the Leadership Consortium at Smith College.  

We are building our Board! Please connect with us


We are building our Board! Please connect with us