In April 2019, Our Site founder Mark File turned over the reins of this community-driven guide to Justin Belleme. Started as a passion project in 2003, Our Site is now the most visited travel website in Western North Carolina, receiving 5.5 million visits each year from 200 countries. Meet our team below! Photo Above: Justin Belleme (left) and Mark File (right)
Justin Belleme, Publisher and CEO
In April 2019, Justin Belleme led the acquisition of Our Site Travel Guide from founder Mark File. Justin is a Western NC native, born in Asheville and spent his childhood in Saluda. His first jobs in high school where in tourism and hospitality with time as a server and barista at the Purple Onion (it was called Wise Child at the time) and in the kitchen and dish room at the Orchard Inn.
A serial entrepreneur, Justin founded is first business, an online magazine about the Asheville area for visitors in 2003. He continued to work in tourism marketing, holding interim positions in online marketing with Asheville Convention & Visitors Bureau, Tupelo Honey Cafe, and the City of Asheville in 2010 before launching Internet marketing agency JB Media Group in 2011. As Director of Strategy at JB Media Group, Justin oversees the strategic direction for projects in SEO, online advertising, social media, event marketing, email, and public relations for clients ranging from the Eastern Band of The Cherokee Indians to the Blue Ridge National Heritage Area, Holistic Holiday at Sea, and the Social Capital Markets conference.
In 2012, Justin saw a need for training for marketing professionals and business owners in Internet marketing from industry professionals. He teamed up with Sarah Benoit to found the JB Media Institute shortly thereafter. Under his vision and leadership, the program has trained more nearly 300 students in its first six years. Justin is also a frequent presenter on the more technical elements of Internet marketing including Google advertising for businesses and non-profits, SEO and social media advertising.
At Our Site, Justin leads the editorial and partnerships team while providing overall strategy for the website that receives 5.5 million annual visits. He loves the NC Mountains and is grateful to be able to support the local arts and environmental organizations through the site’s non-profit support programs.
The recipient of the 2014 Entrepreneur of the Year Award from the Asheville Chamber of Commerce, Justin is a strong advocate for entrepreneurship. He has served on the Board of Directors of the Asheville Chamber of Commerce, and the Veteran’s Healing Farm, and he is a previous Board Chair for the NC Stage Company.
Jen Brooks, Editor & Social Media Manager
Jen’s passion for the WNC region comes from her personal experience in camping, hiking and exploring the region with her husband and kids. An Atlanta native, Jen traded city life for mountain life in 2010 with a move to Boone, NC. But one visit to Asheville changed everything and Jen knew this unique city in the mountains would be where her family would put its roots down.
Jen with her kids and husband (and pug Ozzy!) on Looking Glass Rock.
Before joining the team at Our Site, Jen co-founded Asheville Date Night Guide, where she served as editor and social media manager, sharing her enthusiasm for Asheville and the Western North Carolina region. Jen has worked closely with founder Mark File, who has mentored her as she's taken over the reigns for Our Site's content, social media, newsletter and more. Jen's committment to upholding the site's reputation as a reliable, up-to-date resource for both visitors and locals of the region is unwavering.
When she’s not writing, you can find Jen chasing waterfalls, hiking or being a cheerleader at one of her kid's games. Her passions include growing her own food, snuggling her two pugs and yorkie, and watching true crime.
Mark Collins, Partnerships Manager
Mark is the primary point of contact for the site's 250+ sponsors and partner organizations. As a company ambassador he connects with businesses (large and small), tourism development authorities, non-profits, and governmental entities involved in travel, tourism, events, and the outdoors. Part educator and part strategist, Mark identifies ways to help partners promote their location and/or brand while meeting joint marketing and growth goals, simultaneously improving the reader’s experience and increasing traffic to the site.
Mark’s varied background and deep love of building and supporting community is evident in both his personal and business life. Among many other endeavors, he is the immediate past president of the Western North Carolina AIDS Project with deep involvement with the agency’s two largest community fundraisers - Dining Out For Life and the Raise Your Hand Auction, president of his local homeowners association, sits on the HUB committee for Asheville and Buncombe County and runs an annual summer camp for terminally ill children and their families. He is also a committee member for the Haywood Street Congregation Fresco project. His past work includes teaching business principles, coaching executive teams and sharing the importance of storytelling to philanthropic institutions across America. He is an advocate for affordable housing and has been involved in several successful urban residential developments in the deep south and New Orleans.
Read More: RomanticAsheville.com History & Community Partners | Become a Sponsor | Contact Us