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Derek Rowley

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Derek was raised just outside Chapel Hill and studied philosophy at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington. He started his real estate sales career on Carolina’s coast, learning the fundamentals as a broker's assistant. He quickly established himself as a licensed broker, working with several of the area’s top developers on myriad projects and properties. In 2006, Derek co-founded a full-service real estate sales, marketing and consulting firm specializing in all aspects of developer sales where he experienced multiple facets of real estate development, from land acquisition and due diligence to concept branding, marketing and selling. In the spring of 2008, Derek's firm was hired for consulting work for a new development in Banner Elk. Upon visiting for the first time, he immediately fell in love with the area. Having developed a huge interest in -- and appreciation for -- extraordinary land, the High Country was a dream come true. In June of 2015, Derek joined Premier Sotheby’s International Realty, with a focus on establishing the leading luxury real estate company in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Derek enjoys the High Country's outdoor activities and has a passion for music and animal rights, serving on The Board of Directors with The Avery County Humane Society. He is committed to making The Mountain Group at Premier Sotheby's International Realty an industry leader in quality and to redefining luxury in the North Carolina High Country.      

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John M. Rhem

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John Michael Rhem joined The Mountain Group at Premier Sotheby's International Realty in October 2013, specializing in marketing and graphic design for the team while lending his knowledge of architecture and design in sales strategy and property staging. John graduated from Appalachian State University, earning a Bachelor of Science in interior design. Here, he quickly fell for the High Country's lifestyle, its rolling hills and unique mountain architectural style.  John uses his design experience and understanding of the market to help the team make each real estate transaction as smooth and stress free as possible. Born and raised in Belhaven, NC, John grew up visiting Ocracoke Island each summer and still returns frequently. He donates time to Appalachians Alumni Association as a former Student Ambassador past president and Alumni Council member. He is also actively involved in his fraternity, Phi Gamma Delta, serving on its Board of Chapter Advisors as a past chapter president.  John is a licensed North Carolina real estate broker and currently splits his time between the High Country and Miami, Fl, acting as the Mountain Group’s designated referral specialist for the south Florida market.

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Mary Conyers Jernigan

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Mary Conyers Jernigan was born and raised in Birmingham, Alabama.  She attended the University of Alabama where she earned her degree in Finance with a specialization in personal wealth management.  After college, Mary Conyers moved to Charlotte where she worked for a law firm that specializes in real estate transactions.  Starting as early as childhood, Mary Conyers has had an appreciation for and interest in real estate.  Every Sunday afternoon, Mary Conyers and her grandmother would drive around looking at local real estate and any properties that had recently come on the market.  In 2013, Mary Conyers made the decision to get her North Carolina real estate license and move to the High Country where she spent her summers growing up at her family home in Elk River. Mary Conyers splits her time between the High Country, Charlotte and Birmingham, where she serves as the Mountain Group’s designated referral specialist in those markets.   

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Joanie Byer

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Joanie Byer was born in Mount Holly, New Jersey and moved with her family to the North Carolina High Country in 2006.  In August, 2015 she joined The Mountain Group as a broker assistant to Derek Rowley, with a goal of embarking on a career in luxury real estate.  Joanie serves as broker assistant to Derek Rowley and has, in her first year in the industry, already established herself as an invaluable member of The Mountain Group with an outstanding work ethic and talent for real estate marketing.  Joanie is passionate about children, hiking, music and animal rights, and regularly volunteers for numerous local causes, including serving on the Board of Directors with the Avery County Humane Society.  She is committed to making The Mountain Group at Premier Sotheby's International Realty an industry leader in quality and the redefining luxury in the North Carolina High Country!  

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More Information

If you need information about any of our services, please feel free to use our contact form, send us an e-mail to info@MountainNCHomes.com, or give us a call at 1 (800) 887-2446 or (828) 898-8965.