Our Roots

As a full service, conservation-focused real estate brokerage, we connect people to the beauty, history, and culture of Western North Carolina and Upstate South Carolina through both the built environment and land protection. Established architecture, construction, and interior design firm PLATT created the innovative and groundbreaking firm Conservation Advisors of North Carolina in 1998 to help landowners in Western North Carolina protect and conserve their valuable mountain properties; now, Conservation Advisors has grown into a unique and progressive real estate brokerage: Witherspoon Platt Associates.

We find that people come to this part of the world for all kinds of reasons. The call of the mountains. Fly fishing. Epic sunsets. Biking. Golf. Hiking. Good people. Down time. Fun times. Family time. Unplugging. And a search for something they can’t quite name.

That search is the reason why we do what we do. From strapping on muddy boots and scouting property, determining exactly how and where a home can adapt or live like an extension of the land itself, finding a house that feels like home, matching a business with its ideal property, or listening intently to a client’s needs and dreams, we’re committed to the real, daily work of serving people, of late nights on the computer and early mornings with contractors, because the end result is a place someone calls home, here.

Our roots in and knowledge of this special place – its secret, sacred spaces, its ravines and hollows and pastures and mountains, its people, history, and culture – are exceeded only by our love for connecting others to it.

What we realized is that all of our exploring, hiking, fishing, talking, porch sittin’, beer drinking, music listening, and blackberry picking is just as much an internal journey as it is an external one. And it’s our joy to share that journey with everyone we meet.

Our Reason For Being

We’ve come to know that this piece of land, this home, this place, this answer that we all seek is a personal, emotional, and soulful connection to something far greater than ourselves – and something quite simple. It’s understanding that as much as we want the land to belong to us, we first, and always, belong to it.

Our Team

John Witherspoon

[email protected]
(828) 553-2880

John Witherspoon has lived in Brevard so long, you almost forget he’s not from here. Hailing from Huntsville, AL, John graduated from Auburn University in 1992 in Finance, then received his master’s degree in Geography at Appalachian State University in 1995 before settling in Brevard.

Following his passion for people, real estate, and land conservation, John, alongside Al and Parker Platt, co-founded WPA in 1998 with a vision of providing clients with not only a premiere real estate experience, but also a variety of innovative living opportunities. Since then, John has helped clients find exactly what they’re looking for – whether it is a mountaintop estate, riverfront farm, larger conservation acreage, or custom mountain dream home.

Outside of WPA, John enjoys serving the community through various organizational appointments, such as the Conserving Carolina Land Committee, Board of North American Land Trust, Board of Friends of DuPont, First United Methodist Church Board of Trustees, and Transylvania County Agriculture Advisory Committee. Any additional free time John has is spent the following ways (in no particular order): searching out the best barbecue in NC, practicing his splits with Brevard’s elite men’s dance troupe, the Pisgah Thunder, and on his family farm with his wife, Jackie, kids, Eliza and Knox, and dogs Scout and Betty.

Photograph of Brad Kimzey

Brad Kimzey

[email protected]
(828) 553-2662

Raised in Raleigh, NC, Brad Kimzey settled in Brevard after graduating from Western Carolina University in 1989. Putting his B.A. in English to good use, Brad worked as a reporter and photographer for The Transylvania Times for two years. He then went on to serve as the Director of Public Information for Brevard College for ten years, where he was responsible for developing and circulating information to promote the college's programs.

Brad brought his exceptional communication skills to WPA in 2001, and since then, he has been involved in every phase of operations. Most notably, Brad has a crucial hand in meeting client conservation interests by negotiating on their behalf, assembling key documentation, and serving as their point of contact in complex projects with myriad moving parts and personnel. Brad also oversees all photography, mapping, writing, and aerial video for WPA.

Besides reading, cinema, and bird hunting with his retrievers, Brad enjoys getting in touch with his inner lumberjack and spending time on his family farm with his wife, Lisa, and daughter, Jess (lumberjack in training).

Photograph of Karin Strickland

Karin Strickland

[email protected]
(803) 479-4591

Raised in Columbia, SC, Karin spent time every summer of her childhood in the Appalachian mountains trying to escape the oppressive SC heat. Her love for Western North Carolina deepened during her years at Brevard College, where she studied wilderness leadership and photography.

After graduating, Karin worked at The Gorge Zipline and Rockbrook Camp for Girls, and spent time working and traveling through New Zealand on a working visa. Karin is also a successful, widely- published freelance photographer and small business owner which has increased her connections with the communities, landscapes, and people throughout Western North Carolina. Her photography work goes hand in hand with her efforts as a real estate broker, as both blend art and management skills, require close attention to detail, and provide unique, client-focused care. When Karin isn’t running the trails in Pisgah National Forest, she can be found working on the farm with her dog, Cash, cooking with friends, or scheming up her next big travel plan.

Photograph of Megan Sotirakopulos

Megan Sotirakopulos

[email protected]
(828) 577-4536

Raised in St. Petersburg, FL, Megan escaped to the Western North Carolina mountains for college and never left. She graduated from Brevard College with a BA in music. During her Brevard College years, Megan discovered the summer camp world and ended up working year-round at Keystone Camp for nine years. In 2017 Megan joined PLATT as Parker Platt's executive assistant where she sharpened her organizational skill set. With this background and her love for the area, stepping into the WPA real estate realm was a no brainer. She lives and breathes the local Brevard life and loves being able to help others make Brevard their home.

When Megan isn't with her husband Nick and their three girls Tinley, Talia, and Talyn, you can find her singing, dancing, and cooking (usually at the same time).

Photograph of Melissa Driver

Melissa Driver

[email protected]
(828) 989-1324

Melissa learned to love the mountains of Western North Carolina early in life. Raised in Clemson, S.C., she took advantage of her location at the foot of the “Blue Wall” to explore and live in the Appalachians on family vacations, as a camper, and in visits to Brevard Music Center. After earning her BS in Marketing in 2006 from Clemson University, Melissa settled in Asheville, working in marketing and general management in the private and non-profit sectors. She received her MBA in 2012 from Western Carolina University, and began developing a passion for construction and real estate, leading to her starting work in real estate in October of 2019.

Melissa is an advocate for environmental issues and humanitarian efforts and has served in a variety of ways over the years on boards and through volunteer work. She is currently a board member at American Whitewater and a member of the Brevard Rotary Club.

In her down time, you’ll find Melissa playing outside in the mountains she calls home with her family (husband, Joe, and daughter, Salma), and their dogs, either mountain biking, road cycling, trail running, whitewater kayaking, hiking, and camping.

Photograph of Amy Barnett

Amy Barnett

[email protected]
(828) 702-4386

Raised in San Diego, CA, Amy made western North Carolina her permanent home in 1982, returning to the mountains where her mother was raised, where Amy spent many fond visits with her maternal grandparents, and where she lived briefly when she was a young girl.

Amy joined the PLATT Architecture team in 1986 and excelled in many positions including Project Manager, Stock Plan Program Manager and Specification Manager, until retiring in 2022. Today, she is pursuing her passion for real estate (she earned her broker license in 1987) as part of the Witherspoon Platt + Associates team.

Amy has been a volunteer for the Brevard Chamber of Commerce, a board member of a local Young Childhood Development committee and volunteered in a wide variety of roles at the schools her daughter attended, including five years as Room Parent.

Amy is a devoted mother to her daughter, Madeleine, a young adult now. She married her husband, Al Platt, in 2019. She loves daily walks and hikes with their family’s dogs, Hazel and Mille, and is very close and involved with her large family living in the nearby community of Saluda in Polk County.

Photograph of Al Platt

Al Platt

[email protected]

As a principal of PLATT and co-founder of WPA, Al Platt has long been attuned to the connections between places, spaces, and the people within them. Working primarily for clients who wish to build or renovate distinctive dwellings in mountain or lake settings, he does not limit himself or his firm to any predetermined set of architectural styles. He relates his houses to their settings so as to complement landforms, foster belonging, and soften the boundaries between indoors and out.

Happily rooted in the small, mountain town of Brevard, North Carolina, Al feels very strongly about giving back to his community. He has served as president of the Brevard Chamber of Commerce, the Brevard Planning Board, and has served as a member of the Brevard College Board of Trustees since 1996, as well as many other community organizations throughout the years.

Al is grateful to be surrounded by family and in his free time loves to spend time with his three grandsons.

Photograph of Parker Platt

Parker Platt

[email protected]

Parker’s lifetime exposure to design, architecture, and interiors has centered his interests on people, place, and experience. This intense focus is channeled into a constant effort to create places that enhance people's lives by connecting them to their environment, to each other, and to themselves through the use of sensitive planning, appropriate materials, captured views, abundant daylight, and simple comforts.

As a principal of PLATT and a co-founder of WPA along with John Witherspoon and Al Platt, Parker has helped discerning clients find and create places which are just what they had hoped for but more than they had imagined. Listening hard is key to this success, followed by his healthy obsession with keeping it simple and getting it "right".

As Past-President and longtime board member of The Cindy Platt Boys and Girls Club of Transylvania County, Parker enjoys a deep commitment to service in his hometown of Brevard, North Carolina. He also currently serves as Community Trustee of the Transylvania Regional Hospital, and is a member of the United Community Bank Advisory Board. He previously served on the Transylvania County and City of Brevard Planning Boards, Heart of Brevard Board, Chamber of Commerce Board, and was a founding board member of the Transylvania Economic Alliance. To him, this community care and involvement is an important and larger form of the "placemaking" that interests him so much.

When Parker takes a break you might find him on a bank of the French Broad River enjoying an all-day asado with family and friends, trying to catch a fish on a tiny fly, or looking for the next opportunity to wing shoot.

Our Services