Bill Bentley assumed that he would follow in his father's footsteps and go to work at Ecusta. Thus, when he completed Brevard College with an associate's degree in science, he enrolled in North Carolina State University to major in forestry with a specialty in wood paper pulp management.
Now, however, this Brevard native with long roots in the community is the assistant director of imaging at Pardee Hospital.
Bentley received a Connestee Fallsscholarship in 1996 when he graduated from Brevard High School. Having taken classes at Brevard College during his senior year at Brevard High, he continued at the college and then went to North Carolina State. However, while indulging his love of the outdoors in a kayak at the age of 18, he injured his shoulder; when he underwent an MRI to diagnose the problem, he found the process fascinating. That chance encounter changed the course of his life. He left N.C. State and went into the radiology program at Asheville Buncombe Technical Community College, where he excelled in all of his courses. While he was studying, he was working at Pardee.
After graduating, Bentley worked at Pardee as an X-ray technician and cross-trained in MRI imaging. He then became an MRI and CT supervisor. Now, as the assistant director of imaging, he is in charge of quality control for all imaging services at Pardee, including at all of its satellite sites.
Bentley has been married for 15 years to Mandi Rogers, who also grew up in the Brevard area. They have twin 13-year-old boys, Peyton and Walker. The boys are frequent companions on Bill's outdoor adventures, including Hiking and Rock Climbing, though the boys prefer to mix in baseball, hunting and fishing. His wife is the recreation manager of Transylvania County Parks and Recreation.
The family has built a house in Penrose on land owned by Bill's grandparents, Ray and Lavonne Israel. His father, William E. Bentley Jr., who went into construction after Ecusta closed, cut all the lumber for the house on the family land and milled it on site. Bill and his father also used some stone in the building which came from his great-grandparents' house, the remains of which are still standing on Crab Creek Road in Penrose. Bill feels "blessed" to have the opportunity to care for the land his grandparents once owned, particularly as he was very close to his grandfather.
His mother, Sharon I. Bentley, worked as a speech therapist and audiologist in the Transylvania County school system. Bill's brother, Ryan, is a chef in Charleston, S.C.
One of Bill's tenets is that "we need to leave things better than how we found them, so we have to pass along opportunities."
He was delighted to find out that one of his recent hires in the Pardee Imaging Department, Brenna McJunkin, was a 2012 recipient of a Connestee Falls scholarship.
When asked what he would like the donors and volunteers of the Connestee Falls Student Scholarship Program to know, he said, "What the donors and volunteers do has a huge impact because they invest time, money and effort in other people's lives. And this investment benefits people across the whole community."