Dr. Gary Wein, Executive Director: firstname.lastname@example.org
Gary was HCLT's first full-time employee, coming on board in 2006. He manages the staff and oversees all operations of the Trust. Gary is responsible for all of our conservation efforts, acquiring new properties and refining details for each project to maximize the conservation benefits and meet the needs of the land donors as well. He earned his PhD in Botany at Rutgers University and did his under graduate studies in Biology at Niagara University. Gary has been a professor at Memphis State, University of Mississippi and is currently adjunct at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill as well as on the graduate faculty at Western Carolina University. He has vast experience in wetlands restoration, landscape ecology, and natural history. He worked as a Ranger at Philmont Scout Ranch in New Mexico which might be why he is so great with kids. He has earned his black belt in Tai Kwan Do and holds belts in Brazilian Jujitsu and Han mu Do. Gary is a wealth of knowledge about all things botanical and...well...all things. He is affectionately known by certain board members as "Wiki" (short for Wikipedia) and the staff is considering entering him onto Jeopardy to further our fundraising efforts.
Julie Schott, Development Director: email@example.com
Julie joined the team in 2007. She oversees membership development, outreach & events and our adult education programs. She earned her B.S. in International Business from W.C.U. and her B.Ec. in International Business and Management Studies from the Hogeschool Brabant in the Netherlands. She earned her certification in Non-profit Management from Duke University. Julie has lived from coast to coast but made the Mountains of WNC her home several years ago. Her love of the outdoors was born during family camping trips as a child on the coast of Northern California and later in the Florida Keys. In her spare time, Julie loves to create re-purposed "masterpieces," explore new places and perfect the art of capoeira dance (not really). She is particularly fond of fireflies, campfire and the smell of fresh ground coffee (really).
Kyle Pursel, Stewardship Coordinator: firstname.lastname@example.org
Kyle first came to the Land Trust as an AmeriCorps Volunteer in 2010. He is responsible for overseeing stewardship of the over 2,500 acres we conserve. He earned his M.S. in Biology from W.C.U. and his B. S. in Zoology from S.U.N.Y. Oswego. He grew up roaming the woods, wetlands, and streams near the Delaware Watergap and the Thousand Islands region of NY, where his accent is from. He decided to skip the Florida step and came straight to the mountains of WNC. Kyle is an avid herpetologist, but is working towards becoming a more well-rounded naturalist. Those of you who have met Kyle may have experienced his tendency to get overly excited about and stop dead in his tracks before lunging whenever he spots a "creepy crawly," particularly salamanders and snakes. He has been known to travel long distances and traverse treacherous terrain just to get a glimpse of "something interesting," which to him includes most things with scales, slime, an exoskeleton, pretty flowers, or views. Outside of crazy outdoors wanderings, Kyle is known to enjoy microbrew beers.
Sarah Pursel, Children's Education Coordinator/Development Assistant: email@example.com
Sarah started working with us in 2011 and quickly made herself indispensable. She currently works as both our Development Assistant and Education Coordinator, planning and coordinating all of our Kids in Nature education programs for children. She earned her B.S. in Biology from U.N.C.A. and her M.S. in Biology from W.C.U. She is also a North Carolina certified Environmental Educator. Sarah is particularly interested in arthropods. In her spare time, Sarah is an avid horseback rider and enjoys training in dressage and jumping.