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 undergraduate 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 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).
Lance Hardin, Development & Finance Associate: firstname.lastname@example.org
Lance graduated from East Carolina University with a BS Accounting degree and spent more than two decades as a tax consultant in a "Big 4" advisory firm. He came to HCLT in 2022 after obtaining a masters degree in Appalachian Studies from Appalachian State University; as part of his program of study he conducted research into the historical and cultural backgrounds of selected HCLT properties. His thesis concerned the economic and cultural forces that helped shape Great Smoky Mountain National Park and TVA's Fontana Reservoir. Lance also has experience in the Highlands business community through involvement with the Chamber of Commerce, and currently serves as the archivist for the Highlands Historical Society. He brings a wealth of non-profit experience, having served on the boards of numerous organizations. In 2021 he and his wife, Gwyn, completed most of the Appalachian Trail, and they share a love of hiking and outdoor recreation. Lance enjoys learning more about the history of WNC and exploring the natural resources of our area.
Hope Corbin, Education AmeriCorps Service Member: email@example.com
Hope graduated from Palm Beach Atlantic University in West Palm Beach, FL with a BS in Biology with a concentration in Environmental Science, Botany, and Field Biology. She worked with the National Estuarine Research Reserve to establish a pilot study of pollinators servicing tidal freshwater estuaries, then she worked with the Chesapeake Bay Foundation as an Oyster Restoration assistant, growing larval oysters to spat-on-shell, then releasing them onto oyster bed sanctuaries in the Bay, and assisting with education and volunteer programs. She then worked for the Maryland Department of Natural Resources doing water quality monitoring and assessment, apart of a team that assessed every river, tributary, and water body in the state. Hope felt a call to the mountains, service, and education, so she traded her waders for hiking boots and joined the Highlands-Cashiers Land Trust as an Environmental Educator. She has since taken over the Kids in Nature afterschool programs, runs educational tabling events, and is working to establish more educational and volunteer opportunities and programs for all ages in the Highlands-Cashiers community.
Andrew Renfro, Stewardship Coordinator: firstname.lastname@example.org
Andrew joined our team at the start of 2022. Andrew grew up in Cashiers and attended Summit Charter School and Highlands High School. He has a degree from Appalachian State University with a BSBA in Marketing and Risk Management & Insurance. Andrew’s previous work and volunteer experience led him to pursue his interest in environmental stewardship, trail work, and bettering his community. In his spare time, he enjoys fly fishing, photography, hiking, and hunting.