Laura Cantral assumed the role of Executive Director of the Coastal Conservation League in January 2018. She brings with her a track record of success in strategy development, partnership building, and environmental policy at the international, national, regional, and state levels.
Nancy Appel joined the Coastal Conservation League in July 2014. A Minnesota native with more than 20 years of fundraising experience, Nancy previously worked as the director of philanthropy at The Trust for Public Land and director of development at the Hazelden Foundation and at several nonprofit organizations in Baltimore, Maryland.
Mike has worked with Carolina Youth Development Center and the South Carolina Aquarium where he held senior financial positions. Mike has an MBA from the UNC Charlotte, an MA from the University of North Carolina, and a BS from University of Missouri.
Land, Water & Wildlife Program Director
Emily joined the Coastal Conservation League in 2016. She's a North Carolina native with a Master of Environmental Management and certificate in Community-Based Environmental Management from Duke University's Nicholas School. Emily often works on issues related to coastal management, water quality and withdrawal, plastics, and natural resource protection.
Communities & Transportation Program Director
Jason has a Bachelor of Arts from the College of Charleston and a Masters in Historic Preservation from Columbia University. Before joining the League, he was the Preservation Director for the Society for the Preservation of Long Island Antiquities in New York, supporting communities from the East River to Montauk to protect and preserve the cultural heritage of the region.
Human Resources Officer
Deb is a Michigan native who has been with us since 2020. She is a human resources professional with more than 20 years of experience who graduated from Michigan State University. After retiring last year and spending time catching up on home improvement projects and traveling, Deb realized how much she missed working. So, she joined us part time. In her free time, she enjoys hiking, camping, working in her yard rearranging pine straw and planting flowers, and walking her dog.
Land, Water & Wildlife Project Manager
A native Texan, Riley came to the Conservation League in 2020. She previously worked at the Southern Environmental Law Center where she focused on regional clean water campaigns for two years. Before relocating to the Lowcountry, she earned a B.S. in Ecology, Evolution, and Animal Behavior at the University of Texas at Austin. Outside of work you can find her falling down on rollerblades, brewing kombucha, or at the beach.
GrowFood Carolina Sales & Marketing Director
Shaunda is passionate about GrowFood Carolina and the positive impacts that eating local produce has on the environment. She loves to cook and experiment with vegetables and believes local fruits and vegetables are the best to work with. She also enjoys spending time practicing yoga, reading and almost any activity that will get her outside. Shaunda loves life in Charleston and looks forward to continuing to explore this great city and the Lowcountry landscape.
GrowFood Carolina Warehouse Operations and Distribution Associate
Richard is a native of Charleston and currently resides in Ravenel. He had worked extensively with the local equine community before starting with GrowFood Carolina in 2019. And he continues to train horses on his farm. He is a soccer enthusiast and enjoys camping with his wife and son.
Community Outreach Coordinator
Jasmine is a native of Chester, South Carolina and a recent College of Charleston graduate. Jasmine accepted the Conservation League’s position as the new Community Outreach Coordinator because she believed in what the Conservation League stood for.
GrowFood Carolina Warehouse Ops & Distribution Associate
Kevin grew up on the Jersey Shore in the Manasquan area. He came to Charleston in 1995 to attend the College of Charleston, fell in love with the Lowcountry and never left. After graduating with a degree in art history, Kevin moved into product distribution for local food and beverage purveyors.
GrowFood Carolina Inventory Control/Quality Assurance Specialist
Paul is originally from upstate South Carolina but has called Charleston home since 2001. His deep passion for connecting people and food led him to work in the food and beverage industry and grocery retail for over 20 years before joining the team at GrowFood Carolina. In his spare time, Paul enjoys listening to and playing music, exploring new recipes and restaurants, and spending time with his family.
Alan joined the Conservation League in 2015 after working for Conservation Voters of South Carolina. Alan has also worked at the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control enforcing and developing air pollution regulations.
Land, Water & Wildlife Project Manager
Rachel is a Charleston native with her B.S. in Fisheries and Wildlife Biology from the University of Georgia and her M.S. in Environmental Studies from the College of Charleston. After spending some time overseas, Rachel was drawn to come back home and put to work her passion for conserving South Carolina’s marine resources. Prior to joining the Conservation League, Rachel taught marine education and coastal training programs at the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources in the ACE Basin National Estuarine Research Reserve as well as worked on the marine projects for the The Nature Conservancy in South Carolina. When away from work, Rachel enjoys traveling, the beach, fishing, camping, and hiking.
Director of Technology and Operations
Prior to recently joining the Conservation League as a Data Analyst, Andy worked on air quality modeling and regulation development for the SC Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC). Prior to his time at DHEC, Andy researched oyster reef restoration and shellfish resource assessment methods as a Wildlife Biologist for the SC Department of Natural Resources and evaluated physical processes associated with the Japan East Sea at the University of Rhode Island.
Diane joined the Coastal Conservation League in June 2018, after working for more than a decade as a journalist at The Post and Courier. A Wisconsin native, she holds a B.A. from the University of Minnesota and an M.A. in Journalism and Public Affairs from American University.
GrowFood Carolina Sales & Marketing Associate
Katie is a South Carolina native, who grew up in Blythewood and attended the University of South Carolina. She previously worked for a farm-to-table event company in Columbia and fell in love with all aspects of the local food system. After moving to Charleston and joining GrowFood Carolina, she wanted to continue her efforts in the Lowcountry food scene. In her downtime, Katie enjoys traveling, live music and being outdoors with her dog, Freddie.
Communities & Transportation Project Manager
Betsy is a graduate of the College of Charleston where she earned her B.A in French Language and International Studies. Prior to joining The League, Betsy worked in the composting industry helping to encourage and educate local businesses and institutions on the importance of waste reduction and nutrient recycling. In her spare time, Betsy enjoys riding her bike, spending time in nature, supporting local farmers, and volunteering in the garden with The Green Heart project and The Compost Rangers.
Kim has been with the Conservation League since 2020. She grew up in Virginia and moved to South Carolina to attend the College of Charleston, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in English and a master’s degree in Education. In Charleston she became involved in a number of community projects including co-founding the Carolina Youth Action Project. She worked in education for several years, then went back to school at Trident Technical College, where she earned an associate degree in accounting. She also worked at Spade and Clover Gardens, where she both harvested vegetables and kept the books. On the weekends, Kim can be found exploring the beauty of the Lowcountry with her family.
Stacie joined the League in 2018. A Western North Carolina native, she is thrilled to be settling down at the beach with her family. Prior to joining the League, she entered the Development world at Kanuga Conferences after living in several states (and one province) while her husband was in the military.
GrowFood Carolina Warehouse Ops & Distribution Associate
Austin is originally from Hagerstown, Maryland. He attended Johnson & Wales College of Culinary Arts in Charlotte, North Carolina. After a decade in the Outer Banks and working with World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms in Hawaii, he moved to Charleston to further his culinary aspirations.
Creative Services Associate
Catie is a Charleston native with her B.F.A. in Graphic Design from Auburn University. While getting her degree, she worked for the University’s Office of Health Promotion & Wellness doing graphic design. After graduating, she worked for several years in Austin, Texas where she did graphic design for Hopdoddy Burger Bar, a semi-national restaurant chain. Catie missed the Lowcountry and moved back to Charleston in 2019 and began working for the Coastal Conservation League. Outside of work, Catie enjoys traveling, paddleboarding, hiking, live music, and exploring the Lowcountry with her dog.
Annual Fund Manager
Taryn grew up in Southern Wisconsin and has degrees from Georgia Southern University and the University of Illinois at Chicago. Prior to moving to Charleston she worked for organizations in Chicago gaining experience in event fundraising, annual and major giving, and planned giving. She is excited to be back working and living in the Lowcountry.
Berkeley County Project Manager
Robby joined the Coastal Conservation League in 2020. He grew up in Berkeley County, on the edge of the Wassamassaw Swamp, where he developed a love for rural living and a deep kinship with the natural environment. After graduating from Lander University with a B.A. in English, Robby obtained an M.A. in English from the joint program at the College of Charleston and The Citadel. An avid reader and a fiction writer, Robby is dedicated to utilizing his affinity for stories by listening to the individual histories of residents and working alongside them to shape the future of Berkeley County.
Originally from Cleveland, Ohio, Kati attended Michigan State University to earn a BA in Professional Writing and a BS in Environmental Studies & Agriscience. She worked at the Conservancy for Cuyahoga Valley National Park, then bookended an MS in Natural Resources from NC State University with the National Park Service, working as a park ranger at the James A. Garfield National Historic Site and Yosemite National Park. Kati loves the Carolinas—from the mountains to the sea and everything in between, including the local food, parks and music.
Director of Government Relations
Merrill joined the League in 2009 after working in fields of International Healthcare Policy Investment and Executive Recruiting. She is a graduate of the College of Charleston, where she focused her studies on International Business, Spanish and Portuguese.
GrowFood Carolina General Manager
Originally from Pittsburgh, Anthony’s agricultural curiosity led him to work with farmers from coast to coast. Anthony brings with him years of experience in the agriculture world, and his track record of success indicates his commitment to furthering local food systems and the communities he's lived and worked in.
GrowFood Carolina Director of Operations
Hailing from Newberry, SC, Benton is a proud USC graduate, veteran of the music industry, WWOOFer in Costa Rica, and the hardest working man in local produce. Benton is committed to supporting local growers and providing high quality products to our customers.
Energy & Climate Program Director
Eddy joined the Conservation League from the Arkansas Public Service Commission, where he served as an Administrative Law Judge and helped implement an expansion of public utility-funded energy efficiency programs. He holds a B.A. from Yale, an M.A. in U.S. History from American University, and a J.D. from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. In his free time, he likes to cook, bike, brew beer, play Frisbee and collect fossils.
Major Gifts Officer
Tes hails from New York. While working with us full-time, he is pursuing his PhD in Forest Resources and Economics at Clemson University. He found his way to the Lowcountry last September to begin his doctoral research on sustainable land management, via forest resources, and its potential for maximum revenue generation. He has a master’s degree in Forestry from Yale University and is completing his MBA, with a concentration in finance. In his spare time he loves canoeing, hiking, traveling, and reading good books and scholarly articles.
Executive Assistant & Board Liaison
Originally from North Carolina, Reed earned her B.A in Political Science and her M.S in Environmental Studies from the College of Charleston. While gaining her masters, she worked at SC DHEC, the College’s student farm, and SC Sea Grant Consortium. Outside of work, Reed enjoys Charleston’s local food scene and exploring the area’s beautiful natural landscapes.
Jamie lived many different places growing up in a military family. But has had spent majority of her life in the Lowcountry. She held various administrative and logistical management roles before joining the Conservation League team in 2018. Outside work, Jamie loves spending time with her 3-year-old daughter. She also enjoys painting, attending local festivals, and spontaneous adventures.
South Coast Project Manager
After a career as a naturalist and environmental educator, Juliana joined the League in 2019 to advocate for policies and practices that protect the habitats she’s encouraged so many people to learn about. In her free time, you can find her birding, exploring, photographing or creating art inspired by nature.
GrowFood Carolina Supply Chain Wizard
Deirdre is originally from Lexington, South Carolina and has lived in the Charleston area since the mid-1990s. She grew up working with local farmers through her family’s grocery business in Pelion and is happy to be able to continue to support local farmers and businesses through GrowFood Carolina.
GrowFood Carolina Farm Coordinator
Becca holds a B.A. in Political Science from Clemson University. After graduation, she returned to her family's farm, Watsonia Farms, to manage its food safety program before accepting a position at GrowFood Carolina. Outside of work, she likes to try new restaurants in town, play tennis and go to the beach.
Growfood Carolina Sales & Marketing Manager
Originally from a small town in Vermont, Brita moved to Charleston in 2014 after earning a B.A. in Communications and Business from Northeastern University, in Boston, MA. Prior to joining GrowFood Carolina, she helped build and lead a support team at a local tech company, but wanted to get back to her roots by pivoting to conservation, with a particular passion for supporting and encouraging sustainability in our food systems. She loves to travel, enjoy all the amazing restaurants in town, and try new recipes and newfound produce with her soon-to-be husband and hound dog!
South Coast Office Director
Jessie joined us in March 2020 after seven years with the South Carolina Environmental Law Project. She grew up in Charlottesville, VA and attended the University of Virginia, where she obtained bachelor’s degrees in Environmental Thought and Practice and Psychology before pursuing her J.D. from the University of South Carolina School of Law. She enjoys cooking, traveling, kayaking, spending time with her dog, and enjoying the great outdoors.