Faith Rivers James

Executive Director

Faith is a Mount Pleasant native who grew up in the historic Four Mile community East of the Cooper River. She has felt a connection to the landscape of the Lowcountry all her life, and witnessed firsthand the change that unbridled growth and development can have on our beloved environment. She has devoted her energy, expertise, and legal acumen to influence this conservation in pragmatic and entrepreneurial ways. Faith is a graduate of the Porter-Gaud School in Charleston, Dartmouth College, and Harvard Law School. Following schooling, she launched a legal career in Washington, D.C. Soon after, she returned to South Carolina and served as Executive Director of the South Carolina Bar Foundation. There, she was fortunate to be able to work in partnership with the Coastal Community Foundation to launch the Heirs’ Property Preservation Project. Later, her law teaching career led her to focus on property and environmental issues at Vermont Law School and Elon University School of Law, where she served as Associate Dean of experiential learning and leadership. Faith returned home to the Lowcountry in 2018 to serve as the Assistant Provost for Leadership and Chair of the Department of Leadership Studies at The Citadel, where she taught the next generation of our state’s leaders. Throughout her work and life, Faith has always prioritized the conservation of natural resources, protecting our rural landscapes, and preserving communities, and is grateful to have the opportunity to do so in the role of Executive Director of the Coastal Conservation League. Faith has served as Executive Director since August 2022.

Lily Abromeit

Director of Communications and Public Relations

Having spent her life as a born and bred Midwesterner, Lily grew up learning about and caring for the Plains. Now as a Charleston resident she is excited to play a role in protecting the Lowcountry’s habitat and varied ecosystems. Lily has focused her career on communicating about important issues, focusing on highlighting solutions. She finds it most rewarding to share stories of climate solutions with the general public, inspiring action. Prior to joining the Conservation League, Lily worked for Playa Lakes Joint Venture, focused on habitat conservation and water management in the Great Plains. She also spent time at an international women’s nonprofit, and has worked as a reporter.

Michael Albin

Driver & Warehouse Associate

Nancy Appel

Development Director

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.

Emma Berry

Communities & Transportation Project Manager

Brooke Blosser

Land, Water & Wildlife Project Manager

Leslie Bogstad

CRM Administrator

Amy Carter

Assistant Director of Development

Amy was born and raised in the Lowcountry and holds degrees in Anthropology and Environmental Studies from the College of Charleston and a Masters in Environmental Management from the Nicholas School of the Environment at Duke University. She previously worked as Chief Advancement Officer for Lowcountry Land Trust and Director of Development and Marketing for Charleston Parks Conservancy. She also spent several years in Washington, D.C. at the National Ocean Service and in Santa Cruz, California managing conservation, philanthropy, and marketing programs for the Planning and Conservation League Foundation and Island Conservation. A native of Colleton County, South Carolina, Amy grew up exploring the fields, forests, marshes, and beaches of the South Carolina Lowcountry and developing a love for its wild landscapes, plants, and animals.

Emily Cedzo

Director of Conservation Programs & Policy

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 policy related to climate impacts, water quality and withdrawal, plastics, and natural resource protection.

Riley Egger

Land, Water & Wildlife Program Director

A native Texan, Riley came to the Conservation League in 2020 and has a focus on water quality and wildlife issues. She previously worked at the Southern Environmental Law Center where she focused on regional clean water campaigns. 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.

Renee Elek

Executive Assistant & Board Liaison

Renee was born and raised in Southern California and recently moved to South Carolina with her husband and two young sons. Renee’s background evolved with the ever-changing economy as she went from obtaining her Associate’s Degree in Computer-Aided Drafting and Design, and working in architectural firms, to working in law firms, to a quality control manufacturing company, to a local municipality.  Renee and her husband wanted to move closer to family and have a slower-paced lifestyle, and they love South Carolina. Renee wanted to join the Coastal Conservation League because she loves South Carolina and appreciates the League’s mission. Renee is proud to tell her family where she is employed and looks forward to a long future here with the League. In their free time, Renee and her family enjoy spending quality time together, the outdoors, and exploring. Renee especially enjoys cooking, reading and loves animals.

Trapper Fowler

North Coast Project Manager

Trapper is a Horry County native. He holds a B.S. in Fish, Wildlife, and Conservation Biology from Colorado State University as well as an M.S. in Wildlife and Fisheries Biology from Clemson University. Working as a field biologist instilled a great appreciation for the less charismatic species such as reptiles, amphibians, and carnivorous plants, as well as the management tools used to maintain their habitat like prescribed fire. Trapper hopes to use his field-based knowledge to make positive change in the North Coast. He loves spending time with his family including his dogs, collecting vinyl records, grilling out, paddling, and camping.

Ben Garris

Public Utility Analyst

Ben joined the Conservation League with a background in utility regulation, climate policy, and environmental justice, including professional experience working with cases before the South Carolina Public Service Commission. He is passionate about ensuring a just transition to a safe, reliable, and clean energy future for all South Carolinians. He is a graduate of the University of South Carolina Honors College with a B.S. in Geography and a B.A in Environmental Studies. At home, Ben has two cats, Bartholomew and Rosalind, and enjoys writing and acting.

Elizabeth Gibson

Human Resources Director

Elizabeth comes to the league with a tenured career in human resources in the restaurant and healthcare fields. She has lived in many places (including other countries) but has always loved the beach and is excited to call Charleston her home. She holds 2 bachelor’s degrees from Duquesne University in International Business and Spanish and earned her Master’s in Business Administration from Kansas State University. In her free time, she loves spending time with her family doing any outdoor activity from camping, mountain biking, and hiking to just hanging out at the beach.

Paul Haire

Warehouse Operations Manager

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.

Rachel Hawes

Coastal Stewardship & Engagement 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 came home and put to work her passion for conserving South Carolina’s marine resources. Prior to joining the Conservation League, Rachel worked for the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources as well as for The Nature Conservancy in South Carolina. When away from work, Rachel enjoys traveling, surfing, fishing, camping, and hiking.

Darienne Jordan

Marketing & Events Coordinator

A recent Charleston area transplant, Darienne has lived in a variety of places, including the West and in the United Kingdom. She received her BFA in Media Production from the University of Cincinnati, her M. Ed in Curriculum & Instruction from University of Nevada - Las Vegas, and her M.A. in Film & Television from Falmouth University. She has been a marketing professional for 7 years and enjoys bringing multimedia into brand awareness and social media. In her free time, Darienne enjoys writing poetry, painting, hiking, photography, crafting original and creative cocktails, and cuddling with her brother’s cat.

Alexander Keesler

GrowFood Carolina Sales & Marketing Assistant

Austin Lucas

GrowFood Carolina Sales & Marketing 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.

Robby Maynor

Communities & Transportation Program Director

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. He is a lifelong resident of the Lowcountry, and enjoys kayaking and birdwatching on our local waterways. Robby is dedicated to working with communities throughout the Tricountry region to help strike a sustainable balance between new growth and protecting the irreplaceable natural resources, high quality of life, and diverse cultures that make the Lowcountry special.

Matt Mays

Driver & Warehouse Associate

Kati McArdle

Grants Manager

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.

Grant McClure

South Coast Project Manager

Grant McClure is from Charleston, South Carolina. He holds an undergraduate degree from Wofford College in English & Environmental Studies. He received his Master's Degree in Wildlife & Fisheries Resources from Clemson in May 2022. Grant currently resides in Beaufort, SC where he enjoys fly fishing and spending time outside with his family.

Merrill McGregor

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.

Amy Meola

Annual Giving Manager

Amy is a Jersey Shore native with a B.A. in Print and Video Communications and minor in Art from Arcadia University. After gaining experience in journalism and social media/website management, she relocated to Charleston to join AmeriCorps and fell in love with the Lowcountry. She came to the Conservation League in 2021 and enjoys traveling, eating local food, and spending time in nature with her soon-to-be husband and her dog, Poppy.

Mike Mistler


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. 

Benton Montgomery

Interim Director of GrowFood Carolina

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.

Eddy Moore

Energy 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.

Shawn Parks

Driver & Warehouse Associate

Jamie Roschal

Office Administrator

Jamie lived many different places growing up in a military family but has spent the 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.

Becky Ryon

North Coast Office Director

Becky grew up on the Gulf Coast of Florida and was fortunate to be surrounded by natural beauty. Unfortunately, like South Carolina, the diverse wildlife and habitats were constantly threatened by unrestrained development. Her childhood in Florida, young adulthood in North Carolina, and previous environmental advocacy work in Richmond with the Virginia League of Conservation Voters have instilled a limitless appreciation for the wild wonders of the Southeast and a desire to preserve them for future generations. Becky is working to build a more resilient South Carolina and to protect our natural resources.

Deirdre Tanner

GrowFood Carolina Supply Chain Manager

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. 

Becca Watson

Farm Outreach Manager

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.

Jessie White

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.

Anna Ware

GrowFood Carolina Sales & Marketing Director

Anna is a Charleston native who joined GrowFood in 2021. After moving to California and travling abroad, she found her way back to Charleston to be near her friends and family. Prior to working at GrowFood, she worked in restaurant operations and beverage sales in Los Angeles, CA. When not at work, you can find Anna at the beach, reading, or attempting a new DIY project.

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[email protected] · 843.723.8035

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