Dana Beach

Executive Director

Since founding the Coastal Conservation League in 1989, Dana has received awards from many institutions, including the United States Environmental Protection Agency, the South Carolina General Assembly, and the American Institute of Architects. In 1998, Dana was named one of ten Heroes for the Planet by Time Magazine’s, Time for Kids.

Tina Allen

Chief Financial Officer

Tina joined the Coastal Conservation League in 2013. She has her degree from University of Georgia, with an MBA from Georgia State University. Tina is licensed as a certified public accountant in the state of Tennessee and has over fourteen years of experience in financial management of non-profit organizations.

Nancy Appel

Development Director

Nancy Appel joined the Coastal Conservation League in July 2014. A Minnesota native with more than 15 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.

Sara Clow

General Manager, GrowFood Carolina

A native of The Garden State, Sara’s love of fresh produce started in her Mom’s vegetable garden. After liberal arts at Vanderbilt, project management in Colorado, and finance in San Francisco, Sara found her way back to produce working for organic tree fruit growers at Pacific Organic Produce.

Lisa Jones Turansky

Chief Conservation Officer

Lisa joined the Coastal Conservation League in 2007. After graduating from the University of the South, she served as an agroforestry Peace Corps volunteer in Cameroon. Lisa moved to the Lowcountry from Washington, DC where she worked at the Environmental Protection Agency.

Jackson Cauthen

Inventory & Delivery, Growfood Carolina

Jackson was born and raised in rural York, SC surrounded by some of South Carolina’s freshest produce. He joined the GrowFood Carolina team in 2014. You can find him working hard at the warehouse stocking and organizing the cooler or riding around town delivering local produce.

Emily Cedzo

Air, Water, & Public Health Project Manager

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. In her downtown, Emily enjoys being outside with her dog, traveling, and cooking.

Kristy Collins

Membership and Events Manager

A South Carolina native, Kristy joined the Conservation League in 2016. After graduating from Presbyterian College, Kristy worked at the Bair Foundation and American Leprosy Missions in Greenville. Most recently, she worked at the Medical University of South Carolina on the development team.

Erin Crouse


Erin hails from the small town of Marshall, NC where she was immersed in natural scenery and food fresh from the farms. Erin has been working with and volunteering for non-profit organizations since 1998 when she served as a tutor and officer for the Accountancy Association at UNC at Asheville.

Jason Crowley

Land Use Project Manager

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.

Jessica Diaz

Sales and Marketing Manager, GrowFood Carolina

Originally from Columbia, SC, Jessica graduated from UC Berkeley with a degree in plant biology. After working in San Francisco at a true farm-to-table, raw, vegan restaurant, she moved back to the east coast to become one of the first employees at GrowFood Carolina – where she makes eating local in the Lowcountry easy.

Caitie Forde-Smith

Communications Associate

A North Carolina native, Caitie earned a B.A. in Journalism and Mass Communication from UNC Chapel Hill and her MPA from UNC Wilmington. Before joining the League, she flexed her public relations skills for places like the N.C. Coastal Federation and Whole Foods Market. Outside of work, she enjoys running, watching Tar Heel basketball, and traveling.

Nina Foy

Sales and Marketing Associate, GrowFood Carolina

Born in Pennsylvania, Nina headed south to attend the College of Charleston. While living in New York, London and then back in Charleston her love of farmer's markets & eating locally grew tremendously. Now she focuses on retail sales and making sure that the consumer knows when something is coming from GrowFood.

Christine Gallina


A native of Long Island, Christine co-owned a popular seasonal restaurant in New Hampshire – where providing sustainable local food, green products, and recycling options were a top priority. Christine enjoys spending her time volunteering and advocating for conservation issues.

Alan Hancock

Communications Director

Alan joined the 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.

Andy Hollis

Data Analyst

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.

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.

Benton Montgomery

Operations Manager, 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 and 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.

Natalie Olson

Land Use Program Director and Staff Attorney

Natalie joined the Coastal Conservation League in 2013. She directs the Land Use Program and serves as Staff Attorney for the League. Natalie is a member of the Charleston County Bar, the South Carolina Bar, and the American Bar Associations. She enjoys hiking, fishing, and spending time with her German Shepherd.

Rikki Parker

South Coast Project Manager

Rikki joined the South Coast Office in 2016. She graduated cum laude from the University of Evansville with a B.S. in cognitive science and earned her J.D. from Louisiana State University. After graduation, Rikki practiced in the areas of employment discrimination and environmental law. In 2015, she served as policy director to Scott Angelle’s campaign for Governor of Louisiana.

Alison Pierce

Sales & Marketing, Growfood Carolina

Alison moved from Maine to South Carolina to earn her master’s at USC’s Arnold School of Public Health in 2013. Her passion for public health and local food systems brought her to Charleston, where she worked for King of Pops (a GrowFood customer) and volunteered with the Green Heart Project (a GrowFood partner) – experiences that led to her current role at GrowFood Carolina.

Jake Sadler

Farm Coordinator, GrowFood Carolina

An integral part of the GrowFood team since 2013, Jake has a degree in political science from College of Charleston, as well as certificates in welding and mushroom foraging. Jake has managed farm operations in both rural and urban settings and spends much of his time in the field with GrowFood producers to plan for and support successful harvests.

Kate Parks Schaefer

South Coast Director

Kate rejoined the Conservation League in 2015 as the South Coast Office Director. Kate earned her Bachelors of Science in Conservation Biology from Clemson University and Masters in Business Administration from the Kenan-Flagler Business School at UNC-Chapel Hill.

Kenneth Sercy

Utility Regulation Specialist

Kenneth joined the Coastal Conservation League in 2012 as a Utility Regulation Specialist. Kenneth is a South Carolina native and a graduate of Duke University’s Nicholas School of the Environment, where he received a Master of Environmental Management degree within the program’s Energy and Environment concentration.

Shannyn Smith

Senior Development Officer

Prior to joining our staff in 2013, Shannyn worked on gift planning for The Nature Conservancy in Washington, DC and, more recently, in the New Hampshire chapter building the Major Gifts program. Shannyn earned her degree in public relations at Westminster College and an MPA from College of Charleston. She enjoys running, kayaking, and supporting the local food system.

Jeanne Snell

Bookkeeper/Office Manager

Jeanne joined the League in 2015 and has a degree in Business Management from the University of Maryland. After years of experience in various administrative and accounting roles, Jeanne moved to the Lowcountry where she has lived for more than 15 years. You can find Jeanne enjoying local nature trails, crossword puzzles, or wildlife sightings.

Nate Toth

Inventory & Delivery, Growfood Carolina

Nate is from a small town in Ohio surrounded by cornfields and good people. He joined GrowFood Carolina in 2014 and enjoys interacting with chefs and produce managers to make sure they get what they need.

Becca Watson

Quality Assurance Specialist

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 the Quality Assurance Specialist position at GrowFood Carolina. Outside of work, she likes to try new restaurants in town, play tennis and go to the beach.

Katie Zimmerman

Air, Water, & Public Health Program Director

Katie joined the League in 2009 as a Project Manager after working at the NOAA Coastal Services Center on performance metrics and strategic planning. She became Director of the Air, Water, & Public Health Program in 2013.

Contact Us · 843.723.8035

Stay Up-To-Date

Sign up for the latest news from the Coastal Conservation League and find out how you can get involved in our efforts.