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.
Founder and Director Emeritus
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
Land, Water & Wildlife Project Manager
Caroline is a native South Carolinian and College of Charleston alum (B.S. in Psychology). Prior to joining the Conservation League, Caroline worked as a naturalist in places like the Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge, the Francis Marion National Forest and the ACE Basin. Her passion for the Lowcountry and its renowned natural landscapes spills over into her personal life, too. Outside of work, she enjoys hiking, kayaking and camping with her two adventurous dogs.
Kim joined the Coastal Conservation League in 2018. A native of New Mexico, Kim brings experience in fundraising and event planning. Her first exposure to Development began in the eighth grade when she and fellow classmates received funding to study the effects of deforestation in the rainforest of Chiapas, México. Throughout her adult life, she has worked in various non-profit organizations in northern New Mexico, Los Angeles, and Charleston as a public school educator, a fundraiser, and a special events coordinator.
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. In her downtime, Emily enjoys being outside with her dog, traveling, cooking, and developing her green thumb.
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.
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.
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.
Minako joined the Coastal Conservation League in July 2017. She earned a B.S. in Business Administration from the University of South Carolina, Sumter and an MBA from Fayetteville State University.
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.
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.
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.
Energy and Climate Advocacy 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.
Data and GIS 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
South Coast Project Manager and Legal Analyst
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.
North Coast Office Director
Erin’s had a notable professional career in nonprofit leadership and advocacy in Columbia, and now heads up the League’s North Coast office.
Sales and Marketing, GrowFood Carolina
In her new role at GrowFood Carolina, Leah will leverage her expertise in economics and her mission-oriented attitude to drive sales for GrowFood’s partner farms.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.