Staff

This strong team of dedicated individuals helps to protect and preserve our natural land, water and air resources through education and public participation in policy decisions at all levels of business and government.

Anna Alsobrook

Anna Alsobrook

Watershed Outreach Coordinator

As MountainTrue’s Watershed Outreach Coordinator, Anna facilitates volunteer water quality monitoring and restoration programs in the French Broad River watershed. After earning a B.A. in Global Studies, she spent 2010-2012 as a Peace Corps Volunteer in rural Senegal. As a preventative health and environmental education volunteer, she spent much time promoting water conservation and sanitation practices within her village. After her time abroad she continued her studies, again at the University of Tennessee, where she earned an M.S. in Geography with a minor in Watersheds. Anna loves spending time outdoors, whether by the river or on the trail. [more]

phone (828) 258-8737 x 212
envelope anna@mountaintrue.org

Susan Bean

Susan Bean

Community Engagement Manager

Susan is thrilled to serve as the Community Engagement Manager for MountainTrue where she is charged with connecting people all across the WNC region who are committed to protecting our natural resources. She is actively involved in the community, serving as Co-Chair of the Building Bridges Board and a regular volunteer for the Western North Carolina AIDS Project (WNCAP). In her free time, she loves trail running with her dog Mossy, road biking, and gardening. [more]

phone (828) 258-8737 x 216
envelope susan@mountaintrue.org

Rhys Burns

Rhys Burns

AmeriCorps Forest Keeper Coordinator

Rhys is a native of North Carolina, where her best memories were formed on trips to the mountains. She received a chemistry degree from Warren Wilson College, but perhaps took more pride in serving as the shepherd on the school farm. In that position she learned to enjoy working outside and carried her passion for food by working on several small farms in Western North Carolina and out west. Rhys is now thrilled to discover even more of this region while serving as MountainTrue’s Forest Keeper Coordinator. In this role she works to improve public lands through education, volunteer engagement and direct treatment. [more]

phone (828) 258-8737 x 206
envelope forestkeeper@mountaintrue.org

Hartwell Carson

Hartwell Carson

French Broad Riverkeeper

Hartwell has worked to protect the French Broad River for the past 11 years. He was the first responder to Asheville’s coal ash pollution, working to protect the French Broad River and the nearby community by forcing Duke Energy to clean up and close down Asheville’s coal-burning power plant. Hartwell also implemented his idea for the French Broad River Paddle Trail by building new campsites and access points, which now link over 140 miles of the French Broad River. [more]

phone (828) 258-8737 x 211
envelope hartwell@mountaintrue.org

Holly Demuth

Holly Demuth

Development Director

Holly has long been acquainted with the work of MountainTrue through its predecessors. She rolled up her sleeves (and pant legs) collecting water quality data back in the day with ECO, as well as chairing the Buncombe County Chapter of WNCA. Holly has helped people give back to the places they love in Southern Appalachia for more than 15 years. sharing her passion with Friends of Great Smoky Mountains National Park, WaysSouth, Carolina Mountain Land Conservancy, and Community Foundation of Western North Carolina.  [more]

phone (828) 258-8737
envelope holly@mountaintrue.org

Amy Finkler

Amy Finkler

Development and Operations Coordinator

Amy Finkler grew up enjoying the beauty and power of the mountains of Western North Carolina. Though she periodically spent time away from Asheville, studying at Appalachian State University and living for four years in Portland, Oregon, the draw of the Blue Ridge Mountains always brought her home. She is thrilled to be the Development and Operations Coordinator at MountainTrue, working to protect the mountains, forests, and rivers that she loves. [more]

phone 828.258.8737 x 209
envelope amy@mountaintrue.org

Bob Gale

Bob Gale

Ecologist and Public Lands Director

Bob is the Ecologist and Public Lands Director for MountainTrue, where he has worked since 1998 providing scientific input on issues related to environmental protection of Southern Appalachian mountain forest communities. Bob’s work involves national forests and national parks, air and water quality, and rural lands protection. He heads MountainTrue’s non-native invasive species program. [more]

phone (828) 258-8737 x 204
envelope bob@mountaintrue.org

Regina Goldkuhl

Regina Goldkuhl

AmeriCorps Water Quality Administrator

Exploring new natural areas has always been one of Regina’s biggest passions, and lucky for her the Midwest offers a perfect launching point for travel. Her first AmeriCorps term was a summer spent in Northern California interning with the Student Conservation Association and Forest Service on the Klamath River. Other summers have been spent working out east in New River Gorge as a raft guide and video boater. Regina is beyond stoked to serve with AmeriCorps again, this time for her second year as the Water Quality Administrator for MountainTrue. If she’s not in the office, you will find her clambering up rocks big and small (or boofing off them in a boat) and asking to pet your dog as soon as she catches her breath. [more]

phone (828) 692-0385
envelope wqa@mountaintrue.org

Scott Hardin-Nieri

Scott Hardin-Nieri

Director of Creation Care Alliance of WNC

Scott is an ordained pastor with the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and has served as a pastor in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains in Fort Collins, CO as well as in Spring and Houston, TX. Scott has a degree in Business Management from Texas A&M University and holds a Master of Divinity and a Diploma in the Art of Spiritual Direction from San Francisco Theological Seminary. Scott continues to be reminded of his true self most clearly in the forests, oceans and deserts and seeks to invite others, particularly faith communities, into conversations regarding creation. He is most alive when playing outside with his partner Rebecca and their two children. [more]

phone (828) 258-8737 x 217
envelope scott@creationcarealliance.org

Catie Morris

Catie Morris

AmeriCorps Outings and Education Coordinator

Catie serves as MountainTrue’s Outings and Education Coordinator, where she is tasked with creating ways to connect communities in Western NC to their local environment. Originally from Waxhaw, North Carolina, Catie graduated from Davidson College in 2017 with a B.S. in Environmental Studies and Hispanic Studies. During her first semester in college, she took a wilderness leadership skills course on a whim and discovered a love of the outdoors, particularly as a space to connect with people, teach leadership and build community. She expanded this interest into her studies, and has conducted research on the impacts of land use on stream ecosystem health in NC and on the socioeconomic impacts of national park closures on local communities in Costa Rica. [more]

phone 828.258.8737 x 201
envelope outings@mountaintrue.org

Andy Hill

Andy Hill

High Country Regional Director & Watauga Riverkeeper

Andy Hill is proud to serve MountainTrue as the High Country Regional Director and Watauga Riverkeeper. Andy has a passion for clean, cold, fishable, drinkable and swimmable water. As a long-time fly fisherman, educator and guide, he is intimately familiar with our watershed from the headwaters to the tailwater and is passionate about protecting the places we love. [more]

phone (828) 278-9821
envelope andy@mountaintrue.org

Gray Jernigan

Gray Jernigan

Southern Regional Director and Green Riverkeeper

Gray developed his passion for the environment at an early age, during summers spent at camp in Henderson County. A native of Raleigh, the mountains and rivers of southwestern North Carolina held a special place in his heart. While studying toward his undergraduate degrees at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Gray would return to Henderson County to teach paddle sports during the summers. [more]

phone (828) 692-0385 x1004
envelope gray@mountaintrue.org

 

Chris Joyell

Chris Joyell

Asheville Design Center Director

Chris has served as director of the Asheville Design Center (ADC) since 2009. The ADC, which merged with MountainTrue in 2017, connects volunteer designers—architects, engineers, landscape architects, planners, and graphic designers—with projects that promote healthy, vibrant, and equitable communities. Prior to his arrival in Western North Carolina, Chris worked with the Nature Conservancy, Connecticut River Watershed Council, and League of Conservation Voters. Chris is an attorney with degrees from Yale University and University of Connecticut School of Law. [more]

phone 828.258.8737 x 205
envelope chris@ashevilledesigncenter.org

Josh Kelly

Josh Kelly

Public Lands Field Biologist

Josh was born in Madison County, N.C., and went to school at UNC Asheville, earning a degree in biology. He then worked for the Southern Appalachian Forest Coalition, where he focused on identifying remnant old-growth forests on public land, and at WildLaw, where he worked to promote ecological restoration as the new paradigm of National Forest management. [more]

phone (828) 258-8737 x 210
envelope josh@mountaintrue.org

Julie Mayfield

Julie Mayfield

Co-Director

Julie feels fortunate to be living in Western North Carolina and working to protect one of the most beautiful and ecologically diverse regions in our country.

Julie came to MountainTrue in June 2008 from Atlanta. In 2015, she was elected to Asheville’s City Council after serving for many years on the City’s Multi-Modal Commission and Transit Committee. In 2011, she was appointed by Governor Bev Perdue to … [more]

phone (828) 258-8737 x 202
envelope julie@mountaintrue.org

Karim Olaechea

Karim Olaechea

Communications Director

Karim brings more than fifteen years of experience across a variety of settings to the role of Communications Director at MountainTrue. Karim cut his teeth at The Campaign Group, an industry-leading political advertising firm, where he helped to elect candidates including U.S. Representative Loretta Sanchez of California and Governors Bill Richardson of New Mexico and Ed Rendell of Pennsylvania. [more]

phone (828) 258-8737 x 215
envelope karim@mountaintrue.org

Lauren Reker

Lauren Reker

Non-native Invasive Species Project Coordinator

Lauren Reker joined the MountainTrue team in 2009 and has since contributed to the success of numerous invasive species control projects and monitoring initiatives which have been integral to the restoration of national forest and conservation properties comprising the habitat of federally listed or rare species. [more]

phone (828) 279-7454
envelope lauren@mountaintrue.org

Eliza Stokes

Eliza Stokes

Advocacy & Communications Associate

With a background in writing and a deep interest in environmental and social equity, Eliza loves that her work at MountainTrue speaks to many of her passions. As Advocacy & Communications Associate, Eliza writes and edits MountainTrue’s traditional and social media and helps build and implement advocacy campaigns regarding public transit access, forest planning and clean energy. She serves as the coordinator for the Asheville Regional Transit Coalition (ARTC) and has organized for MountainTrue around energy rate hikes, the Nantahala-Pisgah Forest Management Plan and coal ash pollution in Western North Carolina. [more]

phone (828) 258-8737 x 214
envelope eliza@mountaintrue.org

Bob Wagner

Bob Wagner

Co-Director

Bob joined the MountainTrue team as Co-Director in 2013. He holds a business degree from Wake Forest University,  has 12 years of experience overseeing house-building programs in Africa with Habitat for Humanity and spent the last nine years working for the Community Foundation of Western North Carolina to strengthen nonprofits in our region. Bob grew up in Maryland near the Chesapeake Bay, where he enjoyed fishing and crabbing and developed a deep appreciation for the environment. His interests include spending time with his wife and two boys, hiking, most sports, videography, coaching, and travel. [more]

phone (828) 258-8737 x 213
envelope wagner@mountaintrue.org


We value mountain communities that are vibrant, livable, and respectful of their connection to and dependence on the region’s natural environment.
We value the integrity of natural systems – air, land, water, and native plants and animals – and believe in protecting and restoring them for the benefit of all generations.