As Executive Director, John is responsible for the day-to-day management of the Catawba Riverkeeper Foundation and serves as it’s primary fundraiser, visionary, and relationship developer. John brings a diverse background in coaching, athletic administration, fundraising, design, marketing, sponsorship planning, and sales management to the Catawba Riverkeeper Foundation.
John grew up in Central Illinois and attended Milligan College in Johnson City, TN, where he was a 3-year starter and captain of the basketball team. After college, John embarked on a ten-year basketball coaching journey before working in athletic administration. After that, he worked in the business world for XOS Digital, Downstream Design, and Adams Outdoor Advertising.
He currently resides on Lake Wylie in Belmont, NC with his wife, Jessi, and two children, Jack (13) and Josie (10). During his free time, he enjoys all things outdoors – kayaking, hiking, mountain biking, trail running, camping, bird hunting, and fishing as well as consuming as much American History as possible.
Brandon is a native of Gastonia. He attended UNC-Chapel Hill and earned a B.A. in Economics with a minor in Environmental Science. He is currently in graduate school at UNC Charlotte where he will be defending his thesis this semester to earn his Master’s degree in Earth Science. For the last 12 years he has been a raft guide, primarily at the Whitewater Center and on the Arkansas River in Colorado. Brandon joined CRF in August of 2017 and served as the Director of Technical Programs before he was promoted to Riverkeeper.
Diana is a native of Charlotte. She attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and graduated with a B.S. in Business Administration from Kenan-Flagler Business School.
Her love for the River and desire to protect it comes from spending time at her grandparents’ home on Lake Wylie. Diana began working at Catawba Riverkeeper in August 2012.
Haley is a Charlotte native who earned a B.S. in Environmental Science with a minor in chemistry at the University of North Carolina-Wilmington.
Before CRF, she was an educator for UNCW’s MarineQuest and Fort Caswell Environmental Stewardship programs. She also worked as an Environmental Specialist for Duke Energy. Haley is passionate about educating the local community and preserving local water quality.
Volunteer and Outreach Coordinator
Hillary began working for CRF in June 2016. Before Hillary came to CRF, she volunteered with Clean Air Carolina where she became acquainted with NC’s environmental community and the issues we face to try and keep our state clean and healthy. She is currently pursuing her masters in Environmental Policy and Management, which will only make her stronger and more knowledgeable in her current role.
Deb is a former 8th grade science teacher with 14 years of experience in the classroom. Prior to being a teacher, Deb was a forester who worked in private industry and with forest landowners on forest land management. She has 8 years experience working with Mecklenburg Park and Recreation with their summer environmental camps. She has a passion for the outdoors and the water and enjoys every opportunity to be on the water sharing this passion.