Board of Directors

TLC is governed by a volunteer Board of Directors which sets policy directions and budget priorities for the organization. Board members are nominated by TLC’s Board Development Committee and elected by the general membership. They serve three-year terms and cannot serve more than two consecutive terms.

TLC’s Board Officers include a chair, vice-chair, president, treasurer, and secretary. The Board Officers are selected from among the Board of Directors. The chair presides at all meetings of the Board of Directors and Executive Committee. The vice-chair acts in place of the chair as needed. The president is the chief executive officer of the organization and is responsible for the management of TLC. The treasurer controls the funds of the organization, ensures that the books are kept properly, and prepares or causes to have prepared financial reports. The secretary is responsible for recording the minutes of the Board meetings. Officers serve one-year terms. Read our bylaws here.

The TLC Board also has several standing and ad hoc committees: Conservation Strategies, Development, Executive, Finance & Investment, Governance & Human Relations, and Nominating. The Board often invites experts from the community to serve on appropriate committees. TLC also has a Stewardship Advisory Council.

Current Board Members

Will Morgan, Chair (Wake): Partner, Manning, Fulton, & Skinner

Will Morgan is a partner at Manning, Fulton, & Skinner, where he is the co-chair of the firm’s Government Relations practice group.  He has experience representing clients at the federal, state, and local level, but his current practice is primarily focused on representing clients at the North Carolina General Assembly, and before state administrative agencies.  Will represents a broad range of clients, including national trade associations, Fortune 500 companies, small businesses, and non-profits.  Prior to joining Manning, Fulton, & Skinner, Will served as the Director of Government Relations for the North Carolina chapter of The Nature Conservancy, and he is proud to continue to advocate for conservation groups through his representation of Land for Tomorrow, a state-wide coalition of the state’s leading conservation groups. He earned a BA in Political Science and Environmental Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and his JD from the Wake Forest University School of Law.  Will and his wife Janie live in Raleigh with their son, daughter, and yellow lab.

Marlena Byrne, Vice-Chair (Durham): Deputy Chief Resilience Officer, North Carolina Office of Recovery and Resiliency

Marlena Byrne is a Deputy Chief Resilience Officer with the North Carolina Office of Recovery and Resiliency. Marlena advises on long-term disaster recovery and coordinates state, federal, and local agencies, as well as nongovernmental partners, in helping North Carolina mitigate and prepare for the effects of climate change. Marlena is an environmental and land-use lawyer. Prior to moving to North Carolina, Marlena was a Deputy City Attorney for the City and County of San Francisco for over ten years, advising city officials and departments on all aspects of urban planning, land use, and environmental law. Marlena earned her law degree from the University of California, Berkeley School of Law, and her Bachelor of Arts in English from Stanford University. She live with her husband, three stepsons, and rescue mutt in Durham. 

Toni Wyche Jones, Secretary (Wake): Environmental Engineer and Entrepreneur

Toni grew up in rural, eastern North Carolina, where she developed a love of the outdoors and a desire to protect it at an early age. Toni took a brief hiatus to pursue entrepreneurship after serving as an Environmental Engineer with the Environmental Protection Agency since 2009.  She served as an Environmental Engineer with the NC Department of Environmental Quality. “With the threat of rising sea levels, animal habitats disappearing, and changes in weather patterns, I want to be a part of protecting public health and natural resources.  I am excited about the opportunity to work alongside individuals that have a common interest and passion.” Toni holds a master’s degree in Biological and Agricultural Engineering from North Carolina State University and a B.S. in Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering from North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University.

Rebecca Balter (Wake)

Rebecca Balter grew up in Raleigh, North Carolina, the ancestral lands of the Tuscarora people.  Her interest and commitment to conservation and philanthropy were fostered through many generations of a family dedicated to enjoying and preserving our environment. She believes strongly in environmental justice and is especially invested in the role that a land trust can play in amplifying the conversations about who has access to nature while acknowledging the complex history of land use and ownership in this country.

She earned her bachelor’s degree in biology from Columbia University and then went on to receive a Ph.D. in neurobiology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Although she was trained as a scientist, she left the lab to support social justice movements through donor organizing. For the last decade, she has been an active member of Resource Generation, a group that organizes young people with wealth and class privilege in the United States who are working towards the equitable distribution of wealth, land, and power. As a donor organizer, she was a founding member of the Funding Queerly giving circle and helped launch FrontPorch, an organization that brings together young, progressive political funders to move money to 501-c4 non-profits, building political power in marginalized communities in North Carolina. She also serves on the Board of Directors of the Triangle Community Foundation.

Jack Blackmer (Wake): Retired Senior Manager, Quality, Environment, Health & Safety at Novozymes

Jack has had a lifelong interest in nature and the environment, exploring woodlands, streams, and ponds while growing up in Michigan. Jack’s last position before retirement was Senior Manager, Quality, Environment, Health & Safety at Novozymes North America – Franklinton, NC. His responsibilities there included environmental compliance assurance and conducting EHS due diligence for mergers and acquisitions in the US and Canada. “I am excited for the opportunity to help shape TLC’s policies and procedures to continue our focus on the four public benefits of conservation as our main mission.  I feel especially passionate about the importance of conserving and protecting important natural areas and I appreciate working with others on the Board and TLC staff that share that passion.” Jack holds a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from Michigan State University.

Jenny Bo (Wake), Senior Account Executive, PrecisionLender

Jenny Bo is a Senior Account Executive at PrecisionLender, where she works with large financial institutions to transform the commercial banking experience, strengthen their client relationships, and build stronger communities. Since graduating from Duke with a degree in Economics, she has 10 plus years of client development and sales experience in banking and technology startups. She grew up in Cary, North Carolina, and has long held an abiding love for the Triangle and its natural resources. Jenny has also served on the North Carolina School of Science and Math Alumni Association Board of Directors. Jenny and her spouse, Chris, currently live in Apex and enjoy hiking, rock climbing, cooking, and traveling.

Dr. Nicolette L. Cagle is Faculty in Environmental Science and Policy in the Nicholas School of the Environment at Duke University. She also serves as the Director of Undergraduate Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion and the Director of the Communications Studio in the Nicholas School. Dr. Cagle has a background in ecology, natural history, environmental education, and environmental communication. She also has experience in diversity, equity, and inclusion, especially in environmental fields. She has also served on the board of the Schoolhouse of Wonder and the Forest History Society. She lives in Durham with her husband, son, and three dogs.

Nicolette Cagle (Durham), Faculty, Nicholas School of the Environment

Sam Cook (Wake): Executive Director of Forest Assets, North Carolina State University College of Natural Resources

Sam Cook has made his mark on multiple aspects of forestry during his esteemed career. He is currently the executive director of Forest Assets and VP of the Natural Resources Foundation for the College of Natural Resources at NC State University, where he coordinates the management of the forest assets owned or managed by the NC State Natural Resources Foundation, Inc. He also serves as a Board Member for NC Coastal Land Trust and as a Resource Committee Advisor for the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI), representing the Black Family Land Trust. In previous roles at both the Center for Heirs Property Preservation and as a private forestry consultant, he has played an integral role in developing and implementing a system of support that allows natural resource partners, forest and other landowners of all income levels to increase their forest sustainability and income through sustainable forestry programs. Sam has also worked with the USDA Forest Service Intermountain Forest and Range Experiment Station in Boise, ID, Duke Energy Progress (formerly Duke Power) in Durham, and the Forest Resource Division of International Paper Company. Sam is and has been very conservation-focused throughout his 35+ year career.

Albert Fisher (Orange): Retired President & CEO of Community Partnerships, Inc.

Bert Fisher’s professional career included over 35 years in nonprofit management. His last role was as President & CEO of Community Partnerships, Inc., a private, nonprofit agency providing direct services across five counties in eastern North Carolina to individuals with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities, mental health or substance abuse issues, and economically disadvantaged youth. Prior to his role at Community Partnerships, Bert served as Vice President of Development for the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina. A graduate of Duke University, Bert also worked for over 20 years in various roles in Alumni Affairs and Development at Duke. His strengths include strategic planning, nonprofit/organizational management, personnel development, fundraising, and communications. Bert has extensive leadership experience in organizations with operating budgets over $6 million. He understands the critical need for sound fiscal responsibility and works hard to ensure that all agencies and organizations with which he is involved manage their finances with integrity, transparency, and accountability. A native of North Carolina, Bert grew up with a strong interest in, and great appreciation for, nature, wildlife, and the outdoors. His hobbies include birding and bird photography. He and his wife, Leto Copeley, currently live in the woods outside of Hillsborough, North Carolina.

Mavis Gragg (Durham): Director of the Sustainable Forestry and African American Land Retention Project.

Mavis is a seasoned attorney and conservation professional with nearly two decades of experience in real estate, conflict resolution, estate planning, and probate. Mavis serves as the Director of the Sustainable Forestry and African American Land Retention Project. Prior to this role, Mavis also founded the Gragg Law Firm, PLLC in which she assisted her clients in estate planning, estate administration, and heirs property matters. Mavis serves as the ex officio Chair of the Board of Directors for Triangle Land Conservancy and is a member of the North Carolina Parks and Recreation Authority. With her sister, Mavis co-founded Black Women Drone and the Gragg Family Fund. A native of Black Mountain, North Carolina, Mavis is an alumna of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (B.A., Industrial Relations) and Pepperdine University School of Law (Juris Doctor and Master of Dispute Resolution).

Anupama Joshi (Wake): Executive Director, Blue Sky Funders Forum

Anupama Joshi is an accomplished non-profit and social sector leader in the United States and abroad. As executive director of the Blue Sky Funders Forum, she facilitates connections, communications, and collaboration among funders supporting environmental literacy and efforts connecting people with nature. She co-founded and led the National Farm to School Network for more than a decade, building a movement to incorporate local food procurement, gardens and food and farm education in schools and early care sites across the United States. She has excelled in developing policies, programs, and partnerships; fundraising; and managing organizations through phases of growth and change.  

She is a firm believer in the power of networks and collaboration to enable lasting change and has embodied that throughout her career. She is co-author of Food Justice (MIT Press, 2010), and several peer-reviewed and popular media articles on the topic. Anupama currently serves on the board of directors for the Farmers Market Coalition and has previously served on the FoodCorps and the Community Alliance with Family Farmers boards. Since 2018, she has mentored more than a dozen emerging leaders through the Community Food Systems Mentorship Program. She is a mom, loves to travel and cook, and currently lives in Cary, North Carolina. 

Jay McLeod (Johnston): Senior Planner and Project Manager

Jay McLeod has been professionally engaged in land use-related work for over a decade, including public and private sector employment related to planning and urban design. Originally drawn to biology before pursuing planning, he has advanced degrees in both ecology and urban & regional planning. Jay’s focus in recent years is on generating place-sensitive, adaptive local solutions, and awareness of climate-related land use challenges. Most of this work is for small- to mid-sized local towns and counties across the state. A lifelong love of the outdoors led him to join TLC in 2019.

David Morris (Durham): Managing Attorney, Forrest Firm, P.C.

Cindy Pacchiana (Orange), children’s advocate, Guardian ad Litem

David is the managing attorney of the Forrest Firm’s Durham office. His practice focuses on mergers and acquisitions, private equity transactions, general corporate matters, and business succession planning.  Active in his community, David previously served as Board Chair of the LIFE Skills Foundation, an organization that provides services to at-risk, homeless adolescents and young adults. Currently, he serves on the board of First Tee of the Triangle, which uses the game of golf to promote character development and teach life-enhancing values to youth. He received his B.A. and J.D. degrees from Duke University and earned his M.B.A. in Finance and General Management at Tulane University’s A.B. Freeman School of Business. 

Cindy is a mom to five teenagers and serves as a court-appointed advocate for abused and neglected children through the Guardian ad Litem program.   Cindy is passionate about children and education, and feels that connecting kids to nature is critical in the face of the virtual worlds they live in.  Cindy is a firm believer in the value of land conservation as well as the importance of spending time outdoors, for both mental and physical health.    She holds a Master’s degree in Statistics from the University of Cincinnati and previously worked in clinical trials research.  Cindy has also served on the board for Durham Crisis Response Center, was president of the parent organization at Duke School, helped raise funds and build the Turnip Patch Park in Hillsborough, and served on the Development Committee at Durham Academy. In addition to TLC, Cindy and her husband, Gregg, are longtime supporters of the Hillsborough Arts Council and the Fresh Air Fund in NYC, a program that supports free, outdoor summer adventures for children from low-income communities.   They are also engaged in the community through ownership of local businesses and properties in Orange and Durham counties.  Cindy is an avid trail runner and enjoys biking, swimming and climbing mountains.

Clarenda Stanley (Chatham/Wake): Global Director of Development at The Nature Conservancy/CEO/President of Green Heffa Farms, Inc. 

Clarenda “Cee” Stanley works with environmental philanthropists and grows medicinal plants at her family farm, both out of love for people and the planet. She currently works as a Global Director of Development for the World Office of The Nature Conservancy. In this role, she is responsible for both growing and expanding the donor prospect pipeline from nontraditional donor groups and managing a portfolio of prospective donors. Cee is also a fifth-generation farmer. While she did not set out with her marketing and education degrees to follow in her family’s agricultural path, in 2017 she found herself returning to her roots as the CEO of Green Heffa Farms. An organic medicinal plants farm that produces botanical teas, it is also a model teaching farm with aims to decrease the inequities that exist for BIPOC womxn farmers.   

Cee has been active in the Triangle community for many years. She served for seven years as President for the Triangle Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals. She is a current Board Member for VAE (Visual Art Exchange) in Raleigh. She spent two years as a Board Member for Cary Visual Art and was a member of the Public Art Advisory Board for the Town of Cary for almost five years. She is a sought-over speaker who has received several accolades including being selected by her peers as the 2016 Fundraiser of the Year and the recipient of the 2017 C-Suite Award. 

Clarenda lives in Cary, NC with her 17-year old son, Asher Bleu, and her three unsuccessful farm dogs — Chewie, Solo, and Theo. She also has two adult daughters, Arionna and Amira, and three grandchildren. In her spare time, she loves to travel, raise orchids, and hunt for antique and vintage treasures.  

Sean Lilly Wilson (Orange): Founder and Chief Executive Optimist at Fullsteam Brewery

Sean is the Chief Executive Optimist of Durham’s Fullsteam Brewery. He founded and led both Pop The Cap and Permit Beer, two beer lobbying organizations that have opened up economic markets to North Carolina’s craft beer industry. He holds both an MBA and Master of Public Policy from Duke University. He is a four-time James Beard Foundation semi-finalist in the category of Outstanding Wine, Beer, or Spirits Professional. 

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