MORE THAN A BOARD OF DIRECTORS …
A FAMILY OF VISIONARIES

Sustainable Sandhills is proud of its Board of Directors. We recruit our Board members from many aspects of society to ensure both personal and professional diversity. This group of consummate professionals includes educators, professors, engineers, conservationists, entrepreneurs and advisors – all of whom have unique talents but a common desire to create resilient environmental, economic and social resources for current and future generations in the Sandhills of North Carolina.

JON PARSONS
BOARD CHAIR (EMERITUS)

Jon is the Associate Vice Chancellor for Facilities Management at Fayetteville State University.

He joined the Board in 2012.

Originally from California, Jon is a professional engineer, and he has worked in sustainability in the Sandhills for many years. In fact, he was the Executive Director of Sustainable Sandhills when the organization launched in 2005.

You may know Jon and his wife Caroline from the local music scene. Along with their friend Jerome Hawkes, they are the titular members of the popular folk music group The Parsons Trio. Jon plays banjo, guitar and mandolin.

DANIEL DIMARIA
BOARD TREASURER (EMERITUS)

Daniel is an attorney with The Charleston Group in Fayetteville.

He joined the Board in 2014.

His sustainability interests include green space, water and air quality and local foods.

Daniel and his wife Adrienne enjoy traveling, local foods, local art and spending time with their dog Ruby. Daniel also enjoys surfing and ice skating.

Daniel says that he loves his adopted home of Fayetteville – the second best place in the world (behind his hometown of Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania) – and is proud to be a Board member of Sustainable Sandhills.

HEATHER BROWN
BOARD MEMBER

Heather is the Senior Strategic Sustainability Planner for the United States Army Reserve.

She joined the Board in July 2019.

She is a lover of dirt (our natural environment), noise (great music) and fillers (scrumptious nibbles). She is contracted to the Federal government and enjoys supporting our military communities.

Heather and her husband, Chris, have been married for 20 years and love to visit new places whenever they can. They are parents to two silly rescue pups – Gabe, a lovable Red Nose Pit Bull, and Laney, a German Short-Haired Pointer.

Heather’s sustainability interests include local food, pollinators, the arts and homelessness.

AARON BROWN
BOARD MEMBER

Aaron Brown works as acting chief of the Environmental Division of the Fort Bragg Directorate of Public Works. 

DR. JUAN MA
BOARD MEMBER

Juan (pronounced Joo-AHN) is an Associate Professor of Public Administration at Fayetteville State University.

She joined the Board in July 2019.

RODNEY MEDLEY
BOARD MEMBER AND HONEY ALCHEMIST

Rodney is a proud veteran of the United States Army and co-owner of Beehive Yourself NC.

He joined the Board in March 2020.

With his “Queen Bee” Rebekah, Rodney creates honeys and honey-infused sweet treats that are renowned for their unique array of flavors such as Ginger, Smoke Pepper Bomb and Apple Brandy. You can find Beehive Yourself products at shops and farmers markets across central North Carolina, including Sustainable Sandhills markets at Aviator Brewing Company, Carolina Lakes and Cape Fear Botanical Garden. Beehive Yourself NC also offers Host-A-Hive services, as well as beekeeping education and outreach programs. Visit their website HERE.

Rodney is also a dedicated community advocate and activist who works to improve the quality of life in the Sandhills.

DR. IMAN MOORE
BOARD MEMBER AND SAFETY ENTHUSIAST

Iman is a professor and Chair of the Environmental and Occupational Management Department at Methodist University.

She joined the Board in July 2019.

Her professional interests include environmental safety, health and sustainability. She is an Occupational Safety and Health Administration Authorized General Industry Trainer. Her goal is to increase positive social action and education related to sustainability.

In her personal time, Iman enjoys reading, watching and attending football games and volunteering.

DENISE RENFRO
BOARD MEMBER AND GEOPOLITICAL NERD

Denise is the Director of the Academy of Green Technology at Douglas Byrd High School in Fayetteville, which was designated a Green Ribbon School by the United States Department of Education.

She joined the Board in November 2019.

Her professional interests include energy, clean water, grant writing and resilience.

Denise’s husband Adam works for the North Carolina Virtual Public School. They have two children, Taylor and Arjay. Arjay is currently attending the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, where he is studying public policy and economics.

When she is not molding young minds, Denise enjoys exercising, fiddling around in her garden and reading non-fiction.

JENNIFER SMITH
BOARD MEMBER AND ROAMING RANGER

Jennifer is the Head Ranger at Clark Park Nature Center, a gem of the Fayetteville- Cumberland County Parks and Recreation system.

She joined the Board in July 2019.

Jennifer is an all-around nature lover with a deep interest in native and wild edible plants, moths, birds, toads and frogs. She enjoys developing environmental education programs and creating museum displays and exhibits. When Jennifer is not indulging in nature, she enjoys cooking, traveling, hiking, reading, gardening and watching dramas such as Breaking Bad or Game of Thrones. Laughter on a daily basis is key in her world, and snarky comedies like The Office and Parks & Recreation provide comic relief.

She has two brothers in her long-distance nuclear family, but she cherishes her cousins and a handful of decades-long “friend-mily,” several of whom date to her days with Sustainable Fort Bragg and Cape Fear Botanical Garden. She says that the fine people who move through Fayetteville and the energy they bring with them are its finest assets!

Jennifer’s sustainability interests include the Sandhills Farm to Table Cooperative, farmer’s markets, pollinator gardening, native horticulture, green energy, composting, Greenway Trails and wild edible plants.

STEPHEN ZINNERMAN
BOARD MEMBER 

Stephen Zinnerman works as CEO of The Coffee Enthusiast, a company that focuses on small batch coffee roasting, developing real relationships with farmers, research, education, and growing with all involved in the coffee supply chain. Visit their website HERE.

YOUTH BOARD

Our Youth Board is for young adults from 18 to 30 years of age who want to witness the governance of a non-profit organization first-hand and to contribute to local sustainability causes. Many of our youth board members have achieved much professional success, and we are proud to assist them on their career paths.

CURRENT MEMBERS

Jeremy Anderson
Environmental Engineer, City of Raleigh

Jazmin Leath
Sustainable Development and Environmental Studies Student, Appalachian State University


Jennessa Peterson
Environmental Health Professional, Fayetteville State University


Phavadee Phasavath
Sustainability Coordinator, Fayetteville State University

Josslyn Wilson-Parker
Environmental Studies Student, Southern New Hampshire University