Jonelle Kimbrough is the Executive Director of Sustainable Sandhills.

Jonelle is a proud native of Fayetteville, North Carolina.

She graduated in 2004 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science and International Relations from Methodist University, where she was actively involved in theater and served as president of the university’s chapter of Alpha Psi Omega.

After she graduated, Jonelle served as a writer and editor for Fayetteville’s own Up and Coming Publications. During her time as a journalist, Jonelle received a North Carolina Press Association Award for Criticism and an Association of Free Community Papers award for Feature Writing.

Jonelle’s career in sustainability started in 2010 in the garrison at Fort Bragg, where she was the Media Relations Manager for Sustainable Fort Bragg – a program of the Directorate of Public Works – for four years. There, she developed one of the leading sustainability communications programs in the Army, emulated by other installations across the country.

In 2014, she served one year at The V Foundation for Cancer Research, where she gained valuable experience with a non-profit organization.

Then, Jonelle returned to her Army family when she accepted a position as Director of Strategic Communications for United States Army Reserve Sustainability Programs, where she created and implemented a comprehensive communications plan designed to encourage a resource-conscious and conservation-minded culture among Readiness Divisions, Mission Support Commands, installations and over 300,000 Army Reserve Soldiers nationwide.

Jonelle joined Sustainable Sandhills in January 2019.

“I am honored to serve my hometown in the role of Executive Director for Sustainable Sandhills,” she says. “Our resources here are so unique, and we must conserve them. I want to educate, encourage and empower our residents to be sustainable on a personal level and support our programs on a regional level. Everyone can join our efforts to protect our vibrant, healthy and diverse communities. Our future is our mission, and we can all contribute and have an impact in one way or another.”

Jonelle’s professional interests include the preservation of public lands, wildlife, pollution prevention, small business development and industrial hygiene (mold, lead-based paint and asbestos). Her favorite duty at Sustainable Sandhills is running the organization’s artisans markets, where she can work with the farmers, crafters and entrepreneurs who are the cornerstones of our Sandhills economy.

When she is not leading Sustainable Sandhills and working to preserve the environmental, economic and social resources of the Sandhills, Jonelle is probably somewhere near the water – paddling on it, swimming in it, relaxing by it. 

She enjoys traveling. Some of her favorite places are Sedona, Arizona; San Diego, California; the Florida Keys; New York City; the Brunswick Islands, North Carolina; the Outer Banks of North Carolina; and Puerto Rico. Jonelle is also an award-winning photographer. She is a rabid Carolina Hurricanes hockey fan, too. In addition, Jonelle has a side business called Nellement, for which she designs and crafts glass and gemstone jewelry.

Jonelle lives in Southern Pines with her partner Mark and their wild and wooly Siberian huskies Fenrir and Moka, who graciously allow them to live in their house.