Board and Staff

John Cottingham

John Cottingham
Founder/Executive Director

John is a former corporate lawyer who started his career in the International Corporate Law Department of Fulbright & Jaworski in Washington D.C.  He ultimately became the Chief Legal Officer of Life Technologies Corporation, an approximately $3.5 billion corporation at the time of its acquisition by  Thermo Fisher Scientific in 2014.  At the time of the acquisition, John was leading a legal team of 130 people including approximately 80 attorneys involved in all aspects of corporate legal activity (contracts, intellectual property, commercial and IP litigation, mergers and acquisitions, corporate governance, regulatory, international business, government contracting, and compliance).   At other times he also had responsibility for Government Relations (D.C. and Sacramento), Environmental, Health and Safety, and Employment Law.  John has a B.A. in Political Science from Furman University, a J.D. from the University of South Carolina, an LL.M. in Securities Regulation from Georgetown University, and a Master of Science in Executive Leadership from the University of San Diego.  He has served on the boards of the California Healthcare Institute and the Association of Corporate Counsel – San Diego.  Since founding The Pisgah Conservancy in 2015, John has served as its Executive Director and a member of its Board of Directors where he serves on the Governance Committee.  He splits his time between Hendersonville, NC and San Diego, CA.

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Nina Ardle

Nina Ardle
Chief Administrative and Development Officer

nina@pisgahconservancy.org

Nina joined TPC as Director of Development in November 2021. She's worked in the environmental nonprofit industry since 2014, most recently as Director of Development at Tampa Bay Watch, a 501c3 dedicated to the restoration and protection of Florida's Tampa Bay watershed. Nina has held various roles in which she's managed membership programs, planned large-scale events, played a key role in capital campaigns, and helped to solidify and grow major gift programs - and she's thrilled the culmination of those experiences have brought her to TPC. Nina received her Bachelor's degree in Public Relations from the University of Florida and is a native Floridian. She moved from St. Petersburg to Asheville in the fall of 2021 with her boyfriend and their two dogs.

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Jeff Maitz

Jeff Maitz
Chief Operating Officer and Program Director, Trail Specialist

Jeff worked for 14 years at the National Park Service as a trail worker and trail crew leader, including 9 years in Sequoia National Park in California’s Sierra Nevada and 5 years in Great Smoky Mountains National Park.  He has also been employed as an educator, working as an adjunct professor for Furman University as well as teaching college courses at the University of Colorado and serving as a Teaching Fellow at Phillips Academy-Andover.  As The Pisgah Conservancy Trail Specialist, Jeff works side by side with the Forest Service out of the Pisgah Ranger District Office in Pisgah Forest, NC to improve the quality and sustainability of the Pisgah District trail system, plan and implement trails projects, and lead and train collaborating Forest Service partners and volunteers with a primary focus on trail maintenance and construction.  Jeff received a Bachelor’s degree in English from Fordham University in the Bronx, New York and a Master’s degree in English from the University of Colorado in Boulder.  Jeff, his wife, Michele, and their daughter Charlotte currently reside in Greenville, SC, but are eager to move up to the mountains closer to the Pisgah.

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Simon Farr

Simon Farr
Trails and Recreation Technician

Simon began his career in public lands in 2016 with Southern Appalachian Wilderness Stewards (SAWS), working 5 seasons as a Visitor Center Host, Trail Crew Member, and Wilderness Ranger. That time fostered his passion for educating the public, performing lasting trail work, and the use of traditional tools. As TPC’s Trails & Recreation Technician, he works side by side with USFS in the Pisgah Ranger District to maintain and improve Pisgah’s vast network of trails for hiking, horseback riding, and mountain biking, as well as its many front-country facilities. You can find him removing fallen trees, repairing bridges, mending fences, clearing overgrown trails, and much more around the District. He enjoys hiking, riding his bikes, and training new sawyers as a Crosscut Saw Instructor. Simon lives in Brevard, a short drive from his childhood home in Asheville.

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Michael Bagwell

Michael Bagwell
Trail Crew Leader

After graduating from Appalachian State, Michael took a position with Singletrack Trails, a professional trail-building company. There he spent multiple years honing his skills in trail assessment, design, construction, and maintenance on projects in Western North Carolina and across the country. Trained by local trail building legend Shrimper Khare, Michael worked as a site supervisor for Singletrack managing all phases of trail construction, interfacing directly with clients, and supervising a crew of up to five trail workers on sustainable trail construction projects. More recently, Michael worked locally as a climbing arborist for Bartlett Tree Experts. This period helped develop both his expertise with a chainsaw and his consistent focus on operational awareness and safety. While he enjoyed his time and colleagues at Bartlett, the opportunity to work full-time in the Pisgah, deep in the woods, was ultimately too enticing.

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Alexis de Seze

Alexis de Seze
Trail Crew Leader

Alexis worked 5 seasons on a trail crew with the National Park Service in Great Smoky Mountains National Park, several years with the American Conservation Experience (ACE), and 5 seasons as a Forestry Technician with Hemlock Restoration Initiative (HRI) with most of this time spent working in the wet familiar forests of the Southern Appalachians. Growing up in New Jersey and then attending Concordia College in Montreal with a focus on Environmental and Sustainability Studies, Alexi came to Western North Carolina in 2015 as an Americorps intern and has been here ever since, hiking and climbing throughout our local mountains.

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Sam Byars

Sam Byars
Invasive Plant Management Crew Leader

Sam graduated from Haywood Community College in 2010. He worked for the Wildlife Resources Commission as a Conservation technician and a Team leader for 5 years. While working there he gained experience in habitat manipulation and improvement techniques. After that, he worked for the North Carolina Forest Service as an Assistant County Ranger for several years. Although fire control was his main duty, he participated in water quality surveys and landowner outreach programs. Sam and his wife recently moved back to North Carolina from Montana and now live in Hendersonville. They enjoy hiking, biking and fishing.

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Will Coffee

Will Coffee
Invasive Plant Management Crew Leader

Will graduated from Arizona State with an undergrad in watershed management with an emphasis in plant ecology and habitat restoration. He has spent much of his professional career out west studying invasive plants and how they impact watersheds and their ecosystems. His passion for conservation, stream stabilization, and how native plant reintroduction assist in the ecological restoration of a watershed has brought him from Inventory and Monitoring programs in Idaho and Arizona with the National Park Service, conservation efforts in Mexico with the Peace Corps, and now to western North Carolina managing invasive plants with The Pisgah Conservancy. Will is normally out running, biking, and botanizing in the forest and believes this special place is worth protecting for all.

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Stephanie Adams

Stephanie Adams
Lead River Ranger

In her role as Lead River Ranger, Stephanie is devoted to doing her part in conserving, protecting, restoring, and maintaining the health of rivers, watersheds and the flora and fauna that are dependent on these natural resources. Her ambition is to find ways to bring new experiences, by means of education, to students of all ages, hoping to spark curiosity in all. In 2017 she received her Southern Appalachian Naturalist Certification from the University of Tennessee via the Great Smoky Mountains Institute at Tremont coinciding her role as Assistant Director of Education at the Cradle of Forestry in America Interpretive Association and later, owning an environmental education business. She has been an active member on the Transylvania Natural Resources Committee since early 2019 and is a Certified Fly-Fishing Instructor for The North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission. Most recently she served as a member on the Pisgah Chapter Trout Unlimited (PCTU) Board of Directors as Education Chair and is the founder of the brook trout aquarium in the Brevard Visitors Center in partnership with PCTU.
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Peter Barry

Peter Barry
Board Member

Peter retired in 2019 after a career in investment banking at Wells Fargo in Charlotte, Bankers Trust in New York, and Continental Bank in Chicago. His responsibilities included managing Private Finance and Loan Sales, where he was responsible for teams of professionals distributing corporate debt instruments to institutional investors. Peter previously worked in New York as a commercial lender and in Hong Kong as a private equity analyst. He and his wife Amy have been major donors, fundraisers, and public policy advocates for The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, serving as co-chairs of the National Volunteer Leader Initiative, co-chairs of National Volunteer Advocacy and board members of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation's Western North Carolina Chapter.  He received his Bachelors in Economics from Dartmouth College and his Masters in Management from the Kellogg School of Management. Peter currently serves as Chair and Assistant Treasurer of the Board.  He also is a member of the Finance and Advancement Committees. He and Amy live in Pisgah Forest, NC.

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Elizabeth Jackson

Elizabeth Jackson
Board Member

Elizabeth is a mom, climber, mountain biker, yogi, and local business owner.  Drawing from her varied experience in the fields of outdoor recreation and environmental sustainability, Elizabeth shifted her focus in 2019 to create the Riveter - a climbing gym, bike park, yoga studio, and bar in the heart of Western North Carolina. The Riveter is a 40,000sf outdoor adventure facility neighboring the Sierra Nevada Brewery and Asheville Regional Airport, and serving Asheville, Hendersonville, Brevard, Greenville, and outdoor enthusiasts from around the country. Working intimately in the outdoor industry and The Pisgah Conservancy’s primary market, Elizabeth is excited to continue the evolution of the outdoor experience while fostering support for The Pisgah Conservancy’s work in the region. Elizabeth received a BA in Environmental Studies and Geology from Brevard College and a Masters in Environmental Management from Duke University's Nicholas School of the Environment.  She currently serves on the Advancement Committee. Elizabeth lives in Ashevill with her three daughters.

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Amos Beason

Amos Beason
Board Member

Amos is currently Managing Member of Seward Capital, an investment firm based in Charlotte NC.  For eighteen years, he has managed private real estate, credit and private equity funds for a variety of platforms, most recently Columbus Nova and Bracken Capital.  Before becoming a fund manager Amos worked at First Union Capital Markets in Charlotte and CoreStates Bank in Philadelphia.  Amos is a past chairman of the board of North Carolina Outward Bound.  He and his wife Kimberly have also worked for and supported other organizations focused on the nexus between youth, healthcare and the environment including The Philadelphia Youth Organization, The Philadelphia Street Project, and The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.  Amos is a graduate of Middlebury College.   Amos currently serves as Chair of the Governance Committee.   He and Kimberly split their time between their homes in Brevard and Charlotte.

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Nancy DePippo

Nancy DePippo
Board Member

Nancy has had a career in marketing and advertising, mostly with advertising agencies around the country. She and her husband Joe moved to Brevard in 2001. They launched and operated Poppies Market before retiring in 2011. Nancy has been a very active volunteer in the community including with TPC, the Transylvania County Animal Shelter, the US Forest Service, and Friends of the Ecusta trail. She graduated from Elizabethtown College with a degree in business. Nancy currently serves on the Advancement Committee.

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Clark Gallivan

Clark Gallivan
Board Member

Clark is Managing Director at UBS Financial Services Inc. and oversees The Gallivan Group, a team of 7 professionals who provide legacy focused wealth management and estate management services to over 200 clients representing approximately $850 million in assets under management. The Gallivan Group consistently ranks among the top investment advisors in South Carolina, according to Barron’s and Forbes. Clark began his career in environmental consulting and commercial banking. Clark has served in a number of leadership roles with the YMCA of Greenville, Christ Church Episcopal School, Upstate Forever, and the United Way of Greenville County, including chairing/co-chairing multiple fundraising campaigns. He is a graduate of The University of the South in Sewanee, Tennessee, where he earned a bachelors in Natural Resources. Clark currently serves on the Finance Committee. Clark and his wife, Katie, live in Greenville, SC, with their four sons.

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Gail Kinard

Gail Kinard
Board Member

Gail moved to Brevard in 2017 from Columbia, SC where she worked as a lobbyist at the Statehouse in Columbia, primarily representing a variety of non-profit organizations which included Eat Smart Move More South Carolina, March of Dimes, YMCA, S.C. Community Loan Fund, among others.  Early in her career she served as the Administrative Assistant to Governor Richard Riley during his two terms of office after assisting in a variety of roles in his campaign.  After staying home to raise three daughters for twenty years, she returned to work in the non-profit arena.  Gail also served on many non-profit boards, including Vice President of the Southeastern Institute for Women in Politics, President of Katrina’s Kids, and serving on the board of the Jackson-Macon Conservation Alliance and the Women’s Shelter.  When she moved to Brevard, she joined the Board of the Hunger Coalition of Transylvania County, started a support group for Davidson River School called the Friends of Davidson River School, and is involved with several other local organizations.   Gail received a BA in Political Science from Duke University.  Gail currently serves as Vice Chair of the Board and Chair of the Advancement Committee. She and her husband, Ken, have four grandchildren who will, hopefully, be future hikers in Pisgah.

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Allen McMurtry

Allen McMurtry
Board Member

For the last 35 plus years, Allen has  been a commercial real estate broker specializing in the sale of retirement communities across the United States (over 200 communities sold in 38 states).  Formerly with Cushman & Wakefield,  he is  currently with Grandbridge Real Estate Capital.  Allen received his bachelors degree in Economics from Vanderbilt University. Allen currently serves as Secretary of the Board and is on the Advancement Committee. He and his wife Nell live in Brevard. 

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Kent Satterfield

Kent Satterfield
Board Member

Kent retired in 2017 after a 40 year career in public accounting. He began his career at an international firm and then spent the next 35 years helping his clients succeed while being part of the the growth of DHG into one of the largest firms in the country. His practice areas included income and estate tax planning and he developed special expertise in personal financial planning. Having served as the firm’s Chief Operating Officer for many years he retired as Chair of the Governing Board. He holds undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of South Carolina. Kent has served on many boards over the years including as chair of the PhD Project and most recently as chair of the board of the North Carolina Outward Bound School. Kent currently serves as Treasurer and Chair of the Finance Committee. He and his wife Linda live in Greenville, SC with their two dogs. 

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Adam Skoog

Adam Skoog
Board Member

Adam is passionate about exploring the mountains by means of mountain biking, backpacking, climbing, and paddle boarding. Most importantly, he values the clarity and groundedness that is procured from time spent in the mountains. Some of his earliest and most formidable memories were forged in Pisgah National Forest. He is originally from Hickory, NC and moved to Asheville shortly after finishing his university studies. He graduated from the University of Mississippi, earning a Spanish degree and a Business Administration degree. Adam is a Managing Member and Co-Founder of Looking Glass Realty Asheville, which officially opened its doors in early 2019. Adam and his business partner, Dylan Glasgow, built a dedicated team of real estate agents from the ground up. Within their first 3 years of operations they built a team that brokered over $100 million dollars in local real estate transactions. As the office’s Managing Broker, Adam firmly believes that the office’s success is due to the team’s shared appreciation for mountain culture and an authentic connection to this region's creative community. Adam serves as a commercial real estate broker for select developers and investors. He specializes in adaptive reuse projects, land development, multifamily, and value-add opportunities. Adam’s dealings are often tied to outdoor recreation, green spaces, and/or pedestrian connectivity. Adam received a BA in Spanish and Business Administration from the University of Mississippi.  Adam currently serves as a member of the Advancement Committee.   He lives in Brevard.

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