staff

Senior Directors

Chris Nelson came to the Chattahoochee Nature Center from the Piedmont Park Conservancy, where he served as Chief Operating Officer/Vice President from 1999-2014, helping to make it Atlanta’s greatest melting pot of people and culture. With degrees in Anthropology and Agriculture from the University of Georgia, Chris started his own landscaping business in 1977 and ran it for over 30 years. He grew up in Venezuela and Colombia, which gave him the opportunity to explore the outdoors and appreciate the culture and biodiversity that exists around the world.

Chris Nelson, Executive Director

Chris Nelson came to the Chattahoochee Nature Center from the Piedmont Park Conservancy, where he served as Chief Operating Officer/Vice President from 1999-2014, helping to make it Atlanta’s greatest melting pot of people and culture. With degrees in Anthropology and Agriculture from the University of Georgia, Chris started his own landscaping business in 1977 and ran it for over 30 years. He grew up in Venezuela and Colombia, which gave him the opportunity to explore the outdoors and appreciate the culture and biodiversity that exists around the world.
Tom Howick has been the Senior Director of Education and the Lead Naturalist at CNC since 2007, and has a Ph.D. in Science Education and Marine Ecology from the University of Georgia. He loves connecting people to nature, especially the wonders and beauty of the Chattahoochee River through experiential learning. Tom fell in love with the CNC back in 1979, when he would bring classes from a local school to study the wetlands on the river boardwalk. He also served on CNC’s Board of Trustees from 2002-2004.

Tom Howick, Senior Director of Education

Tom Howick has been the Senior Director of Education and the Lead Naturalist at CNC since 2007, and has a Ph.D. in Science Education and Marine Ecology from the University of Georgia. He loves connecting people to nature, especially the wonders and beauty of the Chattahoochee River through experiential learning. Tom fell in love with the CNC back in 1979, when he would bring classes from a local school to study the wetlands on the river boardwalk. He also served on CNC’s Board of Trustees from 2002-2004.
Alicia Evans was born and raised in Atlanta, and has been with Chattahoochee Nature Center since 2007. As Senior Director of Community Programs, she ensures that all members and visitors have a top-notch experience at CNC. She graduated Magna Cum Laude and earned her BSFR in Wildlife Biology from the Warnell School of Forest Resources at the University of Georgia. Outside of CNC, she serves on the board of the Georgia River Network and has paddled hundreds of miles of Georgia’s rivers through Paddle Georgia. Alicia lives in Roswell with her fiancé and their pets Flint and Rue.

Alicia Evans, Senior Director of Community Programs

Alicia Evans was born and raised in Atlanta, and has been with Chattahoochee Nature Center since 2007. As Senior Director of Community Programs, she ensures that all members and visitors have a top-notch experience at CNC. She graduated Magna Cum Laude and earned her BSFR in Wildlife Biology from the Warnell School of Forest Resources at the University of Georgia. Outside of CNC, she serves on the board of the Georgia River Network and has paddled hundreds of miles of Georgia’s rivers through Paddle Georgia. Alicia lives in Roswell with her fiancé and their pets Flint and Rue.
DeAnn joined the Chattahoochee Nature Center in May of 2010 as Director of Special Events, becoming Development Director in 2011 and Senior Director in 2012, taking on marketing direction for the Center in 2018. Prior to coming to CNC, DeAnn was the Environmental Program Manager for The Home Depot Foundation (THDF). At THDF, she used her background in urban forestry to quickly shape the foundation’s Healthy, Livable Communities program. DeAnn has over 25 years’ experience in nonprofit management with focused skills on strategic partnerships, outcome measurement and relationship building. Prior to her work at THDF, DeAnn served as Relationship Manager for Snowden

DeAnn Fordham, Senior Director of Development and Marketing

DeAnn joined the Chattahoochee Nature Center in May of 2010 as Director of Special Events, becoming Development Director in 2011 and Senior Director in 2012, taking on marketing direction for the Center in 2018. Prior to coming to CNC, DeAnn was the Environmental Program Manager for The Home Depot Foundation (THDF). At THDF, she used her background in urban forestry to quickly shape the foundation’s Healthy, Livable Communities program. DeAnn has over 25 years’ experience in nonprofit management with focused skills on strategic partnerships, outcome measurement and relationship building. Prior to her work at THDF, DeAnn served as Relationship Manager for Snowden & King Marketing Communications, an environmental marketing firm; the Assistant Director of Park Pride; and Community Liaison for the Georgia Forestry Commission. A native of Tennessee, DeAnn has a Bachelor of Science from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and a Certificate of Excellence in Nonprofit Leadership and Management from the University of Wisconsin. DeAnn is past president of the Metro-Atlanta Corporate Volunteer Council, former board member of EarthShare Georgia and the Georgia Urban Forest Council and a graduate of Leadership North Fulton.
Karen Ewing is CNC’s Senior Director of Finance and Human Resources. She holds a BA from the University of Georgia, with a major in Economics, and an MBA from Georgia State University with a concentration in Finance. She has been with CNC for 13 years, and was previously employed with the Atlanta Lawn Tennis Association and SunTrust Bank. She lives in Atlanta and has two grown children.

Karen Ewing, Senior Director of Finance

Karen Ewing is CNC’s Senior Director of Finance and Human Resources. She holds a BA from the University of Georgia, with a major in Economics, and an MBA from Georgia State University with a concentration in Finance. She has been with CNC for 13 years, and was previously employed with the Atlanta Lawn Tennis Association and SunTrust Bank. She lives in Atlanta and has two grown children.
Henning von Schmeling is the senior director of horticulture and operations.

Henning von Schmeling, Senior Director of Operations

Henning von Schmeling is the senior director of horticulture and operations.

department staff

camp

Debby Head, Camp Director

Laura Viator, Camp Coordinator

Emily Belinfante, Camp Registrar

 

Community Programs

Jana Pearce, Visitor Experience Manager

Kim Ellis, Retail Manager/Nature Store Buyer

Farah McIntyre, Membership & Development Associate

Mark Gialanella, Community Programs Coordinator

Tamara Kinmon, Special Events Manager

Andrea Gatewood, Venue Sales Coordinator

 

Operations

Brian Dunson, Operations Manager

Maurice Darden, Facilities/Operations

Dale Loi, Facilities/Operations

 

Wildlife

Kathryn Dudeck, Wildlife Director

Dawn Ellerman, Wildlife Technician

Samantha Kennett, Wildlife Technician

 

Education

Kim Davenport, Scheduling Coordinator

Christie Hill, Naturalist Coordinator

Elizabeth Royeton, Naturalist Coordinator Assistant

Emma Schell, Outreach Coordinator

Kim Hakimian, Partnership Coordinator

 

Finance

Jennifer Watts, Bookkeeper & Office Administrator

 

Horticulture

Julie Hollingsworth, Manager of Horticulture and Gardens

Christopher Horacek, Unity and Schools Horticulturist

Nat Bingham, Horticulturist

Taylor Lamb, Horticulturist

 

Development and Marketing

Jon Copsey, Marketing Manager

Libby Lintel, Volunteer Coordinator

Pat Beman, Grant Assistant

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