Bald Head Island Conservancy

Note from the Executive Director: Our Board Members, Our Unsung Heroes

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by Dr. Chris Shank, Executive Director

It has been a great summer so far for the Conservancy. Our redesigned Fleming Education Center has entertained and educated more than 5000 visitors since opening Memorial Day weekend, day camps are filled with kids who are exploring and learning about the island’s ecosystem, we just began a new water quality technology research project with NC State, Turtle Central is brimming with shoppers, and Turtle Trots are back to normal with a single start time and fun celebratory atmosphere at the finish line. We have also had a very busy sea turtle season with 126 nests and still 3 weeks remaining in prime nesting season!

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Executive Director Chris Shank, Board President Katie Chatas, and Board Member Ginger Aydogdu during Turtle Central’s annual Simply Southern Day

The staff and interns, who are very recognizable in their forest green t-shirts and sweatshirts, are incredibly dedicated to our Mission and love sharing our collective passion for Bald Head Island and its vibrant habitats and species. What most people don’t realize is just how critical our Board of Directors is to the Conservancy’s success. This incredible group of volunteers helps us with many important functions including fundraising, financial planning, providing human resource advice, professional networking, and key governance oversight, not to mention their financial generosity and opening up their homes for staff overnight stays. Our current Board is led by President Katie Chatas, and what an amazing job she has done the past couple of years! Her consistently positive can-do spirit has energized the entire Board and we are so grateful for her leadership. Below is the list of our current Board members. You may not recognize them since they don’t wear forest green Board t-shirts, but if you do know a Board member or just happen to speak with one around the island, please give them a special thanks! They are the Unsung Heroes of our organization and we are so lucky for everything they selflessly provide to the Bald Head Island Conservancy!


Katie Chatas (President)

John Cathcart (Vice President)

Slaughter Fitz-Hugh (Treasurer)

Randall Tuttle (Secretary)

Jay Adams

Ginger Aydogdu

Kim Blackwell

Jim Brown

Nancy Easterling

Marianna Fitz-Hugh

Hilary Gerhardt

Laura Hall

Hollie Hart

Trish Healy

Julie Keenan

John Kinney

John May

Dylan McNamara

Donna Patterson

Rich Tarplin

Shannon Thatcher


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