Our Staff

Joe Lovett

Joe is the founder of Appalachian Headwaters. He is a native West Virginian who has been a catalyst for focusing local and national attention on the devastating ecological impacts of mountaintop removal coal mining for nearly two decades. As the co-founder and Executive Director of the environmental public interest law firm Appalachian Mountain Advocates, Joe has litigated many precedent-setting cases to protect the region. He graduated from the University of Pennsylvania School of Law in 1995 and served as a law clerk to the Chief Judge of the United States District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia.


Kate Asquith

Kate has been on Headwaters’ staff since its beginning. Before joining Headwaters, Kate worked for conservation and community advocacy groups for more than a decade. Her past work includes several years with public interest environmental law firms including Appalachian Mountain Advocates and Southern Environmental Law Center. Kate earned her law degree from the University of Washington and her bachelor’s degree in Biology from Maryville College in east Tennessee.


Mike Becher

Mike has spent his career working on environmental issues in central Appalachia. Prior to joining Headwaters, Mike worked as an attorney with Appalachian Mountain Advocates, as a law clerk to the Honorable Robert C. Chambers of the United States District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia, and as the Stream Partners Program Coordinator for the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection. Mike earned his law degree from the University of Cincinnati and his undergraduate degree from Denison University.


Terri J. Giles

Terri’s 30-year career in public service and non-profits began in southern West Virginia and grew to include locations like Taiwan, Japan, California and Washington, D.C. Terri worked for U.S. Senator John D. Rockefeller IV as director of economic development for 13 years, where she was the lead on the Toyota plant project, one of the largest economic development projects in the history of West Virginia. She has a bachelor’s degree in Social Work from Concord University and a Master’s in Communication Management from the University of Southern California.


Elizabeth Sutton

Elizabeth is Appalachian Headwaters’ Administrative Specialist. She lives with her family on a small farm in Pocahontas County, West Virginia. She earned bachelor’s degrees in Secondary English Education and Psychology from the University of Kentucky.


Dr. Debbie Delaney

Debbie has over 20 years of experience working with pollinators, specifically honey bees, and maintains between 25-60 colonies in the teaching apiary at the University of Delaware’s Newark farm. When she’s not working with Appalachian Headwaters, Debbie serves as an assistant professor at the University of Delaware’s the Department of Entomology and Wildlife Ecology, where she mentors graduate and undergraduate students working on various aspects of pollinator health and productivity. Her research program has four main focal areas: (1) genetic identity and diversity of US honey bees, (2) temporal stability of pollinator populations, (3) best management solutions for creating sustainable managed pollinator populations, and (4) pollinator nutrition and forage mapping.


Dr. Rick Fell

Rick is a professor emeritus of entomology in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Virginia Tech. Throughout his career, Rick has contributed significantly to the understanding of entomology through his research and extension work in apiculture. He has spent significant time conducting training workshops for beekeepers focused on colony management, queen production, and the pests and diseases affecting honey bees. He has advised numerous students on master’s degree and doctoral dissertations and helped them to develop successful careers in both academic and industrial settings. He taught a variety of undergraduate and graduate courses ranging across the full entomology curriculum.


Dr. Parry MacDonald Kietzman

Parry has been involved with beekeeping since she was a teenager in Pennsylvania. She completed her bachelor’s degree at Wheaton College (Biology) and her PhD at the University of California, Riverside (Entomology) under the supervision of Dr. P. Kirk Visscher. Her dissertation research focused on honey bee communication. Parry joined Dr. David Tarpy’s lab at North Carolina State University for postdoctoral studies, where she spearheaded a project on honey bee viruses and other pathogens in collaboration with the Bee Informed Partnership.


Mark Lilly

Mark has been keeping bees in in Raleigh County, West Virginia for over twenty years.  He left the insurance industry after 30+ years and joined Appalachian Headwaters as a beekeeper/educator. He has a business administration degree from Concord University. Mark is an EAS Master Beekeeper, WV Master Beekeeper, secretary for the West Virginia Beekeepers Association and President of the Raleigh County Beekeepers Cooperative Association.


Cindy Bee

Cindy is a third generation beekeeper and a passionate educator on a variety of sustainable beekeeping subjects. She is a national and international educator and has managed apiary studies for the University of Georgia as well as participated in SARE grants to assess queen viability. Cindy was the first female certified master beekeeper through the University of GA at the Young Harris Institute, is past President of the Metro Atlanta Beekeepers Association, and was Georgia Beekeeper of the Year in 2007. She comes to Appalachian Headwaters from Maine where she is co-owner of Overland Apiaries, a 150 colony operation focusing on small scale queen rearing, overwintered nucleus hives, and honey production. She is also the author of the book Honey Bee Removal: A Step by Step Guide, and ran a full time bee removal business for over fourteen years.


Kevin Johnson

Kevin Johnson has a background in community-based education and program development, both at home and abroad. He holds BAs in environmental engineering sciences and history from Rice University. Kevin comes to Appalachian Headwaters from working as a service coordinator in low-income housing, and as program director for One Foundation focused on entrepreneurial ecosystem development in southern WV. Kevin enjoys spending part of each day with his herd of animals on Wolf Creek Mountain in Monroe County.


Alex Tewnion

Alex is an entomologist and beekeeper. He graduation from the University of Delaware. While there, Alex worked in Dr. Debbie Delaney’s pollination and ecology lab. Before joining Headwaters, Alex served as a board member of a non-profit food co-op in Newark, Delaware.


James Scyphers

James lives in Speedway, West Virginia. James keeps 8 beehives of his own and is a member of the Mercer County Beekeepers Association. James has passed the Apprentice level of the WVBA Master Beekeeping program. Before joining Appalachian Headwaters, James worked as a coal miner, foreman, crane operator, and in home construction.


Brandon Buckland

Brandon is a native of Forest Hill, West Virginia. He graduated from Summers County High School and went on to study history at West Virginia University. Before joining Appalachian Headwaters Brandon worked for the US Army Corps of Engineers on projects including the Bluestone Dam in Hinton, West Virginia. Brandon has been involved with beekeeping for three years and has passed the Apprentice level of the WVBA Master Beekeeping program.


Robbie Gardisky

Robbie graduated Summers County High School in 2006 and has lived his entire life in Summers County. He worked in the hospitality industry for 12 years and landscaping for 2 years prior to joining Appalachian Headwaters.


Sean Phelps

Sean is a 2009 graduate of Shady Spring High School. Before joining Appalachian Headwaters, Sean worked for the Raleigh County Board of Education. Sean has passed the Apprentice level of the WVBA Master Beekeeping program and is working on his Certified level. He lives in Raleigh County, West Virginia.


Clinton Taylor

Clinton is a native West Virginian.  He is a back yard homesteader.  When he is not in the bees you can find him barefoot in his garden or tending his flock.