Our Staff

Joe Lovett

Joe is the founder and Executive Director 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 and of burning coal for more than twenty years. As the Executive Director and co-founder 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.

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. Elizabeth Long

Dr. Long joined Headwaters in 2020 to help develop the Appalachian Pollinator Center. She is a native of southwest Virginia and was excited to return home to the region after a long absence. Prior to joining our team, she served as the Director of Conservation Science at the Mohonk Preserve, an 8,000-acre nature preserve in New York’s Hudson Valley. She earned her master’s degree from William and Mary studying Peregrine falcons and her PhD at the University of California-Davis studying the ecology, evolution and genetics of the phenomenon of mimicry in butterflies. Previous work includes many years as a professor at Embry-Riddle and as a research fellow at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles. She worked at UCLA’s La Kretz Center for California Conservation Science, spending her time studying the butterflies of urban Los Angeles as well as the ones in the Santa Monica Mountains, examining how changes in the landscape over time affects butterfly communities.

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.

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

Bee 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. Bee 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. Kevin is an Apprentice Beekeeper in the West Virginia Master Beekeeper program.

Morgan Franke

Morgan is a native West Virginian who has studied and worked with plants throughout the United States. She joined Appalachian Headwaters after working to build a native plant nursery in Guam. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Biology at Sweet Briar College in Virginia and her Master’s degree from Virginia Tech. Morgan’s thesis research focused on better understanding the impacts invasive plants have on the reforestation of surface mine sites in Appalachia.

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.

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. Robbie recently achieved the status of an Apprentice Beekeeper in the West Virginia Master Beekeeper program.

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 recently achieved the status of a Certified Beekeeper in the West Virginia Master Beekeeper program. He lives in Raleigh County, West Virginia.

Adrianna Pollee

Adrianna graduated from Ohio State University in 2020 majoring in Forestry, Fisheries and Wildlife. She took a beekeeping course and fell in love with honey bees and entomology. After working in a honey bee research lab, Adrianna moved from Michigan to West Virginia to continue her growing and sharing her passion for pollinators and environmental education.

Carie Ortman

Carie recently achieved the status of an Apprentice Beekeeper in the West Virginia Master Beekeeper program, maintains her own apiary, and manages her farm which is home to horses, dogs, and over three hundred chickens. Before joining the Appalachian Beekeeping Collective team, Carie worked in HR for several companies. She is a member of local beekeeping clubs and is most known for her work in educating grade school students on the importance of honey bees. She is a member of our honey production team and is in charge of the careful preservation of drawn wax throughout the year.

Michael Bechner

Michael is a member of the ABC bee crew. He is native of the “Two Virginias” region. He has advanced degrees in computer science and technology and spent many years in the computer science field in Atlanta, Georgia. He relocated back to the region nearly 8 years ago to his home along the Greenbrier River, just minutes from the Appalachian Bee Collective facility in Summers County, West Virginia.  His love of the outdoors, gardening and nature drew him to the Bee Collective. He has several active hives and is now working toward certified Beekeeper Status in the West Virginia Master Beekeeping program.

Greg Grim

Greg is a Native Plant Specialist and organic garden and high tunnel manager. He works with our native plant nursery and has developed a large vegetable garden and high tunnel at our Summers County site to grow food for Camp Waldo. The garden will also produce plants for use in products we will sell under the Appalachian Beekeeping Collective label. Before coming to Headwaters, Greg worked and lived on a 20-year old permaculture farm in Nicaragua. He left Nicaragua to take a farming apprenticeship at Sprouting Farms, a nonprofit in Talcott, West Virginia. He also works with and lives on the property of Peter Heus, one of the most skilled native plant horticulturalists in the region.