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 as the Director of Programs and Outreach. 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 as the Conservation Director, 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 is Headwaters’ Director of Governmental Affairs. 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.

Mark Lilly

Mark is the Head Beekeeper for Appalachian Headwaters. 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.

Kevin Johnson

Kevin Johnson is Headwaters’ Environmental Education Coordinator. He 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 the Director of Headwaters’ Native Plants program. She 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 is a Beekeeper Assistant with the Appalachian Beekeeping Collective program. 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 is a Beekeeper Assistant with the Appalachian Beekeeping Collective program. 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 has achieved the status of an Apprentice Beekeeper in the West Virginia Master Beekeeper program.

Sean Phelps

Sean is a Beekeeper Mentor with the Appalachian Beekeeping Collective program. He is a 2009 graduate of Shady Spring High School. Before joining Appalachian Headwaters, Sean worked for the Raleigh County Board of Education. Sean has 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.

Ivy Makia

Ivy joined Headwaters as an Environmental Educator in 2021. Ivy graduated from the University of Florida in 2019 with a B.A. in Biology. She spent the first several years in college as an animal science major but fell in love with plants after taking a gardening class. In 2020, Ivy came to West Virginia for a conservation internship collecting and processing native seeds for the ecological restoration of disturbed forest areas with the United States Forest Service. Through that experience she discovered her calling for restoration work and ecological 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 Beekeeper Assistant with the Appalachian Beekeeping Collective program. 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.

Jonathan Walker-VanKuren

Jonathan is the Director of Camp Waldo. He has been in the camping industry since 2012 working in residential camps. He started as a bunk counselor instructing drama while obtaining his undergraduate degree. Jonathan then went on to obtain his Master’s Degree from Michigan State University in Voice Performance and his Artist Diploma in Opera from Texas Christian University. After graduating from MSU Jonathan worked professionally as an opera singer traveling all around the world singing all while still spending his summers at camp. During the off season, Jonathan still performs throughout the United States and teaches Voice at Lebanon Valley College in Annville, PA, all while planning for camp.

Molly Mathews

Molly is Headwater’s marketing and social media expert. Originally from New Jersey, Molly graduated from the University of Virginia in 2003 with a BA in History and Art History. She also has MAs in Art History and Arts Administration. She lived for over a decade in Washington, DC, and New York, working first at art galleries than later at museums and historic houses. Molly moved to Charlottesville in 2015 where she worked at the UVA Alumni Association and the Virginia Athletics Foundation in marketing and communications. She also volunteers and docents at the Kluge Ruhe Aboriginal Art Collection and James Madison’s Montpelier.

Ken Ganslen – Head Carpenter

Richard Hypes – Carpenter

Nathaniel Altare – Carpenter

Devin Marr-Madariaga – Carpenter

Hoyt Altare – Carpenter