Elachee Nature Science Center has seated the not-for-profit organization’s newest Trustees: Brian Whalen, Registered Partner, Stribling-Whalen Financial Group, and Bill Rhoads, Attorney-at-Law, Smith, Gilliam, Williams & Miles, P.A.
“I am thrilled to have Bill and Brian on our Board of Trustees,” comments Sarah Bell, Elachee President and CEO. “Their professional areas of expertise will enhance the diverse skillsets that currently exist on our Board. More importantly, they are both passionate about Elachee and have each spent a great deal of time enjoying Chicopee Woods. We love having Board members who truly understand and embrace our mission!”
Elachee Board of Trustees Chair Jason Everett says, “We are excited to welcome both Bill and Brian. Bill Rhoads has a great understanding of Elachee between his kids’ attendance at Elachee Nature Academy and his many years of trail running around the Chicopee Woods Nature Preserve.” He continues, “Brian Whalen is a great asset to the Elachee board. He has been very involved in the Highland to Islands greenway as well as the Vision 2030 Green Space Committee.”
“I love to backpack and hike wherever I am,” shares Whalen. “Since my business is in Gainesville and I live in downtown Flowery Branch, I have been an active user of the trails at Elachee for many years. My hope is that Elachee can serve as that same conduit for others to realize the benefits of getting outside like I have. My final wishes even read that I want a small gathering of those who wish to attend at Elachee to go on a hike.”
Rhoads says, “I’m excited to join the Elachee board because I love the mud. I love running on the trails and getting filthy. I want to help continue Elachee’s goal of getting people outside and into nature to taste, smell, feel the outdoors. My long-term dreams for Elachee are to create endowments for teaching spots for both the Nature Academy and for the field trips. Everyone should know that Elachee is the best place to see giant snails in the woods!”
The new Trustees join fellow leaders: Jason Everett, Chair, Rick Boyd, Vice-Chair, Anna Lloyd, Secretary, Nick Bruner, Treasurer along with Brad Abernathy, Emily Bagwell, Phil Bonelli, Lance Gardner, Chris Romberg, Steve Smith, Dixie Truelove, Kelvin Whisenhunt, Mandi Whiting and Trey Wood.