Headquarters office

3609 N.C. 24 (Ocean)
Newport, NC 28570

ph: 252-393-8185

fax: 252-393-7508

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Central Office Staff
Rachel Bisesi

Coastal Education Coordinator

Rachel, from Pine Level, North Carolina, joined the federation in 2013 after volunteering for several years. She holds a Master of Science in coastal marine and wetland studies from Coastal Carolina University and a Bachelor of Arts in environmental studies from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington. Previously, Rachel worked as an educator in multiple coastal education centers, as a marine research technician and as a state park naturalist. Her background lies in linking coastal environments with education and outreach.

Sam Bland

Coastal Specialist

Sam joined the federation in 2009 after completing a 30-year career as a park ranger and park superintendent at the North Carolina Division of Parks and Recreation. Most of that time was spent at Hammocks Beach State Park near Swansboro where Sam specialized in resource management and environmental education. His work with state parks earned Sam the federation’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2009 and the Order of the Long Leaf Pine, the state’s highest civilian honor. With the federation, Sam is responsible for helping develop programs at the education center on Jones Island. Sam graduated from East Carolina University with a Bachelor of Science in parks and conservation and is a certified environmental educator.

Bree Charron

Coastal Specialist

Bree, originally from Manteo, North Carolina, moved down the coast to join the central office in 2016. Her work with the federation began in 2013 during a summer internship with the northeast office. She holds a Master of Science in biological and agricultural engineering and a Bachelor of Science in environmental science and wetland assessment from North Carolina State University. Bree specializes in stormwater engineering, and she assists with low-impact development projects in the central region as well as ongoing restoration and education projects.

Mark Smith

North River Wetlands Preserve Manager

Mark joined the federation in October 2014 to manage the North River Wetlands Preserve and prepare the property for future public use. Mark is a native of Atlantic, North Carolina, born and raised around commercial fishing and net making. He is a graduate of Calhoon Engineering School in Maryland with a degree in marine engineering and a U.S. Coast Guard engineering license. Mark sailed in the U.S. Merchant Marine for eight years, and he recently retired after 22 years working as the chief engineer of the Duke University Marine Lab’s R/V Cape Hatteras. He also has previous farming and game-land management experience. He is an avid fisherman and hunter and still resides in Atlantic.

Dr. Lexia Weaver

Coastal Scientist; Manager, Central Regional Office

Originally from Hialeah, Florida, Lexia joined the federation in April 2007 after living in coastal North Carolina since 2002. Her background is in estuarine water quality and plant ecology and she has conducted over 12 years of research in estuarine environments in Florida, Delaware and North Carolina. Lexia holds a Master of Science and a Ph.D. in Marine Studies from the University of Delaware and a Bachelor of Science in Biology with a specialization in Marine Biology from Barry University in Miami Shores, Florida. Lexia manages coastal restoration projects within the central region of North Carolina and supervises the central regional office.

Headquarters Staff
Todd Miller

Executive Director

Todd Miller is the founder and executive director of the North Carolina Coastal Federation, a nonprofit with over 16,000 supporters working for a healthier North Carolina coast.

A coastal North Carolina native from Carteret County, it was here in 1982 that Miller found his passion—working to keep the coast a great place to live, work and play. Forming partnerships and rallying volunteers, Miller grew the organization from a one-man (and a dog) venture in a back room of his house to three offices covering the North Carolina coast. With 30+ staffers and a multi-million dollar budget targeted for educating the public, advocating for a clean coast and restoring water quality and shorelines, the federation takes on projects, and partners with others in hundreds of endeavors that influence these priorities.

A graduate of University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, from which he holds undergraduate and master’s degrees, Miller was selected as a distinguished alumnus by the university in 2013 and honored with a 2015 “Hero of the Seas” award by the Peter Benchley Ocean Awards. Along with numerous other awards and recognitions, Miller is a founding board member of Restore America Estuaries and currently serves on the Board of Visitors for the UNC Institute for the Environment and as a board member on the Policy Committee for the Albemarle-Pamlico Estuary Partnership.

Since the launch of the federation, Miller has worked tirelessly to raise awareness of the threats to the coast and advocate for access to clean coastal waters. In bringing together like-minded folks from all walks of life, from fishers to paddlers to boaters and beachcombers, the federation under Miller’s leadership has succeeded in protecting and restoring tens of thousands of acres of North Carolina coast.


Lauren Kolodij

Deputy Director

Lauren heads up the federation’s low-impact development stakeholder outreach efforts. In addition she coordinates many of the federation’s conferences and coastal issue meetings. Lauren also serves as liaison to the federation board of directors. Working with the executive director, Lauren’s primary responsibility is to ensure implementation of federation program goals and objectives. She holds a Bachelor of Science in environmental conservation from N.C. State University. She has worked for the federation since 1992.

Laura Alexander

Director of Administrative Services

Laura, a native of Delaware, joined the federation in 2014. She is a lifelong participant in the promotion of coastal ecology, education and restoration. Laura is likely the voice on the other end of the phone when you call our offices and provides valuable assistance to everyone. Volunteering for the past several years on federation’s projects she has helped with rain garden construction and living shoreline plantings. She holds a Bachelor of Science in plant science pathology from the University of Delaware and has worked with a number of organizations including the Point Sur Lightstation and State Historic Park in Big Sur, California and the Fort Sill Children’s Museum in Fort Sill, Oklahoma.

Jennifer Allen

Assistant Editor, Coastal Review Online

Based at headquarters, Jenn creates content for Coastal Review Online and assists with managing the website and social media. She comes to CRO after having served as public information officer for the Town of Beaufort and almost 10 years at the Carteret County News-Times as the society editor. She has also written for Our State Magazine and other regional and statewide publications. Jenn has a bachelor’s degree in philosophy and religion from Appalachian State University and a bachelor’s degree in history from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. She earned her master’s degree in liberal studies from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington. Originally from Swansboro, she now lives in Morehead City.

Kelly Bodie

Membership Director

Kelly joined the federation in early 2015. Previously, Kelly served as the communications and technology manager for Kappa Delta Sorority National Headquarters in Memphis, Tennessee. Her primary responsibilities at the federation include membership development, engagement and communications. Originally from the coast of Virginia, she holds a Bachelor of Arts in fine art from the College of William and Mary.

Rachael Carlyle

Finance and Operations Director

Rachael joined the federation in March 2004 as the volunteer coordinator. She holds a Master of Arts in marine affairs and policy from the University of Miami and a Bachelor of Arts in environmental studies from Gettysburg College. She holds two certificates in federal grant management and currently manages the federation’s state and federal grant contracts, oversees facilities and administrative operations and runs the volunteer program.

Brittany Ellenberger

Finance Manager

Brittany, a native of Swansboro, joined the federation in 2016 as finance manager. She handles the day-to-day business operations for the federation, financial reporting, personnel and the management of the membership database. Brittany holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a concentration in accounting from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington, as well as a Master of Science degree in accounting. She previously worked as an accountant with Williams Scarborough Smith Gray, LLP in Jacksonville and as an auditor with KPMG, LLP in Raleigh.

Danielle Herman

Communications Specialist

Danielle joined the federation in May 2016. She works in the headquarters office, where she writes content for the website and social media, and her primary focus is to inform and update the public about the federation’s projects. Danielle graduated with a double major in English and history from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she first gained experience writing about the environment in her journalism classes and as a reporter for the student newspaper. Previously, she worked for the crop science department at North Carolina State University.

Mark Hibbs

Editor, Coastal Review Online

Mark Hibbs is the editor for Coastal Review Online. Working out of our main office in Ocean, Mark manages the CRO website and coordinates news coverage. A native of coastal North Carolina, Mark joined the federation June 1, 2015, after more than 20 years with the Carteret County News-Times, where he served as a staff writer and photographer, business editor and assistant to the editor. Mark has won numerous awards for his reporting, including various North Carolina Press Association awards and the U.S. Small Business Administration’s 2009 Small Business Journalist of the Year Award for the Southeast Region. Mark is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Wilmington.

Sarah King

Development Director

A native of Wilmington, Sarah first joined the federation in 2004 as a restoration scientist before relocating to Raleigh to work for the N.C. Clean Water Management Trust Fund. Sarah re-joined the federation in 2012 as part of the development team, with responsibilities including grant writing, foundation gifts and fundraising programs including major gifts, honorariums and planned giving. Sarah has bachelor’s degrees from Vanderbilt University in environmental science and psychology and a master’s degree in marine science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Caroline Lamb

Communications Specialist

Caroline works in the federation’s headquarters office to manage web and social media platforms and inform the public about priority projects. Caroline is from Elizabeth City, North Carolina, and joined the federation in 2016 after graduating from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a double major in journalism and environmental studies. Previously, she was an intern in a media lab, a special activities intern at the North Carolina Aquarium on Roanoke Island and a writer for UNC-Chapel Hill’s student newspaper.

Christine Miller

Assistant Director

Christine joined the staff in 2006. She’s responsible for government fundraising and staff and program planning for the federation’s three offices. She also manages special policy initiatives and programs from the main office and helps plan our communications strategies. She has worked on coastal policy and protection issues at the state, federal and nonprofit level for more than two decades. Christine holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Southern California and a master’s degree in marine policy and coastal management from the University of Delaware. She also likes to spend as much time in, on or under the water as possible.

Rose Rundell

Business Administrator

Rose joined the staff in 2003 as a part-time administrative assistant, a position which she held for 11 years. Originally from Ohio, she moved to Charleston, South Carolina in 1978. In keeping with her love for the coast, she moved to Carteret County in 1996. Environmental issues have always been among her interests and concerns, which brought her to the federation. In her role as business administrator, she’ll be assisting the business manager with membership database updating and reporting.

Catherine Snead

Director of Business Engagement

Catherine joined the federation in August 2014. She is a native of Wilmington but has lived the last 28 years in New Bern. Growing up on the coast, Catherine has come to enjoy boating, paddling and fishing. She is pleased to have the opportunity to help preserve the coast. Catherine has spent her career in sales and event planning, traveling the North Carolina coast, getting to know the towns and making contacts in various communities. She is based out of our headquarters in Ocean but will travel the region helping to promote the federation and increase our visibility through major fundraisers. Catherine holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from Queens College in Charlotte.

Ana Zivanovic-Nenadovic

Senior Policy Analyst

Ana joined the federation in 2011. She helps the executive director evaluate and devise policies, programs and guidance to achieve the federation’s goals and benchmarks. She also works on short and long-term strategic research and analysis projects. Ana develops, manages and supervises the graduate-level internship program. Ana has a Master of Business Administration in sustainable business from the University of Maine. She received her undergraduate degree from Universidad Rey Juan Carlos in Madrid, Spain. Ana also attended the University of Belgrade majoring in Hispanic philology before completing her undergraduate work in Spain.