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Board + Advisors

Board – Magic Squad of Vision and Power

Ian Thomas – President 

Ian came to Pittsboro in 2006 after rumors of biodiesel activity south of Chapel Hill had made it down to Sarasota, FL. Turns out the rumors were true and after many a greasy Tuesday night, he served on the board for for the Piedmont Biofuels Co-op until 2009.

Ian is currently a Data Scientist at RTI International and interested in using data processing to improve substance abuse research, energy, and agriculture. He is believes strongly in the Abundance Foundation’s ability to educate and grow it’s community and is committed to spreading knowledge of sustainable practices.

Charlotte Vetter, Treasurer

Charlotte is a wise elder.  To Abundance, she brings gentle joy, carries sage wisdom, and serves as an anchor of honesty – keeping us anchored.  To all who meet her, she is an inspiration of change and hope.  Charlotte is ever curious, an eternal lover, and notetaker of the soul.

David Del Vecchio, Vice President

David’s passion for sustainability and his desire to improve the human endeavor on the planet led him, 20 years ago, to drop out of an engineering graduate program and move to Sustenance Farm in Bear Creek, Chatham County, an epicenter of small-scale organic agriculture. Choosing healthy living and relationships, the goal of local food production was the obvious next step. Permaculture principles made an easy transition from small-scale food production to solar electric installations. A brief stint living in Carrboro, circa 2004, David promoted sustenance and permaculture by assisting to get the MLK community garden started and formed the Guerilla Grafters whose mission was to not just to teach the ancient art of grafting but to transform the Commons’ plantings of Bradford pears into food bearing Asian pear producers. David teaches solar design and installation courses at the NC Solar Center in Raleigh and Solar Energy International in Colorado. Living a life of blessings and bounty, David relishes in shared inspiration enjoying the abundance of our fruitful life provided by Gaia. He lives off-grid tucked in the rich and abundant forests of Chatham County near the Haw River, co-creating paradise.

Laurie Cone, Secretary

Laurie Cone recently moved from downtown Raleigh to an intentional community in Randolph County to pursue a dream of living more communally and more connected to the natural world. She loved her previous work as an environmental scientist then as a high school teacher, but now is thrilled to be homesteading and sharing good clean energy with the local electrical grid. She’s been known to spend a lot of time pondering and trying to figure a way through our current crisis of climate disruption and environmental degradation. She’s also a huge fan of Abundance and what they’re doing to bring people together to understand and solve problems, in their unique way that shows resilience and joy go together!

Patrick McGarry, Board Member

Patrick McGarry has been a mail clerk at Blue Cross/Blue Shield for over 10 years. He enjoys health, fitness, nutrition and music research. He’s served for over 6 years on the Orange County Agriculture Preservation Board, and volunteered at many events for nonprofit organizations. He is committed to Abundance NC, because he believes in taking care of the environment by being a local sustainable farm consumer.

Angie Parrish, Board Member 

Angela Parrish is a long time supporter and volunteer with Abundance. She began with leading the set up crew for Pepper Festival which involves small feats of heroism. From there she participated in Death Faire and joined the board of directors. Angi has such a vast amount of credentials that we would have to dedicate an entire website to her. Let’s just say she is eclectic, resourceful, multi-talented and has a heart of gold.

Marcela Slade, Board Member

Marcela Slade lives in Carrboro, NC. She is a multi-cultural artist, designer, curator, teacher, and an advocate for love and culture. As an artist, her drawings, painting and illustrations can be categorized as Expressionist / Instrumentalist and use distortion as a statement about human nature. The graphic quality in her pieces reflect her educational background at the Savannah College of Art & Design. Marcela runs sladesign, a line of fashion and accessories designed and fabricated by the artist. She has had several fashion/art shows locally and internationally since 2000. Currently she is an adjunct professor at NC State and give private lessons at her home/studio. She also serves on the Orange County Arts Commission Board and is Curator for Towns of Carrboro and Smelt Art Gallery in Pittsboro.

Sarah Pohlig, Board Member

Sarah first landed on Abundance when she walked the catwalk for Arlo Estill’s Sustainable Fashion Show. The people at Abundance are her favorite kind, the sort that seem to inhabit Chatham especially – creative, innovative, fun, riotous, and borderline insane. She was acquainted with some of the board as a Wet Hot American (put on by the infinitely interesting Laurel Shulman), and tangentially with others. She works as a programmer in her very own IT consultancy, and dreams all day about sailing. She has the sweetest daughter in the whole wide world and the lovingest honey. She’s interested in the archetypal psychologists, Chatham county, building tiny houses, home reno projects, poetry, the Stoics, her shadow, and how to become the most excellent human being it’s possible to be.

We’d love to have you!

There’s so much to do in this electric field of creativity and community resilience. We need your passion and ideas. First step, fill out an application and hit “send!” We can’t wait to read about you and your vision.

Advisory Board

Tara Allden, Advisory

Tara and her family (husband, Andrew, daughter, Kathleen, and a variety of cats and dogs) found home in Pittsboro more than 10 years ago, moving northward from South Carolina. While at home in Pittsboro, Tara built upon her legal and scientific backgrounds, establishing a career in ecosystem restoration via the business of wetland and stream mitigation banking. Picturing herself as a tenacious kudzu vine* with a root crown firmly established in Pittsboro, Tara et al have returned to Columbia, South Carolina, where Tara is working as a natural resources specialist within a national consulting engineering firm, Kimley-Horn & Associates. It is a vision of a world where natural systems are integrated into our built environment that inspires Tara’s daily work. Because you truly will get everything you wanted or something better, Tara is excited to be a part of Abundance and spreading the word of community, fun and local goodness!
*Note about kudzu:  Though it is invasive and perhaps noxious, it is green, beautiful and edible. And its growth pattern and tenacity are remarkable.

Judge Allen Baddour really getting the good shot of the parade.

Allen Baddour, Advisory

Allen is a  Superior Court Judge for the Chatham Orange District.   Allen has shown a dedication to both service and justice throughout his career. He is a past President of the District 15B Bar Association, and serves as a liaison for the Superior Court Judges to committees with the N.C. Administrative Office of the Court and the N.C. Bar Association. He serves on Boards with the Chatham YMCA and the Elliott Road branch of the State Employees Credit Union, and coaches basketball. He and his wife Holly are often seen chasing their two sons, Henry and Jack, all over.

Emily and David with Fiddlehead Farm @ Chatham Mills Farmers Market

Emily Boynton, Advisory

Emily is the former Associate Director of SEEDS, a non-profit community garden in Durham, NC. While working with the youth participating in the DIG and SEEDlings programs Emily developed a passion for educating kids (and anyone who will listen) about healthy eating, where our food comes from and the importance of sustainable food production.  Now she spends her days trying to get her two boys to eat anything, all while taking care of 4 donkeys, 7 chickens, 2 dogs, and Fiddlehead Farm.  Emily and her husband David are big proponents of renewable energy, supporting it both at home (in many ways including solar hot water and PV) and through David’s work with Southern Energy Management.

Kristy Yule, Advisory

Former Board President, Kristy has an extensive and diverse background in utilizing consumer insights to improve business performance and help brands better connect with customers. Kristy recently founded 10K Marketing, a marketing consulting company established to provide strategic advisory services to small and mid-size businesses that strive to increase awareness, sales and solve product issues. Prior to founding 10K Marketing, Kristy was the Regional VP of Marketing for Newland Communities where she worked for over 10 years leading divisional marketing teams in creating incredible places for people to live. In addition to the Abundance Foundation, Kristy also serves on the Board of the Transforming Hope Ministries. Kristy has a BA in International Business from the University of Georgia. She and Sean are the parents of Hannah and Olivia and reside in Briar Chapel.

Lyle Estill and Shannon McSwiney, Pepper King & Queen 2011.

Lyle Estill, Advisory

Lyle is the author of Small is Possible,  Biodiesel Power, Industrial Evolution and the publisher of Energy Blog. Small Stories, Big Changes is his latest.  He has been with us from the beginning, and is well known for his fanatical interest in renewable energy, conservation and our local foodshed.  Lyle is loved for his new ideas, his vision and for getting things done.  He helps run Piedmont Biofuels and has a passion for incubating new farms.  He also just harvested his first 10 lbs. of local bananas.

Sami Grover with Bob Armantrout leading a mushroom innoculation workshop.

Sami Grover, Advisory

Sami is Co-Creative Director of The Change, a worker owned agency offering brand strategy and design for good-for-the-world businesses and non-profits. He is also a daily contributor to TreeHugger.com. Originally from the UK, he once vowed never to fly again.  Then he fell in love with someone on the other side of the Atlantic.  He believes flexibility is a central tennet of sustainability.

Tami, Maria, Rebekah; 3 women of sustainability.

Rebekah Hren, Advisory

Rebekah is a licensed electrician, designing and installing solar electric (photovoltaic) and solar hot water systems and is also a North Carolina solar installer.  A talented organic gardener, she specializes in native plants and flowers as well as uncommon fruit trees.  Rebekah has taught solar electric design and installation classes for organizations including Solar Energy International, Appalachian State University, and the NC Solar Center, and has been a speaker on zero energy buildings at the Solar Power  International conference.  She is a coauthor of a book on renewable energy titled “The Carbon-Free Home: 36 Remodeling Projects to Help Kick the Fossil-Fuel Habit.

Kristy with the priority dots @ Board Retreat in Durham.

Maria Kingery, Advisory

Maria is founder and owner of Southern Energy Management, North Carolina’s largest sustainable energy services company. She is dedicated to building a top-notch team of sustainable energy professionals who are passionate about creating solutions to meet the global climate change challenge.

Maria’s professional background is in sales and marketing, primarily in the commercial printing industry. Like her husband, Bob Kingery, she worked with Burt’s Bees in 1995 as retail operations manager and opened their first store in Carrboro, NC.
Maria has a BA in English Literature from NC State. She and Bob are the devoted parents of 5-year-old Zachary.  The Abundance Foundation was thrilled to have her join the board with her enthusiasm, great ideas and her boundless energy.

Laurel Shulman, Advisory

Laurel is a cheese maker, writer, dancer, permaculturist, lover of lists and would make everything with her hands if she had the time. Abundance NC appeals to her wild sense of gratitude for the North Carolina community and all of the experiences in it. Originally from Florida, she has lived in North Carolina for almost 6 years and spends most of her time in Durham with her man and dog, who has recently learned how to “pound it.”