Shannon Binns, Founder + Executive Director
Shannon is the founder and Executive Director of Sustain Charlotte. Prior to moving to Charlotte in 2007, Shannon worked at The Nature Conservancy in Washington, DC where he was part of their climate change science and policy team. Shannon has also served as an agroforestry volunteer with the Peace Corps in Senegal, helped found a tsunami relief organization in Thailand, and served communities across the Northeast US as a member of AmeriCorps. In the private sector, Shannon has worked as an industrial engineer for Motorola, General Motors, and Trane. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Engineering from Iowa State University and a Master of Public Administration in Environmental Science and Policy from Columbia University. He has served as a Supervisor on the Mecklenburg County Soil and Water Conservation Board and as an adjunct professor in the Sustainable Technologies program at Central Piedmont Community College. In December 2014 he was named one of "Seven to Watch in 2015" by the Charlotte Observer and in January 2015 he was named one of the Charlotte Business Journal's "40 Under 40".
Meg Fencil, Education + Outreach Program Director
Meg educates, engages and unites the community through our programs and is actively involved in fostering partnerships within the community and assessing program outcomes. Prior to her work with Sustain Charlotte, Meg designed and implemented original research programs as a U.S. Fulbright grant recipient in Croatia and a National Science Foundation East Asia and Pacific Summer Institute Fellow in Japan. While completing her dissertation research in coastal south Texas, she advocated for responsible coastal management, protection of freshwater flows to estuaries and sustainable fisheries. Meg holds a B.S. in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from University of Connecticut and a Ph.D. in Marine Sciences from The University of Texas at Austin. She taught project-based mathematics to 9th grade students at West Charlotte High School through Project L.I.F.T. and Ten80 Foundation. An experienced educator at both the university and K-12 level, Meg enjoys developing educational materials and reaching diverse groups of stakeholders in relevant and innovative ways.
Branyn Calegar, Communications + Development Director
Branyn is primarily responsible for advancing the communications and development objectives of Sustain Charlotte. She writes communications pieces and develops marketing plans and development goals for specific projects, programs and events. Branyn's knowledge and ability to communicate effectively about issues of sustainability was gained through earning her B.A. in Sustainable Development at Appalachian State University, working as a Community Outreach Intern for EcoVillage Ithaca, and later, her study abroad experience living in an EcoVillage in Scotland and study in five major cities in China. Branyn moved to Charlotte in 2013 to bring her knowledge and passion for sustainable development into practice through obtaining her M.A. in Urban Design at the University of North Carolina, Charlotte. Through her graduate study and work as a graduate assistant, Branyn composed several research and design reports including planning for challenged urban neighborhoods, threatened coastal cities, transit-oriented development, and rapid urbanization in China. Branyn has since been involved in several planning and development initiatives in Charlotte, in an effort to explore creative ways to encourage the sustainable growth of Charlotte and the surrounding region.