Staff

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 country as a member of AmeriCorps' National Civilian Community Corps. 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. He currently serves on the North Carolina Advisory Board for Environmental Defense Fund (EDF). In 2015, he was named one of Seven to Watch by the Charlotte Observer and one of the Charlotte Business Journal's 40 Under 40. In 2018, Charlotte's NPR affiliate, WFAE, named him one of The Most Powerful Voices in Charlotte. Contact Shannon at shannon.binns@sustaincharlotte.org.

Meg Fencil
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. Contact Meg at meg.fencil@sustaincharlotte.org.

Jessica Freely
Operations Manager

As our Operations Manager, Jessica coordinates human resources, office management/technology, financial management and team communication for the Sustain Charlotte team. A recent arrival to the Charlotte metro area, Jessica was previously the Director of Operations for the Adult Congenital Heart Association (ACHA), a national health advocacy organization based in Philadelphia, PA. Prior to ACHA, she led regional strategy and operations for the Philadelphia office of the Nielsen Company, an S&P 500 global management company with operations in over 100 countries. There, she was twice recognized with awards in Outstanding Teamwork and Leadership. Passionate about building internal structures and support, so that organizations can fulfill their work and mission, Jessica is thrilled to be part of Sustain Charlotte.  Contact Jessica at jessica.freely@sustaincharlotte.org.

Mary Catherine Freeman
Development Associate

As Development Associate, Mary Catherine blends her passion for civic and social responsibility with her eagerness to invigorate the organization’s financial development initiatives. Mary Catherine comes to Sustain Charlotte with a rich background in non-profit marketing and fundraising. After graduating from Elon University with a Bachelor of Arts in Strategic Communications, she has devoted the majority of her career to working with vulnerable and underserved populations. Mary Catherine has worked for non-profits and NGOs both locally in North Carolina and on an international scale. Most recently, Mary Catherine served as the Development Director at Present Age Ministries, a non-profit organization working to combat human trafficking across the Charlotte region. During this time Mary Catherine cultivated strong organizational, interpersonal, and leadership skills through event planning, donor recruitment, and system development. Mary Catherine is thrilled to be a part of the Sustain Charlotte team as they strive to make Charlotte a more livable, accessible, and unified city for all people. 

Tarik Kiley
Transit Coalition Coordinator

As transit coalition coordinator, Tarik coordinates this coalition working on initiatives advocating for transportation improvements while building relationships with neighborhood partners. He studied at UNC Charlotte, earning a BA, with a double major in Political Science and Africana Studies. In graduate school at UNC Charlotte, he studied Geography with an emphasis in Community Planning, earning an MA. He has worked previously for the former nonprofit Hands On Charlotte in an AmeriCorps role, as the economic opportunity program manager.  A transplant from Baltimore, MD, he has lived in Charlotte, NC since 1994. Contact Tarik at tarik.kiley@sustaincharlotte.org.

 

Siboney Winter
Community Engagement Coordinator

Siboney is responsible for recruiting, training, and scheduling volunteers to assist with program work and outreach events. Prior to her time with Sustain Charlotte she worked for the American Association of the Advancement of Science in Washington D.C. as a web development and marketing intern. Siboney's educational background starts in Washington D.C. at American University where she obtained a BA in International Relations with a primary focus in environmental sustainability and global health. Within her undergraduate experience, she participated in a study abroad program in Australia where she cultivated skills in coastal urban planning and geomorphology. This past year she has completed her Masters of Science in Environmental Sustainability overseas at the University College of London. There she did her master's thesis on the sustainability of marine ecotourism practices specifically scuba diving tourism in Malta. Passionate about ecotourism and renewable energy her research has fueled her passion toward her role here at Sustain Charlotte. Contact Siboney at siboney.winter@sustaincharlotte.org.

Eric Zaverl
Bike + Walk Program Coordinator

Eric is our Bike + Walk Program Coordinator and has been a strong advocate for walkable, bikeable, and transit-oriented design in Charlotte's neighborhoods for years. His main area of focus is working with multiple City and County departments and committees, including the Ordinance Advisory Committee on pushing the boundaries of urban design to meet the challenges that face Charlotte. Before his work with Sustain Charlotte, Eric was President of the South End Neighborhood. While president, he advocated for more green space in the neighborhood, safe crossings on the Rail Trail and the creation of the two corridor studies on South Boulevard and South Tryon Street. After leaving the neighborhood association, he attended the University of North Carolina Charlotte. While there Eric received his Masters in Urban Design and finished at the top of his class. Eric has studied Urban Design abroad in Brazil and is a member of the Congress for the New Urbanism. Contact Eric at eric.zaverl@sustaincharlotte.org.

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