Staff

Jasmine Bamlet

Jasmine Bamlet
Development Manager

Jasmine started with Sustain Charlotte right before the 2021 Charlotte Sustainability Awards. Before Sustain Charlotte, Jasmine was with the North Carolina Craft Brewers Guild, a state advocacy organization for the craft beer industry. Her work with the Guild focused on executing large-scale events, matching corporate members with engagement opportunities, and generally ensuring that members felt heard and valued. In Spring 2022, Jasmine is participating in the 10th Cohort of the Civic Leadership Academy, a course designed to help Charlotte residents take the next step in becoming community leaders and improving the quality of life in all of Charlotte’s neighborhoods. Jasmine also serves on the Martin Lakes Homeowners Association board and gets excited about bringing fun and resources to her community, including a Little Free Library (charter #139284). Contact Jasmine at [email protected].

Shannon Binns

Shannon Binns
Founder + Executive Director

Shannon is the founder and Executive Director of Sustain Charlotte. Before 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 served in the Peace Corps in Senegal, in AmeriCorps' National Civilian Community Corps, and helped found a tsunami relief organization in Thailand. He worked as an industrial engineer for Motorola, General Motors, and Trane in the for-profit sector. 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 previously served as a Supervisor on the Mecklenburg County Soil and Water Conservation Board, an adjunct professor in the Sustainable Technologies program at Central Piedmont Community College, and a Member of 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 [email protected].

Meg Fencil

Meg Fencil
Director of Engagement and Impact

Meg Fencil (she/her) joined Sustain Charlotte in 2014 and serves as the Director of Engagement & Impact. Meg educates, engages, and unites the community through partnerships and programs to increase equitable transportation choices and promote smart growth in the Charlotte area. Prior to her current role, Meg earned a Ph.D. in Marine Sciences from the University of Texas at Austin, designed and implemented field research projects in Croatia and Japan, and taught project-based mathematics and science to elementary and high school students. She enjoys uniting her lifelong passion for science with the multidisciplinary work of advancing sustainability to support a healthy environment and better quality of life for all. Contact Meg at [email protected].

Jessica Freely

Jessica Freely
Director of Operations 

As our Director of Operations, Jessica coordinates human resources, office management/technology, financial management, and 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 [email protected]

Tarik Kiley

Tarik Kiley
Charlotte Regional Transportation Coalition Coordinator

As Charlotte Regional Transportation Coalition Coordinator, Tarik coordinates the Charlotte Regional Transportation 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 since 1994. Contact Tarik at [email protected].

Elina Shepard

Elina Shepard
Program Manager 

Elina joined Sustain Charlotte team in September 2021. Before starting her employment with Sustain Charlotte Elina received a Ph.D. degree in Geography and Urban Regional Analysis from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Elina conducted a mix-method study to learn more about the impacts of Transit-Oriented Development on local small businesses in several US cities, including Charlotte. Before joining the doctoral program at UNCC, Elina received a Master’s Degree in Geography from Miami University of Ohio. As a graduate student, Elina conducted a research project in Chicago, IL, studying the planning process and the associated challenges of the Bus Rapid Transit line on Ashland Avenue. Elina is a recipient of multiple graduate school awards, including AAG’s 2021 Kauffman Runner-Up Award for Best Student Paper for Geography and Entrepreneurship, and AAG’s 2017 Transportation Geography Specialty Group Outstanding Master’s Thesis Award. Before going to graduate school, Elina worked as a quality & risk consultant at Ernst & Young. Elina is a member of the American Association of Geographers, as well Charlotte’s chapter of Women’s Transportation Seminar. She has been living in Charlotte since 2016. Contact Elina at [email protected] .

Eric Zaverl

Eric Zaverl
Urban Design Specialist

Eric is our Urban Design Specialist 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 [email protected].