Executive Director, Emily Ellison
Emily Ellison, a sixth-generation Georgian, and her family had been spending holidays and vacations on St. Simons for nearly four decades before moving to the island permanently in 2015. A former journalist, book editor, and writer, Emily has been a non-profit executive for more than twenty years. She was the visionary and co-founder of the Atlanta Girls’ School, a 6th through 12th grade independent college preparatory school for girls that opened its doors in 2000. She served for five years as the President and Executive Director of Literacy Action, Inc., a non-profit organization in Atlanta providing under-educated adults with reading, math, computer, and life skills. She also held the position as CEO of the YWCA of Greater Atlanta, a nearly 120-year-old Atlanta institution serving children, women, and families through numerous programs and annual projects. Emily is the author of several published books, including the award-winning novel, The Picture Makers. She is married to Chuck Perry, a retired journalist, editor, and book publisher, and they are the proud parents of one adult daughter. Nearly all her favorite activities include being surrounded by nature – gardening, hiking, biking, kayaking, and occasionally playing a bad game of golf. Although she had planned to retire upon moving to St. Simons, one trip to Cannon’s Point Preserve won her heart, and she is honored to be a member of the Land Trust team.
Finance, Operations & Stewardship Director, Sue Tuttle
Before moving to the Golden Isles from Connecticut in 2005, Sue ran her own full-service bookkeeping company and has maintained long-standing relationships with her original clients along with new ones she developed in the St. Simons area. She started as a part-time contractor for the Land Trust in 2008 and was hired full-time in 2011. In addition to accounting, Sue has worked in the construction, real estate, property management, civil engineering, and manufacturing industries as well as in the non-profit sector providing the perfect professional background for her positions overseeing land stewardship and finance at the Land Trust. Since a young girl, she has always loved gardening, hiking, biking, kayaking, horseback riding, and being close to the beach. These passions are also in keeping with the important roles she holds on the Land Trust team. For Sue, the only thing better than being outdoors is spending time with her children and grandchildren in Las Vegas, NV, and Charleston, SC.
Cannon's Point Preserve Manager, Stephanie Knox
Stephanie was born and raised in Narberth, Pennsylvania. Her love of the outdoors began at a young age when she enjoyed camping, fishing and hiking with her family. She attended the Delaware Valley University in Doylestown, PA, where she studied wildlife Conservation and Management and obtained her Bachelor of Science degree in Animal Biotechnology and Conservation. In May 2010, she began an internship with Little St. Simons Island conducting breeding monitoring of the American Oystercatcher. This position evolved into the Ecological Management Technician at LSSI, and she fell in love with coastal Georgia. In January 2014, Stephanie began her current position as Preserve Manager at Cannon’s Point Preserve with the St. Simons Land Trust. Her responsibilities include overseeing a wide array of scientific research projects, natural and cultural resource management, and community education. Stephanie works alongside numerous private and public partners who assist with making the Preserve a model for conservation and a platform for education through the ecological management plan and the practices that take place on site. Stephanie sits on the board of another local nonprofit, Coastal WildScapes, and volunteers with the SSI Sea Turtle Project as part of the Georgia Sea Turtle Cooperative.
membership manager, Dalia Patterson-Charles
Dalia, a mother of two daughters and a University of Florida graduate, is a Florida native who relocated to the Golden Isles in 2015. Originally from Juno Beach, she lived for 31 years in Deland, FL. In her previous life, she taught middle and high school social sciences and was a reader for the College Board. Putting her history background to good use, she spent two years as a museum and historic district tour guide on Jekyll Island. The organizational and communication skills she developed as a teacher are invaluable in the multiple roles she plays at the Land Trust, including never forgetting a supporter’s name. Ironically, during the 1970’s, her grandfather lived on St. Simons, and she used to visit the island as a teen. Life has come full circle, and Dalia is happy to be living in beautiful southeast Georgia with her husband, Fred. She is a gardener extraordinaire and a fabulous cook who often treats the SSLT staff to delicious pots of homemade soup.
COMMUnications and Outreach Manager, Raleigh Kitchen
Raleigh is a native of St. Simons, with a passion to protect it. She attended the University of Georgia where she obtained her Bachelor of Science in Ecology. From 2012-2018, Raleigh worked as a Naturalist for the Sea Island Company, where she led thousands of nature tours for guests and members. She also managed the sea turtle conservation program on the island. Raleigh began working with the Land Trust in October of 2018. This transition was a natural one as she grew up with a father who has worked for and led nonprofits for as long as she can remember. Raleigh served on the board of Coastal WildScapes from 2014-2020 and is an active volunteer with the Georgia Sea Turtle Cooperative. She brings experience in wildlife education, membership relations, and communications. Raleigh loves capturing the beauty of coastal Georgia. If she isn’t at the office, you might find her with a camera in the heart of a maritime forest or at the edge of the marsh or beach chasing sunsets. She is married to her elementary school sweetheart and recently welcomed to the world their first child-a daughter. Raleigh enjoys spending as much time as possible with her family and their dog.
PENNIES FOR PRESERVATION Manager, Sara Baker
Sara has been living the southern coastal lifestyle for more than a decade. She relocated from Michigan where she received her Bachelor of Arts in Communications, Advertising minor from Oakland University in Rochester. When her family grew by two (twins) she felt the need to do more to ensure that her children and generations to come could continue to enjoy the beautiful greenspaces and live oaks that make St. Simons so special. Sara was a founding member of the Land Trust Ambassador group in 2014 where she utilized her 15 years of corporate marketing experience to increase land conservation awareness with young generations. From there, she became the Business Partnership Manager, creating the Pennies for Preservation program, and soliciting and managing sponsorships for the Land Trust. With strong community and business support, the Pennies for Preservation program was awarded the Partner of the Year in 2019 at the Golden Isles Hospitality Celebration.
Volunteer and Oyster roast event coordinator, Marty Moody
Marty’s concern for land conservation and community planning brought her to the Land Trust in 2011. Since then, she has volunteered, worked as an administrative assistant, and now is Volunteer and Oyster Roast Coordinator. During her tenure in these positions, the annual Oyster Roast has increased from 400 attendees to more than 1,300. Having grown up in California, exploring many of the state and national parks with her family, Marty has always had a love for the outdoors. She is committed to fitness and enjoys daily gym classes, hiking, biking, and kayaking. She attended Modesto Junior College and Western Kentucky University. Marty has been a member of P.E.O. International for 18 years. She and her husband Berry and their three sons are true citizens of the world, having lived in Australia, South Africa, and Saudi Arabia as Berry worked on various construction projects on nearly every continent. They continue to enjoy traveling and cherish time with family.