The Ebb & Flow BLOG

Board and staff updates for fiscal year 2024

As we embark on a new fiscal year, Lowcountry Land Trust is excited to share some important updates regarding our dedicated board members and exceptional staff.

Several esteemed members of Lowcountry Land Trust’s Board of Trustees, all of whom have played an invaluable role in guiding the organization toward its current achievements, will serve in leading positions this year. Tom Hutto will become Past Chair, Bob Baldwin Chair, Bob Perry Vice Chair, Robbie Hollings Treasurer, and Beth Settle Secretary. We thank Ran Stoney for his Board service, wisdom, and dedication that left an indelible mark on Lowcountry Land Trust over the years.

Left: Wes Carter, Atlantic Packaging; Right: Marissa Sams, Marissa Sams Events

At the same time, we warmly welcome Wes Carter and Marissa Sams to our board, individuals whose unique expertise and shared vision for conservation will undoubtedly drive us forward with renewed vigor. We cannot wait to leverage their invaluable insights and fresh perspectives that promise to elevate our conservation efforts to new heights.

Wes Carter is the third-generation leader of Atlantic Packaging, a company founded in 1946 by Wes’s grandfather, W. Horace Carter, in Tabor City, North Carolina. Atlantic’s rich culture and community history are ingrained in Wes’ personal story and professional career. Atlantic is the largest privately held packaging company in North America, now expanding across 25 locations in the USA and the Caribbean. It is also the most technical resource in sustainable packaging, supporting the needs of major consumer product companies across virtually every manufacturing vertical. Atlantic uses technology and comprehensive programs to reduce and optimize packaging and achieve sustainable value. As the president of Atlantic Packaging, Wes is the driving force behind the company’s sustainability initiative and its commitment to making real and lasting change. As a lifelong surfer, traveler, and outdoorsman, Wes founded A New Earth Project in 2020 to build a global coalition of athletes, industry-leading brands, and innovative packaging suppliers seeking to create, scale, and advocate for sustainable packaging solutions for brands of all sizes. This initiative aims to eliminate plastic pollution from oceans, lakes, and rivers. 

During her 20 years in the events industry, Marissa Sams witnessed many organizations, stakeholders, and experiences for diverse audiences produced by planners who needed more lens, sensitivity, and context to support their clients fully. Marissa Sams Events was created to serve this overlooked market and to help its clients advance their social and cultural agendas. Marissa has managed events on five continents, hosted heads of state and celebrities, and orchestrated the entire spectrum of events – from intimate birthday gatherings to tech-company rallies for thousands. She nurtures a diverse portfolio of world-changing clients and has deep experience with the space industry, global health initiatives, and cultural institutions. Her public diplomacy work at the US Department of State planning leadership forums domestically and abroad contributes to her event production experience. Sams believes that the land and communities we occupy have history, stories, and trauma that need to be unpacked, discussed, and healed. This healing and dialogue can begin using nature as its conduit. The Lowcountry Land Trust’s work aligns with her personal mission to leverage the power of place as a medium to bring lasting change to the communities the organization serves. 

Left: Marlo Mytty, Conservation Operations Manager; Right: Krista Schmidt, Stewardship Associate

In addition to our board’s changes, we are thrilled to announce some exciting staff transitions within the organization. Our team at Lowcountry Land Trust is truly the backbone of our success, and we are delighted to witness the growth and evolution of our dedicated staff members. We have witnessed their unwavering commitment to our mission and are confident that their continued contributions will be invaluable in our pursuit of protecting the natural beauty of the Lowcountry.

Congratulations to Victoria Bock, who has been promoted from Communications Manager to Communications Director, and Kathy Kowalchick, who has been promoted from Stewardship Program Manager to Stewardship Program Director. We also welcome Marlo Mytty, Conservation Operations Manager, and Krista Schmidt, Stewardship Associate, to Lowcountry Land Trust’s growing team.

Marlo Mytty joined Lowcountry Land Trust in 2023 and is the Conservation Operations Manager supporting the organization’s land protection team. Marlo holds a Bachelor of Science in Forest Resources from the University of Washington, where she studied forest ecology with an emphasis on wildlife and environmental horticulture. Before working for Lowcountry Land Trust, Marlo worked for The Nature Conservancy in WA state, supporting conservation programs, land protection, and stewardship, as well as for Conservation NW, where she coordinated the annual fundraising auction and a remote camera monitoring program that documented wildlife in the Cascades. She also has experience in environmental consulting, wetland, and restoration work. Marlo loves the marshes, forests, and abundant wildlife of the Lowcountry and is passionate about preserving this stunning landscape. Her favorite activities include backpacking and birdwatching, and she is very passionate about trees, especially preserving large urban trees which are quickly disappearing. 

Krista Schmidt joined Lowcountry Land Trust in 2023 and is the Stewardship Associate supporting the organization’s land stewardship team. Krista holds a Bachelor of Science from the University of California, Davis, majoring in Wildlife, Fish, and Conservation Biology and minoring in Landscape Restoration. Upon graduating, she moved to the Lowcountry, where she fell in love with the natural beauty of the marshes and forests. Before joining Lowcountry Land Trust, Krista worked in various conservation roles, including environmental education; pelagic fisheries research and regulatory compliance; and invasive species surveys for the Clemson/USDA Asian long-horned beetle project. Krista has a strong passion for the environment and is excited to help steward open spaces and connect with landowners to protect the legacy of the Lowcountry.

Our mission remains steadfast throughout this period: to protect land and water forever, nurture relationships between people and place, and connect the community to conservation. These changes will strengthen our organization and enable us to impact land conservation in our region more significantly. As with our board and staff, your support of Lowcountry Land Trust is vital to our mission’s success, and we couldn’t be more grateful to have you by our side.