In conjunction with the 2023 SCNPS Annual Meeting scheduled for November 4th, 2023 in Columbia, SC, the Society will hold elections for state officers. The State Board of Directors puts forth the following candidates for election to the SCNPS State Board of Directors:
State President – Dan Whitten: Dan has been a member of the SCNPS since 2009 and has served as president of the Upstate chapter from 2014-2018 and is currently serving on that board as field trip chair. He is a state certified Master Naturalist and assists as volunteer with the Upstate MN classes. Dan graduated from Auburn University in 1975 with a BS degree and majored in wildlife management. He worked 30 years at Michelin before retiring in 2008. He enjoys leading pontoon boat tours on Lake Jocassee for Jocassee Lake Tours. Dan and Sherrie have been married 41 years and have 2 daughters and 5 grandchildren.
State Vice-President – Frank Holleman: Frank is a long-time member of the SC Native Plant Society. He has served for years on the Board of the Upstate Chapter, working on advocacy, plant rescues, exotic removal work days, and plant sales. Frank also serves as President of Naturaland Trust, a Greenville-based land trust which has conserved properties to protect Bunched Arrowhead, Dwarf-flower Heartleaf, Oconee Bell, Rocky Shoals Spider Lily, and Carolina Bays. Frank is a senior attorney with the Southern Environmental Law Center and has represented the Society in administrative and court proceedings to protect native plants and their habitat.
Secretary – Samantha Porzelt: Samantha is a Water Resources Extension Agent in Charleston, Dorchester, and Berkeley counties. She joined Clemson Extension in 2021 after 8 years of working as a Biologist in non-profit public aquariums. As part of her role with Clemson Extension, she co-coordinates the Ashley Cooper Stormwater Education Consortium and coordinates Clemson’s Master Rain Gardener hybrid course. She is a current student of Clemson University’s Wildlife and Fisheries Resources master’s program. Samantha has been a member of SCNPS since 2020 and is also currently serving as the SCNPS Lowcountry Chapter President.
Treasurer – Tierney Rosenstock: Tierney grew up on her parent’s cut flower and Christmas tree farm in upstate NY, going on to spend eight years working in greenhouse crop production in retail garden centers in NY and FL. She holds a BS in Plant, Soil, and Insect Sciences from the University of Massachusetts and a Masters of Science in Environmental Studies and Conservation Biology from Antioch University. Through her upbringing and education, she developed an intrinsic passion for environmental conservation and the role native plants play in functioning ecosystems. Tierney is a founding member of the Grand Strand Chapter of the SCNPS and works as a GIS analyst with Horry County Government.
Additional Nominations: Nominations are still being accepted for these positions. Additional nominations must be made by a member in good standing and submitted no later than October 10, 2023 to be included on the final printed ballot. Please submit nominations in writing to Katie Ellis at [email protected] or via postal mail to SCNPS President at PO Box 1311, Chester, SC 29706.
Absentee Ballots: Absentee ballots may be requested by any member in good standing not attending the annual meeting. The request must be made in writing to Katie Ellis at the same email or postal mail address noted above. Absentee ballots MUST be completed and returned to Katie no later than October 31, 2023. A ballot box will be available at the annual meeting.
The Board of Directors and Nominating Committee are still seeking persons interested in serving as Membership Committee Chair. This is not an elected position, but a volunteer position requiring Board of Directors approval/appointment. Should you be interested in serving or need additional information about the positions, please contact Mitzi Stewart at [email protected].