Board of Directors

Alec Robinette, Chair
Founder, Elemental Financial
Alec is the founder of Elemental Financial, a comprehensive financial planning, and financial coaching company for musicians, artists, and anyone that is challenging the status quo. He loves nothing more than spending time with his wife (Stephanie), their two sons (Cyrus and Zachary), and their dog (Prana). Alec finds piece of mind on long walks or hikes, in the garden, and in the kitchen. He has a passion for live music, the pursuit of wisdom, and teaching his young children to be compassionate to all beings and the earth.
Lindsay Batchelor, Vice Chair
Sustainability Director, Duke University
Lindsay Batchelor is the Sustainability Director at Duke University, with more than 17 years of institutional sustainability experience. Prior to joining Duke, she spent two years as the Sustainability Director at Wake Forest University, and 17 years in various roles at NC State University helping catalyze, develop, and lead the evolution of their Sustainability Office and programs to infuse sustainability across the institution. Lindsay’s expertise spans a diversity of topics including but not limited to climate action planning, campus as lab and curriculum, sports sustainability, renewable energy, waste reduction and diversion, food insecurity, environmental justice, and student leadership. Lindsay also facilitates an ACC Sports Sustainability Team with representatives across the ACC seeking to use the power of sports as a driver for positive climate impact. Lindsay has a B.S. in Environmental Studies from UNC-Asheville and lives in Summerfield, NC with her husband Brian and their two daughters (Ella, age 14 and June, age 11). In her free time, Lindsay loves to watch college basketball and football, cook, coach youth soccer, make pottery and take long walks at the lake.
Jessica Fisher, Secretary
Program Coordinator, Crosby Scholars

Jessica is a native of Winston-Salem, and a 2014 graduate of Wake Forest University, holding Bachelor’s degrees in Sociology and History. She earned her Master’s degree in Crime and Criminal Justice from the University of Cincinnati. She has worked for 8 years with the Crosby Scholars Community Partnership, assisting, and serving middle and high school students in grades 6-10 with future college and career preparation. She enjoys forming positive relationships with her students and has a passion for helping people realize their potential. She is the co-owner of a family business, “The WS Oil Lady”, where she and her mother sell affordable and natural fragrances and other personal care products. Along with social media management, she does marketing and branding for the company, and also serves clients at both store locations. In her free time, she enjoys playing with her pit bull, Cash, and watching YouTube videos to learn new things.

Steve Zucker, Treasurer
Healthcare Compliance Executive, Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist

Steve is a healthcare compliance professional with over 20 years of experience helping healthcare
operators comply with relevant laws and regulations. Along the way, Steve has learned to be a resource to those he serves by creating simple and easy to understand solutions. These skills translate well to Piedmont Environmental Alliance where he serves as the Treasurer, helping to ensure that the organization remains a good steward of its limited financial resources. Steve is committed to acting in a fiduciary role to help Board members, staff and PEA members manage finances wisely. When not busy in his professional role, Steve is often found at a remote trailhead, typically with his wife and Labrador Retriever, exploring a new trail. Steve and his wife are proud to be part of the Winston-Salem community where they do everything they can to think globally and act locally to support our

Carla Catalan Day
Executive Director, Hispanic League
Growing up in Winston-Salem, Carla Catalan Day's deep connection to her community fuels her dedication to preserving its natural beauty and resources. With an Environmental Health degree from Western Carolina University (proud catamount!), she possesses a solid academic foundation to drive her commitment to protecting the environment.  As a board member of Piedmont Environmental Alliance, she is inspired by the organization's mission of promoting sustainability and environmental awareness in the Piedmont Triad. Through her education, hometown roots, and active engagement in the community, Carla Catalan Day stands as a dedicated advocate for a greener, more sustainable future.
Lawren Desai
Founder & Executive Director, a/perture cinema

Lawren received her bachelor’s degree in International Relations from the University of Pennsylvania and her M.B.A. from Wake Forest University. Prior to her career at a/perture cinema, she worked in film production, marketing/merchandising and financial analysis. She has served on numerous boards over the years including the Women’s Fund of Winston-Salem, the Downtown Partnership, and the Arts Council of Winston-Salem/Forsyth County. When she’s not watching films, Lawren loves to travel the world, spend time with her family and read. Her interest in sustainability and the environment stems from the countless films she’s watched over the years that call her to action.

Alecia Nicole Gaines
Adult Educator, Guilford Technical Community College & Rockingham Community College
Alecia is an English and Adult Education faculty member with a BS degree in Political Science from Winston Salem State University, her MS degree in Adult Education at North Carolina A&T State University, and is a member of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Incorporated. The first black woman to serve as Volunteer Chair of the North Carolina Chapter of Sierra Club, Alecia curently serves as the Board Chair for the Greensboro Sustainability Council and the Haw River Assembly, and is a founding member of the Solar Power Now Coalition - a grassroots  group dedicated to helping the city adopt clean and renewable energy policies. She has served on the leadership team of the North Carolina Climate Justice Collective since 2017. Alecia is dedicated to supporting resiliency among at-risk communities and advocating for those most-harmed, least consulted communities of color affected by climate emergencies. When not teaching or volunteering, Alecia enjoys making art, hiking local trails, and people watching in
‘the wherever’ places she visits.


Kristen Haaf
Principal, Roots First Regenerative Design 
Kristen is a landscape architect and Director of Land Planning at Roots First, a creative studio focused on connecting people with nature through design and communication. With training in landscape architecture, urban planning, ecology, and environmental policy, Kristen brings an interdisciplinary approach to the studio's work. Kristen works on both design and logistical aspects of project development, including conceptual design, grant writing, community engagement, and strategic planning. In addition to Roots First, Kristen teaches ecological design to undergrads at Wake Forest University. Kristen is an avid gardener and backyard birder, and she enjoys camping and hiking with her family.
Jonathan Halsey
Philanthropic Advisor, The Winston-Salem Foundation
Jonathan Halsey is the Philanthropic Advisor at The Winston-Salem Foundation, where he cultivates and maintains relationships with the Foundation's donors.  Previously, he served as Director of both Philanthropic Services and Community Engagement at the Foundation.  Prior to returning to the Foundation, he served as the managingdirector and a process facilitator for EmcArts and worked across North America with nonprofit leaders, organizations, and communities to build their adaptive capacities.  He has also served a variety of nonprofit organizations as a board member.  He studied music at the UNC School of the Arts, is a graduate of UNC-Chapel Hill, and received his MPA in public management from Appalachian State University.
Robert Leak III
Regional Lead Organizer, PowerUp NC

Pastor Robert Leak III has over fifteen years of community organizing and activism in the city of Winston-Salem. Robert understands that everyone has a gift, skill, and/or talent to be shared with others to help build change in their community.  He believes everyone has a right to be included at the table despite their circumstances. Robert attended Winston Salem State University majoring in Business Administration and minoring in Political Science. He enjoys working in the community and pastoring his church, delivering up-lifted messages to his members and the community. During his free time you will find Robert enjoying quality time with his wife and child.

Rashawn Meekins
Assistant Principal, Cook Literacy Model School

Rashawn is a passionate and driven educator with 10+ years’ experience in leading, supporting, and coaching school leadership, staff, and students to excel. In her current role, she oversees the plan, goals, and vision for Kimberley Park and student success.  Rashawn holds a Master of Education in Special Education from Salem College, Master in School Administration from North Carolina A&T State University, and a North Carolina of Public Instruction (NCDPI) licensure. She is a member of the North Carolina Association of Educators and Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. 

Shona Simpson, 
Shona Simpson is a writer living in Winston Salem, North Carolina.  After receiving her BS in Biology and her PhD in English from Duke University, she now teaches part time at Wake Forest University.  Her play for children, Peril on the Red Planet, has been performed throughout the southeast by The Open Dream Ensemble.  She is currently working on a novel for young adults which explores the connections between race and environment in 1930s North Carolina.  She also manages her daughters’ professional bluegrass band, The Dan River Girls.