Board of Directors

Valerie Lecoeur, Board President
Owner, Zoe b Organic

Valerie was born and raised just outside Paris, France. After stints in New York and Chicago, today she enjoys dual citizenship living in Winston Salem with her husband and three children. She is the founder of Zoë b Organic, which makes and sells sustainable, eco-friendly products for babies and kids. After years of involvement as a lead volunteer and board member, Valerie became PEA's Board President in November 2015. 

Mary Jones, Board Treasurer

Mary has worked in the financial services industry for over 30 years, serving a wide range of individual and business clients. Mary has a Bachelor’s degree in accounting from the University of North Georgia. In addition to being a Certified Public Accountant, she holds the CFP® designation and is a CFA charterholder. She is a member of the CFA Institute, the North Carolina Association of CPAs and the American Institute of CPAs, where she is a past chair of the Member Retirement Committee. Mary is excited to be setting up her own CPA practice, where she will provide tax, accounting and planning services for individuals and small businesses. She lives with her husband in Winston-Salem. In her spare time, Mary likes to garden, cook, read, and visit her grown children and grandchildren.

Tanya Zanish-Belcher, Board Secretary
Director Special Collections & Archives, Wake Forest University

Tanya received her B.A. in History from Ohio Wesleyan University and an M.A. in Historical and Archival Administration from Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio. She worked as a Special Collections Archivist at the Alabama Dept. of Archives and History in Montgomery, Alabama, from 1989-1994. In 1995, she became the Curator for the Archives of Women in Science and Engineering, located at the Iowa State University Library, and in 1998 was promoted to Head of the Special Collections Department and Head of the University Archives at Iowa State. A lover of the outdoors since childhood, Tanya has been involved with environmental and nature groups for years. She loves working with PEA to educate and inspire action in the local community around the value of nature and the environment.

Tim Binkley
Geologist, Northwest Geoscience, P.C.

A native of Winston-Salem, Tim is a geologist, environmental consultant and teacher.  He has worked with cities, including Winston-Salem, to develop environmental training programs based in environmental justice, written successful grants, served as a national mentor on environmental training, and taught Geology at Forsyth Tech. As a board member for PEA, Tim has been a presenter in the Energy Explorers program, helped develop PEA’s environmental debate tournament and new environmental programs for use in public schools, and volunteered at the Earth Day Fair.

Eloise Johnson
Operational Risk Manager, Wells Fargo

Eloise is an Operational Risk Manager at Wells Fargo Bank and currently supports Emergency Response/Business Continuity Planning for a division of the bank. She grew up on a cattle and wheat ranch in Montana and has lived in the Winston area for over 20 years. Eloise is a member of the Wells Fargo Green team and has volunteered for the United Way, Crisis Control and Samaritan Ministries. In her role as Treasurer, Eloise Chairs the PEA Finance Committee and supports all fiduciary and financial responsabilities for the organization. 

Dedee DeLongpré Jonhston
Chief Sustainability Officer, Wake Forest University

Dedee has a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Southern California with a concentration in entrepreneurial studies and a master’s of business administration with an emphasis in sustainable management from the Presidio Graduate School in San Francisco. She has over 20 years of experience in nonprofit management, primarily in the areas of education, sustainability, and the environment. Her past appointments include director of the University of Florida’s Office of Sustainability, where she was awarded the President’s Medallion, executive director of the non-profit organization Sustainable Alachua County, and US program director for Fauna and Flora International. Dedee served on the founding board of the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education and now serves on the association’s advisory board. She also previously served on the board of the Women’s Fund of Winston-Salem, as the chair of the grants committee.

Rajesh Kapileshwari
Principal and Mechanical Engineer, Ethos Engineering
For more than two decades Rajesh has been active in the field of energy and resource conservation. As Principal at Ethos Engineering and a practicing professional engineer licensed in the states of North Carolina and Texas, he primarily focuses on design of sustainable and energy efficient facilities. Rajesh is a committee co-chair on the US Green Building Council’s Piedmont-Triad chapter. He coaches middle school students and prepares them to compete for “Future Cities” competitions. He loves spreading his passion for growing vegetables and ecological gardening.
Liz Meadows
Business Manager, The Montessori School of Winston-Salem

Liz was born in Winston-Salem and grew up raising cows, chickens, ponies, and many dogs. Her childhood was full of walks in the woods where her father taught her about trees and birds, instilling in her a love of nature. After attending University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, she lived in Colorado and Wyoming for 15 years, working for non-profit gardening organizations and a dude ranch. Today, Liz is the Business Manager of the Montessori School of Winston-Salem and enjoys spending time with her two children.

Lisa Northrop
Community Relations Director, SECU Family House
Volunteering since she was a Brownie in Girl Scouts, Lisa always knew she would work in the non-profit sector. Perfect timing and the pro humanitate culture of Wake Forest University allowed her to transition from a student intern at the Ronald McDonald House to a position at the SECU Family HouseFive years later, she helps volunteers create the homelike environment that makes guests feel at ease at the Family House. She is still a volunteer at heart, serving with the Piedmont Environmental Alliance and the Ardmore Gateway Garden. Lisa serves as exhibitor coordinator for the Piedmont Earth Day Fair.

Trevor Shelton
Assistant Marketing Manager, Auto Supply Co, Inc.

Trevor joined the PEA Board in 2013 after exhibiting at the Earth Day Fair earlier that same year. Trevor formerly worked at a Triad-based company that specialized in Environmental Services and Household Hazardous Waste Recycling where he served as a Marketing Manager. In his current capacity on the Board he serves as the Marketing Committee Chair. In his spare time he enjoys biking and recently joined the Winston-Salem Wolfhounds Gaelic Football team, much to the chagrin of his ankles and knees.

Allen Smart
Vice President of Programs, Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust

Allen is the vice president of programs and the director of the Health Care Division at the Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust, where he has been instrumental in leading day-to-day work and projects.  Allen holds a Master of Public Health from the University of Illinois at Chicago, a Master of Telecommunication Arts from the University of Michigan, and a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy from Macalester College. He is a frequent regional and national speaker on issues related to philanthropic strategy, rural community change and the potential for philanthropy to be an important vehicle for change. Allen and his wife, Jane, enjoy live music, playing tennis and watching their son Trent master the woodwinds.

Benika Thompson
Director of Science, K-12, Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools

Benika has been an educator for 16 years now and is currently the Director of Science K-12 at Winston-Salem Forsyth County Schools. Benika looks forward to exploring entrepreneurial and philanthropic opportunities in the near future that will allow her to share her love of science with a broader audience. Benika lives in Kernersville with her two children.

Ciska Weber
Owner, Cafe Gelato

Ciska was born on Terschelling, an island in the Netherlands. She attended fashion school in Amsterdam and worked in the fashion industry in New York City. She moved to North Carolina and owned a restaurant in Clemmons for 9 years and now makes gelato at Cafe Gelato on Reynolda road in Winston Salem. She is passionate about the environment, recycling cups in her shop and teaching kids not to litter in nearby Hanes Park.

Lei Zhang
Associate Professor of Physics, Winston-Salem State University

Lei graduated from University of Texas at Arlington with Ph.D. degree in Physics. His research/teaching interests include renewable energy technology especially solar energy. He developed and taught “Renewable energy & Environment” at WSSU, and he was the WSSU principle investigator of Triad Interuniversity Project: Four Universities Renewable Energy Consortium. He is interested in community services and is currently serving as a board member for six non-profit organizations, including local/regional environmental organizationsYadkin River keeper Inc., and Piedmont Environmental Alliance.