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. 

Lisa Northrop, Board Vice-President
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.
Leah Lavin, Board Secretary
Fundraising Consultant
Leah is a fundraising professional with ten years of experience in both non-profit and independent school settings. She received a Master of Arts in Liberal Arts from St. John’s College in Annapolis, Maryland, and a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy from Carson-Newman University in Tennessee. She currently consults for Hawai‘i Preparatory Academy, where she lived and worked before moving to Winston-Salem, and American Bird Conservancy. Leah lives in the Sunnyside neighborhood with her husband, Martin, and two young children. Leah enjoys writing and being with her family. She is honored to join the board of Piedmont Environmental Alliance.
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 has volunteered with various other local non-profits, including as a past treasurer of the Forsyth Humane Society. She lives with her husband in Winston-Salem. In her spare time, Mary likes to garden, cook, read, and visit with her grown children and grandchildren.

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.

Anna Marie Carr
Human Resources Coordinator, Wake Forest University
Anna Marie Carr is a Winston-Salem enthusiast, relationship-builder, and connector of ideas and action. After learning the ropes of nonprofit management as a development professional around NC, she returned to her hometown and alma mater, Wake Forest, where she works in the Human Resources department. Anna Marie is grateful to have a position at Wake that gives her the opportunity to support and celebrate faculty and staff members, and to incorporate sustainable practices into events and activities on campus. She cares deeply about our community and our environment, and strives to educate and encourage those around her to be good stewards of our planet's resources as well. Anna Marie believes in the power of meaningful conversation, the great outdoors, strong coffee, and positivity. 
Paul-Ernest Cheron
Corporate Development Officer, Hanesbrands

Paul-Ernest holds a Masters in Business Administration from University of Virginia’s Darden School and a Masters Degree in Engineering at École Nationale Supérieure des Télécommunications in Paris, France. Paul-Ernest has been with Hanesbrands for 2 years, after working for years as Corporate Vice-President of Strategy & Marketing for B/E Aerospace, the world’s leading manufacturer of aircraft cabin interior products and the world’s leading distributor of aerospace fasteners and consumables. He has a wealth of experience in the corporate sector, focused on strategic planning, risk assessment, and management consulting. Paul-Ernest is fluent in English, and proficient in German and Spanish. Paul-Ernest has a passion for making a difference regarding our use of natural resources, and is excited to support PEA's mission to educate and empower students to protect and restore the environment.

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.
Robert E. Leak, III
Grassroots Grant / Fiscal Sponsorship Coordinator, Neighbors for Better Neighborhoods

Robert is Pastor, Community Youth Activist, Community Educator,  and Leadership Development Community Coach in Winston-Salem.  Raised in Lewisville, Robert attended Winston-Salem State University with a major in Business Administration and minor of Political Science. Robert is passionate about serving the community, and has served on a number of community boards, including Keep Winston-Salem Beautiful. Robert is the recipient of many leadership and volunteer awards, including the Winston-Salem Foundation's Echo Award. Robert has served on PEA's marketing for years and is excited to join the PEA Board of Directors in 2018.

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.

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.