Board of Directors

The Board of Directors for Pee Dee Land Trust is made up of twenty-one local individuals that donate their time, knowledge and resources to guide our organization to successfully surpass our strategic goals. We have two representatives from each of the nine counties in the Pee Dee Watershed.

Chesterfield County

John Long

A native of Chesterfield where he grew up working on a farm all through high school and during summers while he attended University of South Carolina. Upon graduation, John continued his agricultural career as a salesman with USS Agri-Chemicals, and he went on to eventually work with Elanco Products Company. After years in the agricultural community, he shifted gears and began his banking career, which led him to a move in 1998 to Cheraw. He currently serves as the EVP and Regional Manager for First Bank, managing all locations in Cheraw, Florence, Dillon and Latta. He never lost his love for the land, and still enjoys spending time with his wife Bron in the Pee Dee outdoors. John joined the PDLT Board in 2016.

Patricia Martin

Pat's knowledge of a need for people to actively protect the disappearing greenspace was fostered by spending time outdoors, drawing, walking her golden retrievers or riding trails on her horse. She served as President of the Westbrook (CT) Land Trust and is a founding member of the Bridal Path Conservancy. She helped create the Quinnimay Trail in Connecticut, weaving 14 miles of public access trails through five towns across public and private land. In 2007, Pat and Brad Turley moved from CT and created Southern 8ths Farm in Chesterfield and have been active members of Pee Dee Land Trust since 2009. They are working with PDLT to preserve Soouthern 8ths' natural beauty and historic past for future generations. Pat's artistic experience aided her in an earlier career in the graphic arts and publications sectors. She is a certified Master Naturalist, having completed both the Upstate and Catawba programs in SC thru Clemson Extension as well as a Master Pond Manager. Pat joined the PDLT Board in 2018. 

Darlington County

Curtis Lee

Curtis, originally from Pennsylvania, grew up on a farm along the Buffalo Creek Watershed. He now resides in Hartsville and loves living in the Pee Dee. He is the owner of Kairos Sophos Consulting and The Riparian on Black Creek. He has previous experience with such companies as Rubbermaid, GE, Sonoco as well as being a retired Colonel with the US Marine Corp. He is very involved with Hartsville Planning and community organizations. He is married to wife Barbara and has three adult children: Matthew, Sarah, and Caroline. Curtis joined the PDLT Board in January 2023.

Mary Caroline Vaught

Past Chairman

Mary Caroline has lived in the Pee Dee for most of her life. She spent her childhood in Conway, married the next door neighbor and together they raised their four children in Florence. She has served on several boards, volunteers with local organizations, she has served as an Elder in First Presbyterian Church, Florence where she continues to wear many hats. She and her husband Wallace, live on a new farm in Darlington County where they raise cattle, heritage pigs and vegetables for their own table. Wallace and Mary Caroline became involved with the Low Country Open Land Trust in 1999. She recognizes the importance of preserving the land for future generations and will continue to support land conservation. Mary Caroline joined the PDLT Board in 2016 and currently serves as Chairman.  

Dillon County

Tom Bethea


Tom is a lifelong resident of Dillon County. He graduated from Dillon High School in 1966 and Clemson University 1970 with a degree in agricultural engineering. After a tour of duty as an officer in the Army Corps of Engineers he returned home to work for the family business as well as to grow tobacco. Later he worked in sales and executive positions for various companies, ending his professional career by retiring from American Specialty in 2018 after 20 years. Tom and his wife, Dorothy, live in his grandparents’ home in Dillon County that was built in 1910. His hobbies include identifying various landscape plants including historic daffodils and camellias that were planted during the Depression by his grandmother as well as collecting tobacco and farming memorabilia.

Coming Soon

Florence County

Thomas Brodie

Bio Coming Soon

Wendell Jones


Wendell is a financial advisor with Edward Jones Investments and has over 20 years of experience.  Wendell and his wife Margaret raised their three grown children, Palmer, Caroline, and William, in Florence.  He joined the PDLT Board in 2018 and currently serves as the Chairman of the Investments Sub-Committee and serves on the Finance Committee.

Georgetown County

Sel Hemingway

Sel grew up in Georgetown County where he currently resides. He retired from Georgetown County as the County Administrator where he got to see and learn about the other side of land conservation. He is very involved with Georgetown Community events. He enjoys cooking and working with his family business of Back Woods Quail Club. Sel is married to wife Kathy and they share 14 grandchildren. He joined the PDLT Board in January 2023.

James Johnson

Land Conservation Chair

James, an avid sportsman, grew up in Lake City. After graduating from The Citadel, James began his career at his family owned company, W. Lee Flowers, an IGA and KJ's Market grocery distribution center based in Scranton. He formerly served as the VP of Merchandising and took pride in his family's business, having become the largest grocery distributor and seller of "Certified SC Grown" agricultural products in our state.  James recently turned a lifelong love of motorcycles into a career as the new owner of Coastal Indian Motorcycle. He lives in Murrells Inlet with his wife Erin and their four young children. James joined the PDLT Board in 2017.

Horry County

Phillip Albergotti

Phillip is a tax and estate attorney for The Bellamy Law Firm. He graduated from the University of SC with a degree in Accounting before obtaining a Law degree from the Charleston School of Law. Originally from Charleston, SC, he now resides in Murrells Inlet, SC, with wife Craigen and their two children. Phillip enjoys spending time with his family, golfing, boating, cooking, and traveling. 

John Bittle

Outreach Chair

John and his wife, Mary Kendall, are Chesterfield natives. They lived in Florence seventeen years before moving to Conway in 1988. John has hunted and fished his entire life and after retirement from sales, has more time to enjoy the outdoors with his two black labs, Leize and McRae. John has been a deacon, elder, and trustee at Kingston Presbyterian Church and volunteers often in the Conway area. He has participated in PDLT events for many years and was happy to join the Board in 2019 as a representative of Horry County.

Marion County

Corey Craig

Corey was born and raised in Conway, SC. He completed the Forest Resource Management program at Horry-Georgetown Technical College before attending Clemson University and receiving his Bachelors of Science in Forest Resource Management. While completing his degree at Clemson, he participated in an internship program with Kings Mountain National Park and traveled the Southeast managing prescribed burns on federal lands. He was employed as a utility forester with Kentucky Utilities before returning back to South Carolina after accepting a position as the Pee Dee Area Extension Forester with Clemson University. After a few years with Clemson Extension, he started a career with Winyah Land and Timber as a Procurement Forester. Corey has a strong passion for the outdoors and land conservation. He resides in Marion with his wife Jamie and three children and enjoys managing their Tree Farm in the Wahee Community.

Gwen Strickland

Gwen is a long time resident of Marion County and continues to honor her family farm in Dillon County. She graduated from Clemson University, served as a Special Agent with the US Dept. of State, then returned to SC and finished the Physician Assistant program at MUSC. Since then she has lived in Marion, working as a Physician's Assistant, raising a son, George, a 2015 graduate of the US Naval Academy, and instilling in him the same love of the family farm. Gwen has been active in the Marion community previously serving on the Marion School Board and is presently a Trustee at the Marion UMC. Gwen can often be found on the farm hiking, busting beaver dams, finding arrow heads, and just enjoyed the solitude as she serves as a caretaker of the land for her son and future generations. She joined the PDLT Board in 2016.

Marlboro County

Doug Newton

Doug grew up on the farm where he currently resides and used to work in Marlboro County. He is now the last one in line of this farmland which is what interested him in conservation. He farmed such crops as corn, soybeans, wheat, and peanuts. After retiring, he is still very involved with the farming community. He currently works as a Cover Crop Specialist with Scout Seed Company. Doug is married to wife Margaret and they have 2 children, 3 grandchildren, and 3 great grandchildren. He joined the PDLT Board in January 2023.


William Tatum

William is a native of McColl, SC in Marlboro County. He graduated from Clemson University and spent three years serving as an Army Aviator. In 1972 William started W. G. Tatum Farms in his hometown of McColl. After more than 45 years, William retired from farming in 2017. He now enjoys observing his son-in-law and grandson as they continue the farming tradition at Rhett Covington Farms. William has been married to Mary Coxwell since 1971. They have one daughter, Gray Covington, and two grandchildren. He joined the PDLT Board in 2019.

Williamsburg County

Berry Coggeshall

Bio Coming Soon

Amy McFadden

Amy is the President of White Oak Forest Management in Georgetown.  She is a graduate of Penn State University (B.S. in Forestry) and Winthrop University (M.B.A.), Amy has been in the forestry business for over 25 years.  She began her career with International Paper in land management.  Following her work with IP, she taught at Horry-Georgetown Technical College in the Forest Technician Program and was the Department Chair for four years.  During summers, she began consulting work in forestry and eventually launched her own business.  White Oak Forest Management, Inc. was born in 2004 and has grown to over 80,000 acres of managed land.  In 2008, Amy became a Broker-In Charge and added real estate services as part of the business through White Oak Premier Properties.  Amy currently serves on the SC Forestry Commission Board of Commissioners and the Association of Consulting Foresters Board of Directors.  She joined the PDLT Board in January 2022.

At Large Seats

Lane Gilpin

Lane moved to the Pee Dee area in 2006 and has been active with Pee Dee Land Trust ever since. She along with her husband Al are avid outdoorsman.  They enjoy kayaking, fly fishing, paleontology, and unique hobbies such as falconry.  She and Al share three adult children and are active members of St. Matthew’s Church in Darlington.  Lane serves on the board of ETV, Eastern Carolina Community Foundation, Florence Wine Festival and is on the Black Creek Committee.  She joined the PDLT Board in January 2022.

Chase Howard

Bio Coming Soon

Julian Young

Julian is a native of Florence County and currently resides in Timmonsville. He retired from Francis Marion University as the Director of Alumni Affairs and is now the Director for Florence County Voter Registration. He is very involved with Florence County organizations and enjoys singing, choral conducting, heirloom gardening, conservation, photography, animal rescue, and driving in the country. Julian is married to wife Rebecca and they have one son and one granddaughter. He joined the PDLT Board in January 2023.

We truly appreciate the dedicated service of our past PDLT Board Members:

John Alford, Robert Gerald, Jimmy Devers, C.P. Mincey, William Allen Rogers, Billy Rogers, Cherry McCoy, Mike Smith, William Perry, Kent Segars, Pete Rogers, Hartsell Rogers, Jasper Eaddy, Marion F. Wright, Kirk Dunlap, Donnie McDonald, Charles O’Neal, Ann Williamson, H.W. Donald, James Little Alford, Jule Conner, Robert Pitts, Doug Newton, Kalli Norton, Alva Whitehead, Ben Zeigler, Tres Hyman, Mary Dembosky, Dell Dembosky, Earl Dutton, Patricia Rivers, Melvin Carabo, William H. Chandler, Heath Ruffner, Meredith Coxe, James C. Crawford, III, Tony Shank, Elisabeth K. McNiel, Jimmy Lofton, Eddie Drayton, John Snow, Austin Gilbert, Keith Allen, Butch Mills, Jeff Dudley, Sumter Langston, Gordon McBride, Charles Bethea, Wesley Bryant, Susan Riales, Bill McCullough, Charlie Vance, Pinkney Skinner, Chris Scott, Louise Easterling, Douglas Lynn, Andrew McLeod, Katherine Battle, Buddy Brand, Billy Hinson, Diddy Anderson, Brice Harry, Dickie Sherman, Ruell Hicks, Johnny Weaver, At McIntosh, Tim Dargan, Ed Haenni, Steve Jones, Catherine Rogers, Keith Williamson, LaFon LeGette, Mike Reichenbach, Kent Caudle, and Al Wallace

Contact Us:


448 W. Cheves St.
Florence, SC 29501

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