Bill ClaboughExecutive Director
Bill Clabough has spent his entire life in Blount County. A graduate of the Blount County School system and UT Knoxville, Bill spent 30 plus years in the retail grocery business in Blount County. In 2004 he was elected to the Tennessee General Assembly, serving 4 years in the Tennessee House and 6 years in the Tennessee Senate. He joined Foothills Land Conservancy in the spring of 2006 as the Executive Director with the charge to take the organization to the next level. Bill has put together a strong team that is moving Foothills Land Conservancy forward on land protection partnerships, land stewardship and community outreach. He has been involved in all project areas of Foothills. Through the course of overseeing the completion of many successful programs, Bill is always reminded that land protection is our business and our only business!
Coming to FLC in 2007 from 25 years as proprietrix of Native Gardens, a native plant nursery, Meredith was delighted to have the opportunity to assist FLC in field work. FLC had recently changed leadership and needed an able body to assist with various field work tasks. Her formal education focused on botany and ecology along with agricultural training in animal science and horticulture, including some Peace Corps time in Costa Rica, so being outside was truly her main specialty. Little did she know where this would lead.
Looking back, growth and change define the 15 years since. After those early, easy days learning the beautiful backroads of Blount County, her trajectory became steep and most of her work as Land Director focused on monitoring all properties and on developing the Baseline Document Report (BDR). This is essential for each Conservation Easement project and serves as a snapshot of the property at the time the easement is put in place. BDRs include descriptions of all biological and cultural resources of the property and are used as a critical reference for protecting those resources into the future. As FLC rapidly grew, so did the need for ever more detailed BDRs and the need for her to train more field biologists. For a few years the workload was intense (thanks Bill!), and she also worked with multiple consultants across several states to spread out the load.
Happily, Matt and Shelby Lyn came on board in 2017 and were a pleasure to work with as Meredith helped them negotiate the ever-changing FLC maze. They fledged quickly with flying colors as the Next Gen of FLC biologists, leaving Meredith to spend more time with projects that get dirt under her nails! Aside from still helping out with any easement duties when needed, enhancing the landscape and habitats of the Harris Farm offer her endless opportunities to get back to the dirty jobs. Her focus now includes guiding the addition of native species diversity, within an attractive landscape, while keeping maintenance manageable. Do stop by and enjoy our progress!
Elise EustaceCommunications & Development Director
Elise Eustace joined the FLC team in 2009 and has over 20 years of experience in marketing, sales, client relations, event management, public speaking, and writing. She has a B.A. degree in Communications with a minor in Business from Southwestern University in Georgetown, TX.
Since joining the Foothills staff, Elise has primarily been involved in the organization’s marketing and fundraising planning as well as assisting with the day to day operations at the office headquarters. “Working for FLC has provided me the opportunity to learn about all of the different facets of how a non-profit land trust operates. I’ve been able to expand my knowledge and skills in order to assist the organization evolve and expand. That’s been very exciting!”
One of the professional highlights for Elise is getting to tell the landowner’s story. “Often, a landowner will take several years to think over the important decision to permanently preserve their land in it’s natural state or as a working farm. When and if they are ready, we are ready to tell their story – profiling the unique, natural features of their property along with any historical facts they want to share.”
Another professional highlight would be the organization’s move from Maryville, TN, to the 300 acre preserved farm in Rockford, TN. “Really, the chance to thank Gail Harris for all that she has done for FLC that is the true highlight. Gail was the founding member of FLC and placed a conservation easement on the land with Foothills back in 2009. She conveyed the property to the organization a few years ago and we moved our office headquarters to the property in May of 2017. It’s a joy to work at the Harris farm, to look out my office window and see cattle or turkey or deer. All of FLC’s Board and staff are very thankful to have a permanent headquarters for Foothills.“
In addition to working at FLC, Elise has served on the City of Maryville’s Tree Board, the Smoky Mountain Planned Giving Council Board, and the Great Smoky Mountains Hiking Club Board of Directors. She is a 2011 graduate of the Experience Your Smokies Program and is an avid hiker who enjoys getting acquainted with parks across the region.
Matthew MooreDirector of GIS
Matthew Moore joined the FLC team in 2017. He is the Director of GIS, overseeing the Geographical Information System data, maintaining the monitoring apps used in the field, drafting baseline documentation, writing management plans, and helping to manage the 300-acre farm headquarters. Matt studied at Berry College, receiving a B.S. in Biology with a minor in Chemistry in 2006. In 2013 he graduated from the University of Tennessee with a Master of Forestry and a minor in Statistics. Between his graduate and undergraduate studies, Matt completed graduate level coursework in Marine Science at the University of Georgia.
Matt’s career in environmental management and conservation began working for the Vermont Youth Conservation Corps co-leading trail crews restoring the trail around Grout Pond in the Green Mountain National Forest. He then worked on a saw crew for The Nature Conservancy restoring Mexican spotted owl habitat in the Davis Mountains of west Texas, before working as a Forestry Technician for three years with the Park Service treating hemlocks, controlling exotic, invasive plants, and managing the GIS data for vegetation management in Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
In his free time Matt enjoys spending time with his wife and daughter, slowly renovating their home in Knoxville, making beer (mostly stouts and pilsners), slowly eradicating the invasive plants in his yard, and watching Svengoolie on Saturday nights.
Shelby Lyn SandersField Biologist
Shelby Lyn Sanders joined the FLC staff in 2017. She is a field biologist who assists with baseline documentation and annual monitoring of conservation easement properties. Shelby graduated from the University of Tennessee – Knoxville in 2015, receiving a B.S. in Wildlife & Fisheries Science with a focus on management. An Oklahoma native, Shelby has called East Tennessee home since 2009. Her background includes working in both Tennessee and Kansas studying the ecology of grassland birds for UT’s Center for Native Grassland Management. Shelby Lyn also spent a year working for the Southern Research Station of the USDA Forest Service in conjunction with UT, where she assisted with the data collection for various projects assessing growth and competitiveness of upland hardwoods in the Southern Appalachian region. In her free time, Shelby enjoys birding, visiting the Great Smoky Mountains, and watching NASCAR.