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, John shifted gears and began his banking career, which led him to a move in 1998 to Cheraw. John currently serves as the EVP and Regional Manager for First Bank, managing all locations in Cheraw, Florence, Dillon and Latta. John never lost his love for the land, and he still enjoys spending time with his wife Bron in the Pee Dee outdoors. Mr. Long joined the PDLT Board of Directors 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.  Pat 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, SC and have been active members of Pee Dee Land Trust since 2009.  They are working with PDLT to preserve So 8ths' natural beauty and historic past for future generations of wildlife and people.  Pat's artistic experience aided her in an earlier career in the graphic arts and publications sectors.  Pat joined the PDLT board in 2018.  Pat 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.

Darlington County

Keith Williamson

Chairman

Keith grew up at Oaklyn, a PDLT-protected property located in Darlington County. After attending college and later obtaining his MBA from Stanford, Keith returned to the Pee Dee to work in the agricultural products industry. Keith, an avid tennis player, and his wife Caroline live in Hartsville, and have two sons. Keith joined the PDLT Board in 2015 and currently serves as the  Chairman, along with serving as a member of the Black Creek Committee and the Land Protection Committee. He was appointed to the SC Conservation Bank Board of Directors in 2018.

Mary Caroline Vaught

Vice 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. She joined the PDLT Board in 2016 and currently serves as the Vice Chairman.  

Dillon County

LaFon LaGette

LaFon LeGette was born and raised in Latta.  He is a graduate of Wofford College and earned a law degree from the University of South Carolina.  He practiced law for 47 years in Latta until his retirement in 2017.  He has followed in the footsteps of several generations of his family by managing large amounts of farm land in Dillon County.  His love for history is satisfied with a huge collection of farm related items and old things in general.  He has a penchant for saving old buildings and has moved a total of 8 to his own properties.  Currently, Old Vidalia Schoolhouse and a caboose from Seaboard Coastline are on loan to the Town of Latta.  LaFon is married to Cindy whose father, C.P. Mincey, was a past board member.  They have 6 children and 8 grandchildren.

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 Florence, SC, 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.

Florence County

Kent Caudle

Kent is an avid outdoorsman and has a true passion for the Pee Dee. As a realtor with Palmetto Commercial Real Estate, Kent has worked with clients to purchase and preserve some of the most beautiful resources in our area. He brings a wealth of knowledge gained from his professional experience in the financial, insurance, staffing and real estate industries. Kent currently serves on the Florence County Council for District 5, along with many other boards and organizations working to better our community. Kent and his wife Carolyn live in Florence and are active members of First Presbyterian Church. They have three grown children that have all attended Clemson University. He looks forward to helping on the Board level to grow our conservation community. Kent joined the Board in 2016.

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

James Johnson

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 joined the PDLT Board in 2017, lives in Murrells Inlet with his wife Erin and their four young children.

Dr. Steve Jones

Immediate Past Chairman

Steve is a PDLT easement donor, having put nearly 1000 acres of his family property along the Black River under easement in 2007. Professionally, he has served in many capacities, as an aide to U.S. Senator Strom Thurmond and as an executive at MUSC. A graduate of Clemson, USC, and MUSC, Steve's most recent assignment was the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Health Affairs in the Pentagon. He is married to Bee and lives at Isle of Palms. He joined the PDLT Board in 2014 and currently serves as the Immediate Past Chairman.

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

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 son Boone and enjoys managing their Tree Farm in the Wahee Community.

Gwen George 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 and currently serves as the Chair for the Governance Committee.

Marlboro County

Catherine Rogers

Catherine is a native of Bennettsville, SC and is now living in Charleston, SC. She, as a talented artist, owns Rogers Art Conservation, LLC, in Charleston where she specializes in mural restoration. Catherine has graciously hosted PDLT members for an experience at her newly restored family home in Marlboro County, Argyll Place (c. 1810.) Catherine joined the PDLT Board in the fall of 2014.

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

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.

Al Wallace

Al is an Anesthesiologist with McLeod Health throughout the Pee Dee Watershed.  Al is said to be in surgery or out on his land in Cades where he farms, manages for wildlife and timber.  He partnered with PDLT in 2005 to put the Wallace Farm under a conservation easement.

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.

Edwin Haenni

Ed grew up on a Michigan farm and graduated from Michigan State. His professional career with Dow Chemical and Sonoco took him around the world. Ed and his wife (Judy deceased) moved to Hartsville in 1980. He has two sons and five grandchildren who live in Charlotte, NC. Since retirement, Ed enjoys wood working, making stuff from the lumber he has cut and milled. Ed is honored to serve on the PDLT Board as the current Treasurer.

Mike Reichenbach

Mike is the owner of three automotive dealerships. Originally from Ohio, he graduated from Bowling Green State University with a degree in Accounting and then earned a MBA from the University of Michigan. Active community involvement is a major priority for Mike as he supports and serves on many Boards in our area. Law enforcement is one of Mike's passions as he earned a law enforcement commission through the SCDNR as a Game Warden/Deputy Law Enforcement Officer. More recently, Mike was elected to the SC Senate. He and his wife Charisse have two children, and are actively involved in their local Church. Mike joined the PDLT Board in January 2022.

We truly appreciate the dedicated service of our past 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 Jofton, 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, and Tim Dargan

Contact Us:

843.667.3229

448 W. Cheves St.
Florence, SC 29501

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Signup for our E-Newsletter

Connect with us

Copyright 2019 Pee Dee Land Trust