Meet our hard working staff and learn more about their history with the park and Friends of the Smokies.
President & CEO
Dana joined Friends in 2023 after serving as an NPS employee for more than 30 years. She began her career at GSMNP and held several roles at the park. For the last decade, she served on the park’s leadership team as Park Spokesperson. Dana obtained her BS degree from University of Tennessee and her MS from West Virginia University. She resides in Gatlinburg where she and her husband raised their two sons.
Director of Finance & CFO
Nan has worked with Friends of the Smokies for 21 years. She attended Carson-Newman University and Walter State Community College.
Chief Operating Officer
Marielle joined Friends of the Smokies in 2016. She earned her B.A. in American Studies from University of North Carolina. Marielle enjoys trail running, fly fishing, and hiking, and has completed the Smokies 900 Challenge to hike every trail in Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
Director of Philanthropy
Lauren has worked at Friends of the Smokies for 20 years. Lauren graduated from Samford University. Lauren enjoys spending time with her husband Jim and sons Anderson and Link.
Special Projects Director
Kathryn rejoined the FOTS staff in 2019 after spending five years in New York. She received a BS in Public Relations from the University of Tennessee and an MS in Childhood Education from Hofstra University. Kathryn and her husband love exploring the Smokies with their two children.
Marketing & Communications Director
Sarah joined Friends in 2019. She has a degree in Journalism from ETSU. In her 20 years of experience in communications and marketing, she has been a newspaper reporter, a digital producer for national network television, and a marketer for small businesses and nonprofits. Currently, she serves as a member of Maryville City Council. She and her husband have two teenage sons.
Krista joined FOTS in 2018. She earned her BA in Piano Performance from Carson Newman University. She and her husband Frankie were recently married. She enjoys spending time with their dog Rudy and trail running.
Special Projects Manager
Lindsay joined Friends in February 2022 with a professional background in events directing, hospitality, and sales management. She moved from Indiana to East Tennessee in 2005 for her love of the mountains. Lindsay and her husband have two daughters. She enjoys watching sports, gardening and her animals.
Database & Accounting Associate
Debbie joined Friends in 2019. She is originally from Pennsylvania. After vacationing in the Smoky Mountains for years, she and her family made the move to Tennessee. Debbie enjoys camping, hiking and spending time with her husband of 33 years and their two children.
Olivia joined the friends in June 2023. She grew up in Asheville, NC and has visited the park throughout her life. She graduated from Appalachian State University with a bachelor’s degree in Sustainable Development and is currently working on her master’s in Public Affairs at Western Carolina University. Olivia has worked at several other environmental nonprofits. She enjoys mountain biking, kayaking, rafting and spending time with her husband and two dogs.