Officers and Board Members

Greg Allikas. president
I have lived in Sherwood Forest since 2015 and took to this community like a duck to water. I was a career commercial photographer. For thirty years before moving to Sherwood Forest I specialized in photographing orchids. I was chair of the American Orchid Society editorial board for eight years and a member for twenty. When I moved here I heard about the early days when botanists would visit Sherwood Forest for research and share their knowledge with us. I thought, "wouldn't it be cool if we were able to do that again." My dreams were even bigger...a learning center with computer, microscope and an herbarium. We could learn more about our forest through the expertise of trained scientists. With SFF, that can become a reality.
Susan Goldsworthy, vice president
I grew up in the Appalachian Mountains near Pittsburgh, PA where I spent my childhood exploring and falling in love with the woods and streams around my home. I earned degrees in social psychology, child psychology and horticulture/landscape design. Over time I discovered my real passion lay in the interaction between people and plants, and thus began my career in horticulture and community development. I taught horticulture at Penn State University while creating and directing their community gardening/urban forestry non-profit near Philadelphia. I eventually left to create and direct a similar non-profit in my own community. Along the way I was able to earn a degree in ethnobotany from the British Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew. My most recent adventures took me to Malawi and Micronesia as an agro-forester with the Peace Corps. In 2013 I retired to magical Sherwood Forest where I am once again hiking, birding and botanizing to my heart’s content.
Cathy Nell, secretary
I spent my professional life as a health care analyst, first working for the Michigan Department of Public Health in the early 1970s. When we moved to Florida in 1977, I worked as a regional health planner, and was later charged to create the Florida Healthy Mothers/Healthy Babies Coalition, an advocacy organization for maternal and child health that today continues to be a voice for improving maternal and child health at both state and national levels. Retiring to the mountains of western North Carolina fulfilled a lifelong dream. I find living in a forest deeply satisfying, and enjoy learning about the plants and animals who share this beautiful space.
Diana Refsland, treasurer
I was raised in Montana, enjoying the mountains and rivers of the Big Sky country, went to undergraduate school in Bozeman at Montana State University, and then obtained a PhD in Sociology at Vanderbilt University in Nashville. I taught at Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia from 1969 to 1983, and then changed careers and went into real estate from 1984 to the present. In 2001 Ruthie Zaleon and I built our house in Sherwood Forest, moving here full-time in 2010. I have always been a social and environmental activist, working in Atlanta to preserve Piedmont Park through Friends of Piedmont Park, volunteering in Sherwood Forest on committees and on the Board, and working to support our greater community through volunteering at Rise and Shine, Meals on Wheels, Sharing House, and SAFE. Environmentally, I have worked to preserve our natural environment in Sherwood Forest and Cedar Mountain, working with devoted and knowledgeable friends and neighbors through Sherwood Forest Committees, Cedar Mountain Community Center, Conserving Carolina, Mountain True and now Sherwood Forest Friends.
Lelia Duncan, director
In 2017, I made the decision to move to the mountains from Jacksonville, FL and haven’t looked back since. In Jacksonville, I led non- profit organizations for over twenty-five years. I served on many executive boards including the United Way Association of Directors, the downtown Jacksonville Rotary Club, the Jacksonville Regional Chamber Board of Governors as well as chairing the First Coast Girl’s Initiative. Throughout my career I have published articles about empowering volunteerism and I continue to speak to groups on the subject.
Today I consult and work with non-profits and in my spare time teach yoga and water yoga. I’ve always felt a deep kinship for all nature and feel it is an honor and privilege to live in this beautiful area.
Kirk Friedland, director
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Carol McCullough. director
After a career in education as a teacher, administrator, and curriculum specialist, I started a consulting business training teachers and working with program development in school systems around Atlanta. I served as educational advisor for the Southern Center for International Studies, Metro Atlanta Regional Educational Service Agency, Art in History, and The Museum School of Avondale Estates. I published curriculum for a number of organizations, including defense attorney J. Tom Morgan, InspirED Company, the Georgia Juvenile Justice System, and The World in Transition, as well as book reviews for a variety of publications.
My husband and I left my family’s historic home in the middle of the city and traded it in for a house here in the woods. We like it for so many reasons, not the least of which is that we are closer to our grandchildren!
Mary Wickham, director
I am a part-time resident of the Forest. My other home is in Richmond, VA where I have lived for for 30 years, raised two boys (Clayton and Will) and have a husband George and a dog named Bear. My career life has been as a teacher, a lawyer, a principal of a tuition-free private elementary school, and the executive director of a Community Center serving Latino immigrants in the Richmond area. I am a Richmond Tree Steward and a Virginia Master Naturalist. My volunteer gigs have been mostly with the James River Park, a 500 acre urban forest along the James River, for which I currently coordinate an Invasive Species Task Force. I dabble in creative arts that start with a “P” - poetry, pottery, painting, photography, and prose. The apex of my artistic achievement was first place in the 2017 Sherwood Forest Mushroom photo contest.

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