Leadership

Carol McCullough. president
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!
Kirk Friedland, vice president
The mountains started calling me during boyhood summer visits to my southern Appalachian kinfolk. I have trod forest and mountain trails ever since, discovering the wondrous red eft, and the elusive green salamander. After Boy Scout jamborees, tramping about the Green and White Mountains of New England and skiing the Rockies, I practiced law for 45 years in Palm Beach County, Florida. Sometimes I was successful in putting things right. Sometimes I persuaded hurricanes to spin elsewhere. My most satisfying work was serving as counsel for non-profits. Now I am rusticating amidst the rhododendron and laurel on the Blue Ridge, happy to be helping out the Sherwood Forest Friends.
Libby Brown,secretary
I was born and grew up in Nashville before it became the cool place everybody wants to move to. After graduating from Auburn University and receiving a MLS from Peabody College, I worked in public, university, and high school libraries and particularly enjoyed my interactions with teenagers. My husband, Jerry, and I raised two daughters and have lived in college or university towns in Tennessee, Virginia, New Hampshire, Alabama, and Montana. However, our long-term goal was to retire to this area where we’ve discovered the pleasures of living in a small mountain community.
Lelia Duncan, treasurer
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.
Diana Refsland, membership secretary
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.
Greg Allikas. immediate past president
My professional life was first spent as a commercial photographer working with with ad agencies and graphic design firms. Later I developed a specialty of photographing orchids and have traveled North and South America in the pursuit of both cultivated and wild orchids. I have had four books published of my orchid photography and contributed to numerous other publications worldwide. I was chair of the American Orchid Society editorial board for eight years and was awarded the AOS Silver Medal for developing its first website in 1999.

When Kathy and I moved to Sherwood Forest in 2015 I felt that I had finally returned to the hardwood forests of my childhood. Although somewhat different than those in Westchester County, NY, the plants and animals are familiar and the air smells the same. In this place I find value in the smallest winged insect or a dowdy rock tripe. Each has its place in the foundation of life on earth and removing one can have dire consequences . I am proud to be a founding member of this organization active in preserving our local culture and environment.
Charley Burden, director
Dr. Charles Burden has taught at Clemson University, and for 30 years he taught at Georgia State University, where he is Professor Emeritus. Also, he has acted in a contractor capacity abroad for the U.S. Department of Defense. For parts of each of the last 45 straight years he has taught or lectured in France, Great Britain, Germany, Poland, Turkey, China and elsewhere outside the U.S. He has recently retired.
From age 1, he has always visited Cedar Mountain for a part of each year. He’s been around for awhile. History happens. He’s watched. By training experience, he’s tolerably observant. He has found life interesting.
Gwenne Hayes-Stewart, director
After art school and grad. school, I was a watercolor painter represented by galleries with museums acquiring my work. I volunteered for a domestic violence shelter and a women’s clinic and served on numerous boards. Then it was brushes down when my husband, architect Dave Hayes, died in 1991, leaving our 5 -year old son and I alone. The Iowa City community embraced us and I shifted from being a volunteer to a fundraising professional and grant writer. Along came Gary Stewart, Dave’s best friend from high school and it was off to St. Louis and a new life. I became the ED of a small non-profit supporting community gardens and urban farms on abandoned, inner-city lots. The timing was perfect with the grow-your-own movement and Gateway Greening grew into the second largest greening org. in the US, right behind Philadelphia Green. It was a great 15-year gig! Retirement did not sit well and I restarted my grant writing business in 2011, took up hiking and spending more time in Sherwood Forest. I enjoy the trails both in the Forest and surrounding areas and love foraging for mushrooms and wild plants. Gary joins me when weather precludes golf. I nag myself about making art but I will get there!
Clint Owings, director
I was born in Greenville, SC and both sides of my family go back seven generations in the upstate of SC. Forty-seven years ago, I met Beth Lee, my wife whose family goes back six generations in Cedar Mountain… so you might say our families have been here for a long long time. We moved to Cedar Mountain ten years ago and have never looked back. I spent thirty-seven years in the Engineering & Construction industry managing design and construction projects across the US and a few jobs overseas. Now we spend our time with three children and their spouses and seven grandkids, our church, and the community.
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.





Susan WIlkinson, director
A free-range childhood in the woods of Rhode Island began my life-long love of the outdoors. Years as a professional hunched over a keyboard fueled exploration of nature's best near and far. Following twenty years in administration and economic development with St. Mary's County, I wound up my career promoting Historic St. Mary's City, a living history museum. I have a B.A. from St. Mary's College of Maryland and have studied fine arts, art history, landscape design, graphic design, economics, and marketing. My writings and photographs have been published in national and regional publications. I'm a certified yoga teacher and an avid hiker, skier, and gardener. As a volunteer, I've provided marketing for regional organizations including Chaptico Classic, a charitable road race, and the Patuxent Tidewater Land Trust. I've been bit by a bored grackle and shat on by a 'possum at the Orphaned Wildlife Rescue and loved helping ESL students master English through the Literacy Council. Our move to Sherwood Forest in 2018 is a return to what matters most-- fresh air, blue skies, vast forest, breath-taking encounters with wildlife, welcoming neighbors, and potential for a free-range retirement.

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