Meet the folks who give their support to leading Davidson Lands Conservancy as staff and board members. They’re likely your neighbors!

Staff Members

Autumn MichaelAutumn Rierson Michael, Executive Director, Davidson Lands Conservancy

704-892-1910 | autumn@davidsonlands.org 

“I grew up in a rural area and had the privilege as a kid of running in the woods, playing in the creek, knowing my farmer neighbors. Now as an adult and a parent, I value all the more an opportunity for my kids–and the kids of our community– to walk in the woods, hold a salamander, ride bikes on the greenway, and pick a summer tomato. I’m proud of how DLC helps children and adults make that emotional connection to the natural world.”


Dave CableDave Cable, Land Protection Director, Davidson Lands Conservancy 

704-577-2004 | dave@davidsonlands.org 

“I am passionate about conservation and care deeply about preserving our natural landscapes. I have been fortunate to have been involved in land conservation projects in the Charlotte region and am delighted to apply my experience and passion right here in Davidson, a community I love.”  


Katie NobleKatie Noble, Program Manager, Davidson Lands Conservancy
704-892-1910 | katie@davidsonlands.org

“When I was growing up, family vacations involved looking for reptiles and amphibians, fishing off the Georgia coast, and digging for fossils. The outdoors has always been where I feel most at peace and conservation has been extremely important to me. I feel very fortunate to be able to combine my passions for environmental education and conservation at DLC, whose mission to protect, advocate, and educate is making a direct impact in our community.”



Board Members

Janet Andersen, Board Member Retired manufacturing executive   

John BurkeBoard Treasurer Manager for Strategic Projects and New Business Development at Daimler Truck North America Aftermarket Group 

“I became involved with DLC through my wife Erin’s work with the World of Wonder (WOW) activities. I embrace that mission to bring children and their parents closer to nature. I hope the wonder of holding a fledgling blue bird will stay with a child through adulthood and grow into a desire to protect all Nature. Our Blue Sky envisions open space within a 5-10 minute walk or bike ride for all Davidson residents.” 

Gordon ClarkBoard Member Former owner of Davidson Village Inn  

“I started noticing that a lot of beautiful mature trees in town were disappearing. I reached out to some of my friends at DLC to see if there was something we could do. With their help and support, we started TreesDavidson and have now planted over 500 trees in our community. Trees can live a long time, but they don’t live forever. Part of being good stewards of our environment means making sure the next generation has beautiful trees to enjoy.”  

Russell Crandall, Board Member  Professor of Latin American Studies at Davidson College 

“Over the seven years my family has lived in Davidson, we have come to cherish the town’s community. I feel a constant connection with and appreciation for the natural landscape here. For me, serving on the DLC board and working to protect this landscape is a privilege and also a duty.” 

Yancey FoucheBoard President Sustainability Director at Davidson College 

“I’m especially interested in building the relationship between Davidson College and Davidson Lands Conservancy. As an anchor institution in our community, Davidson College is deeply interwoven in the history and present reality of our region. Likewise, Davidson Lands Conservancy shapes our community by preserving, enhancing, and offering access to the natural features and open space that make this place special. Davidson Lands Conservancy directly benefits from the scholarship, philanthropy, and service of the College while providing the College an enhanced quality of life for all constituents and growth opportunities for servant leaders. At the heart of this partnership between non-profit neighbors is a deep, shared commitment to making the world a better place.” 

Paul Freestone, Board Member Retired VP of Mergers and Acquisitions at Stryker Corporation 

“As I have traveled around the country and world, I have always looked for trails to run and ride on. I feel like I’m a kid again when I find a trail and get moving – especially when the trail takes me into natural areas or highlights the features of the region. Plus, everyone else on the trail is happy and very engaging. Trails are a great way to connect with the community (live, as opposed to on social media)!  When we first moved to Davidson, I participated in Run for the Green, and I was hooked on the DLC mission.” 

Clay Furches, Board Member Retired from General Motors and U.S. Air Force 

“We moved to Runneymede in 2005, and I discovered common areas in our neighborhood that are like a state park with stunning rock formations, rolling topography, and dense forestation. The land wasn’t protected against development at the time, and this worried me. Then I met DLC founding executive director Roy Alexander, and he explained how we could permanently conserve these natural areas. I enlisted the Runneymede Home Owners Association, and 2.5 years later, we successfully conserved more than 50 acres. We’ve protected natural beauty, wildlife habitats, forests, and streams for ourselves and for future generations. I’m proud of that, and I see much more we can do to protect remaining natural lands in the Davidson area.” 

Rodney Graham, Board Member Owner of John Marshall Custom Homes 

 “Our ability to preserve green spaces in large part depends on how we plan and build our homes.”  

Azella Markgraf, Board Member  Student at Davidson College  

Mike Minett, Board Member Vice President & Regional Manager at Nova Consulting 

“I’m an environmental scientist with a background in biology, marine science, ecology, remediation and environmental regulation. I want to help save wild places for the environment, ecological habitat, and personal fulfillment they afford. I have always been fascinated with nature, was involved in the first Earth Day, and consider saving open space to be important.” 

Cambria Nielsen, Board Member Community Leader 

“I want to involve Scouts and other young people in protecting our wildlife.” 

 Pat PeroniBoard Vice President Professor of Biology & Environmental Studies at Davidson College 

 Nikki Pounds, Board Member Human Resources Director at Burkert Fluid Control Systems 

 Edie Surratt, Board Secretary Co-owner of Carrburritos in Davidson and ECMD Properties 

“I believe natural spaces are essential for a thriving planet, so I’d like to do my part by helping to preserve green space around Davidson.” 

Tom Watson, Board Member Co-owner of Cedars Bed & Breakfast 

“I hope my legal and land expertise can be useful to the Conservancy.”