Growing up in the Appalachian mountains, Carolyn found inspiration in the forests, rivers, and wildlife around her home. In her third year as an Ecology student at the University of North Carolina- Asheville, a mentor gave Carolyn the opportunity to work on grant projects for The Environmental Quality Institute. Those early projects included contracts with Greenpeace, the Centers for Disease Control, and other diverse stakeholders who sought scientific solutions to environmental problems. These projects brought her to understand that challenges in the environment could not be viewed in a silo, and that all social issues were deeply connected.
Since that time, she has focused on fund and program development across the non-profit sector. This has included work in such varied fields as wetlands restoration, strengthening the foster care system, supporting high-quality palliative care and hospice services in rural communities, and expanding available public health interventions for families in crisis. Carolyn earned her MBA in 2015 with a focus on international development. She lives in the mountains of North Carolina with her husband, four boys under the age of 10, and a puppy named Sister.