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    Dianna Costello, Executive Director

    Dianna Costello

    Executive Director

    An outdoor enthusiast and amateur photographer, Dianna joined GNP as their first Executive Director in September 2021. Her love for the outdoors began at an early age on family camping trips to Sebago Lake in Maine. A graduate of UMass-Boston, she later earned advanced degrees from Syracuse University and the American Film Institute and has enjoyed a career working in the film business. She has eight years of nonprofit experience as the former Executive Director of the Piedmont Triad Film Commission and the Monadnock International Film Festival. In her free time, she likes to go hiking, biking, exploring with her camera and visiting local wineries.

    Carolina Corona, Project/Marketing Coordinator

    Carolina Corona

    Project/Marketing Coordinator

    Carolina Corona is a fine art painter and instructor whose work reflects the beauty of nature and the need to preserve and conserve it. She is passionate about protecting special places like the Gateway Nature Preserve and other local nature sanctuaries. She runs her art business Corona Fine Art and enjoys volunteering with various local organizations which focus on environmentalism, mental health, the Hispanic Community, and the arts.

    Grace Patiño, Co-Chair

    Grace Patiño

    Co-Chair

    Grace is originally from South Bend, IN, but now calls Winston Salem home since moving in 2006. She found her passion for the environment at an early age as she explored the beach and bayou surrounding her grandmother’s home in Pensacola, FL. This led her to pursue an environmental curriculum at Rice University, where she received a BS in Ecology and Evolutionary biology with a focus in Marine Science. She followed up with a Masters in Environmental Management in Coastal Environmental Management from the Nicholas School at Duke University. She is excited to bring her management expertise to the Operations Committee for Gateway Nature Preserve, and has stepped into the Co-Chair role with her husband Salvador Patiño. They hope to advance Gateway’s mission, and help guide it forward with new, interesting projects and educational opportunities.

    Salvador Patiño, Co-Chair

    Salvador Patiño

    Co-Chair

    Despite growing up in the middle of urban Mexico City, Salvador has always found a calling to nature. Whether it be wandering alone through the desert highlands of Southern Arizona or trekking through the crowds of the Appalachian Trail, he has found a never ending feeling of amazement in the outdoors. He has masters degree in Architecture from Arizona State University and currently runs his own architectural design practice in Winston-Salem, with a focus on creating designs that are sustainable and long lasting, regardless of their size.

    Saubhagya Silwal, Vice-Chair

    Saubhagya Silwal

    Vice-Chair

    Sau Silwal is an environmental lecturer, naturalist, environmental educator, and researcher with experience in natural resource management. Her natural resource management skills include the restoration ecology of the Longleaf pine ecosystem, upland/bottomland hardwood forest, wildland hydrology and recreation resource management. After moving to the US, she worked as an environmental educator facilitating numerous public outreach programs and place-based formal and informal environmental education classes for people of all ages. Her most recent work focused on optimizing urban green space to maximize its ecosystem services. She currently teaches biology, environmental-related courses at Salem College.

    Rebekah Lassiter, Secretary

    Rebekah Lassiter

    Secretary

    Rebekah is a first-year student at Wake Forest University. At Wake Forest, Rebekah is a Sustainability leader, through the Office of Sustainability, for her residence hall and a member of the Community Outreach Committee for the Sustainability Leadership Group. In this capacity, she has collaborated with the Piedmont Environmental Alliance to provide a virtual community platform for elementary students to educate and encourage one another through environmental and sustainable practices. I hope to harness both my passion and experience to contribute to the meaningful work of the Gateway Nature Preserve! I am particularly interested in providing support for the education, community engagement, and diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts of the Board.

    Cameron Goodman

    Treasurer

    I was born and raised in Winston-Salem and have always had a passion for recreation and the outdoors, especially in the local area. I grew up playing sports and as I’ve gotten older I’ve found other ways to stay active in walking, hiking, golfing & playing disc golf. I studied both Sport Management and Business Management in college at Elon University so finding a position in the Forsyth County Parks & Recreation Department in the accounting office was a natural fit and a nice blend of both fields.

    Lynette Fitzgerald

    Lynette is a retired Manager for the Army and Air Force Exchange.  She currently is an active artist and writer.  Her hobbies include interior design and decorations as well as gardening.

    Mikala Johnson

    Mikala Johnson

    Mikala is originally from Wilmington, NC. She moved to Winston Salem after finishing college at South Carolina State University. She has been engaged with GEMS (Girls Empowered by Math & Science) to help her get outdoors and enjoy various activities. She is excited to be apart of the Gateway Nature Preserve.

    Paula J. McCoy

    Paula J. McCoy

    Paula has spent a large part of her career as a personal and professional trainer, program and community developer.  She has over 30 years of experience training groups, developing programs, engaging community and leading five local and state nonprofit organizations. Locally, Paula is most recently known for her work in Asset-based Community Development. She is an energetic, motivated and committed individual dedicated to helping communities, organizations and individuals realize their potential for success.  She considers this as her “life work”. Paula’s philosophy is “look at life through the wind-shield, not the rear view mirror.”

    Cheyanne Murdock

    Cheyanne Murdock

    Cheyanne grew up in a small country town in what was referred to as “upstate” New York by all the visiting city folk but is very much downstate bordering Pennsylvania right on the Delaware River. She was often found outside walking through the woods of her family’s property, biking, or swimming in the river. She was encouraged to play outside as much as possible and thanks her mom for encouraging her to explore. She came to Gateway as a fairly new resident of Winston-Salem after living abroad serving in the Peace Corps where she rediscovered her love of nature and exploration. Winston-Salem is the largest city she has lived in and is grateful for the opportunities that Gateway provides for the community in an urban setting.

    Leslie Wakeford

    Leslie Wakeford

    Leslie grew up in the “wilds” of the western Chicago suburbs, camping and fishing along the shores of Lake Michigan. After moving to Winston-Salem, she co-founded the Winston-Salem Family Nature Club in 2011 to encourage kids and families to play, explore and enjoy nature together. Leslie is a librarian at Wake Forest University’s Professional Center Library. Her favorite places for camping and hiking excursions with her husband and twins are Hanging Rock and Stone Mountain State Parks.

    Kristie Wallis

    Kristie Wallis

    Kristie enjoys showing her two girls what it means to make a difference – and loves sharing how she’s helping to build a new nature park in the city, even if that means missing bedtime for board meetings. She has served on the Gateway board for five years. With nearly 20 years of marketing and communications experience, Kristie is the principal of Profoundly Group, a boutique digital marketing and public relations firm that serves clients in the professional services and nonprofit sectors. Kristie serves as a mentor at the Forsyth Tech Small Business Center and on the marketing advisory committee for Crosby Scholars. Originally from Connecticut and having lived in NYC, Richmond, Spain, Australia & New Zealand, she is happy to have called Winston-Salem home for more than a decade.