Advisory Council Membership Biographies

Community Members

jim tobin

Member: James P. Tobin (Chair)

Seat: Citizen-at-Large

Term: 3/19 to 3/21

Business Owner

Manns Harbor, North Carolina

Jim has been an entrepreneur most of his career. After studying at Diablo Valley College, he started his career working at Conam Nuclear inspecting nuclear power generating stations advancing to the position of Qualified Data Analyst. During his tenure at Conam he met his wife, Tammy, and moved to the Outer Banks of North Carolina. Jim and Tammy began a commercial fishing business in 1989 fishing pound nets for flounder and fished for 15 years before selling the business. During this same timeframe, they started Caimen Gardens, a retail nursery in their backyard. The business quickly outgrew this location, and they moved the business to Manteo, N.C., in 1996 and operated it in this location for 8 years. In 2004, Jim and Tammy sold the Caimen Gardens location to CVS and embarked on a 2 ½ year sabbatical sailing the Caribbean aboard their 51' sailboat, Class Act. Many beaches and countless dives later, they returned to the USA and moved to Asheville N.C., where Jim recertified his nuclear certification and began working in the nuclear field once again. Shortly after arriving in Ashville, Jim received a call from a friend who asked if he and Tammy would be interested in managing the 195-slip Pirates Cove Marina in Manteo N.C. Having the ocean and fishing in their blood, Jim and Tammy agreed to take the position and purchased the business in 2008. They are very proud to operate several charitable fishing tournaments out of this location, including the Alice Kelly Memorial Ladies Billfish Tournament and the Pirates Cove Big Game Tournament. Jim is the Chairman of the Dare County Oregon Inlet Task Force and the Vice Chair of the Oregon Inlet and Waterways Commission. Jim has also served on the North Carolina Cooperative Extension State Advisory Council, the North Carolina Agriculture Foundation and is a Past President and Past Assistant Governor for Rotary District 7720. Jim has been a certified diver since he was 18 and has his USCG Captains license.

Member: Kim Kenyon

Seat: Conservation

Term: 3/19 to 3/21

Greenville, North Carolina

Karen Brown

Member: Karen Brown

Seat: Economic Development

Term: 1/20 to 1/22

Outer Banks Chamber of Commerce

Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina

Karen Brown, born and raised in southern New Jersey, spent a number of years living along the coast pursuing a career in healthcare. In 2002, she relocated to Bonita Springs, Florida, and worked in an executive management position with the Bonita Springs Area Chamber of Commerce.

In 2007, Karen relocated to Zebulon (Pike County), Georgia to take on a dual role as President and CEO of the Pike County Chamber of Commerce and as the Economic Developer for the Development Authority of Pike County. In October of 2012, the Outer Banks Chamber of Commerce selected Karen to lead the Chamber as its President and CEO.

The Outer Banks Chamber of Commerce is a 900+ member organization focused on creating a business-friendly climate, as well as providing opportunities for members to be successful in their businesses and organizations. In 2016, the Carolina Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives (CACCE), which encompasses all chambers in North and South Carolina, named the Outer Banks Chamber of Commerce “Outstanding Chamber of the Year.” In addition, the Outer Banks Chamber is the only CACCE Accredited Chamber in northeast North Carolina. In 2019, the Chambers for Clean Energy & Innovation Outer Banks Chamber awarded the Outer Banks Chamber of Commerce a “Clean Energy Champion” award.

Karen holds a Master’s in Business Administration (MBA). In her spare time, she enjoys reading, shopping, and spending time outdoors, especially at the beach! Karen resides in Kill Devil Hills on the Outer Banks with her husband, and one special needs, rescued Akita named Brody Brown.

Member: To be determined

Seat: Education

Term: To be determined

Andre Nabors

Member: Andre Nabors

Seat: Heritage Tourism

Term: 3/19 to 3/21

Partner Relations Manager, Visit North Carolina

Mebane, North Carolina

Andre` Nabors has served as the Partner Relations Manager for Visit North Carolina (formerly North Carolina Division of Tourism, Film & Sports Development) since 2010. Visit North Carolina, a unit of the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina (EDPNC), supports sustainable efforts to market and promote the state's natural, historic and cultural resources; and provide assistance to communities, non-profits, and tourism related entities (Cultural/Heritage) for development to improve tourism product and visitation across North Carolina. In December of 2013, Tourism was charged to oversee the North Carolina Certified Retirement Community Program to encourage retirees and those planning to retire to make their home in North Carolina.

Andre` formerly held a similar position with the West Virginia Division of Tourism, where he provided marketing, research, communications and other types of assistance to communities, attractions and CVBs throughout West Virginia. In that role, he worked to develop the state's first African-American Heritage Guide identifying cultural and historic attractions, as well as foster its Civil War Trail program. Andre` also worked on several projects such as Scenic Byways, Rail to Trails, National Coal Heritage Area, Freedom Trek II and III, Governor's Black History Month Kick-Off program, and the Booker T. Washington Institute at West Virginia State University.

Before moving to North Carolina, Andre` was the convention sales manager for the Charleston (W.V.) CVB, where he covered the markets of sports, military, group, fraternity and also managed the Charleston Sports Committee. He began his career in tourism in June 1992 with the West Virginia's Parkways Authority Welcome Centers as a travel counselor and manager. Andre` is a Travel Marketing Professional (TMP) through the Southeast Tourism Society Marketing College program and has over 20 years of experience in the tourism industry.

Andre` graduated from Concord University in Athens, West Virginia and serves on the Concord University Foundation Board of Directors. He currently resides in Mebane, N.C., with his wife Stacy; daughters Malia (13) and Morgan (20); and son Deion (23).

Nathan Richards

Member: Nathan Richards

Seat: Maritime Archaeological Research

Term: 3/19 to 3/21

East Carolina University

Greenville, North Carolina

Dr. Nathan Richards is a maritime archaeologist who holds a joint appointment as program head of the Maritime Heritage Program at the UNC-Coastal Studies Institute (Wanchese, N.C.) and as an associate professor with the Program in Maritime Studies (Department of History) at East Carolina University (Greenville, N.C.). Nathan has taught classes in the history, theory, method and ethics of maritime archaeology, field schools, and cultural heritage management since 2003.

Member: Debby Boyce

Seat: Ocean Sports

Term: 3/19 to 3/21

Dive Operator

Beaufort, North Carolina

Ernal Foster Jr

Member: Ernal (Ernie) W. Foster, Jr.

Seat: Recreational/Commercial Fishing

Term: 10/19 to 10/21

Business Owner

Hatteras, North Carolina

Captain Ernie Foster is the Owner of the Albatross Fleet and Captain of the Albatross III. For over 50 years, Capt. Ernie has professionally fished the waters off Hatteras on The Albatross Fleet boats. He has successfully maintained and improved the historic fleet and built a loyal multi-generational customer base. In addition, he has cultivated and trained many of the people in the charter fishing fleet as quite a few have worked his boats.

Capt. Ernie also dedicates a large portion of his time to civic responsibilities, serving on the Outer Banks Tourism Board, the Dare County Oregon Inlet and Waterways Commission, as a Board Member of the North Carolina Coastal Federation, and as a Hatteras Village Tax Trustee. He is a co-founder, with his wife Lynne, of Day at the Docks and the annual Blessing of the Fleet.

Capt. Ernie is a founding board member of North Carolina Watermen United, a non-profit organization that represents the needs of our coastal communities by protecting the livelihood of the people who fish for a living and providing a voice for fair fisheries regulations.

Member: Rom Whitaker

Seat: Recreational/Commercial Fishing

Term: 3/19 to 3/21

Hatteras, North Carolina

Member: Matt Landrum

Seat: Recreational Diving

Term: 3/19 to 3/21

Business Owner

Manteo, North Carolina

joe poe

Member: Joe Poe (Vice Chair)

Seat: Recreational Diving

Term: 3/19 to 3/21


Durham, North Carolina

Joe Poe has been exploring North Carolina shipwrecks for more than 30 years. He is Technical and Tri-mix certified and was a member of the first civilian team to dive on the USS Monitor in 1990 with dozens of expedition dives on the ship over the following two decades. His photographs were selected by NOAA to illustrate its report to Congress on the Monitor's condition prior to recovery projects and his photos and articles on the USS Monitor and other North Carolina shipwrecks have been featured in Wreck Diving Magazine, Immersed, Sport Diver, Coastwatch, Urban Hiker and Alert Diver, as well as books, training manuals and newspapers. He is a graduate of the U.S. Army Still Photography School and has won several underwater photography competitions. His photos have been published as the covers of N.C. Aquarium Magazine and Wreck Diving Magazine.

Joe is currently Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Divers Alert Network, Inc. (DAN, Inc.), a world-wide organization dedicated to the safety of recreational diving with over 150,000 members. He is a member of the board of directors of other diving organizations, an insurance company and local diving groups and has dived all around the world, from Alaska to PNG to South Africa to Brazil and beyond.

In his other life, Joe is a trial lawyer and member of the New York, North Carolina and Federal bar organizations. Formerly an Assistant District Attorney in the Bronx, New York and a Special Deputy Attorney General of North Carolina, he is now in private practice in Durham, N.C., specializing in civil commercial and tort litigation. He has been trying lawsuits and engaged in all aspects of litigation for over 40 years, and his advocacy for his clients has resulted in numerous significant jury verdicts and appellate decisions. Joe is also a Mediator and member of the North Carolina Academy of Certified Mediators.

Jenna Hartley

Member: Jenna Hartley (Non-Voting Member)

Seat: Student Seat

Term: 3/19 to 3/21

Raleigh, North Carolina

Jenna Hartley is a North Carolina native with a B.S. degree in Environmental Geology from Beloit College, where she was a National Science Foundation-REU participant. Jenna went on to be a New York City Teaching Fellow and earned an M.S. degree in Secondary Science Education from CUNY-Lehman College. With seven years of teaching in public high school classrooms, Jenna taught Earth Science in New York City, and then moved to North Carolina, where she taught AP Environmental Science, Biology, and Earth Science.

Jenna went on to receive an M.S. degree in Environmental Sciences & Engineering from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s Gillings School of Global Public Health.

Jenna is currently an ORISE Participant (Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education) with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s EnviroAtlas team, and recently received her North Carolina Environmental Education certification. Jenna is also a first-year PhD student at NC State University, where she is studying environmental education and the empowerment of young people as environmental change-agents in their communities.

Will Hoffman

Member: Will Hoffman

Seat: The Mariners' Museum

Term: Member since 11/14

Senior Conservator and Conservation Project Manager

Newport News, Virginia

Will Hoffman received his bachelor's degrees in Anthropology (concentrating in North American and Historic Archaeology) and Fine Arts (concentrating in sculpture and metal casting) from The State University of New York College in Buffalo. In addition, he holds a Masters in Art Conservation, specializing in the conservation of objects, from Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario. Since 2009, Will has worked at The Mariners' Museum focusing on the conservation of archaeological metals recovered from the wreck site of the USS Monitor. During his tenure at the museum, Will's research interests have encompassed the evaluation of cleaning and stabilization methods for archaeological iron materials, as well as the study of 19th century metal casting and steam engine technologies. Presently, Will manages and coordinates all conservation-related activities within the USS Monitor Center and the Batten Conservation Laboratory Complex.

Member: To be selected by The Mariners' Museum

Seat: Alternate, The Mariners' Museum

Newport News, Virginia

Government Members

Dave Hallac

Member: Dave Hallac

Seat: The National Park Service

Term: Member since 6/15

Superintendent, Cape Hatteras National Seashore

Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina

Dave Hallac is the superintendent of Cape Hatteras National Seashore and the Outer Banks Group in North Carolina. In this capacity, he oversees a number of park programs, including wildlife and aquatic sciences, vegetation ecology, wetlands, and forestry, climate change, hydrology, geology, historical preservation and Native American tribal relations. He oversees the park's planning, compliance, and science communications program. Dave leads a variety of high profile, complex conservation initiatives such as carnivore conservation, native fish restoration, trans-boundary bison conservation and management, and climate change research.

Hallac previously managed the Yellowstone Center for Resources, the resource management and science division at Yellowstone National Park. Prior to Yellowstone, Dave spent more than a decade in south Florida in a variety of positions, including managing natural resources programs for Everglades and Dry Tortugas National Parks, and implementation of Everglades restoration projects with the Fish and Wildlife Service. He has extensive experience working with other land management agencies and collaboratively with local community groups and friends associations. Dave understands the value of both preserving federal resources and enjoying the recreational opportunities they offer.

Dave Hallac has a master's degree in wildlife and fisheries biology from the University of Vermont. He is an avid fisherman who also enjoys running, scuba diving, and boating.

Member: To be appointed

Seat: Alternate, The National Park Service

Term: N/A

Chris Southerly

Member: Chris Southerly

Seat: N.C. Dept. of Natural and Cultural Resources, Office of State Archaeology

Term: Member since 5/19

Raleigh, North Carolina

Member: To be appointed

Seat: Alternate, N.C. Dept. of Natural and Cultural Resources, Office of State Archaeology

Term: N/A

Jason Peters

Member: Jason Peters

Seat: N.C. Dept. of Environmental Quality

Term: Member since 3/18

Artificial Reef Coordinator, Division of Marine Fisheries

Morehead City, North Carolina

Jason Peters is the Artificial Reef Coordinator for the North Carolina Division of Marine Fisheries (within the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality). In this role, he is responsible for coordinating the design, construction, and monitoring of 68 artificial reef sites in North Carolina. These sites exist from Virginia to South Carolina, and from the river mouths to nearly 40 miles offshore. He oversees permitting, contracting, field logistics, purchasing, and reporting for several sub-programs, including oyster sanctuaries and ocean reefs. Jason also serves as chairman on the joint ASMFC/GSMFC Artificial Reef Committee, which is responsible for national guidelines on artificial reef development.

Jason is a Virginia native, but has spent the majority of his adult life in Eastern North Carolina studying marine ecology and enjoying the wonderful marine resources the state has to offer. He has a BS in Biology from Christopher Newport University (in Newport News!) and a MS in Biological Oceanography from North Carolina State University. Jason is a USCG Master Captain, avid diver, and recreational fisherman.

Member: Steve Poland

Seat: Alternate, N.C. Dept. of Environmental Quality

Term: Member since 7/18

Morehead City, North Carolina

Rett Newton

Member: Everette Newton

Seat: North Carolina Local (Town/City/County) Government

Term: Member since 12/18

Mayor of Beaufort, North Carolina

Beaufort, North Carolina

Rett Newton retired as a Colonel from the US Air Force in 2011 following a 28-year career that included leading-edge engineering, F-15E Strike Eagle leadership, and assignments as an Arabic foreign area officer. He has continued his passion for engineering by designing, building, operating, and maintaining autonomous aircraft, terrestrial vehicle, and surface vessel systems with autopilot, datalink, and advanced payloads. Rett joined the Duke University Marine Laboratory team in June 2015, serving as initial cadre for the Marine Robotics and Remote Sensing (MaRRS) Lab. He is also a third-year Duke University PhD student studying Marine Science and Conservation and in 2017, Rett was elected as the Mayor of the Town of Beaufort, NC.

Member: To be appointed

Seat: Alternate, North Carolina Local (Town/City/County) Government

Beaufort, North Carolina

Will Hoffman

Member: Bobby Outten

Seat: North Carolina Local (Town/City/County) Government

Term: Member since 6/15

City Manager

Dare County, North Carolina

Robert "Bobby" Outten has served Dare County as Manager and Attorney since July 2009. From 2007 to 2009, Outten was Dare County's Attorney and Assistant County Manager. Prior to 2007, Outten was a private practice attorney where his work gravitated toward representing local governments and people or businesses dealing with local government on a variety of matters. He has extensive experience in coastal issues.

Outten earned a bachelor's degree in Business Administration from the University of North Carolina in 1979 and his Juris Doctorate from Wake Forest in 1982.

Outten has been an active volunteer and has served as Chairman of the Advisory Board for Parks and Recreation, assisted with the Babe Ruth World Series and CAA tournaments hosted by Dare County, chaired the local Babe Ruth League and coached for many years in the recreation program. He received the North Carolina Citizen Volunteer of the year for his work with Parks and Recreation. In addition, he was honored as recipient of the Outer Banks Community Foundation's Champion Award.

Outten has lived in Dare County for over 30 years and resides in Southern Shores with his wife Connie.

Drew Pearson

Member: Drew Pearson

Seat: Alternate, North Carolina Local (Town/City/County) Government

Term: Member since 6/15

Dare County, North Carolina

Drew Pearson joined the Dare County staff on August 4, 2014. Prior to joining Dare County, Drew was a United States Coast Guardsmen for thirty years retiring as a Captain on August 1, 2014. He began his Coast Guard career in 1984 and was designated a Coast Guard Aviator in 1986. While his service took him across the United States, he spent a good portion of his career at the Air Station in Elizabeth City. In addition to his aviation assignments, Drew was the Chief of Incident Management at the Coast Guard's Seventh District in Miami, Florida and prior to retirement, commanded Coast Guard forces in the Caribbean as Commander, Sector San Juan Puerto Rico. During these assignments, Drew oversaw search and rescue, marine environmental response, interagency law enforcement, and tropical storm mission efforts, building a wealth of experience in all-hazards emergency management.

Drew is a 1983 graduate of Wesley College where he received a Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Science. In addition to his hands on emergency management experience, Drew holds Master of the Arts in Emergency and Disaster Management and Master of Public Administration degrees from the American Military University and a Master Certificate in Community Preparedness and Disaster Management from the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill.

Since 2006, Drew has maintained designation as a Certified Emergency Manager (CEM) from the International Association of Emergency Managers.

Member: LT Devonte Weems

Seat: U.S. Coast Guard

Term: Member since 9/20

Portsmouth, Virginia

Kate Moore

Member: Kate Moore

Seat: Alternate, U.S. Coast Guard

Term: Member since 9/16


Portsmouth, Virginia

Katie grew up in North Carolina, vacationing on Carolina beaches. She studied environmental policy at Duke University and then received her Masters in Environmental Management with a Coastal Environmental Management focus from the same institution. Katie was previously the Bottlenose Dolphin Conservation Coordinator for NOAA Fisheries, and she has spent the last 13 years with the United States Coast Guard working on marine resource management. As the Living Marine Resources Program Manager for the Atlantic Area, Katie advises on fisheries, protected species, and marine protected areas. Located in Portsmouth, Va., Katie's civilian position provides continuity to the Coast Guard as the uniformed officers rotate to other tours after several years. As a civilian, Katie also provides continuity of knowledge and a consistent entry point for external partners if they require Coast Guard assistance.

Katie brings a zealous commitment to public service and marine conservation. Her personal interests include open water swimming, gardening, travelling, and art. Her favorite place is near water, anywhere!

Robert Neyland

Member: Robert Neyland

Seat: U.S. Navy

Term: Member since 3/11

Head, Naval Historical Center Underwater Archaeology Branch

Washington, DC

Robert obtained his Masters and Doctorate degrees in Anthropology from Texas A&M University's Nautical Archaeology Program and a Masters of Science in Public Planning and Administration from University of Texas, Tyler. Over the course of his archaeological career Robert has worked on a wide variety of shipwrecks, including a 1300 B.C. Bronze-age wreck off the coast of Turkey, medieval cog, the sunken city of 17th century Port Royal, Jamaica, searched for Columbus's caravels, and analyzed the earliest boat remains found in Maryland, as well as other eighteenth and nineteenth century shipwrecks in North America and the Caribbean. He has been the Principal Investigator and Director of excavations on late- and post-medieval wrecks in the Netherlands and terrestrial historic sites in Scotland.

Robert has been Head of the Underwater Archaeology Branch, Naval History and Heritage Command since 1996 and has researched and overseen archaeological surveys for warships dating from the Revolutionary War, American Civil War and World War II. He was instrumental in developing preservation and management strategies for the US Navy's ca. 3,000 shipwrecks and 15,000 aircraft wrecks, as well as the drafting and implementation of the Sunken Military Craft Act, legislation protecting US warships and war graves, signed into law in 2004.

Robert was Project Director for the recovery of the confederate submarine H.L. Hunley and oversaw all aspects of that project including the recovery and the creation of a state of the art archaeological conservation laboratory. Robert was also trained in archaeological conservation and has organized two conservation laboratories during his career and advised on numerous conservation projects. Robert is currently the Archaeological Principal Investigator in the search for Captain John Paul Jones warship Bonhomme Richard sunk in the North Sea.

Robert served as Chairman of the Advisory Council for Underwater Archaeology and a member of the Board of Directors for the Society for Historical Archaeology from 2002-2005. He served on the State of Maryland Governor's Council on Archaeology and the State of Virginia burial task force.

Member: Alexis Catsambis

Seat: Alternate, U.S. Navy

Term: Member since 3/11

Underwater Archaeology Branch

Washington, DC

Samantha Henderson

Member: Samantha Henderson

Seat: Virginia Dept. of Historic Resources

Term: Member since 6/15


Richmond, Virginia

Samantha is an archaeologist specializing in historical archaeology of Virginia. Over the past ten years, she has worked on numerous archaeological sites throughout Tidewater and Piedmont Virginia, including working for four years at Fort Monroe in Hampton, Virginia. Samantha attended Randolph-Macon Woman's College in Lynchburg, Virginia, for her undergraduate degree and completed her Master's degree in Historical Archaeology from University of Massachusetts Boston. In her role as Project Review Archaeologist for the Virginia Department of Historic Resources, she reviews effects of State and Federal projects on historic resources across the Commonwealth of Virginia. Samantha is a native of Virginia Beach and currently lives in Newport News, Virginia.

Member: Greg LaBudde

Seat: Alternate, Virginia Dept. of Historic Resources

Term: Member since 6/15

Project Review Archaeologist

Richmond, Virginia