After launching during National Park Week in April 2019, Outer Banks Forever the official non-profit partner of the three national parks in Dare and Hyde counties, announced its founding Board of Directors on Tuesday.
Outer Banks Forever was created to help protect Cape Hatteras National Seashore, Fort Raleigh National Historic Site and the Wright Brothers National Memorial through project support, new and enhanced programs, and volunteer engagement.
The organization will focus on four key areas to strengthen the national parks:
- Educating and engaging our next generation of park stewards
- Preserving natural and cultural resources
- Advancing the science and understanding of the parks
- Creating new ways to experience the parks
The founding Board of Directors will play a critical role in building a strong foundation of support for the Outer Banks national parks, according to OBX Forever director Jessica Green.
“We are thrilled to have such a dedicated group of volunteers who are passionate about our national parks. Their commitment shows how important these parks are to our community,” Green said in a press release.
Outer Banks Forever founding Board of Directors:
- Trip Forman is the co-owner of REAL Watersports and has helped make Hatteras Island one of the premier kiteboarding destinations in the world. His mission is to “make a new rider every day” and engage our next generation in the experience of outdoor sports.
- Mary Helen Goodloe-Murphy is a reporter for The Coastland Times and volunteer with the Rodanthe Thrift Shop, Outer Banks National Scenic Byway Committee, and Radio Hatteras. Mary Helen is a recipient of the Order of the Long Leaf Pine, was named Outstanding Citizen of the County of Dare in 2012 and Outer Banks Citizen of the Year in 2013.
- Nick Graham of Standard Insurance is a graduate of First Flight High School who went on to receive degrees from UNC Chapel Hill and Wake Forest University. Nick grew up visiting the national parks and is excited to help launch a Young Professionals group this year to bring together emerging leaders in the community to support the parks.
- Beth Midgett is Reservations Operations Manager at Midgett Realty. Since moving to Hatteras in 1998, Beth has been a devoted community volunteer having served on the Dare County Planning Board, the Citizens Action Committee to Replace Bonner Bridge, the Board of Directors of the North Carolina Vacation Rental Managers Association, and much more. She and her family regularly spend time enjoying all that our national parks have to offer.
- Michael E. Smith of JAM Media Solutions has a distinguished career in radio broadcasting and is known on-air as “Moose,” co-host of Moose & Jody in the Morning on Beach 104. His community involvement includes First Flight Rotary, Past President of The First Flight Society, and founding member of the Outer Banks Bicycle and Pedestrian Safety Coalition.
- Bob Woodard is the current Chairman of the Board of Commissioners for Dare County. Bob enjoyed a thirty-two year career with Willis of Virginia prior to joining Towne Insurance in 2011. Bob’s community involvement includes Chair of the Kill Devil Hills Street Improvement and Special Projects committee, Board of Directors of the First Flight Society, Board of Directors of the Outer Banks Visitor’s Bureau, and much more.
As Outer Banks Forever continues to grow, plans are to expand the Board of Directors to represent not only the local community but also the visitors who flock here to enjoy our Outer Banks national parks each year.
“We are looking to engage leaders from North Carolina, Virginia, and beyond who have a love of the Outer Banks and a passion for the natural and cultural history our national parks protect,” Green said.
For more information on Outer Banks Forever and the work the founding Board of Directors is making possible in your OBX national parks, visit www.OBXforever.org.