Board + Staff

The work of Green Built Alliance in the community is led by our passionate and engaged staff and Board of Directors.

Sam Ruark-Eastes
Sam has been working in the field of sustainability for local governments, nonprofits, and small businesses since 1998. Sam’s first foray into the nonprofit world was working with the Harmony Project and the Sustainability Institute in Charleston, SC. There, he ran a building materials reuse center for affordable housing and a green building trade show. In 2000, he heard the call to “go west young man” and moved to the Bay area without a job or place to live. Within a year, he had a job working as a Sustainability Planner for Marin County, CA, where he developed and implemented their green building program, helped write the Energy and Green Building Element to the County’s master plan, and initiated two sustainability policies that dramatically reduce energy use and construction waste. In 2005, he returned to North Carolina and served as Educational Programming Director for Seven-Star Events where he worked with a team to organize and manage the Green Festivals and GreenCities. When the economy dove into a recession, he returned to California to work as an Energy and Sustainability Coordinator for Sonoma County, CA, where he managed a commercial and municipal energy efficiency program in partnership with the utility. He also developed renewable energy projects including a 700 kW PV system, managed the post-installation commissioning of a 1.4 MW hydrogen fuel cell and developed a clean commute program for county employees.

In 2014, he returned to the beautiful mountains of North Carolina. After brief stints with Ashevillage, Organic Growers School and Accelerating Appalachia, Sam landed his North Carolina dream job in November 2015 as the executive director of Green Built Alliance. He has served on the Boards of Directors for three successful nonprofits and is excited to bring those experiences to this organization.

Sam has a Bachelor of Science in Sociology and Communications from the College of Charleston, is a LEED AP, NARI Certified Green Building professional and Certified Permaculture designer. He and his wife Lena tend a 1.5 acre homestead in Candler, NC, where they strive to incorporate the principles of sustainability and stewardship into daily life.
Maggie Leslie
Maggie Leslie has been working for Green Built Alliance since 2003, and became full-time staff in July of 2006 after serving as Treasurer. Currently she is keeping busy as Program Director of the Green Built Homes Program and LEED-Homes Providership.

Maggie received her Bachelor of Science in Environmental Studies, concentrating in Sustainable Agriculture and Environmental Policy, from Warren Wilson College. Since completing her Bachelor of Science, Maggie received a certificate in Sustainable Building Advisory from the City of Seattle, WA. After relocating back to the southeast, she worked with the Southface Energy Institute in Atlanta, Ga. While at Southface, Maggie trained as a HERS rater and developed her understanding of building science and sustainable design.

Maggie enjoys spending time gardening and cooking with her husband Micah and her daughters Opal, Sophia and Isabel.
Cari Barcas
Cari brings more than a decade of experience in communications and nonprofit management to her work at Green Built Alliance, with the intention of helping both members and the broader community more effectively connect with the nonprofit's mission and access ways each person can make an impact.

Cari graduated from DePaul University in Chicago with a major in journalism and minor in political science, and an interest in the way people engage in the story of their own community as well as in the systemic policies and practices which either support that connection or foster civic disengagement. Before moving to Asheville in 2014 to work in nonprofit management, Cari worked as a journalist in Chicago, including time covering green building as a reporter focused on residential and commercial real estate. She's a big believer in the idea that the way you do anything is the way you do everything, and that the process of creating a sustainable experience in the outer world directly relates to the practice of cultivating balance in our inner world.

When she's not supporting the work of Green Built Alliance, Cari can be found teaching yoga classes in the community, enjoying the vibrant Asheville food and music scene, or exploring these majestic mountains with her husband, daughter and dog.

Board of Directors

Chrissy Burton (Chair)
Kevin Ward (Vice Chair)
McGregor Holmes (Treasurer)
Jamie Shelton (Secretary)
Jessica Arrowood
Kelvin Bonilla
Stephens Smith Farrell