Join us at the 8th Annual Wild South Green Gala as we celebrate Wild South’s legacy of 25 years and honor the top nominees and winners of the Roosevelt-Ashe Conservation Awards.


This stunning red wolf painting by Andrea Cassetta will be the headline silent auction item at the event.

The Wild South Green Gala will take place on May 7, 2016, from 6 to 10 p.m. at The Millroom in Asheville, North Carolina located at 66 Asheland Ave, Asheville, NC 28801. Free parking is available across the street from the venue. Tickets are $35 and include dinner, music, the award ceremony and evening program, and one drink ticket. There will also be a silent auction and raffle to benefit Wild South, with generous donations from our sponsors, who are listed below.

This year’s Wild South Green Gala will feature keynote speaker, DeLene Beeland, Asheville-based author of The Secret World of Red Wolves: The Fight to Save North America’s Other Wolf, published in 2013. Beeland will address the history and current status of the endangered red wolf – right now there are fewer than 50 left in the wild.

Purchase your tickets here before they sell out!


The emcee of the event will be storyteller and writer Jim Pfitzer. A life-long conservationist, Jim has been performing his one-man play Aldo Leopold – A Standard of Change which explores the intersection of human progress and wildness for audiences around the country since 2012. JimPfitzer

The prestigious Roosevelt-Ashe Conservation Awards recognizes and honors leaders from across the South for their work in conservation during the previous year.

Top Nominees for Roosevelt-Ashe Conservation Awards

  • Outstanding Conservationist
    • Dayna Reggero: Director of The Climate Listening Project, Asheville, North Carolina
    • Jane Branham: President of Southern Appalachian Mountain Stewards, Norton, Virginia
    • Bob Gale: Ecologist & Public Lands Director of MountainTrue, Asheville, North Carolina
    • Carl Silverstein: Executive Director of Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy, Asheville, North Carolina
    • Dr. John (Jack) D. Agricola: Past President of the Alabama Chapter of the American Chestnut Foundation, Gadsden, Georgia
  • Outstanding Educator
    • Jackie Truitt Posey: Elementary School Teacher at Lawrence County Schools, Town Creek, Alabama
    • Kim Wheeler: Executive Director of The Red Wolf Coalition, Columbia, North Carolina
    • Dr. Drew Lanham: Professor of Wildlife Ecology at Clemson University, Clemson, South Carolina
  • Outstanding Youth
    • Bennett David: Scout/Student-Volunteer, Boy Scout Troop 91, Asheville, North Carolina
    • Olivia & Carter Ries: Founders of One More Generation, Fayetteville, Georgia
  • Outstanding Small Business
    • Holladog Farms: Organic Farm, Pamplico, South Carolina
  • Outstanding Journalist
    • Will Harlan: Editor of Blue Ridge Outdoors Magazine, Asheville, North Carolina
    • Morgan Simmons: Environmental Reporter for Knoxville News Sentinel

Special Awards:

  • Outstanding Community Conservationist: To recognize an individual’s contribution to education and community engagement on conservation, spanning many categories of achievement. This is a special, one-year award designated by the Roosevelt-Ashe Selection Committee.
    • Forest Hilyer: Chair of Lumpkin Coalition, Dahlonega, Georgia
  • Kayah Gaydish Award: For an individual who has advanced Wild South’s mission and vision and has demonstrated the same dedication Kayah had for inspiring others to protect our wild places.
    • Ben Prater: Southeast Program Director of Defenders of Wildlife, Asheville, North Carolina
  • Cultural Heritage Award: For an individual who has demonstrated commitment to preserving cultural heritage in our region.
    • Robin Swayney: Program Manager, Qualla Boundary Library, Cherokee, NC.
  • Public Service Award: For a dedicated public servant whose work has promoted a conservation vision and values that mirror Wild South’s and represents the type of conscientious stewardship of natural resources that promotes collaborative partnerships with organizations.
    • Gary Kaufman: Botanist & Ecologist of U.S. Forest Service, Asheville, North Carolina
  • Friend of Wilderness Award: For an individual who has worked to designate and increase protection for our special wild places in the Southeast.
    • Mike Leonard: Board Chair of The Conservation Fund and attorney at Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice, PLLC, Winston-Salem, North Carolina.


The Wild South Green Gala is a community event that is made possible by our generous sponsors and supporters. If your business or organization is interested in sponsoring the event, please contact Hannah Morgan, Wild South Development and Communications Coordinator, at (828) 258-2667 or

Headline Sponsors:



Anonymous Donor




Venue and Furnishings Provided By:





Food Provided By:

green sage


Silent Auction and Raffle Items Provided By:




Basketmaker Mark Kolinski