The Earthshine Team

Anna Bracco

Owner/ Managing Director

Anna has spent her career working with executives as a leadership development consultant. She brings over 15 years of experience working with corporate groups – assessing, coaching, and developing and facilitating leadership programs. Anna first fell in love with Earthshine Lodge when after visiting over 20 years ago and is excited to bring her leadership development work outside.

Ali Holroyd Lien

Owner/ Director of Outdoor Education

Ali has extensive experience running non-profit organizations in the Western Carolina area and has worked for over 20 years for outdoor / experiential programs across the country. An experienced facilitator, teacher, and business owner, Ali has had a strong connection to Earthshine since getting married on site years ago.

Jessie Johnson

Site Manager

Jessie is one of Earthshine’s Site Managers, alongside her husband, Matt. For the past 20 years, she’s worked with several nonprofit organizations and led thousands of experiential educational programs for all ages. She spent three years living and working on the road, camping 200 nights a year all over the country, and she still thinks western North Carolina is one of the best places in the world!

Matt Schneider

Site Manager

Matt is a Site Manager at Earthshine, alongside his wife, Jessie, and is excited to help guests have amazing experiences in Western North Carolina. Before coming to Earthshine, he spent three years traveling and camping all over the country as an outdoor educator with Leave No Trace, and has worked in the outdoors for most of the past twenty years. He’s a pretty good vegan cook and a competent bicycle mechanic. 

Moriah Geer-Hardwick

Lead Program Instructor

Moriah is an experiential educator with 17 years of experience working with children, families, and professional groups. He loves making a difference in the lives of others through outdoor education. At Earthshine, you can find Mo anywhere from black smithing, to leading hikes, to spinning on a spinning wheel. Ask him and he will point out which giant millipedes smell like cherries and which trees taste like wintergreen. 


Program Instructor

Lucas Newton has been calling Appalachia home on and off for 17 years and is grateful to be on the mountaintop at Earthshine this summer! He has been leading and instructing outdoor education programs for all ages for over 10 years. In his free time, Lucas loves to hike and paddle the local rivers with his dog Townes. 

Shelley VanBuren

Chef/ Kitchen Manager

Shelley can’t wait to meet you and your family!  She has over 25 years of experience in the hospitality industry. Shelley’s chef skills are extremely versatile as she has an extensive background in catering. One of Shelley’s favorite things to do with her own family is meal time as it is a wonderful time to catch up for the day. Seeing guests enjoying time and meals together really fills her with joy.

Mark English


Mark, better know as “the llama dude,” is well known in the Transylvania County for the variety of llama adventures he provides. Mark is partnering with Earthshine Lodge to offer llama hikes on the beautiful property and is now keeping some of his llamas in the Earthshine pasture. 

Laura Sullivan


Laura Sullivan is excited about leading some Gentle Yoga sessions at Earthshine this summer. She loves to show her class participants that anyone at any level can enjoy yoga. 
For more about Laura and her classes, check out her website You Can Do This Yoga

M Rathsack


M has been teaching art and running her own independent art school since 2006.  At Earthshine, she teaches Nature Art classes, Paint and Wine classes, and also helps in our Cherokee and Pioneer Living History Villages.