Our Crew

Our Staff is What Truly Sets Earthshine Apart

Our team of passionate and caring adventure enthusiasts are on hand to welcome guests and ensure that each and every visitor has a remarkable experience. While you may come as a stranger, we hope that you leave feeling a part of the Earthshine community.  

The Earthshine Crew

“A real sense of community and caring, established by the onsite management team  created an atmosphere of mutual respect and trust.” (2020, Tripadvisor Review)

Anna Bracco
Owner/ Managing Director

Anna has spent her career in executive leadership development and is excited to bring this work outdoors. Earthshine is the perfect opportunity to meld her experience working with corporate groups - assessing, coaching, developing and facilitating leadership programs - with her passion for experiential learning and the outdoors.

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.

Stephanie Thomas
Guest Experience Manager

Prior to joining Earthshine, Stephanie and her husband relocated to Western North Carolina from Atlanta , digging their heels in deep as owners of a small local business. She is thrilled to be bringing her experience in hospitality and education to the mountaintop to help create once-in-a-lifetime experiences for our guests. An avid mountain biker, she'll most likely be seen in and around Dupont State Forest when she's not at the lodge taking in the magic of this place!

Moriah Geer-Hardwick
Lead Program Instructor

Moriah is an experiential educator with 20 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. 

Colleen Raulerson
Head Chef

Chef Coe hails from sunny San Diego, California. Now, she and her family live off-grid on their small homestead in Dupont forest. They enjoy all things outdoors especially camping, kayaking, canoeing, hiking and cooking! Guests love Coe's homemade meals, focus on using locally sourced ingredients, and of course, her amazing smile!

Amber McKissick
Kitchen Assistant Manager

Amber grew up in Georgia, where her family instilled in her a passion for cooking from an early age. She started off making traditional southern fare inspired by her family heritage (Irish, Scandinavian, Mexican, and Italian). Her time adventuring the globe has left her with an appreciation for different cultures and cuisines, which she likes to recreate in the kitchen. Surrounded by nature all her life, she enjoys hiking, camping, snowboarding, and whitewater rafting. She is thrilled to join the Earthshine crew in beautiful Lake Toxaway.

Shawn McMurray
Program Instructor

Shawn is an educator with over twenty years experience working with children and adults. A Transylvania County native and avid day hiker, Shawn retired from education early, so she could spend more time exploring her passion for the outdoors. Shawn is thrilled that her role at Earthshine allows her to combine her passion for the outdoors to her love for teaching.

M Rathsack
Program Instructor

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. 

Ed Maggart
Program Instructor

Ed has been involved in experiential education for 35 years as a high school teacher, director of a high school outdoor program, Head of School, and as a provider of professional development. Ed's love of travel and the outdoors has taken him on adventures all over the world. When not on outdoor adventures Ed loves to cook for his wife, play guitar, and hang out with his granddaughter.

Huck Pearl
Program Instructor

Huck has grown up in the area and enjoys sharing it with others. He has years of experience participating in outdoor education, through school and in his spare time. He is looking forward to being on the other side as an instructor of the programs that he has enjoyed participating in so much over the years.

Mark Merritt
Program Instructor

Working with the Earthshine crew allows me to indulge two passions near and dear to my heart; inspiring others to be the best they can be while enjoying the great outdoors. As a lifelong learner it is nice to be part of place that celebrates learning, diversity, and having a good time! I am looking forward to what fall has to bring up on the mountain top.

Bethany Myers

Bethany is a Transylvania County native and knows this beautiful part of the world well. She can be found working around Earthshine in many different capacities, helping to make each guest experience amazing.

Mark English
Instructor/ Llama Wrangler

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 has been leading yoga sessions at Earthshine for two years. She specializes in teaching all ages and introducing yoga to beginners. Laura loves to show her class participants that anyone at any level can enjoy yoga.