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.

Jessie

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 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!

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 classroom teacher, director of a high school outdoor program, Head of School, and as a provider of professional development and curriculum support. Ed's love of travel and the outdoors has taken him climbing in Bolivia, backpacking the New Hampshire AT, white-water kayaking in Ecuador, and trekking in remote parts of Myanmar. When not on outdoor adventures Ed loves to cook for his wife, play guitar, and hang out with his toddler granddaughter (he just bought her some climbing shoes).

Ian Waldrop
Program Instructor

Ian is from Greenville, South Carolina and is super excited to be following his passion of working in outdoor education! His love for this work started at YMCA Camp Greenville and has taken him from the mountains of South Carolina to the valleys of Virginia. He is fascinated by nature and loves sharing that fascination and sense of wonder with others. When he's not outdoors, you can probably find him working on his video game music library.

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 to join the Earthshine staff and be able to tie that passion for the outdoors with her love for teaching.  

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
Instructor

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.

Jaclyn LaDue
Instructor

Jaclyn LaDue has been knitting and crocheting for 25 years. She is self-taught and loves designing and creating hats, scarves, and baby items. Jaclyn and her family love to travel in their converted Sprinter van and Jaclyn started Knitting by the Mile to tell the stories of her family's travels through her knitting.