Lauren Rust; Board president
Lauren is the founder and executive director of LMMN.
Christine Beddia; Board vice-president
Christine Beddia has nearly 15 years of fundraising and strategic communications experience with a variety of nonprofit organizations in the Southeast and Pacific Northwest. Currently, she is the Director of Development at Pacific Northwest Research Institute in Seattle, WA where she leads philanthropic efforts to support genetic research and bioinformatics to improve health. Previously, she was Development Director at Savannah Music Festival raising nearly $2M to support education programs for youth and a 17 day world-class music festival in downtown Savannah. After earning a Masters in Public Administration at the College of Charleston, Christine spent over eight years working at Coastal Community Foundation, a public grant making foundation in SC. There she was responsible for strategic communications and marketing related to grantmaking, philanthropic services, and program initiatives. Christine is a Certified Fund Raising Executive and has served on the board of LMMN since 2016.
Robert Young; Board secretary and treasurer
Dr. Rob Young is a professor of marine science and the director of undergraduate research at Coastal Carolina University. He received his bachelor’s degree in biology from the University of Virginia and his doctoral degree in oceanography from the University of Rhode Island. He has served as the department chair for marine science and the associate provost for grants and sponsored research at CCU and as the president of the South Carolina Marine Educators Association. He is currently the state coordinator for the South Carolina Marine Mammal Stranding Network. His research and publications have focused primarily on the ecology of bottlenose dolphins in the southeastern United States and on the behavior, ecology and population biology of fishes in the southeastern U.S. He has also developed and directed or co-directed numerous marine and environmental education programs for 2016 students and teachers at all levels.