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Meet the team working hard to save land in Northwest Arkansas!

Grady Spann

Executive Director and CEO

Grady Spann serves as the organization’s CEO, responsible for managing the overall operations and resources of NWALT, serving as the public face of the organization, coordinating with the board, and leading the short and long-term strategies of the land trust.

Grady comes to the land trust from Arkansas State Parks where he served for 28 years. Grady joined Arkansas State Parks in 1993 and in 2016 was promoted to director of Arkansas State Parks. He also served as a park ranger after graduating from the Arkansas Law Enforcement Training Academy in 1995.


Grady is the past president of the National Association of State Park Directors (NASPD), past president of the Association of Southeast State Park Directors, and formerly the Chairman of the Board of Regents for NASPD State Park Leadership School.

Prior to working for Arkansas State Parks, Spann served in the U.S. Army for nine years as a military tactical intelligence and counterintelligence officer. He was stationed at Fort Huachuca, Arizona; Fort Polk, Louisiana; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; and in Washington D.C. 


Marson Nance

Director of Philanthropy

Marson oversees NWALT’s giving and grassroots support program. He is responsible for planning and executing the Land Trust’s strategic development plan, working with advocates and donors at all levels to secure financial support for NWALT’s mission and to help community members achieve their philanthropic goals.

Marson served as Director of Land Stewardship and Research at NWALT for 5 years. He is deeply knowledgeable about the Land Trust’s operations from land protection to land stewardship and the organization as a whole.​

Through his career at NWALT, Marson has secured funding for landscape scale land protection projects as well as government and private funding for habitat restoration and public access on NWALT preserves.

A native of the Blue Ridge Mountains in North Carolina, Marson has a Bachelor’s of Science in Environmental Biology from the University of North Carolina, Asheville. Marson served as an environmental project manager on large-scale energy and infrastructure projects in the Desert Southwest and worked as an environmental consultant in Nevada, California, and Florida. He also served as a lake manager for Orange County, Florida Government. There he managed over 2,000 acres of surface water for improvements in water quality and aquatic habitat. Marson served as the government liaison to citizens’ advisory boards and as a divisional representative to the Orange County Board of County Commissioners.

Marson is a musician and traveler and has logged thousands of miles across North America and Europe in search of birds and unique cultural experiences. Together with his wife Cheyenne, and two children, Marson enjoys travel, birding, camping, and playing guitar in his band Higher Arkies. Marson lives with his family in Fayetteville, Arkansas.

Pam updated 2018.jpg
Director of Land Protection

Pam Nelson

Pam Nelson is a key member of NWALT’s land protection team, managing detailed real estate due diligence and conservation easement drafting, and serving as in-house GIS specialist. In addition, she organizes special projects on behalf of NWALT, including landowner outreach and climate awareness.

Pam grew up in Dallas, Texas. She has a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from University of North Texas and a master’s degree in Applied Geography with a focus on Environmental Studies from Texas State University. For her master’s research, she completed a greenhouse gas emissions inventory for Texas State University and analyzed strategies to reduce emissions at the University. Pam’s work in environmental education began as an intern for Siuslaw National Forest on the coast of Oregon where she became a Certified Interpretive Guide.


While pursuing her master’s degree, she worked as an environmental educator for The Meadows Center for Water and the Environment in San Marcos, Texas. After completing her degree, she accepted a position as a Teacher Naturalist with the Richardson Bay Audubon Center in Marin County. She later moved back to Texas with her family and worked as Program Manager for Texas Alliance for Geographic Education. 


Pam loves hiking and canoeing with her husband, two sons, and dog. She also enjoys gardening, cooking, and volunteering with the Washington County youth garden explorers club.

Director of Land Stewardship

Renee Sniegocki

Renee oversees NWALT’s land stewardship program. She is responsible for planning and executing strategies to meet the organization’s land stewardship goals, including overseeing the management of NWALT's public access nature preserves and ensuring the long-term protection and stewardship of NWALT's conservation easement portfolio.

Born and raised in Little Rock, Arkansas, Renee spent her childhood exploring the Ozark and Ouachita mountains with her family, and has since dedicated her life to protecting wild lands. She earned a bachelor's degree in Biology at Warren Wilson College in Asheville, North Carolina and worked as a volunteer coordinator for the college’s service-learning office.

During her summers in undergraduate and in the 10 years following, Renee worked as a seasonal Biological Science and Forestry Technician for the National Park Service at park units in Colorado, Tennessee, and Alaska. Her roles there included: forest management, invasive species eradication, ecosystem restoration, search and rescue, and wildland firefighting. In Spring of 2020, Renee earned her Master's Degree in Biology at the University of Arkansas which focused on the effects of land use change on soil microbial diversity and carbon cycling in the tropical forests of Borneo.

In her free time, Renee enjoys backpacking, canoeing, fly fishing, and van camping with her husband. Together, they backpacked the lengths of both the Ouachita and Ozark Highlands Trails.


Evan Johnson

Community Engagement Manager

While growing up in Fayetteville, the most common place you could find Evan would either be on the White River or deep into Ozark National Forest exploring with his family. Evan has deep roots within the state of Arkansas and has decided to move back to his home state.


While away, Evan earned his bachelor’s degree in Environmental Management and Policy at UNC-Asheville. Evan was able to intern with the Defenders of Wildlife as a Programs Intern when he was still in school. After graduating in May of 2021, Evan joined the Blue Ridge Service Corps, where he was partnered with Habitat for Humanity as a Volunteer Coordinator and Deconstruction Specialist. He also worked alongside Lake Logan Retreat Center by helping to build the foundational curriculum for the new Outdoor School. In the summer months, Evan worked at Camp Kanuga as a Camp Counselor where he would lead outdoor education activities.  Evan is excited to bring his skills and experience from working with non-profits and outdoor schools to the Ozarks Region.

Evan loves to play disc golf in his free time and is always aspiring to bring his game to the next level! If he is not disc golfing, you will find him rooting for the Charlotte Hornets from afar, or trout fishing in the Ozarks

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