Key Partner Contacts
Tracy supports Safe Passage by helping to develop, coordinate and implement outreach strategies, volunteer engagement activities, and communications. At Defenders, she advances the Southeast field conservation program focused on the Southern Appalachian region by developing conservation objectives and strategies, collaborating with partners to protect and restore the region’s imperiled wildlife and their habitats, and engaging communities in this work. Tracy is licensed to practice law in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and holds a J.D. from Suffolk University Law School.
Tim serves as Chair of the Steering Committee of the Safe Passage Fund Coalition helping to direct initiatives, oversee agreements, and lead related agency and legislative efforts. As CEO of North Carolina Wildlife Federation, Tim has worked to bring together citizens, outdoor enthusiasts, hunters and anglers, government officials, and industry leaders to protect North Carolina’s natural resources and sustainably manage them for future generations.
Steve is a Volgenau Wildlife Research Fellow with National Parks Conservation Association and co-research lead for the Pigeon River Gorge Wildlife Connectivity Study. Steve has also worked for Virginia Tech, Arizona Game & Fish Department, and Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife, where he studied and conserved threatened and endangered species, including red-cockaded woodpeckers, desert tortoises, black-footed ferrets, and Washington ground squirrels. Steve holds bachelors degrees in biology and finance from the University of South Florida and a masters in biology from the University of West Florida.
Liz Hillard, Ph.D.
Liz helps direct and manage the study design, implementation, and analysis of Safe Passage’s road ecology research in the Pigeon River Gorge/Interstate 40 corridor. She earned her Ph.D. at Southern Illinois University and holds a masters of science in Biology from Western Carolina University. Liz serves as secretary of the North Carolina chapter of The Wildlife Society and works to build partnerships and engage the public in habitat connectivity and conservation efforts throughout the Southern Appalachian region.
Elly manages communications, publicity and community outreach for Safe Passage. She is the president of Elly Wells Inc., a marketing communications firm based in Asheville, NC, that assists Great Smoky Mountains Association with marketing and special projects, such as Safe Passage. Her firm specializes in work for conservation and environmental organizations, nonprofit organizations in various sectors, and locally owned or family-held businesses.