Heath has more than 15 years of senior leadership experience in Austin’s nonprofit sector. He has helped raise millions of dollars over the course of his career at organizations like Equality Texas, Texas Advocacy Project, the Long Center for Performing Arts, and The Hispanic Alliance. He has worked as a director at Elizabeth Christian Public Relations and served on the boards of the Austin Gay and Lesbian International Film Festival, The Hispanic Alliance and Waterloo Counseling Center. Heath is passionate about Austin’s green space and believes Pease Park represents all that makes Austin great. He is honored and humbled to be part of the Pease Park journey.
Chief Operating Officer
Chuck Smith is a fifth generation Austinite, who understands the importance of Austin's park system as an important component in what makes Austin special. He is thrilled to have the opportunity to manage the Kingsbury Commons Project and related programming for Pease Park. Chuck comes to PPC from a 15-year stint at the LGBTQ advocacy organization Equality Texas, where he served as the CEO. He enjoys the hike & bike trails and shares his home with two Great Danes, Honey & Cleo.
Director of Development
Marianne DeLeon joins Pease Park Conservancy with nearly 20 years of experience in resource development for mission-driven nonprofit organizations. Marianne has worked at a variety of nonprofits including: at a reproductive health clinic in the former Soviet Union; resettling refugees at the Dallas Regional Office of the International Rescue Committee; and empowering people facing issues related to HIV and AIDS at AIDS Services of Austin. Today, she is so excited to work alongside her Pease Park colleagues to revitalize Kingsbury Commons.
Director of Community Engagement
Casey hails from North Carolina by way of New York, settling in Austin for the past decade. With her roots based in her parents’ small farm, Casey has a deep love for the outdoors and the play it inspires. For over seven years, she was the Public Relations Director for lookthinkmake, a local agency. Prior to that, Casey worked at I Live Here, I Give Here, where she helped launch the inaugural year of Amplify Austin, as well as the operations and events of the organization. Casey and her husband Will have a young son who is an avid nature lover and it has given even more reason and purpose to her support of Austin’s parks and places of community.
Kyle grew up on a 100-acre farm, 30 miles outside of Small Town, Texas (Bellville). When he arrived at UT, he felt disconnected from nature, spending entirely too much time huddled in a dark room counting 1s and 0s, studying computer engineering. To give his eyes a break, he created a student organization built around playing sports. Because of its proximity to campus, its sand volleyball courts, the open fields and picnic tables, the group held a lot of its events at Pease Park. The park became an important part of Kyle’s college life and he’s thrilled to now be working for the Conservancy.
Nick is a 4th-year Sustainability Studies student at The University of Texas at Austin. He recently spent two months in Botswana researching the effects of climate change, fire, and grazing on woody vegetation and its implications to sustaining wildlife and livestock. He also studied the dynamic relationship between humans and the environment and assessed how pressures from climate change, urbanization, and population growth amplify the conflict between them. In addition to being a member of Green Greeks, a student-run organization that works to bring sustainability and environmental awareness to greek life at UT, Nick is also a research assistant who is developing a digital method of tree mapping through drone captured 3D models of landscapes.