Cha Boyce, Incoming Executive Director
Cha was born in Marsh Harbour and has lived in Abaco for over 30 years. She also lived in California, and graduated from California Polytechnic University at San Luis Obispo. Cha returned to The Bahamas in 1985 and managed the Abaco Inn, a small resort in Hope Town until 1990. During this time, she became involved with Friends of the Environment, where she served as president in the early years of the organization.
Kristin Williams, Outgoing Executive Director
Originally from Nassau, Kristin has lived in Abaco since 2005. Kristin attended high school at Oldfields School in Maryland and in 2003 she received her bachelor’s degree in Corporate Communications from The College of Charleston in South Carolina. She and her husband currently live in Marsh Harbour with their daughter, son, and two dogs, Charley and Chufa.
Olivia Patterson, Program Coordinator
Olivia is a 9th generation Hope Town resident. In 2005, Olivia returned home to Abaco after receiving a bachelor’s degree in Marine Biology from Florida Institute of Technology in Melbourne, FL. Olivia is responsible for implementing program activities for the various committees at FRIENDS. She has been instrumental in developing protected area proposals and working with the Bahamas National Trust to create management plans for existing protected areas. Olivia also served as a contract research assistant with The Bahamas Marine Mammal Research Organisation (BMMRO) and participated in their northern Bahamas surveys. Olivia helped expand BMMRO’s Sandy Point Environmental Camp program to other communities in Abaco through FRIENDS. As a graduate of Hope Town Primary School, Olivia participated in many of FRIENDS’ early student programs, such as the Earth Day Science Fair. Olivia recently achieved a Master of Arts in Zoology through the Global Field Program at Miami University of Ohio with a concentration in environmental education and conservation. (View her Master’s portfolio of work).
Cassandra Abraham, Education Director
Cassandra is originally from Grand Cay, one of the many cays surrounding Abaco. She has always had a love for the environment, especially marine life. She worked on Walker’s Cay, another one of the Abaco Cays, as an open water diver where she led shark dives. She moved to Marsh Harbour, Abaco in 2011 with her husband after receiving a Bachelor of Science in Biology and Psychology from Saint Mary’s University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. She worked in the financial sector prior to and following University. Cassandra is now doing what she is passionate about. She is responsible for bringing public awareness to environmental issues and leading outdoor field trips through FRIENDS and the Frank Kenyon Centre.
Ruth Albury, Office Manager
Originally from Man-O-War Cay, Ruth grew up helping at the family businesses of The Sail Shop and Albury’s Ferry Service. Meeting new and interesting people on a daily basis helped shape her world-view and expand her experiences. In 1984 she moved to Elbow Cay and, along with her husband, started their first venture: Sea Spray Resort & Marina. After twenty years of success and growth she sold the business for a quieter life and time to spend raising her two sons. Today she lives in Marsh Harbour bringing her years of experience in the business world along with her love for Abaco to help FRIENDS in its mission for a more sustainable future for Abaco’s wildlife and people.
Lianna Burrows, Education Officer
Lianna was born in Nassau, New Providence and spent her whole life in Nassau until she graduated from Queen’s College high school in 2013. There, she went off to obtain her Bachelor’s degree in Marine Biology from Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, FL. She graduated from Eckerd in May 2017 with a major in Marine Biology and minor in Leadership Studies. As a Bahamian, she found a great love for exploring the ocean and became passionate about conservation and education. Currently, she is pursuing her passion for the environment and education, as well as her dream of living on an out-island by being employed by Friends of the Environment in the beautiful Abaco’s.
DaShane Knowles, Intern
I was born in Nassau, but raised in Abaco from the age of 5. All my life I always found interest in being outside, whether it was jumping off the dock, adventuring through the pine forest, or simply sitting outside spending time with good friends. Due to my love for the outdoors I found myself heavily involved with Friends of The Environment; attending any after school or summer program they had to offer. I attended and graduated in 2014 from Forest Heights Academy on the Principal’s List. I am currently a Senior at Pennsylvania State University with a double Major in Mechanical Engineering and Environmental Engineering, along with a double Minor in Environmental and Renewable Resource Economics, and Communications. I wish to go into the field of Alternative Energy, with a focus on Solar Energy. One of my aspirations in life is to return to The Bahamas where I can put my knowledge to use and help shape our beautiful archipelago into a predominantly green and eco-friendly country.