Neal Cheek, Super Volunteer

Neal Cheek

Philanthropy Outreach & Volunteer Coordinator

I grew up in Charlotte; my academic degrees are from Wake Forest University, University of South Carolina - Columbia, and University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill.

I have lived in Chapel Hill, NC since 1970 and am retired from university administration. My wife and I have two children and three granddaughters. Our son and his family reside in New Bern and our daughter is located in Chatham County. My hobbies are reading, hiking, kayaking, bird watching, and travel in North America and overseas. I have enjoyed volunteering with the Conservancy in the state chapter office and serving on the board of Goodwill Industries of Eastern North Carolina since 1996.  

Year started at TNC: I began volunteering with the NC Chapter upon my retirement in the summer of 1996. I also spent a wonderful October week volunteering on the Tall Grass Prairie Preserve in Osage County, Oklahoma, in 1997. My wife and I have been members since 1978. Through field trips with staff and other members, our appreciation for TNC’s mission has continued to grow over the years.

Favorite TNC Preserve and why:  My favorite is Bluff Mountain because of the unique fen at the top. A special moment was standing on Perkins Rock and looking across to Three Top Mountain. Many more of our preserves are special but too numerous to mention.

A typical good day for you at work: A good day is connecting a volunteer to satellite staff that enables her or him to have a great field workday experience. That experience can both educate the volunteer and provide much needed help in one of our conservation areas. Ultimately, I hope that the volunteer will see the good we are doing and be inspired to join TNC, if they aren’t already a member, and will look forward to future volunteer, event and hiking experiences.

Place in the world you would most like to visit but have never been to: I would most like to visit TNC’s Big Bend Reach preserve along the Platt River in Nebraska when the sandhill cranes and numerous other species are making the annual fall and/or spring migrations.


Neal Cheek

Philanthropy Outreach & Volunteer Coordinator


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