Staff

The mission of Friends of the Everglades is to preserve, protect, and restore the only Everglades in the world.

Eve Samples
Eve SamplesExecutive Director
After two decades as a journalist, Eve Samples joined Friends of the Everglades in early 2020, recognizing an opportunity to meld her passion for environmental reporting with Friends’ legacy of grassroots advocacy and education. Eve previously worked as opinion editor for the USA TODAY Network-Florida, as a columnist and editor for TCPalm and Treasure Coast Newspapers, and as a reporter for The Palm Beach Post and Pittsburgh-Post Gazette. She is a native of Miami and a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

eve.samples@everglades.org

Gil Smart
Gil SmartPolicy Director
With more than three decades of experience as a high-profile newspaper columnist and investigative reporter, Gil Smart is adept at taking a deep dive on complex issues in search of solutions. A Pennsylvania native, father of three, sometimes musician and long-time champion of environmental causes, Gil fell in love with wild Florida and can conceive of no greater moral cause than fighting for better water quality and protecting the “River of Grass.”

gil.smart@everglades.org

Allie Hartmann
Allie HartmannCommunications Director
Native ties and deep-rooted appreciation go a long way towards inspiring action. After graduating from St. Augustine’s Flagler College, Allie Preston returned to find her home waters of Stuart, FL in disrepair. Working as Director of Communications alongside a small team of like-minded, impassioned individuals, Allie has aided content development, research and digital channel engagement that has generated an upwelling of grassroots involvement and statewide recognition for the mismanagement of South Florida’s water resources and the preservation efforts of the greater Everglades ecosystem.

allie.hartmann@everglades.org

Diane Kimes
Diane KimesSenior Development Director
Diane is a life-long resident of South Florida, with more than 40 years of non-profit community engagement. Her expertise includes communications, as well as multi-dimensional fund development.
Educated at Florida Atlantic University, she served as a mentor and presenter in her profession and is a longtime member of the Junior League and its state public affairs committee. She currently serves on the Town of Sewall’s Point Board of Zoning Adjustment.
Diane took her first airboat ride in the Everglades at the age of 13, and has played in nature ever since. A longtime runner, swimmer, and now a Master Gardener, she resides in Sewall’s Point with husband, Tim (her best volunteer) and Scottish terrier, Hamilton. They have a son, Alex.

diane.kimes@everglades.org

Kym Hurchalla
Kym HurchallaDevelopment Coordinator
Passion for civic engagement and environmental conservation runs in the blood for Kym Hurchalla. With a former Attorney General and a County Commissioner in the family, Kym carried on the tradition by graduating from Guilford College with a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and an Environmental Studies Minor. Now, as Development Coordinator, Kym drives organizational development by connecting with community supporters, planning and hosting events, and strategic fundraising efforts – all with the aim of protecting the precious Everglades ecosystems she grew up with. When Kym isn’t hard at work advocating for clean water, she’s enjoying it, by scuba diving, paddleboarding, boating – you name it.

kym.hurchalla@everglades.org

Naomi Nixon
Naomi NixonSenior Philanthropic Advisor
Naomi Nixon’s commitment to Everglades protection stems from early childhood memories of trips to the Everglades. After graduating Tufts University, Naomi landed positions on Capitol Hill. She earned her Juris Doctorate at the George Washington University National Law Center. Upon returning home to South Florida she continued her work in government at the state and local level.
Most recently, Naomi honed her philanthropic acumen as a senior member of the University of Miami’s development team. During this time, she spearheaded efforts that raised over $3 billion. She later founded NDN Advisors to help non-profit organizations achieve their next level of success. Naomi feels fortunate to be partnering with Friends of the Everglades to grow its philanthropic support through the design and implementation of innovative programs and strategies as well as the cultivation and stewardship of key supporters.

naomi.nixon@everglades.org

Leah Voss
Leah VossMultimedia Producer
Exploring nature preserves in Ohio full of lush green forests, rushing waterfalls and weathered gorges are among Leah’s first memories. When she moved to Stuart, FL in 2015 to be a photojournalist at TCPalm and Treasure Coast Newspapers, she was able to make a career using her lifelong love for photography and a strong desire for justice. After meeting some of Florida’s iconic environmentalists like Maggy Hurchalla and Nathaniel Reed and interviewing many other local naturalists, Leah knew she wanted to join their efforts in impacting Florida for the better. Becoming a Friend of the Everglades provides that opportunity every single day.

leah.voss@everglades.org

Miki Blumenthal
Miki BlumenthalOffice Manager/Bookkeeper
With a BBA in Marketing and Computer Science from the University of Texas, more than 40 years of customer service and administrative experience, excellent organizational skills, and an eye for detail, Miki provides multi-faceted support to the staff including bookkeeping, human resources, CRM management, information technology, and outreach. She has also innovated several successful projects/systems to improve office support. A Stuart resident for 30 years, Miki cares deeply about cleaning up and protecting Florida waterways. When not in the office, she enjoys paddleboarding, biking, reading, and crafting.

miki.blumenthal@everglades.org