About Us.

Leadership Team

Leadership Team

The Sam Shine Foundation is led by a group of individuals who understand long term conservation, preservation, and restoration of natural ecosystems and how to successfully develop and deliver programs to support unique lands and waters.

CJ Jackson
Executive Director

CJ was introduced to Sam Shine and his foundation’s vision and mission in 2000. Since then, he has been working with the Foundation in some capacity, continuing to ensure Sam & Betty Shine’s landscape-level conservation impact continues in perpetuity.

Alongside helping with the Sam Shine Foundation, CJ also was a teacher of students in middle school, high school, and college. CJ appreciates being able to continue informally teaching others through the Sam Shine Foundation’s programs in an effort to improve the land ethic of a larger citizenry while being a steward of Creation. Having his boots on the ground and hands on the gears of conservation is important to CJ, it’s critical to continue practicing the field tasks of conservation to directly gauge interactions.

CJ and Tammy Jackson were married in 2000 and are blessed with 2 children. Experiencing new natural areas together, spending time with family and friends, and following sporting events are favorite family togetherness.

Cassie Hauswald
Director of Freshwater Programs

Cassie Hauswald is the Director of Freshwater Programs for the Sam Shine Foundation. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Biology from Butler University and a master’s degree in Biology from the University of Louisville. Cassie worked as a freshwater ecologist with The Nature Conservancy for 22 years where she catalyzed river connectivity by removing dams. She is interested in land use that increases vegetation and allows rivers to communicate with their floodplains to improve river health and wildlife corridors. Cassie serves on the board of the US Fish and Wildlife Services’ Ohio River Fish Habitat Partnership, a group that aids the restoration of rivers and streams for fish and mussels. She also serves on the Indiana Department of Natural Resources’ Technical Advisory Committee for freshwater mussels where she helps to evaluate and improve the status of Indiana’s mussel populations, including their repatriation to rivers with improved water quality. Locally, Cassie is part of an effort to unite conservation action with dedicated funding for an improved Lake Monroe by serving on the board of the Lake Monroe Water Fund.

Allen Pursell
Director of Forest Programs

Allen Pursell is the Director of Forest Programs for the Sam Shine Foundation in New Albany, Indiana. He holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Forestry from Purdue University and previously worked for over 25 years for The Nature Conservancy in Indiana as Director of Forest Conservation. While there he was responsible for acquiring thousands of acres of land for conservation, and for promoting good forest management practices including the development of the Forest Bank and a “Forestry for the Birds” program for Indiana. He is a member of the advisory council of the Hardwood Tree Improvement and Regeneration Center at Purdue University, on the board of the Central Hardwood Joint Venture (a formal partnership for migratory bird conservation) and has been a guest lecturer at universities and other organizations on the subject of forest and wildlife conservation.