Talon to Table Recaps

2016 Recap

talontotable0189If you haven’t heard already, Carolina Raptor Center’s Talon to Table event was tagged as the “best event in CRC history!” The gala took place on Saturday, April 16, 2016. The event sold out and 240 seats were filled inside the beautiful, rustic Extravaganza Depot.

Guests were greeted by Zlaty, the Golden Eagle and music performed by Back Porch Bluegrass. After registration, butlered appetizers and local beverages were served.  Doc Porter’s Vodka, Brandon Hills Vineyard, and Birdsong Brewery provided quality alcoholic beverages made in the Carolinas. Fresh, local food was provided by Something Classic.


2016 Talon to Table Speaker

Thane Maynard
Keynote Speaker

Thane Maynard (@ThaneMaynard) is one of the most prominent directors of zoos across the country and is internationally known for his innovation and dedication to wildlife preservation, research and education. Maynard is recognized as well for building both educational and research partnerships between the zoo and UC.

Thane Maynard has authored more than a dozen books, the most recent, “Hope For Animals & Their World,” was coauthored with Jane Goodall. He has also shared science and environmental news nationwide through his longtime radio program, “The 90-Second Naturalist.”

Maynard’s travels have spanned five continents in promoting biological diversity, natural history and wildlife conservation, earning him a membership in the Explorers Club.  He is an active member of the American Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), and a member of the Board of Trustees for the Margo Marsh Biodiversity Foundation, a primate conservation fund headquartered in Washington, D.C.

Thane also serves, with UC President Santa Ono, on the board of the UpTown Consortium, working to strengthen the communities that are home to the university and the zoo.

Born and raised in central Florida, Thane earned his bachelor’s degree in environmental studies from Rollins College in Winter Park, Fl., and his master’s degree in wildlife ecology from the University of Michigan School of Natural Resources.  He is also a graduate of the Strategic Perspectives in Nonprofit Management program at the Harvard Business School, as well as the first National Education Leadership Institute sponsored by WWF and Disney.

Thane, was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Science at the University of Cincinnati on June 9, 2012.


2016 Talon to Table Emcee

John Carter phot

John Carter
Emcee

John Carter is the co-anchor of WBTV News This Morning and also anchors WBTV News at Noon.

Not long after graduating from ASU, John began working at WBTV as a news assistant. Over the course of the next few years, John had many roles at WBTV, including general assignment reporter, consumer reporter, Western Bureau Chief/reporter, news producer/consumer producer, and news producer/managing editor. He was also host of the popular Carolina Camera feature, traveling across North and South Carolina to bring back stories of interesting and unusual people, places and things.

Following his work on Carolina Camera, John left WBTV and formed his own video production business. He also opened what turned out to be a very successful comic book shop, Off The Wall Comics in Lincolnton, that he later turned over to his brother Allan.

During his time away from WBTV, John became very involved in politics and was elected to the North Carolina Senate, representing the 25th District which was made up of Cleveland, Gaston, Lincoln and Rutherford Counties. John chose not to run for a second term because of family and business considerations.

After leaving the Senate, John began work with Mecklenburg County as a Public Information Specialist where he supervised the county’s video production work and acted as a county spokesperson. Just a few years later, WBTV came calling again, and John returned to the station to anchor the WBTV News Morning Show and later, WBTV News at Noon.


2016 Talon to Table Entertainment

Back Porch Bluegrass


Back Porch Bluegrass
Musical Guest

Since 2005, there have been many versions of Back Porch Bluegrass as many great musicians have come and gone. David Culler, the leader and founder of the group is the only original member that remains while progressively growing the band to today’s high quality, hard driving and highly sought after NC based band.

Jerry Lankford, Editor of The Record of Wilkes, has noted that “BackPorch Bluegrass is a band that delivers – hot and fast. As for strengths, there are no loose boards on this backporch.

Front man David Culler (vocals/guitar), dishes out a heaping helping of high, lonesome sound with one of the strongest bluegrass voices in the region.” David’s love of Bluegrass music inspired him to pick up the guitar in 2004 prior to forming the band.

Bassist turned Dobro player turned now to Banjoist Tony Joines is a superb musician. Tony is in his 5th year with BPBG and a band leader’s best friend, always willing to play or do whatever is necessary. Tony’s career has seen him with other groups in the past.

Although they both play every stringed instrument, Wes Tuttle handles the Mandolin/Fiddle duties and brings some lead and tenor harmony to the group. He has played with many professional groups in his time and brings a wealth of experience and expertise to the band.

Jim Matthews’ primary role is the upright Bass and some lead and smooth Baritone harmony but is called upon from time to time to play fiddle, mandolin and guitar. Jim is another great musician with lots of experience playing in bands all over the country and is steeped in skill in all genres of music.

“Whether it’s Bluegrass or Bluegrass Gospel, BackPorch Bluegrass offers a sound that is both powerful and inspirational and the quality is suitable for any back, or front porch in Nashville.”


2015 Recap

The gala took place on Saturday, June 6, 2015. The event sold out and 200 seats were filled inside the beautiful, rustic Extravaganza Depot.

Guests were greeted by Bob O., the Owl and music performed by Back Porch Bluegrass. After registration, butlered appetizers and local beverages were served.  Defiant Whisky, Cardinal Gin, Benford Brewing, and Bird Song Brewery provided quality alcoholic beverages made in the Carolinas. Fresh, local food was provided by Something Classic.

 The evening’s program included raffle giveaways, keynote speaker (Robin Emmons), and recognizing CRC founder, Dr. Richard Brown and now, Board Chair, Yvonne Hinson for her ongoing leadership and passion.
To the many people who attended, donated and/or purchased raffle tickets, we extend our deepest gratitude for your support. Your compassion, feedback, and thoughtful contributions allow us to continue the important work that we do.
Access the Talon to Table 2015 photo gallery, HERE
To download, use PIN # 1136.  

About the 2015 Talon to Table Speakers

Robin Emmons

Robin Emmons
Keynote Speaker

After spending 20 years in corporate America, a force inside Robin Emmons tugged at her to leave her job in the financial services industry for an unplanned journey.

One week after resigning, Emmons began the unplanned course to save the life of her homeless and mentally ill brother. In doing so, she secured for him transitional housing, counseling and support services. However, despite her best efforts, his physical health became endangered due to high consumption of canned and sugary foods provided to him by the agency responsible for his care. Robin, a gardener, began donating produce for her brother and the 30 or so other residents housed at the facility where he now lived, and saw a dramatic improvement in his physical health.

It was here, in 2008, where Emmons found her passion – using food as a vehicle to promote social justice on important issues such as food access in marginalized communities. The advocate, activist, humanitarian, gardener and now, farmer, dug up her entire backyard and sowed the seeds for the nonprofit, Sow Much Good. Since then, she dedicated herself to eliminating systemic barriers in the food system that disproportionately affect the working poor and underserved populations.

Since the launch of Sow Much Good, the activist has worked tirelessly to raise awareness about inequities in the food system that eliminate the basic human right of a significant number of people to access clean, healthy food through workshops, farm stands and speaking opportunities.

The farmer is a 2013 Top 10 CNN Hero who has been featured in local and national media for the organization’s work to alleviate nutritional starvation in low-income communities through gardening and micro farming.

Emmons, is a native Bostonian and a NC transplant of 20 years who resides in Huntersville, NC with her husband.

Olin Mills

Dr. Richard Brown
Special Guest Speaker & CRC Founder

Richard D. Brown, Ph.D., was born in Mansfield, Ohio, in 1941. At the age of 6 he became the president of the local neighborhood nature club. He has always loved God’s creation, especially the insects, birds, amphibians, reptiles, and mammals. He left home for two years to graduate in 1959 from Shenandoah Valley Academy high school in New Market, Virginia. While at Columbia Union College in Takoma Park, Maryland, he met his future wife, Judy Scoble. After getting his M.S. in 1970 and Ph.D. in 1975 from The Ohio State University, he accepted a teaching position in the Department of Biology at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.  While at UNCC, a series of events occurred that lead to the founding of the Carolina Raptor Center. From a small, humble beginning, many dedicated persons have carried the torch faithfully over the years to make CRC what it is today.


2015 Talon to Table Entertainment

Back Porch BluegrassBack Porch Bluegrass
Musical Guest

Since 2005, there have been many versions of Back Porch Bluegrass as many great musicians have come and gone. David Culler, the leader and founder of the group is the only original member that remains while progressively growing the band to today’s high quality, hard driving and highly sought after NC based band.

Jerry Lankford, Editor of The Record of Wilkes, has noted that “BackPorch Bluegrass is a band that delivers – hot and fast. As for strengths, there are no loose boards on this backporch.

Front man David Culler (vocals/guitar), dishes out a heaping helping of high, lonesome sound with one of the strongest bluegrass voices in the region.” David’s love of Bluegrass music inspired him to pick up the guitar in 2004 prior to forming the band.

Bassist turned Dobro player turned now to Banjoist Tony Joines is a superb musician. Tony is in his 5th year with BPBG and a band leader’s best friend, always willing to play or do whatever is necessary. Tony’s career has seen him with other groups in the past.

Although they both play every stringed instrument, Wes Tuttle handles the Mandolin/Fiddle duties and brings some lead and tenor harmony to the group. He has played with many professional groups in his time and brings a wealth of experience and expertise to the band.

Jim Matthews’ primary role is the upright Bass and some lead and smooth Baritone harmony but is called upon from time to time to play fiddle, mandolin and guitar. Jim is another great musician with lots of experience playing in bands all over the country and is steeped in skill in all genres of music.

“Whether it’s Bluegrass or Bluegrass Gospel, BackPorch Bluegrass offers a sound that is both powerful and inspirational and the quality is suitable for any back, or front porch in Nashville.”