Courtney Carter Plaster
Courtney is a native Virginian whose experience in the non-profit world has spanned over 35 years working in four different non-profit museums. She has worked at the Virginia Museum of Natural History, Imagination Station Science Museum, the Science Museum of Western Virginia, and the Virginia Museum of Transportation in research, collections, publications, and education.
She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Biology from Randolph-Macon Woman’s College in Lynchburg, Virginia. In 2020, Courtney brought her non-profit leadership experience to Clean Valley Council as Director of Education where she quickly moved into the role of Executive Director in October 2020.
She serves on several environmental stewardship committees including the Horton’s Branch Watershed Improvement Committee with the Roanoke Kiwanis Club, Resilient Roanoke Roundtable, Carilion’s Morningside Urban Farm Advisory Committee, Recycle Right! Committee, Roanoke STEAM Day Planning Committee and Earth Day Roanoke Planning Committee.
Courtney lives in Smith Mountain Lake with her husband, two daughters, two dogs and a 22-year-old salamander. When she is not working, you will find her hiking, dancing, practicing yoga, gardening, or attending music concerts and festivals.
Deena B. Sasser
Director of Operations and Communications
Deena grew up in a log cabin that their father built. Born and raised in NE Ohio, Deena grew up with log walls and a plethora of animals including dogs, cats, birds, rabbits, goats, chickens, hamsters, newts, and sugar gliders, though not all at the same time. She spent a lot of time exploring her surroundings, especially the creek out back and the variety of creatures that lived in and around the running water and spending time in the next door neighbors’ barn, petting horses and befriending as many barn cats as she could.
Deena earned a BA in music from Winthrop University in South Carolina and a Master of Heritage Preservation from Georgia State University. She is deeply passionate about historic preservation and adaptive reuse of the built environment. She was employed as a historic preservation specialist with a transportation engineering firm in Atlanta as well as serving as a remote contractor with a preservation planning firm. She brings a diverse background, both personally and professionally, to the CVC. When not at work, Deena can be found practicing flute, piccolo, and clarinet as well as participating in various aspects of the local theatre community. She lives in NE Roanoke with her husband and their two ultra-spoiled house cats.
Director of Programs
With an academic background in biology and philosophy, Dr. Marc Lucht worked as a professor and university administrator for 18 years. Before joining Clean Valley Council, he co-directed North Cross School’s first campus in China and led the development of additional high school campuses in Asia. Holding a PhD from Emory University, he has published widely on environmental philosophy, animal rights, and intercultural dialogue, and is strongly committed to the idea that it is incumbent upon humanity to find more responsible ways of acknowledging and living together with the creatures with whom we share the planet.
At CVC, Marc organizes events such as our Earth Summit and Green Film Festival, organizes our Star City Sustainability Series, offers a number of workshops (including on composting and making rain barrels), and partners with our environmental educator to ensure excellence in our delivery of educational programs. His favorite days are those during which he works with students.