Michelle Hepler is an Iredell County native, from Harmony. She graduated with a BS in Parks and Recreation Management, from Western Carolina University. Her background is Adventure and Experiential Education Programming. Michelle started with Iredell County in 1991, working in various part time capacities from camp counselor to ropes course facilitator. She worked two years for Lincolnton/Lincoln County Parks and Recreation as a full time event programmer before she transitioned to full time with Iredell County in 1998. She has lead the department as the Director since 2016. Michelle has volunteered in various local, regional, and national capacities, including Rotary, Girls on the Run of the Greater Piedmont, North Carolina Recreation and Parks Association, and The Association for Challenge Course Technology (ACCT). Michelle loves to hike, paddle, camp, and read. Recently, she received the Critical Link Award in 2019, an international award, and the highest honor given for contributions in the ACCT. Her love of people, outdoors, and community build the perfect combination for a career that she has dedicated her life to for over 25 years. Michelle loves to represent ICPRD’s mission of contributing to our communities by enhancing quality of life and fostering the love of recreation in others.
Born and raised in Statesville, Jen Winters loves to call Iredell County home. Jen studied Psychology with a minor in Recreation Administration at the University of North Carolina- Chapel Hill and graduated in 2004. She started her career with ICPRD as a part-time summer camp counselor during her breaks in college. In the fall of 2004 she began working full-time for the department as a Program Coordinator. Jen has served the county an impressive 17 years! In her free time Jen loves to spend time with her family and dogs, especially outdoors. She also enjoys playing “Just Dance” with her oldest and cooking with her youngest. Being able to work with great people and to bring fun into the lives of families in our community are Jen’s favorite parts of working for ICPRD.
Born in Newport News, Virginia, Stacy McGlamery attended Ferrum College and earned her degree in Political Science. Stacy has enjoyed living and raising her two children in Troutman for the past 20 years. Over the years, she taught exercise classes at the old Barium Springs YMCA (now the Iredell County Recreation Center). Stacy got her start in parks and recreation working part time for the Town of Troutman assisting with special events and the farmer’s market. In the summer you can find Stacy spending her weekends hiking, kayaking, or gardening. Stacy loves to work for ICPRD because she gets to give back to the community she calls home.
James Huffman hails from Columbia, SC and is a graduate of the University of South Carolina. A huge Gamecocks fan, he is found cheering on USC sports all year long. He earned his degree in Exercise Science and has almost 20 years of experience in the recreation and fitness field. James is always open to trying new things; from learning about wild edible plants to traveling to new locations with his family. James says he loves to work for ICPRD because it allows him to get to know his Iredell County neighbors and helps to improve the quality of their life.
Born in North Carolina, Brandon Free grew up in Greensboro, NC. He graduated from Winston-Salem State University and even played on their football team! Brandon is extremely passionate about sports and loves to cheer on the Ohio Buckeyes. He is a husband and father of two. With more than 15 years of experience in county and municipal Parks and Recreation agencies, Brandon is excited to take on a new challenge with ICPRD. He loves to work in Iredell County because of the opportunity to be part of such a special department that enhances the community everyday!
Pennsylvania born and bred, Katie Barr joined the ICPRD team after moving from her hometown of Harrisburg, PA. She graduated with a degree in Recreation and Leisure Administration in 2015 from York College of Pennsylvania. Katie has worked in multiple outdoor experiential education capacities as an instructor. One of her biggest accomplishments is section hiking the Pacific Crest Trail in 2019. Katie has also climbed Mt. Whitney in California, an impressive 22mi hike with a 6,960ft ascent! In her free time, Katie can be found going hiking and mountain biking with her dog Eddie. Katie loves to work for ICPRD because it gives her the space to be creative and try new ideas, while providing opportunities for the community to enjoy the programs she designs.
Haley Joyner is a North Carolina native and grew up right outside of Charlotte in Matthews, NC. She attended Appalachian State University and graduated in 2019 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Recreation Management. Prior to working with Iredell County, Haley served multiple summers as an overnight summer camp counselor in western NC and traveled the United States as a leadership development consultant. Haley is an avid App State football fan and loves to go visit Boone in the fall to cheer on the Mountaineers! When not fulfilling her duties as an Alumna Advisor for an Appalachian State sorority, she also enjoys getting outside on sunny days and finding new local restaurants to try. Haley says she loves to work for ICPRD because it offers the opportunity to serve people of all ages and backgrounds.
Ronda Benfield was born in Lumberton, NC but has lived in Statesville for the majority of her life. She has dedicated her life to helping others achieve a healthy lifestyle and is certified in both personal training and group exercise. Ronda worked as a personal trainer and group exercise instructor for twenty years while raising her three children in Statesville. One of her favorite hobbies that often surprises others is her love of motorcycles! Ronda and her husband love to go for joy rides on warm, sunny days. Getting to meet all the wonderful people that live and visit our area and community and being a part of offering them ways to stay active and healthy is Ronda’s favorite part of working for ICPRD.
Nancy Grabow is a native New Yorker who grew up upstate in Ilion, NY. After High School, Nancy joined the United States Navy and was stationed in Norfolk, VA. During boot camp she found herself in the best shape of her life and gained a love of exercise. Prior to working for ICPRD, Nancy worked for several other companies in North Carolina doing custodial work as well as working in the warehouse fulfillment. In her free time, she loves going to antique shops and garage sales and making a rare find. Her kids, grandkids, and five dogs keep her going each day. Nancy loves to work for ICPRD because she has the opportunity to take advantage of our Recreation Center and exercise during her lunch hour and she has formed great relationships with her coworkers.
Nelson Fox is proud to call Statesville his hometown. Born and raised in Iredell County, Nelson graduated from West Iredell High School. He joined the Army and spent three years in Infantry Reconnaissance. Nelson also attended Mitchell Community College and earned two associates degrees. He has worked in the maintenance field for over 25 years and holds the title of ICPRD’s first ever maintenance man, joining our team in December 2001. When not working he enjoys camping, swimming, and going to the gym. Nelson enjoys working for ICPRD because it allows him to spend his days outdoors.