01/28/04 — Neuse River Foundation chooses new director

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Neuse River Foundation chooses new director

By Don McLoud
Published in News on January 28, 2004 2:00 PM

NEW BERN -- Becky Book is the new executive director of the Neuse River Foundation.

She was promoted from office administrator, a position she held since September of 2001. She also recently earned a Certificate for Non-Profit Management from Duke University's Continuing Studies Program. Her responsibilities will include writing grants, coordinating volunteers, building the membership and increasing public awareness of the foundation and its goals.

"I'd like to put the Neuse River and its pollution problems in perspective so that everyone in our watershed is aware of how the river and related environmental issues affect their daily lives," said Ms. Book. "Every person's life is affected by the waters that surround the New Bern area. "

As part of this effort, Ms. Book will continue to work with the Little Riverkeepers program, which familiarizes fifth-grade students from six area schools with the river and its issues. She would like to expand the program to involve fifth-graders throughout the river's watershed area in Craven, Jones, Lenior, Wayne, Wake and Durham counties, as well as start a Junior Riverkeepers program at the eighth-grade level.

She will also coordinate NRF representation at area festivals, such as Neuse River Day, the Croaker Fest in Oriental, and the Festival on the Neuse in Kinston. The number of NRF kayak and canoe trips open to the public will be increased to familiarize more people with the river system, and Ms. Book would like to work more with area businesses to increase their involvement in the protection of the Neuse River.

Ms. Book moved to the Evans Mill section of New Bern in 2001 from Chesapeake, Va., where she taught business courses at the Virginia School of Technology. She also lived in New Bern from 1991 to 1995, working in the travel business, and prior to that she worked in travel business management for 20 years in Dallas, Texas.