Our Leadership

Program Director

Elise Croak


Growing up in Atlanta, GA and Auburn, AL, Elise experienced growth and formation at Kanuga as a Guest Period attendee, summer camper, and camp staff member. Her experiences at Kanuga led her to pursue a degree in Recreation Management, Outdoor Experiential Education, and Sociology at Appalachian State University. During her time at ASU, Elise was on the board of the Emerging Professionals in Camp Club and she obtained her ACA Associate Visitor certification. After graduating, Elise moved to Hendersonville, NC to work as a Residential Caregiver at a therapeutic boarding school for teens. She is a cradle Episcopalian who has a deep love for entering into fellowship with the outdoors and the people around her. Mountain biking, cooking, music, and spending time with friends occupy most of her free time. Elise is called to fostering connection to God, each other, and Creation with those she serves, and is excited to bring that mission to Camp Kanuga.

Elise Croak.
Director of Camps and Outdoors

Stratt Byars


Born and raised in north Alabama, Stratt spent the entirety of his life being transformed by the unique and sacred experience of the camp community. Stratt graduated from the University of Alabama-Birmingham with a degree in social psychology and philosophy, and has spent the past decade mentoring summer staffers and directing youth programs in Alabama and Tennessee. Stratt is no stranger to the mountains of western North Carolina, where he has spent considerable time camping, hiking, and paddling the abundant creeks and rivers. You’ll most likely find him outside, on a river, or in front of his television rooting on the Alabama Crimson Tide or any of the five major Philadelphia sports franchises. Stratt joined Kanuga in 2021.

Registrar, Camps and Outdoors

Deven Blake


Originally from Memphis, Tennessee where she attended St. Mary’s Episcopal School, Deven continued her education at Sewanee: The University of the South. She has undergraduate and masters degrees in psychological studies, and has presented and been published in a number of educational settings. Deven has an extensive background in camps and education, including a post as assistant to the director in a large Episcopal summer camp program. She first came to Kanuga as Camp Kanuga staff in 2022 and has joined us this year as registrar. Deven spends her free time hiking, fishing, rockhounding, embroidering, and cooking. She is passionate about sustainability and creating a welcoming environment that fosters growth and development for each person who visits Kanuga.

Camp Kanuga also benefits from the leadership of Kanuga’s staff, including the following:

  • Michael Sullivan, President & CEO
  • Jimmy Haden, Executive VP Mission
  • Bill Norris, Executive VP Advancement
  • Jane Childress, Marketing & Communications Director
  • Miriam Walsh, Controller
  • Carrie Privette, Chief of Staff

Visit this page for their photos and profiles.