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Emmerling finds ‘passion’ leading river-saving group Assumes post once

By Staff
held by Alsentzer
By NIKIE MAYO, News Editor
The river grabbed David Emmerling when he was a boy. Decades later, it still hasn’t let go.
That was in the Ohio River. He would take several different paths after that encounter, including one that would land him at East Carolina University’s medical school. But these days, Emmerling is glad to be in a job that “marries a passion” for the river with his experience in nonprofit settings.
Emmerling is the new executive director of the Pamlico-Tar River Foundation, a nonprofit group dedicated to monitoring and protecting those waters. He assumes the post formerly held by Mary Alsentzer, who retired in June.
Emmerling says his new role is not that much of a departure from the one he had as an assistant dean at ECU’s Brody School of Medicine.
As leader of PTRF, Emmerling also intends to have a hand in what he calls “smart growth” for the area. That kind of growth, he contends, will pay not only environmental, but also economic, dividends.
Emmerling says that though PTRF has complex environmental issues to tackle, his philosophy is a simple one.