John Preyer

Director, Operations

John Preyer is the co-founder, President, and Chief Operating Officer of Restoration Systems.

John’s work in environmental policy dates back to 1992 when he served as Legislative Director for U.S. Senator Lauch Faircloth of North Carolina. In this capacity he had responsibility for all of the Senator’s committee assignments, including Armed Services, Banking, and Environment & Public Works. He regularly dealt with numerous federal regulatory agencies, including the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, as well as all corresponding state agencies, including the N.C. Department of Transportation, which was frequently requesting help in permitting new road construction.

While in the Senate he also worked on the Federal Mitigation Banking Guidance of 1995, which was a joint effort of the EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers to establish the framework for the policy of mitigation banking whereby private companies could, at their own financial risk, restore degraded wetlands and stream sites and sell them as “credits” to entities that were required to mitigate impacts to these resources.

In 1998, he joined with former Senate staffer George Howard in founding Restoration Systems. Starting out with just two people and one dog, the company quickly grew to a staff of over a dozen professionals with a strong skill set in environmental restoration and compensatory mitigation and to the leader it is in the environmental mitigation banking industry today.

From 2002-2006, John served on the board of the N.C. Coastal Federation, a nonprofit environmental group advocating for coastal rivers, creeks, and wetlands. Before joining the board, he worked closely with the NCCF’s executive director Todd Miller on obtaining the land for the North River Farms wetland restoration site. This project would become a marquee example for large scale coastal wetland restoration efforts.

John has been a member of the UNC-Chapel Hill Institute for the Environment Board of Visitors since 2011 and previously served on the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Board of Visitors from 2012 to 2016. He joined the UNC-Chapel Hill Board of Trustees in July 2019 and is Vice-Chair of the Finance, Infrastructure, and Audit Committee.

Originally from Greensboro, John graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill in 1990 with a B.A. in political science. He now lives in Chapel Hill with his wife and two children. John embraces the motto Facta, Non Verba.

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