Staff

The staff at the Rome-Floyd E.C.O. Center are unified in their mission and vision of working together to provide the best possible educational opportunities for all who visit.  The various backgrounds, experiences, and strengths of the team members are what make them a dynamic group.  Each is passionate about wildlife, natural resources, education, and the overall success of the Center as an asset to the community.

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Ben Winkelman

Director

Ben's passion for wildlife began in high school when he volunteered for the Georgia Department of Natural Resources which led to a permanent position where he quickly excelled to State Conservation Officer/Game Warden.  He was fortunate to work on conservation projects from the late wildlife biologist Ted Touchstone and retired biologist Jerry Bearden among others.  He was also deputized as a Deputy U.S. Fish and Wildlife Special Agent by the U.S. Department of Interior U.S. Fish and Wildlife and has worked diligently with the Department of Defense within the Defense Intelligence Agency.  These experiences gave Ben a foundation for public service and grew his passion for conservation, and in 2004 he began his career with the City of Rome enforcing water quality laws and codes.  He joined the Rome-Floyd E.C.O. Center early on and was instrumental in developing natural resource education programs that evolved from teaching 2,500 students annually to 10,000.  Ben is an avid sportsman who loves to fish and hunt, and his heart is for students to learn and develop an appreciation for the diverse abundance of our wonderful natural resources. 

Email: bwinkelman@romega.us

Jason Hosford

Biologist

A native of Florida, Jason grew up catching alligators and exploring the coastal marsh surrounding his parents' home. Although Jason has an academic background in environmental policy, his childhood led to a strong interest in working directly in the field of natural resource management. His 20 year career includes a significant history in captive wildlife management and volunteer administration in addition to employment with multiple state natural resource management agencies.  Jason oversees the care and growth of the E.C.O. Center's animal collection, the development of new exhibits, and the management of the Center’s volunteer program.  While not at the E.C.O. Center, he enjoys hiking, tinkering in his shop, sharing time with family and friends, and being a part of the State of Georgia’s prescribed fire community.

Email: jhosford@romega.us

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Sarah Grimes

Environmental Educator

Sarah joined the E.C.O. Center in 2019 but made Rome her home in 2011 after graduating from Berry College.  She has an appreciation for the outdoors and critters of our area and spends time hiking trails in north Georgia with her dogs.  In the Center you can find her scheduling groups, planning events, greeting visitors, managing the Roman Holiday, and more.  Her love and energy for teaching about local ecology paired with her ability to relate to and connect with kids and students of all ages make leading programs her favorite aspect of her job.  Sarah looks forward to continuing to be a part of the expansion of the E.C.O. Center as it continues to grow as a quality natural resource education center for the community.   

Email Sarah: sgrimes@romega.us

Hannah Bagley

Program Coordinator, Keep Rome-Floyd Beautiful

Hannah joined the City of Rome in 2017 as the Administrative Secretary to the Public Works Division where she then became the Operations Coordinator.  During this time, she worked closely with city officials and other partners to keep Rome safe and clean, which sparked a passion to keep her community clean.  She became the Program Coordinator for Keep Rome-Floyd Beautiful in September 2021 and strives to grow the community's awareness on litter prevention and beautification.  Hannah is a Rome native, attended Georgia Highlands College, and loves the great outdoors.  When she is not coordinating cleanups and projects, she can be found camping, hiking, and hunting with her husband Eric and daughter Bethany.

Email Hannah: hbagley@romega.us

KRFB website HERE

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