Judy Carpenter, a native Charlottean, attended Myers Park High School in Charlotte, North Carolina. From there, she continued her studies, graduating from Kings College, and from the Executive Program at UNC Business School in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. In 2007, she retired from National Welders Supply Company as Chairman of the Board and sold the company to Airgas, Inc. Inspired by her victories at the Women’s State Championship in Trap Shooting, the Georgia Women’s Open, and the Yardage Group Trophy at the Southern Zone, Carpenter decided to re-kindle her passion for shooting clay targets. Thus, Lucky Clays Farm was born.
General Manager Jean-Paul Abel oversees operations for both Lucky Clays Farm and Lucky Clays Fresh. Abel was born in London, England and raised across the United States before settling in a small town outside of Charleston, South Carolina. After completing high school, Abel enlisted in the United States Coast Guard Reserves, where he served for 22 years before retiring. While drilling with the Coast Guard Reserves, Abel earned a degree in Criminal Justice from the University of South Carolina and joined the USC Division of Law Enforcement & Safety before continuing his career with the South Carolina State Transport Police. Abel’s background is a testament to his lead-by-example management style and his ability to incorporate leadership techniques that instill loyalty, enthusiasm, and dependability in his team.
Aquaponics Farm Manager Bradley Todd joined the team at Lucky Clays Farm in 2010 and began managing Lucky Clays Fresh in 2013. Todd was raised in Aquadale, North Carolina and spent five years in the Marine Corps. After completing service, he received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Geology and Earth Science from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. While overseas in the military, Todd began his research in the fundamentals, engineering, and science of aquaculture and hydroponics, which ultimately lead him to learn about the process of combining the two into an efficient and sustainable farming system known as Aquaponics. Todd intends to incorporate bio-floc technology, vermiculture, and mycology into an all-encompassing production flow with Lucky Clays Fresh’s established Aquaponics system.
Assistant Aquaponics Manager Ashton Thompson joined the Lucky Clays Fresh team in 2013. Born and raised in New London, North Carolina, Thompson’s passion for agriculture developed on the family farm, which was once the Badin Dairy, and through agricultural classes at North Stanly High School. In 2009, Thompson graduated Summa Cum Laude from Sandhills Community College with an Associates of Applied Science degree in Landscape Gardening. Furthering his education, Thompson again graduated Summa Cum Laude from North Carolina State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Horticultural Science. Independently, Thompson has studied Aquaponics and sustainable food production through courses at the University of the Virgin Islands’ and completed a grant-supported research project exploring alternative liming agents for Aquaponic systems.
Born and raised in Albemarle, North Carolina, Justin Jones joined the Lucky Clays Farm team in 2010 as a carpenter. As a hands-on learner, Jones naturally leaned more towards skilled tradesman crafts and through his experiences, has developed and honed his skills as a welder and mechanic. During his employment at Lucky Clays Farm, Jones has aided in the construction of the one million BTU gasification water boiler, as well as the Aquaponics system at Lucky Clays Fresh. Currently, Jones oversees the Farm’s mechanical needs and maintenance, including any fabrication and welding, component additions to the Aquaponics and nursery systems, and assisting in the day-to-day operations of the Aquaponic and terrestrial gardens.
Born and raised in Norwood, North Carolina, Misty Staton recently came to Lucky Clays Fresh in 2015. Staton has been married for 30 years, has 2 daughters and ample experience in the food service industry. As Lucky Clays Fresh continues to grow its business, additional maintenance within the greenhouse facilities is necessary and Staton is able to do just that. Her long time passion for plants and gardening make her the perfect addition to the greenhouse team, where she aids in the operations of the aquaponic and terrestrial gardens and prepares produce for order requests.