JACKSONVILLE -- Director of Jacksonville State University’s Environmental Policy and Information Center (EPIC,) Pete Conroy addressed members of the Jacksonville Exchange Club Thursday to discuss his work with the university and Longleaf Studios in Jacksonville.

“It is my goal to help bring environmental and economic growth to the area,” Conroy said. “We have so much to offer.”

Conroy also serves as President to the Northeast Alabama Entertainment Initiative at Longleaf Studios.

He is a native of Scranton Pennsylvania, but has called Alabama home since 1985.

Conroy first served as the curator of the Anniston Museum of Natural History.

He also spearheads multiple projects related to economic and conservation development, including the Chief Ladiga Rail-Trail, The Little River Canyon Field School -- and more.

“We are discussing building a hotel which would have approximately 75 to 100 units with unique amenities such as a rock climbing wall and more,” Conroy said. “We want Little River Canyon to be similar to Dolphin Sea Lab, with plenty of activities for guests.”

According to Longleaf Studio’s website, Conroy has received appointments from five Alabama Governors.

In 2002, he was selected by Gov. Don Siegelman to serves as Chair to the Alabama Commission on Environmental Initiatives, which “reinvigorated the process that resulted in film industry incentives for the state.”

“Film is alive and well in Alabama, especially with documentaries and public television,” Conroy said.

The Pennsylvania native received his bachelor’s degree in biology from Furman University in South Carolina. He received his master’s in zoology from the University of Georgia.

Conroy is married to wife, Roxana. Together they have two children, Haley and Mitch.