Staff Directory

Katherine Pemberton

NSCDA-SC Executive Director  of Programming

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Katherine Saunders Pemberton is the Director of the Powder Magazine Museum and Director of Programming for the National Society of the Colonial Dames in America in the State of South Carolina (NSCDA-SC), the non-profit organization that administers The Powder Magazine museum. She is a native of Virginia and holds a BA in Historic Preservation from Mary Washington College.  Katherine has worked as an archaeologist, as a city tour guide, as an education specialist and preservationist.

Since 2005, Katherine has also taught a  graduate course in Historical Research Methods for the Clemson/ CofC Program in Historic Preservation and has chaired the Mayors Walled City Task Force which has sought to investigate, through research and archaeology, the history of America’s only English walled city. 

Heather Welch

Museum Interpreter

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Heather Welch has been in the Lowcountry for 20 years and supported many living history activities throughout Colonial Charleston. She officially joined The Powder Magazine team in 2020.


Heather is well-versed in American history and foodways from Colonial to present. As a talented seamstress, she can help you go back in time!

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Chelsy Proper

Social Media & Interpreter


Though born and raised in Kentucky, Chelsy has lived in the Charleston area for over a decade. She holds a bachelor's in European History and English literature.


Social history is one of her biggest interests, and she loves being a cannoneer with the Charlestown Battalion of Artillery. Chelsy has been at The Powder Magazine since 2013, writing social media posts and teaching visitors about colonial history.

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John Young

Museum Operations Manager


John and his family moved from Vermont to Charleston almost a quarter century ago.  He attended the University of Vermont, graduating with a degree in secondary education. After living in Charleston for four years, John became part of the tour community, first as docent and education coordinator at The Old Exchange, later as a walking tour guide, and currently as Director of Operations at The Powder Magazine.


In 2007, Evening Post Books published his parks history, A Walk in the Parks. In 2012-13, John helped to create The Powder Magazine Tricentennial Exhibit and edited the book Arsenal of History 

In his leisure time, he enjoys playing competitive trivia, and the last three years has served as quizmaster for the Charleston History Bowl. 

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Tina White

Education Coordinator & Interpreter


Tina joined the Powder Magazine

team in 2018. A native of Virginia,

she holds a BA in history from Mount Holyoke College, an MA in history from UVa and an MAT in special education from the University of Charleston.


Tina has worked as an interpreter at Monticello as well as an elementary and middle school teacher. She especially enjoys the intersection of interpretation and education at the Powder Magazine. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, running and visiting historic sites!

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Jonah Trimnal
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Jonah Trimnal's passion for colonial history started as a youngster visiting national parks and historic sites with his family.  Jonah has a bachelor's degree in history and is currently pursuing his MA in public history from the Citadel/University of Charleston. His research focus is on Native American interactions in South Carolina during the colonial period.

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Mitchel Coats


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Mitchel Coats is a South Carolina native whose family roots in Charleston date to the early 18th century he has always been drawn to the city’s colonial history. Mitchel attended Clemson University where he received his BS in Food Science. After retiring in 2017, he received his city guide license and has volunteered both here at the Powder Magazine Museum and as a docent for the South Carolina Historical Society Museum.  A fan of history, photography, economics, and physics, Mitchel joined the Powder Magazine crew as a museum interpreter in 2021.