The Land Trust Alliance’s National Council provides the Alliance with strategic advice from conservation leaders throughout the country. These individuals are invited to represent a particular region, area of expertise or perspective in the land conservation community.
To nominate someone to serve on our National Council, email email@example.com.
Mark Ackelson joined the Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation as one of its original staff members in 1980, served as president from 1994 to 2013 and retired to emeritus status. He helped found the Iowa Environmental Council, the Upper Mississippi River Blufflands Alliance and the Iowa Resource Enhancement and Protection (REAP) program. He played leadership roles in the creation of local funding for Johnson and Polk Counties and in the passage of the Natural Resources and Outdoor Recreation Trust Fund constitutional amendment.
He was an incorporating board member and past chair of the Land Trust Alliance. Other awards and board service include: Rails-to-Trails Conservancy, Alfred LaGasse Award from the American Society of Landscape Architects for leadership in natural resource conservation, American Trails Advocacy Award, and the prestigious Kingsbury Browne Conservation Leadership Award.
Mark graduated with honors from the North Dakota State School of Science and with distinction from Iowa State University. He is a 1997 graduate of Leadership Iowa.
David H. Anderson
David H. Anderson is an attorney specializing in environmental law and land conservation law. Recently retired, he splits his time among homes in Ketchum, ID; Lake Oswego, OR; and Santa Barbara, CA. In his early career he served as an assistant U.S. attorney and as general counsel of the California Air Resources Board.
He served as the chairman of the board at the Land Trust Alliance. He is also a board member of the California Nature Conservancy, Wood River Land Trust (Idaho) and Housing Trust Fund of Santa Barbara County. He is a former board member and chair of the Santa Barbara Foundation, Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History, Land Trust for Santa Barbara County and Santa Barbara Planning Commission.
He is a graduate of Occidental College, University of Southern California and Stanford University.
Sue Anschutz-Rodgers serves as president, executive director and trustee of the Anschutz Family Foundation. Growing up in Kansas, her family has been farming for generations. She currently owns and operates Crystal River Ranch.
Sue was the first woman to win the Citizen of the West award, an annual award given to individuals who embody the spirit and determination of the western pioneer, and who are committed to perpetuating the West’s agricultural heritage and ideals. She was also the first woman to be appointed to the nine-member executive committee of the National Western Stock Show.
Sue has lengthy board involvement with the Boy Scouts of America- Denver Area Council, Colorado Cattlemen's Agricultural Land Trust, Crow Canyon Archeological Center, Denver Museum of Nature and Science, Denver Police Foundation, Jane Goodall Institute, Lewa Wildlife Conservancy of Kenya and the National Stroke Association.
She is a graduate of the University of Kansas.
Andy Baxter served as non-executive chairman of Blackbird Holdings, Inc before his retirement. Prior to that, he was vice chairman and COO of Instinet Corporation, a company that became the largest electronic stock trading firm in the world. He held a variety of senior positions with the Dreyfus Corporation before Instinet Corp.
Andy serves as treasurer to several nonprofits including NatureBridge, Lyme Land Conservation Trust, Florence Griswold Museum in Old Lyme, CT, and Endowment Board of Vista Vocational. He is the founding trustee of the Cunniff-Dixon Foundation, which is committed to the education and inspiration of physicians regarding medical care near the end of life. He has also served as an overseer of the Amos Tuck School.
Andy is retired and resides in Lyme, CT, and New York City. He has a bachelor's degree from Yale University and received a Master of Business Administration from the Amos Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College.
T. Anthony Brooks
Tony Brooks served two years in the U.S. Navy and then spent 33 years in the investment banking industry, retiring in 1997. Tony has been involved in conservation efforts for many years, and more actively since moving to Wyoming in 1997. He was a member and former president of the Jackson Hole Land Trust board.
He is currently serving on the boards of the Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, Jackson Hole Ski Club, Jackson Hole Avalanche Center and works closely with NOLS. Other commitments include class agent for Yale 1962 and a trustee of Kent School for 10 years, as well as several organizations in the financial world.
He has a bachelor's degree from Yale University.
Chris Buck is the president of the board of The Peter and Carmen Lucia Buck Foundation, based in NYC. The foundation funds a wide range of initiatives including public school education reform, summer programs for NYC youth, land conservation and health care. Prior to assuming his post with the foundation, Chris was a senior television editor for the National Basketball Association.
Chris currently serves on the boards of Hudson Highlands Land Trust and Scenic Hudson. He splits his time between homes in NYC and Garrison.
He earned a bachelor’s degree from Emerson College.
Joyce K. Coleman
Joyce is trustee of the Maine Chapter of The Nature Conservancy (TNC) and a member of TNC’s Caribbean Board of Trustees. She is a past member of the board of trustees of Amigos de Sian Ka’an in Cancun, Mexico. Joyce, a Kalamazoo College graduate, served on the college’s board of trustees for 18 years; she continues as emeritus trustee. She has received awards from TNC and the University of Texas.
Joyce’s leadership within TNC began in 1997. She works as a volunteer with a number of TNC programs and affiliates in Latin America with the vision of improving local fundraising and integrating them into the global organization. She has also been active in local nonprofit organizations.
Joyce earned an MBA from the University of Texas at Dallas.
Lester L. Coleman
Les Coleman retired as executive vice president and general counsel of Halliburton Company at the end of 2002. Previously he held several other senior positions with the company, including executive vice president of finance and corporate development. Prior to joining Halliburton, Les was general counsel of a natural resource company in Cleveland, OH, and a partner in the law firm of Arter & Haden in Cleveland.
Currently Les is a director and the treasurer of Downeast Coastal Conservancy (DCC), Machias, ME. Previously he was president of Great Auk Land Trust, which merged with another land trust in 2009 to form DCC. Les served as president of DCC for two years following the merger. Les is also a director of the Maine Sea Coast Mission and the Friends of Nash Island Light.
Les is a graduate of Kalamazoo College and the University of Michigan Law School and he attended the American University of Beirut.
Ann Stevenson Colley
Ann Colley is the executive director of The Moore Charitable Foundation, The Trinchera & Tercio Foundation and The Orton Foundation. Ann has been executive director, VP of The Moore Charitable Foundation for the past 18 years.
Ann serves on the Waterkeeper Alliance Board of Trustees, the board of directors for The What Is Missing? Foundation, Riverkeeper and the Rainforest Foundation US. She serves on Oceana's Ocean Council and Conservation International’s Chairman’s Council. The Moore Charitable Foundation was instrumental in founding Waterkeeper Alliance and the Peconic Baykeeper program.
Ann lives in New York City and has two sons.
Ferdinand Colloredo-Mansfeld is a partner and director of Cabot Properties, Inc., a real estate investment firm based in Boston.
Ferdinand serves on the board of the Boston Municipal Research Bureau. He is a trustee of the Humane Society of Massachusetts and the Alces Foundation. He is an honorary trustee and former chairman of the Massachusetts General Hospital and an honorary trustee of the McLean Hospital. He is a former chairman and director of the Boston Private Industry Council, a former member of the Conservation Law Foundation’s Massachusetts State Board and also formerly served on the Dean’s Council of the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.
He resides with his wife of 50 years, Susanna Colloredo-Mansfeld, in South Hamilton, MA, and enjoys spending time with their three grown children and 10 grandchildren.
Lauren B. Dachs
Lauren Dachs is the President of the S. D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation and the Stephen Bechtel Fund. In addition to serving on the Alliance council, she is a member of the Laural Foundation. In the recent past, she served as a member of the Land Trust Alliance board of directors and Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment’s advisory board. She has formerly served on the boards of The Nature Conservancy of California, Stanford University, the Fremont Group Foundation, the Advisory Council for the Center for Underrepresented Engineering Students (CUES) at the University of California-Berkeley's College of Engineering and the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies at Stanford. She is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Laurie founded and chaired the Lake School in Oakland while raising four children. She earned her undergraduate degree in psychology in 1971 at Stanford.
James C. Flood
Jim Flood was in the banking business in California for many years before taking the reins of his family’s business — The Flood Corporation in San Francisco. Jim is very involved in the management of his family's 37,000-acre ranch in northern Santa Barbara County, which includes 1,000 head of cattle, 500 acres of grapes and the Rancho Sisquoc winery, a small venture that produces 10,000 cases of wine a year.
Jim is a board member of Jackson Hole Land Trust. He is a longtime seasonal resident of the Teton Valley and has been very active in the land conservation community there. He is a proponent of conservation and has worked very hard to help preserve the beauty and character of Jackson Hole. He is an avid skier, an equally avid fisherman and is a very enthusiastic cheerleader for that part of the country.
Jim is a graduate of Stanford University.
Elaine French is board chair of the Idaho Conservation League, a trustee of the Washington state chapter of The Nature Conservancy, and board member of the Board of the Patagonian Land Conservation Trust. She previously served as a trustee and board chair of the Idaho chapter of The Nature Conservancy.
After retiring from a career of research in educational policy and program development, Elaine has devoted most of her time to volunteer work in the areas of conservation and reproductive rights. She served on the boards of Planned Parenthood Mar Monte, the Stanford Center for Research on Women and Gender, the San Jose Museum of Art, the Peninsula Bridge program and the Cleo Eulau Center. She is president of her family foundation, which funds environmental, reproductive rights and educational efforts. She also teaches courses in art history at the local community college and library. A graduate of Wellesley College, she also holds master’s degrees from Harvard University and from San Jose State University, and a Ph.D. from Stanford University.
She and her husband John split their time between Ketchum and their ranch in Picabo, Idaho, and Seattle.
Natasha Grigg is the president of Boxford Trails Association/Boxford Open Land Trust, Inc., an all-volunteer land trust that has helped protect more than 1,200 acres of open space as well as maintain over 100 linear miles of trails in town.
Natasha’s land trust was among the first 39 land trusts to be accredited by the Land Trust Accreditation Commission, an independent program of the Land Trust Alliance. She is a member of the Boxford Conservation Commission, Boxford Land Acquisition Committee and the Boxford Community Preservation Committee. She was recently appointed to the Equestrian Land Conservation Resource Board.
Natasha was president of the American Driving Society and recipient of the ADS President’s Award for her major contributions and many years of service to the sport. She recently retired after 30 years of driving competitions, her horses having represented the United States in six World Championships in Europe.
Natasha and her husband Charlie live on a horse farm in Boxford, MA.
Marjorie Hart had a long career with the Exxon Corp. and her own firm, Business Line Consulting Co. Her career focused on energy policy and analysis, including during her consulting years, on the development of new emission control technologies for diesel engines and power plants. Marjorie spent 30 years working in corporate planning and marketing for the Exxon Corporation. She was the first woman sent overseas by Exxon and the first woman in the executive dining room.
She currently serves on the boards of Scenic Hudson, the New York League of Conservation Voters and she is a vice chair of the Park Avenue Armory Conservancy. She is an emeritus trustee of Teachers College Columbia University, and served on the Advisory Board of the Hudson River Valley Institute. She is also a lifetime member of the President’s Council of Cornell Women and former member of the Governor’s Advisory Committee for Rivers and Estuaries Center on the Hudson.
She received her bachelor’s degree from Cornell University and attended the New York University Graduate School of Business Administration.
Alice Hausmann helped found the Willistown Conservation Trust with Bonnie Van Alen and Kathe McCoy, as a spin off from Brandywine Conservancy. Alice was the associate executive director from 1990-1995 and is still actively serving on the board of trustees.
Peter Hausmann, Chair
Peter Hausmann was active in commercial real estate for over 30 years. He was involved in the development of two LEEDS certified “green” office buildings in the greater Philadelphia area. He was a former chair of the Chester County Planning Commission. He was instrumental in developing Chester County's Comprehensive Plan, which was awarded the American Planning Association’s Outstanding Planning Award.
Peter is the former chair of the Land Trust Alliance and currently serves as chair of the Natural Lands Trust. Previously, Peter was on the Board of the Pennsylvania Environmental Council, the Green Space Alliance and 10,000 Friends of Pennsylvania. He was a founding trustee of the Willistown Conservation Trust. He also is a principal in a not-for-profit organization that has successfully purchased and resold over $80 million of land to conservation buyers in the Willistown area.
President George Bush Sr. awarded the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Award to Peter for his efforts in 1990. He has since served as an advisor to several other open space initiatives in recent years.
He received his BA from Hamilton College and MBA from Rutgers University.
Albert Joerger is founder and past president of the Conservation Foundation of the Gulf Coast. The foundation holds conservation easements and owns nature preserves, educates on responsible land stewardship and collaborates with individuals, organizations and communities.
Albert began his conservation career in Albany, NY as the director of protection and project review for the Albany Pine Bush Preserve Commission, a public/private partnership aimed at protecting and managing the unique and endangered natural communities of the Albany Pine Bush. He later went on to become assistant state director of The Nature Conservancy in Newton, NJ.
He earned a bachelor’s degree from Cornell University in Ithaca, NY. He also received a masters and doctorate from the University.
David Jones worked at Microsoft for 18 years as manager and architect of languages, systems, and applications. David left Microsoft and developed Expedia.com with the goal of improving customer access to travel data.
David is active in the Preston Community Club and is a former trustee of Groundwire, a nonprofit that provides technology assistance to environmental groups.
He has a Ph.D. in nuclear physics. He resides in Seattle with his wife Maryanne Tagney.
Maryanne Tagney has worked on conservation issues and in Washington State environmental politics for 20 years. As the state chair of Washington Conservation Voters (WCV) she worked extensively with elected officials, political professionals and volunteer organizations across the state to achieve conservation goals on both the state and local levels. Now chair emeritus of WCV, Maryanne keeps an active eye on politics while shifting her main focus to open space preservation through her position as vice-chair of the Cascade Land Conservancy board.
The Tagney-Jones family moved to the Snoqualmie Valley in 1981, where Maryanne worked for the local newspaper as reporter, photographer and anything else that needed doing on a small rural weekly. This led to her interest in politics and, combined with her addiction to running over the forested foothills of the Cascade Mountains, resulted in a career very different from the one she envisioned when studying to become an educational psychologist back at college in England.
Tony Kiser is president of the William and Mary Greve Foundation, a private, family foundation specializing in funding programs in education, the arts, urban planning and the environment. For the past 10 years the Greve Foundation has funded a Nature Conservancy community based planning program on the Eastern Front of the Rockies.
He served for many years on The Nature Conservancy’s Long Island Chapter Board and the Peconic Land Trust President’s Council. He is a co-founder of Take the Field, a public-private not-for-profit partnership that rebuilt 43 athletic playing fields in the NYC public school system. He is also involved in a variety of urban planning issues in NYC, and is a trustee of the Municipal Art Society. For the past 27 years, he has been a trustee of the Second Stage Theatre and is the co-chairman of the board.
Anne F. Kroeker
Anne Kroeker is passionate about helping people do the right thing for current and future generations. She is deeply involved with many environmental groups, both locally and along the West Coast, such as Columbia Land Trust, Forterra, Ducks Unlimited, Audubon Washington and Nature Conservancy of Washington and Alaska. She also serves as a trustee of the Museum of Glass and is a new director at Forest Ethics. Anne and husband, Richard Leeds, are co-presidents of the Wildlife Forever Fund and Educational Legacy Fund, which support our natural environment and equal opportunity education.
They currently reside in Bellevue, WA, with daughters living in south central Alaska and Denver.
Glenn Lamb has been active with Columbia Land Trust since its founding, serving at various times as president, vice-president and secretary, and most recently as executive director. Glenn is inspired by the many private landowners throughout the northwest that have worked with land trusts to place their land in conservation, and believes that we all have much to learn by listening to the challenges and opportunities facing private landowners.
Glenn has previously worked for county and city parks departments. He has served on the board of the Washington State Parks Foundation, the Lower Columbia River Estuary Partnership, the Chinook Trail Association and Habitat Partners, and he volunteers in the Big Brother Big Sister program.
He graduated from the University of Rochester and received a master’s from University of Oregon.
Kathy K. Leavenworth
Kathy Leavenworth has served 30 years as an elected local school board member in the West Geauga school system and was appointed by Ohio Governor Strickland to serve on the State School Board of Ohio. She was instrumental in founding an Educational Foundation, Facilities and Technology Master Plan and District Wide Strategic Plan at West Geauga. She also served as a regional president and president of the Ohio School Boards Association.
In 1997 Kathy became a member and president of the board of the Chagrin River Land Conservancy. Under her leadership, it merged with seven other land trusts to become the Western Reserve Land Conservancy. She also serves on the Geauga County Park District Foundation board, the Ohio League of Conservation Voters and the Geauga Humane Society board.
She lives in Chagrin Falls, OH, with her yellow Lab and Newfie and enjoys scuba diving, riding horses, biking and cross country skiing.
Richard Leeds and his wife, Anne Kroeker are co-presidents of the Wildlife Forever Fund and the Educational Legacy Fund. The Wildlife Forever Fund supports wildlife preservation and coastal conservation work, with partners include Forterra, Ducks Unlimited, Audubon, Columbia Land Trust, Eco-Viva, The Nature Conservancy of Washington, New York and Alaska.
Richard’s childhood roots trace back to Long Island, NY, where he fished for flounder, crab and shellfish on Long Island Sound and the Great South Bay. Since 1999, he has been active in coastal conservation on the east end of Long Island working in partnership with The Nature Conservancy.
Richard moved westward early in his career, working with various high tech companies, and has been a serial entrepreneur. His latest project is klat.com, a network of thousands of websites that share content and chat.
Penny H. Lewis
Penny Lewis has spent over 40 years in the ski business in Colorado. She recently retired from running a cattle ranch in the mountains of Colorado. She is a former county commissioner, V.P. of the Colorado Cattlemen’s Assoc., member of numerous state commissions including the State Agricultural Commission.
Penny is a former trustee of The Nature Conservancy and currently is a director of the Colorado Cattlemen's Agricultural Land Trust as well as a Director of History Colorado.
She lives in Denver and has three children and four grandchildren.
Gretchen Long spent her professional career as a partner of an executive search consulting firm in New York.
Her life’s work is now dedicated to the environment. Gretchen is currently a member of the National Park System Advisory Board appointed by the White House, and chairs the Planning Committee charged with recommendations for a new park plan. Earlier she served on the National Parks Second Century Commission. She is a past board member and former chair of the National Parks Conservation Association.
Gretchen brings expertise as a leader of many nonprofit boards, including formerly being chair of the Greater Yellowstone Coalition, vice chair of the Environmental Defense Fund, chair of the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies, chair of the National Outdoor Leadership School, chair of The Murie Center, as well as chair of NPCA. In addition to being the immediate past chair of the National Council, and the National Park System Advisory Board, she serves on the board of NatureBridge.
She is a graduate of the Harvard Business School.
Mayo Lykes was born in Tampa, Florida, to a ranching family. He spent much of his youth on the family properties in Florida and Texas where he developed an appreciation for wild places and inherited a conservation ethic from his father.
He is a board member and serves as treasurer of The Nature Conservancy of Wyoming. He has also served on the boards of two Lykes family businesses, Peoples Gas, Inc. and Lykes Brothers, Inc.
Mayo received his bachelor’s from Colorado College. He lives with his wife, Susan, in Teton Village, WY.
Susan Lykes turned her focus to private land conservation in the mid 1990s after working as town planner. As a planner in Park City, UT, she was one of the authors of the city’s innovative Sensitive Lands Ordinance.
Until 2011, Susan served on the Land Trust Alliance Board of Directors. She is an emeritus board member of the Teton Regional Land Trust, having served on that board for 12 years, including two terms as president. Currently, Susan serves on the board of the Community Foundation of Teton Valley, and recently completed a term on the Orton Family Foundation, which explores new models for citizen engagement and community planning.
She received her masters from University of Montana. She and her husband Mayo live in Teton Village, WY.
Will Martin is a long-time conservationist, who has worked in both public policy and private sector initiatives. He is a corporate lawyer where he serves as general counsel of Tennessee-based FirstBank. He also serves as adjunct professor in international environmental law at the Vanderbilt University Law School.
As Deputy Assistant Secretary of Commerce for International Affairs in the Clinton Administration, Will led the Office of International Affairs at the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. He served as chairman of the Committee on Fisheries of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, and as U.S. representative to a number of international fora including the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas and the Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization.
He served on the board of trustees of the London-based Marine Stewardship Council, serving as chair from 2005-2013. He currently serves as a member of the board of directors of Ocean Conservancy, the Tennessee Aquarium and The Maddox Charitable Fund. He also serves on the President’s Council of Southern Environmental Law Center.
Will holds J.D. and B.A. degrees from Vanderbilt University.
Bradford has been involved in conservation efforts for many years as have many members of her family in southwest Louisiana. She and her husband moved to Charleston in 1987 and were early supporters of the Lowcountry Open Land Trust, and she served on the board for six years.
She is currently serving on the board of the Lowcountry Open Land Trust again and is chair of the Strategic Planning Committee. She also serves on the boards of Water Missions International and the Friends of the Libraries of the College of Charleston.
She and her husband Charles live in Charleston and have one son.
Mary McFadden, who is a lawyer and director of Health Management Resources Corp. in Boston, received an Environmental Merit Award from EPA and was honored by the Massachusetts Executive Office of Environmental Affairs and Plymouth County Education Association for her work engaging children in the campaign to support land conservation. She also received the LeBaron Briggs Conservation Award from the Wildlands Trust of Southeastern Massachusetts and the Buzzards Bay Guardian Award, the highest honor granted by the Buzzards Bay Coalition.
She has been a board member of the all-volunteer Wareham Land Trust since its inception, and was a driving force in passing the Community Preservation Act, a conservation funding measure. She also served on the board of the Buzzards Bay Coalition. Mary is a member of the Mass. Land Trust Coalition, the Mass Audubon Council and is a founding member of the Alliance's National Council.
When she finds free time, Mary enjoys spending time in nature with her husband and three children, painting water colors and traveling.
Nicholas J. Moore
Nicholas Moore is a founding director of the Connecticut Farmland Trust, the only private statewide conservation organization dedicated to protecting Connecticut’s farmland. He is also a founding member of the Working Lands Alliance, a project of American Farmland Trust.
In addition to volunteer work, Nicholas enjoys growing vegetables and traveling with his wife, Leslie, and their three adult children.
John R. Muha
John Muha began his career as a management trainee for steel manufacturer LTV Corporation in Aliquippa, PA, and in 1983 started his insurance career as a bond underwriter with the Chubb Insurance Group in Washington, D.C. He joined the brokerage side of the business in 1985 and co-founded Franey, Parr & Muha in 1994. Acquired by Alliant Insurance Services in 2003, John currently directs the Conserve-A-Nation nonprofit program and holds the insurance industry designation of Accredited Advisor of Insurance.
John currently sits on the boards of the George Mason University Patriot Club and Paul VI Catholic High School. He is a past member of the board of directors of Cardinal Financial Corporation.
He is a graduate of George Mason University and resides in Oakton, VA, with his wife and four sons.
Jean Nelson is the president and executive director of The Land Trust for Tennessee. She served in the Clinton/Gore Administration as the general counsel for the United States Environmental Protection Agency and as the director of the President’s Crime Prevention Council. Prior to these appointments, she served as chief deputy attorney general for Tennessee for four years and for 13 years as a partner with the Nashville law firm of Gullett, Sanford, Robinson and Martin.
She has been active in numerous professional and nonprofit boards including: board member of the Board of Professional Responsibility of the Tennessee Bar; vice-president of the Nashville Bar Association; Middle Tennessee Governor of the Tennessee Bar Association; chair of the Organization of Chief Deputies of the National Association of Attorneys General; member of the Metro Charter Commission for 15 years; president of the Tennessee Environmental Action Fund; board of the Tennessee Environmental Council; and founding co-chair of Metro Greenways Commission for Nashville.
Jean received her bachelor’s and law degree from Vanderbilt University.
Caroline Niemczyk is vice chair of the Open Space Institute, serves on the Trust for Public Land's National Board, and is vice chair of The Conservation Campaign, which has secured $35 billion for conservation across the country. Through her work, she helps to establish referenda, municipal committees, and local and county funds, now at about $100 million, for open space purchases.
Caroline provides assistance in the establishment of a wider geographic range of activity for the Open Space Institute from the Hudson Highlands now to the Northern Forest across four states, and a new conservation finance arm.
She has previously served on the staff of former senior United States Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan, as a program officer for the Smith Richardson Foundation and on the history faculty of Barnard College.
Leigh H. Perkins, Jr.
Perk Perkins has led The Orvis Company as chief executive officer since November 1992. In that time, the company has grown from $88 million in sales in 1992 to $340 million in 2013. By applying strict “brand DNA” focus to the company’s broad product line and sales channels, Orvis has come to be recognized as one of the most respected lifestyle brands in America, earning the industry's highest awards in both catalog and Internet marketing.
Beginning as a catalog copywriter in 1977, other responsibilities have included: export sales manager; retail store manager, opening a multi-channel clone of Orvis in the UK; divisional and general merchandise management; VP of Operations and president of Early Winters, an acquisition that was unsuccessful and later sold.
An avid fly fisher, wingshooter, canoeist, cross-country skier, bird watcher and sailor, he has led Orvis’s renowned support of conservation (5% of pretax profits) with the mantra “if we are going to benefit from our natural resources, we must be willing to take action to protect them.” For the last 25 years, he has served on numerous corporate, conservation and civic boards.
Perk is a graduate of Williams College in 1975 and Harvard University's Executive Management Program.
Michael A. Polemis
Michael was one of a handful of neighbors who founded the Columbia Land Conservancy in 1987. He has served on the conservancy board since its founding, and after 16 years as board chair recently stepped down.
Michael also serves on the board of the Shelburne Museum in Shelburne, VT. Since 1987 he has been president of Pro Bulk USA, representing several international shipping firms.
He lives in Chatham Center, NY, with his wife Barbara. Their two daughters live in New Orleans and New York City.
Thomas S. Reeve
Tom Reeve is active in land conservation across Washington State. He spent 18 years at Microsoft working in a variety of technical and management jobs. Joining while Microsoft was young, some of Tom’s jobs included managing teams focused on consumer products, internal tools, international product versions, the Works business, media production and the MSN.com portal site.
Tom is currently on the national board of Trust for Public Land and also chairs the TPL Washington Advisory Council. He serves as vice president of the board of the Washington Wildlife and Recreation Coalition.
Tom is an avid traveler and outdoorsman and enjoys hiking, kayaking, and bicycling. Tom and his wife Sally split their time between the Seattle area and their Lopez Island farm, which they have protected with conservation easements.
Christopher Sawyer specializes in corporate governance and counseling, strategic planning, conservation and real estate law. Over the past five years, Christopher has presented more than 50 speeches on real estate and conservation topics to various groups across America.
Christopher also currently serves as national chairman of the Trust for Public Land Board of Directors, as chairman of the Chattahoochee River Coordinating Committee and president of the West Hill Foundation for Nature.
He was the founding chairman of TPL’s Georgia Advisory Board and The Nature Conservancy’s National Real Estate Advisory Board. He also currently serves on TPL’s National Real Estate Advisory Council, the Urban Land Institute’s Leadership Group, the board of directors of The Murie Center in Jackson, WY, and the Yale University Divinity School’s board of advisors.
Christopher graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, received his master’s from Yale University, and holds a law degree from Duke University.
Walter Sedgwick has published several scientific articles on spiders and has been an associate of Invertebrate Zoology, Museum of Comparative Zoology and the Department of Entomology, American Museum of Natural History. He is a forest landowner dedicated to restoring and maintaining the southern long leaf pine ecosystem. He has more than 20 years of experience in managing family forestlands and has a strong interest in demonstrating the economic viability of stewardship forestry.
He has a long-standing interest in conservation and has served on the boards of a diverse range of conservation nonprofits, including National Audubon Society, Land Trust Alliance, The Nature Conservancy – Florida, the Pacific Forest Trust and Tall Timbers Research Station and Land Conservancy. He is currently chair of Island Conservation and serves on the boards of Bat Conservation International and Turtle Survival Alliance.
He is married to Jeanne Sedgwick and they spend the majority of the time at their home in Woodside, CA.
J. Rutherford Seydel
Rutherford Seydel is a partner in the law firm of Davis, Pickren & Seydel, where he concentrates his practice in the area of commercial real estate, corporate law and private and public foundation law. He is also a member of Atlanta Spirit, which owns the NBA franchise Atlanta Hawks, and the operating rights of Philips Arena.
Rutherford and his wife, Laura Turner Seydel, have dedicated their lives to earth-friendly living and eco-awareness. They are co-founders of the Upper Chattahoochee RiverKeeper Inc.
Rutherford is also vice-chairman and treasurer of The Conservation Fund. In addition, he sits on the boards of the Southern Environmental Law Center, Georgia Conservation Voters, Jekyll Island Foundation and the advisory board of the National Parks and Conservation Association.
He is also an officer and board member of the Paul B. and Mildred Seydel Foundation and Vassar Wooley Foundation, an officer of the Turner Foundation, Turner Endangered Special Foundation, Nuclear Threat Initiative, the Better World Fund, Inc., and United Nations Foundation.
Julie Sharpe is passionate about watershed and water-land issues and has worked with the University of Rhode Island for the past 24 years on water quality monitoring with their program Watershed Watch. In the 1990s Julie helped to establish the Rhode Island Natural History Survey to monitor the state’s biodiversity. Julie and her husband, Henry, as well as other family members, launched an innovative effort, the Conservation Stewardship Collaborative, to steward Rhode Island’s 100,000 conserved acres of land.
She serves on the boards of Rhode Island Public Radio, Narragansett Conservation Commission, Historic New England, and is the founder of the Conservation Stewardship Collaborative. She serves as president of the Narrow River Land Trust in Saunderstown, RI.
Julie lives in Saunderstown with her husband and two children.
Lawrence T.P. Stifler, Ph.D.
Larry Stifler is an entrepreneur and pioneer in the field of health and weight management. In 1983, he founded Health Management Resources in Boston, a company specializing in training health care professionals to treat high-risk patients and providing nutrition products to medical centers nationwide. Larry enjoys his volunteer work on land conservation projects in Massachusetts and western Maine, and has been on the board of the Wareham Land Trust since it was established in 2001.
He and his wife, Mary McFadden, manage their family foundation and are also involved in restoring the Bumpus Historic Mine and establishing a mineral, mining and gem museum in Bethel, ME. They are also dedicated to conserving and maintaining traditional uses on thousands of acres of forest land they own in western Maine.
When he is not involved with his company or volunteering, he enjoys running, hiking, science reading, as well as collecting “too many things,” according to Mary.
David F. Work
David Work retired from BP Amoco Corporation where he was regional president. He was responsible for support services provided to Amoco Corporation’s worldwide business operations. He has more than 35 years of experience in worldwide oil and gas exploration and production, refining and transportation.
David is a board member of Edge Petroleum Corp., CGGVeritas Inc., CrystaTech Inc. and Cody Resources Management LLC. He is also a board member of The Teton Regional Land Trust and Valley Advocates for Responsible Development.
David is actively involved in several professional organizations, including the American Geologic Institute and the American Association of Petroleum Geologists. He has served as director or trustee of Wesleyan University, The Houston Natural History Museum, The Chicago Institute of Science and Industry, The International Institute of Education, Stanford University Earth Science Advisory Board, Friends of the Teton River and The Nature Conservancy of Texas.
He and his wife of 40 years, Susie, reside on easement-protected property in Victor, ID, but also have homes in Eastern PA and Houston, TX.