Our Board of Trustees

Benjamin Wechsler
Linowes & Blocher, LLP

Chair of the Board

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Ben is a partner at Linowes & Blocher, LLP, focusing in land use and environmental law, as well as litigation. Prior to joining the firm, he worked as a commercial and real estate litigator with the San Francisco and Palo Alto offices of Gray Cary Ware & Freidenrich now part of DLA Piper. His practice focuses on the management of land and water resources, and including the Maryland Forest Conservation Act, the Chesapeake and Atlantic Coastal Bays Critical Area Program, and various federal, state, and county programs regulating land use, water quality, and wetlands protection. He was selected as a Maryland Rising Star for 2012 and 2013 by Super Lawyers.

Virginia Kearney
MD Department of the Environment

Vice Chair

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Ginny has worked for the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) since 1993, currently as the Deputy Director of the Water Management Administration (WMA). There, she is responsible for the management and regulation of wetlands, waterways and floodplains; point and non-point source water pollution control; water supplies; dam safety; and individual well and sewage disposal systems. . Prior to her state service, Ginny served as an environmental consultant for a private land planning/engineering firm in the Baltimore area, performing evaluation of development potential based on environmental constraints, laws and regulations. She also worked for the Mayor’s Office and the Department of Planning in the City of Baltimore, on capital program planning and environmental programs. Ginny holds a Master of Forest Science from the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies and a Bachelor of Arts from the State University of New York at Binghamton in Environmental Studies. She serves as MDE’s ex officio member on the Board of the Chesapeake Bay Trust.

F. Carter Heim, CPA
HeimLantz

Treasurer

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Carter is President of HeimLantz, P.C., a regional business accounting and consulting firm. He has served as chair of the Maryland Association of CPAs, the Anne Arundel Community College Board of Directors, and St. Mary’s School Board of Trustees. He currently serves as Treasurer of the Annapolis and Anne Arundel County Chamber of Commerce. A native of Baltimore, Mr. Heim graduated from the University of Maryland at College Park with a Bachelor’s degree in accounting and earned a Master of Science in Taxation degree from the University of Baltimore.

John Quinn
BGE

Secretary

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John, a trained Environmental Engineer, is the Director of Government and External Affairs at BGE. Mr. Quinn has tenures with state (Maryland Department of the Environment) and local regulatory agencies. He has been with the Exelon family of companies since 1990. He holds Bachelor’s and Master’s of Science degrees from the University of Maryland. John has been dedicated to service: He has served on a variety of national and local industry and regulatory committees and has led several local efforts including as Chairman of the Maryland Department of the Environment’s Air Quality Control Advisory Committee, Chairman of the Maryland Chamber of Commerce’s Environment Committee; as Commissioner – Baltimore City Commission on Sustainability and as Commissioner – Maryland Environmental Justice and Sustainable Communities Commission. John has also been very involved in local youth sports organizations.

Erica Anthony, Ph.D.
Morgan State University

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Erica is an Assistant Professor of Management with the Earl G. Graves School of Business and Management at Morgan State University and Founder/CEO of Lyce for Innovative Leadership. With over 15 years of experience with student, non-profit, and for-profit organizations, Erica shares her experience within the classroom but also offers leadership development through coaching, training, and consulting with her clients. As a Professor and Founder/CEO, she ensures that her students and clients have the necessary skills for professional growth and leadership development. She holds a Doctorate in Organizational Behavior and Human Resources from Purdue University, an MBA from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and a Bachelor’s in Electrical Engineering from Illinois Institute of Technology. Furthermore. Erica has previously served as a Board of Director with the YWCA of Greater Kansas City and the National Society of Black Engineers.

The Honorable John Astle
Maryland State Senate

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Love of country has guided John throughout a career that has included service in the military, law enforcement, and the Maryland General Assembly. John joined the U.S. Marine Corps in 1966. His nine years of active service included a tour of duty in Vietnam as a helicopter pilot and a tour as a Presidential helicopter pilot. As a Marine, John earned numerous personal decorations including the Legion of Merit, two Purple Hearts, the Meritorious Service Medal, 31 air medals, and the Presidential Service Badge. After resigning his regular commission in 1975, John began a 21-year commitment with the Marine Corps Reserves. During that time, he volunteered and served five months’ active duty in the Persian Gulf War. He retired as a Colonel from the Reserves in 1996. John has continued his public service by serving the people of Maryland first as a member of the Maryland House of Delegates and currently as a member of the Maryland Senate. A respected leader, John serves as Vice-Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, where he plays a key role in shaping state policy on energy, healthcare, banking and insurance. He also serves as Chairman of the Anne Arundel County Senate Delegation, and as a member of the Joint Audit Committee, the Legislative Policy Committee and the Joint Information Technology and Biotechnology Committee. An avid sportsman and environmental advocate, John is a long-time supporter of the National Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation. He spearheaded the creation of the Maryland Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus in 2001, which led to the creation of a National Assembly of Sportsmen’s Caucuses. He is the current Senate Chair of the Maryland Caucus and the Immediate Past President of the national organization. John lives in Annapolis with his wife Jayne.

Coretta Bennett
Bithenergy

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Coretta is Chief Operating Officer (COO) of Bithenergy, an award-winning renewable energy development and engineering firm. As COO, she oversees day-to-day operations, strengthens B2B relationships, implements corporate initiatives in energy production and management, and provides oversight of investors and financial institutions. A Baltimore native, Bennett is a graduate of Baltimore Polytechnic Institute. She earned her B.S. in Civil Engineering from Morgan State University, an MBA in Strategic Business Policy and Finance from Rutgers University, and is a LEED Accredited Professional BD+C.

She is an active advocate for women in engineering, advising numerous women engineering development programs.  She is deeply committed to the education and well-being of youth.  Bennett serves as the Vice President of the ACE Mentor Program of America Baltimore chapter, which encourages high school students to pursue careers in architecture, construction, and engineering. Additionally, she serves as an adjunct lecturer at her alma mater, and is PTA President and a group leader in her church.

Joseph E. Farren
Powell Tate/Weber Shandwick

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Joe is an Executive Vice President at Powell Tate and serves as the firm’s technology policy leader as well as a senior counselor and strategist on public affairs and crisis communications. Prior to joining Powell Tate Joe served as the national spokesperson for the $155 billion wireless industry. As Assistant Vice President for Public Affairs at CTIA – The Wireless Association, Joe was responsible for shaping the wireless industry’s communications campaigns on consumer issues and policy proposals being debated in Congress, the Federal Communications Commission and state legislatures across the country and for the development and execution of the wireless industry’s crisis communication strategies. Joe has led the Global Public Affairs Practice at Waggener Edstrom Worldwide (WE) and served as the General Manager of WE’s Washington, DC office and member of the firm’s North American board. Joe also served as a senior staff member in the New Jersey Senate where he advised current United States Representative Leonard Lance (NJ-7).

Matthew Fleming
MD Department of Natural Resources

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Matt is the Director of Maryland’s Chesapeake and Coastal Service at the Maryland Department of Natural Resources.  In this role, he is responsible for the management, policy formulation and implementation, and administration of the programs and staff committed to protecting and enhancing Maryland’s coast and ocean for present and future generations.  Matt has been with the Department since 1997.  With a commitment to building relationships and thinking across traditional disciplines and sectors, Matt believes that we will be better equipped as a broader community to address emerging issues of our coast and oceans.  Matt is a graduate of the University of Maryland.

Gary Jobson
Jobson Sailing, Inc.

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Gary Jobson is a world-class competitive sailor. He won the America’s Cup in 1977 as tactician for Ted Turner. As a broadcaster/producer (he is ESPN’s Sailing Analyst), lecturer, and writer (he is an Editor at Large for Sailing World and Cruising World magazines), Gary is the pre-eminent ambassador for sailing in the U.S. Gary covered the 34th America’s Cup for NBC. He won an ACE (Award for Cable Excellence) for the 1987 America’s Cup on ESPN. In 1988 Jobson won an Emmy for his production of sailing at the Olympic Games in South Korea, and in 2006 won an Emmy for the Volvo Ocean Race on PBS. His newest book is Chasing Roosters: A Century of Sailing on Barnegat Bay. In 2013 Gary was presented a Telly Award which recognizes distinction in creative work in broadcast/non-broadcast video productions for Unfurling the World: The Voyages of Irving and Electa Johnson.

Louise Lawrence
MD Department of Agriculture

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Louise has had various responsibilities working for the Maryland Department of Agriculture for the last 25 years. At present serving as the Chief of the Office or Resource Conservation, Louise has responsibilities for developing programs and policies to advance agricultural soil conservation and water quality efforts. She oversees Maryland Agricultural Water Quality Cost Share programs which provide nearly $30 million in incentives for the implementation of agricultural best management practices and information and education programs to promote and advance participation in water quality programs. Louise represents MDA in State natural resource policy arenas including nutrient management, water quality protection, management of water resources, forestry conservation, stream and wetlands protection, and Chesapeake and Atlantic Coastal Bays Critical Area.

Anthony Murray Leigh Jr., CPA, CFE, CGFM
Department of Veterans Affairs

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Anthony Murray Leigh, Jr. is the Director of Financial Integrity at the Department of Veteran Affairs, Office of the Inspector General and prior to that he spent five years as the Director of the Healthcare Financial Analysis Division. He spent over eight years working for a private certified public accounting firm specializing in forensic accounting.  For twenty years, Mr. Leigh work in the government arena, serving senior positions in the Navy, which included performing as Executive Officer of two Naval Stations.  He retired from the United States Navy as Commander in 2000.  Mr. Leigh holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from the University of Maryland, College Park and a Master of Science in Systems Technology from Naval Postgraduate School.

 

Thomas Miller, Ph.D.
University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science

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Tom is the Director of the Chesapeake Biological Laboratory, University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science and also a professor of fisheries science. Born in the England and educated in the UK, US and Canada, Tom was initially appointed to the CBL faculty in 1994. During his career, his work has varied from studies of fish in the northwest Atlantic and Lake Michigan. He combines laboratory, field and modeling approaches to address questions of interest to society. In particular, Tom and his research group have conducted research on blue crab from New York to Florida. Since 2001 he has lead efforts to develop a sustainable approach to the management of blue crab in Chesapeake Bay. Most recently, his research has focused on both recruitment issues in menhaden and striped bass and stakeholder involvement in recreational fisheries. His work has been funded by a diverse array of agencies including NSF, NOAA, EPA, Maryland Sea Grant and the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation. Tom served on National Research Council’s Panel on the water use in the San Francisco Bay and Delta and on its Bay Delta Conservation Plan review committee. He also serves on Scientific and Management Committees for the Mid‐Atlantic Fishery Management Council, the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission and Potomac River Fisheries Commission. Tom has been the recipient of the President’s Award for the Application of Science at UMCES. He and his students have won several best paper awards at regional and national meetings. He teaches courses on population dynamics, fisheries ecology, and quantitative methods, and is a two‐time recipient of the Graduate Education Award.

The Honorable Todd B. Morgan
Commissioner of St. Mary’s County

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Todd is serving his second term as a Commissioner of St. Mary’s County. He moved to St. Mary’s County in 1979 following college graduation. Todd earned a BS in Business Administration (Finance major) from Susquehanna University and an MBA from Marshall University. Morgan taught college classes locally for over 20 years at St. Mary’s College of Maryland, the University of Maryland University College, Charles County Community College (now CSM) and for Embry-Riddle University where he is an Adjunct Assistant Professor.

Todd is currently serving as the Chairman of the Tri-County Council. In 2013, he was appointed to serve on the Historic St. Mary’s City Commission. He has also served as the President of the Southern Maryland Navy Alliance (2004-2010), Vice President of the Historical St. Mary’s City Foundation (1996-2010) He is currently an Assistant Scoutmaster of BSA Troop 413 and a member of the Finance committee at the Church of the Ascension (Lexington Park).

Bryan Offutt
E3 Meat Company

Thomasina Poirot
Venable LLP

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Thomasina is an associate with the Baltimore office of Venable LLP, a nationally ranked general practice law firm. As a member of Venable’s Product Liability and Mass Torts Practice Group, her practice focuses on complex pharmaceutical litigation and insurance coverage matters, including advising nonprofits on insurance and risk management issues. She received her undergraduate degree from Villanova University and her law degree from the University of Baltimore School of Law.

She is a dedicated volunteer and has a strong presence in the Baltimore community. She serves as co-chair of the Board of Directors for the Baltimore Tree Trust, and is also on the Board Directors of South Baltimore Learning Center, Volunteering Untapped, and the Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History and Culture. She has previously served as the Chair of the Advisory Board of Business Volunteers Unlimited’s GIVE program for young professionals and on the Board of Directors of the Friends of Great Kids Farm. She is the Defense Research Institute Young Lawyer’s Liaison for Maryland Defense Counsel.

The Honorable Shane Robinson
Maryland House of Delegates

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Shane spent many years of his life overseas, in Iran, Bolivia, Brazil, Zambia, and South Korea. He attended the University of Nevada, Reno, earning dual degrees in Spanish and biology in 2000. While in college, Robinson worked as a wildland firefighter for the United States Forest Service and later joined the Peace Corps, serving in rural Zambia from 2002 to 2005. From 2005 to 2006 he worked as an English Instructor in South Korea. Following his return to the United States, he worked for a number of organizations, including the AIDS Project of Southern Vermont, the Iracambi Atlantic Rainforest Research and Conservation Center which is located in Minas Gerais, Brazil, and where Robinson resided for six months, and most recently for the Coulter Companies for whom he helps manage non-profit clients and is the director of sustainability. During this period, Robinson also began work on a graduate degree in sustainable development, which he earned in 2011. He also works on the side as a National Ski Patrol alpine patroller.

The Reverend Canon
Angela Shepherd

Episcopal Diocese of Maryland

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Reverend Shepherd serves as Reverend Canon of the Episcopal Diocese of Maryland, serving 111 congregations in Maryland. There, she supports social justice ministries, local and global mission efforts, public policy and diocesan goals that focus on transformation and education. Prior to serving in the Episcopal Diocese based in Baltimore, Reverend Shepherd was the rector of St. Phillips Church in Annapolis, where she took the lead on establishing several environmental initiatives that are still going strong. Reverend Shepherd has served on several boards including Baltimore International Seafarers Center, Episcopal Community Services of Maryland, Episcopal Ministries to the Aging; staff liaison to Camp Amazing Grace and Episcopal Service Corps.

John R. Valliant
Grace B. Kerr Fund

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John Valliant is the President of the Grayce B. Kerr Fund, Inc., a private family foundation in Easton, MD.  He is also the founder and principal of the Responsible Philanthropy Group, LLC, a consulting firm specializing in non-profit and family foundation issues.  Mr. Valliant spent nearly 20 years as the President of the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum in St. Michaels, Maryland, where he led the institution through unprecedented expansion and two successful capital campaigns.  He has completed governance training through BoardSource and brings his expertise to many nonprofit boards.  He received his Bachelors of Science degree from Louisiana State University and Agricultural and Mechanical College.