Captain John Smith Trail Advisory Council Appointed

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Date: August 20, 2013
Contact: Cindy Chance, 410-260-2492

Annapolis, MD -- The National Park Service Chesapeake Bay Office announces the appointment of 26 members to the Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail Advisory Council. Members of the Council, appointed by U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell, will consult with the Secretary and the National Park Service on matters related to the trail, including trail management, public access, recreation opportunities, and natural and cultural resource conservation along the trail route. The Advisory Council was established in 2008.

John J. Reynolds, member of the Board of Directors of the Student Conservation Association and former Deputy Director of the National Park Service, will continue to serve as chair of the Council. Members will serve two year terms. The states of Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, and Pennsylvania are represented as are the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and Department of Defense. Members of the council include American Indian representatives from the Piscataway Conoy Tribe of Maryland, the Lenape Indian Tribe of Delaware, and the Chickahominy Tribe of Virginia. Other members represent a range of governmental and non-governmental organizations.

"The people appointed to serve on the Advisory Council will contribute in many ways to the implementation of a rich educational and recreational trail experience for the public," said John Reynolds, Advisory Council chair. "This council is anxious to get people outside enjoying the trail, on land and water, while also working to protect special places along the trail."

Members of the Council are as follows:

Wayne Adkins is the Assistant Chief of the Chickahominy Tribe of Virginia. Mr. Adkins serves as the tribe's liaison to the Department of Anthropology at the College of William and Mary regarding an on-going study of the historic Chickahominy territory, culture and history, including efforts to reconstruct the Chickahominy Algonquin language.Mr. Adkins is also the President of the Virginia Indian Tribal Alliance for Life (VITAL), a member of the Board of Trustees for Henricus Historical Park and a member of the Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation's Museum and Programs Advisory Council.

Shelly Baird is the Executive Director of the Nanticoke Watershed Alliance, whose mission is to foster partnerships and progress in conserving the natural, cultural and recreational resources of the Nanticoke River watershed through collaborative outreach and education.Ms. Baird has worked for the North Carolina Division of Soil and Water Conservation and the New Hanover (NC) Soil and Water Conservation District. Ms. Baird received a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science from Mary Washington College and a Master of Science in Marine Sciences from the University of North Carolina-Wilmington.

Suzanne C. Baird is the Refuge Manager of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Chesapeake Marshlands National Wildlife Refuge Complex.Ms. Baird received a Bachelor of Arts in Biology from Austin College and a Master's of Agriculture in Wildlife Science from Texas A&M University. During her career she has worked for a variety of agencies including the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the U.S. Air Force, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. She has managed natural resources in a variety of habitat types including lacustrian, loblolly pine forest, Mojave Desert oasis, freshwater and brackish marshes, coastal barrier islands as well as forested wetlands.

H. Hedrick Belin is the President of the Potomac Conservancy, whose mission is to protect the health, beauty, and enjoyment of the Potomac River and its tributaries. The Conservancy's primary focus is protection of water quality through land protection and sound land use practices. Mr. Belin has over 20 years of nonprofit fundraising and leadership experience. Before leading the Potomac Conservancy Mr. Belin was Vice President of the Metropolitan Group and worked for several conservation groups, including the National Park Foundation, Izaak Walton League of America, the League of Conservation Voters and the Nature Conservancy.

Wade Blackwood is the Executive Director of the American Canoe Association, a national nonprofit organization serving the broader paddling public by providing education and stewardship support to help protect paddling environments. Mr. Blackwood holds an M.B.A from the College of William and Mary and was a volunteer for the United States Peace Corps where he served as an Economic Development Advisor.

Virginia Busby has served as a Governor appointed Commissioner to the Maryland Commission on Indian Affairs since 2007. Ms. Busby has over 30 years of experience as researcher, instructor and manager in the fields of anthropology, archaeology, cultural resource management and American Indian affairs.Ms. Busby was a civilian employee of the U.S. Army Environmental Command serving as the Program Manager for Army Compatible Use Buffer (ACUB) and as the Program Manager for Archaeology and Native American Affairs. She has served as a consultant on Land Conservation, Land use and Heritage Tourism Planning and Historic Preservation and serves as an advisor to the Accokeek Foundation's Piscataway Cultural Landscape Initiative.

Trish Carothers is the Executive Director of the Susquehanna Greenway Partnership, whose mission is to promote a healthy, sustainable environment while advocating the natural and cultural resources of the Susquehanna River watershed. Ms. Carothers has over 20 years experience in marketing and development.She holds a Bachelor of Science from the University of Delaware and a Master of Education from Pennsylvania State University.

Dennis Coker is the Principal Chief of the Lenape Indian Tribe of Delaware, an elected position he has held for 17 years. In addition, Mr. Coker is Principal Chief of the Confederation of Sovereign Nanticoke-Lenape Tribes of the Delaware Bay, a member of the Department of the Interior's Bureau of Ocean Energy Management's Delaware Renewable Energy Task Force and chairman of the Planning Commission for the Town of Cheswold located in Kent County, Delaware. Other associations include individual member of the National Congress of the American Indian (NCAI) and founding member of the Alliance of Colonial Era Tribes (ACET).

Cindy Dunn is the Deputy Secretary of Conservation and Technical Services for the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. Ms. Dunn has over 20 years experience in the conservation field as advocate, educator and manager.She holds a Bachelor of Science and a Master of Science, both from Shippensburg University.She is the 2008 recipient of the Frances E. Flanigan Environmental Leadership Award.

Joel Dunn is the Executive Director of the Chesapeake Conservancy, whose mission is to strengthen the connection between people and the Chesapeake Bay watershed.Mr. Dunn has a background in ecology and natural history and he has worked for The Conservation Fund, The Nature Conservancy and as an environmental analyst for Mayer Brown.He holds a Master of Environmental Management and a Master of Public Policy, both from Duke University.

Elizabeth Hughes is Deputy State Historic Preservation Officer and Deputy Director of the Maryland Historical Trust.In this capacity, she oversees development of program policy and legislation and oversight of all Trust programs, including the work of the Jefferson Patterson Park and Museum and the Banneker-Douglass Museum.Ms. Hughes represents the Trust on various inter-agency committees and work groups.Ms. Hughes earned her Master's Degree in Architectural History from the University of Virginia and her Bachelor's Degree in American Studies from Georgetown University.Ms. Hughes has served on the National Conference of State Historic Preservation Officers Board since 2004.

David A. Johnson was appointed as the Director of the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation in May 2010. Johnson has spent more than 14 years working on environmental policy and its practical application. He served as chief deputy for the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) from 1998 through 2002 and as director for a short time in 2002. Since 2006, he has worked as an environment and energy consultant to the Virginia Chamber of Commerce. Mr. Johnson served on the Governor's Commission on Environmental Stewardship, and he chaired the Citizen Wetlands Advisory Committee on Wetlands Management Strategy in 1999. He also served as a key Virginia representative in negotiations between the Chesapeake Bay states and the EPA during the formation of the Chesapeake Bay 2000 agreement.

Kathleen Kilpatrick has served as Director of the Department of Historic Resources and State Historic Preservation Officer for the Commonwealth of Virginia since February of 2001. Ms. Kilpatrick began at the department as Deputy Director in 1995. Before coming to the department, Ms. Kilpatrick served in state government as Special Assistant for Policy and Legislation to the Virginia Secretary of Natural Resources with oversight responsibilities for historic resources, game and inland fisheries, marine resources, state parks, and recreation.She has previously served a six-year term on the National Council on the Humanities, and served as chairman of the Committee on General Programs with policy and grant-making responsibilities for public programs conducted by museums, historical societies, libraries, radio, and television.Ms. Kilpatrick serves as a Trustee of Virginia's two national heritage areas, the Shenandoah Valley Battlefield Foundation and the Journey through Hallowed Ground. She is also an advisor to the Virginia Civil War Sesquicentennial Commission.

Mary Ann Lisanti is the Executive Director of the Lower Susquehanna Heritage Greenway. During her professional career, she has worked for the Maryland General Assembly and for both the County Executive and the Department of Planning and Zoning in the Harford County (MD) Government. She was City Manager of Havre de Grace, MD from 1997-2002 and served as Vice President in 2000 and President in 2001 of the Maryland Association of City and County Managers. Ms. Lisanti serves on the Harford County Council and is the Council Member for District F which includes: Havre de Grace, Abingdon, Aberdeen Proving Ground, Perryman and Belcamp. She was elected in 2006.

Dan D. (Drew) McMullen is the Founder, President and CEO of Sultana Projects, Inc., a nationally recognized educational nonprofit organization. He has full responsibility for organizational management including coordination with Board of Directors, membership and development, budget and financial reporting, risk management, strategic planning, educational program development and public relations. Sultana Projects award-winning educational programs have reached more than 700,000 students and teachers in Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C. since 1997. Additionally he oversaw the highly successful Captain John Smith Four Hundred Project that was critical to the establishment of the Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail.

Susan R. Moerschel is a Program Manager with the Delaware Division of Parks and Recreation, Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control. With over 25 years of experience in the field of park planning and natural resource management, Ms. Moerschel has led inter-disciplinary teams and community partnerships in special resource studies including trail and greenway planning; natural and cultural resource protection; outdoor recreation planning and construction; land use planning and community design; and scenic road designation. Ms. Moerschel has served as Delaware's lead in the designation of the Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail.

Richard Pearsall served as project lead for the Town of Onancock's successful effort to have the "Onancock Historic District & Town Wharf" designated to the National Park Service's Chesapeake Bay Gateways and Watertrails Network.Mr. Pearsall completed 28 years of service in the U.S. Navy, retiring as a Captain.His successful naval career included three Command At Sea assignments, as well as serving as Deputy Director, Navy Training & Education, and Chief of Naval Operations and Director, Department Head Training, Surface Warfare Officer Schools Command.Mr. Pearsall is a past elected representative to the Town Council in Onancock, VA.

William J. Pencek, Jr. is the Executive Director of the Maryland War of 1812 Bicentennial Commission. Mr. Pencek is the former Director of Cultural and Heritage Tourism for Maryland and serves on several advisory boards including: Friends of Fort McHenry, Star-Spangled Banner Flag House Association, and Baltimore Heritage, Inc. Mr. Pencek holds an MA in Historic Preservation from the University of Virginia.

Mark Platts is the President of the Susquehanna Gateway Heritage Area, whose mission is to enhance quality of life and economic vitality through preservation, conservation and interpretation of the Susquehanna River heritage. Mr. Platts has over 20 years of experience in urban planning. He was the 2010 recipient of the Keystone Society for Tourism, Enterprise Award from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.He holds a Master of Arts in Urban and Regional Planning from the University of Florida.

Christine Porter serves as the Director of the DoD/Navy Regional Environmental Coordination Department within Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Mid-Atlantic supporting Commander, Navy Region Mid-Atlantic. As such, she represents DoD military installations in fifteen states where she: directs state environmental and natural resources legislative and regulatory development reviews to determine impact to military operations; facilitates environmental partnerships; conducts environmental outreach and advocacy; and manages the DoD Chesapeake Bay Program Office.Chris has over thirty years of progressive management experience with the federal government.

John J. Reynolds is currently serving as the representative of the Secretary of the Interior to the Presidio Trust, as well as a member of the Board of Directors for the Student Conservation Association, the citizen representative from Virginia to the Chesapeake Bay Commission and the Chair of the Flight 93 National Memorial Advisory Council.Mr. Reynolds is also the current Chair of the Captain John Smith Chesapeake NHT Advisory Council.Mr. Reynolds is a retired National Park Service employee who has served as Deputy Director, Regional Director, Pacific West Region; Regional Director, Mid-Atlantic Region; Director, Denver Service Center; Superintendent, North Cascades National Park and Assistant Superintendent, Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area.He served as a Landscape Architect/Planner at several National Parks.

Kristin Saunders is the Assistant Secretary for Land Resources for the State of Maryland.Ms. Saunders has over 20 years of experience in state government holding various management and leadership positions.In her current position she manages over 500,000 acres of public recreation and conservation land holdings including Parks, Forests and Wildlife Management areas. She holds a Master of Public Administration from the University of Baltimore.

Mervin Savoy is the Tribal Chair of the Piscataway Conoy Tribe of Maryland.Mrs. Savoy has over 40 years of experience in sharing her knowledge of the Piscataway Conoy people.She has served on the Maryland Commission on Indian Affairs and was a member of the research team that prepared the Feasibility Study of the Captain John Smith Chesapeake NHT for the National Park Service.Mrs. Savoy was the Project Director for the Title V Indian Education Program for the Charles County (MD) Board of Education prior to her retirement in 2007.

Charles A. Stek is the President of Environmental Stewardship Strategies and serves as the Policy Director for No Child Left Inside Coalition.He also serves as the Chairman of the Board of Directors for the Chesapeake Conservancy.He was formerly the projects director for Senator Benjamin Cardin and Paul S. Sarbanes.He has received the John Smith Explorer Award, the Department of the Army Commander's Award for Public Service, and the Conservationist of the Year Award from the Chesapeake Bay Foundation.

William H. Street is the Executive Director of the James River Association (JRA), based in Richmond, Virginia, since 2005. Mr. Street is responsible for overseeing RA's efforts to promote conservation and responsible stewardship of the James River's unique natural and historic resources, as well as managing JRA's four core programs: River Advocacy, Riverkeeper, Watershed Restoration, and Education and Outreach.Mr. Street has held several positions for the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, including: Director of Watershed Restoration, Staff Scientist and Land Use Planner.Mr. Street has also coordinated and performed environmental impact statements, wetland delineations, threatened and endangered species surveys, wetland evaluations, herpetological surveys and fish surveys as a Project Environmental Scientist, at Malcolm Pirnie, Inc. in Newport News, VA.

Ann Swanson is the Executive Director for the Chesapeake Bay Commission, which is a tri-state legislative authority, composed of legislators, governors and prominent citizens from Maryland, Pennsylvania and Virginia.She has held this position since 1988.Ms. Swanson has received numerous awards for her commitment to conservation, including Conservationist of the Year (1999), Governor's Salute to Excellence (1991 & 1994), and Chesapeake Executive Council Salute to Excellence (1991, 1992 & 1999.)She has also served on the Governor's Commission of Growth in the Chesapeake Bay Region, the Chesapeake Executive Council's Panels on Riparian Forest, the Severn River Commission and the Chester River Association.

The Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail commemorates the voyages of Captain John Smith and his crew as they explored the Chesapeake Bay between 1607 and 1609. The more than 2,000‐mile trail was established in 2006 as part of the National Trails System and became America's first national water trail. Managed by the National Park Service, the trail traces Smith's routes and the key rivers linked to them, helping visitors imagine the world he encountered more than four hundred years ago. Modern‐day explorers travel the trail on land and water, enjoying a variety of recreational experiences at places reminiscent of the Bay in the seventeenth century. The trail is a touchstone for the nation's past, but also a means to experience the Chesapeake's natural beauty and to learn from American Indians who continue to live in the region today.


Last updated: February 26, 2015

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