Advisory Board

Headshot of Harold Denton

Chair Harold R. Denton, of West River, Maryland, is the former president and CEO of General Land Abstract Co., Inc., a title insurance company he established in 1981 in New Jersey. He grew the company to a $4 billion-a-year firm to become the largest title agent in New Jersey when he sold the company to First American Financial in 2004. Mr. Denton grew up in the Midwest, joined the Navy, and then graduated from the University of Michigan. He currently has several real estate investments in Fairfax County, Virginia, and owns a 110-acre horse farm in southern Maryland, where he has restored a historic home. He also owns a home in Florida. In 2009, Mr. Denton was one of the leaders of the New Jersey Performing Arts Center fundraising campaign. He is an avid boater and competitive sailor along the East Coast. He and his wife are active horse breeders, own three stallions, and are sponsors of the Marlborough Hunt steeplechase races in southern Maryland.

Headshot of Bradford Nordholm

Vice Chair Bradford Nordholm, of Edgewater, MD, is the President & Chief Executive Officer of Farmer Mac (NYSE: “AGM”) the largest secondary market lender for American agriculture, where he leads the company’s efforts to successfully deliver on its core mission of increasing the availability and affordability of credit for the benefit of American agriculture and rural communities. Prior to joining Farmer Mac, Brad spent nearly four decades in leadership roles in the electric power, renewable energy, and agriculture finance sectors. Brad is a native of Minnesota and completed his undergraduate degree in Economics at Carleton College in Northfield, Minnesota where he later served as a Trustee. He completed the PMD program at Harvard Business School and has been active in Young President’s Organization (YPO) for over two decades. Brad has served on numerous for-profit boards in renewable energy and insurance boards (“KCLI”), and industry boards such as the American Council of Renewable Energy. He currently serves on the board of WETA, the Washington DC PBS affiliate and producer of The News Hour. Brad and his wife, Alison, reside in Edgewater, Maryland where they own and operate Dove Hill Farm.

Headshot of Kathleen Abbott

Kathleen Abbott​​​​​​, of San Rafael, CA, is the Global Executive Director for Clients and Business Development, for Arcadis’ Places Global Business Area. Arcadis is the world's leading company delivering sustainable design, engineering, and consultancy solutions for the natural and built environment. She is a professional geologist and leads the business development and sales teams. Prior roles included President in North America, Executive Vice President and Director of Client Development and Technical Solutions for the environment business line. Ms. Abbott holds an M.A. in Earth and Planetary Sciences from Washington University in St. Louis and a B.A. in Geology from Macalester College.

Headshot of Rosamaria Acuna

Rosamaria Acuña, of San Diego, California, is a real estate professional with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties. She has over three decades of experience in residential real estate. After working with several real estate firms, she joined Prudential California Realty in 2006. In 2014 it was purchased by Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties, where she is currently a top-selling realtor. Her expertise spans all stages of sourcing, brokering and closing transactions for buyers, sellers and investment properties, as well as guiding clients on creating security through real estate. As an entrepreneur, she has built a successful business consistently ranking among the top-producing realtors in the San Diego area. Ms. Acuña regularly contributes her expertise and thought leadership on real estate trends, women in business and various nonprofit initiatives to The Beacon, San Diego Union Tribune, San Diego Magazine and other media outlets. Her education includes attending Kelsey-Jenney Business College in San Diego, California, where she earned her business certificate in 1984, and Southwestern College in Chula Vista, California. In addition to real estate, Ms. Acuña is deeply committed to supporting her community through various environmental, humanitarian and leadership initiatives. She currently serves as a board member and award-winning volunteer for numerous regional nonprofits, including: the City of San Diego’s Sunset Cliffs Natural Park, a 68-acre coastal preserve; Neighborhood Watch; the San Diego Architectural Foundation; the San Diego Rescue Mission; Friends of Scott Foundation (friends to children with cancer); Noah Homes (advocacy for people with developmental disabilities); MANA de San Diego, the Latina women’s empowerment organization; and the National Outdoor Leadership School.


Susan Battley, PsyD, PhD,  of New York City, New York, is the founder and principal of Battley Performance Consulting, a firm specializing in leader and board effectiveness. A leadership psychologist, author and board director herself, she has been a trusted advisor to chief executives and board directors for more than 20 years. Her clients range from Fortune 500 CEOs to university presidents and directors of national research laboratories. Susan has long been at the forefront of leadership trends and development. Fast Focus on Success, her radio program on leadership and career success, was commended by the Clinton White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. Her expertise has been featured on CNBC, CNN, CBS National News and Bloomberg. Her book, Coached to Lead (Wiley|Jossey-Bass), was the first guide to executive coaching written for coaching clients. Her articles have appeared in leading publications, including Leader to Leader, Leadership Excellence, Forbes, Fast Company and The Oxford University Press Handbook of Lifelong Learning. The National Association of Corporate Directors recognized her as a Governance Fellow in 2013. She was also a member of the Harvard Business Review Advisory Council. Based in New York City, Susan has served on numerous national and regional boards. These include the Smithsonian Libraries and Archives (SLA; formerly the Smithsonian Libraries, or SIL), where she was advisory board chair for four years (2018-2021) and a board member for nine years (2014-2022). During her SLA board tenure she secured major donor gifts to support exhibitions, educational and research programs and the Libraries’ 50th Anniversary activities in 2018. As a fiduciary board director of the Metropolitan Opera Guild, she served on the executive committee as governance committee chair, and was active in the Guild’s fundraising and outreach activities. She also served as an officer and executive committee member of the Institute of Management Consultants, New York chapter. A licensed psychologist, she holds the Doctor of Psychology (PsyD) degree from Long Island University and a PhD with distinction in economic history from Stony Brook University. Prior to establishing her firm in 1998, she was an organizational ombudsman and clinical assistant professor at Stony Brook University. She is a member of the American Psychological Association, Society of Consulting Psychology, Authors Guild, Smithsonian New York Regional Council, Smithsonian Legacy Society, and Caxton Club. For recreation, Susan enjoys the performing arts, gardening and cultural travel. In good weather she can be found playing croquet on the Central Park lawn courts.

Headshot of William Bohnett

Immediate Past Chair William H. Bohnett, of Hobe Sound, Florida, is president of Whitecap Investments LLC, specializing in venture capital, real estate and equities investing. He was a partner of the law firm of Fulbright & Jaworski LLP in New York City who specialized in corporate and securities matters with an emphasis on investment company and investment adviser representation. Since 2010 Mr. Bohnett has been a member of the Council on Competitiveness, a D.C.-based non-partisan nonprofit working on competitiveness issues and since 2012 has been on its Executive Committee. He is an advisory board member of the World Policy Institute in New York City and a member of the Board of Directors of The Synergos Institute, a New York City-based nonprofit that works with foundations, NGOs, governments and multinational corporations globally to combat poverty, and is the chair of its Nominating and Governance Committee. Bill has been a board member of City Harvest, a New York City nonprofit food rescue and distribution organization, a member of the National Council of Environmental Defense, a visiting fellow of the World Resources Institute and a Board member of The Island School, a secondary school emphasizing sustainable development principles. Mr. Bohnett was an early investor and member of the Board of Directors of GeoCities, an internet community company that went public in August 1998 and subsequently merged with Yahoo! He is a 1970 graduate of Princeton University and its Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs and received his J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania Law School in 1974.

Headshot of Hampton Bridwell

Hampton Bridwell, of Redding Connecticut, is CEO and managing partner of Tenet Partners of New York City, a branding and marketing consulting firm. He has 23 years of experience in corporate brand strategy, identity, corporate communications and digital media. In 1995, he launched Navistream Corporation, a successful interactive agency and web development firm. In 1999 he became president of Brandlogic and in 2014 the CEO of Tenet Partners. Hampton is a recognized expert on issues relating to brand strategy, brand architecture, employee engagement, naming, corporate communications, sustainability and customer experience design. As a contributor to thought leadership, he focuses on emerging issues affecting global organizations, specifically the recent rise of sustainability and its effect on corporate brands. Over his career, Hampton has worked closely with clients such as Amgen, Avon, BASF, BD, CenterLight Health, CFA Institute, Chevron, FMC, The Hartford, IBM, John Deere, JPMorgan Chase, Legrand, Merck, Merrill Lynch, Rockwell Collins, Texaco, Travelers, UPMC, Wyeth and Xerox. An important element of Mr. Bridwell's career is working closely with leaders and boards of non-profit organizations and public institutions to realize the power of brand strategy and design. He led programs for FIRST Robotics Competition and the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB) and assisted James Cerruti on brand development for the Smithsonian Libraries.

Headshot of General Phil Churn

Major General, U.S.A. (Ret.) Phillip M. Churn, Sr., of Woodbridge, Virginia, retired from the U.S. Army after 37 years of distinguished and honorable service to our nation. He is a graduate of Mount Saint Mary’s University in Emmitsburg, Maryland, with a B.S. in economics. He is a graduate of the United States Army War College with an M.S. in strategic studies. General Churn commanded and held numerous leadership positions, from platoon leader to two-star commanding general. He deployed four times in support of Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm. His previous assignments include: assistant to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff for Reserve Matters; responsible for advising the chairman and the Joint Staff on issues concerning over 373,000 reserve component service members from the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines and Coast Guard and their families; and commanding general of the 200th Military Police Command, the largest military police formation in the Department of Defense, with over 13,000 soldiers in 34 states supporting the Army Service Component Commanders, Combatant and Joint Force Commanders around the world. General Churn’s military awards and decorations include: the prestigious Ellis Island Medal of Honor Award (2019), Distinguished Service Medal (with Oakleaf Cluster), Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit, Bronze Star Medal (with Oak Leaf Cluster), Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal (with 4 Oak Leaf Clusters), Joint Service Commendation Medal, Army Commendation Medal (with Oak Leaf Cluster) and numerous other awards and decorations. General Churn’s civilian career spans over 15 years with The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co., where he held numerous positions of increasing duties and responsibilities, from Commercial Truck Tire Center manager; quality control/technical support engineer; product manager for retread systems; technology, training, and project manager; and strategic account representative. He is the founder, president and CEO of SYZYGY International, a security and management consulting company. He is currently serving as the executive vice president and chief operating officer for the Bluestone Group LLC.  

Headshot of Howard Cohen

Howard K. Cohen, of Estero, Florida, is an independent real estate consultant. He is the managing partner of several real estate and investment partnerships and a family office. He has an A.B. from Washington University in St. Louis. He spent two years with the National Brewing Company in the role of brand manager. From 1968 to 1974, he fulfilled his military obligation in the Army National Guard. His active participation in the real estate field began in 1971 with Central Development Group, a Colorado-based developer. Upon returning to the East Coast in 1976, he purchased a Baltimore radio station and, later, a second station in Ocean City, Maryland. He acted as owner-operator of these facilities until he sold them in 1981. In 1981, he associated with Lipman Frizzell & Mitchell in Baltimore to pursue the requirements for a professional designation in appraising. In 1985, the American Institute of Real Estate Appraisers awarded him the MAI designation. Since 1995, he has engaged in consulting on real estate matters.  In 1996 he was elected and continues to serve on the Board of Directors of Eastern Savings Bank, FSB, headquartered in Hunt Valley, Maryland. He has served on multiple civic and educational Boards: as trustee emeritus and past president of the Board of Trustees of the Key School, Annapolis; trustee and chairman of the Investment Committee of the Board of Trustees of Sheppard Pratt Foundation, Inc., Baltimore; trustee of The Associated: The Jewish Community Foundation of Baltimore; and chair emeritus of the London Town Foundation, Inc., Anne Arundel County, Maryland. He currently serves as trustee of The Isabelle and Zanvyl Krieger Foundation, Baltimore; vice chair of the Estero Community Improvement Foundation in Estero, Florida; and board member of The Baltimore Tree Trust, Baltimore. He and his wife, Nancy Berkinshaw-Cohen, reside in Estero, Florida, and have three children and six grandchildren.

Headshot of David DeVos

David DeVos, of Lincolnshire, Illinois, is chief sustainability officer of PGIM Real Estate (formerly Prudential Real Estate Investors) of Madison, New Jersey, and Chicago, Illinois. He is responsible for developing and guiding a global sustainability strategy for a $63.7-billion real estate portfolio and leading PGIM Sustainability Councils in the Americas, Europe and Asia, including collecting and monitoring environmental metrics at 900-plus properties across 16 countries. Previous positions include director of corporate sustainability and director for architecture for Kohl’s department stores. He has bachelor's degrees in architecture and environmental design from University of Minnesota and an M.B.A. from the Lake Forest Graduate School of Environment.

Headshot of Kay Dryden

Kay Dryden, Esq., of San Francisco, California, is CEO and president of Energy Dispute Solutions LLC (EDS), providing strategy consulting, regulatory expertise, mediation and arbitration of complex business disputes for global corporations, with a focus on traditional and alternative energy companies. Prior to EDS she served as a managing partner of Mitchell Madison Group, a spin-off of McKinsey, specializing in strategy consulting, business development and business process reorganization for Fortune 100 companies. She practiced law for 25 years, serving as EVP and general counsel for three San Francisco-based companies in succession: LucasFilm, Charles Schwab and Del Monte Foods.  She is registered as a securities principal, options securities principal and financial and operations principal. Ms. Dryden is currently an independent Trustee of the Nationwide Mutual Fund Group, a family of 120 funds with $80 billion in assets, affiliated with Nationwide Insurance. She is Vice Chair of the Mutual Fund Directors Forum Board of Directors and has served on the boards of Golden Gate Bank, Nollenberger Capital Partners, and Online Financial Solutions, Inc., and the advisory board of Wells Fargo Bank. Throughout her career, Ms. Dryden has served in leadership roles on the boards of professional organizations and nonprofits including the Smithsonian Institution Libraries, San Francisco Chamber of Commerce, San Francisco Bar Association, Bay Area General Counsel Group (Board Chair), City College of San Francisco Foundation, San Francisco Art Institute, Ansel Adams Center (Board Chair), and the San Francisco Zoo. Ms. Dryden is a graduate of Barnard College and Columbia Law School and has completed the executive management programs at Stanford University and Wharton School of Business. She lives in San Francisco with her husband, Charles Ferguson.

Photo of Diane Ebert-May

Diane Ebert-May, Ph.D., of San Diego, is a university distinguished professor in the Department of Plant Biology at Michigan State University. She provides national leadership for promoting professional development, evaluation and improvement of faculty, postdoctoral teaching fellows and graduate students who actively participate not only in their own discipline-based research, but also in creative research about teaching and learning. She has served on the Education and Human Resources Committee for the Ecological Society of America and the National Research Council Committee on Evaluating Undergraduate Teaching. She is also a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and an advisory board member of the National Academy of Engineering's Center for the Advancement of Scholarship on Engineering Education.

Headshot of Dr. Jonathan Fink

Jonathan Fink, Ph.D., of Lake Oswego, Oregon, is a professor of geology and director of the Earth, Environment and Society Program at Portland State University. At Portland State University, he served as vice president for research and strategic partnerships from 2010 to 2016. At Arizona State University, he served as director of the Global Sustainability Institute (2007-2009), as well as vice president for research and economic affairs (2002-2007) and vice provost for research (1997-2002). Dr. Fink has published widely on geology, university organization and sustainability. He has served on boards for The Nature Conservancy, Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, KB Homes, Organization for Tropical Studies, Oregon Innovation Council and Arizona Governor’s Council on Innovation & Technology. He has a B.A. from Colby College and a Ph.D. in geology from Stanford University.

Headshot of Brendan Herron

Brendan Herron, of Bethesda, MD, is a strategic advisor at Hannon Armstrong Sustainable Infrastructure Capital, Inc. (NYSE: HASI), the first public company dedicated to investments in climate solutions, where he focuses on the company’s strategy and growth initiatives. He developed the concept for, and led, Hannon Armstrong’s 2013 IPO and served in several senior executive roles including as HASI’s first chief financial officer from 2013 to 2019. Mr. Herron previously was responsible for corporate development and strategy for an award-winning clean technology company and successfully grew and sold merchant bank investments in international telecommunications infrastructure and corporate human capital software. He has served on the U.S. Commerce Secretary’s Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Advisory Committee and on the boards of various private companies and nonprofit organizations. Mr. Herron holds an MBA from Loyola University Maryland and a BS in accounting and computer science.

Headshot of Captain Kevin Krick

Captain Kevin W. Krick, of Fairfax, California, is senior director of Safety, Quality, Environment and Security (SQES) for Matson, Inc., in Oakland, California. He is responsible for all safety and security programs for the Matson companies, Matson Navigation and Matson Logistics, including all vessels, terminals and employees across the continental U.S, Alaska, South Pacific and China. Prior to his position with Matson, he was head of environment for the Americas, focusing on all aspects of security and environmental policy for the world’s seventh-largest container shipping company, including 150 ships and five terminals. Former positions include senior advisor on maritime policy for the U.S. Maritime Administration and assistant director for security and accident prevention for the Pacific Maritime Association. He is a captain in the U.S. Navy and fully U.S. Coast Guard-licensed as a merchant marine officer (Chief Mate any tonnage, Master 1600 tons), and rear admiral (inactive) in the U.S. Maritime Service. Captain Krick has a bachelor's degree from the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy and a master's of maritime policy from the College of Marine Studies at the University of Delaware. He is an active leader in the Boy Scouts in his community.

Headshot of Midgett Parker

Past Chair Midgett S. Parker, Jr., Esq., of Annapolis, Maryland, is an attorney and founder/CEO of the Law Office of Midgett S. Parker, P.A. which opened in February 2020. Prior to that he was a partner in the law firm Linowes and Blocher LLP, and before that a partner in the law firm of Fossett & Brugger, Chartered. Before entering the practice of law, Mr. Parker served in the United States Army from 1976 to 1984, with the distinct honor of commanding an Improved HAWK (air defense artillery) missile battery in NATO, Germany in the late 1970s. Mr. Parker's law practice emphasizes commercial real estate with a focus on land use, zoning and business law. He provides counsel to a variety of clients on a broad range of issues, from government regulations to internal operations. He has participated in numerous major land use cases before local zoning officers, boards, commissions and councils in the state of Maryland. Mr. Parker is an adjunct professor teaching introduction to business law at Lancaster Bible College. He is also an ordained minister of the gospel at Community Baptist Church of Barclay located in Queen Anne’s County, on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. Among his numerous community activities, Mr. Parker has served on the boards of the Chesapeake Bay Trust, Christianity Today International, J. Franklyn Bourne Bar Association, Annapolis Economic Development Corporation, Queen Anne’s County Economic Development Incentive Fund and many others.

Headshot of Nicholas Penniman

Past Chair Nicholas Penniman IV, of Naples, Florida, and Baltimore, Maryland, is a retired senior vice president of newspaper operations at Pulitzer Publishing (1986-1999) and former publisher of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch (1986-1999). He has a B.A. in religion from Princeton University and a M.A. in American Studies from Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri. He is a member of the boards of the Everglades Foundation (2009-present) and National Recreation Foundation (2004-present), and vice chair of the Collier County Growth Management and Oversight Committee (2015-present). He was board member (1988-1997) and chair (1995-1997) of American Rivers, Washington, D.C. Mr. Penniman was also board chair of the Conservancy of Southwest Florida (2007-2009), as well as board member and chair of the Environmental Law Clinic of Washington University (1998-2002).

Headshot of Tom Seip

Tom D. Seip, of Easton, MD, is retired from The Charles Schwab Corporation and subsidiaries, where he spent over 15 years in various positions, including as President and CEO of Charles Schwab Investment Management, the Company’s mutual fund arm, and as Executive Vice President of Retail Marketing and Distribution. He is currently Chairman of the Neuberger Berman Mutual Funds, New York. From 2000-2018 he served on the board of directors of H&R Block, Inc., Kansas City, where at various times he chaired both the Governance & Nominating and Compensation committees. Mr. Seip is a founding Board Member of the AmericaOne Foundation in San Francisco and has served on the boards of many Maryland-based organizations, including as an Emeritus Chairman of the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum Board of Trustees. Mr. Seip holds a B.A. degree from The Pennsylvania State University.

Headshot of Cyrena Simons

Cyrena Simons, of Galesville, MD, and Portola Valley, CA, is a retired from a 30-year career as a facilities planner with the National Institutes of Health (NIH), where she “translated” between the scientists, architects/engineers, administrators, and Congress in justifying, designing and building/leasing new facilities. Her role at NIH was to match function with the assignment of space and to advise on the planning for NIH’s future facilities to support NIH’s mission. She has a B.A. degree in Biochemistry from Mount Holyoke and a M.S. from MIT that led to a biomedical research career at Harvard, UCSF, and NIH, combined with a career as a residential kitchen designer, she excels at promoting understanding and communication of both facilities design and science research. She served as a volunteer scientist and chair of Director’s Circle of ambassadors to promote SERC’s programs. She greatly expanded audiences for SERC’s Evening Public Lecture program and developed a docent program to use a tour of the SERC campus as a setting to explain SERC and its environmental research to adults.

Photo of Nancy Merrill Sullivan

Nancy Merrill Sullivan, of Annapolis, MD, serves as President of the Merrill Family Foundation. She is also the Communications and Marketing Coordinator for Historic London Town & Gardens in Edgewater, MD. Previously, she was the Outreach Program Manager for Arundel Rivers Federation and worked for the Conservation Fund where she helped to establish the Captain John Smith National Historic Trail with the National Park Service. Ms. Merrill Sullivan has also worked as an environmental educator for the Chesapeake Bay Foundation and Friends of the Rappahannock. She has sat on several local boards and is currently on the Board of Directors of the Chesapeake Legal Alliance. Ms. Merrill Sullivan holds a masters in Non-Profit Management from George Mason University and a B.A. from Cornell University.

Headshot of James Toomey

James Toomey, of Annapolis, Maryland, is the creator of the daily comic strip "Sherman's Lagoon," which is syndicated to over 250 newspapers in 20 countries and six languages. Mr. Toomey's cartoon books have sold over half a million copies worldwide. The conservation message in his comic strip earned him the Environmental Hero Award in 2000, presented by NOAA "for using art and humor to conserve and protect our marine heritage." He received the award again in 2010. Mr. Toomey has also repurposed his cartooning skills into filmmaking, and has produced several award-winning short videos for clients such as the United Nations, Pew Charitable Trusts and the World Resources Institute. He has given talks at a variety of venues, from his April 2010 TED Talk, to the Royal Society in London, to Harvard University. Mr. Toomey has been featured in many of his client newspapers, as well as Wired Magazine, National Public Radio, and Discovery Channel's Shark Week. He has a bachelor’s degree in engineering from Duke University, a master's in liberal arts from Stanford and a master's in environmental science from Duke University’s Nicholas School of the Environment.

Headshot of Lisa Volgenau

Lisa Volgenau, of Ashburn, VA, has worked for The Volgenau Foundation (TVF) as Executive Director, Vice President and founding Board Member since 1995. TVF focuses on conservation, education, including environmental education, and classical music. She previously worked as a research scientist for the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration, including on efforts supporting marine sanctuaries, for Science Applications International Corporation and for Litton Biometrics focusing on environmental/cancer research. She has been an active participant in various funder organizations including Biodiversity Funders Group, Environmental Grantmakers Association, the Chesapeake Bay Funders Network, Exponent Philanthropy, and Montana Conservation Funders Group. She also helped to initiate the Northern Virginia Environmental Funders Network. Ms. Volgenau holds a Master of Science in Marine-Estuarine Biology/Environmental Science from the University of Maryland and a BS in Biology from Virginia Tech.


Updated February 2024