About

Advisory Board

Chair William (Bill) 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.

Vice Chair 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 a trustee of the Nationwide Mutual Fund Group, a family of 120 funds with $80 billion in assets, affiliated with Nationwide Insurance. She is on the board of the Mutual Fund Directors Forum 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, City College of San Francisco Foundation, San Francisco Art Institute, Ansel Adams Center 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, and their twins, Spencer and Caroline. 

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.

Christine Arena, of San Francisco, California, is a 20-year communications industry veteran, with a career-long focus on helping brands and organizations move the needle on critical environmental and social issues. She is the founder and CEO of Generous Films, a marketing and filmmaking company that produces socially and politically relevant campaigns. Ms. Arena was previously executive vice president at communications firm Edelman, leading its Business + Social Purpose practice. She is the award-winning author of two books: “The High-Purpose Company” (Harper Collins) and “Cause for Success” (New World Library), and was recently named a “Top 100 Thought Leader in Trustworthy Business.” In her most recent project, Ms. Arena was the creator and executive producer of the timely short documentary series "Let Science Speak," which premiered on September 20 at the Tribeca TV Festival in New York City and then immediately became available on The Weather Channel, YouTube and at www.letsciencespeak.com. "Let Science Speak" leverages intimate storytelling to go beyond the "war on science" headlines and humanize scientists. She has a B.S. in psychology from Syracuse University and an M.B.A. from New York University.

David A. Armstrong, Ph.D., of Seattle, Washington, is a retired professor in the School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences (SAFS) at the University of Washington, Seattle. He was a member of the university faculty for over 30 years and director of SAFS for 14 years, from 1998 to 2012. During that time he worked with faculty to effect major change in direction, organization and quality that has resulted in world-class ranking of the department. Dr. Armstrong’s research is focused on crab and shrimp resources in Washington state through the Bering Sea. He and his students assessed habitat requirements of juvenile stages of commercial crabs, including Dungeness, king and snow crabs. Environmental issues tied to invertebrate resources have included impacts of dredging and means of mitigation; oil spill response; habitat loss and effects of exotic species on commercial fishery production; effects of pesticides in coastal estuaries; long-term trends in populations explained by factors such as climate change; and shifts in interactions between predator and prey. Dungeness crab recruitment in both Puget Sound and in estuaries along the outer coast has been a central focus of his program for over 25 years. He has advised and consulted for a number of federal and state agencies and organizations. He has also been involved in several major legal questions in Washington state relative to crab resources and possible adverse human effects on stocks, and ways to allocate use of the resources to different groups such as tribes, recreational fishers and commercial fishers based on federal court cases. He received a B.S. in biology from the University of California, Irvine in 1970, an M.S. from Oregon State University in 1974, and a Ph.D. from the University of California, Davis in 1978.

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.

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.  

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Jeanne M. Grasso, Esq., of Chevy Chase, Maryland, is a partner at Blank Rome LLP and vice practice group leader of the Maritime and International Trade Practice Group. Ms. Grasso focuses her practice on maritime and environmental law for domestic and international clients, counseling owners and operators of vessels, charterers, cargo owners and facilities on maritime and environmental issues, including ballast water, emissions and coastwise trade. Her practice involves counseling on all aspects of maritime and environmental regulatory compliance related to U.S. Coast Guard, Environmental Protection Agency, Maritime Administration and U.S. Customs & Border Protection matters; internal and grand jury investigations; defense of administrative, civil, and criminal enforcement actions; and pollution incident response. Ms. Grasso has served on SERC’s advisory board since 2007. From 2012 to 2016, she served on the Marine Board of the National Research Council. She was board member/secretary of the World Ocean Council from 2011 through 2013, and served as president of the U.S. Chapter of the Women’s International Shipping & Trading Association (WISTA) from 2008 through 2013. In 2013-present, Ms. Grasso was elected to WISTA International’s executive committee. Prior to joining Blank Rome, Jeanne worked in the NOAA Office of Congressional Affairs handling fisheries and oceans matters, and served as staff to the House of Representatives’ Committee on Merchant Marine and Fisheries. She has a bachelor's in biology from the University of Notre Dame, a master's in marine affairs from the University of Southern California, and a law degree from the University of Maryland School of Law.

Kevin 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. Mr. 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.

Past Chair Tom E. Lindley, Esq., of West Palm Beach, Florida, is a managing member of Morningstar Matrix LLC, a two-person mediation and consulting firm. Prior to that Mr. Lindley was Of Counsel with the national law firm of Perkins Coie LLP, and prior to that was a partner in and for 10 years the chair of Perkins Coie's national Environmental, Energy & Resources (EER) practice. In that role Mr. Lindley led nearly 100 EER attorneys in offices stretching from Anchorage, Alaska, to Washington, D.C. Mr. Lindley has been recognized for "innovative solutions to seemingly intractable problems." His achievements include helping to conceive and create the nation's first watershed-based multiple source NPDES permit; the nation's first statutory Prospective Purchaser Agreement (PPA) protections; the nation's first multiparty, multispecies Candidate Conservation Agreement; Oregon's water quality trading law; and the Oregon Sustainability Act. Mr. Lindley's focus has been on the evolving areas of ecosystem and natural resources damage (NRD) credit banking and water quality markets and trading, and climate matters. While he served as chair of his firm's national EER practice, his team earned top-tier national recognition from Chambers USA and Best Lawyers, and in 2015 was selected as the environmental law practice of the year by U.S. News – Best Lawyers “Best Law Firms.”  In 2016 Mr. Lindley was a visiting scholar in environmental law at China’s leading law school, and he was also honored by the American Bar Association as a Pro Bono Champion by its Rule of Law Initiative (ROLI).  Mr. Lindley has been a member of SERC’s Advisory Board since 2007 and has twice served as its chair, from 2010 to 2012 and from 2015 to 2017.

Lara Mathews, Esq., of Alexandria, Virginia, is associate general counsel of global policy and regulatory affairs for Koch Companies Public Sector. Koch is one of the largest private companies in America, owning a diverse group of companies involved in refining, chemicals, grain processing and biofuels; forest and consumer products; fertilizers; polymers and fibers; process and pollution control equipment and technologies; electronic components; commodity trading; minerals; energy; ranching; glass; and investments. Ms. Mathews manages a diverse portfolio, providing strategic advice on a range of policy and regulatory affairs globally, with an emphasis on environmental, health and safety (EHS) matters. Her expertise includes U.S. and international investigations and enforcement, incident response, permitting, and regulatory policy and compliance. She serves as an anchor member of the China International Business Dialogue on Environmental Governance under the auspices of the Environmental Law Institute, which facilitates dialogue with Chinese environmental authorities regarding best practices and the progression of environmental policy and regulation in China. Ms. Mathews serves on the Koch Approved Counsel Panel Women’s Initiative Steering Team and is an active member of the International Bar Association EHS Law Committee. She joined the Koch companies in 2005 serving in various roles, including managing global EHS, compliance, and litigation for INVISTA, one of the world’s largest integrated producers of chemical intermediates, polymers and fibers. Prior to joining Koch, Ms. Mathews was a partner with Blank Rome LLP, where her practice focused on EHS legal matters. Ms. Mathews earned a J.D. from the Santa Clara University School of Law, attended the George Washington University School of Law, and earned a B.A. from the University of California, Los Angeles. She served as an editor of the inaugural volume of the George Washington University Environmental Law Journal and as an editor on the Santa Clara Law Review.

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.

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).

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.

 

Updated August 2020