Board of Trustees and Advisors to the Board
- January 24 & 25, 2014
- May 16 & 17, 2014
- November 7 & 8, 2014
Don Ashley (Sopchoppy, FL)
Don Ashley is a wildlife consultant, community volunteer, and native Floridian with a trace of Native American heritage who grew up along the Ocklawaha River in central Florida from 1948-1968. A community college (Lake Sumter) and stint at the University of Florida (in journalism and zoology) provided a slim academic background. But a group of mentors that included herpetologists Dr. Archie Carr (the pioneering conservationist), Ross Allen (founder of Ross Allen's Reptile Institute, Silver Springs), and Dr. Peter Prichard (author of Turtles of the World) took note when Don caught 67 different species of snakes on Paynes Prarie in a single night. Allen subsequently offered him a job as a reptile lecturer and Prichard invited him on an expedition to the Galapagos Islands.
Don joined the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission in 1972 to collect baseline data on the St. John's, Suwannee, and Apalachicola rivers. As the state's first Wildlife Inspector, he was instrumental in gaining protection for the eastern Indigo snake and as Deputy Director of Enforcement, he coordinated statewide inspections and undercover investigations. He started his wildlife consulting firm, Ashley Associates, Inc., in 1977.
Don is a long- time member of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), serving on the Crocodile Specialists Group Steering Committee. He is past president and Board member of Apalachicola Riverkeeper and served on the Board of the Florida Wildlife Federation. He co-chairs the development committee for Franklin County's Habitat for Humanity and served on the County's Economic Development and Scenic Byway committees.
Don and his wife and partner, Pamela, have three children and 7 grandchildren. They live on St. James Island at Breakaway Lodge, a restored 1938 hunting and fishing lodge.
Don believes the Gulf of Mexico is Florida's last frontier and deserves the best science and sustainable strategies we can provide though research, conservation, education, and community support.
Pamela Ashley (Sopchoppy, FL)
Pamela Ashley is a lifetime FSU Alumni & Florida Wildlife Federation member, and founding board member of Habitat for Humanity of Franklin County, for which she currently serves as vice chair. Former Gov. Bush appointed her to the Northwest Florida Housing Authority on which she still serves as an advocate for needy and affordable housing. As a community volunteer, she has served on the Big Bend Scenic Byway Committee; she is an active member of the Red Hat Society, and a supporter of Apalachicola Riverkeeper.
She arrived in St. Augustine, FL, via Boston, MA, in the late '50's, graduated from high school in Jacksonville, and from Florida State University in 1976. After a few years of teaching, she devoted her days and sometimes nights tromping through Florida swamps with her husband, Don, as they established their wildlife consulting company which helped develop Florida's sustainable alligator program. She wrote an alligator cookbook that famous relative Samuel Clemens would have found interesting and amusing. She monitors leather fashion trends and meets often with companies that sell luxury brands to explain the benefits of sustainable use for both people and wildlife. Boating and fishing are favorite activities at Breakaway Lodge on St. James Island, where she and Don live. The lodge is surrounded by over 300 camellias, many planted 60 years ago by Cason Callaway (the textile industrialist who started the Callaway Gardens) when he was a member of Breakaway Lodge.
Pamela believes future growth and coastal development must be balanced to protect the natural and cultural heritage of the Forgotten Coast and Gulf of Mexico for future generations, especially her grandchildren. Being outdoors is her favorite pastime.
Martha Dobes (St. Augustine, FL)
Martha Dobes spent her childhood in an orange grove in Lake County, Florida. A native Floridian and environmentalist, she holds a B.A. and M.A. from Emory University in Atlanta.
She has volunteered and served on Advisory Boards for the Atlanta Humane Society and at Emory University, in development and alumni relations. She is currently on the travel board at Emory and works on reunion and travel planning, with an emphasis on promoting educational and ecological programs. She has also served as membership secretary of the board for Little Cumberland Island, a small, undisturbed island off the coast of Georgia dedicated to preserving wildlife in its natural state. There she assisted in supporting the island's sea turtle project, the oldest and longest running turtle project in the world. She also periodically volunteers for Flying Doctors, an organization which delivers needed medical care and supplies to developing countries.
Since moving to St. Augustine, she became a member of the board at the Whitney Marine Lab, and spearheaded its most successful auction to raise money for the Lab, which focuses on conservation and education about local marine life. She and her husband, Bill Dobes, have traveled extensively and recognize that many parts of the world's fragile ecosystems are in peril. They have become involved in St. Johns County politics and many of the area's organizations which work to protect the area's ecosystems.
Michael M. English (Tampa, FL)
Michael English is a long term Florida resident, growing up in Sarasota, and residing in Tampa for the past 30+ years. Trained as an urban anthropologist, he is currently Principal and Director of the Urban Planning and Design team at Tindale-Oliver & Associates, Inc., a Tampa-based transportation planning firm. He has extensive expertise in historic preservation, transit planning, sustainable growth policy planning, real estate development, eminent domain litigation, and public policy. His professional commitment to improving urban environments has led him to investigate the connections between land use, transportation, and the natural environment. His interest in the FSU Coastal and Marine Laboratory and its critical research date to his youth spent in the Gulf of Mexico and college-related experiences on Apalachicola Bay. Spanning both the public- and private-sectors, his career includes several years as an award-winning urban-infill land developer, and appointments as Associate Director of the Florida Center for Urban Design & Research and Associate Professor at the University of South Florida (Tampa) School of Architecture. He has played an active role in shaping the Tampa Bay community's future, serving generously on numerous community and civic boards, including the Hillsborough County Planning Commission (5 times as Chair), the Tampa and Ybor City Street Railway Society Board (8 times as chair), and the Board of the Tampa Historic Streetcar, Inc., the corporation overseeing the funding and operations of the TECOLine Streetcar System. He is a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners, a Fellow of the Society for Applied Anthropology, and holds a B.A. degree from Florida State University and M.A. from the University of South Florida.
Manley Fuller (Crawfordville, FL)
Manley Fuller is President and CEO of the Florida Wildlife Federation (FWF) and a registered lobbyist with both the Florida Legislature and the Executive Branch of state government working on behalf of FWF. He completed his undergraduate degree at Duke University with dual majors in Zoology and History, and received a Master's Degree from North Carolina State University in Wildlife Biology. His primary interests are in wildlife and habitat conservation throughout the southeastern United States, for which he has received numerous awards, including the National Wildlife Federation's Charlie Shaw Award, the Wildlife Society Florida Chapter's Dr. Herbert Kale Award, and the joint Nature Conservancy-U. S. Forest Service Conservation Certificate for his successful efforts to significantly increase conservation lands in Florida's national forests. His interests in climate change led Governor Crist in 2007 to appoint him to the Energy and Climate Action Team. Mr. Fuller has a particular fondness for crocodilians, resulting in his involvement with the Crocodile Specialist Group of the International Union for Conservation of Nature, and his participation in censusing the American crocodile.
Michael J. Greenberg, Ph. D. (St. Augustine, FL)
Dr. Greenberg is Professor Emeritus of Pharmacology and Therapeutics at the University of Florida, which he served for 15 years as the third director of its Whitney Laboratory of Marine Bioscience in the town of Marineland, where he developed a strong program in cell and molecular biology and -- with the help of Patrick S. Hamilton -- developed a highly effective board of trustees. Before that, he was, for 16 years, a faculty member at Florida State University in the Department of Biological Science and served as director the FSU Marine Laboratory from 1978 through 1980. Greenberg has extensive experience of marine laboratories in the United States and abroad, including the MBL at Woods Hole, where he has been a summer researcher, a course instructor and director, and editor-in-chief of the Biological Bulletin, a journal published by that institution.
Patrick Hamilton (St. Augustine, FL)
Mr. Hamilton is an environmentalist and the owner of Southern Realty of St. Augustine and Crescent Beach, which specializes in conservation lands and waterfront property. He currently serves as President of Genung's Fish Camp, Inc., a 1940-s era marina preserved in Crescent Beach. He also co-chaired the Scenic and Historic Highway Committee which resulted in a Federal Scenic Byway designation in coastal St. Johns County. For over a decade, Mr. Hamilton worked with various committees and agencies in the State of Florida to establish the Guana-Tolomato-Matanzas National Estuarine Research Reserve in St. Johns and Flagler counties. Currently, he is spearheading an effort to obtain Special Basin Designation for the Matanzas River. The Board of Trustees of the University of Florida's Whitney Laboratory for Marine Biosciences was formed under his leadership, and he served as the Board's Chair for five of his fifteen-year tenure. He served as the first Chairman of the Board of Trustees for the FSUCML.
William F. Herrnkind, Ph. D. (Tallahassee, FL)
Dr. Herrnkind is the R. K. Godfrey Professor (Emeritus) in the Florida State University Department of Biological Science. He is a marine biologist whose career research involved field and laboratory study of the behavior and ecology of the Caribbean spiny lobster, a very valuable commercial and recreational species in Florida. He helped pioneer scientific diving training and techniques as an Aquanaut researcher operating from manned undersea "habitats". He has advised productions for J. Y. Cousteau, the BBC, and National Geographic. In 1984, while Director of the FSU Coastal and Marine Laboratory, he co-developed an award-winning, hands-on program in marine science for middle school students, "Saturday at the Sea," in which he continues to remain active. He also co-developed the Marine Certificate Program in Marine Biology, with the aim of providing research experiences for undergraduate students. He has received numerous awards for outreach and environmental education, as well as undergraduate teaching.
Kurt G. Hofer, Ph. D. (Tallahassee, FL)
Dr. Hofer grew up in the Austrian Alps in the same area where The Sound of Music was filmed. He obtained his Ph.D. at the University of Vienna, immigrated to the US in 1966, and joined the faculty of the Biology Department at Florida State University in 1971. He received numerous teaching and research awards and retired in 2003 as Robert O. Lawton Distinguished Professor. Dr. Hofer’s research focused on the study of radiation effects on normal and cancerous tissues, the fundamental molecular and cellular mechanisms of radiation action, and on developing techniques that maximize radiation damage to cancer cells while protecting normal body tissues. He is also an enthusiastic lecturer who taught courses ranging from introductory biology to graduate level molecular biology, including many courses in environmental science. In 1982 he built a vacation home on Cape San Blas where he raised his two daughters to share his love for nature, especially for the marine ecosystem of the Cape. Dr. Hofer and his family have been active in periodic beach clean-ups, the replanting of dunes, the marine turtle protection program, and in general in the preservation of the unique environment of the Gulf and St. Joseph Bay.
Howard Kessler, M.D. (Panacea, FL)
Howard Kessler has lived in Florida for over 25 years. He spent his childhood and teen years in and around the marshlands of the south shore of Long Island in the state of New York. He holds a B. S. degree in chemistry, an M. A. degree in Education, and an M. D. degree. He practiced orthopedic surgery for 30 years and was Chief of Orthopedics at Sarasota Memorial Hospital. Although retired, he still conducts volunteer clinics in Tallahassee for the needy. Dr. Kessler is very involved politically at the national, state, and local levels. At the national level, he served on the National Association of Counties Environmental, Energy, and Land Use Steering Committee. At the State level, he served on The Florida Association of Counties Growth and Environmental Steering Committee and the Health and Human Resources Committee. Locally, he served as Vice-Chairman of the Capital Region Planning Transportation Agency, Chairman of the Wakulla County Board of County Commissioners (serving as a Wakulla County Commissioner for 8 years), and Chairman of the Board of the Wilderness Coast Public Libraries. Presently, he is serving his third term as County Commissioner. He and his wife, Anne Van Meter, became involved in Wakulla County politics after witnessing the destruction of local wetlands. They are also very involved in many of the area's clubs and organizations and have interests in running, biking, boating, fishing, woodworking, and gardening. He is a member of the Patrons Board of the School of Theater at FSU.
Marcella Matthaei (St. Augustine, FL)
Marcella Matthaei received her Bachelor of Arts in English and Creative Writing from The International College in 1983 under a unique tutorial arrangement with the late poet, Kenneth Rexroth, and received her Masters in Creative Non-fiction from Sarah Lawrence in 2006. A collection of her early poems, Past Pygmalion, was published by Cadmus Editions in 2004. She has sold rare Native American art in New Mexico, represented a variety of authors as a literary agent in upstate New York and archived an extensive portfolio of vintage photographs, while living in northern California. Originally from Manhattan, Marcella moved to St. Augustine in 2004 and fell deeply in love with the coastline and its natural inhabitants. She facilitated the first North Atlantic Right Whale (NARW) Festival which is now going into its fifth year. She is a member of the St. John's County Sea Turtle Patrol and a Paul Harris Fellow.
James W. Muller (Tallahassee, FL)
Jim Muller grew up among the marshes of the Georgia coast, a setting that fostered his love of nature, and in particular, of the marine environment. He earned an undergraduate degree in biology, a masters in oceanography, and has been active in Florida's conservation land acquisition programs for more than twenty-five years.
As Director of the Florida Natural Areas Inventory for 10 years, Jim built the program into one of the largest Natural Heritage Programs in the nation. He oversaw the evaluation of CARL and Preservation 2000 proposals, and secured funds for numerous projects, including an inventory of Florida's upland coastal communities.
In 1996 Jim founded Muller and Associates, Inc., an environmental consulting firm that specializes in natural resource land planning, land transactions, and government relations. One of his first projects was as special consultant to the Governor's Office on Florida Keys issues.
Because of his life-long love of the coast, Jim's activities are often related to marine and estuarine settings. His work includes conservation projects in the Florida Keys and along the St. Johns, Matanzas, Crystal, and Perdido Rivers. Jim was a member of the National Estuarine Research Reserve East Coast Site Selection Committee that nominated the Guana-Tolomato-Matanzas area, and has worked on management plans for Florida's Office of Coastal and Aquatic Managed Areas.
Jim has been appointed to eight task forces to review and formulate programs, policies and rules related to natural resources and has been an invited speaker at more than 18 conferences and workshops. He is a registered lobbyist with both the executive and legislative branches of state government. He is currently the Chairman of the Board of Trustees for the FSUCML.
Ron Piasecki (Shell Point, FL)
Ron Piasecki retired from the Federal Government in 1997 after 17 years in the Senior Executive Service (SES). While there, he worked for the Secretary of the Department of Interior as Director of the Office of Acquisition and Property Management; and in the U. S. General Services Administration as Director of the Office of Transportation Audits and, during his last 4 years, as the Assistant Commissioner for the Office of Emerging Technologies and Network Applications. Prior to entering federal service, Ron worked as the Manager of Purchasing at the University of Maryland, the Manger of Purchasing Development at Southern Railroad, and as an assistant purchasing agent with Western Electric both at their corporate headquarters in New York and at their Lee's Summit, Missouri, manufacturing facility.
Upon arriving in Wakulla County, Ron became very active with the Coast Guard Auxiliary and in 2007, was elected Commander for Flotilla 13 at Shell Point. His association with the Friends of Wakulla Springs resulted in his being elected to the Board of Directors In 2007, and President of the Board of Directors in 2008. He also serves as the Vice Chairman of the Wakulla County Citizens Infrastructure Committee and Chairman of the Wakulla County Code Enforcement Board. Ron's concern about water quality throughout Wakulla County and particularly in Wakulla Springs led him to become involved in several groups addressing the issue through Waste Water Treatment programs, the development of special policies and ordinances concerning septic systems, and upgrading and expanding the installation and use of state-of-the-art sewage treatment systems. This is an area with which he will continue to be involved far into the future.
Ricardo Schneider (Tallahassee, FL)
Ricardo Schneider is the President & CEO of Danfoss Turbocor, a Tallahassee based company that designs and produces a family of revolutionary centrifugal oil-free high efficiency compressors for Commercial Air Conditioning systems. Ricardo holds a B.Sc. in Mechanical Engineering and a M.S. from UFRGS-Brazil, and International Management education from INSEAD, London, and Executive education from Harvard Business School, where he has been an active Alumni Member since 2005. He joined the Danfoss Group in 1993 and has held several different positions in three different countries. Ricardo started as Regional Sales Manager, and then moved on to be a General Manager, and most recently has been the Global Vice President of Danfoss Air Conditioning leading the organization to succeed in the competitive global air conditioning market by growing the business by 4 times in less than 5 years. This success was achieved by executing innovative strategies on product development and acquisitions to address global climate and energy challenges while increasing market share and profitability for Danfoss. Prior to Danfoss, Ricardo led the R&D and Engineering teams of one of the largest refrigeration companies in Brazil. One of his main achievements was transferring technology to Brazil from Stall, a Swedish Screw Manufacturer, and Sutrak, a German Transport Refrigeration Company.
Ricardo has been an active member of Air Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI) since 2000, holding a Chairman position of the Automatic Controls Section from 2006 to 2008 and member of Board of Directors. Ricardo has Papers published at the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE).
Arthur Stern III, Esq. (Tallahassee, FL)
Arthur Stern is a graduate of Harvard College (1962) and Harvard Law School (1965). After practicing for many years in the Northeast (including a position in the Tax Division of the Department of Justice in Washington,
D.C., the General Counsel's office at Eastman Kodak Company, and thereafter many years in private practice in Rochester, New York), he was finally fortunate enough to marry a Florida native and move to Tallahassee in 1993. He is the father of five (ages 10 through 34), continues to practice law full time (how else does one afford college tuition?), and concentrates in the areas of wills, trusts and estates, as well as tax and corporate planning, including the counseling of tax-exempt organizations. He is also a Trustee of a modest family foundation (not his own) that provides support to organizations involved in environmental endeavors, and which, over the years, has supported Florida State University, including the College of Music, a professorship in Holocaust education, and now the FSU Coastal and Marine Laboratory.
Catherine Wannamaker, Esq. (Atlanta, GA)
Catherine Wannamaker is currently a Staff Attorney with the Southern Environmental Law Center (SELC) in Atlanta, GA . She is a graduate of Hollins University and received her Master's in Zoology from North Carolina State University, where she worked on hypoxia issues affecting the North Carolina coast. Prior to attending law school, Catherine served as a member of the professional staff of the United States Senate Subcommittee on Oceans and Fisheries. She attended Stanford Law School and served as President of the Stanford Environmental Law Society. At the conclusion of law school, Catherine served as a law clerk to the Honorable Patrick Michael Duffy of the United States District Court for the District of South Carolina. Prior to joining SELC, Catherine was an honors attorney with the Department of Justice's Environment and Natural Resources Division in Washington, DC.
Tommy Warren (Tallahassee, FL)
Tommy Warren is a lifelong resident of Florida who grew up in Dade County. He came to Tallahassee in 1966 to attend FSU undergraduate school (1970) and law school (1973). He practices law in Tallahassee, specializing in employment discrimination class actions involving race or gender.
Warren spent much of his youth fishing in Biscayne Bay, the Florida Keys, the Everglades, and the Ten Thousand Islands. He has been a long time boat owner and has fished the local Gulf waters for many years. As with many Gulf anglers who have seen fish stocks diminish over the years, Warren is interested in assisting efforts to improve those fisheries. This includes supporting the science that relates to the fisheries as well as to the overall health of the Gulf.
Advisors to the Board
Steve Evans (Tallahassee, FL) - Steve Evans, a former executive with IBM, retired in 2003 with a wealth of knowledge about successful business practices in the government, health and education industries. In addition to serving as an advisor to our board and many others at local, state, and national levels, Evans served as chair for Florida TaxWatch, and as interim president of the FSU Foundation from August 2009 through September 2010.
Rick Grant (Tallahassee, FL) - Rear Admiral (USN Ret.) Rick Grant's long and distinguished career includes both military and business service coupled with a long list of civic activities and motorcycle racing. He is currently Executive Vice President and COO of Municode, a Tallahassee-based company that publishes codes and charters for local governments, and serves on the Board of Trustees of the National Naval Aviation Museum Foundation, among others.
Dr. Cheri Rainey (St. Teresa, FL) - Dr. Rainey (Ph. D., FSU in Marriage and Family Therapy; MBA, Emory University), drawing on her training as a licensed psychotherapist, is an international consultant and facilitator in the field of transformational leadership. From years of experience as owner of an Atlanta-based international consulting firm, Vice President of a California-based international financial investment firm, and Administrator of an Idaho-based international personal transformation company, she created a program to help business leaders and aspiring entrepreneurs develop and enhance their leadership skills.
Peter Stone (Marion, MA) - Author, educator, artist, and sailor Peter Stone has explored and painted along the coasts of New Zealand, England, Indonesia, Turkey, Labrador, Baffin Island, and from Patagonia to the Antarctic. His interest in marine biology pervades his work, which he has shown in such places as the Art Expo New York, the Royal Academy of Arts, London, and the Peabody Essex Museum. He serves on the Art and Nature Committee of the Peabody Essex Museum, and as Arts and Sciences Advisor for the New Bedford Ocean Explorium and the University of Massachusetts.
J. Ben Watkins (Tallahassee, FL) - Ben Watkins is Director of the State of Florida Division of Bond Finance, which is responsible for issuing bonds and advising the state on debt management policies. He serves on the boards of Municode and the Tall Timbers Foundation, and is involved in community activities that range from the Florida Forest Stewardship Advisory Committee to the Friends of the LeRoy Collins Leon County Public Library.