National Board Members

The Trust for Public Land benefits from the expertise and guidance of the National Board of Directors and its emeritus members. State advisory boards attuned to local conservation needs help guide our work across the country.

Laura Richards

Laura founded the Friends of Carrollton GreenBelt in 2011 and currently serves as Chair. The GreenBelt has finished constructing 9 miles of what will be a 16 mile concrete, recreational, circular trail within the City of Carrollton, Georgia. She previously worked for A.D.A.M. Software in Atlanta, for McMahon Publishing as a Managing Editor in New York City, and for Vermont Bicycle Touring as a European Guide in Holland, Italy, France, and Spain. Laura graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1994. She serves as a board member for the PATH Foundation in Atlanta, which has built over 200 miles of recreational trails throughout the southeast, and for the Tanner Medical Foundation in Carrollton. Laura serves as Manager of Lakeview Farms LLC, and resides there on 79 acres within the city of Carrollton with her husband and 3 daughters.

Roy Richards, Jr.

Roy Richards, Jr. is the Chairman of Southwire Company, one of North America's largest producers of electrical power cable. He has served as past President of the International Cablemakers Federation, past Chair of the Georgia Chamber of Commerce, and was elected Georgia's Most Respected CEO in 1999 by readers of Georgia Trend Magazine. He is an active fly fisherman, downhill skier, and reader, and currently resides with his family in Charleston, South Carolina.

William Rogers
President and Chief Executive Officer

Will Rogers is the president and CEO of The Trust for Public Land. He has been with the organization since 1991, first as the director of California, Hawaii, and Nevada operations and as CEO beginning in 1998.

Rogers is a nationally recognized advocate for land conservation and has given major addresses or interviews to the Urban Land Institute, the National Smart Growth Conference, the National Brownfields Conference, and Talk of the Nation, among others.

Prior to joining The Trust for Public Land, Rogers managed urban projects for a Chicago-based real estate development company, managing both new construction and the rehabilitation of vacant industrial buildings for commercial, office, and residential use. Before becoming a developer and then an "undeveloper," Rogers was a commercial beekeeper, founding and managing a commercial honey production company in Bogotá, Colombia.

He is a graduate of Stanford University and received his MBA from Harvard University. Will lives with his family in Kensington, California. In addition to tending to the chickens, beehives, and vegetables in his backyard, his favorite outdoor activities are hiking, backcountry skiing, and bicycle touring.

Lex Sant

Lex Sant is co-founder and managing director of Persimmon Tree Capital, a private equity firm focused on investments in renewable electricity and energy efficiency.

Prior to founding Persimmon Tree Capital in 2008, Mr. Sant worked for five years at the AES Corporation, a leading global power company with electrical generation and distribution businesses in more than 20 countries. At AES, Mr. Sant was most recently a director in the Alternative Energy group, for which he was responsible for the origination and execution of transactions related to biofuels, wind and other forms of renewable energy. Prior to that position, Mr. Sant had responsibility for large-scale mergers and acquisitions and corporate strategy. 

Before joining AES, Mr. Sant worked in public relations from 1994 to 2000 for the Carolina Panthers, a franchise of the National Football League.  He is treasurer and trustee of the Summit Foundation; is a member of the board of trustees for the Chesapeake Bay Foundation; and is a director emeritus and a past chairman of Island Press, a leading non-profit publisher of books on the environment.

Mr. Sant holds an MBA with high distinction (Baker Scholar) from Harvard Business School and a bachelor's degree in English from Dickinson College. He lives in Washington DC with his wife Chrissie, and their two daughters, Gretchen and Molly.

Sheryl Crockett Tishman

Sheryl Crockett Tishman is an active philanthropist and environmentalist. She currently sits on the Board of Trustees of the Mianus River Gorge Preserve and Teton Valley Ranch Camp, and is a former Trustee of The Open Space Institute, the National Audubon Society Expedition Institute, The George Mitchell Scholarship Foundation and The Meade School in Stamford, CT. Sheryl has been helping TPL protect land in Colorado and her home state of Maine since 2007 and joined the Board of Directors in 2010.

As a Trip Leader for the National Audubon Society Expedition Institute, Sheryl guided students who were pursuing a deeper ecological understanding of environmental education, leadership and advocacy. She continued in the field of education as a teacher for the Weymouth House in Maine while concurrently managing the Sleepy Hallow Llama Farm in Jefferson, Maine with her husband, Daniel. She holds a BS in Environmental Studies from Middlebury College and MS in Education from Lesley University. In her spare time she enjoys all outdoor pursuits, wilderness travel and time with her husband and two sons.

F. Jerome Tone

Mr. Tone is a former partner and executive vice president of Montgomery Capital Corporation, a San Francisco-based real estate company. He currently serves as a director of the Alamitos Land Company in Signal Hill, California. Previously, Jerry was involved in the production of affordable housing as chief financial officer with BRIDGE Housing Corporation, and was a vice president in the real estate lending department at Wells Fargo Bank. He currently serves on The Trust for Public Land's national Board of Directors. Jerry attended Williams College for his BA and received his MBA from U.C. Berkeley.

Susan D. Whiting

Susan Whiting, born in Chicago and raised in Wisconsin, is a C-level executive and Board Director working with multi-national corporate and not-for-profit organizations in the U.S. For the past decade, she has served as a top advisor and director for consumer, technology and financial services companies, working with executive leadership, external business partners, clients and investors.

Susan recently served as Vice Chair at Nielsen, leading global client relations, communications, marketing, public government affairs, corporate social responsibility, and diversity initiatives for the company. She retired from the company in January 2014, after a 35-year career, and is best known for building Nielsen's most visible franchise in television measurement during the cable, telecommunications and media industries' digital transition. As CEO of Nielsen's media business, she negotiated change, built relationships and global business and established a model for external advisory councils. Since the start of her career with Nielsen in 1978, she shaped the corporate culture, governance policies, strategic directives and communications which led Nielsen to be an industry leader in measuring what consumers watch and buy.

Susan has served on a number of boards in the past and currently serves on the Board of Directors for Alliant Energy Corporation and DJE Holdings. She is also actively involved in several community, educational and environmental organizations, including the Tiffany Circle of the American Red Cross of Greater Chicago and serving on the board of directors of The Trust for Public Land, Denison University and as chair of the board of the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum.