National Board Members

The Trust for Public Land benefits from the expertise and guidance of the National Board of Directors and its emeritus members. 

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Stephen W. Baird

Background and expertise: Steve Baird, Chicago, IL, is the president and chief executive officer of Baird & Warner. Established in 1855, the firm is the oldest residential real estate brokerage in the United States and currently ranks among the nation's top 12 with an annual sales volume of over $6 billion. Under Baird's leadership, the firm has grown dramatically, currently with a sales force of over 2,200 sales associates who operate from 30 strategically located offices throughout Chicago and its suburbs. The Company also operates subsidiaries in residential mortgage banking and title services.

Steve serves as chairman of the Realty Alliance – a consortium of the nation's top real estate firms – and has testified before the US Congress on matters of vital interest to the real estate community. In addition, he has long worked for the preservation of open space as past-president of CorLands, the Openlands Project, and currently as a national board member of the Trust for Public Land where he serves as Chairman of the Finance Committee. He holds memberships in the World Presidents Organization, the Chief...

Background and expertise: Steve Baird, Chicago, IL, is the president and chief executive officer of Baird & Warner. Established in 1855, the firm is the oldest residential real estate brokerage in the United States and currently ranks among the nation's top 12 with an annual sales volume of over $6 billion. Under Baird's leadership, the firm has grown dramatically, currently with a sales force of over 2,200 sales associates who operate from 30 strategically located offices throughout Chicago and its suburbs. The Company also operates subsidiaries in residential mortgage banking and title services.

Steve serves as chairman of the Realty Alliance – a consortium of the nation's top real estate firms – and has testified before the US Congress on matters of vital interest to the real estate community. In addition, he has long worked for the preservation of open space as past-president of CorLands, the Openlands Project, and currently as a national board member of the Trust for Public Land where he serves as Chairman of the Finance Committee. He holds memberships in the World Presidents Organization, the Chief Executives Organization and the Commercial Club of Chicago. He has served as a trustee of the Morton Arboretum, Children’s Memorial Hospital and the local advisory board of US Bank.

Steve also was selected by Fortune Small Business Magazine as a "Best Boss" for 2004. Steve is actively involved with Public Radio serving on the Board of WBEZ in Chicago for the past 10 years and as its Chairman for three years. Steve also is involved with Harvard University through its schools and scholarship committee. He coordinates all interviewing for the Chicago area.

Steve lives in Chicago and the North Shore with his wife, Susan. They have 2 daughters, Lucy and Abby.

Why I believe in protecting land and creating parks: "My family and I share The Trust for Public Land's belief in the importance of open space in people's lives. In cities and the wilderness, parks are where people connect and community is built. Creating a better, more open environment is critical to a better society in general."

Why I support The Trust for Public Land: "My family and I have supported The Trust for Public Land for decades because we believe its work changes lives. From preserving nature to giving more children access to a park close to home, The Trust for Public Land reaches more communities and creates more parks."

George Bell

Background and expertise: 30-year veteran of creating and growing consumer businesses; former managing director, General Catalyst Partners, a private equity investment firm; board member, John Wiley and Sons (NYSE: Wiley); board member, Angie's List; chairman, Place IQ, a location and movement data company; advisor to various public and private companies in digital media. Former CEO of Jumptap, a mobile advertising platform; former CEO of Upromise; former chairman and CEO of Excite and Excite@Home; former chairman, Harris Interactive; founder of The Outdoor Life Network (now NBC Sports Network); former SVP of Times Mirror Magazines, overseeing titles such as SKI and Field & Stream. Recipient of Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award for California and New England; four-time Emmy Award–winning producer and writer of adventure, wildlife, and vanishing-culture documentaries. Harvard '80.

Why I believe in protecting land and creating parks: "I have three sons and I have seen the powerful effect of nature and parks in our family's life. Opportunities to affect major, lasting transformations across the country don't come around often. I chose to make a commitment to...

Background and expertise: 30-year veteran of creating and growing consumer businesses; former managing director, General Catalyst Partners, a private equity investment firm; board member, John Wiley and Sons (NYSE: Wiley); board member, Angie's List; chairman, Place IQ, a location and movement data company; advisor to various public and private companies in digital media. Former CEO of Jumptap, a mobile advertising platform; former CEO of Upromise; former chairman and CEO of Excite and Excite@Home; former chairman, Harris Interactive; founder of The Outdoor Life Network (now NBC Sports Network); former SVP of Times Mirror Magazines, overseeing titles such as SKI and Field & Stream. Recipient of Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award for California and New England; four-time Emmy Award–winning producer and writer of adventure, wildlife, and vanishing-culture documentaries. Harvard '80.

Why I believe in protecting land and creating parks: "I have three sons and I have seen the powerful effect of nature and parks in our family's life. Opportunities to affect major, lasting transformations across the country don't come around often. I chose to make a commitment to protecting land and creating parks because I know our work will ripple across countless families and communities in America, for today and for generations to come."

Why I support The Trust for Public Land: "Now more than ever, there's urgency for this work. At the end of the day it's going to take a collective effort to make significant strides in land conservation. The Trust for Public Land is a major force in this movement, and the scope of our mission inspires me."

Page Knudsen Cowles

Page Knudsen Cowles was an investment professional in the financial services industry during the 1980's. She has been an active volunteer in the Twin Cities for many years and has served on the boards of the Children's Theater Company, Planned Parenthood Minnesota/South Dakota and Graywolf Press, a nationally acclaimed literary publisher. She currently is a trustee of St. Paul Academy and Summit School; serves on the board of Unity Avenue Foundation, a family foundation; and is a director of Lawrence Creek, LLC, a private investment company. In addition to serving as Chair of the national board of The Trust for Public Land (TPL), she is also the past chair of the board of The Conservation Campaign, TPL's 501(c)(4) lobbying affiliate. She serves as President of Madison Valley Park Foundation in Seattle, WA and as Managing Director of Knudsen Vineyards, LLC, a family-owned wine grape growing concern in Dundee, OR. Ms. Cowles is a native of Seattle, Washington. She received her B.A. from Yale College (New Haven, CT), her M.B.A. from Harvard University (Cambridge, MA) and her CFA from the Institute...

Page Knudsen Cowles was an investment professional in the financial services industry during the 1980's. She has been an active volunteer in the Twin Cities for many years and has served on the boards of the Children's Theater Company, Planned Parenthood Minnesota/South Dakota and Graywolf Press, a nationally acclaimed literary publisher. She currently is a trustee of St. Paul Academy and Summit School; serves on the board of Unity Avenue Foundation, a family foundation; and is a director of Lawrence Creek, LLC, a private investment company. In addition to serving as Chair of the national board of The Trust for Public Land (TPL), she is also the past chair of the board of The Conservation Campaign, TPL's 501(c)(4) lobbying affiliate. She serves as President of Madison Valley Park Foundation in Seattle, WA and as Managing Director of Knudsen Vineyards, LLC, a family-owned wine grape growing concern in Dundee, OR. Ms. Cowles is a native of Seattle, Washington. She received her B.A. from Yale College (New Haven, CT), her M.B.A. from Harvard University (Cambridge, MA) and her CFA from the Institute of Chartered Financial Analysts.

William Cronon

William Cronon is a historian who studies changing relationships between people and the North American environment. His first book, Changes in the Land: Indians, Colonists, and the Ecology of New England, which was published in 1983, traced ecological changes in colonial New England. It won the Francis Parkman Prize, and is considered one of the founding works of American environmental history.

In 1991, his book, Nature's Metropolis: Chicago and the Great West, was awarded the Chicago Tribune's Heartland Prize; the Bancroft Prize; and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in History. His 1995 edited volume, Uncommon Ground: Rethinking the Human Place in Nature, examined the implications of different cultural ideas of nature for modern environmental problems. He has long been at work on a history of Portage, Wisconsin, which will explore how people's sense of place is shaped by the stories they tell about their homes, their lives, and the landscapes they inhabit. Cronon is also completing a book entitled Saving the Land We Love that will explore the many meanings of land and landscape in the history of...

William Cronon is a historian who studies changing relationships between people and the North American environment. His first book, Changes in the Land: Indians, Colonists, and the Ecology of New England, which was published in 1983, traced ecological changes in colonial New England. It won the Francis Parkman Prize, and is considered one of the founding works of American environmental history.

In 1991, his book, Nature's Metropolis: Chicago and the Great West, was awarded the Chicago Tribune's Heartland Prize; the Bancroft Prize; and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in History. His 1995 edited volume, Uncommon Ground: Rethinking the Human Place in Nature, examined the implications of different cultural ideas of nature for modern environmental problems. He has long been at work on a history of Portage, Wisconsin, which will explore how people's sense of place is shaped by the stories they tell about their homes, their lives, and the landscapes they inhabit. Cronon is also completing a book entitled Saving the Land We Love that will explore the many meanings of land and landscape in the history of the United States, focusing especially on how these have shaped environmental politics over time.

In 1992, Cronon became the Frederick Jackson Turner and Vilas Research Professor of History, Geography, & Environmental Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He had previously been a member of the Yale History Department for more than a decade. He is a past President of the American Society for Environmental History and the American Historical Association. He serves on the Governing Council of The Wilderness Society and was the founding editor of the Weyerhaeuser Environmental Books Series of the University of Washington Press. He received a B.A. from the University of Wisconsin, Madison; an M.A., M.Phil. and a Ph.D. from Yale, and a D.Phil. from Oxford University. He has been a Rhodes Scholar, Danforth Fellow, Guggenheim Fellow, and MacArthur Fellow.

Why I believe in protecting land and creating parks:
As an environmental historian, I believe that one cannot understand the United States of America without coming to terms with the myriad ways in which our changing uses of land and relationships with nature have defined us as a nation. Parks and protected landscapes are among the most important places where Americans not only reconnect themselves with the natural world, but also explore our nation's history and the ways it shapes all of our lives.

Why I support The Trust for Public Land:
Few organizations in the United States have done more than the Trust for Public Land to protect parks, natural areas, and other cherished places across the entire spectrum of the American landscape, from inner cities to suburbs to working lands to wilderness. I admire the thoughtfulness, professionalism, and willingness to take risks on behalf of the public good that characterize all of TPL's work, as well as its willingness to partner with Americans all over the country to protect the places we all love.

Douglas Durst

Background and expertise: Third-generation family member to run The Durst Organization, pioneering environmentally responsible design and building practices in New York City such as the creation of 4 Times Square at 42nd Street and Broadway, The Helena, a 600 unit residential building at 57th Street and 11th Avenue (LEED gold), The New School's University Center (expected LEED gold), and the Bank of America Tower at 1 Bryant Park (LEED platinum); graduated in1962 from the Fieldston School and in 1966 from the University of California-Berkeley, where he studied economics and learned civil disobedience; member of the board of directors of the Roundabout Theater, Primary Stages, and The New School; serves on the Real Estate Board of New York and as chair of Earthday New York; part-owner of the largest organic farm in New York State and co-founder of New York Water Taxi.

Why I believe in protecting land and creating parks: "As an urban builder, supporting parks and open space is essential to the success of my family's business. Building big, tall, and dense is how we preserve the green space...

Background and expertise: Third-generation family member to run The Durst Organization, pioneering environmentally responsible design and building practices in New York City such as the creation of 4 Times Square at 42nd Street and Broadway, The Helena, a 600 unit residential building at 57th Street and 11th Avenue (LEED gold), The New School's University Center (expected LEED gold), and the Bank of America Tower at 1 Bryant Park (LEED platinum); graduated in1962 from the Fieldston School and in 1966 from the University of California-Berkeley, where he studied economics and learned civil disobedience; member of the board of directors of the Roundabout Theater, Primary Stages, and The New School; serves on the Real Estate Board of New York and as chair of Earthday New York; part-owner of the largest organic farm in New York State and co-founder of New York Water Taxi.

Why I believe in protecting land and creating parks: "As an urban builder, supporting parks and open space is essential to the success of my family's business. Building big, tall, and dense is how we preserve the green space that makes our cities livable and our environment viable for generations to come."

Why I support The Trust for Public Land: "The Trust for Public Land is the premiere land conservation and public green space developer in the United States. Their mission is clear, their staff is motivated and informed, and their results are extraordinary."

Whitney Hatch

Background and expertise: Currently serves as chairman of the board of Issue One, working to put citizens back in control of our democracy by reducing the power of money in American politics and policymaking; worked at The Trust for Public Land from 1998 until 2011, primarily as director of the six-state New England region; previously served for 15 years at GTE Corporation in various capacities, ultimately as vice president of regulatory affairs, responsible for all GTE's Washington, D.C. federal regulatory advocacy on behalf of its portfolio of regulated telecommunications business units; currently serves on the Trust for Public Land national board; serves on the Conservation Law Foundation board and chairs CLF’s Massachusetts advisory board; reappointed by Governor Deval Patrick to a second, seven-year term on and serves as chair of the stewardship council of the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation; appointed to a 3-year term on the Ipswich Municipal Electric Subcommittee; serves on the board of the John Merck Fund and the Merck Family Fund; advisory board of the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, and founding board member of the...

Background and expertise: Currently serves as chairman of the board of Issue One, working to put citizens back in control of our democracy by reducing the power of money in American politics and policymaking; worked at The Trust for Public Land from 1998 until 2011, primarily as director of the six-state New England region; previously served for 15 years at GTE Corporation in various capacities, ultimately as vice president of regulatory affairs, responsible for all GTE's Washington, D.C. federal regulatory advocacy on behalf of its portfolio of regulated telecommunications business units; currently serves on the Trust for Public Land national board; serves on the Conservation Law Foundation board and chairs CLF’s Massachusetts advisory board; reappointed by Governor Deval Patrick to a second, seven-year term on and serves as chair of the stewardship council of the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation; appointed to a 3-year term on the Ipswich Municipal Electric Subcommittee; serves on the board of the John Merck Fund and the Merck Family Fund; advisory board of the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, and founding board member of the School for Field Studies; previously served as chairman of the American Rivers and Management Assistance Group boards. Awarded the 2017 Liff Spirit Award from the Emerald Necklace Conservancy.

Why I believe in protecting land and creating parks: "Everybody needs a place to play, a place to reflect, a place to roam. Be those places in cities or in the boonies, those lands, those street corners, those playgrounds, those gardens, those park benches need to be there to receive us. We at The Trust for Public Land need to ensure they are available, maintained, and nearby to all."

Why I support The Trust for Public Land: "Unlike other organizations with which I am deeply involved, The Trust for Public Land feels like home. Having worked at The Trust for Public Land for over a decade, I witnessed firsthand the creativity, commitment, and collegiality with which my former colleagues threw themselves into often impossible conservation opportunities with local partners. The heartfelt New England town meeting testimonies urging neighbors to support a conservation project followed by unanimous votes to tax themselves to pay for it still reverberate years later. They did it, and The Trust for Public Land helped. Priceless."

Christopher G. Lea

Background and Expertise: In 1984 Mr. Lea joined the law firm of Bell, Boyd & Lloyd in Chicago (now KL Gates). In 2004 he formed a partnership to create Lea + O'Reilly, with a practice limited to promotional marketing law, including sweepstakes, sponsorships and charitable commercial co-ventures. Prior to starting the firm, Mr. Lea practiced in the antitrust and trade regulation group at Bell, Boyd, working primarily on mergers, acquisitions and marketing matters. While in Chicago, Chris was a supporter of Chicago House & Social Service Agency and serves as a trustee and administrator for the Lea Charitable Trust. Always in love with the outdoors and Jackson Hole, Chris finally made the move to Wyoming full-time in 2016.

Why I believe in protecting land and creating parks: I believe we are creatures of nature. Without it, we are nothing. It's really that simple. At a very early age, I had the good fortune of spending substantial time during the summers camping in and around Steamboat Springs, and later, in the Grand Tetons. The experiences left an indelible mark on my...

Background and Expertise: In 1984 Mr. Lea joined the law firm of Bell, Boyd & Lloyd in Chicago (now KL Gates). In 2004 he formed a partnership to create Lea + O'Reilly, with a practice limited to promotional marketing law, including sweepstakes, sponsorships and charitable commercial co-ventures. Prior to starting the firm, Mr. Lea practiced in the antitrust and trade regulation group at Bell, Boyd, working primarily on mergers, acquisitions and marketing matters. While in Chicago, Chris was a supporter of Chicago House & Social Service Agency and serves as a trustee and administrator for the Lea Charitable Trust. Always in love with the outdoors and Jackson Hole, Chris finally made the move to Wyoming full-time in 2016.

Why I believe in protecting land and creating parks: I believe we are creatures of nature. Without it, we are nothing. It's really that simple. At a very early age, I had the good fortune of spending substantial time during the summers camping in and around Steamboat Springs, and later, in the Grand Tetons. The experiences left an indelible mark on my psyche: I wanted all of my friends and family to be able to share in the wonders of nature and vast open spaces. As I became an adult, my vision evolved from merely my immediate circle of friends to all the people of the world -- so that they too would forever be able to enjoy what I experienced. Nature can't be appreciated if our only connection is via television and the big screen. I want people to live—feel-- and even smell-- nature! I truly believe that without actual live experiences we as a society will not understand the importance of preserving our open spaces for generations to come. This must be our legacy.

From a more urban perspective, I previously lived along the abandoned train line that became The 606, a TPL project. After completion of the project, I would look out of my windows and see thousands of people walking, jogging, skate boarding, and biking each day--oftentimes with entire multi-generational families participating together. I almost immediately started asking myself, where did these people go to enjoy the outdoors before this? Where did they bike, walk and run? What did they do to stay healthy? The answer was simple: For many, they did nothing. Now, literally tens of thousands can get a little closer to nature, right in their own backyard in Chicago. And now, partially due to TPL's initiatives, a park is no more than a ten minute walk from millions of fellow Americans. TPL is improving the lives of people every day.

Why I support the Trust for Public Land: I feel humbled to be part of what I consider the premier organization dedicated to protecting land. And not just protecting it for the sake of protecting it – but protecting it for people. Its programs of creating parks within walking distance of most Americans is just as important. I believe the Trust for Public Land's missions improve the quality of life for all, not just a chosen few. I am also impressed with the manner in which TPL obtains public support and input for its projects--so that it is able to help give the people what they want.

Ignacia S. Moreno

Background and expertise: Ignacia S. Moreno has practiced environmental and natural resources law for 27 years; currently Chief Executive Officer and a founding Principal of The iMoreno Group, PLC, where she provides legal services and strategic counseling on environmental and natural resources matters; served as Senate-confirmed Assistant Attorney General for the Environment and Natural Resources Division of the U.S. Department of Justice (2009 to 2013) and was recognized for her outstanding service, including her leadership of the Division’s response to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill; former Counsel for the Northeast/Midwest Regions and International at the General Electric Company; practiced at two prominent Washington, D.C. law firms, including as a partner; served at the U.S. Department of Justice in the Environment and Natural Resources Division for seven years during the Clinton Administration; appointed in 2016 by Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe to serve a four-year term on the State Air Pollution Control Board; elected in 2016 as a Fellow of the America Bar Foundation; serves on the National Board of Directors of the Trust for Public Land; serves on the Advisory Board...

Background and expertise: Ignacia S. Moreno has practiced environmental and natural resources law for 27 years; currently Chief Executive Officer and a founding Principal of The iMoreno Group, PLC, where she provides legal services and strategic counseling on environmental and natural resources matters; served as Senate-confirmed Assistant Attorney General for the Environment and Natural Resources Division of the U.S. Department of Justice (2009 to 2013) and was recognized for her outstanding service, including her leadership of the Division’s response to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill; former Counsel for the Northeast/Midwest Regions and International at the General Electric Company; practiced at two prominent Washington, D.C. law firms, including as a partner; served at the U.S. Department of Justice in the Environment and Natural Resources Division for seven years during the Clinton Administration; appointed in 2016 by Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe to serve a four-year term on the State Air Pollution Control Board; elected in 2016 as a Fellow of the America Bar Foundation; serves on the National Board of Directors of the Trust for Public Land; serves on the Advisory Board of the Institute for Policy Integrity at New York University School of Law and as Chair of the Litigation Committee; serves on the Board of Directors of Green 2.0; and serves on the ABA Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources (SEER) Council and served as Chair of the SEER Special Committee on State Bar Coordination and Engagement; served pro bono as General Counsel to the Hispanic National Bar Association and on the boards of the Washington Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs and the Center for International Environmental Law; former President of the Hispanic Bar Association of the District of Columbia; named one of the Top 100 Green Leaders in the United States by PODER Hispanic Magazine and one of the 100 Most Influential Hispanics in the United States by Hispanic Business Magazine; earned her Bachelor of Arts degree from New York University in 1986, and a Juris Doctor degree from New York University School of Law in 1990; born in Cartagena, Colombia, grew up in New York City, and lives in McLean, Virginia with her husband and teenage son.

Why I believe in the importance of protecting land and creating parks: "As a child growing up in New York City north of Harlem, I loved walking with my sister and brother to Riverside Park on the Hudson River. The calm and natural beauty of the park offered a respite from the hectic and concrete world in which we lived, and it made us all very happy!"

Why I support The Trust for Public Land: "The work of The Trust for Public Land makes an enormous difference in the lives of the American people by protecting land and creating parks and playgrounds for the enjoyment and well-being of communities across the country. The Trust has long understood that conservation efforts, including the creation of parks, 'must serve all people and all communities, regardless of income, ethnicity, or geography.' These are values that I hold dear."

Caroline Niemczyk

Background and expertise: Currently serves as chair of The Trust for Public Land Action Fund and the Yale Institute for Biospheric Studies; serves on the advisory boards of the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, the Open Space Institute, and the Land Trust Alliance; served on the staff of Senator Daniel P. Moynihan, as a program officer at the Smith Richardson Foundation, as special assistant to Boston University President John Silber, and as an adjunct professor on the history faculty at Barnard College; graduated from Yale, the London School of Economics, and Columbia; has three children and resides in Bedford, New York.

Why I believe in protecting land and creating parks: "I first fell in love with the natural world while camping as a child. My family was traveling cross-country. I remember scampering over the rocks of a streambed in the Great Smoky Mountains, light sparkling off the water as sun fell through the forest leaves. I felt happy, energized, independent, and peaceful."

Why I support The Trust for Public Land: "This organization has stunning success conserving the land...

Background and expertise: Currently serves as chair of The Trust for Public Land Action Fund and the Yale Institute for Biospheric Studies; serves on the advisory boards of the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, the Open Space Institute, and the Land Trust Alliance; served on the staff of Senator Daniel P. Moynihan, as a program officer at the Smith Richardson Foundation, as special assistant to Boston University President John Silber, and as an adjunct professor on the history faculty at Barnard College; graduated from Yale, the London School of Economics, and Columbia; has three children and resides in Bedford, New York.

Why I believe in protecting land and creating parks: "I first fell in love with the natural world while camping as a child. My family was traveling cross-country. I remember scampering over the rocks of a streambed in the Great Smoky Mountains, light sparkling off the water as sun fell through the forest leaves. I felt happy, energized, independent, and peaceful."

Why I support The Trust for Public Land: "This organization has stunning success conserving the land people love. By being here, I'm part of a national team that strengthens community bonds. We deliver what people ask for, whether it's a trail, a playground, a historic site, a community garden, or a family farm."

Michael E. Patterson

Background and expertise: Former general counsel, chief administrative officer, board member, and vice chairman JPMorgan Chase & Co.; practiced law in New York and Paris as a partner of Debevoise & Plimpton; graduated from Harvard College and Columbia Law School; director of USA Cycling and The Child School/Legacy High School; lives with his wife, Elena, in Tucson, Arizona and Old Lyme, Connecticut, and is a bicycle racer.

Why I believe in protecting land and creating parks: "I believe in green spaces because they are good for people."

Why I support The Trust for Public Land: "I support The Trust for Public Land because no one better protects land and creates parks for people."

Background and expertise: Former general counsel, chief administrative officer, board member, and vice chairman JPMorgan Chase & Co.; practiced law in New York and Paris as a partner of Debevoise & Plimpton; graduated from Harvard College and Columbia Law School; director of USA Cycling and The Child School/Legacy High School; lives with his wife, Elena, in Tucson, Arizona and Old Lyme, Connecticut, and is a bicycle racer.

Why I believe in protecting land and creating parks: "I believe in green spaces because they are good for people."

Why I support The Trust for Public Land: "I support The Trust for Public Land because no one better protects land and creates parks for people."

Thomas S. Reeve
Chair, National Board

Background and expertise: Chair of The Trust for Public Land's National Leadership Council; past chair of The Trust for Public Land's Washington State advisory board; past president of the board of the Washington Wildlife and Recreation Coalition; Chair of the San Juan Islands National Monument Advisory Committee; member of the national council of the Land Trust Alliance; 18-year veteran of Microsoft, managing teams focused on consumer software, internal tools, international software versions, the Works business, media production, and the MSN.com portal site; avid traveler and outdoorsman; bachelor's degree from Harvard University; lives with his family on their Lopez Island farm, which they protected by conservation easements.

Why I believe in protecting land and creating parks: "Historically, the American experience has centered around place. You can't tell the American story without recounting tales of people and the lands where they live and explore. We need to ensure that people continue to connect with the land and that outdoor experiences-whether learning to ride your bike in a nearby park or visiting a farm where your food is grown-continue to be a part...

Background and expertise: Chair of The Trust for Public Land's National Leadership Council; past chair of The Trust for Public Land's Washington State advisory board; past president of the board of the Washington Wildlife and Recreation Coalition; Chair of the San Juan Islands National Monument Advisory Committee; member of the national council of the Land Trust Alliance; 18-year veteran of Microsoft, managing teams focused on consumer software, internal tools, international software versions, the Works business, media production, and the MSN.com portal site; avid traveler and outdoorsman; bachelor's degree from Harvard University; lives with his family on their Lopez Island farm, which they protected by conservation easements.

Why I believe in protecting land and creating parks: "Historically, the American experience has centered around place. You can't tell the American story without recounting tales of people and the lands where they live and explore. We need to ensure that people continue to connect with the land and that outdoor experiences-whether learning to ride your bike in a nearby park or visiting a farm where your food is grown-continue to be a part of the American story."

Why I support The Trust for Public Land: "My wife Sally and I support The Trust for Public Land as our top charity because we believe our investment of time and money in this organization has the potential to help more Americans, in more communities, in a broader variety of ways than any other conservation investment we could make."

Jeff Resnick

Background and Expertise: Former partner and managing director at Goldman Sachs, where he was global head of commodities trading and money market businesses and served on the firm's risk and finance committees; worked for Chevron Corporation in San Francisco and Houston; former treasurer of Riverkeeper, a non-profit advocacy organization for the Hudson River watershed chaired by Robert Kennedy, Jr.; serves on the board of the dZi Foundation, supporting economic development in Nepal; avid skier, cyclist and furniture builder; lives in Telluride, Colorado, with his wife Debbie and their two sons.

Why I believe in protecting land and creating parks: "Most of the best moments in my life have been shared with friends and family in the simple setting of a natural environment. In a world where our lives are becoming increasingly complex, the need for simple, healthy time in a beautiful city park or wilderness area is paramount. The health of our communities depends on the preservation and access to these places."

Why I support The Trust for Public Land: "I believe The Trust for Public Land is simply the...

Background and Expertise: Former partner and managing director at Goldman Sachs, where he was global head of commodities trading and money market businesses and served on the firm's risk and finance committees; worked for Chevron Corporation in San Francisco and Houston; former treasurer of Riverkeeper, a non-profit advocacy organization for the Hudson River watershed chaired by Robert Kennedy, Jr.; serves on the board of the dZi Foundation, supporting economic development in Nepal; avid skier, cyclist and furniture builder; lives in Telluride, Colorado, with his wife Debbie and their two sons.

Why I believe in protecting land and creating parks: "Most of the best moments in my life have been shared with friends and family in the simple setting of a natural environment. In a world where our lives are becoming increasingly complex, the need for simple, healthy time in a beautiful city park or wilderness area is paramount. The health of our communities depends on the preservation and access to these places."

Why I support The Trust for Public Land: "I believe The Trust for Public Land is simply the best and smartest conservation organization protecting land for people. The combination of thought leadership, unique execution capabilities, and a focused, collaborative approach ensures great outcomes for the communities we work with. From parks in New York City to mountaintops in Colorado, I have personally experienced many of the amazing projects that The Trust for Public Land has completed."

Laura Richards

Background and expertise: Laura Richards is Founder and Chair of the Friends of Carrollton GreenBelt LLC which built a 16-mile concrete, recreational, circular trail within the City of Carrollton, Georgia. Laura previously worked for McMahon Publishing in New York City, and for Vermont Bicycle Touring as a European guide. Laura served as a board member for the Georgia and Alabama Land Trust from 2009-2014 and for the Tanner Medical Foundation (based in Carrollton) from 2010-2017. She currently serves as a national board member for the Trust for Public Land (since 2014), and on the board of the PATH Foundation in Atlanta (since 2013, and as Secretary from 2015-2017.) As a member of the Carroll County Board of Health since 2015, Laura saw Carroll’s ranking in Georgia improve to #49 out of 159 counties in Georgia based on the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s County Health Rankings. Carroll previously ranked #58. Service on the Alice Huffard Richards Charitable Fund at the Community Foundation of West Georgia, named for her mother, started in 2008 and continues. Laura received the following awards for the...

Background and expertise: Laura Richards is Founder and Chair of the Friends of Carrollton GreenBelt LLC which built a 16-mile concrete, recreational, circular trail within the City of Carrollton, Georgia. Laura previously worked for McMahon Publishing in New York City, and for Vermont Bicycle Touring as a European guide. Laura served as a board member for the Georgia and Alabama Land Trust from 2009-2014 and for the Tanner Medical Foundation (based in Carrollton) from 2010-2017. She currently serves as a national board member for the Trust for Public Land (since 2014), and on the board of the PATH Foundation in Atlanta (since 2013, and as Secretary from 2015-2017.) As a member of the Carroll County Board of Health since 2015, Laura saw Carroll’s ranking in Georgia improve to #49 out of 159 counties in Georgia based on the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s County Health Rankings. Carroll previously ranked #58. Service on the Alice Huffard Richards Charitable Fund at the Community Foundation of West Georgia, named for her mother, started in 2008 and continues. Laura received the following awards for the GreenBelt: the 2016 Karl T. Steinen Award for Service to Anthropology from the University of West Georgia’s Department of Anthropology; the 2016 Silver Award for Beautification from the Carroll County Chamber of Commerce, and the 2017 Community Recognition “Above and Beyond” Award from Carrollton Civic Woman’s Club.

Why I believe in protecting land and creating parks: “A quotation I like about land and parks is: ‘One touch of nature makes the whole world kin,’ by Shakespeare. For me, parks are about uniting people and place.”

Why I support The Trust for Public Land: “I give because The Trust for Public Land has a track record of helping in places where quality of life needs attention. For example, my city now enjoys a 26-acre park, which was one of The Trust for Public Land’s projects. I want others elsewhere to share in a similar positive experience.”

Roy Richards, Jr.

Background and expertise: Chairman of Southwire Company; served as past president of the International Cablemakers Federation; past chair of the Georgia Chamber of Commerce; elected "Georgia's Most Respected CEO" in 1999 by readers of Georgia Trend magazine; active fly fisherman, downhill skier, and reader; resides with his family in Charleston, South Carolina.

Why I believe in protecting land and creating parks: "We are creatures that need open, natural space for our health and happiness. Without access to the land, we would be a lesser people. As our country becomes more urbanized, I believe it's time to rethink exploitation before all of our wild land is gone, and before parkland becomes too expensive to wrest from the path of development."

Why I support The Trust for Public Land: "I was introduced by another committed board member and have been attached ever since. I truly identify with the land-for-people mission. There is near-unanimous support for the protection of green space, once we remind people that it should be done. The Trust for Public Land advocates for conservation and provides the tools and...

Background and expertise: Chairman of Southwire Company; served as past president of the International Cablemakers Federation; past chair of the Georgia Chamber of Commerce; elected "Georgia's Most Respected CEO" in 1999 by readers of Georgia Trend magazine; active fly fisherman, downhill skier, and reader; resides with his family in Charleston, South Carolina.

Why I believe in protecting land and creating parks: "We are creatures that need open, natural space for our health and happiness. Without access to the land, we would be a lesser people. As our country becomes more urbanized, I believe it's time to rethink exploitation before all of our wild land is gone, and before parkland becomes too expensive to wrest from the path of development."

Why I support The Trust for Public Land: "I was introduced by another committed board member and have been attached ever since. I truly identify with the land-for-people mission. There is near-unanimous support for the protection of green space, once we remind people that it should be done. The Trust for Public Land advocates for conservation and provides the tools and financing to make it possible."

Lex Sant

Background and expertise: Since 2015, president of Sant Foundation; vice president, treasurer and trustee of the Summit Foundation; From 2008-2015, co-founder and managing director of Persimmon Tree Capital; past director in the Alternative Energy group at AES Corporation, responsible for the origination and execution of transactions related to biofuels, wind, and other forms of renewable energy; director emeritus and past chairman of Island Press; past trustee of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation; MBA (Baker Scholar) from Harvard Business School; Lives in Washington, D.C., with his wife and two daughters.

Why I believe in protecting land and creating parks: "As people, we need natural places in order to be ourselves. Whether it's a small city park that provides a quiet refuge from a busy day or a wild landscape with the broad vista to inspire awe, our interactions with nature are made possible by the places we protect for ourselves and for all those who will follow us."

Why I support The Trust for Public Land: "It takes great skill and deep knowledge to provide and protect the natural and special places,...

Background and expertise: Since 2015, president of Sant Foundation; vice president, treasurer and trustee of the Summit Foundation; From 2008-2015, co-founder and managing director of Persimmon Tree Capital; past director in the Alternative Energy group at AES Corporation, responsible for the origination and execution of transactions related to biofuels, wind, and other forms of renewable energy; director emeritus and past chairman of Island Press; past trustee of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation; MBA (Baker Scholar) from Harvard Business School; Lives in Washington, D.C., with his wife and two daughters.

Why I believe in protecting land and creating parks: "As people, we need natural places in order to be ourselves. Whether it's a small city park that provides a quiet refuge from a busy day or a wild landscape with the broad vista to inspire awe, our interactions with nature are made possible by the places we protect for ourselves and for all those who will follow us."

Why I support The Trust for Public Land: "It takes great skill and deep knowledge to provide and protect the natural and special places, small and large, on which we rightly depend for human wellbeing. For 40 years, The Trust for Public Land has focused on this important work with an enviable entrepreneurial spirit and a deep commitment to conservation, which benefits us all."

Sheryl Crockett Tishman

Background and expertise: Along with the Trust for Public Land, Sheryl is a trustee of Telluride Mountainfilm, and her family foundation. As an Environmental Educator she taught at the National Audubon Society Expedition Institute, and at Weymouth House for girls in Maine. B.S. in environmental studies from Middlebury College; M.S. in education from Lesley University; Sheryl is an avid outdoorswoman who enjoys wilderness travel with her husband and two sons.

Why I believe in protecting land and creating parks: "My greatest teacher has been and continues to be the natural world. I feel honored, as well as responsible, to do what I can to enable future generations to have nature in their lives. Ensuring that there are protected lands for years to come is a win for us all."

Why I support The Trust for Public Land: "Many environmental advocacy organizations do amazing work. What sets The Trust for Public Land apart for me is its focus on the belief that all people have the right to experience the natural world every day-making our planet stronger and healthier. From inner...

Background and expertise: Along with the Trust for Public Land, Sheryl is a trustee of Telluride Mountainfilm, and her family foundation. As an Environmental Educator she taught at the National Audubon Society Expedition Institute, and at Weymouth House for girls in Maine. B.S. in environmental studies from Middlebury College; M.S. in education from Lesley University; Sheryl is an avid outdoorswoman who enjoys wilderness travel with her husband and two sons.

Why I believe in protecting land and creating parks: "My greatest teacher has been and continues to be the natural world. I feel honored, as well as responsible, to do what I can to enable future generations to have nature in their lives. Ensuring that there are protected lands for years to come is a win for us all."

Why I support The Trust for Public Land: "Many environmental advocacy organizations do amazing work. What sets The Trust for Public Land apart for me is its focus on the belief that all people have the right to experience the natural world every day-making our planet stronger and healthier. From inner city parks to iconic landscapes, The Trust for Public Land accomplishes projects that greatly enhance people's exposure to the natural environment."

F. Jerome Tone

Background and expertise: Serves as agent for Hellman Properties LLC in Seal Beach, California; former general partner and executive vice president of Montgomery Capital Corporation in San Francisco; served as a director of the Alamitos Land Company in Signal Hill, California; former chief financial officer with BRIDGE Housing Corporation; former vice president in the real estate lending department at Wells Fargo Bank; currently serves on The Trust for Public Land's national board of directors, and the board of the Seattle Parks Foundation; graduated from Williams College and received his MBA from the University of California-Berkeley.

Why I believe in protecting land and creating parks: "When I walk through cities across America, I am struck to see that the parks, trails, and open spaces are in constant use. There is always a resident, a couple, a family, or a group who are using our public spaces. These spaces are open and free: a perfect demonstration of our democracy at work. For example, my father recently pointed out an older fellow who sits on a bench in a central riverside park across...

Background and expertise: Serves as agent for Hellman Properties LLC in Seal Beach, California; former general partner and executive vice president of Montgomery Capital Corporation in San Francisco; served as a director of the Alamitos Land Company in Signal Hill, California; former chief financial officer with BRIDGE Housing Corporation; former vice president in the real estate lending department at Wells Fargo Bank; currently serves on The Trust for Public Land's national board of directors, and the board of the Seattle Parks Foundation; graduated from Williams College and received his MBA from the University of California-Berkeley.

Why I believe in protecting land and creating parks: "When I walk through cities across America, I am struck to see that the parks, trails, and open spaces are in constant use. There is always a resident, a couple, a family, or a group who are using our public spaces. These spaces are open and free: a perfect demonstration of our democracy at work. For example, my father recently pointed out an older fellow who sits on a bench in a central riverside park across the street from a coffee shop dad frequents. He told me that the guy is there every day. We were in Cleveland, Ohio, and so I asked, 'I wonder what he does in the winter?' Dad said, 'He's there in the winter!' Sitting in the park, enjoying his community. That's why I believe in protecting land and creating parks. The Trust for Public Land is doing a fantastic job creating special places for people to get outside and enjoy their communities."

Why I support The Trust for Public Land: "Having been on the 'inside' of The Trust for Public Land for many years, I can attest to the fact that the income that comes into the organization is allocated and used very efficiently. The Trust for Public Land leverages its resources in the most amazing ways, with project teams, the legal team, the finance and administrative teams cooperating to bring complicated and expensive transactions to closure. They navigate complex political situations at the local, regional, state, and federal levels-with thousands of examples (5,000-plus transactions to date) demonstrating their professionalism and efficiency. I am very proud to be associated with staff and volunteers for The Trust for Public Land and to have witnessed so many incredible transactions which have enhanced communities across the country."

Ana Valdez

Background and expertise

Co-founder and president of Valdez Consulting Group, Inc.; current principal of The 650 Company; graduated from the Tecnologico de Monterrey in Mexico with a degree in business; received master's degree in international relations in Spain. Formerly held positions with the AC Nielsen Co., Banamex, and the United Nations; held assignments within the Clinton-Gore administration; serves on the boards of Southern California Public Radio, Los Angeles Universal Preschool, Los Angeles Children's Bureau, and the Public Policy Advocacy Planning Group; formerly served on the board of American Public Media, as chair of the Center for Early Education's Multicultural Committee, as co-founder and vice chair of FOCUS, and as a director of Southern California Goodwill Industries.

Why I support The Trust for Public Land

From the moment I read the mission of The Trust for Public Land, I knew I wanted to be part of it. I believe in empowering communities nationwide for a better livability: preserving green spaces, historic sites, and parks is a basic part of that. I am also excited about The Trust for Public Land's...

Background and expertise

Co-founder and president of Valdez Consulting Group, Inc.; current principal of The 650 Company; graduated from the Tecnologico de Monterrey in Mexico with a degree in business; received master's degree in international relations in Spain. Formerly held positions with the AC Nielsen Co., Banamex, and the United Nations; held assignments within the Clinton-Gore administration; serves on the boards of Southern California Public Radio, Los Angeles Universal Preschool, Los Angeles Children's Bureau, and the Public Policy Advocacy Planning Group; formerly served on the board of American Public Media, as chair of the Center for Early Education's Multicultural Committee, as co-founder and vice chair of FOCUS, and as a director of Southern California Goodwill Industries.

Why I support The Trust for Public Land

From the moment I read the mission of The Trust for Public Land, I knew I wanted to be part of it. I believe in empowering communities nationwide for a better livability: preserving green spaces, historic sites, and parks is a basic part of that. I am also excited about The Trust for Public Land's commitment to generating public support for pro-conservation policies. Creating awareness at all levels is the key to a better and more balanced world for everybody.

Why I believe in the importance of protecting land and creating parks

When my first son was born, it was clear from the beginning that he would be a naturalist: he adored all kinds of animals, plants, and every manifestation of nature around us. I became a volunteer park ranger originally to enjoy nature with him, and I went on to become a guide of park tours for underprivileged kids from urban areas. Their fascination when seeing a park for the first time made me realize that the lack of green spaces in their lives was much more important-and unfortunately, more of a handicap-than I had thought. The Trust for Public Land makes me hopeful that eventually many more kids will be able to grow up like my children, with close-to-home access to places to run, learn, and thrive.

Susan D. Whiting

Background and expertise: C-level executive and board director working with multinational corporate and not-for-profit organizations in the United States; serves for the past decade as top advisor and director for consumer, technology, and financial services companies, working with executive leadership, external business partners, clients, and investors; currently serves on the board of directors for Alliant Energy Corporation and Kemper Corporation; is actively involved in several community, educational, and environmental organizations, including Denison University, the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum and as the chair of the board of The National Women's History Museum. Susan previously served as vice chair at Nielsen; retired from the company in January 2014, after a 35-year career; known for building Nielsen's most visible franchise in television measurement during the cable, telecommunications, and media industries' digital transition; currently resides in Chicago and Wisconsin with her children.

Why I believe protecting land and creating parks: "Green spaces and parks have a unique ability to transform cities and urban spaces, inspiring people-both young and old-to be a part of their community. We need to preserve the land for all those...

Background and expertise: C-level executive and board director working with multinational corporate and not-for-profit organizations in the United States; serves for the past decade as top advisor and director for consumer, technology, and financial services companies, working with executive leadership, external business partners, clients, and investors; currently serves on the board of directors for Alliant Energy Corporation and Kemper Corporation; is actively involved in several community, educational, and environmental organizations, including Denison University, the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum and as the chair of the board of The National Women's History Museum. Susan previously served as vice chair at Nielsen; retired from the company in January 2014, after a 35-year career; known for building Nielsen's most visible franchise in television measurement during the cable, telecommunications, and media industries' digital transition; currently resides in Chicago and Wisconsin with her children.

Why I believe protecting land and creating parks: "Green spaces and parks have a unique ability to transform cities and urban spaces, inspiring people-both young and old-to be a part of their community. We need to preserve the land for all those who come after us. It is our national legacy."

Why I support The Trust for Public Land: "I support The Trust for Public Land because I believe in its core mission. I also believe it is our civic duty to protect our environment for future generations."