anagement & Technology Consultant
Nick Kuttner has been focused on DC-area community and advocacy issues for many years. He provides strategy and technology consulting services to nonprofit organizations and he serves on the Board of Directors for the DC Employment Justice Center. He is also a volunteer Court Appointed Special Advocate in Fairfax County. Previously, he served for many years on the Board of Directors & Advisory Board for KIPP DC Charter Schools.
Professionally, Nick spent 24 years with the worldwide management and technology consulting firm Booz Allen Hamilton, where he was a Partner and Senior Vice President for Information Technology services. He served US Federal, state & local, Fortune 500, and international clients in optimizing their technology infrastructure and business applications, and maximizing organizational and operating efficiencies.
He currently resides on the banks of the Potomac river in Northern Virginia, is an avid fisherman and bird watcher, and eagerly fishes the entire Chesapeake Bay watershed.
Blue Creek Equity
Dan Russell is a founder and Managing Partner of BlueCreek Equity Partners. Prior to
founding BlueCreek, he had been the Managing Director of the Private Finance Group at Allied Capital Corporation since 1998, leading a team that has invested over $650 million in leveraged buyout transactions. Dan also served as Chairman of the Board for several industry companies including StartecGlobal Communications, Palm Coast Data, and Sunsource Technology services and held the position of Director for Hillman Companies, Nobel Learning Communities Inc., Industrial Air Tool, and HealthASPex Inc. Before joining Allied Capital Corporation, Dan was the Senior Manager of the Financial Services Group at KPMG Peat Marwick.
In addition to his professional duties, Dan is also on the Board of Directors for Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts where he is the Treasurer and Chairman of the Finance Committee. Dan earned a B.S. in Business with a concentration in accounting and passed his Certified Public Accountant examination in Delaware. An avid fisherman, Dan lives on the Potomac River just outside of Washington
John Holmes is President of AEMS, LLC, and directs the company’s services in the areas of environmental compliance, air permitting, regulatory advocacy and technology assessments. John has over 40 years of experience in environmental engineering and air emissions regulations and permit compliance. He has a second home on the North fork of the Shenandoah River and has been an active Board member of the Friends of the North Fork of the Shenandoah River and chairs their Science Committee.
Todd Ellis is a resident of Clarke County Virginia in the Shenandoah Valley. He lives in a renovated 18th century historical stone home, has a small horse farm and owns a beautiful stretch of the upper Opequon Creek which, interestingly, flows into the Potomac River and not the Shenandoah. Todd is an
outdoorsman who enjoys hunting and fishing and has also spent his life around racehorses and thoroughbreds.
Todd came to the Shenandoah Valley about five years ago from the New York City area to find a quieter life and a more manageable pace. He has an accomplished career in the financial industry and comanages his business from Boyce and New York City. Todd graduated from Boston University in 1987, and University of Pennsylvania, Wharton Business School executive program in 2001. He has since been Senior Portfolio Manager/Senior Vice President at Morgan Stanley from 1995 – 2003; Citigroup 2003 –2009; and has currently been at UBS since 2009. Todd has been very active in his community and currently serves on the board of Shenandoah Valley Discovery Museum and is phasing out service on the board of the Clarke County Youth Football League.
President Emeritus, Friends of the Earth
Brent Blackwelder has been an environmental advocate for over 40 years. In 1994 he became president of Friends of the Earth and was the most senior environmental lobbyist in Washington. He has testified in front of Congress on pressing environmental issues more than 100 times.
Brent was a founder and first chairman of the board of American Rivers, our nation's leading river-saving organization. He was also one of the founders of the Environmental Policy Institute, which merged with Friends of the Earth in 1989. As a leader in the effort to save rivers, Brent helped expand the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System from eight rivers in 1973 to over 250 today. He also worked to eliminate over 200 dams and other water projects that would have destroyed rivers, wetlands, wildlife and areas of special scientific value.
Brent initiated campaigns to reform the World Bank and succeeded in getting Congress to enact a series of significant reforms directing the Bank and other multilateral lending institutions to pay more attention to the environment. Brent serves on the boards of the following organizations: International Rivers, Foundation Earth, Tax Justice Network USA, Gender Action, Center for Climate Strategies, and League of Conservation Voters. In retirement Brent also teaches part-time at Johns Hopkins Center for Advanced Governmental Studies.
Chairman, Clyde's Restaurant Group
Sally Davidson is Chairman of the Board of Clyde's Restaurant Group, which was founded by her late husband Stuart. Clyde's has restaurants in Washington, DC, Maryland and Virginia. She was a legislative assistant for the late Montana Senator Lee Metcalf. Board experience includes many years on the Boards of the Washington National Opera and American Rivers. She is currently a Board member of Rainforest Trust and a member of Rachel's Network. Her interests include kayaking, skiing, photography and gardening. She divides her time between Washington and Dublin, NH.
Downriver Canoe Company
John Gibson is the founder and owner of Downriver Canoe Company, a river outfitter on the Shenandoah River founded in 1974. He lives near Luray Virginia on a 220 acre farm which has been placed in conservation easement. He is a founding member and past president of the Friends of the Shenandoah River. He is a founding member and currently active in the Page County Water Quality Advisory Committee.
John also sat on the board of directors of Concern Hotline, a volunteer crisis hotline and information referral service in the Shenandoah Valley. He has been interested in the Riverkeeper organization ever since reading an article in the New Yorker magazine about the Hudson Riverkeeper many years ago. John is looking forward to communicating the views and opinions of Valley residents and the recreational and agricultural communities in particular.
peter bross, MD
Peter has a BA and MD from the University of Virginia and works for the Federal Government (FDA). He grew up next to the Potomac River in McLean, VA and has been a resident of Cabin John, MD since 2010. Peter has served on the Board of Directors of Earth Day Network and Friends of Cabin John Creek as well as the Potomac Riverkeeper Network. He enjoys kayaking on the Potomac and its tributaries as well as other locations, especially West Virginia. Peter also enjoys hiking, biking and walking along the C&O towpath.
Green Jobs Analyst, Energy Consultant
Christina Nichols brings a strong background in communications to the board of Potomac Riverkeeper. Currently, Chris is a Workforce Analyst for YouthBuild Green Jobs at the Department of Labor where she directs efforts to update construction practices, career training, and project curricula for YouthBuild grant recipients. Chris has previously worked for the Department of Labor’s Office of Workforce Investment as a Green Jobs Liaison to identify and fund workforce development training in support of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
Prior to her work for Department of Labor, Chris was the Senior Marketing Manager for SunEdison, LLC where she developed and led the Tri-City Tour for Solar campaign to promote large-scale municipal solar power development. In previous capacities, Chris wasthe Senior Marketing Mangater at the Academy for Educational Development, the Global Marketing Manager for Software AG, the Communications Manager for D&R International Ltd., and the Communications Director for the Safe Energy Communication Council.
Chris earned her M.B.A. in Marketing and Finance from the Robert H. Smith School of Business where she founded Smith Pride Alliance. For her B.A. in History and English, she attended Duke University. Chris is a member of the American Marketing Association.
Scott C. Plein
Equinox Investments, LLC
Scott C. Plein is the founding principal of Equinox Investments, LLC, a real estate investment, development and management firm specializing in community planning, entitlements and project
development. A lifelong resident of the Commonwealth of Virginia, Scott began his career in the late 1970’s when he founded KT Enterprises, Inc., a local landscape development firm. Today KT and its affiliate company, Total Development Solutions, provides turn-key site development solutions for some of the most prestigious home builders, developers, and commercial contractors in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. Scott owns and operates 650 acres of agricultural land in crops and livestock. Throughout his professional career and personal life, he has maintained a deep set interest in the environment and ecological systems, particularly as it pertains to finding a balance between human habitat needs and preserving our natural
Scott’s most recently approved project—Villages of Piedmont at Leopold’s Preserve (VOPLP)—which broke ground in late October 2013, has been touted by Prince William County officials as a model for preservation-oriented land planning. VOPLP, which is located in Haymarket, VA, will complete the balance of an existing community with the addition of 393 new homes in a unique cluster design. One of the most compelling aspects of the project is the impressive open-space commitment—the permanent conservation of more than 380 acres—known as Leopold’s Preserve. Named after famous conservationist, Aldo Leopold, Leopold’s Preserve will be preserved through a conservation easement as natural open space and open to the public for passive recreation. Within the open space there will be over 5 miles of natural surface walking trails, observation areas, wildflower meadows, and interpretive signs that will showcase the environmental and historic features of the property and the surrounding area.
avis Ogilvy moore
Board Chair, Friends of the Earth
Avis grew up close to the Mississippi River levee in New Orleans. She has a BA from Bryn Mawr College and while living in Philadelphia hiked with the Philadelphia Trail Club. Later she lived for many years overlooking the Hudson River where she was active in Sierra Club, on the Boards of Friends of the Earth, Zero Population Growth NY, and the First Unitarian Society of Westchester where she served as Board Chai. She also earned an MA from New York University. In 1993 she moved to Maryland, was named Chair of Friends of the Earth’s Board. She also became an early member of Potomac Riverkeeper Network's Board and served as chair.
Mac Thornton, an avid kayaker since the 1970's, started his river conservation avocation by founding the West Virginia Rivers Coalition in 1989, and serving as its Board Chair for eight years. In 1993, he cofounded the Potomac Conservancy and served as Co-Chair, Vice Chair, and Board member for nine years. He also served five years as Vice President of American Whitewater, Inc, and 17 years as Conservation Chair of the Canoe Cruisers Association. Mac currently practices law part time at Dentons U.S., a Washington law firm. He takes his children out in the wild, often on or near the Potomac, almost every weekend. Mac's wife, Molly Carr, is a former member of the U.S. Whitewater Team. The year 2015 is Mac's twelfth year on the Board. Having served as Board Chair, 2009-2011, he is now Chair of the Litigation Committee.
shari lawrence pfleeger
Retired, Institute for Information Infrastructure Protection
Shari Lawrence Pfleeger recently retired as the Research Director for the Institute for Information Infrastructure Protection, a consortium of 28 leading universities, national laboratories and nonprofit institutions dedicated to strengthening the U.S. cyber infrastructure. She joined the I3P after serving for nine years as a senior researcher at the RAND Corporation, where her work focused on software quality and cyber security policy.
Previously, as president of Systems/Software, Inc., she led a consultancy specializing in software engineering and technology. She has been a developer and maintainer for real-time, business-critical software systems, a principal scientist at MITRE Corporation’s Software Engineering Center, and manager of the software measurement program at the Contel Technology Center. She has also held several research and teaching positions at universities in the U.S. and U.K., and she still advises the U.K. government on cyber security research.
Shari earned a BA in mathematics from Harpur College, an MA in mathematics from Penn State, an MS in recreation planning from Penn State, and a PhD in information technology and engineering from George Mason University. Shari has been a supporter of the Natural Resources Defense Council since its creation in the 1970s. In the 1990s, Shari worked with the Urban Rangers to leverage teenagers’ interest in bicycling to expose them to natural areas not usually visited by inner-city kids. This and other work with children is described in the Washington Post (article below).
More recently, Shari has been volunteering with the Anacostia Watershed Society and with City Kids DC to provide children with outdoor experiences that use the natural world as entrée to discussions of larger environmental and community issues. She is also working with the head of the Capital Area Food Bank on strategies for building community gardens in “food deserts,” so that children can tend the gardens and learn about related issues of soil and water quality, nutrition and health.
Dr. William Kerr
Berkeley Research Group
Dr. Kerr is an expert in the economics of intellectual property and the analysis of competitive behavior and markets, and is a founding Managing Director of the Berkeley Research Group. Dr. Kerr has consulted with domestic and international clients in licensing or acquisition of IP assets. He has testified in disputes over the value of IP assets, in international trade disputes, and in matters related to antitrust issues or commercial damages. He has appeared before courts, arbitration panels and government agencies. He has written two books and published a number of articles on these topics in professional and business journals. His book on intellectual property damages (with Richard Troxel) is a leading treatise in the field. The 10th Edition was recently published by Thomson Reuters.
He lives with his wife in Alexandria, Virginia, on the banks of the Potomac River and plays music and golf and goes SCUBA diving whenever he can. He is on the board of the Coral Reef Alliance, an international conservation organization.