Board of Directors
John Holmes, ChairAEMS, LLC.
John Holmes is President of AEMS, LLC and provides consulting services in the areas of environmental compliance and air pollution permitting. John has over 40 years of experience in environmental policy and compliance. He has a home on the North Fork of the Shenandoah River.
Board member since 2013.
D. Randall Benn, Vice-ChairEarth and Water Group
Randy Benn is a seasoned lawyer, lobbyist and strategic consultant in Washington D.C., has been a Partner in two of the world’s largest law firms, and recently co-founded the Earth and Water Group, a consortium of experienced practitioners advancing client interests across a broad range of environmental and business matters. He is also a Georgetown University and ICF-certified Executive and Leadership coach that works with high potential individuals across a number of professions.
He has represented Fortune 500 corporations, municipalities, non-profits, trade associations and start-up companies before regulatory agencies, the courts and Congress on energy, environment, natural resources, infrastructure, cybersecurity, transportation, science, arts, housing and financial services issues. He has also served as Attorney Advisor to the Assistant Administrator for Water at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and as a Senior Fellow at the Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions and the Nicholas School of the Environment at Duke University.
Most recently, Mr. Benn has led strategic planning processes for a university, a non-profit NGO and a think tank, obtained Congressional funding for water quality research and worked through the Department of State, the U.N. and the World Bank to reduce the illegal wildlife trade in Asia. He has also helped launch a real estate partnership in Costa Rica, a solar company in Switzerland, and tech startups in D.C., London and Dubai. He sits or has served on non-profit Boards or Advisory Boards working to promote water quality and quantity, protect endangered species, address the Muslim/West divide, increase interfaith peace and justice and reduce gun violence.
Mr. Benn is a magna cum laude graduate of Duke University and Duke University Law School. He is married with three grown children and performs regularly in a rock and roll band.
Board member since 2019.
Scott C. Plein, TreasurerEquinox 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.
Board member since 2015.
Peter Bross, MD, SecretaryFDA
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.
Board member since 2016.
The protection, preservation, and improvement of water systems have been life-long passions for Carol Ackerman. Born the granddaughter of Art Flick, an internationally renowned fly-fisherman and New York state conservation policy advisor, and daughter of William Flick, a lead ichthyologist at Cornell University, her dedication to water conservation began as a child. Growing up in the Adirondacks, she had the privilege of working alongside her father in the fisheries laboratory, hatchery, lakes and ponds, studying the impact of acid rain on the water system. The important lessons she learned about global water systems at a young age continue to serve as her guiding principles. This love for science translated into a Bachelor of Science degree in Medical Technology and a career in nuclear medicine at Suburban Hospital in Bethesda and Sibley Hospital in Washington, DC. As an avid environmentalist, Carol spent many years on Flathead Lake in Montana, making sure that her three children grew up with the same love for water. As a member of the Flathead Lakers, she was active in water quality management and volunteering at the Yellow Bay Research Station. To this day, Flathead Lake is still recognized as one of the most pristine water sources in the country. Locally, she was a board member for the Earth Conservation Corps, working to educate and empower youth to reclaim the Anacostia River. She was also a sitting board member for the Anacostia Riverkeepers. In her free time, Carol enjoys boating on our region’s beautiful waterways, cultivating her organic flower garden, and taking trail rides with her Morgan horse at the Bureau of Land Management’s idyllic 800-acre property in Mason Neck, Virginia. She also takes every opportunity to continue to learn from her father, regularly visiting him on the Yellowstone River in Montana. Carol, her husband Steve and their three adult children are proud residents of the greater Washington region.
Ann CodringtonOrganic Farmer
Ann is the owner of Nisani Farm in Phenix, VA, where she produces Certified Naturally Grown specialty ginger, turmeric, flowers, vegetables and value-added products.
In the past, she was Director, Drinking Water Protection Division, at the Environmental Protection Agency, where she directed the activities of three branches responsible for the development and implementation of drinking water standards.
Ann is also a former Peace Corps volunteer in Lesotho, where she taught science, math, and agriculture.
Board member since 2020.
Brent Blackwelder graduated summa cum laude from Duke University. He has master’s degree in math from Yale and doctorate in philosophy from the University of Maryland. He teaches part-time at Johns Hopkins University in Washington, DC. Blackwelder served as president of Friends of the Earth from 1994 until his retirement in October of 2009. He was the founding chairman of American Rivers in 1973 and worked for 40 years on environmental issues, testifying over 1000 times to Congress. He led many efforts to protect rivers throughout the United States and the world, helping to halt over 200 dam and diversion projects and to increase the national scenic rivers system from only eight protected rivers in 1973 to over 250 today. He was listed by Vanity Fair magazine as one of the 22 Best Stewards of the Planet in 2005 and was featured in Washingtonian magazine in 2008 as one of 30 environmental leaders in the DC metropolitan area.
Board Member since 2020.
Sally DavidsonCHAIRMAN, 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.
Board member from 2009-2018, rejoined in 2019.
Katherine EdwardsEnergy Attorney
Kathie is an energy law attorney and has been in private practice for over thirty years specializing in natural gas and oil regulation before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and federal appellate courts. She is currently the managing partner of Edwards & Floom, LLP, a boutique energy law firm that she founded in 2012.
Kathie grew up on the Potomac River in Virginia, and has watched the decline of the water quality in the river over the years with great concern. As a life long swimmer and boater, her dream is that one day soon, the quality of the river will improve to allow swimming in the river with no health risks.
Kathie received a BA degree with honors in mathematics and philosophy from Randolph-Macon Woman’s College, and a JD degree from the University of Texas in Austin, where she was a member of the Texas Law Review.
Kathie and her husband John Ronveaux live on the river south of Old Town Alexandria. When they are not playing on the water, she enjoys gardening near the water.
Board member since 2017.
Thomas P. Ehrhard, Ph.D.Vice President, Defense Strategy
Tom just returned to the private sector after over seven years as a strategy advisor to the most senior executives in the Department of Defense. Most recently, he served as the Deputy Chief of Staff and Special Assistant to Deputy Secretary of Defense Robert Work. As a member of the Senior Executive Service (SES-2), Dr. Ehrhard managed a broad portfolio of the Department of Defense’s highest priority strategic issues and processes.
Prior to working for the Deputy Secretary of Defense, Tom served as the Senior Strategy Advisor to the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy, Dr. Jim Miller. As a leading expert on matters related to China, Russia, and North Korea, he worked those issues on behalf of Dr. Miller with the Services, the Joint Staff and the White House National Security Council Staff. Prior to that assignment, Tom worked for the Air Force Chief of Staff, General Norton Schwartz as his Special Assistant for strategy and policy, where he led the Chief’s elite Strategic Studies Group, played a key role in the design and program approval of the Long-Range Strike Bomber (LRS-B), led an internal group with the Navy in development of the Air-Sea Battle Concept, and refocused the USAF’s remotely piloted aircraft future plan.
Tom retired from the Air Force as a colonel in 2006 after serving as the Military Assistant to the Director of Net Assessment, the legendary Andy Marshall, and having earned a Ph.D. in International Relations from Johns Hopkins SAIS. He currently lives on the Rappahannock River in Fredericksburg, VA with Karen, his wife of over thirty years.
Board member since 2017.
William Guerry, Jr.Passionate Kayaker
Bill Guerry co-chairs the Environmental Law group at Kelley, Drye, and Warren. Bill is a nationally recognized lawyer in Clean Air Act compliance. For over three decades, Bill has represented corporate clients and national trade associations on major environmental and energy projects involving engines, equipment vehicles and tools.
Bill is an avid whitewater kayaker and a skilled horseman.
Board member since 2020.
Born and raised in Rockville, MD, Tim has lived within the Chesapeake watershed for most of his life. His passion and commitment to the environment come from his dedication to clean water which he has been an advocate for since high school. During that time, he became involved with Waterkeeper Alliance, a global organization PRKN is affiliated with. Throughout the years, Tim spent time with the organization helping increase fundraising and improving outreach with a particular focus towards attracting younger individuals. Today, he is a member on their Leadership Circle which is focused on advancing the mission of Waterkeeper Alliance. He is also on the board of Waterkeepers Chesapeake, a coalition PRKN is a part of, that focuses on strengthening the voices of each Waterkeeper and helping mobilize these organizations to fight pollution and champion clean water.
Tim’s commitment to clean water and ensuring everyone’s right to it is not an easy challenge. Realizing one cannot expect others to clean up the world if they themselves do not take care of their own backyard led to him become more involved with the Anacostia Riverkeepers which then lead him to Potomac Riverkeepers where for both groups he helped orchestrate fundraisers and develop new outreach techniques to further engage with younger individuals.
Tim currently works for WeeGreen, a cloud-based platform used by individuals, organizations and communities to run grassroots sustainability campaigns. He manages the day-to-day operations, campaign development and outreach. Tim currently resides in Rockville, MD with his wife Bree and black lab Enzi. Outside of work and volunteering, you will find them hiking, boating, going to the beach or skiing whenever possible.
Tim comes to PRKN with a clear understanding of the importance of clean water and our waterways. He is excited to help the team tell our story and strengthen relationships with those who are charitably inclined and want to have an impact.
Board Member since 2020.
Dave Hunke is former CEO and Publisher of USA Today with over 40 years of publishing experience is the news and media business. In Dave’s role at USA Today/Gannett he oversaw the transition of USA Today to its full digital model. Dave has served in leadership positions on numerous community boards across the USA and today serves as chief strategy advisor and board member at Digerati, Inc, a technology and software firm headquartered in Detroit. Dave and his wife Jan live in Arlington.
Board Member since 2020.
Nick KuttnerIndependent 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.
Board member since 2013.
Lydia is a healthcare professional and outdoor enthusiast, who has lived and worked in the Potomac watershed her entire life. Her journey toward environmental justice began as a nursing student, working at free clinics, helping not only with medical needs, but also with housing and food. While her work in healthcare enabled her to see the vast disparities for those living in wealthy counties, her hobby as a whitewater paddler allowed her see the intimate every day changes that climate change brings to our environment, such as flooding, water pollution and increased algal blooms. These two seemingly different lenses have enabled Lydia to directly build from this experience to become an environmental justice advocate. She started and currently chairs Fairfax NAACP’s Environmental and Climate Justice Committee as well as co-chairing PRKN’s ad hoc JEDI Committee.
Pat is currently retired and spends her time volunteering for a number of river groups, traveling with her partner, Dorcas, and playing with her children and grandchildren. From 1994 to 2007, Pat served as Watershed Program Manager for River Network, a national nonprofit organization whose mission is to help people understand, protect and restore rivers and watersheds for the past 14 years. In that position, she worked with nonprofit river and watershed groups around the country to help them build sustainable organizations and develop resources. Pat has been involved in nonprofit fundraising for over 30 years.
From 1977 to 1993, Pat worked for another national river organization, American Rivers, as Vice President for Development. At AR, she focused on building that organization’s membership base, major donor program, foundation base, and workplace giving program and worked extensively with the Board. During her tenure at American Rivers, she helped increase the budget from $30,000 to $2,000,000.
Pat has also served on the board of various local nonprofits including the Coalition for the Capitol Crescent Trail, the West Virginia Rivers Coalition, the Cacapon Institute, the Potomac Riverkeeper, the Rock Creek Conservancy and Friends of the North Fork of the Shenandoah.
Pat holds a B.A. in Latin American History from American University. She served for a number of years as Records Manager/Archivist at the Inter-American Development Bank in Washington, D.C. before moving into the nonprofit sector. She is fluent in Spanish and is an avid whitewater canoeist and kayaker.
Board member since 2017.
William E. “Rick” Peterson serves as the Chairman of the Investment Board which oversees all non-real estate assets of Peterson Companies, which also owns National Harbor.
His leadership role at National Harbor and the support of the Peterson Companies and Peterson Family has enabled PRKN to expand in so many ways — mooring the Sea Dog, hosting clean up events and a water quality monitoring site, and providing space for the nursery where we have started our 50 Million Mussels Project.
Rick’s career at Peterson Companies spans 25 years including roles as financial analyst, Residential Asst. Project Manager, eight years as CFO and six years as Sr. V.P. of Asset Management overseeing the companies’ 7,000,000 square foot portfolio of Income Producing Properties.
Rick served on the Board of Cardinal Bank for 12 years, and has been an active board member of many non-profit groups locally and around the world including Gleaning for the World (Chairman), The Methodist Church, The Northern Virginia Conservation Trust, The Town of Clifton, Virginia, and others.
Rick received a BA in Economics from Middlebury College and an MBA in Real Estate Finance.
And, fun fact: Rick has been to over 100 Jimmy Buffet concerts!
Member Since 2021
Stuyvesant PierrepontClient Development Advisor, RMB Capital
Born and raised in Long Island, NY, Stuyve has developed a true passion for the environment over the years through hunting and fishing trips with his father. In high school, his love for the environment expanded during his time spent as curator and head curator of the Trevor Zoo at the Millbrook School. He spent his summers through high school and college on hiking expeditions through parts of Alaska and Wyoming and as a fly-fishing guide in Colorado and Northern Wyoming.
Stuyve currently works for RMB Capital helping nonprofits and families with financial planning and investment management. When not with clients, you can find Stuyve partaking in any number of activities, from fly-fishing for trout in the Shenandoah, day hikes on the Appalachian Trail, sitting in a duck blind on a cold rainy morning, or trying to figure out how to improve his worm composting system on his apartment balcony. In addition to his outdoor hobbies, Stuyve has started a blog, www.enviro-conscious.com, focused on helping working professionals become more environmentally conscious in an urban environment.
Outside of Stuyve’s excitement and passion for protecting our local waterways, he has ingrained himself in helping to improve the health of our coastal fisheries and marine life through the protection of a specific forage fish. In addition to helping PRKN, Stuyve is involved with The Menhaden Conservation Project, helping the team spread awareness and education on the importance of this small but vital forage fish.
Stuyve comes to PRKN with a clear understanding of the importance of clean waterways. He is excited to help the team tell our story and strengthen relationships with those who are charitably inclined and want to have an impact on their local community. Stuyve currently resides in Arlington, VA with his fianceé Dana.
Board member since 2018.
Shelley SladeMember of Vogel, Slade & Goldstein, LLP
Shelley R. Slade is a member of Vogel, Slade & Goldstein, LLP. Ms. Slade’s practice focuses primarily on the representation of qui tam plaintiffs in False Claims Act actions involving pharmaceutical companies and pharmacies. She was recognized as a Best Lawyer in the 2020 Edition of Best Lawyers in America for her work in qui tam law. Since 2007, the Washingtonian Magazine consistently has named her a “top whistleblower attorney” in their ratings of best lawyers. In 2013, she was named “Whistleblower Lawyer of the Year” by Taxpayers Against Fraud for her work on a qui tam, off-label marketing case against Pfizer that resulted in a $491 million recovery for the government.
Ms. Slade has testified in hearings before the U.S. Congress, the New York City Council and the National Association of Attorneys General on the False Claims Act and related issues. She serves on the President’s Council of Taxpayers Against Fraud Education Fund, a national, non-profit organization dedicated to advancing the effectiveness of the False Claims Act’s qui tam provisions.
Prior to entering private practice, Ms. Slade served in 1998 and 1999 as the Senior Counsel for Health Care Fraud for the Civil Division of the Department of Justice. In that position, she coordinated the Civil Division’s health care fraud enforcement efforts with other government agencies and the private sector, handled related policy and legislative matters, and instructed Department of Justice attorneys and investigators on the investigation and prosecution of false claims act matters. Between 1990 and 1997, she investigated and litigated cases under the False Claims Act. Between 1984 and 1990, she practiced law at the D.C. law firm, Arnold & Porter. In 1989, the D.C. Bar named Ms. Slade Pro Bono Lawyer of the Year for her work assisting immigrants obtain amnesty under the Immigration Reform & Control Act of 1986.
Ms. Slade has served on the Boards of Directors of the Washington Tennis & Education Foundation, the Potomac Conservancy, Taxpayers Against Fraud and the Taxpayers Against Fraud Education Fund.
Ms. Slade graduated magna cum laude from Princeton University in 1980, where she majored in Near Eastern Studies. She obtained her law degree from Stanford University in 1984.
Board Member since 2020.
Mac ThorntonSenior Counsel, Dentons US, LLP
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.
Board member since 2003.
Anthony (Tony) Wu joins us as paddler (past U.S. Canoe & Kayak Marathon Team member) and recent power boater on the Potomac, with experience in spacecraft, submarines, and submersibles. He has been a Space Shuttle engineer, helped modify nuclear submarines, led in developing advanced unmanned airborne and space vehicles, and occasionally builds his seaplane. Tony brings his knowledge of unmanned vehicles and sensing technologies to better monitor events such as cyanotoxin HABs and storm runoff into the Potomac. He, and his wife Lisa, the coordinator of PRKN’s water quality monitoring program, thrive in maritime settings, and are outfitting their own USCG-registered research vessel as well as creating marine destinations on the Atlantic coast, and possibly the Chesapeake Bay.