Board of Directors
Marshall Field V
Mr. Field is chairman of the Everglades Foundation Board of Directors. He is the fifth generation of a Chicago family whose activities have included merchandising, real estate, publishing, communications and civic affairs. He is Chairman of the Board of The Field Corporation and President of The Old Mountain Company, Inc. He is a graduate of Harvard College and has served as publisher of the Chicago Sun Times and the Chicago Daily news. Field was a member of the Board of Trustees of the Art Institute from 1965 to 2012 and a member of the Board of Trustees of Rush University Medical Center since 1970. In 2010, Mr. and Mrs. Field converted the Jamee and Marshall Field Foundation, which focuses on environmental and conservation issues, the arts and culture, education and health care to a donor advised endowment fund. He currently serves on various committees of the Chicago Community Trust. Field is a member of the Board of Directors of the Field Foundation of Illinois, World Wildlife Fund, The Nature Conservancy and committees, and the Atlantic Salmon Federation.
Carlos de la Cruz, Jr.
Vice Chairman & Treasurer
Carlos de la Cruz, born in Philadelphia, but raised in Madrid, Spain, has years of experience in M&A, start-ups and operations in the beverage and automobile industries in Florida and Latin America. For almost ten years, he was President of Eagle Brands, Inc., the exclusive Anheuser-Busch wholesaler for Miami-Dade and Monroe counties. He also became president of Miami Honda, Central Hyundai, Sunshine Ford, and Maroone Chevrolet. Mr. De la Cruz is a founding member of the Americas Gateway Chapter for Young Presidents Organization. He is Chairman of the Board of Our Kids of Miami-Dade and Monroe, the community-based care provider for foster children with over 4,500 children in care. He obtained his B. S.in Accounting from Boston College and his M. B. A. from the University of Miami. He is fluent in Spanish and French and has been a resident of Miami since 1975.
Ellin Goetz is a career advocate for environmental causes who combines her experience as a landscape architect with several years of community service. She is a past chairperson of the Conservancy of Southwest Florida and is currently on the board of Naples Community Hospital, Naples Chamber of Commerce and Big Cypress Basin of the South Florida Water Management District. Her commitment to her community has earned numerous awards, including the "Naples Daily News Outstanding Citizen Award," in 2004 and the Conservancy of Southwest Florida 2010 "Eagle Award." Goetz is president of her own firm GOETZ+STROPES LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTS, INC., located in Naples, Florida. She graduated from Vassar College in New York with a bachelor's degree in art history and fine arts and attended the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, where she attained her master's degree in landscape architecture.
Christopher H. Buckley, Jr.
Christopher H. Buckley, Jr. graduated from the Harvard Law School. He was a partner at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, one of the largest law firms in the United States with multiple domestic and overseas offices, and was a member of the firm's Washington, D.C. office. Buckley founded and chaired the firm's Environment & Natural Resources Practice Group, of whom more than 50 attorneys are members and whose clients have included many Fortune 500 companies. He has been named one of the best environmental lawyers by Chambers USA – America's Leading Lawyers for Business; The Best Lawyers in America; Guide to the World's Leading Environmental Lawyers; Who's Who Legal: USA – Environment; Environment Expert Guide; Washingtonian's Best Environmental Lawyers List; and Washington, D.C. Super Lawyers. He devotes considerable time to pro bono activities. Buckley represented the Atlantic Salmon Federation in its successful petition to have the Atlantic Salmon listed as an endangered species in the few remaining Maine rivers in which it spawns. He is Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Atlantic Salmon Federation and has been a member of the Executive Committee of the Board of Directors of the Environmental Law Institute. He has served as President of the Barker Foundation, a non-profit adoption agency in Washington, D.C. A fly-fisherman for almost his entire life, he has fished for Atlantic salmon in North America and Europe for more than 30 years. He also fishes for steelhead trout in British Columbia and tarpon, permit and bonefish in Florida. He owns homes on Islamorada in the Florida Keys and in McLean, Virginia.
Mary L. Barley
Mary Barley currently serves on the board of the Everglades Foundation, having served as Vice Chairperson from 2003-2012, and Chairperson from 1995 to 2002, and is Chair of The Everglades Trust (1995-present). Mary also serves on the boards of National Parks Conservation Association (2011-present), World Wildlife Fund Marine Leadership Committee (1996-present) and the WWF National Council (2007-present), Atlantic Salmon Federation (U.S.) (2004-present), Clean Water Action (2014-present) and Wild Oceans (1998-present). She has received many awards and accolades for her work, including being designated an honorary Miccosukee, an Honorary Conch by the Mayor of Monroe County in 1999, profiled in numerous magazines and newspapers, including Time’s Hero of the Planet, and on March 25, 2013, during Women's History Month, was recognized by Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart (R) in the U.S. Congressional Record. Mary resides in Islamorada, Florida.
Diana Barrett, Ph.D.
Diana Barrett, President, founded The Fledgling Fund in 2005 after a long career at Harvard University, where she taught in both the Harvard Business School and the School of Public Health. At Harvard Business School, she was a member of the Social Enterprise core group teaching Business Leadership in the Social Sector as well as various executive programs. Her areas of interest included the use of public private partnerships for global poverty reduction and specifically, in addressing the social and personal burden of disease such as HIV/AIDS. She received both her Masters in Business Administration and her Doctorate in Business Administration from the Harvard Business School. Fledgling provides an opportunity to further those interests by focusing on innovative approaches to complex social issues including the use of media to ignite social change. In addition to leading Fledgling, Diana serves on the Boards of the Social Change Film Forum at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, the Advisory Board of the Acumen Fund, and Advisory Board of Earthwatch.
Singer/songwriter/author Jimmy Buffett uses his travels and storytelling skills to explain the world at large to his fans. He has recorded more than 40 records, most of which have gone gold, platinum or multi-platinum. He is the author of four books. He is one of only six authors in the history of the New York Times Bestseller List to have reached #1 on both their fiction and non-fiction lists. He is a producer, along with Frank Marshall, of the 2006 film Hoot, based on Florida author Carl Hiaasen's Newbery award-winning novel. Mr. Buffett received Grammy nominations in 2004 and 2005. Throughout all of his creative works, Mr. Buffett celebrates and advocates for Florida's natural resources and colorful natural heritage.
Barbara Whitney Carr
Barbara Whitney Carr, who serves as Chairperson of the Governance Committee and Co-Chair of the Everglades Foundation’s Advisory Committee, has extensive leadership experience with non-profit organizations. She spent nearly 20 years at the Lincoln Park Zoological Society, serving as its executive director and president. She was president of the Chicago Botanic Garden for more than a decade. Mrs. Carr helped create the Academic Affairs Program at the Botanic Garden and teamed with Northwestern University, the Illinois Institute of Technology and the University of Illinois to develop several outstanding academic programs. The American Public Garden Association presented her with the 2007 Award of Merit, the organization's highest honor. Mrs. Carr earned a degree from Denison University in Ohio, an M.A. from the Illinois Institute of Technology in Landscape Architecture and an M.S. from Northwestern University in Plant Biology and Conservation. She serves on numerous boards including Lake Forest College, the Chicago Botanic Garden and the Garden Conservancy. Mrs. Carr is a resident of Lake Forest, Illinois and Hobe Sound, Florida.
Thomas N. Davidson, Sr.
Entrepreneur, industrialist (semi-retired) founded several companies including significant plastic packaging company operating in the U.S., Canada, and Europe. Subsequently he and two principal partners acquired 15 corporations mostly subsidiaries of major oil companies including Anaconda Copper & Brass. Although most were subsequently re-sold Mr. Davidson and his family still retain ownership of NuTech Precision Metals (a producer of nuclear reactor components.) Mr. Davidson was a director at over 20 public and private corporations including serving as chairman of several. He was chairman of the Young Presidents Organization and the World Presidents Organization, Founding Chairman of the member owned Ocean Reef Club, Ocean Reef Cultural Center, Ocean Reef Rod & Gun Club, and the Bonefish & Tarpon Trust. He has severed on Florida Keys Marine Sanctuary Advisory Board and served as V.P. and Director of Sanctuary Friends of the Florida Keys. He was recognized as Entrepreneur of the Year by the Financial Post of Canada and Plastics Industry Man of the Year by the Plastics Industry.
Joseph Zachary Duke III
Joseph Duke, president of Jacksonville-based Off Road Holdings, is an industrial designer and entrepreneur whose business life has involved various manufacturing activities as well as a partnership in an advertising agency. He is a third-generation Floridian and resides with his wife, Jennifer, in Ponte Vedra Beach and Hobe Sound, Florida, as well as Oldwick, New Jersey. Duke and his wife, who maintain a family farm in New Jersey as well as Florida timberland, have been deeply involved in environmental issues for many years. Duke served as a trustee at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution for many years, which allowed him to pursue his fascination with ocean science and engineering. In 1990, he sponsored the Jason Project for Duval County Public Schools to get children interested in science. In 1997, he helped his friend, Dr. Robert Ballard found the Institute for Exploration. Through a family charitable foundation, The River Branch Foundation, Duke and his wife support various scientific and conservation non-profit organizations, including The Nature Conservancy, Audubon of Florida (where his wife is a Florida board member), Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institution. He currently serves as Chairman of the board of directors of Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institution Foundation in Fort Pierce, Florida. An avid outdoorsman, angler and aviator, his spirit of adventure has taken him from deep-water archaeology in the Mediterranean to desert racing in Baja, California. He loves flying small aerobatic airplanes as well as his 1950s vintage Grumman seaplane. Duke is currently engaged in a long-term ecosystem restoration project of an 830-acre commercial pine plantation near Palatka, Florida, returning the property to its natural condition.
Dr. Maurice Ferré
“I am extremely pleased to join the Everglades Foundation board which has become an important voice in Tallahassee and Washington advocating for America’s Everglades,” said Dr. Ferré. “As someone steeped in science, I am particularly impressed by the fact that the Foundation is a science-based organization that relies on independent research to achieve its goals.” In 2004, Dr. Ferré became the founding President and Chief Executive Officer of MAKO, which developed innovative techniques for robotic orthopedic surgery. In 2011 Deloitte recognized MAKO as the fastest growing technology company in North America. In December 2013, the South Florida based robotic surgery manufacturer was sold to Stryker Corp. of Michigan, a Fortune 500 company, for $1.65 billion. Prior to MAKO, Dr. Ferré founded Visualization Technology, Inc. in 1993, a medical device company for image-guided surgery, where he served as Chief Executive Officer until April 2002 when Visualization Technology was acquired by GE Healthcare. In 2007, Dr. Ferré received the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year award for emerging companies in Florida . Dr. Ferré received his Medical Degree and a Master’s Degree in Public Health from Boston University. His grandfather, Jose A. Ferré, was an industrialist who built one of the largest cement/concrete companies in the United States. His great-uncle, Luis A. Ferré, was Governor of Puerto Rico. Dr. Ferre’s father, Maurice A. Ferré, served as Mayor of Miami for 12 years.
Rex Hamilton is an interesting blend of Miami native, inquisitive mind, and world-view. Although he was born into a tourist town, by the time he was 15 he had traveled to South America, the Mid and South Pacific, and extensively across the USA. He took the academic path seriously by earning a Bachelor of Science at Georgia Institute of Technology and a Masters of Science degree at the University of Georgia. After a marketing position, which required a detailed knowledge and travel through Asia, he returned to Atlanta to work for an engineering and environmental services leader, Law Companies, to ultimately head all of its marketing operations. One of its international clients convinced Mr. Hamilton to obtain the licenses and educational experiences necessary to run a real estate services firm and as it seemed a logical next step, he returned to his native Miami and worked for the largest owner of office buildings in the South in its commercial brokerage group. After the licensing requirements were met, The Rex Hamilton Corporation roared into being riding the wave of Japanese investment in the USA and Europe. As the financial market conditions changed, he focused on residential brokerage while maintaining the consulting relationships with many commercial clients as well. After running a large department, he was able to see the wisdom of controlling the scale of the firm and has continued a boutique operation today. Rex Hamilton has served as a consultant to large, international corporations in expansion of portfolios into Southeast Asia and the USA. He has served high net worth clients by providing them access to the tightly controlled world of European family-held companies for merger and acquisitions. He remains true to scientific background in serving on the board of conservation and ecologically-minded research organizations while providing expertise to these organizations in real estate consultation and services.
Paul Tudor Jones II
Paul Tudor Jones II is founder, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Tudor Group of companies. He is a graduate of the University of Virginia. In 1983, Jones formed Tudor Investment Corporation as the Tudor Group’s primary asset management affiliate. He commits a substantial amount of his personal time to philanthropic and natural resource conservation efforts. Jones is founder and a director of the Robin Hood Foundation, an organization dedicated to the singular mission of ending poverty in New York City. Jones is a resident of Greenwich, Connecticut and has a home in Islamorada, Florida.
John P. Keller
John P. Keller, a resident of both Hobe Sound, Florida and Chicago, Illinois, is chairman of the Keller Group, Inc., a privately held corporation based in Northfield, Illinois. The Keller Group, Inc., is an iron and steel manufacturing entity. Its subsidiary companies include Meadville Forging Company, L.P. Meadville, Pa.; Virginia Forge Company, Buchanan, Va.; and Carolina Forge Company, LLC, Wilson, N.C. Mr. Keller has a diverse corporate background and has worked in a number of industries ranging from automotive to publishing. He received his bachelor’s degree from Yale University and his M.B.A. from the Harvard School of Business. Mr. Keller has supported many civic and social causes including the Rush Medical Center, the Museum of Science and Industry, The Economic Club of Chicago and the Chicago Shakespeare Theatre. Mr. Keller and his wife Judy have three children, Lizabeth, a real estate executive; Susan, a graduate of Colgate University; and son, Jack, president of the Keller Group.
James A. Kushlan, Ph.D.
James A. Kushlan is a scientist by background, specializing in wetlands and waterbird biology and conservation. He has published over 200 scientific papers and ten books on these topics. He earned his PhD from the University of Miami and has held the posts of senior scientist with the National Park Service at Everglades National Park, professor of biology at Texas A&M – Commerce and The University of Mississippi, director of the USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center, and research associate at the Smithsonian Institution. He is the founder and chair of the North American Waterbird Conservation Initiative (Waterbird Conservation for the Americas), former member of the North American Bird Conservation Initiative U.S .Committee, former Chair of Bird Conservation Alliance, past president of the American Ornithological Union and the Waterbird Society, past editor of the journal Waterbirds. He is the founding chair of the IUCN Heron Specialist Group (HeronConservation). In addition to the Everglades Foundation board, he serves on the boards of American Ornithologists’ Union, Zoo Miami, HistoryMiami, Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, the Visiting Committee of the College of Arts and Sciences University of Miami, and Waterbird Conservation for the Americas. He and his wife, Kirsten Hines, reside in Key Biscayne, Florida.
Kevin Law is an Emmy and Grammy award nominated Creative Executive, renowned for making things happen. Formerly a multi-platinum award winning music industry executive and producer, he has evolved into a new media entrepreneur, digital video expert and sought-after entertainment investment advisor. Law is the CEO of Uncommon Content Partners, a progressive content creation, development and production company. He was instrumental in advising YouTube’s CEO in the creation and formation of the YouTube Originals content initiative. In July 2012, UCP officially launched the first of its channels, The Reserve Channel – a premiere destination for the culturally curious, featuring seven unique and compelling programs written by Law and hosted by a variety of celebrities. The channel has millions of viewers and has received critical acclaim. Law also currently advises rapidly-evolving media companies via Board of Director appointments as Vice Chairman for Howcast and Endgame Entertainment. Additionally, he is an advisor to the CEO of Spongecell, Inc Magazine’s 27th fastest growing private company in the US. Since 2010, Law has also been CEO of Uncommon Advisors, a boutique strategic advisory and private investment management firm.
David Lawrence, Jr.
David Lawrence, Jr., is the former publisher of The Miami Herald. Lawrence, a longtime resident of South Florida has an extensive background in civic and social engagement. In addition to his position on the Everglades Foundation board, he currently serves as president of The Early Childhood Initiative Foundation and “University Scholar for Early Childhood Development and Readiness,” at the University of Florida. Gov. Charlie Crist named him to the Children’s Cabinet in 2007. In 2002, he led the campaign for The Children’s Trust, a dedicated source of early intervention care funding for children in Miami-Dade County. Lawrence is also a board member of the Foundation for Child Development in New York and the Executive Advisory Board for the Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute of the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. In addition, he is a board member and former chair of the Early Learning Coalition of Miami-Dade and Monroe. He and his wife Roberta, a master’s graduate in social work from Barry University in Miami, live in Coral Gables and have three daughters, two sons and four grandchildren. His many honors include: “Humanitarian of the Year,” from both the American Red Cross and the Beacon Council “Family of the Year,” from Family Counseling Services, “Father of the Year,” by the South Florida Father’s Day Council and the Lawton and Rhea Chiles Advocacy Award.
Garrison duP. Lickle
Gary Lickle is President and CEO of Chilton Trust Company, LLC. Prior to joining Chilton, Mr. Lickle was Regional President of Lehman Brothers Trust Company and Managing Director of Lehman Brothers and Neuberger Berman. After the Barclays acquisition of Lehman Brothers, Mr. Lickle was a Managing Director of Barclays Wealth. He served as Chairman and CEO of U.S. Trust Company of Florida before joining Lehman. He was a partner with the law firm of Gunster, Yoakley & Stewart P.A. (now known as Gunster), and started his career as a Managing Partner of Winthrop, Stimson, Putnam, & Roberts (now known as Pillsbury Winthrop). Mr. Lickle is a Director, member of the Executive Committee of The Kravis Center for the Performing Arts, and serves as Treasurer and Chairman of the Finance Committee. He is a Director of the Palm Beach Civic Association and former Secretary/Treasurer of the Executive Committee. Mr. Lickle is a member of the Cleveland Clinic Leadership Council in Cleveland (OH) and Weston (FL), and a founding member of the Massachusetts General Hospital Leadership Council on Psychiatry. He is a past Chairman of the Town of Palm Beach Shore Protection Board and a past member of the Board of Governors of the Rehabilitation Center for Children and Adults in Palm Beach. Mr. Lickle graduated from the Choate School and received his BA and MBA from Rollins College, his JD from the University of Richmond and is a member of the Florida Bar.
Jon L. Mills
Jon Mills is Dean Emeritus and Professor of the University of Florida College of Law and former Speaker of the Florida House of Representatives. He is counsel to the law firm Boies, Schiller and Flexner. In public service, Jon served ten years in the Florida House of Representatives and was Chair of the Natural Resources Committee. He was a prime sponsor of The Wetlands Protection Act, Water Quality Assurance Act, and the Growth Management Act. He received environmental awards from Audubon, the Sierra Club, and the Nature Conservancy. He also served on Florida’s 1998 Constitution Revision Commission and was selected its most valuable member. As a professor and author he has written several books and multiple articles on public policy issues including “Privacy the Lost Right” (Oxford Univ. Press). He has been quoted in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post and has been interviewed on public policy issues by CBS, NBC, PBS, ABC and the BBC. As an attorney he has appeared in federal and state courts including high profile cases protecting the privacy of Dale Earnhardt’s family and Dawn Brancheau’s family after her death at Sea World. He won a Suncoast Regional Emmy Award for the best public affairs production in the Southeastern United States for the show "Whose Water Is It Anyway?" – which was part of the PBS Common Ground series about Florida’s Everglades in 1998. He is married to Beth Mills and has two daughters.
Jack Nicklaus’ golfing career has spanned five decades, with 105 professional tournament victories worldwide and a record 18 major-championship titles. He has been named “Golfer of the Century” or “Golfer of the Millennium” by almost every major golf publication in the world. He was named Individual Male Athlete of the Century by Sports Illustrated, and one of the 10 Greatest Athletes of the Century by ESPN. In 2001, Jack was honored with the first-ever ESPY Lifetime Achievement Award and received the Vince Lombardi Award of Excellence. Jack has been involved in the design of more than 250 courses open for play worldwide. He was named GolfWorld’s Architect of the Year in 1993. In 1999, Golf Digest named him the world’s leading active designer. Nicklaus is also chairman of the privately held Nicklaus Companies. Jack and his wife Barbara have a long history of involvement in numerous charitable activities, from junior golf to children’s hospitals to several scholarship foundations. Barbara and Jack Nicklaus are the guiding light for the Nicklaus Children’s Health Care Foundation, which supports numerous pediatric health-care services, including the Nicklaus Children’s Hospital at St. Mary’s, in West Palm Beach, Florida.
Robert L. Parks
Robert Parks is partner in the Miami, Florida law firm of Robert L. Parks, P.L. Mr. Parks is one of the nation's premier trial lawyers specializing in personal injury and commercial litigation, focusing in the areas of wrongful death, products liability, aviation law and class-action litigation. Mr. Parks is involved with numerous civic organizations and has served as Chairman of the Miami River Commission and as Chairman of the Environmental Regulation Commission for the State of Florida. He served as Chairman of the Miami River Coordinating Committee and as a member of the Board of Directors of the Nature Conservancy and 1000 Friends of Florida. Mr. Parks was presented with the 1000 Friends of Florida award for Outstanding Leadership on Legal Advocacy 1987–2000, and received The Marine Council’s Person of the Year award and an environmental service award from Florida Defenders of the Environment in 1984. Mr. Parks was named Environmentalist of the Year in 1986-1987 by the Florida Audubon Society.
Nicholas G. Penniman IV
Nicholas G. Penniman IV is a resident of Naples, Florida and Baltimore, Maryland, and former publisher of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Penniman has been deeply involved in environmental advocacy work; he served as chair of American Rivers in Washington, D.C., and chair of the Conservancy of Southwest Florida in Naples. He is past chairman of the Washington University Interdisciplinary Environmental Law Clinic, past chairman of Forest Park Forever, served a four-year term as a member of the Collier County Environmental Advisory Council, is currently on the county Coastal Advisory Committee, and is a registered Florida Master Naturalist. Penniman is a graduate of Princeton University, and did graduate work at the Wharton Graduate School of the University of Pennsylvania and at Washington University in St. Louis where he received an M.A. in American Culture Studies in 1999.
Nathaniel P. Reed
Nathaniel Reed received a B.A. from Trinity College in Connecticut and served as an officer in the U.S. Air Force military intelligence throughout Europe, North Africa and the Middle East. Upon returning to Florida, he became Vice President and then President of the Hobe Sound Company, a real estate and holding company, which owned the Jupiter Island Club. Mr. Reed has served seven governors. He is best known as the Chairman of the Commission on Florida's Environmental Future. He also served as Assistant Secretary of the Interior for Fish and Wildlife and Parks in the Nixon and Ford administrations. He is a member of the Board of Hope Rural School, a school for the children of migrant workers. Mr. Reed is a former board member and Vice Chairman of the National Audubon Society and the Nature Conservancy, board member of the National Parks & Conservation Association, American Rivers and serves as emeritus on the boards of the Natural Resources Defense Council and 1000 Friends of Florida, which he helped form. Reed has served on the board of the National Geographic Society since 1988.
William Riley is a corporate executive, writer and conservationist. He received his AB from University of Notre Dame and an LLB from Yale University. Along with his wife, Laura Riley, he authored Guide to the National Wildlife Refuges (1979), which was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize. He and Laura also wrote Nature’s Strongholds, published in 2005. This book won a Lowell Thomas Award from the Society of American Travel Writers, and an award from the Outdoor Writers' Foundation. He received the Lifetime Conservation award from the National Audubon Society in 2000, and the Conservationist of the Year award from the Everglades Coalition in 2001. He has served on the boards of the National Wildlife Refuge Association, Hawk Mountain Sanctuary Association and the National Audubon Society.
Michael W. Sole
Michael Sole is Vice President for State Governmental Affairs with Florida Power & Light Company, and is responsible for ensuring constructive government relations with state and federal elected officials and appointees on behalf of the largest electric utility in Florida. FPL serves 4.5 million customer accounts and is a leading employer in the state with more than 10,500 employees. Prior to his joining FPL, Mr. Sole served as Secretary of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, overseeing Florida's environmental regulatory and law enforcement programs, the acquisition, conservation and management of public lands, including Florida's award-winning state parks, and the development and regulation of Florida's water resources through the state's five water management districts. Mr. Sole served with the Department since 1991 in numerous capacities including, Deputy Secretary for Regulatory Programs and Energy, where he spearheaded the 2006 Florida Energy Act -- the four-year, $100 million plan to diversify the state's fuel supply and promote energy conservation and efficiency. During his nineteen years as an environmental manager, he has taken on responsibilities ranging from marine turtle protection, beach preservation, wetland protection, petroleum cleanup and waste management. Mr. Sole was a Captain in the United States Marine Corps, serving our nation during the Gulf War. He received his B.S. degree in Marine Biology from the Florida Institute of Technology.
Stuart D. Strahl, Ph.D.
Dr. Stuart D. Strahl is currently President and CEO of the Chicago Zoological Society and Director of the Brookfield Zoo. Prior to arriving in Chicago, he served as founding President and CEO of Audubon of Florida and VP and Everglades Conservation Director of the National Audubon Society. Dr. Strahl worked for the Wildlife Conservation Society as a field zoologist in Venezuela and as the founding Director of Latin American Programs. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Biology from Bates College, and his Ph.D. in Biology from the State University of New York at Albany. He is the principal author of numerous scientific and popular publications. An active outdoorsman, he is Life Member of the Society for Conservation Biology, Elective Member of the American Ornithologists’ Union and Regular Member of the Boone and Crockett Club
John Hilton is retired president and CEO of the Bessemer Group, a New York-based wealth management firm. Prior to joining the Bessemer Group, Hilton was managing director for the Deerpath Group, Inc. of Lake Forest, Ill., and executive director for Merrill Lynch & Company’s Private Capital Group in Chicago. He serves as trustee and alumni admissions volunteer for the University of Vermont. Additionally, Hilton serves on the board of the Mebane Charitable Foundation and the Washington Center. Hilton earned a Bachelor of Science in economics and business administration from the University of Vermont in 1968. Married to Julia (Jody) Hanson Hilton, he resides in Coral Gables, Fla.
Mrs. Mendelson has a diverse background in product development and strategic sales development and served as the Vice President of Federal Discount Centers for over a decade. In addition, she has had a long focus on the education system ranging from time as a science and business teacher to curriculum development and fundraising over $180,000 for the redesign and relocation of a school library. Mrs. Mendelson currently serves as Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Lehrman Community Day School and has a long standing philanthropic affiliations including being a founder and society member of Mt. Sinai Medical Center, serving on the Board of Directors of the Greater Miami Jewish Federation and is a member of the Toqueville Society of the United Way. Mrs. Mendelson resides in Miami Beach, Florida with her family.