Brock J. Vinton, the president of Commonwealth Group Ltd, has been elected chairman of the board of trustees of The Nature Conservancy of Delaware. He succeeds F. Michael Parkowski, who completed his two-year term and will remain on the board. Vinton has served on the board of the Conservancy since 1998 and previously served as vice chairman. The mission of The Nature Conservancy is to preserve the plants, animals and natural communities that represent the diversity of life on Earth by protecting the lands and waters they need to survive.
“We have special places here that we are working to preserve,” Vinton said. “The Conservancy offers a number of tools, such as easements, to help protect land from development.” Vinton said he would like to grow public awareness of what The Nature Conservancy Delaware Chapter does and how it does it.
Vinton is a Delaware native with family roots that extend back to the 1700s. It is that connection that influenced him to get involved with the Conservancy. He grew up in Dover and Wilmington, and went on to earn his BS in Banking and Finance from the University of South Carolina in 1970. As a Lieutenant in the U.S. Navy, he served in the North Atlantic, Caribbean and Mediterranean as a weapons officer. In 1972, he founded Commonwealth Management Corp, now a fully integrated and diversified real estate investment and development firm known as The Commonwealth Group Ltd. He is a trustee with the Delaware Art Museum and is active in a number of other conservation organizations.
Mariah Calagione, has become the vice chairwoman of the Conservancy’s Delaware Chapter, assuming the position previously held by Vinton. Calagione is an owner and vice president of Dogfish Head Craft Brewery in Milton and Dogfish Head Brewings & Eats in Rehoboth Beach. She also serves on the board of directors of Draper Holdings Business Trust, a family business that includes WBOC-TV16, Fox 21, Delmarva Online, DCI Voice Solutions, Pintail Management and Loblolly Farms. Ms. Calagione is a founder/past president of the Rehoboth Beach Film Society and a founding member of the Slow Food Delmarva Chapter. She earned a B.A. in Public Policy from Brown University.
Preston Schell, president and co-founder of Ocean Atlantic Associates, is assuming the responsibilities of treasurer for the Chapter, which was previously held by John V. Flynn, Jr., Ph.D. Flynn will continue to serve on the Conservancy board.
The Nature Conservancy is a leading conservation organization working around the world to protect ecologically important lands and waters for nature and people. The Conservancy and its more than 1 million members have protected nearly 120 million acres worldwide. Visit The Nature Conservancy on the Web at www.nature.org.