Seven people pose in front of the U.S. Capitol building.
Florida Board of Trustees Advocacy Day in Washington, DC © Garrett Wallace

Stories in Florida

Florida Board of Trustees

These committed leaders provide oversight and balance to our work in Florida.

Meet the Florida Board of Trustees

Our Florida Board of Trustees demonstrates outstanding personal commitment of service to The Nature Conservancy in Florida, providing oversight and balance to our work in the sunshine state. Our dedicated trustees fulfill several distinct and significant roles and responsibilities including guidance, strategic thinking and problem-solving for all aspects of our conservation efforts. They help to establish effective relationships with leaders in the spheres of philanthropy, public policy, science, education and other sectors to promote our mission and goals; and they represent TNC and our work in their communities, personal and professional networks and in the public eye.

Florida Board of Trustees Pat Balthrop
Pat Balthrop Florida Trustee © TNC

Pat Balthrop

Apalachicola, trustee since 2015

Patrick J. Balthrop, Sr. is the founding principal of Apalachee Ventures, LLC. He has over 30 years of experience building, growing and turning around businesses and commercial enterprises around the world, most recently as CEO of a publicly-traded company. Pat is a demonstrated thought leader in the healthcare and medical device industry. He is currently on the board of directors of several companies, including Agendia Inc., ChromaCode, Discovery Life Sciences and Pattern Bioscience. Pat was CEO, President and a member of the board of directors of Luminex Corporation (NASDAQ: LMNX), prior to which he served as President of Fisher Healthcare, and enjoyed a 20-year career at Abbott in clinical diagnostics and medical devices. Pat holds an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. His undergraduate studies were at Princeton University and Spring Hill College. He earned a BS in Biology from Spring Hill.

Florida Board of Trustees Tom Costello
Tom Costello Florida Trustee © TNC

Thomas (Tom) Costello

Sarasota, trustee since 2016

Tom Costello is co-owner of Costello Companies, which work to make long-range investment decisions, long-term commitments and long-term relationships to create affordable housing solutions for future generations. He is a fourth-generation leader from a family committed to making a difference in the affordable housing industry. The Costello family history with real estate began in the 1930’s when Tom’s great- grandfather ventured from his furniture store business into real estate development. As of today, the Costellos have developed and manage more than 4,000 units in six states. Since joining the family company in 1989, Tom has developed over 80 affordable housing communities, many of which have been with nonprofit partners. In 1998. In 2000, Tom was one of only 100 in the nation to receive the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD’s) “Best of the Best” award for best practices in the development of affordable housing.

Florida Board of Trustees Mark Crofton
Mark Crofton Florida Trustee © TNC

Mark Crofton

Miami, trustee since 2014

Mark is Vice President, SAP. Prior to joining the software company in 2007, he was an associate at McKinsey & Company. His relationship with TNC began when he was living in New York City and helped establish the New York Young Professionals Group (YPO). He has been actively involved with fundraising and donor engagement efforts for TNC in Miami, participating in Young Professionals events and on the Miami Committee for “Design For A Living World.” He is a board member of the Columbia Business School Alumni Club of South Florida. He was raised in Titusville and still has family living in Central Florida. Mark is a Trustee Legacy Club Ambassador.

Florida Board of Trustees Carlos Curbelo
Carlos Curbelo Florida Trustee © TNC

Carlos Curbelo

Miami, trustee since 2019

Carlos was born in Miami, Florida, to political refugees who fled tyranny and oppression in Cuba. He earned his bachelor’s and masters degrees at the University of Miami. Carlos founded a media and public relations firm, served as State Director for U.S. Senator George LeMieux, and was elected to the Miami-Dade County School Board. In 2014 Carlos was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives. While in Congress Curbelo led on climate policy, immigration reform, and gun safety. He co-founded the bipartisan Climate Solutions Caucus. In 2017 he was honored by the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation with the New Frontier Award for promoting bipartisan cooperation on environmental policy. In 2018 he filed the landmark Market Choice Act, ambitious legislation that would invest nearly a trillion dollars in American infrastructure while reducing greenhouse gas emissions by pricing carbon. He was ranked the fourth most bipartisan Member of the House until returning to the private sector in 2019.

Florida Board of Trustees Chris Dillavou
Chris Dillavou Florida Trustee © TNC

Chris Dillavou

Tequesta, trustee since 2020

As Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer at Greg Norman Company, Chris oversees the company’s consumer businesses, joint ventures, real estate, licensing and private equity investments in the U.S., Australia, Asia, Middle East, Latin America, and the Caribbean. Chris is also a co-owner of Florida Living Realty, a boutique residential real estate company specializing in Palm Beach County and Martin County. A native Californian, Chris lived overseas and spent time in 33 other countries, which has informed his perspective as a global citizen. A seeker of adventure, Chris’ heart sings in the outdoors and in wild places as a lifelong mountaineer, fisherman, diver, and distance runner. Chris holds a bachelor's degree from Boston College and an M.B.A. from the University of Southern California. He lives in Tequesta, Florida with his wife and three children, and is committed to land stewardship and the conservation of wild places that will enable these same experiences for future generations.

Florida Board of Trustees Ron Edwards
Ron Edwards Florida Trustee © TNC

Ron Edwards

Vero Beach, trustee since 2016

Ron has spent over 40 years in the Florida agri-business sector. A native of Jacksonville, Florida, Ron was a CPA with Ernst & Ernst, auditing agri-business companies. In 1975 he joined Tropicana as Chief Accountant and rose to Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer. In 1986 he joined ConAgra, Inc. as President of their Juice Division. In 1987 Edwards joined Evans Properties, Inc., a closely held family-owned agri-business and real estate company based in Vero Beach with cattle and citrus operations in eight Florida counties, as President and CEO. He has served on the steering committee for Florida Wildlife Conservation Commission’s Cooperative Conservation Blueprint Taskforce. Edwards is a member of the Florida Land Council, and also serves on the Board of Florida Family Growers Association. Ron also serves on the Boards of Viewpost, LLC, Terviva Bioenergy, Inc., Parabel, LLC, and is Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of AquaFiber Technologies Corporation.

Florida Board of Trustees Lynetta Usher Griner
Lynetta Usher Griner Florida Trustee © TNC

Lynetta Usher Griner

Chiefland, trustee since 2014

A native Floridian, Lynetta is Secretary/Treasurer of Usher Land & Timber, Inc., a family-owned logging, farming and cattle company in Chiefland, Levy County, Florida. She served on the Suwannee River Water Management District Governing Board for 14 years (10 years as Chairman of the Board) and the Florida Forever Advisory Council. Lynetta is past President of Florida Forestry Association (the first female President in its 91 year history) and is the agricultural citizen appointee to the Acquisition ad Restoration Council (ARC). She currently serves on the Board of Directors of Drummond Community Bank. In 2013, she was named Woman of the Year in Agriculture for the state of Florida. Lynetta was honored as the Swisher Sweet/Sunbelt Ag Expo Farmer of the Year for 2018. She is a graduate of the University of Florida College of Law. Lynetta and Ken have one son, Korey, and they live in Fanning Springs on the banks of the beautiful Suwannee River.

Florida Board of Trustees Ted Haddock
Ted Haddock Florida Trustee © TNC

Ted Haddock

Orlando, trustee since 2015

Ted Haddock serves as Executive Director for The Edward E. Haddock Jr. Family Foundation, which invests in restoring relationships between people and planet. Haddock established Common Pictures, to engage pressing social issues through humanizing stories. Ted also established Trust Foundation to address natural preservation and endangered species; The Foundation Hub, a collaborative work-space for non-profits; Kaley Square, an asset-based community development organization in a distressed community; Friends of Tinker Field Foundation promoting Orlando’s civil rights history; and co-manages Orlando Together, a multi-ethnic effort to undermine legacies of racial segregation. Haddock serves on the boards of Institute for Sport and Social Justice, The Human Trafficking Institute based in Washington, DC and is President of the Board of Trustees for Orlando Land Trust. Ted spent ten years as Director of Photography for International Justice Mission where he provided a global voice for survivors of human rights abuses and helped to brand the organization in its formative years. Haddock received his MFA in Photography from Indiana University and his bachelor's degree from Furman University.

Florida Board of Trustees Christie Heavener
Christie Heavener Florida Trustee © TNC

Christie Heavener

Winter Park, trustee since 2020

A native Floridian, Christie grew up in Jacksonville and Palatka. Her family owned a farm in Palatka and a ranch in Montana, so she grew up enjoying Florida’s outdoor natural treasures and became passionate about protecting her home state. She met her husband, Bill Heavener, while they were both attending the University of Florida. Bill is the CEO of The Heavener Company, holding and managing interests in education, media production, internet services, real estate franchising, publishing, banks and information technology. Bill is also CEO and Co-Chairman of Full Sail University (partner of Garry Jones), Director for Florida Capital Bank, and Chairman of the University of Florida board of trustees. Christie is a trustee for the Thomas T Phillips Jr Foundation. She raised her two sons to care about conservation, bringing her family along on multiple TNC events and field trips over the years. She now has young grandchildren and has decided to devote her time and energy into helping ensure that we protect the planet and nature for generations to come.

Florida Board of Trustees Cheryl Holder
Cheryl Holder Florida Trustee © TNC

Cheryl Holder

Miami, trustee since 2021

Dr. Cheryl L. Holder is a National Health Service Corp Scholar, Internist, HIV Specialist, once Medical Director of one of Miami’s largest community health centers and a participant in NIH and CDC health advisory and programmatic review panels. She has dedicated her career to improving the health of underserved populations. Since 2009, Dr. Holder teaches about the social determinants of health, diversity, HIV prevention and the health impact of climate change at Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine at Florida International University. She also serves as Associate Dean of Diversity, Equity, Inclusivity and Community Initiatives. Her leadership roles extend to several medical and climate change-focused organizations. She is president of Florida State Medical Association, Founder and Co-Chair of Florida Clinicians for Climate Action and Co-Chair of Miami Dade Heat Health Task Force. Most recently, her TED Talk “The link between climate change, health and poverty” garnered over 250,000 views.

Florida Board of Trustees Garry Jones
Garry Jones Florida Trustee © TNC

Garry Jones

Winter Park, trustee since 2011

As President of Full Sail University, Garry Jones is one of the prime catalysts of the university’s forward motion, as he continually works to ensure that the school’s progress maintains the original mission and culture—or “heartbeat”—of the institution. Garry served as a consultant during the creation of Full Sail, and in 1980 joined the faculty as an educator. From 1980 to 1999, he served in a variety of leadership roles across the institution, and was promoted to the role of President in 1999. During his tenure as President, Full Sail University has received a wide range of accolades and awards for its educational approach and the quality of its curriculum. Garry has also received awards for his leadership such as being named ITFlorida’s “IT Leader of the Year” in 2009, recognition on Florida Trend Magazine’s “Florida 500 List” identifying the 500 most influential Floridians across the state, and being named one of the “2018 Men of the Year” by Orlando Family Magazine.

Florida Trustee Rena Langley
Rena Langley Florida Trustee © TNC

Rena Langley

Orlando, trustee since 2021

Rena Langley is the Walt Disney World Senior Vice President, Communications and Public Affairs. She oversees public relations, government relations, external communications, internal communications, executive communications, and corporate citizenship for the Walt Disney World Resort.  Rena has a deep breadth of experience in communications with more than two decades at Disney.  She previously led Public Affairs for Disney Cruise Line, Disney Vacation Club and Adventures by Disney.  In the community, Rena serves on several boards including the Florida Chamber of Commerce, Orlando Economic Partnership, and the Central Florida Commission on Homelessness.  In addition, she is part of the Advisory Council for the University of Florida’s Public Relations department. Rena is a former news reporter and spokeswoman for the American Automobile Association and her alma mater is the University of Florida.

Florida Trustee John Levinson
John Levinson Florida Trustee © TNC

John Levinson

Miami, trustee since 2022

John Levinson’s career has been focused on identifying, analyzing and investing in leading applied-technology companies. He was a top-ranked technology analyst at Goldman Sachs for 13 years, founder of a pioneering tech fund (TechVantage Partners) at Westway Capital, and now a professional seed stage VC investor and advisor/board member to young companies. John has sourced and invested in over 60 early stage applied-technology companies in healthcare, financial technology, agricultural technology, artificial intelligence and other sectors. Additionally, John has served on TNC’s Connecticut board of trustees for 10 years, from 2008-2018. During his TNC tenure he assumed many global and local leadership positions, including board chair and vice chair, campaign co-chair, Brazil Task Force co-chair and an early advisor to TechStars.

Florida Board of Trustees Amy Mangan
Amy Mangan Florida Trustee © TNC

Amy Mangan

Ocala, trustee since 2016

Amy Mangan is the External Affairs Director for Duke Energy’s operations in Florida. She is responsible for developing relationships with state environmental groups, electric cooperatives, municipal utility leaders and other stakeholders interested in sustainability and energy issues in Florida. For over 25 years, Mangan has worked in Florida's North Coastal communities in community relations, journalism and higher education. She has held numerous volunteer leadership positions in economic and cultural development organizations and has worked extensively in the North Coastal region with environmental causes, including the One Rake at a Time for Kings Bay, Duke Energy’s Eel Grass Replenishment program, Silver River Educational Museum, Silver River Environmental Film Festival and supporting environmental authors focusing on water issues and trends. Amy, also a writer, has been published in magazines including Southern Living, Better Homes and Gardens and Southern Accents.

Florida Board of Trustees Gilbert Miller
Gilbert Miller Florida Trustee © TNC

Gilbert Miller

Sanford, trustee since 2018

Gilbert serves as the Board Chair of the Bradley-Turner Foundation, a 5th generation foundation. He has been involved with the work of the Beloco Foundation for over a decade and a half, formally joining as a trustee in 2000. The grandson of the founder of Beloco, Gilbert has prioritized defining the foundation’s mission and strengthening governance. He is also a trustee of W.C. Bradley Company, Epworth-by-the-Sea, and Andrew College. Gilbert is the immediate past board chair of the Southeastern Council of Foundations. While not in the boardroom, Gilbert manages Kimi Farms Christmas Trees, has a small commercial realestate development partnership, and is working on a series of children's books based on his life in the South. A graduate of the University of Georgia, Gilbert continues to be involved at his alma mater, serving as the Chair of the Dean’s Council of the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences. He and his wife, Jamee, have two sons, William and Benjamin.

Florida Board of Trustees Bruce Rauner
Bruce Rauner Florida Trustee © TNC

Bruce Rauner

Key Largo, trustee since 2020

A Chicago native, Bruce served as the 42nd Governor of the State of Illinois from 2015-2019. Governor Rauner’s achievements included equal funding for charter schools, a historic tuition scholarship tax credit program, and criminal justice reforms. Prior to his public service, Bruce was Chairman of private equity and venture capital firm GTCR. Bruce has served on the boards of numerous civic and philanthropic organizations including New Schools for Chicago, and World Business Chicago. Bruce serves on the boards numerous environmental organizations and works with TNC in Montana and Montana Land Reliance. Bruce received Murie-Broome Award from The Wilderness Society for outstanding work in wilderness preservation. Bruce is an avid fly fisher, bird hunter, backpacker, skier, golfer, and motorcycle and horseback rider. Bruce received his bachelor's degree from Dartmouth College and his M.B.A. from Harvard University. Bruce and his wife Diana have six children and one grandchild.

Florida Board of Trustees Anne Savage
Anne Savage Florida Trustee © TNC

Anne Savage

Orlando, trustee since 2019

A world traveler, Anne has spent her professional career establishing conservation programs for endangered species. She developed Proyecto Tití, a conservation program designed to conserve Colombia’s most endangered primate, the cotton-top tamarin, making conservation of the cotton-top tamarin a priority in Colombia. Anne is the former Conservation Director for Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, supporting Disney’s strong conservation legacy. She has worked with Walt Disney Imagineering to incorporate conservation into many of the theme park attractions and experiences at Disney’s Animal Kingdom and other Disney Parks and Resorts. Anne received her bachelor's degree and doctorate from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She has held numerous leadership positions within Association of Zoos and Aquariums and other scientific organizations. She received the Lowell Thomas Award from the Explorers Club and currently serves on the board of Fundación Proyecto Tití and Foundations of Success.

Florida Board of Trustees Charlie Sieving
Charlie Sieving Florida Trustee © TNC

Charles (Charlie) Sieving

Juno Beach, trustee since 2013

Charlie is Executive Vice President and General Counsel of NextEra Energy, Inc., one of the nation’s leading electricity-related services companies. He is head of the Corporate Legal Department and is responsible for the legal affairs of the company and also oversees the company's environmental services group. Prior to joining NextEra Energy, Charlie was Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary of PAETEC Holding Corp., a publicly held telecommunications company, where he had responsibility for all legal, regulatory and legislative affairs. He previously was a partner in the Corporate, Securities and Finance Practice Group of Hogan & Hartson, LLP where his practice focused on representation of public companies in complex securities and business combination transactions.

Florida Board of Trustees Robert Spottswood, Jr.
Robert Spottswood, Jr. Florida Trustee © TNC

Robert A. Spottswood, Jr.

Key West, trustee since 2021

Robert Jr. is part of the 7th generation of the Spottswood Family to call Key West home. After attending the University of Florida he went on to study law at Nova University in South Florida. There he worked with several environmental groups including the Everglades Law Clinic to advocate for responsible development and preservation of vital native habitats for endangered and threatened species. Robert has continued to be an advocate for sustainable and environmentally conscious development through his law practice which is focused on real estate development and the hospitality industry. In 2019 Robert Jr. and his wife Stephanie permanently relocated to Key West, where they now reside with their children Florence and Eleanor. Robert serves as President of Spottswood Management, Inc., General Counsel for Spottswood Companies, and is also a Partner at Spottswood, Spottswood, Spottswood & Sterling, PLLC. He is also Board Member of the Fish & Wildlife Foundation of Florida.

Florida Board of Trustees JoAnn Tredennick
JoAnn Tredennick Florida Trustee © TNC

JoAnn Tredennick

Jacksonville, trustee since 2011

JoAnn currently owns J Properties, LLC, a restoration and management company of historic properties in the Jacksonville area. In 2008, she retired as President of the Jacksonville-based National Financial Brokerage, Inc. JoAnn served as Chair for the Florida Board of Trustees from 2016 to 2019. She is a former Board Chair of Resco Products, Inc. and is married to Jack Meeks, a CPA and President of Jack Meeks & Associates.

Florida Trustee Noah Valenstein
Noah Valenstein Florida Trustee © TNC

Noah Valenstein

Tallahassee, trustee since 2021

Noah Valenstein is a founding partner in the consulting firm Brightwater Strategies Group, PLLC, providing strategic guidance to the non-profit and private sectors. Prior to rejoining Brightwater Strategies, Noah served as both the Secretary for the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and the state’s Chief Resilience Officer. During his tenure as DEP secretary, Noah championed water quality improvements, Everglades and springs restoration, coastal resiliency, and conservation of Florida’s prized properties, aiding efforts to secure the largest environmental budget in the state’s history. With more than 15 years in public service, he served in Florida’s legislative and executive branches. Noah graduated from the Florida State University College of Law and received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Florida’s School of Natural Resources and Environment. He currently resides in Tallahassee with his wife, Jennifer, daughter, Ava and two black labs, Ella and Hobo.