Florida Board of Trustees
Florida Board of Trustees in front of the Capitol in Washington, DC with TNC executives. © Garrett Wallace/TNC

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.; Discovery Life Sciences; Oxford Immunotec PLC (NASDAQ: OXFD); Personalis, Inc. (NASDAQ: PSNL); 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 has an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management of 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 Walt Berninger
Walt Berninger Florida Trustee © TNC

Walt Berninger

Sanibel, trustee since 2012

Walt spent his professional and management career with the Corporate Research function of the General Electric Company where he worked with many of GE’s businesses and remained closely tied to early stage product development for the medical imaging business. Walt served three terms with the Eastern New York Chapter of The Nature Conservancy from 1993-2002, and three terms with the New York State Board retiring from that position in 2011. In 2011, he co-chaired the Trustee Financial Advisory Group, which was chartered by the Trustee Council to advise the development of TNC’s five-year financial plan.

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

Mark Bitz

Naples, trustee since 2014

Mark is the owner of Central New York Feeds, Inc. He is a former partner in CNY Crops, LLC – a 6,000- acre organic farm in New York, which was named 2009 Conservation Farm of the Year. He is the former owner and CEO of Plainville Turkey Farm, which he sold to Hain Celestial Group and Pegasus Capital Advisors in 2007. Mark has been active in Young Professionals Group (YPO) and World Presidents’ Organization (WPO) and was recognized as a Central New York “40 Under 40.” He recently published a book, Toward Truth, Freedom, Fitness, and Decency, about principles that enable societies to thrive, and is a trustee of Earthwise, Inc., a private foundation he established.

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 Global Vice President, SAP Sales Coaching, at 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 currently a Legacy Club Member of TNC.

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 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 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 Bill Grabe
Bill Grabe Florida Trustee © TNC

William (Bill) Grabe

Sanibel, trustee since 2011

Bill retired from General Atlantic as a managing director in 2010 and continues to support the company in an advisory capacity. His broad international operational experience and extensive sales and marketing background were an integral part of GA’s global expansion, initially in Europe and later in India and China. Prior to joining General Atlantic, Bill retired from the IBM Corporation as a Vice President and Corporate Officer. In his last position, he was responsible for U.S. Marketing and Services and was a founding member of the board of ISSC, the precursor to IBM Global Services. Earlier in his IBM career he was responsible for the worldwide launch of the AS 400.

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 BA from Furman University.

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 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 (7) and Benjamin (4).

Florida Board of Trustees Serge Rivera
Serge Rivera Florida Trustee © TNC

Sergio (Serge) Rivera

Winter Park, trustee since 2015

Serge has been the CEO of Seaworld Entertainment since November 2019. From 2016 to September 2018, Mr. Rivera served as the Chief Executive Officer and President of the Vacation Ownership segment of ILG, Inc. (a hospitality and leisure services company). Serge is also the former President of The Americas for Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. (a hotel and leisure company), a position he held from 2012 to 2016, and Chief Executive Officer and President of Starwood Vacation Ownership, Inc., formerly a wholly-owned subsidiary of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc., a position he held from 2007 to 2016. Serge served in a variety of capacities with Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. since 1998. Serge serves on the Board of Directors for Welltower (NYSE-WELL) and is a Director on the advisory board of Florida International University Chapman School of Hospitality. His family owns businesses across Florida, including a marine aquaculture company and a resort/marina in the Florida Keys.

Florida Board of Trustees Djuan Rivers
Djuan Rivers Florida Trustee © TNC

Djuan Rivers

Orlando, trustee since 2015

Djuan is Vice President of Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park, where he leads a cast of more than 4,000 to create one-of-a-kind Disney experiences for millions of guests every year. Prior to joining Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park, Djuan was the Vice President of Hotels and Conventions at Disneyland Paris. With more than 25 years of leadership experience, Djuan started his Disney Management career on the opening team of Disney's Grand Floridian Resort and Spa in 1988. Since that time, he has assisted with the opening of six resorts in Florida, three resorts at Disneyland Paris and the first Disney vacation destination in Hawaii. Some of Djuan’s past Walt Disney World Resort positions include being Director of Operations for Disney’s Reservation Center, the General Manager of Disney's Wilderness Lodge Resort and Disney's All-Star Resorts. Djuan also expanded his diverse operations background as the Hotel Director onboard the Disney Magic and Disney Wonder cruise ships.

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 B.A. and Ph.D. 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 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 Board of Trustees Dave Watts
Dave Watts Florida Trustee © TNC

David (Dave) Watts

Apalachicola, trustee since 2012

Dave is retired from the Watsonville, CA-based Granite Construction Inc., one of the nation's largest civil contractors and construction materials producers. He served as President and CEO from 1987-2003 and as Chairman of the Board from 1999-2011. Dave currently serves as a Director of Bring Me A Book Franklin, a non-profit that he and his wife founded and operate, and which focuses on increasing reading aloud as a way to create a passion for books in children from birth to kindergarten. Dave also serves on the board of the Navy SEAL Museum in Fort Pierce, Florida. Prior to retirement from Granite Construction, he was involved with various business and nonprofit groups in California.