Chair: Maureen Finnerty
Maureen Finnerty retired in January 2005 after nearly 31 years with the National Park Service. During her tenure with NPS she worked in 3 national parks, a regional office and had two tours of duty in NPS Headquarters. Her specific park assignments included being Superintendent at Olympic and Everglades National Parks. She also held the position of Associate Director of Park Operations in Washington, DC (1994-2000), and Associate Regional Director of Operations in Philadelphia. Maureen served as president of the Association of National Park Rangers (1985-86), and is a recipient of the Department of Interior’s Meritorious Service Award (1996) and the Department’s Distinguished Service Award (2016). At the last Executive Council Meeting Maureen was appointed to an additional year on the Executive Council and then elected to a second term as the chair. Maureen lives in Haymarket, VA. Maureen’s current term ends December 31, 2017.
Brenda Barrett served the National Park and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania for over three decades in a variety of conservation and historic preservation positions. She began her park service career in the National Register of Historic Places and later was the coordinator of the National Heritage Areas program in Washington. In Pennsylvania she served as the Director of Recreation and Conservation at the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. Earlier in her career, she was the Director of the Bureau for Historic Preservation at the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission. In retirement she is the editor of the Living Landscape Observer an online site that provides information and commentary on the emerging field of landscape scale conservation, historic preservation and sustainable communities. She is a board member of US/ICOMOS and an expert member of the ICOMOS International Scientific Committee on Cultural Landscapes. Brenda’s term ends December 31, 2017.
Maria earned her BA in Anthropology at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia in 1973 and began her career with the National Park Service at Independence National Historical Park. She started as a GS-3 temporary interpreter and retired from the Senior Executive Service 39 years later as the first Commissioner of the National Parks of New York Harbor. In between she had assignments at Golden Gate NRA (district ranger), Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania NMP (superintendent), the NPS Office of the Director (special assistant, Vail Agenda) and Cape Cod NS (superintendent). She received the Department of the Interior’s Special Achievement, Meritorious Service and Distinguished Service Awards. She had several short-term international assignments in the Russian Republic and Georgia, and has continued her work in international consultation in retirement. She lives in Wellfleet, MA and is co-chair of her town’s historical commission. She also serves on several NGO boards involved in such varied activities as local and international conservation and quality of life issues for seniors in her community.
A 38-year veteran of the National Park Service, Mark most recently served as the Superintendent of Joshua Tree National Park from 2011 to 2014. Before his assignment to Joshua Tree, Mark worked for 34 years at Yosemite National Park, where his varied career included serving as the: Chief of the Project Management Division, Planning and Compliance Program Manager, Physical Science Specialist, American Indian Consultation Program Supervisor, Accessibility Program Supervisor, Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act Manager, Search and Rescue Incident Commander and Technician, Hazardous Materials and Oil Spill Response Coordinator, Emergency Medical Technician, Fire Logistics Crew Supervisor, Public Involvement and Outreach Coordinator, Utility Systems Repairer Operator, Maintenance Worker, Laborer, and Wilderness/Backcountry Ranger. After retirement from the NPS Mark has been involved with non-profit organizations and has been an independent advocate for National Parks and conservation of open space. Mark serves as a member of the Board of Directors of the American Alpine Club and an advisor to the Board of Directors of Basin and Range Watch. Butler received his Masters of Public Administration from the University of Southern California and obtained a Bachelors Degree in Soil and Water Science and Environmental Toxicology from the University of California, Davis. He and his wife Cathy reside in Washoe Valley, Nevada.
On April 1, 2013 Phil retired after serving as superintendent of the Blue Ridge Parkway since 2005. Phil began his career in 1972 at Kings Mountain National Military Park where he served as a seasonal park ranger and later as a permanent administrative employee. He was selected as an intake trainee in 1977 and worked in the National Capital Region. Upon completion of his intake assignment, Phil served as Administrative Officer of Chickamauga and Chattanooga NMP, Shenandoah NP, and Yosemite NP. In 1991, he was selected to be the Associate Regional Director, Administration, for the Southwest Region. In 1994 Phil moved to Great Smoky Mountains National Park where he served as Deputy Superintendent until 2005. For three of those eleven years, Phil served as acting Superintendent. He completed the Department’s Senior Executive Service Candidate Development Program and received the Department’s Superior Service Award. Phil’s term continues through December 31, 2017.
David was an ecologist and science manager working for the National Park Service for nearly 40 years until his retirement in 2014. He most recently served as the Chief Scientist for the Pacific West Region of NPS, which includes the 6 western-most states south of Alaska. He was based at Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks, in the Sierra Nevada of California. During much of his career, David was a field research biologist with NPS as well as USGS, studying species-habitat relationships and exploring the use of extensive field inventories combined with GIS for improved environmental analyses. In more recent years, his efforts were concentrated on better informing park and reserve conservation and management, as well as the management of broader mixed-use landscapes, through science. This has included the management of plant and animal populations, wilderness stewardship, biotic inventories, and environmental monitoring. In recent years, a large portion of Graber’s efforts were devoted to the problem of climate change effects, and how parks can adapt to those changes. Over the years, David served on a variety of Congressional, agency, and NGO advisory panels, including the Sierra Nevada Ecosystem Project; Giant Sequoia National Monument Science Advisory Committee; National Wilderness Steering Committee; Sierra Nevada Forest Plan Amendment Science Panel; Trust for Public Land Science Advisory Panel. He has also served on several endangered species recovery teams. He was awarded the U.S. Department of Interior Meritorious Service medal in 2000. David graduated from the University of California with a B.A, in Political Science (1970). After several years of work and international adventure, he returned to Berkeley’s College of Natural Resources to obtain an M.S. (1976) and then Ph.D. (1981) in Wildland Resources Science. During much of that time he worked in Yosemite National Park studying black bear ecology and behavior to inform NPS efforts to reduce conflicts between bears and people. His graduate dissertation was Ecology and management of black bears in Yosemite National Park.
Donald J. Hellmann
Don Hellmann is the former Assistant Director for Legislative and Congressional Affairs for the National Park Service. Don ended his 40-year career working with Congress at the beginning of 2017, which included the last 22 years with the National Park Service. Don joined the National Park Service in 1994 and was responsible for the development, coordination and implementation of its legislative affairs program.
Prior to his position with the National Park Service, Don was Vice President for Conservation at The Wilderness Society, where he directed the conservation advocacy program before Congress and coordinated the litigation agenda of the organization. Before assuming this position, Don served as Legislative Counsel for the society. Don joined The Wilderness Society’s staff in 1988.
Don also worked on Capitol Hill in several positions in both the House and Senate from 1977 to 1985. He has a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and is a member of the District of Columbia Bar.
Doug Morris spent almost half of his 40-year career working as a ranger, including assignments at Cape Hatteras, Point Reyes, Cape Cod, and Sequoia/Kings Canyon. During much of this period, he was involved with training in various ranger activities, an interest that led to a six-year tour of duty at the Albright Training Center. Doug’s career culminated with service as a superintendent at Saguaro and Shenandoah National Parks. During his superintendencies, Doug joined a variety of task forces and work groups developing national policy in various fields. His interest in international affairs continues; Doug now serves as a founding board member of Global Parks, an NGO working to connect NPS retirees to parks projects in developing countries.
Mike worked for the National Park Service for 34 years. The first half of his career, Mike served as a law enforcement/ emergency services ranger in a variety of parks including Yellowstone, Sequoia-Kings Canyon, New River Gorge, and the Everglades. The latter half of his career was spent in management positions, including serving as Deputy Superintendent of Cape Cod National Seashore and a detail assignment as Associate to the Deputy Director in the Washington Office. Mike concluded his NPS career as Superintendent of the Outer Banks Group, where he was tasked with the challenge of developing an off-road vehicle (ORV) management plan and special regulation to manage beach driving at Cape Hatteras National Seashore. Mike received numerous awards during his career, including the 2010 Director’s Award as Superintendent of the Year for Natural Resource Stewardship and Southeast Region Superintendent of the Year in 2012. Mike resides with his family in Brunswick, Maine. Mike’s term ends December 31, 2017.
Dick retired after 36 years of federal service, 32 of which were with the NPS. While with the NPS, he served in numerous positions including; 19 years as park superintendent at, Gates of the Arctic National Park & Preserve, Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area, and Everglades & Dry Tortugas National Parks. Dick also served for four years in Washington as an Associate Director of NPS. Since retirement, he has worked with the Abess Center for Ecosystem Science & Policy at the University of Miami, served on the Board of the Florida National Parks Association, and has done consulting work in management and ecosystem policy. He is also a member of the IUCN’s Commission on Ecosystem Management and its World Council on Protected Areas. Dick currently works as Park Projects Director at the National Park Trust. Dick’s term ends December 31, 2017.
Sheridan Steele retired October 30, 2015 after 38 years with the National Park Service. He served as superintendent of 6 parks for 33 of those years, including Acadia National Park, Saint Croix Island International Historic Site, Black Canyon of the Gunnison NP, Curecanti National Recreation Area, Rocky Mountain NP (Deputy) and Fort Scott National Historic Site. He began his NPS career as a Management Assistant at Cuyahoga National Recreation Area in Ohio after serving for four years as Executive Director of the Cuyahoga Valley Park Federation one of the first “friends groups” and three years as a park planner for Ohio State Parks. Throughout his career, he has focused on land protection, providing a quality visitor experience, engaging youth in nature and parks and developing collaborations with volunteers, donors, neighbors and partner groups. He received the Meritorious Service Award in 2001. Sheridan has a B.S. in Business Administration and an M.S. in Natural Resources Management. He and his wife Barb live in Mt. Desert, Maine in the summer and Highlands Ranch, Colorado in the winter.
Katherine (Kate) Stevenson
Kate joined the NPS in 1973 in Washington DC on the staff of the National Register of Historic Places. She worked in various positions in the Office of Archeology and Historic Preservation before moving to Denver in 1980. There she served in the Rocky Mountain Region working with both State Historic Preservation Offices and parks through 1987, when she moved to the Mid-Atlantic Region as Associate Regional Director for Planning and Resource Preservation. Her final assignments were in Washington, DC where she served as Associate Director for Cultural Resources and Associate Director for Business Services before retiring in 2011. She is married to Don Stevenson and has two grown daughters. Kate’s term expires December 31, 2017.