Executive Council



Chair: Mike Murray

Mike Murray
Mike Murray

Mike worked in various capacities for the National Park Service for 34 years. During the first half of his career he served as a law enforcement/ emergency services ranger at Everglades NP, Yosemite NP, New River Gorge National River, Sequoia-Kings Canyon NP, and Yellowstone NPS. During the latter half of his career Mike served as Deputy Superintendent of Cape Cod National Seashore; performed a detail assignment as Associate to the Deputy Director in the Washington Office; and concluded his NPS career as Superintendent of the Outer Banks Group before retiring in August 2012. Mike joined the Coalition’s Executive Council in January 2014.

 

 

 

 

 


Vice Chair: Don Hellmann

Photo of Don Hellmann
Don 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, including 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.

Before 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 for Senator Walter D. Huddleston (D-KY), from his home state of Kentucky, from 1977 to 1985.  He subsequently worked for Rep. Tony Coelho (D-CA) from 1985 to 1988.  He has a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and is a member of the District of Columbia Bar.

 

 

 


Treasurer: Jim Northup

Photo of Jim Northup
Jim Northup

Jim served for over 36 years in the National Park Service, retiring in 2017 as the superintendent of Shenandoah National Park. Over the course of his career, Jim worked as a field ranger, resource management specialist, fire management officer, chief ranger, and superintendent.  He worked in Big Bend, Grand Canyon, Great Smoky Mountains, Grand Teton and Shenandoah National Parks, Cape Hatteras and Fire Island National Seashores, the Buffalo National River, and Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore.  He also contributed to international conservation work in Canada, Mexico, the Republic of Georgia, and China.

 

 

 

 

 

 


Michael Allen

Michael Allen
Michael Allen

Michael Allen spent over 37 years with the National Park Service, serving as a Park Ranger, Education Specialist, and Community Partnership Specialist for The Gullah Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor/Fort Sumter National Monument and Charles Pinckney National Historic Site. He worked as a lead team member on the NPS Special Resource Landmark Study, exploring the history and legacy of the Reconstruction Era in American history, which led to the establishment of the Reconstruction Era National Monument in 2017. In recognition of his achievements in promoting racial and ethnic diversity in managing North America’s natural, historic, and cultural heritage, Michael received the Robert G. Stanton Award. He was also given the Order of the Palmetto, the highest civilian honor to be given to citizens of South Carolina. In 2021, he was selected as a Martin Luther King, Jr. Portrait Award winner. Michael lives in South Carolina with his family and remains active in preserving the life, legacy, contributions, and heritage of African Americans in South Carolina and the United States.

 

 

 


Sarah G. Allen

Sarah Allen
Sarah Allen

After 26 years, Sarah G. Allen retired from the National Park Service in 2019. Her positions included Inventory and Monitoring Program Lead for the Pacific West Region (PWR), wildlife biologist, and then senior science advisor at Point Reyes National Seashore, Oceans and Coastal Resources Program lead for PWR and finally, as Science Program Lead for PWR and Research Coordinator for the Californian Cooperative Ecosystems Studies Unit. She is broadly experienced in marine and terrestrial ecology and wildlife management. Past employment included Point Reyes Bird Observatory, now called Point Blue Conservation Science, for about 15 years, and California State Lands Commission. She received her M.S. and Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley, and has authored and co-authored numerous publications, including the UC Press, Marine Mammals of the Pacific Coast: Baja, California, Oregon, Washington, British Columbia. Sarah lives with her husband in Inverness, California.

 

 

 

 


Russell Galipeau

Russell Galipeau
Russell Galipeau

Russell began his career with the National Park Service as a seasonal park technician in 1978 and retired in 2018 as the Superintendent, Channel Islands National Park. His career brought him to work in seven of our nation’s national parks, from the tip of Florida (Everglades NP) to the largest park (Wrangell-St. Elias NP/P) to one of the most iconic parks (Yosemite NP). Russell is a graduate of the second Natural Resources Trainee Program. He has been honored with the NPCA Stephen Tyng Mather Award, California State University-Channel Islands Robert Lagomarsino Award, NPS Director’s Award for Superintendent of the Year for Natural Resources Management, USFWS Endangered Species Recovery Champion, DOI Honor Award, and George Wright Society Outstanding Natural Resources Management Award.

Russell currently serves on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Expert Assessment Group for the Green List (EAGL). Their task is to determine if and how California’s Marine Protected Areas Network meets the IUCN Green List Standard. He also serves on the Ventura Land Trust Land Committee.

 

 


Linda Mazzu

Linda Mazzu
Linda Mazzu

Linda retired as Superintendent of Bryce Canyon National Park after 39 years of federal service. She previously worked for Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks, the Rivers and Trails Conservation Assistance program and as branch chief of Natural Resources at Grand Canyon National Park. Linda served as an environmental quality specialist in the Yellowstone Center for Resources and as a Division Chief of Resources Management and Science in Yosemite National Park. In addition to her time with the NPS, Linda worked as a botanist for the Bureau of Land Management and joined the National Interagency Fire Center in Boise, Idaho. She has worked with various philanthropic and cooperating association boards in Yellowstone, Yosemite, and Bryce Canyon, and was part of the advisory board for the Intergovernmental Internship Cooperative of Southern Utah University. She also served on the NPS National Wilderness Leadership Council and the NPS National Resources Advisory Group. Linda holds a Master of Science degree in Natural Resources from Humboldt (California) State University and a Bachelor of Science degree in Recreation and Parks from Penn State University. Linda and her family reside in Boise, Idaho.

 

 

 


Don Neubacher

Don Neubacher
Don Neubacher

Recently retired, Don Neubacher recently completed a 36-year career in the National Park Service (NPS) that has included appointments at Point Reyes National Seashore (Superintendent), Glacier Bay National Park, Denver Service Center, Golden Gate National Recreation Area, Yosemite National Park (Superintendent) and serving as the Deputy General Manager and Planning Director for the Presidio of San Francisco. Formerly, he was a lecturer at California’s Humboldt State University in Northern California. His expertise includes park management, climate change, resource protection and restoration, youth programs, relevancy, international sister parks, and resource planning. He has the following degrees: University of California, B.S. Degree in Environmental Planning and Management, 1976: and Humboldt State University, M.S. Degree in Resource Management, 1983.

 

 

 

 

 


Dick Ring

Photo of Dick Ring
Dick Ring

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 Florida National Parks Association Board, 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.

 

 

 

 


Cheryl Schreier

Cheryl Schreier
Cheryl Schreier

Cheryl Schreier retired as Superintendent of Mount Rushmore National Monument after nearly 40 years of service with the National Park Service. Prior to her tenure at Mount Rushmore, she also served as superintendent of Herbert Hoover National Historic Site, Knife River Indian Villages National Historic Site, and completed a detail as acting superintendent at Cuyahoga Valley National Park. Cheryl has worked at 10 different national park units throughout her career, including Bryce Canyon, Yellowstone, and Death Valley National Parks. She spent several years working for the (what was then) Rocky Mountain Regional Office in different positions and programs including the Concessions Management Office, the Rivers, Trails and Conservation Assistance program, and the Natural Landmark Program. Cheryl graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Natural Resources Management. She remains active in NPS issues, including those impacting Mount Rushmore National Monument. She lives in South Dakota and is also a member of the local executive committee of the Black Hills Sierra Club Group in South Dakota.

 

 

 


Bill Shaddox

Bill Shaddox
Bill Shaddox

Bill Shaddox worked for the Department of the Interior for 42 years, spending 10 years with the Bureau of Indian Affairs and 32 years with the National Park Service. Bill served as the Chief of the Land Resources Division of the National Park Service for 26 years, where he was responsible for the Federal portion of the Land and Water Conservation Fund and land acquisition function within the NPS, as well as managing the agency-wide realty management and rights-of-way program. During his tenure with the NPS, Bill helped to complete over 15,000 acquisitions that protected over 1.9 million acres of land. He helped to acquire the first land acquisition at 63 new national park units and worked with tribes across the country by helping to appraise and acquire land for multiple reservations. Bill graduated from Oklahoma State University with a degree in Agricultural Economics and obtained his Juris Doctorate from the Columbus School of Law, Catholic University, Washington, D.C. He is an enrolled member of the Western Band of Cherokees in Oklahoma.

 

 

 


Chris Soller

Chris Soller
Chris Soller

Chris worked for the Department of the Interior for 40 years, beginning in 1978. Starting in Washington, DC, he worked for the Heritage Conservation and Recreation Service as an Outdoor Recreation Planner working on grant programs, including the Land and Water Conservation Fund. He was also involved in studies including the National Urban Recreation Study and Coastal Barrier Resources Study. In 1982 he joined the NPS and, in 1983, transferred to Fire Island National Seashore as Management Assistant overseeing park planning and coordinating with Fire Island’s many community organizations and outside constituent groups. He returned to Washington in 1988 and worked in NPS’ Rivers and Trails Conservation Assistance program for 4 years again as a planner. In 1992 he moved to NPS Legislative and Congressional Affairs. For 8 years as a legislative affairs specialist, he was responsible for legislative issues for the Northeast and numerous Service-wide programs. In 2000 he transferred to New York and worked initially on National Parks of New York Harbor and then for 3 years served as Jamaica Bay Unit Superintendent at Gateway National Recreation Area. In 2005 he returned to DC and worked in the NPS Partnership Office. In 2008 he returned to Fire Island National Seashore as Superintendent, where he served for the last ten years of his career, retiring in 2018. During his career, he served on 2 NPS International teams and worked on the General Management Plan for Colonial NHP’s Jamestown Project, the precursor to the 400th Anniversary of Jamestown. He splits his time between his hometown of Youngstown, Ohio, and Arlington, Virginia.

 

 

 


Sheridan Steele

Sheridan Steele

Sheridan Steele retired as the Superintendent of Acadia National Park & St. Croix Island International Historic Site in 2015 after 38 years with National Park Service. He previously worked at Cuyahoga Valley National Recreation Area as a Management Assistant and attended the DOI Management Training Program. In addition to his work at Acadia, Sheridan served as the Deputy Superintendent at Rocky Mountain National Park and as the Superintendent at Fort Scott National Historic Site and Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park & Curecanti National Recreation Area. He has also worked in the private sector as the Executive Director of the Cuyahoga Valley Park Federation. He continues to have a strong interest in building partnerships and engaging kids in the outdoors.

 

 

 

 

 


Terri Thomas

Terri Thomas
Terri Thomas

Terri Thomas is a natural resources manager, ecologist, and planner with 36 years of national park experience. She worked in Crater Lake, Yosemite, and Everglades National Parks and served as the Chief of Natural Resources Management and Science at Golden Gate National Recreation Area. Terri also held the position of Director of Conservation, Science and Research at the Presidio Trust and helped establish the Golden Gate International Biosphere Reserve. After retirement from federal service, she served as Director of Natural Resources and Climate Resiliency for Conservation Corps North Bay. Terri is currently Vice President of the George Wright Society, on the Board of Directors of the Marin Conservation League, and Director of Ecology for the Environmental Forum of Marin. She has a BS in Forestry from U.C Berkeley and an MS in Forest Ecology from the University of Washington through the National Park’s Cooperative Park Studies Unit, where she studied fire ecology at Crater Lake NP. She lives in Sausalito, California.

 

 

 


Clara Wooden

Clara Wooden
Clara Wooden

Clara Wooden has over 30 years of service with the National Park Service. She lived in Alaska for 20 years and during her time there, managed Regional Youth Programs, Regional Fee Programs, Park Ranger Programs, Federal Employed Women’s Programs, Equal Employment Opportunity, and Recruitment, Diversity, and Inclusion Programs. Clara relocated from Alaska to Omaha to become the Associate Regional Director, Equal Employment Opportunity, Special Emphasis Programs, and Relevancy, Diversity, and Inclusion, employing the only fulltime recruitment position in the NPS. In 2010 she established the Midwest Region Student Academy. She also served in the position of Associate Regional Director, Administration, Information Technology, EEO, and moved on to serve in the position of Deputy Regional Director before her retirement. Clara was awarded the Secretary of the Interior Diversity Award in 2021. Workforce diversity has always been Clara’s passion and she will continue to champion the NPS and its employees.

 

 

 

 

 


 

Coalition Staff

 


Amy Gilbert Fehir: Executive Director

Photo of Amy Gilbert Fehir
Amy Gilbert Fehir

Amy oversees the day-to-day operations of the Coalition. In her role, she leads the planning and execution of our membership, fundraising, and communications activities. She works closely with our board and members to highlight and amplify our issue and advocacy work. Before joining CPANP, Amy served as the Senior Officer, Communications Partnerships for the United Nations Foundation (UNF). In this position, she managed key strategic communications relationships, including partnerships with major brands, marketing partners, and individual supporters. In addition, Amy also helped secure and maintain relationships with corporate partners and the entertainment industry on behalf of various UNF campaigns and initiatives as a member of UNF’s Global Partnerships team. From 2005-2011, Amy worked as a seasonal National Park Service (NPS) Ranger at Arlington House, the Robert E. Lee Memorial. During her time with the NPS, she worked at the Interior Department on the 2016 NPS Centennial projects. She served on the board of the Association of National Park Rangers. Additional professional experience includes two years overseeing environmental grants for Conversation International as part of the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund. In 2008, Amy worked at the World Health Organization on World Health Day, which was focused on climate change’s impact on health. Amy received her B.A. from Boston University in Political Science and Public Health and an M.P.S. in Political Management from George Washington University.

 

 

 


Emily Weisner Thompson: Deputy Director

Photo of Emily W Thompson
Emily W. Thompson

Emily is a writer and historian with a background in nonprofit management and communications. She spent six years with the National Park Service, developing a skill set focused on interpretation, communications, public affairs, and strategic planning. During her time with the NPS, Emily worked at numerous park units across the country. Special project work included developing a funding distribution plan for twelve border parks in the southwest and an assignment as the NPS Inaugural Assistant during the 2009 Presidential Inauguration. Emily also served as a board member for the Association of National Park Rangers and editorial advisor for Ranger magazine. Following her work with the NPS, Emily served as the Executive Director of the Santa Claus Museum & Village in Santa Claus, Indiana. She received her B.A. in American Studies and Anthropology from the University of Notre Dame and an M.A. in Public History from American University. Emily is the author of three books (including two silver medal winners in the Independent Publisher Books Awards) and also works as a freelance writer. She currently lives in Ohio.

 

 

 


Teresa Ford: Business Manager

Teresa Ford
Teresa Ford

Teresa’s career has spanned over 30 years in newspaper and magazine journalism and communications for schools, other public agencies, and nonprofit groups. For nearly 25 years, she was editor, designer, and publisher of Ranger magazine and website coordinator for the Association of National Park Rangers. During her last eight years at ANPR, she handled business management using standard accounting procedures in QuickBooks software.

She then edited, designed, and published her son Ryan’s book, “Parkour Strength Training,” popular in niche audiences worldwide. She has handled website work and social media sites for various clients. Teresa also edits manuscripts for prospective book authors, edits copy for a customer communications group in Denver, and edits/proofreads documents for several public agencies.

Her volunteering has included work for AfricAid, a Denver-based nonprofit supporting girls’ education in Tanzania, and treasurer for Colorado Press Women for 10 years handling accounting and budgeting. She holds a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Colorado at Boulder. A native of Grand Junction, Colorado, she resides in Denver.

 

 


Steve Pittleman: Web Administration

Photo of Steve Pittleman
Steve Pittleman

Steve oversees the management and operation of the Coalition website. Steve started his career with the National Park Service in June 1979 as a Seasonal Park Technician at the C&O Canal. He retired over 35 years later as a Supervisory Information Technology Specialist. In the first half of his career, Steve served as a supervisory park ranger for law enforcement and emergency services at the C&O Canal, Great Falls Park, and Gettysburg. The latter half of his career was spent in management positions, including serving as the Briefing Coordinator for Director Kennedy, a founding member of the nps.gov Web development and operations team, I.T. Division Chief at the Harpers Ferry Center, and WASO Program Manager for the NPS Wide Area Network. Steve retired in 2014.

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

Coalition Advisors

 


Donald Baur: Legal Counsel and Environment, Energy and Resources Partner at Perkins Coie LLP

Photo of Donald Baur
Donald Baur

Donald Baur is a partner in the Washington, D.C. Office of Perkins Coie, where he practices environmental, natural resources, and Native American law. He has served as legal counsel to the Coalition since its inception and was the recipient of the 1872 Award in 2008. Don began his legal career as an attorney for the National Park Service in the Solicitor’s Office of the Department of the Interior. Later, he served as General Counsel of the U.S. Marine Mammal Commission.

Don currently serves on the Boards of Trustees for the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation and the Shenandoah National Park Trust, and the Environmental Leadership Council of the Environmental Law Institute. He is the lead editor and author of the American Bar Association’s books on The Endangered Species Act: Law, Policy, and Perspectives and Ocean and Coastal Law and Policy, and the author of over 40 law review articles on environmental law topics. He has served as an adjunct professor in environmental law at the Vermont Law School since 1998. He is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania School of Law and Trinity College, where he graduated with a BA in History, summa cum laude, and Phi Beta Kappa.

 

 

 


 

 

Immediate Past Chair: Phil Francis

Phil Francis

Phil retired in 2013 after serving for 41 years in various capacities with the National Park Service. His positions included serving as Administrative Officer of Chickamauga and Chattanooga NMP, Shenandoah NP, and Yosemite NP; and as Associate Regional Director, Administration, for the Southwest Region. He also served as Deputy Superintendent of Great Smoky Mountains National Park from 1994 to 2005, including three years as Acting Superintendent; then served as Superintendent of the Blue Ridge Parkway from 2005 until his retirement. As a retiree, Phil joined the Coalition’s Executive Council in 2014, serving as Vice Chair 2014 – 2017 and Chair from 2018 – 2021 before rotating off of the council.