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Debra is head of Conservation Matters, LLC, a firm providing legal, policy, and strategic planning services to environmental organizations and government agencies. She served as Executive Director of Delaware Canal 21, a fundraising and advocacy group for the historic 60-mile long Delaware Canal and recreation path, part of the East Coast Greenway. Debra formerly was regional advisor for the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation & Natural Resources, general counsel at Heritage Conservancy, and an attorney with the law firm of Wolf Block. As chair of the Land Use Committee of the Philadelphia Commission on Parks & Recreation, she drafted the city’s first parkland protection ordinance. Debra also served as vice president of the Fairmount Park Commission. Debra was co-host of the popular environmental television show “Greenworks for Pennsylvania” and has written numerous scholarly and popular publications on environmental issues. Debra’s been a tree hugger since she was 11, when her favorite chestnut tree was chopped down to make way for a parking lot.
Alexandra worked in the film industry in Los Angeles for 15 years. She helped James Cameron launch Lightstorm Entertainment and worked on Terminator 2: Judgment Day, The Abyss, and research on Titanic and Avatar. She also worked on the feature A Time of Destiny, produced the documentary Sistuhs, and was director of international multimedia production for Pantheon Studios. Prior to the film industry, Alexandra worked as a curator and art historian at the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art. She also currently serves as a juror for the Greater Philadelphia Film Office’s annual “Set In Philadelphia” screenwriting competition. Alexandra has always been deeply moved by the power of wide open spaces, from thunderstorms rolling across the prairies of her native Wisconsin, to the golden desert sunsets of Joshua Tree and the Senegalese Sahel.
After spending 20 years working in the film industry in Los Angeles, Kathy returned to her hometown in suburban Philadelphia to marry her teenage sweetheart. She brings extensive experience working Academy Award campaigns and special screening events for Miramax Films, the Weinstein Company, Disney and Lions Gate Films. She worked on such films as the Oscar winning “Chicago” and “The English Patient”, “Frida,” “The Great Debaters,” “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, “Into the Wild,” “Gangs of New York” and “Sling Blade.” She has a love for nature and the “diverse outdoors” of the American West and the four season changes of the East, as well as the “diverse indoors” of a dark movie theater showcasing powerful and inspiring films.
Darcie is a professional photographer with over 30 years of experience. She studied photography at the Art Institute of Pittsburgh before working for United Press International. After several years of freelance work and teaching black and white film and darkroom technique courses, she completed her Masters in the Creative Arts at Hahnemann University in Philadelphia. She was the Executive Director of the Chester County Art Association for 18 years. Inspired by recent trips to Cuba, Darcie is now pursuing documentary and street photography. She is an avid movie buff who believes that the arts will tell our story for generations to come.
Carrie, longtime movie critic for The Philadelphia Inquirer, now contributes to Yahoo! Movies and The New York Times. A film historian with a masters degree in film from the University of California, San Diego, she teaches a popular course, “Mars and Venus at the Movies,” at the University of Pennsylvania. She is currently working on a documentary about Philadelphia’s role in the invention of movies. Recently she has hosted film discussion series at the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the American Museum of Jewish History. She is an inveterate film festivalgoer who fell in love with movies in part because they introduced her to memorable landscapes, many of which are now threatened.
Lesley is Director of Marketing for Spring Garden Lending. She previously served in that role for Valley Green Bank, overseeing all marketing, public relations, media, and philanthropy functions. Prior to that Lesley worked in local politics and as a third and fourth grade teacher in Brookline, Massachusetts, where she developed quite a reputation for creating innovative learning games made of recycled objects.
Jennifer serves as Marketing Director at Clothes-PIN (Clothes for People In Need), which collects discarded clothes from marathons and other races and donates them to homeless shelters. She has a background in sales and event planning. Jennifer is proudly helping members of Cub Scout Pack 173 work toward the World Conservation Award.
Yusuf Abdul-Kareem is the Associate Director of Strategic Initiatives at the Law School Admission Council (LSAC), where he is responsible for identifying global growth markets for the LSAT, and developing, executing, and directing strategies to pursue opportunities in those markets. Previously, Yusuf lead a number of initiatives aimed at increasing diversity in the legal profession as the Assistant Director for Equity, Diversity, & Inclusion at LSAC.