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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.
Ben graduated from Bard College and has a true passion for media production, specifically in the Audio Visual field. He has worked with Pangloss Films as a Production Assistant for PBS Nova’s What’s Living Inside of You, as well as other documentary projects. Additionally, he has worked at the University of Pennsylvania as an AV Technician for the Multi-Media Services Office. Ben’s college thesis is an ethnographic film study that explores the world of bird watching communities throughout the Hudson Valley.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Tigre is a writer/producer/director whose documentary, “The Shame Of A City” (released in 2006), explored the underbelly of Philadelphia politics during the controversial mayoral contest of 2003. The election became a national story when a FBI bug was found in the incumbent mayor’s office 27 days before the election. In 2010 came “The Barrel Of A Gun,” which looked at the controversial killing of officer Daniel Faulkner by former Black Panther and journalist Mumia Abu Jamal. Tigre currently is working on the Mafia documentary “The Corrupt And The Dead,’ which takes a look at the origins of the Mafia and the economic impact it has had on society. He also is in pre-production for his script “American Zealot,” based on the life of attorney/civil rights activist Cecil B. Moore. Tigre is drawn to film for its ability to enlighten, inspire, and entertain.
Rosa Esquenazi-Broid holds a degree in Graphic Design from Universidad Iberoamericana in Mexico City and a Master of Fine Arts in Graphic Design from Tyler School of Art in Philadelphia. For the past 4 decades, she has been deeply involved in the arts in various capacities. She strongly believes in building, growing and understanding communities through art education, art creation and the sharing of art. Rosa also works with an organization promoting civic engagement through education and public participation.
Tim is an Emmy Award winning producer of environmental and sustainable agriculture documentaries and television shows. His work in film and video spans 25 years, winning numerous film and communication awards as well as reaching millions of viewers. After a career in film, Tim became national Executive Director of the FoodRoutes Conservancy and the Buy Fresh Buy Local Program. Today, Tim manages the Cream Ridge Winery in New Jersey where he pursues his passion for winemaking and sustainable farming.
Jennifer was the founder of Cradles to Crayons, Philadelphia, which provides critical goods to homeless and low-income children through a hands-on volunteer workforce model. Previously, she worked as Marketing Manager for Fortune magazine and as a Business Development Manager for Sports Illustrated Kids, where she developed new product revenue and managed a program that provided 250,000 free copies of the magazine to underserved children, together with an interactive math, reading and science teachers’ guide based on the magazine’s sports articles. In addition to helping underserved children, Jennifer is passionate about the environment and the challenges facing our beautiful planet.
Scott Cooper, PhD, is the president and CEO of the Academy of Natural Sciences. An international museum professional and heritage preservation scholar, he has spent more than two decades protecting, transforming and promoting cultural sites and institutions around the world. He joined the Academy after four years as vice president of collections, knowledge and engagement at the Royal British Columbia Museum in Victoria, Canada. Previously, Scott was director of museums at the Qatar Foundation in Doha, Qatar, where he oversaw a $65 million capital project to create four groundbreaking heritage house museums, including the critically acclaimed Bin Jelmood House, the first museum in the Islamic world to be dedicated to the subject of slavery. He became drawn to environmental work while participating in a conservation project in the rainforests of Africa at age 17.