Board of Directors





The Children & Nature Network’s Board of Directors serves as its official governing and strategic oversight body. Board members are elected to their positions and represent professions from various industries and sectors.  Each an avid supporter and advocate of the children and nature movement, together their multidisciplinary expertise and skills are a critical factor in its continued success.

David Hartwell

Board Chair

round-hartwell-138David Hartwell is the former President of Bellcomb Technologies Incorporated, a world-leading manufacturer of composite panels used in industrial, non-aerospace applications and unique products that has an annual capacity of 40M square feet. He sold the business in 2015. David is active on a number of boards of privately-held businesses and assisting businesses with strategic and transitional issues. He is also active in many non-profit activities and serves on the boards of the Belwin Conservancy as its President, National Audubon Society, Land Trust Alliance, Island Conservation, Mississippi River Fund, Conservation Minnesota and the Lessard Sams Outdoor Heritage Council as Chair. David and his wife Elizabeth enjoy travel and often, but not often enough, go to distant places to birdwatch, see the countryside and hike.  A garden lover, his entire backyard is vegetables with the only grass in it being of the weed variety.  David’s record tomato plant reached 14’ high and provided great entertainment for his four grown children and seven grandchildren. David has been a supporter of the work of the Children & Nature Network (C&NN) since its earliest days. He joined the Board of Directors of C&NN in 2015.

Kim Moore Bailey

Vice Chair

KimBaileyKim Moore Bailey, Oakland, CA, serves as the Executive Director for Youth Outside. Inspired by her own passion for the outdoors and years of both professional and personal experiences, Kim focuses on Youth Outside’s strategic direction, grantmaking portfolio, and working to develop the critical connections required to engage underrepresented youth to nature and to encourage the capacity building of the organizations supported. Prior to joining Youth Outside, Kim served as Vice President for Outward Bound Inc., Manager of Denver Parks and Recreation for the City and County of Denver, and was a Regional Manager for the Chicago Parks District. In these roles, she led programs to engage urban youth in the outdoors in new ways – including spearheading a public-private partnership that resulted in the country’s first urban snowboarding park. Kim holds a Master’s Degree from New York University in Counselor Education. She enjoys spending time with her loved ones, yoga and being outdoors.

Stephan D. Nygren

Past Chair

round-nygren-138Stephan Nygren’s early career was in the hospitality industry, founding the Peasant Restaurant Group.  Steve and his wife, Marie, retired to a farm just outside Atlanta with their three daughters in 1994 and six years later, he became concerned about urban sprawl invading their adopted country paradise. In 2000, Steve led the effort to create the Chattahoochee Hills Country Alliance to bring together landowners, developers and conservationists to find a mutually-agreed upon solution for balanced growth.  Through two years of work and public meetings, a land use plan was adopted to preserve 70% of the 40,000 acres on the edge of Atlanta while providing 20% more housing than the traditional suburban sprawl yield. In 2004, the Nygrens began Serenbe to demonstrate an environmental concept for community development interlaced with agriculture activity and a range of housing choices mixed with shops, galleries, restaurants and an Inn located in the historic farm compound.  The result is reminiscent of century-old communities. For more information on Serenbe, you may visit Steve is an enthusiastic supporter of the work of the Children & Nature Network, attended his first C&NN conference in 2010, and joined the Board of Directors in 2014.

Kyle McCoy


Kyle McCoy is a Vice President and Private Wealth Advisor at Goldman Sachs where he advises ultra-high net worth individuals, families, non-profits and tribal governments.  He received his MBA from Cornell University and BBA in Finance from Gonzaga University. Prior to Goldman Sachs, Kyle served as a U.S. Army Captain in the Joint Special Operations Community with the 75th Ranger Regiment where he deployed four times in support of Operation  Enduring Freedom (Afghanistan). He currently  serves on the board of the Seattle Parks Foundation as Treasurer and on the Investment Committee of the Gonzaga University Endowment.  He is a CFA charterholder.  In his free time Kyle is a competitive ultra-marathon runner.  He most recently won the 4 Deserts Antarctica race (155 miles across Antarctica).  He and his wife Katie have two young children (3 and 1 y/o) and live in the Magnolia neighborhood of Seattle.

Mohammed Lawal


round-lawal-138Mohammed is Principal and CEO of Lawal Scott Erickson, LSE Architects, a Minneapolis-based firm doing work across the U.S. LSE is a full service architectural, interior design and planning firm. An innovative leader in sustainable design, Mohammed has been the architect on many LEED certified buildings, including the first LEED certified building in Minnesota. Mohammed recently was the principal architect designing a new nature-centered facility to house Washburn Center for Children, Minnesota’s largest and most celebrated children’s mental health agency, serving children and families for 128 years. His firm recently helped with the pioneering design for the renovation of Minnesota’s Sun Ray Library, creating a model for libraries to integrate natural elements and gardens into the community’s library experience, or what the Children & Nature Network calls “naturebraries.”  LSE is currently providing construction management for the Minnesota Vikings’ new stadium. In 1994, Mohammed founded the Architectural Youth Program (AYP), a highly successful program to mentor urban youth in architecture. Mohammed has received numerous awards, including the prestigious National American Institute of Architects (AIA) Young Architect Award. Mohammed joined the Children & Nature Network Board of Directors in 2012.

Jesús Aguirre


JesusJesús Aguirre served as the Superintendent of Seattle Parks and Recreation from June 2015 through January 2018. Aguirre began his career as a middle school science teacher in Los Angeles in the 1990s and most recently, served as the State Superintendent of Education for the District of Columbia. Prior to that role, Aguirre served as the director of the District of Columbia Department of Parks and Recreation. Aguirre is a proud father of three children attending public schools. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Biology from the University of Texas at Austin and an MBA from the WP Carey School of Business at the Arizona State University.

Dr. Gail C. Christopher


Dr. Gail C. Christopher is an award winning social change agent and former Senior Advisor and Vice President of the W. K. Kellogg Foundation (WKKF), one of the world’s largest philanthropies.

She is the visionary for and architect of the WKKF led Truth Racial Healing and Transformation (TRHT) effort for America. TRHT is an adaptation of the globally recognized Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) model. TRHT evolved from the decade long WKKF America Healing, racial equity and racial healing initiative, designed and led by Dr. Christopher. Over the last ten years she has had responsibility for several other areas of foundation programming. These include, Food, Health and Well-Being, Leadership, Public Policy, Community Engagement and place-based funding in New Orleans and New Mexico.

In August of 2017, Dr. Christopher left her leadership position with WKKF to launch the Maryland based Ntianu Center for Healing and Nature; and to devote more time to writing and speaking on issues of health, racial healing and human capacity for caring. She is currently Chair of the Board of the Trust for America’s Health and a Fellow of The National Academy of Public Administration.

Nancy Herron


round-herron-138Nancy Herron joins the Board of Directors of the Children & Nature Network (C&NN) in 2015 after serving as a C&NN Senior Associate and on the grassroots leadership team since the early days of C&NN. Nancy is a retired Outreach and Education Director of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, with over 21 years of experience in nature and outdoor recreation education. She is the recipient of multiple awards in leadership and education innovation. She has been a director of several non-profits, a teacher, a reporter and columnist. Some of the highlights of her career include co-founding a five-county hospice in rural Kansas, director of a respite care center for children with disabilities in Virginia, a teacher of children with learning disabilities and a VISTA volunteer for adult literacy. Nancy is co-founder of Texas Children in Nature (TCiN), a consortium of regional collaboratives with over 400 organizations who share the vision of reconnecting Texans with nature. Each region reflects its own character and needs while guided by TCiN’s strategic plan, the development of which Nancy led and coordinated. Shortly after its release, Nancy was asked to direct a similar effort to create Texas’ Environmental Literacy Plan, a plan that former First Lady Laura Bush then launched.

Fran P. Mainella


round-mainella-138Fran Mainella is a Visiting Scholar at Clemson University Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism Management. She is also President of Fran Mainella Consulting,LLC.  Director Mainella served nearly six years as the 16th Director and the first woman to lead the U. S. National Park Service and served 12 years as Director of Florida’s State Parks.  She has also served as executive director of the Florida Recreation and Park Association and as president of both the National Recreation and Park Association and the National Association of State Park Directors. Recipient of numerous awards, Fran is the Outgoing Chair of the Children and Nature Network, having served as a member of C&NN’s Board of Directors since 2010. She is also Founding Co-Chair of the US Play Coalition, Chair of the Pugsley Award committee and Fellow of the American Academy of Park and Recreation Administrators, Chair of the Public Lands Advisory Council to the National Environmental Education Foundation, a member of Newsweek Magazine’s Environmental Advisory Board, a member of the Board of Directors for the National Park Trust, member of the Foundation for Sustainable Parks and Recreation, member of the South Florida National Park Trust, and a highly-sought public speaker.

Lisa Moore


round-moore-138Lisa Moore is the Senior Vice President of Corporate Strategic Services for PlayCore, a leading play and recreation company. In this role she is responsible for the company’s strategic services which includes market analysis and strategic planning, corporate communications & marketing, e-business, and human resources.  She also leads the Company’s Center for Professional Development overseeing a variety of independent research initiatives, national partnerships, curricula and programming development, advocacy initiatives and resources, and accredited professional development services that promote the value of play and recreation across the U.S. and Canada. Prior to PlayCore, Lisa served people of all abilities in a variety of educational and medical settings and is passionate about dynamic service delivery models that meet the unique needs of individuals, families, and communities.  Lisa is active in her professional and local communities, she believes in the power of outdoor play and recreation, and is committed to building communities through nature-rich play for children and families of all abilities.   She joined the Board of the Children & Nature Network in 2015.

Svante L. Myrick


Svante L. Myrick was sworn into office in January 2012 and became, at 24, the City of Ithaca’s youngest Mayor and first Mayor of color. Svante was first elected to the Common Council at the age of 20 while still a junior at Cornell.

Svante has changed the way people in Ithaca view public space by turning his dedicated mayoral parking space into a public park, after years without them he’s brought fireworks back to the City on the 4th of July and he’s moved Ithaca into the 21st century by embracing social media and overhauling the City’s web presence.

His 2015 accomplishments include sorely needed revisions to the City of Ithaca’s sidewalk policy, an overhaul of storm water utility legislation, successful implementation and completion of the total rehabilitation of the Commons, Ithaca’s downtown pedestrian mall, and making changes within the Ithaca Police Department in an effort to improve police and community relations.

He ran and won to serve another four year term as Mayor of the City of Ithaca leading with a commanding 89% of the vote in 2015. In February 2016 Mayor Myrick released the Ithaca Plan: a Public Health and Safety Approach to Drugs and Drug Policy that garnered international attention for its forward thinking. Mayor Myrick has also gained some accolades for strengthening Ithaca’s Sanctuary City status for refugees.

David Orr


David W. Orr is the Paul Sears Distinguished Professor of Environmental Studies and Politics and Special Assistant to the President of Oberlin College. The Oberlin Project was formed out of David Orr’s vision of full-spectrum sustainability: an all encompassing joint venture by the town and College to create a thriving, sustainable and environmentally friendly community in Oberlin. He is the recipient of six honorary degrees and other awards including The Millennium Leadership Award from Global Green, the Bioneers Award, the National Wildlife Federation Leadership Award, a Lyndhurst Prize acknowledging “persons of exceptional moral character, vision, and energy.” His career as a scholar, teacher, writer, speaker, and entrepreneur spans fields as diverse as environment and politics, environmental education, campus greening, green building, ecological design, and climate change. He is the author of seven books and co-editor of three others. In addition to serving on the Board of the Children & Nature Network, he has served as a Trustee for many organizations including the Rocky Mountain Institute, the Aldo Leopold Foundation, and the Bioneers. He has been a Trustee and/or advisor to ten foundations.

Amy Pertschuk


Amy Pertschuk is a co-founder of the Children & Nature Network and served as C&NN’s Managing Director (2006 – 2011) and Director of Network Communications (2012 – 2016). With a focus on organizational development, grassroots movement building, and online community engagement, Pertschuk helped establish C&NN as a leader in the movement to reconnect children to the natural world. Prior to C&NN, Pertschuk co-founded, an online nature-discovery resource and Communication Wave, an award winning  multi-media design studio specializing in interactive exhibits for museums and aquariums.

Stephen J. Pont, MD, MPH, FAAP


round-pont-138Dr. Stephen Pont joined the Texas Department of State Health Services in November 2017 to lead the newly formed Office on Science and Population Health. Before that, he co-founded and served as the founding medical director for the Dell Children’s Texas Center for the Prevention and Treatment of Childhood Obesity. Dr. Pont also served as the medical director for Austin Independent School District’s Student Health Services with more than 85,000 students and 120 campuses.  Additionally, he worked with a team including the UT-School of Public Health and the USDA/Baylor College of Medicine on a CDC Childhood Obesity Research Demonstration Project. He is an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics with UT Austin Dell Medical School and an adjunct Professor in the UT-Austin Departments of Advertising and Nutrition. Dr. Pont works with many organizations to promote health and to reverse the childhood obesity epidemic, including Marathon Kids, Children’s Optimal Health, Latino Healthcare Forum, Texas Department of Agriculture, Fitnessgram and the Texas Medical Association.  He is the Founding Chair of the American Academy of Pediatrics’ Section on Obesity. Dr. Pont and his team work with patients and communities to improve health, locally, nationally and internationally, through multidisciplinary individual and group programs, leading advocacy efforts and spreading healthy messages in English and Spanish through TV, radio, internet, and print.  Dr. Pont became a member of the Children & Nature Network Board of Directors in 2015.

Hannah Quimby


round-pont-138Hannah Quimby serves as Executive Director of the Quimby Family Foundation, an organization with the mission to grow human wholeness by fostering the relationship between people and nature. Prior to her current role, Hannah worked to grow her family’s business, Burt’s Bees, as a territory manager and corporate trainer. Hannah holds a graduate degree in Integrative Health, is a certified fitness instructor and nutritionist, and graduated from the 2015 Exponent Philanthropy Next Gen Fellows program.Hannah was raised in an off the grid cabin, surrounded by forest to explore, and hiked the Appalachian Trail from Georgia to Maine as a young adult. These experiences imbued her with a deep love for wilderness and an appreciation of how outdoor time and human health go hand in hand. She’s committed to supporting access to value forming outdoor experiences for all.

Hannah is a trustee of three family foundations, serves on the Advisory Board of the East Coast Greenway Alliance, and is an Outreach Ambassador with the Outdoors Empowered Network.

Jesse Sixkiller


Jesse Sixkiller is an attorney at the law firm Gray Plant Mooty in Minneapolis, where he advises for-profit and non-profit clients ranging from startups to large organizations in various corporate and transactional matters. Prior to private practice, Jesse was a law clerk at the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Minnesota, and prior to law school, Jesse worked on federal policy matters in Washington, DC, for the executive branch of his tribe, the Cherokee Nation. Jesse received his law degree at the University of Arizona and his undergraduate degree in both Government and Native American Studies at Dartmouth College. Jesse and his growing family live in Minneapolis where they like to explore the creek near their home. His latest outdoor hobby is fly fishing.

Richard Louv

Chair Emeritus

round-louv-138Richard Louv is co-founder and Chairman Emeritus of the Children & Nature Network and the author of eight books, including Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder and The Nature Principle: Reconnecting with Life in a Virtual Age (Algonquin). His books have been translated into 12 languages and published in 17 countries, and helped launch the international movement to connect children and their families to nature. He is the recipient of the 2008 Audubon Medal. He has served as an adviser to the Ford Foundation’s Leadership for a Changing World award program, is a member of the Citistates Group, serves on the editorial board of Ecopsychology and appears often on national radio and television programs, including the Today Show, CBS Evening News, and NPR’s Fresh Air, and travels frequently to address international gatherings. In 2010, he delivered the plenary keynote at the national conference of the American Academy of Pediatrics, and in 2012 was keynote speaker at the first White House Summit on Environmental Education. He has written for The New York Times, The Washington Post, the Times of London, Orion, Outside and other newspapers and magazines, and was a columnist for The San Diego Union-Tribune and Parents magazine.










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