Eastern Shore Land Conservancy

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Eastern Shore Land Conservancy is committed to preserving and sustaining the vibrant communities of the Eastern Shore and the lands and waters that connect them.

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Our Staff

Eastern Shore Land Conservancy is comprised of avid conservationists, outdoorspeople, agriculturalists, environmental scientists, public servants, urban development professionals, and a variety of other stakeholders in our community. We're all passionate about preserving the health, well-being, and quality of life of residents of our Eastern Shore region for years to come. Read more below about us and what we do!

Owen Bailey
Facilities & Office Manager

Jim Bass
Coastal Resilience Program Manager

Carol Bean
Agricultural Specialist

Megan D’Arcy
Stewardship Manager

Rob Etgen
President

Wayne T. Gilchrest
Education Programs Director (SEEC)

Whitley Gray
Landowner Assistance Coordinator

Lauren Halterman
Director of Advancement

Jennifer Hizer
Education Program Manager (SEEC)

Darius Johnson
Communications Manager

Grant Mayhew
Conservation Specialist

Theresa Miller
Finance and HR Manager

Katie Parks
Vice President of Conservation

David Satterfield
Conservation Specialist

Julia Babbitt Williams
Outreach and Engagement Manager


Owen Bailey Owen Bailey (Kid Pic)

Owen Bailey

Facilities & Office Manager

Owen joined ESLC July 2015, after having worked at the Rose O’Neill Literary House at Washington College for almost seven years. As the Facilities & Office Manager, Owen oversees the daily operations of the Eastern Shore Conservation Center. He serves on the Chestertown Historic District Commission and the board for the Friends of the Kent County Public Library.

Born and raised on the Eastern Shore, Owen Bailey earned a B.A. in American Studies and an M.A. in English from Washington College. He lives in Chestertown with his wife, daughter, and dog Daphie.

obailey@eslc.org  •  (410) 690-4603 x0

Jim Bass Jim Bass

Jim Bass

Coastal Resilience Program Manager

Jim joined the ESLC team in June of 2018. As the Coastal Resilience Program Manager, he assists local and state government partners in planning for the impacts of climate and sea level change. Jim studied Environmental and Emergency Management at the University of Delaware, and prior to ESLC he worked for nearly ten years in local government emergency management. At work, Jim is most passionate about hazard mitigation and building a resilient community through creative partnerships. Out of the office you can find Jim hiking with his wife and daughter or playing music in the back yard.

jbass@eslc.org  •  (410) 690-4603 x156

Carol Bean Carol Bean

Carol Bean

Agricultural Specialist

Carol joined ESLC after more than a decade working in the local food movement. She is passionate about how food creates community and believes that supporting working landscapes is one of the best – and most delicious – ways to preserve rural areas. As our agricultural specialist, she works to advance economic opportunities in food and farming related industries.

Carol attended Sarah Lawrence College in New York and graduated from Occidental College with a degree in Public Policy. She moved to the Chesapeake Bay upon return from an extended stay in South East Asia doing development work. She and her waterman husband own Know Good Farm in Witman, MD where they marry two iconic Chesapeake industries, farming and fishing.

cbean@eslc.org  •  (410) 690-4603 x162

Megan D'Arcy Megan D'Arcy kid photo

Megan D’Arcy

Stewardship Manager

Megan is the Stewardship Manager and she is responsible for ensuring that the Conservancy meets its commitment to perpetually uphold the terms of each of its conservation easements held on 51,384 acres of the beautiful Eastern Shore. She loves her work and enjoys time in the field hiking protected landscapes and connecting with easement landowners. Megan came to ESLC in 2009. She has a background in anthropology and natural resource management and holds a Masters of Environmental Studies from the University of Pennsylvania. Megan is the recipient of the 2016 Aileen Hughes Award and a Shore Leadership graduate. She enjoys life to the fullest living in Easton with her Partner Dan and two wonderful children.

mdarcy@eslc.org  •  (410) 690-4603 x163

Rob Etgen ESLC President Rob Etgen (Kid Photo)

Rob Etgen

President

Robert J. Etgen has been the Executive Director of ESLC since October 1990. He started his career as a Forest Ecologist for the U.S. Forest Service and also worked at times for the Maryland Department of Agriculture, the Attorney General’s Office in the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, two private law firms in Baltimore, and with the Maryland Environmental Trust where he assisted in the formation of eighteen private land trusts. In land conservation Rob has published extensively, received numerous awards including the Chesapeake Bay “Conservationist of the Year” in 2007, and has led Eastern Shore Land Conservancy to become one of the most successful and innovative land trusts in the Country. In community service Rob has served on the founding boards of several organizations, is currently serving as Vice President of the Chesapeake Multicultural Resource Center, and has been a “Big Brother” since 1994. Rob received his Juris Doctorate from the University of Maryland and a Bachelor of Science in Forestry from West Virginia University. Rob spends his spare with his wife Suzanne and two daughters Caroline and Rose, going on adventures around the Eastern Shore.

retgen@eslc.org  •  (410) 690-4603 x166

Wayne T. Gilchrest

Education Programs Director (SEEC)

The former U.S. Congressman was a longtime social studies teacher at Kent Couny High School. Wayne’s work at the Sassafras Environmental Education Center (SEEC) helps to promote environmental literacy across the Eastern Shore, especially in Kent County. A U.S. Marine Corps veteran, Wayne is a decorated Vietnam War veteran who received the Purple Heart, Bronze Star and Navy Commendation Medal. He lives in Kennedyville with his family and spends many hours hiking and canoeing around Turners Creek, which also is home to SEEC.

wgilchrest@eslc.org  •  (410) 348-5214

Whitley Gray Landowner Assistance Coordinator

Whitley Gray

Landowner Assistance Coordinator

Whitley started her career in Newport, Oregon as a Commissioned Officer in the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Corps, facilitating science aboard NOAA’s research vessels. Upon completing her service commitment, she continued supporting NOAA’s ships as a contractor through their Marine and Aviation Operations’ Environmental Compliance Office. There she helped NOAA’s shipboard and shore personnel understand and manage their ship’s environmental risks and impacts.  After five years on the shores of the Pacific, Whitley moved to Maine where she pursued and recently completed her M.S. in Marine Policy; her research focused on the sources of nitrogen in Casco Bay, Maine.

With a B.S. in Environmental Science from Iowa State and local research experience at Horn Point Laboratory, she gained an appreciation for the connection between people, land and water. As a Landowner Assistance Coordinator for ESLC she helps Eastern Shore landowners identify and implement Best Management Practices on their residential or agricultural properties. As she did with NOAA’s ships, here she helps landowners understand and manage their environmental risks and impacts so they are successful in their mission be it crop production or yard beautification.

Whitley lives in Easton, MD with her husband Matt, their two cats and three chickens.

wgray@eslc.org  •  (410) 690-4603

Lauren Halterman

Lauren Halterman

Director of Advancement

Lauren joined ESLC in spring of 2018. She grew up on the Western Shore of MD, but came to Washington College as a freshman and never wanted to leave the Shore. Lauren received her BA in Business Administration from Washington College in 1987.

She has more than 20 years of fundraising experience with Washington College and Chesapeake College. She has also used those skills as a volunteer with Easton Little League, her sorority (Zeta Tau Alpha), and at her children’s schools. Additionally, Lauren has worked as a Special Assistant to Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot – a perk of that job was traveling with the Comptroller and getting to see the beauty of our wonderful state.

She lives in Easton, has three grown children, and enjoys reading, needlework, walking and spending time with her family. Fun Fact: She hosted a Muscular Dystrophy carnival in her backyard when she was about 10 years old, raising $80. She started her career as a fundraiser early!

lhalterman@eslc.org  •  (410) 690-4603 x167

Jennifer Hizer Environmental Education Program Manager Jennifer Hizer

Jennifer Hizer

Education Program Manager (SEEC)

A Virginia native, Jennifer graduated from Virginia Tech in 2012 with a B.S. in Natural Resources Conservation & Recreation Management and a minor in Forestry. Jennifer completed an internship with the U.S. Forest Service and after graduation worked with Ecobeco to provide residents across the state of Maryland with energy efficiency education. Through this position, she found the Eastern Shore and has been a resident of Cecil County since 2014.

Jennifer has since completed a Volunteer Maryland Americorps Service Year gaining valuable program management experience at a local non-profit homeless shelter, Deep Roots. Joining Eastern Shore Land Conservancy in September 2017 as the Education Program Manager of the Sassafras Environmental Education Center has allowed her to continue working with other local non-profits by providing environmental education not only to local school groups, but to disadvantaged and minority groups in the surrounding area.

While a typical day at work may involve canoeing, fishing, hiking, or gardening Jennifer also enjoys spending time outdoors with her family and pets, painting, backyard birding, and visiting the Blue Ridge Mountains.

jhizer@eslc.org  •  (410) 348-5214

Darius Johnson

Darius Johnson

Communications Manager

Darius joined the ESLC in September 2018 to manage adaptive reuse and community projects focused on building vibrant Eastern Shore towns. Graduating from Washington College in 2015 as a Vincent Hynson Scholar with a B.A. in Business Management, Darius has further developed his interests and skills in the areas of Workforce Development, Fundraising, Program Management, Data Analytics, Education and Project Management. Prior to joining the ESLC, Darius has spent several years working for organizations such as Prometric, Johns Hopkins Neurology, and most recently, the Maryland Center for Construction Education & Innovation. He also spends time supporting his father’s concrete masonry business based out of Worton, MD.

An Eastern Shore native, Darius enjoys learning about the history that is deeply rooted in its communities while spending time kayaking its waterways, or hiking its trails. Darius currently lives in Grasonville, MD with his partner Arden and their dog, Izzy. He still pours concrete every now and then, too!

djohnson@eslc.org  •  (410) 690-4603 x154

Grant Mayhew Grant Mayhew Kid Pic

Grant Mayhew

Conservation Specialist

Grant joined ESLC in the fall of 2019 bringing with him legal expertise and a strong business background. He received his bachelor’s degree in Economics with a minor in Business Administration from Towson University in 2007. He then went on to obtain a Juris Doctorate in 2010 from Widener University School of Law en route to becoming a member of the Maryland Bar Association in 2016. Grant spent several years developing an algorithmic stock trading platform for local research firm Cycliphase, LLC before shifting gears to provide free legal advice to low income individuals through the non-profit organization Mid-Shore Pro Bono. Helping people and giving back to the community have always been values near and dear to Grant’s heart, and after spending most of his life growing up on the Shore, he is happy to play a part in protecting our ‘delmarvalous’ region for generations to come. Outside of work, Grant enjoys playing tennis, kayaking, serving on Easton’s Historic District Commission, and generally taking every opportunity to learn something new.

gmayhew@eslc.org  •  (410) 690-4603 x161

Theresa Miller Theresa Miller

Theresa Miller

Finance and HR Manager

Theresa joined the ESLC team in July 2016 as the Finance and HR Coordinator. Theresa, a Sussex County, Delaware native, earned her associates degree in Accounting and went on to complete her B.S. in Business with a Concentration in Accounting. She has worked in Human Resources and Finance for many years. After spending 15 years in banking, she took on the work of human resources for various companies such as overhead/underground utilities, and long term health care facilities. She also worked in the Delaware court system for a short time. Theresa lives in Bridgeville, DE where she enjoys entertaining, gardening, listening to 80’s hair bands (favorites include Def Leppard and Bon Jovi), and driving fast cars.

tmiller@eslc.org  •  (410) 690-4603 x164

Katie Parks ESLC Conservation Vice President

Katie Parks

Vice President of Conservation

Katie joined ESLC with more than 11 years of real estate experience in the private and public sectors, most recently serving at the Maryland Department of Transportation. She received her bachelor’s degree in business administration and her master’s degree in business administration from the University of Baltimore. Outside of work, Katie enjoys paddleboarding the beautiful waterways of the Eastern Shore.

kparks@eslc.org  •  (443) 695-1349

David Satterfield

David Satterfield

Conservation Specialist

David joined ESLC in January 2018 after a stint as ESLC’s Stewardship Intern in 2016 and Stewardship Contractor in the Fall 2017. An Eastern Shore native, David grew up on a farm in southern Caroline County. As a child he developed a love and respect for wildlife through hunting and fishing with his family. In 2011, David turned his respect for wildlife into a Bachelor’s degree in Biology from Towson University. When not working he enjoys spending time with his dog, Duke, gaming with friends, cooking, reading books, and birding.

dsatterfield@eslc.org  •  (410) 690-4603 x169

Julia Babbitt Williams Julia Babbitt Williams

Julia Babbitt Williams

Outreach and Engagement Manager

A native of Virginia, Julia has spent the majority of the past 30 years living in Maryland since receiving her B.S. in Psychology from Virginia Tech. In addition to her recent work at the Shore Update community paper, she has worked as an environmental educator and operations manager at the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, was the executive director of MACMA, and a program coordinator at The Gunston School. She joined ESLC in the fall of 2017 as the outreach and engagement manager to help promote the mission, understanding, and relevance of ESLC’s vision by engaging with the people and organizations most affected by a rural landscape and vibrant towns. Julia currently lives in Centreville with her husband, three children, two dogs, one cat, and two chickens. She enjoys singing, hiking, being on, in, and around the water, and keeping up with the constant chaos of her family.

jbabbitt@eslc.org  •  (410) 690-4603 x171


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