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Lead From Where You Are

Panel Discussion

    Headshot of Michele Deramo
Moderator:

Michele C. Deramo, director for Diversity Education and Initiatives at Virginia Tech

Abstract:

Tales of leadership wins, losses, frustrations, and inspirations are shared in this moderated discussion featuring College of Natural Resources and Environment alumni panelists.

CFE Category 2: 1 hour

About the Moderator:

Michele C. Deramo is the director for Diversity Education and Initiatives at Virginia Tech and also oversees the Diversity Development Institute. Throughout her career, issues of race, ethnicity, class, and gender have figured prominently. Deramo is currently working towards her doctoral degree in ASPECT (Alliance for Social, Political, Ethical, and Cultural Thought) at Virginia Tech.

About the Panelists:
Teresa Martinez

Teresa Martinez is co-founder and executive director of the Continental Divide Trail Coalition. She started her career as assistant regional representative at the Appalachian Trail Conservancy Southwest and Central Virginia Regional Office and was later promoted to regional director. After 15 years with the conservancy, she moved to Colorado and joined the Continental Divide Trail Alliance. When that organization closed in 2012 owing to financial conditions, she and three colleagues founded the Continental Divide Trail Coalition, which is now the lead national partner with the U.S. Forest Service, National Park Service, and Bureau of Land Management in the stewardship, protection, and administration of the 3,100-mile Continental Divide National Scenic Trail.

Charisa Morris

Charisa Morris joined the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in 1998 at the Chesapeake Bay Field Office in Annapolis, Maryland, where she focused on streamlining consultation for the Endangered Species Act, reducing workload, improving the efficacy of survey techniques, and developing a predictive habitat model for the endangered Delmarva fox squirrel. In 2006 she moved to the Threatened and Endangered Species Program in the agency’s headquarters, where she developed the conservation framework approach, and later became branch chief of Bird Conservation in the Migratory Bird Program. She is currently the chief of staff for the director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, in which she continues to seek innovative ways to offer solutions, clarify expectations, and improve agency efficiency.

Kathryn Prociv

Kathryn Prociv is a meteorologist and weather producer for The Weather Channel’s flagship morning show “AMHQ,” where she is responsible for four hours of live television daily, including all weather content that makes air. She also serves as a producer for the long-form series "WX Geeks" and is in charge of generating new, innovative, and compelling weather content to support storytelling. A self-proclaimed weather geek, she has participated in several Virginia Tech Storm Chase trips, both as a student and now as a returning instructor each spring. She has a strong presence on social media where she communicates on all matters regarding weather, safety, and preparedness, and contributes to various weather blogs, including The Washington Post's Capital Weather Gang and United States Tornadoes.

Bettina Ring

Bettina Ring was appointed by Governor Terry McAuliffe to serve as the commonwealth’s seventh State Forester, leading the Virginia Department of Forestry into its second century of serving and protecting the citizens of the commonwealth. Ring began her career with the Department of Forestry and held a number of leadership positions, including deputy state forester, during 14 years with the agency. She recently returned to the agency from the American Forest Foundation, where she was the senior vice president of family forests, a position responsible for overseeing the American Tree Farm System — the largest and oldest sustainable woodland program in America. She has also served as executive director of the Bay Area Open Space Council in San Francisco and executive director of the Colorado Coalition of Land Trusts.

Dana Zambrotta

Dana Zambrotta has worked as a park ranger with the National Park Service since March 2015, giving interpretive tours, interacting with the public, and maintaining park sites. She is currently assigned to Kenilworth Park and Aquatic Gardens in Washington, D.C., having served at several other park locations in the region. She enjoys teaching in the outdoors and has also worked as a teen center supervisor, seasonal interpreter for the Fairfax County Park Authority, outdoor educator, and camp counselor. Zambrotta has faced many challenges as a person with dwarfism; however, her short stature has not discouraged her from learning and teaching others about the world around us. She also has to study harder than the average person owing to an auditory learning disability, but it has never held her back from striving to achieve her goals and inspiring others.

Anne Zimmermann

Anne Zimmermann recently retired after 35 years with the U.S. Forest Service. Her early career included positions as a wildlife biologist, threatened and endangered species biologist, and timber management assistant, later moving up to leadership positions as district ranger and forest supervisor. She served 10 years in the agency’s Washington, D.C., office as national director of watershed, fish, wildlife, air, and rare plants for the 193-million-acre National Forest System, a position that involved national policy, legislative issues, and substantial engagement with elected officials and citizens. She currently serves on the board of directors for four nonprofit organizations, including Carpe Diem West, which works to help citizens understand the risks to their watersheds, and Environment for the Americas, which promotes bird conservation.


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