TICATOVE's board of directors
A conservationist at heart, I have always had an affinity for protection of our natural environment. I possess a BA in Architecture with a MSc in Renewable Energy and Architecture. Apart from my degrees, my other passions include diving for which I was honored to become one of the highest ranking female dive instructors in Puerto Rico. I have received extensive training in coral conservation, turtle conservation, and fish, coral, and water quality monitoring. Since moving to Vieques I have been instrumental in organizing underwater cleanups and promoting conservation partnerships. I believe it is in partnerships with community and other conservation organizations, that TiCaToVe will move forward and grow into the future.
I have a lifelong interest in natural resource conservation. I’m a member of numerous environmental groups and am retired from NOAA, where I worked to conserve and manage fisheries and marine sanctuaries, protect habitat and administer marine education grant programs. I own a home in Bastimento and hold a BS in Biology and an MA in Environmental Policy and Planning. I have been an active volunteer in Vieques, including with COREFI, a member of the VCHT, and a TiCaToVe volunteer. My focus is on the continuation of the great programs of the prior board—and on helping implement new ideas we need to grow—especially, expanding educational opportunities to even more students and young people.
I worked at a dozen+ national parks before I joined TiCaToVe as a volunteer 8 years ago. My professional background is in media, events and public relations; and, I earned an MFA from Queens University. My career has encompassed the arts, public health and the environment. I continue to write magazine articles and radio essays about sea turtles and other conservation topics in Vieques. I co-founded Better Together on Radio Vieques, where I produced monthly conservation education pieces. I’ve been a professional grant writer, a communications strategist, served on other non-profit boards and founded a group focused on the interface between community and public lands. Vieques won my heart easily, and I now I call it home.
As an outdoor enthusiast, together with my wife Mary Hillery, I have been a mountain hiker, skier, canoeist and most recently, Summer Lighthouse Keeper/caretaker at Seguin Island, Maine and Bakers Island, Massachusetts. I was active in my town of Arrowsic, Maine, serving as Treasurer and Head Selectman over 9 years. As a machinist and maintenance pipefitter at Bath Iron Works, I was elected shop steward and Financial Secretary in Local 6, IUMSWA. Since Irma and Maria, we have been helping clear trails and clean beaches here in Vieques. We currently live in Santa Maria and are active in caretaking of Coast Guard Lightstations in the Summer months.
It took only one visit in 2014 to make me fall in love with Vieques. Its beaches and superb snorkeling made me want to buy a place here. Before retiring at the end of 2015, I spent 38 years working as an attorney and manager at the US Environmental Protection Agency. I held numerous positions there, but two relevant ones are: serving as the Director of the Superfund Enforcement program and most recently, directed EPA’s program under the National Environmental Policy Act. In that role I worked closely with other federal agencies such as the Department of Interior, including USF&W, and the Department of Defense on assessing the environmental impacts of major federal projects.
Vieques has always been near and dear part of my life. Retired from the US ARMY as a combat medic. Born and raised in Fajardo, Puerto Rico, close neighbor to Vieques. I came back after Maria, to help out with recovery and reconstruction efforts. Came down and part of Sail Relief Team which has worked with numerous organizations in Vieques. Currently reside in Monte Santo and also call home Reno, Nevada. I want to focus on continuing the mission that previous boards and volunteers have taken on in the conservation of this beautiful island. Excited about ensuring that volunteer opportunities are available and expanding the program.