Conservation Conference 2019
November 19-20 | Hilton Baltimore

Thank you to all the attendees, exhibitors, sponsors, presenters and vendors who contributed to the success of this year’s Conservation Conference. Stay tuned for updates including photos and recaps.

And, save the date for the 2020 Conservation Conference, November 17-18.

As the only conservation organization to focus on corporate contributions to biodiversity, employee engagement and community relations, we are in a unique position to offer the most relevant and timely insight into the issues facing corporate conservation today. Conservation Conference attendees range from corporate EHS and CSR executives to boots-on-the-ground technical professionals, all working together to make positive impacts for habitat and education.

With 700 WHC-certified programs in 28 countries around the world, our collective reach can make a difference in our environmental and economical futures.

We’re driving change, one site at a time. What will your role be?

Visit the 2018 Conservation Conference website

Recognizing excellence in corporate conservation

Each year, we honor programs and projects that demonstrate excellence in the areas of wildlife habitat enhancement and restoration, and conservation education. Awards were presented at the Conservation Conference on November 19-20, 2019.

Corporate Conservation Leadership Award

  • Winner! Bayer

Employee Engagement Award

  • Winner! Waste Management

Gold Program Award

  • Winner! Koch Industries, Beaverhead Ranch

Avian Project Award, finalists:

  • Winner! BP, Warm Springs Ponds
  • Lancaster County Solid Waste Management Authority, Creswell/Frey Farm Landfill
  • PPG Industries, Monroeville Business & Technology Center
Awareness and Community Engagement Project Award, finalists:
  • CEMEX, Monterrey “Tanque Prieto”, “Mitras ” y “ATM” (México)
  • CEMEX, Tepeaca (México)
  • Winner! Dow, Ward Hollow Wildlife Habitat, Technology Park
Bats Project Award, finalists:
  • FCA, US Headquarters and Technology Center
  • Freeport-McMoRan, Copper Queen Branch
  • Winner! Lafarge Canada, Onoway Aggregates – Onoway Wash Plant
Forest Project Award, finalists:
  • Bayer, Chesterfield
  • Winner! Covia, Planta San Juan
  • Flint Hills Resources, Pine Bend
  • Marathon Petroleum, Marathon Gardens
Formal Learning Project Award, finalists:
  • Bridgestone, Aiken County PSR / LTR
  • Winner! Freeport-McMoRan, Port Nickel
  • General Motors, São Caetano do Sul Complex
Grasslands Project Award, finalists:
  • Boeing, Emery Landfill – Wichita
  • Winner! FCA, Dundee Engine Plant
  • ITC, Crow Island State Game Area Partnership
Green Infrastructure Project Award, finalists:
  • Winner! 3M, 3M Center
  • ITC, Wayland Warehouse
Integrated Vegetation Management Project Award:
  • Winner! Exelon, Pepco Transmission Right-of-Way
Invasive Species Project Award, finalists:
  • Winner! BP, Warm Springs Ponds
  • Freeport-McMoRan, Port Nickel
  • Southern Nuclear, Farley Nuclear Plant
Land Conservation Agreements Project Award:
  • Winner! Koch Industries, Beaverhead Ranch
Landscaping Project Award, finalists:
  • Winner! Freeport-McMoRan, Miami
  • Marathon Petroleum, Ohio Refining Division Westwoods
  • Waste Management, Guadalupe Recycling & Disposal Facility
Mammals Project Award, finalists:
  • Winner! BP, Dutchman
  • Koch, Beaverhead Ranch
  • Waste Management, CWM Emelle Facility
Other Habitats Project Award:
  • Winner! Vulcan Materials, Azusa Rock – Chaparral and Coastal Sage Scrub Habitat
Other Species Project Award:
  • Winner! Ontario Power Generation, Wesleyville Site – Trout Project
Pollinator Project Award, finalists:
  • Winner! Boeing, Emery Landfill – Wichita
  • Covia, Planta Lampazos
  • DTE Energy, Huron Renewable Energy Center
  • Waste Management, Okeechobee Landfill
Reptiles and Amphibians Project Award, finalists:
  • Canadian Nuclear Laboratories, Chalk River Labs
  • Winner! Dow, Ward Hollow Wildlife Habitat, Technology Park
Training Project Award, finalists:
  • Winner! Bayer, Chesterfield
  • CRH Americas, Booneville
  • General Motors, Kapuskasing Cold Weather Development Centre
Wetlands Project Award, finalists:
  • Winner! BP, Warm Springs Ponds
  • BP, Dutchman
  • Freeport-McMoRan, Port Nickel
  • Waste Management, American Landfill

Corporate Conservation Leadership Award
Our top award honors one company’s overall achievement in conservation efforts, and signifies an exemplary level of corporate commitment to biodiversity and conservation education, and meaningful alignments with global conservation objectives.

Employee Engagement Award

Presented to one organization, this award recognizes a company’s involvement in conservation through the sheer force of its employee teams who participate in its habitat and conservation education activities.

Gold Program Award

This award recognized the overall depth of one exceptional program in the Gold Certified tier.

Awarded to one of the highest-scoring projects in each theme.

Avian Project Award
Awarded to one of the highest-scoring projects in this theme, the project demonstrates adequate monitoring of targeted species and at least 1 associated factor (e.g. food sources), and the project must be adaptively managed.

Awareness and Community Engagement Project Award
Awarded to one of the highest scoring projects in this theme, the project meets a need identified by an external group, company or community group based on study or other information, and must clearly relate to a habitat or species project on-site (or support some other conservation project).

Bats Project Award
Awarded to one of the highest scoring projects in this theme, the project demonstrates adequate monitoring of targeted species and at least 1 associated factor (e.g. food sources), and includes evaluation of monitoring results to develop next steps for the project.

Caves and Subterranean Habitats Project Award
Awarded to one of the highest scoring projects in this theme, the project must have appropriate adaptive management practices, adequate monitoring, and includes evaluation of monitoring results to develop next steps for the project.

Desert Project Award
Awarded to one of the highest scoring projects in this theme, the project must have appropriate adaptive management practices, annual monitoring, and includes evaluation of monitoring results to develop next steps for the project.

Forest Project Award
Awarded to one of the highest scoring projects in this theme, the project must be adaptively managed using appropriate techniques, and monitored adequately at least once per year with results evaluated to create next steps.

Formal Learning Project Award
Awarded to one of the highest scoring projects in this theme, the project must be mapable to academic standards, meet a need identified by the community, and clearly relate to a habitat or species project on site (or support some other conservation project).

Grasslands Project Award
Awarded to one of the highest scoring projects in this theme, the project demonstrates adequate monitoring of vegetation at least two times a year or adequate monitoring of vegetation at least annually, demonstrates adequate monitoring of at least 1 additional aspect (e.g. wildlife use), and uses the evaluation to create next steps for the project.

Green Infrastructure Project Award
Awarded to one of the highest scoring projects in this theme, the project demonstrates that there are multiple features of the project that directly impact biodiversity, and the information about the biodiversity impacts are shared.

Invasive Species Project Award
Awarded to one of the highest scoring projects in this theme, the project demonstrates adequate annual monitoring, and the control and prevention methods should incorporate appropriate practices. 

Landscaping Project Award
Awarded to one of the highest scoring projects in this theme, the project has an adequate monitoring protocol, and the results of the evaluation are used to create next steps for the project.

Mammals Project Award
Awarded to one of the highest scoring projects in this theme, the project demonstrates adequate monitoring of the targeted species, and the monitoring results are used to create next steps for the project.

Marine Intertidal Project Award
Awarded to one of the highest scoring projects in this theme, the project must be adaptively managed using appropriate techniques, and monitored adequately at least once per year with results evaluated to create next steps.

Other Habitats Project Award
Awarded to one of the highest scoring projects in this theme, the project is adaptively managed using appropriate techniques and monitored adequately with results evaluated to create the next steps for the project.

Other Species Project Award
Awarded to one of the highest-scoring projects in this theme, the project demonstrates adequate monitoring of targeted species and at least 1 associated factor (e.g. food sources), and the project must be adaptively managed.

Pollinator Project Award
Awarded to one of the highest scoring projects in this theme, the project demonstrates adequate monitoring of targeted species at least once per year and at least 1 associated factor (e.g.  food sources), and should have a policy integrated into overall site operations to minimize, eliminate or apply responsible use practices of pesticides and herbicides with supporting documentation.

Remediation Project Award
Awarded to one of the highest scoring projects in this theme, the project demonstrates that outcomes have some direct ecological benefit, and the information about the biodiversity impacts are shared.

Reptiles and Amphibians Project Award
Awarded to one of the highest scoring projects in this theme, the project demonstrates adequate monitoring of the targeted species and at least 1 associated factor (such as food sources), and uses the results of monitoring data to create next steps in the project.

Species of Concern Project Award
Awarded to one of the highest scoring projects in this theme, the project must include a commitment to long-term or permanent protection, and the data collected about the target species during monitoring is shared with external organizations.

Training Project Award
Awarded to one of the highest scoring projects in this theme, the project must meet a need identified by an external group, company or community group based on study or other information, and the project must clearly relate to a habitat or species project on-site ( or support some other conservation project).

Wetlands Project Award
Awarded to one of the highest scoring projects in this theme, the project demonstrates adequate monitoring and use of monitoring data to create next steps in the project.

Award finalists and winners were chosen from Conservation Certification applications submitted from July 16, 2018 – July 15, 2019. (Applications received after July 15, 2019 will be considered for the 2020 WHC Awards. Applications under appeal are not considered.) 

For more information, please contact Thelma Redick at

Download the agendaDownload the quick schedule

Registration     5:00 pm – 6:00 pm

Breakfast | Key 7-8     7:00 am – 8:30 am

Exhibitor Setup     7:00 am – 10:00 am

Registration     8:00 am – 5:00 pm

Breakout Session     8:30 am – 11:15 am

Project WILD Workshop: Engaging Communities through Wildlife Education | Key 11 Technical Series

  • Marc LeFebre, Program Manager, Project WILD
  • Elena Takaki-Moschell, Director, Project WILD, Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies

Get trained in Project WILD, a hands-on curriculum for grades K-12 that emphasizes awareness, appreciation and understanding of wildlife and natural resources. Designed for learning in both formal (school) and informal (outdoor) classroom settings, Project WILD is one of the largest wildlife education programs in the world, having reached more than 100 million youth. In this session, engage in hands-on activities from each of the four curriculum guides: Project WILD, Aquatic WILD, Flying WILD, and Growing Up WILD, and walk away with six complete, ready-to-teach activities.

Breakout Sessions     8:30 am – 9:45 am

Back to Basics: Applying for Conservation Certification | Key 10 Starter Series

  • Caitlin Banigan, Manager, Conservation Certification, Wildlife Habitat Council
  • Emily Voldstad, Director, Conservation Certification and Technology, Wildlife Habitat Council

This session will cover the basics of WHC Conservation Certification, the website and application process. The WHC Certification team will explain what’s involved in applying for certification (both initial applications and renewals), requirements for projects to qualify, and how to build an application using the WHC Conservation Certification website. Attendees will also have the opportunity to participate in an interactive activity to facilitate understanding about how conservation activities fit into the different project types. This session is suitable for both beginners and experienced applicants who want to streamline their projects and ensure they are getting credit for their hard work. We recommend you also attend the session: Going for Gold: Tips for Strong Certification Applications.

How Are Your Plants? Using Floristic Quality Assessment to Determine an Area’s Ecological Integrity | Key 9 Technical Series

  • Martha Holzheuer, ECT Inc.
  • Tonya Hunter, ECT Inc.

Monitoring is an essential part of every habitat project, providing data that allows you to track your successes and make decisions about next steps. Several scientific methodologies exist to elevate vegetation monitoring data, including a Floristic Quality Assessment (FQA), a tool that assesses an area’s ecological integrity based on its plant species composition. Learn how to use data from FQAs and other types of vegetation monitoring to empower on-the-ground actions and evaluate progress to achieve desired conservation outcomes.

Exhibit Hall Open    10:00 am – 5:30 pm

Breakout Sessions     10:00 am – 11:15 am

Going for Gold: How to Strengthen Certification Applications | Key 10 Technical Series

  • Caitlin Banigan, Manager, Conservation Certification, Wildlife Habitat Council
  • Emily Voldstad, Director, Conservation Certification and Technology, Wildlife Habitat Council

The Plight of Pollinators – How Partnership Actions Can Help Slow the Decline | Key 9 Starter Series

  • Laurie Davies-Adams, President and CEO, Pollinator Partnership
  • Iris Caldwell, Program Manager, Sustainable Landscapes, Energy Resources Center, University of Illinois at Chicago
  • Dan Salas, Senior Project Ecologist, Cardno

With pollinator species and habitats in decline, there is a worldwide focus on their conservation. This session provides an update on pollinator conservation efforts around the world, detailing the continued deterioration of numerous important pollinator species and the potential devastating impact on biodiversity. Learn how partnerships can make tackling pollinator conservation issues easier and more effective, while meeting business goals in sustainability reporting and storytelling. Also discussed will be the new CCAA (Candidate Conservation Agreement with Assurances), which promotes voluntary conservation for monarch butterflies on energy and transportation lands.

Lunch and General Session | Key 1-6    12:00 pm – 1:15 pm
Sponsored by Bayer

State of Corporate Conservation

  • Margaret O’Gorman, President, Wildlife Habitat Council

Followed immediately by a book signing of Margaret’s new book, Strategic Corporate Conservation Planning | East Foyer Across from the App Help Desk

Breakout Sessions     2:00 pm – 3:00 pm

Climate Change and Biodiversity: The Time to Act is Now | Key 9 Corporate Series

  • Daniel Herms, Vice President for Research and Development, The Davey Tree Expert Company
  • Ron Sutherland, Ph.D., Chief Scientist, Wildlands Network

The conversation around climate change has become more and more urgent as we look to communicate the impacts and act on solutions. We know that conserving and sustainably managing biodiversity is critical to addressing climate change, but what can we specifically do? Can land management on corporate lands make a difference? In this session, we examine how WHC member companies can take the lead to mitigate or adapt to the climate change impact on trees, insects and birds with on-the-ground actions. We’ll also discuss strategies on how to best communicate climate change adaptation efforts and outcomes.

Diversity and Inclusion in Conservation | Key 12 Technical Series

  • Robert Harris, Program Manager, National Audubon Society
  • Lori Neufeld, Land Use and Biodiversity Lead, Imperial Oil

Biodiversity and climate change issues affect all people regardless of race, income, class, gender, age, disability, sexual orientation or religion. But traditionally, the conservation movement in the U.S. and Canada has attracted wealthy, white Americans. This limitation reduces the reach and impact of conservation to constituencies that care deeply about the environment and could have a profound effect on its future. In this session, we will explore how mainstreaming conservation to become more inclusive can have positive business, biodiversity and community outcomes. Learn how to better understand cultural challenges and differing worldviews to build long-lasting partnerships, including a look at how a collaboration between Indigenous communities, government and industry led to a historic agreement to protect Canada’s northern boreal forest.

Networking Break | Exhibit Hall      3:00 pm – 3:30 pm

General Session | Key 1-6      3:30 pm – 5:00 pm

WHC Nature Story Slam

Please join us on the main stage and tell your nature story.

  • Whether a personal story or one related to your company, you have 5 minutes to tell of your experience with nature.
  • It could be a sighting of a rare species, a walk in the woods with your kids, a fun experience with your wildlife team – anything goes – as long as it’s connected to nature.
  • Everyone is invited to participate. Click here to send an email to get your name on the list – there will also be sign up sheets at the Registration Desk and App Help Desk.

Registration     7:00 am – 5:00 pm

Breakfast and General Session | Key 1-6     7:30 am – 9:00 am

Keynote Speaker

  • Richard R. Arnold II, NASA astronaut and educator

Exhibit Hall Open     8:00 am – 3:00 pm

Breakout Sessions     9:15 am – 10:30 am

Learning for All Ages: Providing Accessible Education in Nature | Key 12 Starter Series

  • Tamra Baxter, Environmental Scientist, Freeport-McMoRan
  • Vanessa Brewer, Environmental Scientist, Freeport-McMoRan
  • Karen Kish, Project Assistant, Jacobs
  • Olya Phillips, Citizen Science Coordinator, Tucson Audubon Society
  • Richard Raid, Professor of Plant Pathology, University of Florida
  • Julia Rowe, Ecologist, Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum

Education as part of a corporate conservation program allows companies to share their knowledge of conservation topics, encourages community members to participate in local, regional and national conservation initiatives, helps build relationships, and offers access to greenspace. Corporate habitats of all types and sizes can be used as a vehicle for teaching; from bird watching events for seniors to tree planting days for elementary school students, there are many ways to engage all learners of all ages. In this session, learn how WHC members built successful community outreach and education projects by making conservation education accessible to a variety of audiences.

Sustainability Reporting: Leverage Your Conservation Efforts | Key 9 Corporate Series

  • Michelle Fitzpatrick, PhD, Global Sustainability Leader, The Chemours Company
  • Kim Long, Environmental Performance Improvement Manager, Exelon
  • Matt Silveira, Sustainability & Public Affairs Manager, CEMEX

Moderator: Sita Daavettila, Sustainability Manager, Summit Materials
Sustainability reporting is an important tool for companies to promote corporate responsibility and to display transparency to shareholders, stakeholders, employees and the general public. But what’s the best way to report your initiatives? In this session, learn about key conservation metrics and how they can be leveraged for sustainability reports and connect to the Global Reporting Initiative and the Sustainable Development Goals.

Breakout Sessions     10:45 am – 11:45 am

Off-the-Shelf STEM: Accessing and Using Ready-Made Lessons and Curricula | Key 12 Technical Series

  • Emily Benjamin, Community Development Specialist, Climax Molybdenum
  • Jansen Heckenberg, Teacher, Central Lee Middle School
  • Michelle Holyfield, Team Leader, Responsible Care – Compliance, Eastman
  • Rachel Lang, Program Coordinator, Project Learning Tree
  • Leah Sunna, Environmental Scientist, Freeport-McMoRan

Moderator: John Etgen, COO and Senior Vice President, Project WET
Ready to add a STEM learning project on your site? Enhance the lessons you already offer? The good news is there are a multitude of out-of-the-box lesson plans and curricula for all ages readily accessible to you. With just a little bit of research, find lessons that correlate with your site’s conservation goals and habitat. We’ll show you how to access and use several free tools for outdoor learning. We’ll also discuss how to build relationships with local schools to further enhance the learning activities on your site.

Transforming Remediation Sites Into Conservation Assets | Key 9 Technical Series

  • Mark Laska, Founder and President, Great Ecology
  • Michael Linton, Vice President, Properties and Land Development, Vulcan Materials Company-Western Division
  • Steve Szura, Environmental Specialist, FCA
  • Andrew Whitsitt, EHS Manager, FCA

Moderator: Monty Lovejoy, Principal and Director of Industrial Key Accounts, Ramboll
Environmental remediation approaches are moving beyond simply meeting regulatory requirements. Increasingly, companies are utilizing their remediation sites to create wildlife habitat, support local conservation priorities, and build green spaces for the community. In this session hear how several WHC corporate members used conservation-based approaches to site restoration that focused on more than returning sites to their former states, but transformed liabilities into ecological, community and corporate assets.

Lunch and General Session | Key 1-6     12:00 pm – 1:45 pm
Sponsored by ITC Holdings

Success is Possible: Smithsonian Earth Optimism Panel

  • Dr. Robert Adams, Owner, C&W Energy Solutions LLC
  • Bruno Vildoso Giesecke, Senior Environmental Programs Representative, Hunt LNG Operating Company, Peru (Invited)
  • Dr. Tremaine Gregory, Research Scientist, Smithsonian Conservation Biology InstituteModerator: Jessica L. Deichmann, PhD, Research Scientist, Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute
    The Earth Optimism movement is changing the conservation conversation from doom and gloom to optimism and opportunity. Started in 2017, by Smithsonian Institution and partners, Earth Optimism demonstrates that sharing stories of what’s working in conservation creates momentum for replication and action. Partnerships between corporations and conservation organizations showcase the importance of different sectors coming together to develop science-based solutions to reduce impacts on the environment. This panel session will explore examples of how applied ecological science has been used to develop solutions to biodiversity related challenges encountered by companies at different stages of operations. These topics include the unintended consequences of marine infrastructure development, the use of technology to monitor biodiversity, and seemingly small operations adjustments that can make a big difference in reducing infrastructure impacts.

Breakout Sessions     1:50 pm – 2:50 pm

Dive-In to Aquatic Species Projects: Tactics to Get Started | Key 9 Technical Series

  • Teal Richards-Dimitrie, Herpetologist, EnviroScience, Inc.
  • Ron Heun, Senior Environmental Specialist, Exelon Generation
  • Michael Liptak, Senior Scientist, EnviroScience Inc.

Do you currently have a wetland or marine intertidal habitat and are looking to add a new project? Looking for ways to enhance your existing conservation program? Hear from WHC members on how they developed and managed successful aquatic species projects including the development of habitat enhancement activities for reptile and amphibian species already on-site, and creation of artificial oyster reefs in the Chesapeake Bay. You’ll also learn about funding opportunities through the Five Star and Urban Waters Restoration Program, which provides challenge grants, technical support and opportunities for information exchange to enable community-based restoration projects.

Saving Birds: Innovative Strategies and Solutions to Protect Species of Concern | Key 12 Technical Series

  • Yoko Miyaoka, Analyst, Ricoh USA
  • Chuck Priestley, Principal, STRIX Ecological Consulting for Lafarge Canada

Moderator: Marc LeFebre, Program Manager, Project WILD
Avian-related projects are one of the most popular activities to include in a conservation program. Often these projects are focused on conserving bird species and their habitats. In this session, hear from WHC members in the U.S. and Canada on how they applied innovative thinking and collaborative problem solving to develop successful recovery efforts for avian species of concern, including how one company challenged employees to develop solutions for bird-strike prevention using their own products, and how another enhanced habitat for the American kestrel through a systematic process spearheaded by employee volunteers.

 Breakout Session     3:00 pm – 4:15 pm

How’s Your Tech? Enhance Data Collection with the Latest and Greatest Equipment and Apps | Key 9   Technical Series

  • Ben Faulkner, Consultant for Glenn Springs Holdings Inc.
  • Gene Huntington, Lead Consultant, Steward Green

If you aren’t using technology for data collection as part of your project management, then you could be wasting valuable time, resources and money. Learn how everything from the latest in high-tech equipment to free smartphone apps can enhance your monitoring techniques which can have a positive impact on your biodiversity goals. In this session, we’ll take a look at how to utilize drones in invasive species mapping and reporting, and what free and paid smartphone apps will best fit with your needs.

WHC Certification Photography Sessions     3:00 pm – 5:00 pm

Networking Reception    5:30 pm – 6:30 pm
Sponsored by Bacardi

Dinner and Awards Presentation | Key 1-6    6:30 pm – 9:30 pm
Sponsored by ExxonMobil

Please note that agenda and speakers are subject to change.

Richard R. Arnold II was selected by NASA in May 2004. Before his NASA career, the Maryland native worked in the marine sciences and as a teacher in places like Morocco, Saudi Arabia, and Indonesia.  During STS-119, he accumulated more than 12 days in space.  The objective of the mission was for the delivery of the final pair of power-generating solar array wings and a truss element for the International Space Station.  While onboard, he conducted more than 12 hours of spacewalks. Arnold most recently served as served as Flight Engineer on the International Space Station for Expedition 55 and 56.

As Manager of Conservation Certification, Caitlin serves as the primary point of contact for applicants with questions about Conservation Certification and the WHC Conservation Certification website. Growing up in Newport, Rhode Island her passion for the ocean led her to receive a B.S. in Biology and Marine Science from the University of Tampa in Tampa, FL. It was at UT where her interest in conservation grew. Wanting to explore the anthropogenic impacts on the ocean, she focused her graduate studies on the causes and consequences of Scyphozoan bloom phenomenon. These efforts resulted in a M.S. in Coastal Zone Management from Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale, FL.

Iris Caldwell, P.E., is Program Manager – Sustainable Landscapes at the Energy Resources Center (ERC) at the University of Illinois at Chicago. She facilitates the Rights-of-Way as Habitat Working Group, Illinois Monarch Project, and other efforts to engage industries in pollinator habitat conservation. She also provides technical assistance in the development of greenhouse gas offset projects and protocols and evaluation of renewable fuel production technologies.

Laurie Davies Adams served as Executive Director of the Pollinator Partnership for 20 years, leading the world’s largest nonprofit devoted solely to the health of all pollinators. She has presided over P2’s signature initiatives, the North American Pollinator Protection Campaign (NAPPC), National Pollinator Week, Eco-regional planting guides, the BeeSmart™ Gardener App, the U.S. Bee Buffer Project and Monarch Wings Across.

Robert Harris is a Program Manager with Audubon’s Equity, Diversity and Inclusion department. In this role he oversees the Fund II Foundation Apprenticeship Program, a new initiative designed to create career and professional development opportunities for young people of color pursuing in careers in conservation. He also works on building partnerships with other organizations interested in advancing workplace diversity. Before Audubon, Robert consulted for a youth development concern he co-founded designed to teach young people of color job-readiness skills. Prior to this, he was the head of research and training evaluation for the National District Attorneys Association. He was also a program evaluator for Childserv, a human services organization, and the Director of Marketing and Membership for The Gerontological Society of America. Robert has an MA from the University of Chicago and a BA from Fordham University.

Dan Herms is Vice President of Research and Development for The Davey Tree Expert Company.  Prior to joining Davey, Herms was a professor in the Department of Entomology at The Ohio State University from 1997-2017 where he was a member of the Ohio State University Climate Change Outreach Team.  His research and outreach programs focus on the ecology and management of trees. He has been elected a Fellow of the Entomological Society of America and the AAAS.

Ron is a Senior Environmental Specialist with Exelon Nuclear receiving a Bachelor of Science degree in Fisheries Biology from the University of Massachusetts Amherst in 1997.  He has managed and assisted in a multitude of fisheries and aquatic studies throughout the country currently managing the 316b aquatic studies program for Clean Water Act compliance.  Ron also provides oversight on numerous environmental programs in support of Exelon’s Nuclear Fleet.

Michelle Holyfield is the Responsible Care® Coordinator for Eastman’s Texas Operations facility in Longview Texas where she oversees a voluntary management system on Health, Safety and Environmental programs for the site. She also manages the Eastman Nature Center – which is a WHC Conservation Certification Silver Site. The Nature Center receives hundreds of visitors each year who participate in environmental education and STEM-related activities such as PLT (Project Learning Tree) activities.

Martha is a Program Manager with Environmental Consulting & Technology, Inc., an employee-owned, full-service environmental consulting firm. As a landscape ecologist she manages a variety of projects including ecological restoration; wildlife habitat improvement; environmental education; community outreach; rare species surveys and monitoring; floristic quality assessments; invasive species management; and native planting design and management.
Gene Huntington is an ecological land planner with degrees from Penn State (BS LARCH) and Columbia Business School (Nonprofit Management). He is currently the New Jersey Environmental Adviser for Rutgers Board of Managers.  Gene has been the Director of Research & Natural Resources for Duke Farms Foundation for over a decade and now is lead consultant for Steward Green wildlife habitat consultants.  He has led and completed successful Conservation and UAS projects

Karen Kish facilitates projects and activities at the 150 acre Ward Hollow Wildlife Habitat in South Charleston, West Virginia.  She works for Jacobs, contracted by The Dow Chemical Company, at the West Virginia Operations Site.

Karen graduated from West Virginia University with an MS in Entomology in 2004.  She was the State Forest Entomologist for the WV Department of Agriculture for 3 years before accepting her current position.

Mark S. Laska, Ph.D. has over 25 years of experience as an ecologist, businessman, investor, innovator, collaborator and industry leader. He is the Founder and President of Great Ecology, an environmental/ecological design consulting firm that focuses on habitat restoration and permitting, ecological studies, and Landscape Architecture and design.

Marc LeFebre is a Program Manager at AFWA. Marc’s work with the Project WILD family of programs began in 2002 when he helped develop Flying WILD: An Educators Guide to Celebrating Birds.  From 2002 to 2006, Marc served as the coordinator for the Flying WILD program, followed by serving as a manager for Project WILD from 2007 to 2018. Prior to joining the Project WILD team, Marc served as a program specialist for Texas Watch—training and networking organization for volunteer environmental monitors, as an elementary school teacher, and as a national park ranger. From 2013 to 2016, Marc served as Board President for Austin Youth River Watch, a youth development and environmental education organization for at risk high school students. Marc holds two bachelor’s degrees—in geography and applied learning development—as well as a master’s degree in geography.  Marc is also certified as a Project Management Professional.

Michael Linton has an extensive background in corporate finance.  For over 20 years, Michael has been responsible for managing Vulcan’s real estate portfolio throughout the state of California.  He has reclaimed old mining sites into restored natural habitats, productive farmlands, and water recharge facilities.  Capitalizing on the company’s land reclamation experience he has headed Vulcan’s efforts into land conservation, mitigation banking, and water conservation.

Dr. Liptak is a member of the ecological survey team where he specializes in wetlands ecology, wetland restoration, and mitigation wetland design. Dr. Liptak earned his Ph.D. at Ohio State University under the noted wetland ecologist Dr. William Mitsch, and completed his graduate research on the created wetlands at the Olentangy River Wetland Research Park in Columbus. He has over 20 years of experience in wetlands research and consulting, and is a Certified Senior Ecologist (Ecological Society of America). His main responsibilities at EnviroScience, Inc. include wetland mitigation planning, wetland assessments and delineations, technical report preparation, and permitting.

Dr. Liptak has experience in preparing mitigation plans for many different projects, including wetland creation, restoration and enhancement, as well as preparing upland restoration and prairie planting plans. Dr. Liptak has extensive experience with terrestrial, aquatic and wetland surveys for transportation projects of all sizes. He is a pre-qualified consultant certified to complete aquatic and terrestrial ecological surveys, wetland delineations, waterways permitting, and wetland mitigation design for Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) projects. He is a member of the Society of Wetlands Scientists and the Ecological Society of America, and regularly gives seminars on wetland issues and regulations within the state of Ohio.

Kimberly Long serves as an Environmental Performance Improvement Manager with Exelon Corporation. In this role, she is responsible for coordination of annual environmental performance and sustainability reporting for resource stewardship aspects including water and biodiversity, conducting benchmarking analyses and collaborating with key environmental stakeholders, developing new environmental initiatives and coordinating stewardship certification activities across the company. With Exelon, Ms. Long also served as a FERC License Compliance Manager overseeing the implementation of license commitments including shoreline, recreation, fish passage and flow management requirements for Exelon’s hydroelectric facilities. She also served as a subject matter expert responsible for environmental permitting and compliance support for NPDES, obstruction and encroachment, wetland, stormwater and drinking water programs.

Before joining Exelon, Ms. Long was employed with FirstEnergy Corporation as an Associate Scientist responsible for drinking water compliance, FERC relicensing support and obstruction and encroachment compliance at generation, transmission and distribution projects. Prior to that, Ms. Long worked for the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection as a Watershed Manager and a Water Pollution Biologist. At the Department, Ms. Long conducted stream assessments for fish and macroinvertebrates and compliance surveys, coordinated activities of volunteer monitoring and watershed associations, and supported Growing Greener Grant administration throughout Southeast Pennsylvania.

Ms. Long also serves as board member of the Pottstown Rumble Volleyball Tournament, and an advisory committee member of the Partnership for the Delaware Estuary.

Ms. Long received a B.S. degree in Biology from Millersville University and an M.S. degree in Biology from Bucknell University.

With over 10 years of the technology services industry, Yoko Miyaoka is the lead of corporate social responsibility in the environmental sustainability area.  Yoko and her team succeeded in creating pollinator gardens on the corporate land and raising awareness of decreasing pollinators and its impact across the company on the interactive intranet.  Her team invited WHC staff to lunch and learn sessions for employees to embrace corporate policy on biodiversity conservation

Lori Neufeld is a Senior Environmental Advisor at Imperial in Alberta, Canada, leading the company’s policy, advocacy and technical efforts on species at risk, land-use planning and wetlands.  For the past 20 years, Lori has been working to advance sustainable and responsible development of Canada’s oil sands.

Margaret O’Gorman operates at the intersection of business and nature. As President of the Wildlife Habitat Council, she helps companies find value in natural resources conservation and mainstream biodiversity across operations. She works with multinational corporations to develop integrated strategies to implement conservation projects to meet business needs and, in so doing, enhance ecosystems, connect communities and engage employees. She helps WHC members build conservation into their sustainability efforts and helps sustain conservation efforts through WHC’s signature Conservation Certification recognition, which serves to define the standard for corporate conservation worldwide.

Prior to joining WHC, she served as the Executive Director of Conserve Wildlife Foundation of New Jersey where she transformed the little-known statewide non-profit into a well-respected and effective organization focused on rare and imperiled wildlife protection and recovery in the Garden State. Margaret’s extensive fundraising and development experience comes from almost a decade in lead development roles at New Jersey Future and the Pinelands Preservation Alliance. She began her career in education publishing, developing an expertise in secondary and university STEM education.

Margaret is a compelling writer and speaker on the power of natural resource conservation to restore ecosystems, recover species, connect people and make a positive difference to business, people and planet.

She holds a BSc in geology and geophysics from University College Ireland, Galway and a Masters in Micropaleontology from the University of Southampton, UK.

Chuck is a Professional Biologist with 20 years of professional experience.  His interest in ecosystem management lead to opportunities including a variety of wildlife research, longterm monitoring, and habitat enhancement projects.  Since 2005 Chuck has co-owned STRIX Ecological Consulting and currently serves as a Director for the Alberta Society of Professional Biologists, the Alberta Chapter of the Wildlife Society and the Alberta Conservation Association.

Over the past 25 years Richard Raid has worked with agricultural interests in south Florida on a IPM program utilizing barn owls as a means of sustainable rodent control.  Initiated as a high school science fair project, the program promotes the use of nesting boxes to enhance barn owl populations, minimize rodenticide use, and to educate our youth and the general public about how agriculture and wildlife cannot only co-exist but benefit one another.

Teal Richards-Dimitrie is the lead herpetologist at EnviroScience Inc. with experience working on a wide range of wildlife projects. She has worked in many regions of the United States on a variety of taxa with varied listing status and has over twelve years of reptile and amphibian field survey experience. Her current role involves collecting high-quality site and species data, reporting, project management, and making recommendations for agency coordination.

Leah Sunna is an Environmental Scientist at Freeport-McMoRan’s Morenci Mine where she manages biodiversity programs for the site. Prior to this role, she worked in the electric utility industry as well the public sector. She holds a M.S. in Sustainability Management from American University Kogod Business School and a B.A. in Sustainability from Arizona State University School of Sustainability.

Steve Szura is an Environmental Scientist with experience as an environmental, health, and safety professional working with the manufacturing, automotive, oil, energy, metal, and mining industries in the private and public sectors. He has an extensive background in compliance, permitting, environmental remediation, restoration, sustainability, and emergency response for leaks and spills.

Elena currently serves as a Director for Project WILD at the Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies, where she can combine her passion for the environment and her calling to education. She enjoys working with dedicated formal and non-formal educators across the country to make wildlife education an engaging endeavor, while also being scientifically accurate, and encouraging learning in the outdoors.

As Director, Conservation Certification and Technology, Emily specializes in sustainability certification, including development, implementation, and impact assessment. She joined the Wildlife Habitat Council in 2009, creating reports to help companies enhance their land for wildlife before moving into WHC’s certification department in 2010 where she worked on WHC’s original certification programs. Emily then spearheaded the development of WHC’s new Conservation Certification as well as its online presence.

Prior to joining WHC, Emily did wildlife research at Zoo Atlanta and landscaping work in New England. She earned a Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Science from Skidmore College and a Master’s degree in Zoo Conservation Biology from the University of Plymouth in the UK.

Hilton Baltimore
401 West Pratt Street
Baltimore, Maryland 21201

The Hilton Baltimore offers luxurious accommodations in the exciting Baltimore Inner Harbor district downtown, a prime business, historic and cultural district in Baltimore.

WHC’s room block has expired so we cannot guarantee space or rates. Please call the Hilton Baltimore direct at 443-573-8700 to inquire about reservations.

The hotel is attached via enclosed walkway to the Baltimore Convention Center and adjacent to Camden Yards. Just minutes away are the Hippodrome Theatre, University of Maryland, Johns Hopkins and M & T Bank Stadium, home of the Baltimore Ravens.

Area Attractions

Join us in Baltimore – a city with a rich, diverse history, culture and amenities that offer visitors a unique and positive experience. All of Baltimore’s major tourism assets, from the Convention Center and hotels, to restaurants, attractions and retail venues, are open for business and available for you to enjoy. The proud Baltimore residents who staff all of those venues are eager to share them with you. For more information visit

Just a few of the many places to see in Baltimore during your visit:

      • Babe Ruth Birthplace Museum
      • Baltimore & Ohio Railroad Museum
      • Baltimore Museum of Art
      • Baltimore Zoo
      • Camden Yards – home of the Baltimore Orioles, including Sports Legend Museum
      • Edgar Allan Poe House and Museum
      • Federal Hill
      • Fell’s Point
      • Fort McHenry National Monument
      • Gallery Shops at Harborplace
      • Inner Harbor
      • M&T Stadium – home of the Baltimore Ravens
      • National Aquarium
      • Maryland Science Center
      • Star Spangled Banner Flag House

Register now

Biggest Savings!
August 28 – October 18  October 19 – November 19
Includes on-site registration
Member $600 $725 $850
Non-Member $675 $799 $925
Non-Profit, Government $375 $425 $475

Registration Policies
Registration includes five (5) meals, including the WHC Awards Dinner, and admission to all sessions. Registration is not final until payment has been received. Substitutions will be allowed. Refund Policy: 100% before August 1, 2019; 50% between August 1 and September 1, 2019; no refunds after September 1, 2019. All requests for substitutions and refunds must be made in writing to