About us

VISION

We inspire respect for early naturalist explorers and ensure conservation of their work, as well as the plants, animals and habitat they studied, through education and research.

Patron

Sir Ghillean Prance, FRS, VMH – Lyme Regis, UK

Sir Ghillean Prance was educated at Malvern College and Keble College, Oxford. He has been senior vice president for science at the New York Botanical Garden and director of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1993, and knighted in July 1995, he is currently McBryde Senior Fellow at the National Tropical Botanical Garden, Hawaii, scientific director and trustee of the Eden Project in Cornwall, and visiting professor at Reading University. Sir Ghillean Prance continues to be active with research in plant systematics and in conservation of the tropical rain forest.

VISION

We inspire respect for early naturalist explorers and ensure conservation of their work, as well as the plants, animals and habitat they studied, through education and research.

President

John H. Rashford – Charleston, SC

Professor of Anthropology at the College of Charleston with a strong interest in ethnobotanical research and the ethnobiological sciences generally. He is a past president of the Society for Economic Botany and is a member of the Linnean Society of London. He is currently the President of the Board of the Charleston Museum, and a board member of the National Tropical Botanical Gardens and the Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation.

Vice President

Charles Berolzheimer – Stockton, CA

Charles Berolzheimer, an enthusiast of natural history learning, has a passion for integrating his commitment to nature, the arts, sciences and conservation into business and non-profit environments. As CEO of California Cedar Products Company, foremost supplier of sustainably managed woods to the pencil industry, he created the company’s Palomino family of brands and leads development and distribution of educational and entertainment content via the company’s online channels, Pencils.com and Studio602. He is as a board member and consultant to Duraflame, Inc., the leader in bio-fuel based, clean burning consumer hearth and cooking products. He managed the early development of the eco-tourism Lodge at Little St. Simons Island, GA., and has provided continuing advisory support on natural history education programs and conservation practices to the Lodge as well as to the Barrier Island Foundation. He and his wife Ginger are Co-founders of the Blackwing Foundation dedicated to improving student engagement in arts and music at the K-12 level. Charles currently serves as a member of the Board of Regents of the University of the Pacific in Stockton, CA. He was also a past Trustee of The Cate School in Carpinteria, CA., and has served on several non-profit and start-up boards.

Treasurer

Hugh C. Lane, Jr. – Charleston, SC

Hugh Lane is currently Chairman of The Bank of South Carolina. After graduating the University of Pennsylvania, Lane entered the Navy and upon receiving an honorable discharge, began his banking career.

He is currently a member of the Charleston County Conservation Bank Board and has served as a member of the Advisory Committee for the ACE Basin National Estuarine Research Reserve System. He is past Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Belle W. Baruch Foundation; Trustee and past Chairman, Board of Wofford College; Trustee and past Chairman, SC Independent Colleges & Universities; Trustee and past President, Charleston Museum; past Co-Chairman, Community Relations Committee; past member, Advisory Committee for the Storm Eye Institute of MUSC; and past member, Board of Trident Urban League.

He is the recipient of Honorary Doctorates from Charleston Southern University and The Citadel, the Wofford College National Alumni Council “Distinguished Citizen Award”, the Avery Citizenship Award, the Joseph P. Riley Leadership Award and the Order of the Palmetto.

Secretary

Maurice Thompson – Charleston, SC

Maurice H. Thompson, participant in and advocate of major projects in conservation and preservation; volunteer in numerous educational and civic endeavors; heritage gardener; study traveler to, in particular, classical and ancient history archaeological sites; former assistant organizer and manager of major international scientific meetings; former teacher; librarian; and current member of and officeholder in a variety of literary, educational and research organizations, including The American College of the Building Arts, the Department of Education, Health and Human Performance at the College of Charleston, Capers Preparatory Christian Academy, the Preservation Society of Charleston, multiple functions of the Historic Charleston Foundation, including the Russell House Committee and the Antiques Show, and co-founder, with her husband and Dr. ML Weisfeldt, Director, Department of Medicine, of the Osler Foundation at The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

Executive Director

David J. Elliott – Charleston, S.C.

David Elliott retired from a 37 year career with The Procter & Gamble Company as Director of International Trade in 1994. He has served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of Commerce, and as an Adjunct Fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. He is Founder, Chairman and now Honorary Trustee of the Kiawah Island Natural Habitat Conservancy. Born in England, he was educated at Dartington Hall School in Devonshire and Trinity College in Connecticut.

VISION

We inspire respect for early naturalist explorers and ensure conservation of their work, as well as the plants, animals and habitat they studied, through education and research.

Trustees

Trustee

Robert L. Brooke – Richmond, VA

Rob is a founding partner of Mauck & Brooke PLC, a civil litigation and IP boutique law firm located in Richmond.  Before that, he lived in Charleston and was General Counsel of Kiawah Partners. Prior to joining Kiawah Partners in 2011, Rob was a partner in the firm of Troutman Sanders LLP in Richmond with a practice focusing on intellectual property, civil litigation and corporate law. Rob holds a B.A. magna cum laude from Washington & Lee University and a J.D. from the University of Virginia. He is married to Lynn Burris Brooke, a Charleston native; they have three daughters: Caroline, Elizabeth and Ralston.

 

Trustee

Sarah Carey – Mt. Pleasant, SC

Sarah Carey was National Chair of the Garden Club of America Scholarship Committee and was the Garden Club of America Liaison to the Royal Horticultural Society (2007-2014).  She conceived and coordinated the award-winning GCA Centennial Exhibit, A Lasting Legacy, at the 2013 RHS Chelsea Flower Show.   In February 2016 she was awarded the Royal Horticultural Society Vietch Memorial Medal for her outstanding contribution to the advancement of the science and practice of horticulture. 

She served on the boards of the UNC-Chapel Hill Women’s Leadership Council and their Faculty Mentoring Awards Committee; the Kansas Cosmosphere Foundation Board; the Hospital for the Women of Maryland, the Greater Baltimore Medical Center; and was Chairman of the Board of Governors, Westminster Children’s Hospital School, London. Past involvement includes numerous educational and medical advisory boards in Britain and Maryland. 

She was a child psychotherapist and educator in London for twenty years and a lecturer at the University of Virginia in early childhood development. 

Trustee

Kevin Cox – Kiawah Island, SC.

Kevin and his wife Joy reside on Kiawah Island.  He currently serves as Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Kiawah Conservancy.  He joined the Board in 2007.   Kevin retired from Merrill Lynch in 2006 as Senior Vice President, Global Head of Risk Management and Funding.  After his retirement he was elected to the Board of Merrill Lynch International Bank in Dublin, Ireland until 2012.

During his career at Merrill, he served as Managing Director and Head of Corporate Credit and Capital Commitments, Group Head of Leveraged Finance, Head of Investment Banking in Tokyo, Japan and as a Senior Relationship Manager for Corporate and Financial Sponsor clients in the U.S. and in Europe.

Kevin has served as a Trustee on the Board of The University of Richmond, where he is now an Emeritus Trustee.  He also served for twelve years on the Board of The Far Brook School, a K-8 School in Short Hills NJ, that taught through the arts. 

Kevin received his BS from The University of Richmond and his MBA from The Darden School at The University of Virginia.

Trustee

Charles H. P. Duell – Charleston, SC

Charles Duell is the founder and current President of the Middleton Place Foundation that owns and operates Middleton Place, a National Historic Landmark near Charleston, South Carolina, famous for America’s Oldest Landscaped Gardens. He is also President of the Middleton Inn Company. He is also presently a Trustee of Classical American Homes Preservation Trust and a Trustee Emeritus of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.  He was formerly a Chairman of the Charleston Board of Architectural Review and has served on numerous not-for-profit and for-profit boards, both locally and nationally.

Trustee

Dr. Hardy Eshbaugh – Oxford, OH

Professor Emeritus at Miami University; Research Associate,Missouri Botanical Garden; President, Elizabeth Henderson Wakeman Charitable Foundation; Fellow, American Association for the Advancementof Science and the Explorers Club. He serves on the Boards of the Atlantic Salmon Federation and Hawk Mountain. He has served as Vice-Chair of the Board,National Audubon Society, Vice Chair of the Ohio Chapter of the Nature Conservancy, President of the American Institute of Biological Sciences, the Botanical Society of America, the American Society of Plant Taxonomists, and the Society for Economic Botany as well as Associate Program Director at the National Science Foundation.

Trustee

Mrs. Roger P. Hanahan – Charleston, SC

Bessie Hanahan is currently a member of the Board of Trustees for the National Tropical Botanical Garden, the Charleston Heritage Symposium, the Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts, and the Preservation Society of Charleston, SC.   She has previously served on the Boards of the Spoleto Festival - USA, the South Carolina Historical Society, and the Charleston Community Concert Association.

Trustee

Marian Hill – Atlanta, GA

Marian W. Hill is the Immediate Past President of The Garden Club of America, she currently serves on The University of Georgia College of Environment & Design Dean’s Advisory Council; The University of Georgia CED Capital Campaign Committee; The Garden Club of Georgia State Board; The Michael C. Carlos Museum of Emory University Board of Visitors; and the University of Georgia Press Advisory Council.  Past involvement includes The High Museum of Art “Art in Bloom” Chairman; The Georgia Trust for Public Land Advisory Council; and The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center Board of Directors, Vice President.

Trustee

Craig H. Metz – Washington, D.C.

An attorney and partner in the Washington Office of Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough LLP, Metz has more than 20 years of legislative experience at the Federal level, including staff positions in the US Senate and the US House of Representatives, as well as serving in senior positions in the Executive Branch. His multiple awards include The Order of the Palmetto; and he serves on the US Advisory Board of the Churchill Archives Centre at Cambridge University; as Trustee of The Dwight D. Eisenhower Society; on the Advisory Board of the South Carolina Political Collections at The University of South Carolina; and, by appointment of Queen Elizabeth II, he is an officer in The Order of Saint John.

Trustee

Cynthia P. Neal – Nashville, TN

Producer and Director of "The Curious Mister Catesby" documentary film. With a background in Fine Arts and Performance, she is a veteran of the motion picture production and broadcast industries. Her productions have won Emmy and other major awards, including at the New York film festival. She has produced a significant body of work devoted to wildlife and natural habitat conservation across the North and South American continents. She was educated at West Virginia University and Carnegie Institute in Theatre and Stage as well as broadcast communications.

Trustee

J.G. Richards Roddey – Kiawah Island, SC

Roddey, prior to retirement, managed the Bank of America’s Eastern Hemisphere operations in London. Using his investment banking experience he is now a management consultant with his own firm in Europe. A graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy he became a fighter pilot in the Air Force rising to the level of Colonel. He has served on a number of corporate, and university boards, as well as the Palmetto Trust for Historic Preservation and the Kiawah Island Conservancy.

Trustee

Thomas Schreck – Portola Valley, CA

Currently co-founder and CEO of SinuSys, a sinus health company in Palo Alto, California, Tom Schreck has also co-founded several other medical technology companies including AcelRx Pharmaceuticals, where he served as Chairman/CEO, and DURECT Corporation, where he served as CEO/President and then Chief Financial Officer and Director. He has also held various investment banking positions in the San Francisco Bay area and London, including with Montgomery Securities and Manufacturers Hanover Limited.

A graduate of Menlo School and Williams College, Tom is an accomplished athlete, having represented the United States internationally in the Three Day Event (an Olympic Equestrian multi-disciplinary event). He has also competed in triathlons (Alcatraz and Wildflower), endurance events (The Bridger Ridge Run) and several World Championship Ride & Tie events. Tom was captain of Track & Field and Cross-Country at both Menlo School and Williams College. In his spare time, Tom collects 18th century rare books and scientific instruments. He hopes to donate his collection to Old Sturbridge Village, a museum that represents colonial New England at the turn of the 18th century, which his family founded in the 1940’s.

Trustee

Mrs. Charles Waring – Charleston, SC

Jane O. Waring, retired journalist, presently serving as Trustee on the National Board of Friends of Sulgrave Manor (ancestral home of George Washington in England) and as an advisor to the Board of the Preservation Society of Charleston. She is a former member of the Board of The Palmetto Conservation Foundation; former Commissioner of The Legacy Trust of S.C.; past president of the Board of Trustees of The Charleston Museum, the Preservation Society of Charleston, and the Junior League of Charleston, Inc.

Trustee

Arete Swartz Warren – New York, NY

Arete Swartz Warren is an architectural historian, lecturer and author of numerous articles as well as Glasshouses: An Architectural History of Greenhouses, Conservatories, and Orangeries (Rizzoli 1988) and Gardening by the Book: Celebrating 100 years of The Garden Club of America (Grolier-GCA 2013) which accompanied the major exhibition of GCA’s rare book collection at the Grolier Club in NYC. She served on the New York State Board for Historic Preservation (1998-2010), the Empire State Plaza Art Commission, and former Mayor Giuliani’s Commission for Protocol in New York City.  Mrs. Warren is past chairman of the National Council of the Ackland Art Museum at UNC-Chapel Hill and trustee emerita of the American Museum in Britain.  She was the founding executive director of the Royal Oak Foundation and has held various positions in museums in the United States and Britain.  Mrs. Warren has served as National Chair of the Garden Club of America’s Garden History and Design Committee and two terms as its National Chairman of the Library Committee.  She is past chairman of the Preservation League of New York State (2009-2012) and serves on a number of charitable boards.

Trustee Emeritus

Trustee Emeritus

Dr. Charles Nelson – Norfolk, UK

VISION

We inspire respect for early naturalist explorers and ensure conservation of their work, as well as the plants, animals and habitat they studied, through education and research.

Artistic Director

Sylvia W. Bacon – Kiawah Island, SC

Sylvia Bacon has always had a strong interest in the arts and especially
photography.  Numerous regional magazines and newspapers have published her
work. She has been featured as "Artist of the Quarter" several times at the
community center on Kiawah Island and her photography continues to be
displayed in local exhibits including juried art shows.  She is a founder
and recent past president of the Kiawah Island Photography Club.  In
addition to photography she has volunteered in numerous community and
educational endeavors and served on several boards.  She majored in Business
Administration at The College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia.

Image selection and preparation by Sylvia Bacon.

 

VISION

We inspire respect for early naturalist explorers and ensure conservation of their work, as well as the plants, animals and habitat they studied, through education and research.

Senior Research Director

Dr. Charles Nelson – Norfolk, UK

Dr. Charles Nelson is a native of Northern Ireland.  He graduated in botany (1st class honors) from the University College of Wales, Aberystwyth in 1971.  After completing his doctoral research at the Australian National University, Canberra, he was appointed horticultural taxonomist in the National Botanic Gardens, Glasnevin, Dublin.  His numerous publications include several beautifully illustrated, award-winning books about the history of Irish botany and gardening.  Now a freelance author and editor living in Norfolk, England, Charles was Honorary Editor of Archives of natural history from 1999 until 2012 and was awarded the Founders’ Medal of the Society for the History of Natural History in 2013. In February 2015 he was awarded The Royal Horticultural Society's Veitch Memorial Medal for his outstanding contribution to the advancement of the science and practice of horticulture. For his  research on the history of Ireland's gardens and for raising the profile of Irish plantsmen, plantswomen, plants and gardens, in 2016 he was one of three recipients of the Royal Horticultural Society of Ireland's gold Medal of Honour.