Wild Virginia Staff
Misty Boos, Executive Director
Misty Boos received a Master of Environmental Planning degree from the University of Tasmania in 2006 and a BS in Sociology with emphasis on Environmental Studies from Southern Oregon University. She has extensive experience in the non-profit sector working on research projects and in the field for many environmental organizations. She has been an active participant and leader for Wild Virginia outings and completed training as a Virginia Master Naturalist. She spends every free second outside with her dog.
Misty spent many years studying, travelling and living abroad and this time has given her a global perspective on environmental issues that she tries to apply to her efforts with us locally in Virginia. Misty particularly loves working with volunteers helping them apply their unique skills and experience to help further Wild Virginia’s mission.
David Sligh, Conservation Director
David Sligh has worked for 35 years to make the promises of our environmental laws real. He has consistently and successfully pushed private parties and government agencies to base their actions on science, law, and the public interest. He has a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Science from the University of Virginia, a law degree from Vermont Law School, and is a member of the District of Columbia Bar. Dave has worked as a Senior Environmental Engineer for the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality, Founder and Director of Virginia PEER – the state branch of Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility, Southeast Regional Representative for American Rivers, Upper James Riverkeeper, adjunct instructor of Environmental Science at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, and as a consultant and advisor to citizen groups around the country.
Wild Virginia Board of Directors
Bette Dzamba – Chair Outings and Education
Bette Dzamba has loved hiking for as long as she can remember. She first became involved with Wild Virginia as a hike leader in order to share the fun of spending time “playing outside” with others. She believes that the more people spend time in wild places like the George Washington National Forest the more they will feel the value of such places and know the importance of protecting them.
In the winter of 2010 Bette and her partner David Sellers spent three months living in the Lamar Valley of Yellowstone National Park as volunteers for the Yellowstone Association Institute. They supported field seminars that the Institute holds at the Lamar Buffalo Ranch. Closer to home they are Virginia Master Naturalists and the trail maintainers for the Wildcat Ridge trail in Shenandoah National park.
Bette has a PhD in cell and molecular biology from the University of Wisconsin. She currently works in the Cell Biology Department at UVA trying to understand morphogenesis: the cellular movements that create form.
Howard Evergreen – Treasurer
Howard Evergreen grew up in Miami, FL as a city boy never even seeing snow until he left to attend college. He graduated from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania with a BS in economics. Not wanting to be part of the corporate world, he became a counselor for “emotionally disturbed” teenagers in a year round wilderness school. Over time he worked as the cook, family counselor, business manager and assistant director, doing whatever was needed.
In 1977, he and his wife had a child and shortly (too shortly) adopted 2 brothers, and moved to West Virginia for a try at living on the land. The family moved to Charlottesville in 1989 and Howard took a job with the Thomas Jefferson Planning District Commission managing a regional housing grant from which grew a couple of housing foundations. He became the director of the Fluvanna/Louisa Housing Foundation where he was able to put his business skills to good use creating a very successful non-profit. He has also served on the board of MACAA as treasurer and was a commissioner for the Charlottesville Redevelopment and Housing Authority for 6 years. After 25 years, he recently became voluntarily unemployed and is finding new ways to serve the community.
Katie Keller – Chair Outreach and Publicity Team
Katie has always preferred the outdoors growing up, playing on the neighboring farm, spending time on the Potomac River, or hiking the Appalachian trail. She received a Bachelors Degree in Social Work / Minor in Anthropology from James Madison University, where she worked as a group counselor for an alternative wilderness school, solidifying her love of nature and community. She also spent a good amount of time in the George Washington National Forest identifying wildlife, hiking, and camping. Katie has gained experience in a variety of non-profit organizations to include administration and counseling for free clinics, refugee resettlement, veterans, and other outreach organizations.
Esther Rekhelman – Net Impact Board Fellow
Ester is a second year student at the University of Virginia studying Environmental Chemistry and Global Sustainability. She hails from Brooklyn, New York, and her passion for environmentalist work was sparked rather recently when she moved to Charlottesville for school. After leaving the urban mecca that is New York, she fell in love with the Shenandoah Valley and began looking into ways to preserve the natural landscape of the world. Ester tries to advocate for sustainable living throughout her various involvements, such as her role as a university tour guide as well as in her Jewish community, and in the future she hopes to go into urban sustainability to help people who live and grow up in cities, like herself, learn what role they can play in saving the environment.
David Sellers – Secretary
David was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois, where fishing trips with his father to bass and bluegill ponds and the big Lake Michigan introduced him to the natural world. He came south to Charlottesville, Virginia with fellow Board member Bette Dzamba in 1997, after living in proximity to some of the more beautiful parts of the northern U.S., in Oregon, Washington, and Wisconsin.
David enjoys frequent hikes in the Virginia mountains, and less frequently paddling the local streams and the tidewater areas around Chesapeake Bay. He first joined Wild Virginia after one of our hikes and now leads outings and is a member of Wild Virginia’s Outings and Education Committee.
David is also a Virginia Master Naturalist and a trail overseer with the Potomac Appalachian Trail Club in Shenandoah National Park. David has spent his working career in the air pollution field, first for the federal government and state agencies, and now working as an environmental consultant in Charlottesville.
Deirdre Skogen – President
Deirdre hails from Richmond via Caroline County, Virginia where she was born and raised on a 3rd generation dairy farm. Her fondest memories include building forts in the woods, hunting for arrowheads, and setting up a ‘laboratory’ at her grandfather’s pond to study trees, beavers, and any other critters that would allow. She graduated summa cum laude with a BA in Sociology from Mary Baldwin College in Staunton as a Loyalty Scholarship recipient and a member of both the Communication and Sociology honors societies. After briefly working for the YWCA advocating for and counseling victims of domestic and sexual violence, motherhood called her for her next adventure. She is an avid kayaker, potter, and Outreach Coordinator for Friends of Nelson in Nelson County Virginia.
Deirdre joined the Wild Virginia Board after volunteering at the Cville Pavilion pouring beer, hunting for inspiring and educational conservation articles, and securing a high-profile advocacy booth at the Lockn’ Festival.
Jamie Trost – Chair Development Team
Growing up in Northwestern Pennsylvania, Jamie spent much of his childhood in the woods and on the waters of Lake Erie and Presque Isle Bay. He has continued to live his life on the sea and in the forest as much as possible. He spent two years teaching English in a remote Japanese farming town called Bisei-Cho, the Town of Beautiful Stars. When school wasn’t in session, Jamie explored far-flung cultures and landscapes throughout Asia, writing travel pieces for Time Asia along the way.
Traveling home via Madagascar and Southern Africa, Jamie returned to the Great Lakes and joined a schooner offering environmental science programming in Northern Lake Michigan. Since then he has spent 20 years as a sailor, educator, and captain aboard some of the finest traditional ships in the United States. He is currently Port Captain for Grays Harbor Historical Seaport Authority, out of Aberdeen, Washington, and splits his time between Virginia and the Pacific Northwest.
Since moving to the Shenandoah Valley, Jamie has focused his attention on the woods and inland waters of the Shenandoah Valley. In 2017, he became a Certified Forest Therapy Guide through Association of Nature and Forest Therapy (ANFT) and served as guide and interpreter for ANFT leadership on an 18-day exploration of Japan’s Health and Therapy Forests.
Ryan Wagener – Vice President
Ryan grew up playing in the woods behind his house in Northern New Jersey, and remembers taking his first hikes with his family in the Ramapo Mountains. He went to college in the Finger Lakes region of Upstate New York, where he soon found himself spending as much time as possible outdoors–much of it rowing on the waters of Cayuga Lake. After graduating with a degree in Economics, Ryan moved to Northern Virginia and joined the world of federal contracting. He now enjoys taking his kids on hikes each weekend, and tries to spend as much time with his family in the Blue Ridge mountains as possible. Ryan found Wild Virginia after becoming active in the fight against the pipelines threatening Virginia’s public lands, and was drawn to the organization’s focus on both education and advocacy. He looks forward to working with Wild Virginia to help reconnect those of us in Northern Virginia with our public forests, mountains, and waterways.
Lil Williams [Elizabeth Kennon Williams, MD]
Lil has been a life-long lover of nature. She grew up in Richmond, Va, and spent her summers either on a farm on the Chesapeake Bay or in the mountains of North Carolina, at a camp that sent the 12-13 year old girls out on 5 day backpacking trips with only sleeping bags as nighttime covers since tents were ‘too heavy’ for us to carry! The air, beauty, and natural life of both the bay environment and the South Eastern forests, deeply informed her childhood.
She graduated from Antioch College with a multidisciplinary degree in Botany/Latin American Studies and Modern Dance. After studying History of Science at the University of Kentucky, Lil began medical studies in her late 20’s at the University of Virginia. During her 30 year practice in Pediatrics in Charlottesville, an area of special interest was adolescents, especially teens and young adults with adjustment concerns, depression, eating disorders.
Lil retired a few years ago. Combining her love for Nature and years of professional focus on the healthy and happy future for all children, she has found Wild Virginia to be a wonderful organization to volunteer for. Wild Virginia, by providing multiple opportunities for the community to engage with our beautiful forests and advocating for the vulnerable ancient and splendid forest ecosystems, plays an invaluable role in today’s challenge of the threatened natural world.
Currently, we have two positions open on our Board:
Wild Virginia also counts on hundreds of volunteers from all backgrounds.
Please join us!
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