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NPT Welcomes Five New Board Members

National Park Trust is very pleased to announce the election of five new board members – Ronnie Gathers, Wayne Hill, Timothy Irons, David Markarian, and Fredric Walls – to its Board of Trustees. The newest members of the NPT family come from diverse backgrounds – both professionally and personally.

"We are delighted to welcome Ronnie, Wayne, Tim, Dave, and Fred to the board. They are passionate about the Trust's mission and the importance of protecting and preserving America's parks and engaging our youth with these iconic places. Their professional skills and areas of expertise will be important assets to our board, leadership council and staff as we work together to meet the goals of our new strategic plan," stated NPT Board Chair Bill Brownell.

Ronnie Gathers

Ronnie-GathersRonnie Gathers was appointed Director of The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission's Prince George's County Department of Parks and Recreation in November 2007. Mr. Gathers has worked for the Commission for 22 years. Prior to joining the Commission, he served in the military, and worked several years as a civilian recreation specialist with the U.S. Army's Recreation Department.

Mr. Gathers holds a Bachelor's Degree in physical education and recreation from South Carolina State University, a Master's Degree in administrative management from Bowie State University and graduated from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government for Senior Executives in State and Local Government.

"I am excited to join the National Park Trust team. As a member of the board's Youth to Parks education committee, I am looking forward to connecting youth in Prince George's County and across the nation to our valuable natural resources locally and nationally," said Mr. Gathers.

Wayne Hill

Wayne-HillWayne Hill, an award-winning nationally recognized photographer, is founder of The HILL Art Group. His work focuses on the natural world and America's magnificent national parks. He was privileged to study with several giants of the photographic art world including Ansel Adams, Eliot Porter, and David Muench.

Mr. Hill just completed his tenure as President and CEO of Leadership Fairfax, Inc. in Virginia. A graduate of Dartmouth College, he learned 4x5 camera technique while working for the college photographer.

"America's parks are in my blood. I spent fifteen summers as a child roaming the land and waters of Acadia, worked for Ansel Adams in Yosemite as a young adult, and have traveled the country photographing our nation's parks as a professional for the past 40 years. What a privilege to help the NPT protect these treasures, and to introduce young people to the magic of our parks," stated Mr. Hill.

Timothy Irons

Irons TimothyTimothy Irons is a shareholder at the Los Angeles based law firm Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck. At the firm, he is a member of the natural resources, water and land use groups. His practice focuses on California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) administrative review and litigation.

Prior to joining the firm, Mr. Irons was a partner with Burke, Williams & Sorensen in Los Angeles. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree from University of California, Davis and his Juris Doctorate with distinction from the University of the Pacific's McGeorge School of Law.

"Growing up outdoors in Hawaii, I have great respect for the majesty and beauty of nature. I look forward to the opportunity to help preserve and promote awareness of our national park treasures here in California and across the country," remarked Mr. Irons.

David Markarian

davidDavid Markarian serves as Vice President of Government Affairs at NextEra Energy, Inc. where he oversees NextEra's federal government relationships. Prior to joining NextEra Energy, Mr. Markarian spent a quarter century providing in-court and appellate representation to corporate clients and individuals in the state and federal courts throughout the United States and nearly six years as litigation and regulatory counsel for NextEra Energy, focusing on a wide variety of energy industry issues.

Mr. Markarian received Bachelor of Science degrees in history and political science from Florida State University, and his Juris Doctorate from the University of Miami.

"I look forward to working with the board and staff at National Park Trust to address the growing disconnect between our youth and our natural landscapes. Furthermore, as a father I understand the importance of protecting these special places for my children and for their children," stated Mr. Markarian.

Fredric Walls

fredricwallsFredric Walls is a Senior Investment Manager for the Foundations and Endowments Specialty Practice of SunTrust Bank. Mr. Walls has over 20 years of investment experience. Prior to his current position, he was with PNC Asset Management Group – first as Director of Portfolio Management, then as Senior Vice President and Market Director – leading the institutional investment team and serving as the senior investment professional for the Greater Washington region.

Mr. Walls received his Bachelor of Science degree in mathematics from Howard University and his MBA in finance with a concentration in investment management from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.

"Some of my fondest childhood memories were spent traveling with family to national parks such as Yosemite, Sequoia and Yellowstone. I am excited to join the NPT Board, working to preserve and protect these treasures, as well as creating the next generation of environmentalists," said Mr. Walls.