Stephen Baird, Chicago, Illinois, is the president and chief executive officer of Baird & Warner. Steve serves as chairman of the Realty Alliance – a consortium of the nation’s top real estate firms. In addition, he has long worked for the preservation of open space as past-president of CorLands, the Openlands Project, and currently as a national board member of the Trust for Public Land where he serves as Chairman of the Finance Committee. He has served as a trustee of the Morton Arboretum, Children’s Memorial Hospital and the local advisory board of US Bank. Steve is actively involved with Public Radio serving on the Board of WBEZ in Chicago for the past 10 years and as its Chairman for three years. Steve also is involved with Harvard University through its schools and scholarship committee.
Ernest Cook, Brookline, Massachusetts, is president of the Trust for Public Land Action Fund and senior vice president of The Trust for Public Land. He oversees the Trust for Public Land’s national programs, including Conservation Transactions, Conservation Vision/GIS, Federal Affairs, and the Conservation Finance program, which he helped to found.
Page Knudsen Cowles, St. Paul, Minnesota, is managing director for Knudsen Vineyards. She was formerly an investment professional and was founder and partner in Ruminator Books Press, an independent trade book publisher. Currently, she serves on the boards of The Trust for Public Land; the Minnesota League of Conservation Voters; St. Paul Academy and Summit School, a K-12 independent school; Unity Avenue Foundation, a family foundation; and Lawrence Creek, LLC, a private investment company.
Whitney Hatch, Ipswich, Massachusetts, from 1998 until 2011, he worked at The Trust for Public Land, most recently as director of southern New England and director of corporate relations. Before joining The Trust for Public Land, Whitney served for 15 years at GTE Corporation in various capacities. He was a founding board member of the School for Field Studies, and has served as chairman of the American Rivers and Management Assistance Group boards. He has been reappointed to a second seven-year term on the Stewardship Council of the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation, where he serves as the finance committee chair. He also serves on the Conservation Law Foundation board and chairs CLF’s Massachusetts advisory board; the board of overseers of the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum and the board of the John Merck Fund and Merck Family Fund.
Caroline Niemczyk, Bedford Hills, New York, currently serves as vice chair of the Open Space Institute, and on the boards of The Trust for Public Land and the New York Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children. Advisory Board roles include the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, the Yale Institute for Biospheric Studies, and the Land Trust Alliance. Her career includes having served on the staff of Senator Daniel P. Moynihan, as a program officer at the Smith Richardson Foundation, as special assistant to Boston University president John Silber, and as an adjunct professor on the history faculty at Barnard College.
Thomas Reeve, currently serves as Chair of The Trust for Public Land’s National Board. Steve is also the Chair of The Trust for Public Land’s National Leadership Council; past chair of The Trust for Public Land’s Washington State advisory board; past president of the board of the Washington Wildlife and Recreation Coalition; Chair of the San Juan Islands National Monument Advisory Committee; member of the national council of the Land Trust Alliance; 18-year veteran of Microsoft, managing teams focused on consumer software, internal tools, international software versions, the Works business, media production, and the MSN.com portal site; avid traveler and outdoorsman.
Will Rogers, Kensington, California, is president of The Trust for Public Land and former director of its western region. He was previously a project manager of infill urban development projects for a commercial real estate company based in Chicago.