Ed Montgomery, President of the Board

Ed is a fourth generation Floridian who grew up exploring the lakes and rivers of northeast Florida. Ed attended the University of Florida and graduated from the School of Forest Resources and Conservation in 1979. After graduation, Ed went to work for the forest resource company Rayonier where he worked for 35 years. While at Rayonier, Ed managed Rayonier’s conservation sales program, which placed over 100,000 acres in conservation in Florida and Georgia working with various conservation partners. In 2007 Ed received the Land Conservationist of the Year award from Conservation Florida, in 2008 Florida Audubon’s Sustainable Forestry award, and in 2015 the Forest Conservationist of Year award from the Florida Wildlife Federation.

Barry Rutenberg, Vice President of the board

Barry has been active in homebuilding, community development, and community organizations since the 1970’s.  He has served on many Gainesville and Alachua County committees and task forces.  In the early 1980’s, Barry became active in local energy and land conservation committees.  Barry was the 2000 president of the Florida Home Builders Association and the 2012 chairman of the board of directors of the National Association of Home Builders.  He is currently chairman of Arthur Rutenberg Homes and holds a BS degree from Northwestern University and a MBA from Harvard University

Jon Graham, Treasurer of the Board

Jon is a senior health care executive with extensive experience building organizations and improving operations. His experience includes hospital leadership, expertise in oncology and physician practice leadership, and academic medicine. He is also a coach and mentor who strives to develop new leadership and a collegial organizational culture. Jon earned a master’s degree in healthcare administration at the University of Iowa and a doctorate in health services policy and administration from Walden University. He is a pilot and budding photographer focusing on Florida landscapes and wildlife.

KC Nayfield, Secretary of the Board

KC is a Florida native. He spent his veterinary career as a surgeon to pets and exotic animals in Crystal River. He built a practice there over three decades, and as an independent veterinarian, he gained tremendous small business expertise. He is regionally known as a skillful and ethical surgeon. KC and his wife, MaryBeth, brought their two children up to cherish the great outdoors. MaryBeth has been a public health nurse in Citrus County for her entire career. The family are lifelong sailors, explorers and wildlife fans.

Lisa Molitor Gearen

Lisa Molitor Gearen is a native Floridian. She migrated to Gainesville from South Florida as a young woman to attend The University of Florida. A lifetime of outdoor recreation has sustained her love affair with natural Florida.

An ARNP, she practiced professional nursing at The UF Medical Center and The ACORN Clinic (Brooker) for 35 years. She is married to a retired Orthopaedic surgeon, and their daughter works in DC.

Jeff Hardesty

Jeff’s educational background is in biology and wildlife ecology, and he spent his career protecting and restoring public lands. As a senior level strategist for The Nature Conservancy, Jeff was responsible for leading global conservation programs. His retirement came last year, and he’s returned to Florida where his wife, Susan, continues her career at the University of Florida.

David Pais

David graduated from Rollins College and the University of Florida. He was a founding member and past president of the Florida Native Plant Society. He is a licensed real estate broker specializing in restoration and preservation of unique properties. He remains committed to protecting native and working landscapes throughout Florida.

John Regenfuss, MBA, CMPE, CRA

John has been the Director, Healthcare Administration for the University of Florida Department of Neurosurgery since 2010, where he has guided the department through unprecedented growth. In the early part of his career he specialized in turning around financial and/or administratively distressed academic departments. He holds a BA degree in Philosophy from St. Francis Seminary and a MBA with emphasis in Human Resources and Finance from Keller Graduate School of Management. He also holds a Yellow belt from Six Sigma. John has a long history of serving his community. In addition to being a Lions Club member since 1988, he has served on the boards of many organizations including the Curative Rehabilitation Center, Moraine Symphony Orchestra, Port Washington Fish Day, Rehabilitation Facilities of Wisconsin, Mukwonago School Board, and Big Bend Police Commission. His hobbies are running, bicycling, camping, fishing, kayaking, gardening and tinkering.

Celeste Shitama

Celeste is a longtime supporter of land conservation in Florida. Her work with Sandhill Cranes at the Florida Wildlife Commission led to graduate studies at the University of Florida in Wildlife Ecology and Conservation, as well as work on the Northwest Florida Permanent Exhibit at the Florida Museum of Natural History. She is the former owner of the first property in Costa Rica protected with a conservation easement, and current owner of restored springs property along the Suwannee River. She has five grown children and eight grandchildren that keep her life interesting and the stakes high for the future.