Staff

Lee Amos

Lee Amos

Land Steward

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Lee Amos is Land Steward and staff biologist at Conservation Foundation of the Gulf Coast. He specializes in plant propagation and conservation and has worked with the Florida Native Plant Society, Marie Selby Botanical Gardens, Sweetbay Nursery, and Florida Native Plants Nursery to encourage the widespread use and enjoyment of Florida's fabulous flora. At Conservation Foundation, Lee is responsible for parks and preserve stewardship, map making and geographic analysis, and assisting with the acquisition of new preserves. Currently, he is restoring and planning public recreation on 230 acres on Pine Island, as well as monitoring and maintaining eight conservation properties from Manatee County to Lee County. Lee earned his BA in Biology from Tennessee Wesleyan College. An avid outdoorsman, Lee enjoys camping, kayaking, hiking and sharing his knowledge of our extraordinary environment.

Pam Brownell

Pam Brownell

Director of Operations

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I love the permanence of our work. The land we protect today will have an impact on future generations forever.

Pam joined Conservation Foundation of the Gulf Coast December 2007. Her current role of Conservation Foundation's Director of Operations encompasses oversight of daily organizational operations, human resources, Board Governance, risk management and all capital projects. Pam's extensive understanding of the Land Trust Alliance's Standards and Practices have helped the Foundation ensure compliance and achieve the status of a nationally accredited land trust. Pam graduated from Concordia University, Wisconsin with a BS in Occupational Therapy. She is the leader of her daughter's Girl Scout troop and enjoys the beach, camping, canoeing and exploring the outdoors with friends and family.

Gilly Francis

Gilly Francis

Site Rental Coordinator

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To play a small part in saving land is important to me so that our community can have access to open space for recreation, spiritual growth, and activity that promotes health.

Gilly joined the Conservation Foundation team in early 2011 as our Site Rental Coordinator. She is responsible for all wedding and special event rentals. In addition, Gilly assists in the planning and implementation of all donor, member and community events. Gilly started her career as a registered nurse in the UK. For the next 20 years, she worked in the hospitality and event planning industry all over the Caribbean, Central America, and the US. Gilly has a love for the outdoors and when she's not at work she can be found in the pool, biking the Legacy Trail or on the water.

Mary E. Gibbons

Mary E. Gibbons

Youth Development Coordinator

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I am grateful to have the opportunity to play my part in cultivating a love for nature in the next generation of land stewards.

Mary Gibbons recently joined our team as Youth Development Coordinator for the Conservation Foundation of the Gulf Coast. Mary brings her unique background in secondary education, sustainability, and community development to her role, planning and implementing our Youth in Nature initiative. Prior to earning her B.S. in Psychology and M.A. in Sustainable Tourism from the Patel College of Global Sustainability at the University of South Florida, she spent several years living and working in an off-grid ecovillage in rural Missouri. Combining these experiences with her experience teaching 7th graders in Bradenton, Mary ensures the Youth In Nature initiative is exciting, safe and sustainable for youth. Mary is thrilled to utilize her education and experience to provide kids ‘WOW!’ moments in nature. In her free time, Mary enjoys globetrotting, scuba diving, backcountry camping, bike touring, and other adventure travel experiences.

Kathy Grass

Kathy Grass

Director of Finance

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I enjoy walking on the beach and the sights and sounds of the gulf waters, after a day of computers, emails and cellphones. I want to help make open spaces available for people to disconnect from electronics and connect with nature.

Kathy Grass joined Conservation Foundation of the Gulf Coast in May 2010 as the part-time Director of Finance. She handles all aspects of finance and accounting at Conservation Foundation. She was also Director of Finance for Forty Carrots Family Center in Sarasota, Florida. Before relocating to Florida in 1995, Kathy worked in the private sector as Controller for the Senn-Delaney Group in Long Beach, CA and a Tax Manager for Price Waterhouse in Los Angeles, CA. Kathy enjoys supporting a mission and team that makes a lasting difference in the world. She enjoys cooking, reading, Florida clouds and sunsets, walking the beach, and spending time with her family. Kathy received a Bachelor's of Science Degree in Finance from California State University, Northridge and is a retired Certified Public Accountant in California.

Suzanne Gregory

Suzanne Gregory

Director of Programs & Marketing

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I enjoy working for a mission that has so much ripple effect in the community. Saving land forever supports our economy, enables wildlife, gives us spectacular places to enjoy and nourishes the soul. I feel I have returned to a relationship with nature that was missing in my life.

Suzanne Gregory joined Conservation Foundation of the Gulf Coast as Director of Programs & Marketing in September 2012, following a 14-year tenure at SCOPE and its predecessor organization. Her work at SCOPE, a community engagement and data-focused nonprofit, included facilitating numerous community engagement initiatives, directing and developing communications strategies and successfully managing a three-year fundraising campaign focused on bringing new donors to SCOPE. Suzanne's responsibilities at Conservation Foundation include all aspects of organizational communications, special event management, community education, and relationship development with the public, donors and volunteers. Suzanne graduated magna cum laude from Wheaton College, Massachusetts with a BA in Psychology. She enjoys cooking, kayaking, reading and spending active time with friends and family.

Christine Johnson

Christine Johnson

President

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I grew up here and am so lucky to have this fulfilling career. I know that the work we do today - saving the beautiful area of my childhood - will last forever!

Christine P. Johnson is a fifth generation Floridian who shares the Foundation's vision of creating an emerald necklace of pocket parks and protected lands along the Gulf Coast. After earning a BS in Business Administration from the College of Charleston and an MBA from the University of Florida, Christine worked in management and consulted with Fortune 500 companies in fields ranging from manufacturing to media. Her Florida roots run deep though and this Manatee County native couldn't stay away for long. Christine has worked in the nonprofit sector in this region for the past ten years. She successfully completed the Girl Scouts of Gulfcoast Florida's $7M capital campaign to build a regional headquarters and then served as Director of Development for Ringling College of Art and Design overseeing their largest fundraising campaign, leading a team of five to raise over $100M. In October of 2011, she was named President of Conservation Foundation of the Gulf Coast where she works to save land and ensure public access to natural places. To date, Conservation Foundation has preserved almost 8600 acres across 33 properties along the Gulf Coast of Florida. Nature is where Christine's family spends their time together. Her husband, Bill, and their teen-aged children, Grace and Tom, enjoy hiking, camping, backpacking, and being anywhere there is water to swim, fish, sail, or scuba.

Debi Osborne

Debi Osborne

Director of Land Protection

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I'm fortunate to have made my life's passion for protecting nature my profession. Growing up in the suburbs of Los Angeles, my love for nature and the outdoors was instilled in me from an early age through campouts in the Sierra and Appalachian mountains, family vacations to parks and wildlife refuges, exploring rivers by kayak, and a lifetime of walks along the beach. It is rewarding to work for an organization that ensures that future generations will be able to enjoy similar experiences.

Debi Osborne joined Conservation Foundation of the Gulf Coast as Director of Land Protection in September 2013 and is leading the initiative to save over 10,000 acres along the Myakka River in the next 10 years, as well as working in other land protection priority areas. Previously, Debi was Director for Real Estate for the National Audubon Society, overseeing acquisition of new property interests and management of Audubon's conservation real estate portfolio, including Audubon Centers, sanctuaries and other properties nationwide totaling more than 150,000 acres in thirty states. Prior to joining Audubon in April 2006, Debi worked for the Trust for Public Land for 17 years. After establishing the new TPL office in 1988, she helped conserve over 60,000 acres throughout the mid-Atlantic region during her tenure as project manager and Field Office Director. Debi has assisted communities and public agencies with land conservation visioning, finance and stewardship issues and conducted conservation training workshops at local, regional and national conferences. She has served on the board of both the Maryland and Virginia association of land trusts. Debi currently serves on the Charlotte Harbor National Estuary Program's Citizens Advisory Committee and is a 2016 graduate of Leadership Sarasota. Debi holds a Master's degree in City and Regional Planning from Harvard University and undergraduate degrees in Social Ecology and Urban Geography from the University of California, Irvine.

Andria Piekarz

Andria Piekarz

Director of Philanthropy

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It's such an exciting time to be a part of Conservation Foundation. There is such a growing sense throughout our community that this is the time to protect our special places before they are gone forever. Our work will have a long lasting impact and it's really neat to think that we can make a small difference right now.

Andria Piekarz joined the Conservation Foundation in the new role of Director of Philanthropy in September 2014. Andria serves as the chief team strategist for fund development charged with the planning and implementation of a comprehensive development plan raising significant resources to support the mission of Conservation Foundation. An experienced marketing and development executive with a strong track record of growing revenues for global, entrepreneurial organizations, Andria has worked in the nonprofit sector in the local region for the past five years, most recently as VP of Philanthropy for Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Sun Coast. Her experience includes strategic planning, major gift program development, spearheading the cultivation of sustaining corporate partnerships, leading board engagement in fundraising, broad event management, donor cultivation and public relations. Prior to her work in the region, Andria held a number of executive management roles for rapidly growing businesses which provided her with broad exposure to the world and instilled a deep connection to the environment. Andria notes, "Early in my adventures I was inspired by the motto to 'leave this world a little better than you found it'." She believes there's a vital urgency to the work of Conservation Foundation in order to ensure a sustainable future in the region and to preserve the extraordinary environment on Florida's Gulf Coast. Andria holds a Bachelor's Degree from Barnard College and is an alumna of Riverview High School.

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