BOARD OF DIRECTORS


Laurel Nesbit
President

Laurel Nesbit is a lifelong resident of Alachua County. Laurel is currently pursuing her Masters of Education and Education Specialist Degrees in the University of Florida's Counseling Education program. She is a graduate assistant in the UF Office of Sustainability where her responsibilities include planning events and managing outreach to students, faculty and staff. In addition to her interest in preserving our natural resources, Laurel is active in local political circles. Laurel joined the board of ACT in 2010.

 

Kim Davidson
Vice President

Kim Davidson is a native of Virginia. She holds a B.A. degree in Biology from Colgate University and a M.D. from the Medical College of Virginia where she subsequently completed an internship and residency program in Obstetrics & Gynecology. She moved to Gainesville in 1989, for fellowship training at the University of Florida and then completed a residency in Family Medicine. She has since made Gainesville her home, where she has been in private practice since 1994. With a passion for the environment and wildlife photography, she can often be found exploring the natural areas of Florida. It is her hope and desire to see Florida preserved for the generations ahead.

 

Alison Blakeslee
Secretary

Alison Blakeslee is a private investigator and co-owns her own agency, Fisher & Blakeslee, in Gainesville. After receiving a degree in Criminal Justice from UF, she was an investigator for the Public Defenders in Key West and Gainesville. She is one of less than a hundred private investigators in Florida holding the "FCI" (Florida Certified Investigator) designation, indicating the highest standards of knowledge and experience in the practice of private investigations. While on the board of the Santa Fe Lake Dwellers Association she spearheaded the Lake Santa Fe Florida Forever Project, gaining approval for the purchase and protection of nearly 11,000 acres within the Santa Fe River watershed. In 2005 she received the Environmental Eagle Award for her lake conservation work. She also served on the board of the Gainesville Friends of Jazz & Blues from 1992 until 1997.

 

Bruce DeLaney
Treasurer

Bruce DeLaney grew up in Gainesville, obtained a degree in Biology from Emory University and returned to Gainesville where he has spent a 40 year career in real estate. For 31 years until retirement, he was Asst. VP for Real Estate for the University of Florida Foundation. In that role he oversaw many conservation land transactions, passing almost 15,000 acres of land gifts to UF into public ownership. When conservation monies dried up, he transitioned to making cities more attractive places to live as the best way to reduce urban sprawl. He spent the remainder of his career deeply involved with urban redevelopment, serving as founding chair of the College Park/University Heights Redevelopment Advisory Board, as well being deeply involved in Innovation Square.

 

Pegeen Hanrahan
Member

Pegeen Hanrahan is a Professional Engineer and Principal of Community and Conservation Solutions, LLC. She served as Gainesville’s Mayor from 2004-2010, and as City Commissioner from 1996-2002, leaving office both times as a result of term limits. Pegeen has over 25 years of experience in environmental remediation, grant writing, land conservation, and local government finance. Pegeen was ACT’s Executive Director from 1990-2003, and has been on the board for 13 years. She served as Campaign Manager for a statewide citizens’ initiative, Florida’s Water and Land Legacy (FWLL) and Deputy Manager for Amendment 1 to provide sustained funding for land and water conservation and ecosystem management. This effort passed with 75% voter approval on the 2014 ballot. She has worked on eight successful bond, sales tax or property tax campaigns for Florida local governments for the Trust for Public Land. On ballot measure campaigns Pegeen has worked on, the overall win rate is 85%. Pegeen was named the winner of Florida Audubon’s “Women in Conservation” award in 2013. She holds Master's and Bachelor's degrees from the University of Florida in Environmental Engineering, and a B.A. in Sociology.

 

Creed Greer
Member

Creed "Trey" Greer is serving his second year as President of the Board of Directors of Alachua Conservation Trust and has been a board member since February, 2010. Growing up in the flatwoods and on the barrier islands of panhandle Florida, he learned to appreciate the importance of the natural world. Living in Alachua County since 1979, he became convinced of the importance of advocating for conservation. At the University of Florida, Creed directs the University Writing Program and is Associate Director of the Dial Center for Written and Oral Communication, where he develops and teaches writing courses for the next generation of social scientists, anthropologists, engineers, and lawyers--those young people who will need to think clearly and speak well about the importance of saving our land and water.

 

Mike Castine
Member

Michael Castine was born in Columbia, South Carolina, and grew up in Tallahassee, Florida. A graduate of Florida State University and the University of Florida, he worked on the Hogtown Creek Greenway land acquisition project for Alachua Conservation Trust in its early years. He has been a land use planning consultant and now works in the Alachua County Planning Department as a Comprehensive Planner. He has been a member of the ACT board since 1996, serving as president from 2000 to 2004. In addition to his service with ACT, he is a member of the board of directors of ACT's sister organization, Historic Haile Homestead.

 

Anne Barkdoll
Member

Anne Barkdoll grew up climbing trees and playing in the woods around Hockessin, Delaware. She has an M.S. in Soil Science and a Ph.D. in Plant Pathology from the University of Florida. She is a biologist involved in land management with the Florida Park Service. Since 1991 she has served on various committees including: the Alachua County Environmental Protection Advisory Committee, the Citizen Advisory Committee to the Metropolitan Transportation Planning Organization, and the Alachua County Land Conservation Board. She has been a member of the board of directors of Alachua Conservation Trust since 1992 and has served as secretary, president, and treasurer.

 

Bill Bryson
Member

Bill Bryson was born in Indianapolis, Indiana, but is a southerner at heart. Received a BA in Communication and Psychology from the University of North Carolina iat Chapel Hill in 1989. Relocated to Gainesville in 1992 where he opened and ran the live music club, The Covered Dish, from 1992-2000. Published The Satellite, a community arts and culture magazine, from 2002-2009. in 2009 he founded and is currently running the non-profit, No. 9 Productions, Inc., which operates Grow Radio, Gainesville's first community internet radio station. No. 9 also operates MASS Visual Arts, a community visual arts organization. He is also a freelance writer, an unskilled musician, and laissez-faire cow farmer and has been on the ACT board since 2009.

 

Fred Cantrell
Member

Fred Cantrell is a graduate of the University of Florida's school of accounting, and he retired from UF as Associate Vice President for Business Affairs and served as the Director for the National Conference on College Cost Accounting. He initiated the process to achieve for UF campus-wide designation as an Audubon International Cooperative Sanctuary, making UF the first university nationally to earn this certification. He was involved in the establishment of UF's Office of Sustainability. He served as treasurer for Historic Gainesville, Inc., Thomas Center Associates and the House of Hope of Alachua County, Inc.

 

Richard Hamann
Member

Richard Hamann was born in Gainesville but raised in the swamps of South Florida. He received both a B.A. (1971) and a J.D. (1976) from the University of Florida and is employed as an attorney, researcher and teacher at the UF College of Law's Center for Governmental Responsibility. He has conducted research on a wide variety of environmental, land use and water management issues and has taught several courses and seminars on environmental law, water law and comparative environmental law. One of the founding board members of Alachua Conservation Trust, he also serves on the boards of Florida Defenders of the Environment, Florida Wildlife Federation, and the Everglades Law Center. He was Chairperson of the Environmental and Land Use Law Section of The Florida Bar in 2000-2001, and currently serves on the Governing Board of the St. Johns River Water Management District.

 

Howard Jelks
Member

Howard Jelks is a Gainesville native by birth, but spent his formative years in Sarasota, Florida. His parents cultivated his love of nature through local outings and foreign expeditions. Howard did his undergraduate studies in biological sciences at Florida State University, before coming to the University of Florida for his master's. He has been a fish biologist with the U.S. Department of Interior since 1992 and specializes in the ecology and population monitoring of imperiled fishes, but also works on nonindigenous species and even marine taxa. Howard joined the board of ACT in 2000 and has served as its President for three years.

 

Peter NeSmith
Member

Peter NeSmith is a seventh generation Floridian, born and raised in Gainesville. A graduate of the University of Florida, he has a Bachelors of Science in botany. He has worked as a conservation biologist and plant ecologist with Water & Air, Research, Inc. since 1990. Peter has been a member of the board of directors for Alachua Conservation Trust since 2003 and a director at large on the state board of the Florida Native Plant Society from 2003-2007. He is a professional wetland scientist with the Society of Wetland Scientists and a certified prescribed fire burn boss.

 

Muthusami Kumaran
Member

Muthusami Kumaran is the Assistant Professor of Nonprofit Management & Community Organizations, Department of Family, Youth & Community Sciences, IFAS, University of Florida. Kumaran was born and raised in a small town in Southern India. He moved to the USA in 1993. He has a Ph.D. in Public Administration and a Ph.D. in Urban & Public Affairs. His teaching, research and service works revolve around organizational capacity building for nonprofits in the US and NGOs around the world. He has presented in several international environmental conferences including IUCN's World Conservation Congress. He serves on the Global Environmental Advisory Committee, Jeju, South Korea. He is a life-long nature lover and a huge fan of US National Parks. He has visited and stayed-in 22 National Parks, and has the life-time ambition to visit all the 59 Parks with his family. He has camped in several states and in Canada. His daughter Janani, a born tree-hugger, had her first camping at the Red River Gorge, Kentucky, when she was 3 months old.