Chair— Tisha Bolger has served in senior executive leadership positions with youth serving agencies for 25 years, including directing programs for the Amherst H. Wilder Foundation in St. Paul, Minnesota, and as CEO of Alpha House Youth Services in Wisconsin. Tisha currently serves as chief operating officer for the Girl Scouts of Minnesota and Wisconsin River Valleys. In her role as COO, Tisha provides leadership for all programs, membership, volunteer services, and property departments, serving 45,000 girls and 17,000 adult volunteers in 49 counties in Minnesota and Wisconsin. Tisha has been chief operating officer of the Girl Scout Council of St. Croix Valley, where she also served as interim CEO. Tisha’s passion for all youth to reach their full potential extends through her work with other agencies that focus on youth development. Tisha currently serves as president-elect for the board of directors of the American Camp Association and is a member of the board of directors for Face to Face Health and Counseling Services, Inc. Tisha also served as a board member and president of Teen Wise, formerly named Minnesota Organization on Adolescent Pregnancy, Prevention, and Parenting (MOAPPP).
Tisha holds a master’s degree in education, recreation, and outdoor education from the University of Minnesota, and a bachelor’s degree in social work from Carroll College in Helena, Montana.
Vice Chair — Rue Mapp is the founder and CEO of Outdoor Afro, which strives to increase outdoor participation in African American communities. A graduate of the University of California, Berkeley, and the Mills College Institute for Civic Leadership, Rue previously served as a program officer for the Pacific Forest and Watershed Lands Stewardship Council and as a development associate for Golden Gate Audubon. Rue has worked on a leadership team for the Environmental Protection Agency and Cornell University, participated in the White House Conference on America's Great Outdoors, and serves on the Board of Advisors for the Children and Nature Network. She also served as a member of a National Parks Service Committee on Relevancy task force focused on helping national parks create relationships of reciprocity with diverse community members. Rue is serving her second term on the board and her first term as vice president.
Treasurer — Craig Whiting is the President/Executive Director of Education Holdings, Inc., dba Emagination Computer Camps, operating summer technology camps near Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Philadelphia, and Los Angeles. Prior to entering the camp profession, Craig had wide experience in private acquisition search and was managing director for Weiss, Peck & Greer, LLC, a firm managing over $11 billion in assets. He began his career in banking with Citibank and later served as Vice President, Investment Banking for Credit Suisse. Craig has degrees from Boston College and Columbia Business School. He and his wife have three children. He has been active in the ACA New England affiliate, serving as vice president. Craig is a former member of the Chicago Council on Foreign Relations and is serving his first term on the ACA Boarfd of Directors.
Steve Baskin is the owner/director of Camp Champions and a partner in Everwood Day Camp in Massachusetts and Camp Pinnacle in North Carolina. He has been actively involved in the New York/ New Jersey Affiliate, serving on the local board and as chairman for the Tri-State Conference. A frequent conference speaker, Steve was previously an analyst with Goldman Sachs and was the co-founder of iluvcamp, Inc., while establishing Camp Balcones Springs and purchasing Camp Champions. He and his wife Susie have four children. A graduate of Davidson College and Harvard Business School, Steve is a blogger for Psychology Today and recently presented at TEDx San Antonio. Steve served as national treasurer for ACA from 2010 - 2013; he is serving his second term on the national board.
Mark Benerofe is president of the CampGroup Family of Camps, where he is responsible for oversight of 13 residential camps and 2 day camps on 12 different sites, serving over 6,000 children annually. He also serves as the director of Camp Winadu in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, a sports specialty camp for boys. An active member of the ACA New York/New Jersey affiliate, Mark has degrees from Cornell University, Hunter College, and Baruch College. Prior to directing camp, he was the managing principal of Benerofe Properties Corporation and is a former social studies teacher, basketball coach, senior advisor, and athletic director at the High School for Health Professions and Human Services in New York City. Mark and his wife have a son and a daughter. Mark is serving his first term on the ACA National Board.
Rev. David Berkey is the Director, Camping Ministry and Operations for the California-Pacific Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church. He has wide experience within the United Methodist Church (UMC) in camping, outreach, and as a local pastor, serving churches and camps in Pennsylvania, New York, Connecticut, and Florida, where he also served in a similar position with the Florida UMC camps and retreat centers. David is an elected member of the UMC National Camp and Retreat Committee and has served as Chair of the National Council of Churches Committee on Outdoor Ministries. David has been on the ACA National Board since 2010 and is serving his second term.
Maggie Braun is the co-director for WeHaKee Camp for Girls in Winter, Wisconsin. A long-time ACA member, Maggie has also worked as Executive Director for Catholic Youth Camps in Minnesota, as Chief Operating Officer for Girl Scouts of the St. Croix Valley, and as a 4-H and Youth Development Agent in Wisconsin. She is a national trainer for the ACA Basic Camp Directors Course, a member of the Policy and Organizational Systems Committee, and served in numerous other volunteer positions for ACA, including membership on the Board Development Committee. A frequent presenter at ACA national and regional conferences, Maggie served as president of the Wisconsin section of ACA and was previously a member of the national board. She and her husband Bob have two children. Maggie received her MBA in 2012 and serves as Board Development Chair, an ex-officio position on the national board.
Brodrick Clarke is a consultant in his own firm, Brodrick Clarke Consulting LLC, specializing in Youth Development - Program Quality Assessment in the Washington, D.C., area. He previously served with the Muhammad Ali Center, directing their domestic and international youth development initiative. He brings a deep understanding of effective capacity building, and facilitating hundreds of trainings over the past 20 years has given him a great lens on organizational development, sustainability, quality product delivery, economic engines, and best practices vs. promising practices. In his position, he actively works with educators, parents, and students, providing them with the tools, skills, and competencies to survive, grow, and thrive. He has extensive experience working with the K-12 student population, primarily in an out-of-school time setting. He has a focus on Youth Work Methods, Advancing Youth Development, and fostering the 40 developmental assets in youth. This is his first term.
Ed Doody is committed to facilitating career exploration and college access for young people. For the past 10 years, he has initiated collaborative research among non-profit organizations, focusing on youth development, higher education, and opportunities in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). Prior to his experience in the non-profit sector, Mr. Doody garnered 35 years of expertise in international and growth leadership, including professional positions at the QuanStar Group, a nationally known strategic management firm, and The Expo Group, where he organized global interactive conferences while serving as Executive Vice President of Conference & Exhibition Management. He also acted as Senior Vice President of PGI, a full-service event and communications agency, where he managed a team of employees and independent contractors to manage events worldwide. Mr. Doody was employed with Robert Bosch GmbH at their corporate headquarters in Stuttgart, Germany, where he was trained in international management. He received his education at St. Mary’s University, where he earned a Bachelor’s degree in Mathematics, and at the University of Chicago’s MBA program.
Chicka Elloy is the global director of leadership development and talent management for 11,000 employees at BCD Travel, a leader in corporate travel management based in Atlanta. Raised and educated in Australia, Chicka earned his degrees in education before moving to California to work 15 years for SuperCamp, an academic and life skills residential camp operating at universities throughout the US and 16 other countries. Chicka has written for USA Today Education, was featured in Target's first virtual runway, and has appeared as a parent expert on Huff Post Live. His blog "The Frequent Flyer Father" was voted 2012/2013 Best Daddy Blog byParents Magazine. Most recently, Chicka published Addicted To Camp: An Intervention for Staff and Future Leaders, which climbed to #1 on Kindle under Education in 2014. He is the founder of iKnuckleBump.com, which now serves 2,000+ educational leaders each month as a staff training and engagement platform. This is his first term.
Niambi Jaha-Echols is an author, visionary, certified life coach, artist, and inspirational speaker. A native Chicagoan, she wrote and self-published Project Butterfly: Supporting Young Women and Girls of African Descent through the Transitions of Life. In 2004, she founded Camp Butterfly, which serves girls nationally and internationally using the butterfly as a wonderful model of transformation to help break the perpetual cycle of negative self-image and social outcomes. Niambi has degrees in psychology and fine arts from Michigan State University and Columbia College Chicago with graduate hours in art therapy from the University of Illinois at Chicago. She is a co-contributor to the recently released book entitled African Americans and Community Engagement in Higher Education and was recognized in 2005 by Essence Magazineas one of the "Women Who Are Shaping the World."
Originally from Cleveland, Ohio, Marcus Mason is an undergraduate recruiter at North Park University in Chicago, Illinois. While employed full-time at the university, Marcus is simultaneously pursuing a master’s degree in Christian Formation and Business Administration. Before working in higher education, Marcus received his bachelors of science in communication from Northwestern University in 2009. Immediately upon graduation, Marcus went to work for an emerging nonprofit organization that works with youth in some of Chicago’s most underserved and most under-resourced areas. He has a passion for youth and education. This is his first term.
Miriam Musco is the education director at Science Museum of Western Virginia programs. Previously, Miriam worked in the education department of the Sciencenter, a children's museum in Ithaca, New York, where she conducted field trips, afterschool programs, and outreach to local schools, and also ran the summer camp program and several special events. She contributes to the content and education programs of Girl Museum, an online museum devoted to the history and cultures of girlhood. Miriam is passionate about youth development and providing role models for today's children to become tomorrow's leaders. A New Jersey native, Miriam earned a BA from Indiana University and an MA from University of the Arts. She relishes this opportunity to not just give back, but also learn from other leaders around the country, who are working in a variety of settings and have a multitude of experiences. Her interests include informal science education among children and teenagers. Musco is passionate about the links between museums and social work, such as programming for underprivileged groups and community advocacy. This is her first term.
Tony Oyenarte began his career in education as a high school Science and Math teacher. He has been very involved with the ACA as President of the Southeast Section, a member of the ACA's transition committee, and speaking on the importance of camp and school partnerships. Tony and his wife Stacie have two boys and are directors of Camp Lochearn located in Vermont. Tony is serving his second term on the ACA Board.
Mary Kay Park, PhD is the Managing Director, Far East Broadcasting Company-Korea in Los Angeles. She is the CEO & Founder, Intercultural Cue, Brea, California, an intercultural consulting firm that focuses on organizational & cultural training including Intensives, Personal & Organizational Narrative, Intercultural Communication, Career Assessment, & Talent Development; Dr. Park is an Adjunct Professor in the Cook School of Intercultural Studies, Biola University (2010-2014). She is a global media professional, specializing in the area of intercultural communications, Korean diaspora, & innovative strategic planning. She has worked in the area of reducing marginality and increasing mutuality across the globe. Dr. Parks’ 3 daughters have attended residential camp for many summers. Mary Kay lives in Los Angeles.
Kurt Podeszwa is the director of Camp For All, a Texas residential camp serving children and adults with special needs and chronic illnesses. Kurt has been active in three different sections during his career in camping and served on the section boards in both Illinois and Texoma. A frequent speaker on a variety of camp topics, Kurt is also a standards visitor and visitor instructor. His presentations have included working with multiple generations, adapting ropes courses for special needs campers, and developing leadership skills in supervisors. Kurt is a graduate of Western Illinois University and proudly served in the United States Marine Corps. He and his wife Katie have three children. Kurt has worked with the National Council of Leaders since its beginning and is serving his second term on the board.
Ray Sanborn is the President of Kama'aina Care, Inc., overseeing all operations of the four divisions (camp, preschool, school age, hotels & convention) of this multi-service organization, which provides ongoing quality education and enrichment programs serving over 7,500 children and families on a daily basis, with an employee base of 1,000. A graduate of the University of Hawaii, Ray has served on the ACA Southern California/Hawaii Board, is an ACA standards visitors, and a validator for the National Association for the Education of Young Children. He has worked for the Department of the Navy, at Kaneohe Marine Corps Base, and is a voting member of the State of Hawaii Childcare Advisory Committee. Ray is serving his first term on the ACA board.
Dr. Andrew Schneider-Munoz is the Lead Consultant at the National Center for Innovation and Excellence, based in Florida. He is a Harvard-trained child psychologist and anthropologist who helped to found a new national certification for direct care professionals now available to youth workers in after-school, juvenile justice, child welfare and other practice settings for children, youth, and families. He is editor of the Journal of Child & Youth Care Work which reaches the leaders in more than 100 countries and an editor for Afterschool Around the Globe: Policy, Practices, and Youth Voice: New Directions for Youth Development. Andrew is a consultant for the Young Fellow and Youth Engagement Team at the Jim Casey Youth Opportunities Initiative, a consultant and scientific advisor to Youth Thrive at the Center for the Study of Social Policy, and consultant to Skillman Foundation Youth Development Alliance youth development hubs in six Detroit neighborhoods. He serves as a member of the Executive Committee for Child Trends. He was a camper attending camps through Boy Scouts. He is familiar with ACA through his professional relationship with former National ACA board member, Ellen Gannett who recommended him for consideration. Andy is based out of Florida.
Mike Stringer is the Vice President of Business Development for DollarDays International. He graduated from the University of Tennessee, he began his career and executive business experience with Illinois Tool Works Inc. (NYSE: ITW) a Fortune 100 company, where he opened, managed and grew major accounts such as Home Depot, Lowes, Menards, Ace Hardware and Sears. From 2005-2008, Mr. Stringer was the National Sales Manager for a privately held nutraceutical company. He was responsible for all major national and global distribution. At DollarDays, Mr. Stringer implemented a new business development division, leveraging his experience in selling and account management to create new revenue streams with national accounts and partnerships. With his passion to help nonprofit organizations stretch their dollars, he arranged national programs for The Salvation Army, Gospel Rescue Mission, Kiwanis Clubs and many other organizations that help those in need. He has been working with ACA camps for years to supply products to enhance their programs. Mr. Stringer spent summers involved in Everybody Counts, a non-profit agency dedicated to the empowerment and independence of people with disabilities. Mr. Stringer enjoyed volunteering and spending time swimming with children with disabilities. Mr. Stringer has established national relationships with the Salvation Army Camps, Christian Camp and Conference Association and the American Camping Association. Throughout extensive work with the Salvation Army, Mr. Stringer and his team work with Territory Youth Workers throughout all 50 states and 40 divisions in the Salvation Army to support their camps and needs throughout. Dollar Days is a business affiliate of ACA. Michael is based in Scottsdale, Arizona.
Posie Taylor is serving as the New England Representative on ACA's Board of Directors. She retired as the executive director of the Aloha Foundation in Vermont after a 30-year career with Aloha. Posie has been active in the New England Affiliate, holding numerous offices, including president, vice president, and chair of various committees for education, planning, and funds development. A frequent ACABoardBiosRev040813 conference presenter and contributor to Camping Magazine, Posie has served on the ACA Audit & Financial Policies Committee, the Strategic Planning Task Force, the Core Services Task Force, the 20/20 Task Force, and as a member of the National Board. She has degrees from Middlebury College, Columbia University, and the University of Michigan and was a founding member of the Consortium of Non-Profit Camps of Northern New England and New York State.
Ross Turner is the President and CEO of Guided Discoveries, which develops and operates outdoor educational programs and summer youth camps. The Guided Discoveries family of programs include the Catalina Island Marine Institute, Catalina Sea Camp, Camp Fox YMCA Camp, Astrocamp, Astrocamp Summer Adventure, and CIMI Tall Ship Expeditions aboard the Tole Mour. Guided Discoveries has grown into an organization that serves over 45,000 children annually. Ross is described as an education entrepreneur who provides services outside walls and/or boundaries in both traditional and nontraditional ways and in various locations in and outside of California. Ross is the former President of the Western Association of Private Camps (WAIC). He is skilled in nonprofit development and management, as well as an entrepreneur and an innovative “big picture” thinker. This is his first term.
Sherri Weidman A former camp professional, Sherri is now CEO of SocialBirds Media, LLC, her own internet marketing firm, located in Naples, Florida. She has served Girl Scouts over five different councils in Indiana, Tennessee and North Carolina. Sherri established her first career based on her own love of camp as a child and the impact it had on her own life. She was an ACA Certified Camp Director, a Camp Visitor, served leadership roles in several sections, and previously served on the ACA National Board of Directors from 1999-2002, serving as governance co-chair on the board that brought Policy Governance to ACA. She also served on the ACA CEO Search committee that recommended Peg Smith 1998. She was the National Program Chair for the ACA Conference held in Nashville, TN in 1986 as well as the one in New Orleans in 1997. For the last 15 years of her career with Girl Scouts, Sherri served as the Chief Executive Officer in northern Indiana. Sherri and her council received recognition from Girl Scouts of the USA as one of the highest performing councils for diverse membership representation and for fund raising success. She has a certificate in Fund Raising Management from IUPUI School of Philanthropy and a Master’s Degree in Management from Indiana Wesleyan University. After retiring from Girl Scouts following a remarkable thirty-one year career, Sherri has gone on to continue life-long learning under some of the best internet marketing educators and is an Online Marketing Certified Professional.