Board of Directors Biographical Information

Chair - 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. Ross is serving his second term on the Board and his first term as Board Chair.

Vice-Chair - Tony Oyenarte is the Director of Camp Lochearn for Girls, located in beautiful Vermont. Previously, Tony was the Director of Camp Crystal Lake in Florida for 16 summers. He began his career in education as a high school Science and Math teacher. Tony has been very involved with the ACA as President of the Southeast Section and a member of ACA’s transition committee. His passion for youth development and the relationship between children and the outdoors is evident in his 20-year career in children’s camping. Tony volunteers with the Kids in the Woods program in Gainesville, FL, which connects children with the outdoors. He has also been very involved with Hands to Love, a charitable organization that helps children born with congenital limb differences. Tony is married to Stacie and is the proud father of Michael and Max. Tony is serving his second term on the Board and his first term as the Vice Chair. 

Treasurer – 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 by Parents 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. Chicka is serving his second term on the Board and April 2018 begins his interim term as Treasurer.

President/Chief Executive Officer – Tom Rosenberg has a distinguished career in the camp profession and a long resume of service to ACA. He most recently served as the executive director of Camp Judaea in Hendersonville, North Carolina. Prior to Camp Judaea, Tom spent more than two decades with Blue Star Camps in North Carolina, most of those years as a director. Tom is a past national treasurer and board member of the ACA as well as a past board president and treasurer of ACA Southeastern. A founding board member of the North Carolina Youth Camp Association, Tom was awarded the Henderson County Chamber of Commerce’s inaugural Camp Industry Leadership Award as well as the American Camp Association’s National Honor Award and ACA Southeastern’ s Distinguished Service Award. With an educational focus in business, Tom graduated with distinction from the Marshall School of Business at the University of Southern California with an MBA and from the AB Freeman School of Business at Tulane University with a BS in Management. He is also a graduate of ACA’s Camp Director Institute. Tom melds his experience in the camp profession with business expertise, inspirational vision, successful fundraising experience, professional agility, organizational skills, and strategic focus — attributes that are essential to achieving success as ACA’s President/CEO. We are indeed fortunate to have such a thoughtful, dedicated, and experienced leader who is willing to take his commitment to camp, youth development, and ACA to a greater level. Tom, his wife Pam Sugarman, and their son Daniel live in Atlanta, Georgia.

Board Members

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 second term on the ACA National Board.

Scott Brody is an educator and thought leader in the areas of 21st Century Learning, Workforce Development and Child Development. He is the Founder of Everwood Day Camp in Sharon, MA and the Owner and Director of Camps Kenwood & Evergreen. Scott is also a strategic partner of IDEAS Education in Beijing, China. Scott is an Executive Board member of the Partnership for 21st Century Learning in Washington, DC and leads P21’s work in “Beyond School” education. Scott has led multiple briefings for the US Congress on the ways in which high quality camp experiences promote college and career readiness and speaks globally on these issues on behalf of the camp profession. Scott is the Government Affairs Chair of both the American Camp Association and the Massachusetts Camp Association and is a member of ACA’s CARE Committee. Scott is a member of the Board of Directors of the Foundation for Jewish Camp and is past Vice President of American Camp Association. He is also the author of an award-winning article for Camping Magazine entitled “Teaching the Skills that Children Need to Succeed”. Scott is an honors graduate of UC Berkeley and received a Juris Doctor from Boston College Law School in 1990. Scott is serving an interim term on the ACA National Board.

Brian Crater is Associate Executive Director at Camp Ronald McDonald for Good Times©, a program of Ronald McDonald House Charites© of Southern California providing healing and supportive experiences for 1,800 children diagnosed with cancer and their families annually. Brian is also a standing faculty lecturer at California State University, Long Beach, Department of Recreational and Leisure Services in the fields of outdoor recreation and organized camp management. In addition, Brian is the past-president and a current board member of Children’s Oncology Camp Association International (COCA- I) strengthening over 120 international camps serving over 35,000 pediatric oncology campers and their families. Brian’s passion for research has led to co-authoring papers on the Psychological Impacts of a Camp Experience for Children with Cancer and the Camp Awareness Project, a multi-facility study assessing the value of a camp experience with healthcare professionals and unserved patient families. Brian has been president of the Southern California/Hawaii Section (ACA) and faculty trainer of the ACA Basic Camp Director Course and currently on the ACA Southern California/Hawaii Local Council of Leaders, a Standards Visitor, member of the National Council of Leaders Steering Committee and past member of the ACA Board Development Committee. Brian is serving his first term on the ACA 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. Brodrick is serving his second term on the ACA National Board. 

Rev. Dr. Erin Reed Cooper is a minister, editor, and serves as the Director of Family Ministry at St. James UMC, Atlanta. She is the former Managing Editor of InsideOut camp curriculum, a inter-denominational Christian camp resource published by Chalice Press. She managed the production of Fearless Faith, Branching Out, and Beyond Belief. Cooper is passionate about experiential ministry and education. She enjoys leading mission trips, directing camp, training leaders in experiential techniques, and engaging children in worship. In her research, she has designed and implemented self-reflective portfolios to be used by congregations for faith development of its children and youth. Cooper is ordained by the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and is a graduate of Columbia Theological Seminary (Decatur, GA), Christian Theological Seminary (Indianapolis) and Bethany College (Bethany, WV). Erin is serving her first term on the ACA National Board.

Anne Derber is serving in her 18th year as CEO for Manito-wish. Anne’s roots run deep within the organization going back to that of a camper in the early 70’s. She has been working for the YMCA for over 30 years including the YMCA of Metropolitan Chicago. Anne and her husband, Brian have two adult children. Anne enjoys walking, snowshoeing, golf, bike riding and being on the water. Anne is serving her first term on the ACA National Board.

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. Ed is serving his second term on the ACA National Board.

Dr. Lizabeth Fogel is currently an educational consultant working on several media related projects. She recently left her role as Director of Education for The Walt Disney Company, focused particularly on serving Walt Disney Imagineering, The Walt Disney Studios and The Walt Disney Company, Corporate Citizenship. She played a critical role within the Walt Disney Company, advising and guiding multiple business units on developmental milestones and educational (formal and informal) best practices. Lizabeth’s success comes from her ability to reach across business units and seamlessly integrate external partners into a collaborative, shared vision. She was responsible for the creative vision, integrity, and educational validity of the company’s products and programs. This includes, but is not limited to, the Disneynature Educators’ Guides, Shanghai Disneyland Resort informal learning experiences, outreach content and programs for a variety of films (ex. Finding Dory, The Jungle Book, Inside Out, Big Hero 6) and Pixar in a Box, a collaboration between Pixar Animation Studios and Khan Academy. Annually these materials reach approximately 400,000 students nationwide and receive around 4 million general audience impressions. Lizabeth’s leadership extends well beyond her corporate work. She is currently the Immediate Past Chair of the Board for the Partnership for 21st Century Learning. She is also a member of board of directors for the North American Association for Environmental Education and Participate, a for-profit company focused on creating tools for educators to drive their own learning and create impact on a global scale. She has also cultivated a worldclass network comprised of individuals with an array of expertise that she leverages in innovative ways by working within interdisciplinary teams. She taught at the elementary and university levels for over fifteen years. She holds a doctoral degree in educational psychology and organizational leadership and two master’s degrees in elementary education and developmental psychology from Pepperdine University. Liz is serving her first term on the ACA National Board. 

Roberto Gil, Jr., Esq. is the Director of the Blairstown Campus for Princeton-Blairstown Center, where he is responsible for all aspects of their adventure-based, experiential education program. Roberto joined PBC in 2013 after spending eight years at Building Educated Leaders for Life (BELL). As Director of Field Operations, Roberto oversaw programs in New York, NY, Augusta, GA and Detroit, MI. Prior to this he served as BELL’s Site Manager for the Bronxwood School where he oversaw an afterschool program for 200 scholars. Prior to BELL, Roberto was a Program Director with the Madison Square Boys & Girls Club, serving the Brooklyn community at their Navy Yard Clubhouse, and Deputy Director of Court Operations at The Center for Alternative Sentencing and Employment Services (CASES). One of his major accomplishments was the successful launch of the Manhattan Family Court – Court Employment Project, an alternative-to-placement program for juvenile delinquents. Roberto holds a BA in Government from The University of Texas in Austin and a JD from New York Law School. He is also a Wilderness First Responder. Roberto is serving his first term on the ACA National Board.

Sterling Nell Leija is the Executive Camp Director at Roundup River Ranch, a member of the SeriousFun Children’s Network. Roundup River Ranch enriches the lives of children with serious illnesses and their families by offering free, medically-supported camp programs that provide unforgettable opportunities to discover joy, friendships, and confidence. Sterling is an active member of ACA and has served in numerous volunteer roles within the Texoma LCOL and more recently the Rocky Mountain LCOL. As a graduate of Texas, A&M University with a background in educational psychology, Sterling is passionate about education, volunteers as a speaker, Standard’s Instructor and Standard’s Visitor. Sterling is serving her first term on the ACA National Board.

Carl Metzger, Esq., a partner in the firm’s Litigation Group and a member of its Securities Litigation & SEC Enforcement Practice, concentrates on complex business litigation for technology companies, private equity firms and other business clients. Mr. Metzger’s experience includes securities litigation defense, financial fraud litigation, governmental and self-regulatory organization investigations, intellectual property litigation and complex commercial disputes. He specializes in advising clients on director and officer liability, insurance coverage matters, liability risk prevention and litigation due diligence regarding mergers and acquisitions. Mr. Metzger is currently a co-chair of the American Bar Association’s Subcommittee on Securities and the Internet, and he is a former editor of the American Bar Association’s journal, Securities News. Mr. Metzger has been recognized as a “Massachusetts Super Lawyer” by Boston Magazine, and has been elected as a Fellow of the American College of Coverage and Extracontractual Counsel (ACCEC). Mr. Metzger writes and speaks nationally on litigation-related topics, and he has been quoted in such media outlets as The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, CNN, The Boston Globe, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Corporate Board Member Magazine and CFO Magazine. Carl is serving his first term on the ACA National Board.

Mary Kay Park, Ph.D. is the Executive Managing Director of FEBC-Korea in Los Angeles. FEBC-Korea is a global media non-profit that operates 14 radio stations in Korea and the US, providing internationally-recognized content that reaches across the Far East. She is an adjunct professor at Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey. Mary Kay is the mother of three daughters who have spent a decade of summers at camp. Mary Kay is serving her second term on the ACA National Board. 

Scott Ralls believes there is no better fun than to watch a person feel successful and achieve a goal that they have set for themselves. To that end, Scott has dedicated his entire professional life to providing growth opportunities to children and adults in the camp setting. Along with Andrea, his wife, Scott founded, built and operates – Southwoods, the premiere Residential Camp in Upstate NY - and – Summer Trails Day Camp, located in Westchester County, NY. Both facilities are known and respected nationally for the breadth, depth, and quality of their program, facility and staff. Scott began his career in youth development after his first summer working with Amy & Morry Stein at Camp Echo Lake in Warrensburg, NY - more than 35 years ago. During his career, Scott has had the honor of serving the camp industry in many capacities including serving on local and national committees. Scott has been on the executive board and chaired various committees of the New York State Camp Directors Association for over 25 years. Scott served as the Operations Chairman of the Tri-State Camp Conference, over 4,000 attendees, the largest youth and adult recreational development camp conference in the world, for 9 years including the conferences move from NJ into Manhattan; He was a member of the executive board of ACA NY for more than 20 years; Scott was asked to be on a select committee whose work outlined the re-organization of the National American Camp Association organization. Scott was then elected and served as the President of the ACA NY section during that reorganization of the National ACA and lead the negotiations with the National organization to make the NY Section a standalone affiliate. As President of ACA NY, Scott negotiated and managed the merger between NY and NJ creating the current ACA NY/NJ Affiliate, the largest and most successful branch of ACA in the world. Scott is also a long-standing member of the New York State Camp Director's Association, serving on the executive board twice as secretary and then treasurer and currently on the legislative committee. Scott list's his mother, Donna Kaye, as the driving force in his life and the one who instilled a grit and determination in him that continues to carry him forward today. Growing up eating free school meals and living in federally funded housing and worse, Scott understands the value in providing opportunities to those who are less fortunate. Coming from humble beginnings, Scott understands the value in creating opportunities and giving back. Scott is well known for challenging others to be positive agents of change! He is the Founder and CEO of the Donna Kaye Smith Scholarship Fund. An organization Andrea and he funds that provides 4-year college scholarships to those who otherwise might not be able to attend. The DKS scholarship fund to date has provided 22 young people with college scholarships. Scott is an original Project Morry founding Board member and has served on the Project Morry Board continuously for 21 years. He has served as President, as Co-Chair for a successful six-million-dollar Capital Campaign and he lead the negotiations and purchase of the 1000-acre property that is now the permanent summer home of Project Morry. Currently Scott is part of the site committee managing the build out for the next growth stage of Project Morry. Project Morry serves over 500 inner city youth year-round from 10 years old through college graduation and is anchored by a sleepaway camp experience. This past year a dinner was held in his honor in Manhattan, NY where $865,000 was raised in one evening for Project Morry. Scott and Andrea also work with the Families first organization, based in Elizabethtown, NY. Providing the families, they serve with a oneweek sleepaway camp experience at Southwoods. Scott was an original sponsor for the Adirondack Marathon, is a yearly sponsor of Hudson Headwaters, is a large sponsor for the Paradox Lake Association and for three years staffed and funded the Lake Stewart program on Paradox Lake. But according to Scott, the thing he is most proud of is his relationship with his wife Andrea and his three daughters Emma, Sydney & Bailey. In his own words…” nothing I have been able to achieve or do would mean anything if I did not have Andrea and the girls to share it with”. Scott is serving his first term on the ACA National 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 visitor, 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 second term on the ACA board. 

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. Mike is serving his second term on the ACA board.

Lisa Westrich is the program development director at Challenge Success, a national school reform organization affiliated with Stanford University’s Graduate School of Education. She supports the organization’s general operations, core programs and initiatives, and research efforts. Previously, Lisa was a research and policy analyst at Stanford’s John W. Gardner Center where she partnered with educational institutions and community-based organizations, both in the San Francisco Bay Area and nationally, to improve outcomes for youth. Lisa is a licensed clinical social worker (LCSW) who has worked with children and families in a variety of education and nonprofit settings, with an emphasis on positive youth development, for twenty-five years. In addition to research and direct clinical work, she has also held nonprofit leadership positions and provided clinical consultation to many local organizations. Lisa received her MSW from Columbia University and her bachelor’s degree from U.C. Berkeley. Lisa is serving her first term on the ACA board.

Don Whipple is the director of Mountain Camp in Lake Tahoe, and is the co-owner, with his brother Scott, of Mountain Camp Woodside and Plantation Farm Camp. Don has been an active member of ACA for more than 20 years and has served locally and nationally in a variety of roles. Currently Don is the incoming Chair of the ACA National Board Development Committee and is also the President of the Western Association of Independent Camps. He is a member of the California Collaboration for Youth which advocates on legislative issues in California and is collaborating with Challenge Success at the Stanford University to conduct research on the developmental outcomes of the camp experience for youth. He is a proud graduate of UCLA and formerly directed Bruin Woods, the UCLA Alumni Family Camp in Lake Arrowhead. Don and his wife Cara recently had their first child! Don is serving his first term on the ACA board.

 

 

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