ACA Welcomes New Chair and 2022 Members of National Board of Directors

February 22, 2022
Photo of new board members

The American Camp Association (ACA) proudly announces Lizabeth Fogel, EdD, has been elected as the chair of the National Board of Directors.

“Liz has served faithfully on the ACA National Board of Directors since 2017, and within that time she has demonstrated exceptional talent and thoughtful leadership,” said outgoing Board Chair Scott Brody. “She is a highly accomplished education professional, and with her vision and energy, I am confident that she will move ACA forward.”

As board chair, Dr. Fogel will oversee the decisions and activities of the National Board of Directors, as well as ensure the integrity and representation of both the board and the American Camp Association as a whole. Her extensive education and varied experience place ACA in a strong position under her leadership.

Dr. Fogel is the vice president, learning, strategy, and development at DoGoodery, LLC. She has decades of successful experience in learning content development, educational media, and business. Prior to moving to DoGoodery, she was the managing director of USC Center for Engagement-Driven Global Education, which fuels interdisciplinary partnerships to bring relevant, sustainable innovation to scale in the crucial area of educational engagement. From 2007 until 2016 she was the director of education for The Walt Disney Company, focused particularly on serving: Imagineering, Studios (including Pixar) and Corporate Citizenship. She played a critical role advising and guiding multiple business units on developmental milestones and educational (formal and informal) best practices. Dr. Fogel’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, and 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. Dr. Fogel’s leadership extends well beyond her education and corporate work. Additionally, she is a member of the boards for two for-profit companies; Participate Learning and Makematic, who develop innovative tools and content for educators and learners on a global scale. She has cultivated a world-class network comprised of individuals with an array of expertise that she leverages in innovative ways by working within interdisciplinary teams.

Additionally, ACA is excited to share the following changes and additions to the National Board of Directors:

Scott Brody recently served as the chair of the National Board of Directors and is returning as a board member. Dayna Hardin has been elected the new vice chair. Other reelected board members include Ju’Riese Colon, Elizabeth Sosnow, Aaron Philip Dworkin, and Beatrice Wilkinson Welters.

New members of the National Board of Directors include the following:

Rafael Alvarado is an educator, human resources, and summer camp professional experienced in leading and supporting organizations in the US and LATAM on strategic talent management/ development and DEI initiatives, and as a camp director at Keybees Camp in Florida, providing and promoting the summer camp experience to Hispanic and Spanish-speaking communities residing or visiting Florida. Before moving to South Florida, Alvarado held board member positions at different organizations, including the Venezuelan Camping Association and the Chamber of Private Education. During his tenure in the Venezuelan Camping Association, he coauthored the Summer Camp Operational Standards and Guide from Camp Accreditation, represented the Association before the National Assembly (Congress) to discuss the Recreation National Law, and promoted and coauthored the curriculum for a summer camp director graduate's diploma at the Metropolitan University. Alvarado started his camp journey as a camper around 1986 and worked his way up to camp director/owner and summer camp industry advocate. He holds a specialist degree in Education Management, a BS in Business Administration and Management, and a Cum Laude BS in Education.

Deborah Clair has 20 years of nonprofit management and fundraising experience. She has worked for a world-famous cultural institution and a Catholic school on the northwest side of Chicago, where she specialized in corporate and foundation fundraising, and grant writing. Clair has raised more than $10 million dollars over her career. Clair received her bachelor’s from Columbia College Chicago where she majored in radio/television production. She received her master's in nonprofit management and fundraising and this year she will receive her doctoral degree in interdisciplinary leadership with a concentration in nonprofit and social entrepreneurship from Governors State University. Clair is the founder and executive director of Camp 1302. Located in Chicago's Englewood community. Camp 1302 has become a vital resource to families by providing academic enhancement and creativity through reading, arts and crafts, field trips, and team sports. Since its founding, Camp 1302 has served more than 400 campers and will be celebrating its 10th anniversary this year. Clair was born and raised on Chicago's southside and is an advocate for and product of the Chicago Public Schools. She has been married 20 years and has three adult children who were all campers at various residential summer camps.

Suzanne Le Menestrel, PhD, CAE, is a senior planning, strategy, and impact officer for the National CASA/GAL Association for Children, where she provides leadership for organization-wide planning, research, data collection and analysis, evaluation, and performance and accountability efforts. Previously, Le Menestrel was a senior program officer in the Board on Children, Youth, and Families at the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, where she directed five consensus studies on the well-being of children and families. Prior to her tenure with the National Academies, she was the founding national program leader for youth development research at 4-H National Headquarters, US Department of Agriculture; served as the research director at the Academy for Educational Development’s Center for Youth Development and Policy Research; and was a research associate at Child Trends. Le Menestrel was a founder of the Journal of Youth Development: Bridging Research and Practice and chaired its publications committee. She has published in numerous refereed journals and is an invited member of several advisory groups including a research advisory group for the ACA. She is an elected member of the McLean Community Center Governing Board and is a volunteer mentor for the Dream Project VA. She holds a BS in psychology from St. Lawrence University and an MS and PhD in human development and family studies from Pennsylvania State University. Le Menestrel also has a nonprofit management executive certificate from Georgetown University, and she is a certified association executive. In her free time, she enjoys international travel with her family, visiting national parks, listening to podcasts, seeing live theatre and music concerts, and reading.

Dan Mathews, MEd, CTRS, is the chief experience officer for Camp Twin Lakes, which partners with over 60 nonprofit youth-serving organizations across the state of Georgia to provide camping opportunities for kids who wouldn’t otherwise be able to attend due to serious illnesses, disabilities, and life challenges through its extensive programming and operation of three year-round campsites. A certified recreation therapist, Mathews is active in the American Camp Association, Rotary, and was named the 2017 Youth Development Practitioner of the Year by the US PLAY Coalition. He has also served on the faculty of Georgia Southern University teaching in the Recreation Therapy curriculum. Mathews has also served on several boards of nonprofits, including Catalyst Sports, the Madison Morgan Convention and Visitor’s Bureau, and the Rotary Club of Morgan County. He lives in Rutledge, Georgia, with his wife Heather and daughters Mary-Katherine and Hannah.

Andy Shlensky is the owner and director of North Star Camp in Hayward, Wisconsin, as well as the co-owner and managing partner of The Road Less Traveled, a service and adventure travel company for teens, and Bubbles Academy, an early childhood arts integrated education center in Chicago. He decided to pursue a career in youth development and camping when he was a Counselor-in-Training at North Star. After graduating from Northwestern University, he became the boys camp director at a coed camp in Western Massachusetts before returning to North Star in 2010 to run the camp he grew up loving. Shlensky believes strongly in using experiential and outdoor education to endow future generations with the confidence, character, and life skills to go out and make a difference in the world. Shlensky serves on the National Government Relations Committee and the board of the Midwest Association of Independent Camps and has volunteered within ACA on the Funds Development Committee, Camp Moves Me, and EPIC. He works closely with several nonprofit organizations including the Camp for All Kids Foundation, 4-Star Fellowship, Geography of Hope and Whole Child Arts. When not at camp or traveling, Andy lives in Chicago with his daughter Laney.