Board of Directors

SCA is led by a diverse group of Board Members ranging from leaders in both the public and private sectors who care deeply about the stewardship of our land and the empowerment of young people as conservation leaders. See List of Board members.

Executive Team

SCA’s Executive Team is also comprised of leading experts in the field of conservation, partnership development, Philanthropy, marketing and corporate relations. Together, they mentor and guide a staff of 152 national employees. See Executive Team bios.

SCA Founder, Liz Putnam

Visionary is an accurate word to describe Liz Putnam. Launching an American conservation service powered exclusively by young people would be ambitious today, but considering that she conceived of the idea in 1957—at age 24—makes her all the more remarkable. While still attending Vassar College, Liz  modeled SCA on the 1930s Civilian Conservation Corps. and enlisted student volunteers to assist with the upkeep of U.S. national parks and public spaces.  Be motivated by Liz’s story.

National Council

A group of extraordinary conservation leaders, the SCA National Council is comprised of leading figures from the conservation, youth, government, business, and philanthropic fields to provide advice and counsel to advance SCA’s mission and program. National Council members.


Board of Directors

National Council

Joanne Barker
Washington, DC
Jack Chin*
Blueprint Research & Design, Inc.

Edmund Bartlett*

William Coleman
CLF Ventures
Tom Bolger
West Monroe Partners
Thomas Collier
Steptoe & Johnson
Washington, DC
Margaret Brown
Charles H. Collins
The Forestland Group
Claire Caudill
Dayton Duncan
Florentine Films
New Hampshire
Cynthia Cycyota
Dean Fischer, Chair
West Monroe Partners
Chicago, IL
Lillian Falese*
University of CA
David Fitch
John Gordon
Prudential, Inc.
New Jersey
Jesse Fink*
Mission Point Capital, 
Marshall Street Management
Timothy Gratto
Kathryn S. Fuller
Washington, DC
Martin Hale,
Hellman Jordan Management Co.
Reginald “Flip” Hagood
National Park Service (Retired)
Student Conservation Association (Retired) Washington, DC
George Hatch*
Scott D. Izzo
Richard King Mellon Foundation
Steven C. Holtzman*
Boies, Schiller & Flexner LLP
Thomas Lovejoy
The Heinz Center
Washington, DC
John Howard
Patrick F. Noonan
The Conservation Fund
Washington, DC
Alan Mintz
VanNess Feldman
Washington, DC
John C. Oliver
Eleanor W. Morris*
The Nature Conservancy
C.W. Eliot Paine
Jacqueline Oldham*
Estes Valley Land Trust
Wendy J. Paulson
Steven A. Prusky
Windsor Securities, Inc.
Fred S. Prescott
LL Bean
Shannon Quist*
National Museum of the American Indian
Bruce M. Putnam
John Reynolds
National Park Service (Retired)
Allison W. Rockefeller*
New York
Steven T. Seward, Chair
Ascent Law Partners, LLP
Theodore Roosevelt IV
New York
Thomas B. Shepard
21 Sports & Entertainment Marketing
Leslie Turner
The Hershey Company
Robert E. Unsworth*
Industrial Economics, Inc.
Mary Williams*
R. Vincent Taylor
Rand Wentworth
Land Trust Alliance
Washington, DC
C.S. Vosmik*
Fazenda Investments, LLC
Rob Wallace
Ernest C. Wong*
site design ltd.

SCA Honorary Directors

General Counsel

Elizabeth Titus Putnam*
Founding President
Peter Hafner Jost
Dickstein, Shapiro, LLP
Martha Hayne Talbot


* denotes SCA Alumni  



Executive Team

Jaime Berman Matyas, President and Chief Executive Officer

Jaime Berman Matyas became SCA president and chief executive officer in September of 2014. Prior to that, Jaime rose through a variety of senior roles with the National Wildlife Federation, most recently as executive vice president and chief operating officer. With more than 25 years of experience in marketing, fundraising and management, Jaime creatively advanced NWF’s mission – and her own personal passion – of protecting wildlife by connecting young people with nature.

A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and the Wharton School’s Executive Education Program, Jaime is also a certified Black Belt in Innovation Engineering. She is currently on the Ovarian Cancer National Alliance Board of Directors and is a member of Rachel’s Network, and earlier she served on the National Wildlife Productions’ Board of Directors and the Advisory Board of Nature’s Best Magazine.

An avid soccer fan, Jaime lives with her family in Bethesda, MD.

Valerie Bailey, Executive Vice President

Valerie has 35 years of experience with SCA and has been a member of the leadership group since 1989, including the role of Acting President in 1996 and 1997.  In 2000, Valerie stepped away from SCA for several months to provide organizational development assistance to the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society.  She returned in December 2000 to establish SCA’s Three Rivers Office in Pittsburgh, PA, which provides services throughout Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia.  In 2002, Valerie returned to SCA’s National Headquarters to assume the role of Executive Vice President for Strategic Planning and Development and more recently assumed the role of Executive Vice President & Chief of Staff.

Valerie has served on several boards including the United Way of Sullivan County, the Fall Mountain Regional School District, the Meeting Waters YMCA and the Conservation Resources Committee of the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy.

Karen Davis, Chief Advancement Officer

Karen brings more than 20 years of experience in nonprofit fundraising, specializing in the development of national campaigns, public/private partnerships, major gift solicitation strategies, corporate relations, communications and marketing.

Most recently Karen served as the Senior Vice President of Development for the National Park Foundation, the Congressionally chartered non-profit partner of America’s national parks, providing oversight and direction of all fundraising and development activities including corporate partnerships, major gifts, direct mail/online appeals and foundation initiatives. Karen led the team that successfully developed partnerships with Adler Fels Winery, AirWick, ARAMARK, The Coca-Cola Company, Disney, GE Lighting and LL Bean. Previously she served as a member of the senior management team with Changing Our World Inc., an international fundraising consulting firm, where she directed the activities of the firm’s Washington DC office. She oversaw a diverse portfolio of client engagements that ranged from healthcare to social service to associations to international aid efforts. Her work included fundraising feasibility studies and capital/endowment campaigns, major gift programs, corporate partnership programs, strategic planning and the development of comprehensive fundraising plans.

Robert B. Coates, Vice President Midwest/Northeastern Region

Bob directs all of SCA’s conservation service field programming. Formerly, he served as Vice President for Program Development, as the California/Southwest and the Northeast Regional Director, and as Director of SCA’s New Hampshire Conservation Corps.  Prior to working for SCA, Bob worked as a legislative assistant to US Senator Warren B. Rudman in Washington, DC, and he served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Cameroon, West Africa from 1987-1989.

Bob received his B.A degree from the University of New Hampshire and holds a Master of Public Administration degree from the John Kennedy School of Government, at Harvard University.

Laura Herrin, Vice President, Mid-Atlantic/Southeast Region

Laura Herrin serves as Vice President for Partnership Development overseeing the Eastern Regions of the country. She joined SCA in 2002 and has served in a number of roles for the organization including National Director of High School Programs and Director of Innovation before moving into the Partnership Development Role. Laura’s background includes youth and workforce development and has worked in the non profit arena for over twenty five years. Laura has presented and spoken at numerous national conferences, and was selected by former Secretary Salazar to serve as a primary member of the Federal advisory Committee for the 21st Century Conservation and Service Corps. A member of the Corps Network Board of Directors for the past 3 years, Laura was named Chair of the National Corps Council in 2012. Laura holds a Master’s degree in Organizational Management and Leadership and is also a graduate of Leadership New Hampshire.

Rafael Rosa, Vice President, Midwest

Rafael Rosa will direct SCA’s programs and partnerships in a 12-state area ranging from Ohio to Missouri and North Dakota. Rosa brings to SCA more than 20 years of experience at the Chicago Academy of Sciences and its Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, most recently as Vice President of Education. In 2012, a program he developed with community partners, Using Cultural Symbols to Introduce Monarch Conservation and Nature-Based Activities in Chicago, received the Urban Communities in Conservation Award from the US Department of Agriculture.

A strong believer in the value of partnership and collaboration, Rosa chairs the Museums in the Park Education Committee and co-chairs the Chicago Wilderness Education Organizing Committee. He also serves on the Arts and Environment Xchange Advisory Council and his local Board of Education, He is a member of the North American Association of Environmental Educators, the Environmental Education Association of Illinois and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Rosa holds a Bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Cornell University.

Jay Satz, Vice President for Northwest Region

Jay is responsible for building partnerships with agencies in SCA’s northwest region, which includes Alaska, Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana and Wyoming.  He led SCA’s Mount Rainier Recovery initiative in response to massive flood damage in western Washington national parks and forests in 2006, which was honored with the Secretary of Interior’s Cooperative Conservation Award in 2008.  Jay is a senior consultant for SCA’s risk management program. As a standing member of the National Wilderness Risk Managers Committee since 1995, he is an often-published expert in this field and presents annually at the Wilderness Risk Managers Symposium. He also directed SCA’s development of the written curriculum for teaching traditional conservation work skills, which was published by The Mountaineers as the premier trails and conservation restoration manual, Lightly on the Land.

Jay Watson, Vice President for California/Southwest

Jay joined SCA in November 2004.  His responsibilities duties include program and partnership development, major donor, foundation, and corporate advancement in the West, government relations, media outreach, and staff management.  Prior to joining the staff of SCA, Jay spent nineteen years with The Wilderness Society, fourteen of which were in California, where he was regional director.  His past positions include five years as a wilderness ranger with the U.S. Forest Service in the Trinity Alps Wilderness in northern California and three years as executive director of the Camp Unalayee Association, a non profit wilderness youth camp, also in the Trinity Alps.

Jay serves on the Board of Directors of the California Fire Safe Council and graduated from Humboldt State University with a B.S. in Wildlife Management. Jay and his wife Kathleen live in the Town of Sonoma, and have two sons, Thomas (18) and Charlie (16).

Don Hunger, Vice President for Government Affairs

Scott Weaver, Senior Advisor for Government Affairs

Scott Weaver has spent the last 30 years serving SCA.  Prior to his current position, he served as Vice President of Programs, as Director of the High School and Resource Assistant Programs, and he worked in the field as an SCA Conservation Work Crew Leader.  Before joining SCA, Scott worked for the National Park Service in Yosemite National Park for nine years.

Scott serves on the Advisory Board of American Trails and is a member of the Association of National Park Rangers, the National Parks and Conservation Association, the Yosemite Fund, and the National Association of Service and Conservation Corps.