ARLINGTON, Va. – The Student Conservation Association (SCA) today announced the appointments of four new board members and a new board chair who will each help support the nonprofit’s work of changing lives through service to nature. 

“We are delighted to welcome to the board these accomplished individuals who will bring a wealth of diverse expertise and insight to our work,” said SCA Board Chair Dr. Mamie Parker. “Together, we will continue to advance the legacy of SCA Founder Liz Putnam and the cause of youth environmental stewardship in every corner of our nation.”

The Board unanimously elected Gail Carmody, of Panama City Beach, Florida, as its next chairwoman. Carmody will succeed Dr. Mamie Parker whose tenure ends on March 31, 2023. Dr. Parker stepped up to lead the board during the challenges of the COVID pandemic and through a major transition time for the organization. She continued to promote the SCA’s efforts by working with external partners all while advancing equity and inclusion. Dr. Parker has increased networks that opened doors leading to the appointment of outstanding new board members.  

Carmody has been involved in conservation and environmental education since the first Earth Day. She had a distinguished career with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) working on the Upper Mississippi River and then along the Gulf Coast. The Department of the Interior presented her with the Meritorious Service award for her leadership in developing partnerships. She continues to support conservation efforts and mentor the next generation of conservation leaders through her work with the SCA, the National Wildlife Refuge Association and several local nonprofit organizations.

The SCA Board of Directors also unanimously elected Lena Hickman-Miott, Vice Chair. Hickman-Miott is a leader in the technology industry, providing enterprise-level strategic consulting services to Fortune 500 companies. Among her many accomplishments include becoming the first Black female executive director of Federal Systems at Cisco Systems. The Board voted Director Terri Thomas to a second three-year term and thanked sunsetting director Karen Kress for her leadership and commitment.

The new board members will begin their three-year terms beginning April 1, 2023. Board members can serve a maximum of two terms. The four new members are:

  • Bryan Arroyo, who recently retired after a leadership career with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Arroyo was a Deputy Director for the agency and held several Assistant Director positions. In these capacities, he oversaw the Service’s work in endangered species, fisheries and habitat conservation and coordinated domestic and international efforts to protect, restore, and enhance the world’s diverse wildlife and their habitats.

  • Cynthia Lewin, a recently retired Partner at Venable LLP, is an accomplished lawyer and senior executive with over 25 years of diverse experience related to the nonprofit sector, including 20 years as general counsel at three large national charities National Wildlife Federation, AARP and Volunteers of America.

  • Bettina Ring, Chief Sustainability and Diversity Officer, Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI), drives meaningful change in the forest and conservation sector through collaboration with SFI partners. Part of this work involves helping to grow the next generation of leaders for a more diverse and resilient workforce. Previously she served as Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry for the Commonwealth of Virginia and Virginia’s state forester.

  • Thomas Tidwell, Prior to his retirement, Tidwell had a 41-year career with the U.S. Forest Service (USFS), and for his final eight years of service led the agency as the 17th Chief of the USFS. During his tenure as chief, he focused on building public trust by valuing diversity and inclusivity to restore forest resiliency through community collaboration. 

About the Student Conservation Association
The Student Conservation Association (SCA) is the largest provider of hands-on environmental conservation programs for youth and adults. Program participants protect and restore national parks, marine sanctuaries, cultural landmarks and community green spaces across the country. The SCA is devoted to building equitable access to nature, providing green job opportunities for young people and teaching members how to become environmental stewards. Founded in 1957, the SCA is committed to building the next generation of conservation leaders dedicated to the lifelong protection of the environment and the communities we serve. For more, visit