Staff & Board

Meet the Team!

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Barbara Schlitt Ford is a 2nd generation Vero native, an accomplished attorney and organization leader. She grew up appreciating this area as a true paradise. Barbara is a nature lover who would prefer a swim in the ocean, a boat trip on the lagoon, or a hike in the mountains to a waterfall over a theme park or shopping trip any day. She cares about environmental stewardship and is passionate about living in union with our Earth systems, nature preservation and on finding solutions to our water quality issues in the area.  She joined the ELC as interim Executive Director on April 1, 2019. She strives to maintain a mission-focused, collaborative and uplifting leadership style. She appreciates greatly synergistic commitment and teamwork from staff, board members, volunteers, community partners, grantors, donors, and sponsors that make it all possible! 

Executive Director

Barb@DiscoverELC.org

(772) 589-5050 ext. 105

Barbara Schlitt Ford

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Sara’s relationship with the ELC goes back almost a decade. From 2006-2008 Sara helped teach our school programs as a part-time naturalist. In the spring of 2008 she left the ELC to work as a field biologist. She’s worked for The Nature Conservancy, The North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences, and the United States Geological Survey on research projects related to restoration ecology, water quality, and foraging and reproduction studies of passerines and waterbirds. Sara grew up exploring green spaces around Indian River County, as she was raised right here in Vero Beach. Although Sara connected with the natural world from a very early age, her passion for conservation and natural resource management was ignited during her studies at the University of Florida. In 2004, she earned her B.S. degree in Wildlife Ecology and Conservation from UF. Additionally, Sara’s received training from the National Geographic Society in Watershed Education. Sara originally joined the education team as a full-time Naturalist. She’s thrilled to expand her relationship with the communities ELC serves and strives to promote a life-long, positive, mutually-rewarding relationship with nature. In her free time she enjoys all things nature, cooking, traveling, live music, crafting natural products, aromatherapy, and spending time with her family. 

Director of Education & Outreach

SaraP@DiscoverELC.org

(772) 589-5050 ext. 111

Sara Piotter

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​Ray is originally from South Africa where he was an apprentice with Wankie Colliery Company Limited in Rhodesia (Zimbabwe today).  During Ray’s five year apprenticeship he received “Apprentice of the Year.”
After a stint in the Rhodesian Army where he attained the rank of full Corporal, Ray held various positions as a Maintenance and Construction Electrician, and then as a Production Supervisor and Facilities Manager overseeing a staff. Never one to stay still, Ray started his own very successful home improvement company and also renovated his 80 year old house in Newark, Delaware and built all the furniture. As with many new Floridians, a visit to warmer Florida spurred him to relocate and that was a lucky thing for us! Now we keep Ray very busy maintaining our 64-Acre Lagoon Island property and facilities and we’re so grateful to have such a talent! For fun (as if he weren’t busy enough) Ray’s bucket list includes traveling to all 50 states (he’s done about half so far) and renovating his Florida house (and probably making all new furniture!) 

Facilities Director

Ray@DiscoverELC.org

Ray Weatherdon

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Bev Shea grew up in New Hampshire and is an outdoor enthusiast.  Her background is in department store retailing and e-commerce sales.  Her expertise is ensuring quality guest experiences.  She recently joined the ELC because she has a great desire to reconnect with nature, get outdoors, and support environmental stewardship. 

Guest Services and Membership Manager

Bev@DiscoverELC.org

(772) 589-5050 ext. 101

Bev Shea

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Nancy became part of the ELC staff in 2006 has been instrumental in growing the ELC volunteer group to over 260 happy volunteers of all ages! She and her family moved to Florida from New Jersey in 2003.  She  was very active in St. Edwards Parent Association before joining ELC in 2006.  Nancy worked in the finance/lease end of the auto industry before her three boys arrived and she has been busy ever since! 

Volunteer Coordinator

Nancy@DiscoverELC.org

(772) 589-5050 ext. 107

Nancy Puglio

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Sarah Christopherson attended the University of Georgia & Kennesaw State University, graduating in 2011 with undergraduate degrees in Philosophy & Spanish.  Prior to moving to Vero Beach in the fall of 2015, she resided in Atlanta for nearly 10 years. During that time she worked in early childhood education at summer day camps & schools, & conservation as the president of her university's environmental organization. Sarah also studied biology & nutrition at Georgia State University & has a background in holistic & integrative health & well-being. Her passions include traveling to foreign countries, reading, running on the beach, farming, camping, environmentalism (of course!), & snuggling up with her rescued pup & kitty. 

Environmental Educator

SarahC@DiscoverELC.org

(772) 589-5050 ext. 108

Sarah Christopherson

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Heather Kramer has been using the out-of-doors as a classroom and a place of inspiration for over ten years, believing there is a firm connection between science and art. Finding relevance in the patterns and cycles that nature presents, she emphasizes these foundations through hands-on, art-based learning opportunities both for herself and students of all ages. She works to create educational pieces that connect the communities to their local ecosystems. 

Heather graduated from New York University in 2008 with a BA in film with a focus on set design. Using her design and build skills, Heather has worked with BEAM Center, the Rockaway Waterfront Alliance & the National Park Service to design curriculum and implement hands-on learning opportunities for kids.  She also helped to start the non-profit ARTSinPARTS in 2012, as a response to Super Storm Sandy. It is through these opportunities that Heather received her education in Education by educating; and loves every second of it.

Environmental Educator

HeatherK@DiscoverELC.org

(772) 589-5050 

Heather Kramer

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Amy Shea joined the ELC in spring of 2019.  She has a B.A. in psychology from the University of Arkansas and an M.Ed. in elementary education from Vanderbilt University.  She has also completed graduate work in free-choice learning and fisheries management at Oregon State University.  She moved to Florida in 2011 to pursue the field of environmental education and has previously worked at SeaWorld and the Palm Beach Zoo and Conservation Society.  Outside of her work at the ELC, Amy enjoys SCUBA diving, playing the fiddle, traveling, and spending time with her rescue dogs.

Environmental Educator

Amy@DiscoverELC.org

(772) 589-5050 ext. 106

Amy Shea

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Nicole Lemmo joined the ELC education team in the spring of 2019 after receiving an M.S. in Environmental Education from the Florida Institute of Technology.  Before her studies, Nicole lived in Thailand for seven years, first as a Peace Corps volunteer and then working in the field of educational and eco-tourism.  A native of Philadelphia, she holds a background in finance and a diverse set of business skills.  Nicole is driven by her personal experience in connecting with nature, and it is her passion to educate people on environmental action and the skills necessary to create lasting and sustainable change.  

Environmental Educator

Nicole@DiscoverELC.org

(772) 589-5050 ext. 110

Nicole Lemmo

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Phil joined the ELC in September of 2018.  Phil was born and raised in New York City. He left the northeast for Florida in 1989 when his snow shovel broke.  Phil is a life long fisherman and boater. He holds a U.S. Coast Guard 100 Ton Master License. In his previous career, he was a 41 year veteran of the auto repair industry and felt it was time for a change that would bring him closer to nature and the water. When not at the ELC, he likes spending time with family, fishing, boating, traveling and building custom fishing rods.

Marine Facilities Supervisor & Boat Captain

Phil@DiscoverELC.org

Phil Chieco

Kenny joined our team as the Development Data Manager in November of 2018. He was born and raised in Vero Beach and visited our campus on school field trips numerous times. Kenny grew up boating and fishing in the Indian River with his family. He has spent the last 14 years working in Spreadsheet and Database Management as well as Statistics and Reporting and he is very excited to join the team and help make a difference in the community and environment.

Database Manager

Kenny@DiscoverELC.org

(772) 589-5050 ext. 109

Kenny Kinchen

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Wendy joined the ELC in 2016.  A lifetime member of the Girl Scouts, Wendy is happy to return to her love of nature and the outdoors in service to the Environmental Learning Center and our community. Wendy served as Vice President of the VNA & Hospice Foundation in Vero Beach and was asked by the Board of Directors to serve as Interim CEO from August 2013 to March of 2014.  An accomplished fund raiser Wendy worked directly with Dean Colleen Conway-Welch in raising 12 million dollars for the Vanderbilt School of Nursing with the cultivation, solicitation and acquisition of gifts.  Prior to that she served as CEO of Tennessee-Arkansas Miss Girl Scout Council meeting the needs of more than 12,000 girls and their families in western Tennessee, Arkansas and Mississippi.  And if that were not enough to keep her busy, Wendy has a passion for all things related to the theatre and she especially enjoys acting in plays with the Vero Beach Theatre Guild.

Executive Assistant & Development Associate

Wendy@DiscoverELC.org

(772) 589-5050 ext. 113

Wendy O'Neil

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Kat was born and raised in Sebastian, FL and visited the ELC several times on school field trips.  She received her degree in Communications (Multi-platform Journalism)
at  Florida Institute of Technology in 2018.  In her free time, Kat enjoys photography, cars and art.  She is SCUBA certified, enjoys spending time with her rescue dogs and watching sunrises on the Indian River Lagoon. Kat has a passion for education
and giving the next generation the opportunity to experience the environment and enjoy time outside.

Marketing & Communications Coordinator

Kat@DiscoverELC.org

(772) 589-5050 ext. 102

Kat Redner

ELC Board of Directors

ELC Foundation Board

Chairperson
DONALD E. BARR

Vice Chairperson
JIM SOURBEER​ 

Secretary
TIMOTHY R. BUHL

Treasurer
JORGE FERNANDEZ​

Members

GABBY BARBARITE

JOHN L. DANIELS

MICHELLE DOWNEY

JANET LEGER
ALEX MAC WILLIAM IV

CINDY O'DARE

TYLER G. PUTTICK

JEFFREY L. SUSI

ROBERT J. TENCH

Chairperson
TODD FENNELL


Treasurer
ROBERT MCCABE


Members
DONALD E. BARR
TIMOTHY R. BUHL
ALICE COLE
HAYDN COLE
JORGE FERNANDEZ
JOHN D. LOWENBERG, SR.

ROBERT PRINDIVILLE
JIM SOURBEER

INVESTMENT COMMITTEE
Chairperson
JOHN D. LOWENBERG, SR.


Members
ALICE COLE
HAYDN COLE
TODD FENNELL
JORGE FERNANDEZ
ROBERT PRINDIVILLE

ELC is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) . Admission, memberships & donations are critical to continuing our mission. Join or give today! 

HOURS:
Monday - Saturday: 8 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Sunday: 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Phone: (772) 589-5050
email: info@discoverELC.org
#discoverelc

ELC is a Smoke-Free campus.  
Service Dogs only, please.

Copyright 2019.

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Address:

255 Live Oak Drive

Vero Beach, FL 32963

Located on the western base of the Wabasso Bridge on the 510 Causeway