Our Board

Board of Directors

  • Amy Battaglia (Vice-Chair)
  • Fae Daniels
  • John Dankowski
  • John Flood (Founder)
  • Paul M Kaladas, PhD

 

  • Dana Kohnken-Cole
  • Lynn Johnson Langer (Chair)
  • Jim Lyons
  • Bob Ottenhoff (Secretary)
  • Jeff Peterson
  • Don Santa
  • S. Stoney Simons, Jr.
  • Judy Urbanczyk
  • John Wyss (Treasurer)

South River Watershed Advisory Board

Chair: Paul Kaladas

If you would like to join the advisory board, please send an email to [email protected]

West/Rhode Watershed Advisory Board

Chair: John Flood

If you would like to join the advisory board, please send an email to [email protected]

2021 Board (From L to R): Jim Lyons, Paul Kaladas, Amy Battaglia, Dana Kohnken-Cole, John Flood (Founder), Don Santa, Lynn Johnson Langer, Jeff Peterson

Board Biographies

Amy Battaglia

Beginning in January of 2020, Ms. Battaglia joined the Board of the Arundel Rivers Federation. In 2021, she assumed the role of Secretary on the ARF Executive Committee. After living for 20 years in Northern Virginia Ms. Battaglia bought a home in Annapolis in 2004, and became a supporter of the then South River Federation.  She believes just as strongly today in the mission of Arundel Rivers and the unique role the organization fills using a science-based approach to protect, preserve and restore the South, West and Rhode rivers as critical tributaries of the Chesapeake Bay.

Formerly, Ms. Battaglia served as a Senior Executive in the U.S. government. Retiring in 2019, her career of 34 years included 25 years at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) where she served as the Director of the Office of Program Accountability and Resources Management (OPARM) in EPA’s Office of Research and Development. She led the organization responsible for securing, managing, and providing accountability for the +$550M annual research funds, and represented the research program budget within EPA, and to OMB, GAO and the U.S. Congress. Other assignments included serving as staff on the U.S. House of Representatives Appropriations Subcommittee on HHS, Education and Labor, as well as at the Wilson Center (a non-partisan public policy center) as part of the Women in Public Service Project. Her career began at the U.S. Peace Corps as a paid staff member, serving nine years in the Office of the Chief Financial Officer, the Congressional Relations Office, and on assignment to Peace Corps in Kyrgyzstan as an administrative officer.

Dana Kohnken Cole

As owner and Executive Producer of Oscar Production, Dana has led teams over the past 30 years on all types of commercial production. Clients have included global advertisers, the US Government, industry coalitions and nonprofit organizations. Filming all over the country and overseas, Dana has polished her negotiation skills to pull off intricate and multi-layered production requests. Her work has won numerous Clios, ADDYS, and Effies. Dana graduated from Denison University with a BFA in film/studio art.

Dana has lived on the South River for the past 20 years and is an avid kayaker. Besides serving on the Arundel Rivers board, she serves on the board of her family foundation, The Kohnken Family Foundation, and previously served on the board at Maryland Hall.

John Dankowski

John Dankowski is a seasoned business executive offering decades of cross-government and cross-industry experience in both the private and public sectors. He is results-oriented and possesses hands-on expertise in small and large-scale operations, business growth strategies, new business capture, personnel management and mentoring, and strategic facilitation – from inception to implementation – of policy, plans, programs, and operations. Throughout his tenure in multiple, high-profile roles, Mr. Dankowski formed and maintains close relationships with visionaries, experts, and key stakeholders throughout industry and in many U.S. government departments and agencies. John is known for his knack for strategic relationship enablement.

Having spent much of his career in operational National Security leadership positions, Mr. Dankowski was required to coordinate complex interdependent activities across multiple organizations. From authoring policy and managing programs of national scale, to executing day-to-day mission operations, his track record demonstrates prudence in fiscal responsibility, mastery in promoting collaborative behaviors, and respect as a trusted mentor and colleague. Mr. Dankowski’s U.S. Federal Government service culminated in his serving as Special Assistant to the President of the United States and Director of White House Operations.

John resides with his son Silas, son’s partner Dillon, and 100 lb Weimaraner named Bentley just off Broad Creek on the South River. John is an avid boater and has enjoyed and valued our beautiful rivers and bay for decades. His current vessel “Ol’ Bae” is docked near Herring Bay at the Herrington Harbour South Marina.

John Flood

John grew up on the shores of the South River, like his father, grandfather and several generations before him did. However, when he was growing up, the underwater grasses, crabs, rockfish, and ducks started to disappear. He is president of Flood Brothers Marine Consultants, Inc. In his early career he built bulkheads and piers. However, he was one of the early adopters of living shoreline approach that replaces wooden or stone walls with marsh grass and rock weirs. He also is considered the grandfather of citizen oyster gardening and created “Flood buckets” to raise oysters by hanging them off piers. He has also been a strong and loud advocate for restoring the Bay. He has been awarded the Ellen Fraites Wagner Conservationist Award and the Chesapeake Bay Foundation Conservationist Award. He founded Arundel Rivers Federation (originally called South River Federation) in the late 90’s. He has been a staunch ally of the Federation ever since.

Lynn Johnson Langer 

Lynn Johnson Langer and her husband Eric moved to the South River in 2013 and where they are passionate about helping to preserve, protect and restore the rivers and the Chesapeake Bay. Lynn has long been interested in helping the environment all the way to high school where she was president of the Ecology Club! She went on to study microbiology and later received her PhD and MBA. She was most recently Executive Dean of Academic Programs at the Foundation of Advanced Education in the Sciences at the National Institutes of Health (FAES)—the NIH graduate school.

Prior to joining FAES, she was at Johns Hopkins University for 17 years where she served as Associate Dean and was a fulltime faculty member and director of enterprise, entrepreneurship, international, and regulatory science programs. She is an executive coach, organization development consultant, and adjunct faculty member at Johns Hopkins and has published over 70 articles and book chapters.

Lynn has served on multiple boards and was appointed by the Governor of the State of Maryland to serve on the board of directors of the Maryland Technology Development Corporation (TEDCO), the FAES Board of Directors, and she served as Chair of the Board and President of Women In Bio, an organization of professionals committed to career development of women active in the life sciences.

Paul M. Kaladas

Paul holds BS and PhD degrees in Biochemistry from Rutgers University. At the end of 2015, Paul retired from MedImmune, an Astra Zeneca company, as Director of Biopharmaceutical Development. During his 35-year career in the biopharmaceutical industry, he held a variety of scientific and management leadership roles at both small biotech and large pharmaceutical companies. Paul and his wife Norma moved from New Jersey to Maryland in 2011 and to the Annapolis Neck peninsula in 2013. Paul is an Arundel County Watershed Steward, a Clean Water Captain volunteer at CBF and volunteers as an oral history interviewer and editor for the Annapolis Maritime Museum. Paul is an avid sailboat racer and cruiser and enjoys cycling and kayaking.

Jim Lyons

Jim Lyons was a Lecturer and Research Scholar at the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies (now the Yale School of the Environment) from 2000 – 2003 and continued to lecture in natural resource policy at Yale until 2020. Jim began his career with the US Fish and Wildlife Service and later served as Policy Director for the Society of American Foresters. From 1986 – 1992, he was Senior Staff on the House Committee on Agriculture where he helped develop the conservation and forestry titles of the 1990 Farm Bill. Under President Clinton, Jim served as USDA Under Secretary for Natural Resources and Environment (1992-2000) where he oversaw the Forest Service and the Natural Resources Conservation Service.

From 2013-2016 Jim was Deputy Assistant Secretary for Lands and Minerals Management in the Interior Department (DOI) under President Obama where he advanced the concept of large landscape conservation and policies to mitigate the impacts of public land use on natural resources and the environment, helped develop an interagency strategy for addressing the threat of wildland fires, and promoted clean energy production on public lands. During his four decades of work in the fields of conservation and natural resource management, Jim has also led private, non-profit conservation organizations focused on restoring the urban forests in Washington DC, protecting threatened and endangered species, and addressing the threat of climate change to impoverished communities in South America, Africa, and Southeast Asia. Jim has been recognized as a distinguished alum by Rutgers University (1995) and the Yale School of the Environment (2019) for his contributions to the fields of conservation and natural resource management. He is now a consultant and volunteers for several non-profit organizations.

Robert G. Ottenhoff

Robert G. Ottenhoff is a veteran leader and expert in nonprofit organizations, philanthropy and media. He was the founder and served as the inaugural General Manager of WBGO-FM from 1977 to 1987 and Acting President from 2020-2021.  He took a brief leave of absence while at WBGO-FM to act as Senior Vice President for Representation at National Public Radio (NPR).

After leaving WBGO, he was the Executive Director of the New Jersey Public Broadcasting Authority, which operated four public television stations and a statewide radio network. He was Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer at the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) from 1992 to 2000. While at PBS he also served as Acting President and Acting Senior Vice President of Programming for nearly one year.

He served as inaugural president and CEO of the Center for Disaster Philanthropy (CDP) based in Washington D.C from 2002 until 2020. CDP works with foundations, corporations, and individuals and seeks to transform how donors think about, respond and contribute to natural disasters.  Prior to joining CDP, he spent a decade as president and CEO of GuideStar, an industry leader in the use of providing high-quality data to help donors make better decisions and improve nonprofit practice. He holds a Masters in City and Regional Planning from Rutgers University and was awarded a B.A. from Calvin College in Michigan.

Jeffrey Peterson

Jeffrey Peterson has 40 years of experience in environmental policy development and program management, particularly focused on water issues. Most recently he was Senior Advisor in the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Office of Water responsible for climate change policy. In that capacity he co-chaired the EPA Sea Level Rise Workgroup and was a member of the Federal Interagency Sea Level Rise Workgroup. He also worked for almost four years on water policy at the White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) during the first Obama term. At CEQ, he co-chaired the Interagency Water Resources and Climate Change Workgroup and authored the first national plan addressing water resources management and climate change.

Before joining EPA in 1995, he worked for ten years for the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works managing legislation related to the Clean Water Act, Safe Drinking Water Act, environmental education, indoor air quality, and other issues. Jeff is the author of A New Coast: Strategies for Responding to Devastating Storms and Rising Seas.

Donald Santa 

Don Santa has been a member of the board of the Arundel Rivers Federation and its predecessor, the South River Federation, since 2013. He currently chairs ARF’s board. Don was most recently the president and CEO of the Interstate Natural Gas Association in the District of Columbia.  Prior to joining INGAA, he practiced law and served as a member of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and as counsel to a congressional committee. He and his family lived in Louisville, Ky while he was an executive with LG&E Energy Corp.

Don is an adjunct professor at Georgetown Law School. He is a graduate of the Columbia University School of Law and the Duke University Trinity College of Arts and Sciences. Don and his wife Karen have resided on the South River since 2001 and currently live on Gingerville Creek. He is an avid sailor on Chesapeake Bay and frequently kayaks on the South River.

Stoney Simons, Jr.

Stoney Simons, Jr. obtained a Ph.D. in chemistry from Harvard University and went on to a postdoctoral fellowship in Molecular Endocrinology at the Univ. of California, San Francisco.  He then moved to Bethesda, Maryland, and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for the next 40 years, first as a Staff Fellow before becoming the Chief of the Steroid Hormones Section for 30 years in one of the NIH institutes. Upon retiring in 2015, he and his wife moved full time to western shore of the Chesapeake Bay, where they enjoy running, biking, kayaking, hiking, sailing, gardening, tennis, bird watching, sour dough bread baking, French, skiing, and travelling.  He joined the Board of the West River Riverkeeper in 2016. After the merger with the South River Riverkeeper in 2019, he continued on the board of the Arundel Rivers Federation.  He is a volunteer scientist at NASA/Goddard and is the founder and organizer of the Galesville Astrophysical Society.

Judith (Judy) Urbanczyk

For nearly 20 years, Judy has lived on the West River in Shady Side with her husband Steve and their dogs – now Jake. They enjoy exploring the Arundel rivers as well as the Chesapeake Bay in their trawler which they keep at the Chesapeake Yacht Club (CYC). For many years they have grown oysters at their dock for the Chesapeake Bay Foundation. In addition to a BA in English, she has two masters degrees (MSLIS Catholic University, MBA George Washington University). From 2005 until her retirement in 2016, she established, developed and ran the library program at DC Preparatory Academy, Edgewood Middle School. From 2001 -2005 she was a Research Associate at the Institute of Medicine.

She has served as President, Vice-President and member of the board of CYC Ladies Auxiliary. She chaired the annual fundraising auction in 2016. The auction funds a variety of charitable organizations in the community as well as supporting the needs of the club. She and her family appreciate the environmental importance of the Arundel Rivers to our local communities and are committed to helping preserve and restore our rivers.

John Wyss

John Wyss graduated with a BS degree in physics from Stanford University and a JD degree from Yale Law School. He has practiced law in Washington. DC for many years, first with Kirkland & Ellis and, since 1983, with Wiley Rein LLP, representing clients in matters involving patent litigation, antitrust and trade regulation, and general commercial litigation. Prior to joining the Board of Arundel Rivers Federation, he was a Board member and served as Board Chair of the West/Rhode Riverkeeper organization. John and his wife, Joanne Comstock, have a home on the West River near Parrish Creek. In recent years, John has worked with SACReD and the Chesapeake Legal Alliance to prevent environmentally insensitive development in the Critical Area near Deale and Shady Side.

 

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The Federation is effective because of the people who live,
work and play on the South, West, and Rhode Rivers.

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