Our Staff

Denise Swol

Executive Director

Denise has a masters in Environmental Science and Policy from Johns Hopkins and a bachelors from Florida State University in Geography. Her career has mostly been in the education community working at the Anne Arundel Community College Foundation as Annual Fund and Donor Relations Coordinator and at the Summit School as Assistant Director of Institutional Advancement.

For the past four years, she has worked as the Marketing Manager for Lednor Corporation specializing in event management and print and digital marketing. Denise lives in Crofton and this past year fell in love with paddle boarding and with her daughter has been exploring the waters of Anne Arundel County. Denise joined the Federation in September 2018.


Email: [email protected]

Jennifer Carr

Director of Restoration

Jennifer graduated from Penn State University with a degree in Geography and a minor in Environmental Science. After graduation, she worked for an AmeriCorps non-profit in Baltimore, interned with the International Rescue Committee and taught in a rural village in Serbia. After returning home, Jennifer joined the Federation in 2011 as a one year Chesapeake Conservation Corps Member funded by the Chesapeake Bay Trust. The Federation hired her in 2012 and she has worked at a variety of positions, including coordinating volunteers, event planning and acted as the unofficial IT officer. She found her niche in Restoration and worked her way from an assistant to Director of Restoration.


Email: [email protected]

Jesse Iliff

South, West and Rhode RIVERKEEPER

Jesse Iliff is an attorney who obtained his juris doctor with a certificate of concentration in environmental law from the University of Maryland, Carey School of Law. A native of Arnold, Maryland, he interned with the Office of the Attorney General’s Environmental Crimes Unit while studying for the bar exam before litigating a variety of cases in state and federal court after entering private practice in 2010.

While in law school, Jesse earned a Public Service Award for designing a pro bono project for environmental law students to assist in litigation regarding unsound wastewater treatment and retention practices by surface mining companies in West Virginia. Jesse also served as co-executive of the Maryland Environmental Law Society, designing and implementing conservation and fundraising programs for the student organization. In addition, he completed an Asper Fellowship with the Anne Arundel County Office of Law’s natural resources division.

Before joining the Federation, Jesse provided pro bono counsel and representation to several community groups and non-profit organizations through the Chesapeake Legal Alliance, most notably securing a permit from the Maryland Department of Environment to construct a living shoreline for the Pines Community Association on the Severn River in 2014.

He is Board Chair for the Waterkeepers Chesapeake, and sits on the MD Oyster Advisory Commission and MD Commission for Climate Change. He also serves on the Citizen’s Environmental Commission and the City of Annapolis Waterways Cabinet.

In his spare time Jesse enjoys softball, boating, hiking and cross country skiing with his wife Abbey, their son Baxter, and daughter Willow.


Email: [email protected]

Nancy Merrill Sullivan

Outreach Manager

Nancy Merrill Sullivan grew up as a river rat on the nearby Severn River fishing, crabbing, and in general messing about on boats. She has worked as an environmental educator for Chesapeake Bay Foundation and Friends of the Rappahannock.

She also spent 5 years at The Conservation Fund in Arlington, VA helping to get the Captain John Smith National Historic Trail established with the National Park Service. She has her masters in Non-Profit Management from George Mason University and graduated from Cornell University as a History major. She currently sits on the board for Chesapeake Legal Alliance and served previously on the Anne Arundel Medical Center Foundation board and the Discovery Creek Children’s Museum in Washington, DC. Currently she is on the advisory Council for the Chesapeake Conservancy. She is a certified sailing instructor and PADI scuba diver, an avid reader and traveler. She is married to Jason and is kept busy with 3 step-kids and 3 step-grandkids.


Email: [email protected]

Taylor Stark

Development and Communication Associate

Taylor Stark is a recent graduate from the University of Maryland, College Park with a double major in Communication and Geographic Information Systems. Previously, Taylor interned for the Mattawoman Watershed Society, the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay, the Choose Clean Water Coalition and the National Wildlife Federation.

Taylor spent most of her childhood at her family cottage on Herring Bay, which is part of Arundel Rivers Federation’s southern jurisdiction. She’s pleased to work for an organization that supports these important local waterways.


Email: [email protected]

Get Involved

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