Roger Tory Peterson Institute of Natural History
Board of Trustees
Laurie Barrera, CPA – Laurie is a director in the accounting and tax department at Buffamante Whipple Buttafaro, P.C. A graduate of St. Bonaventure University with over thirty years experience in the accounting field, Laurie consults on for-profit accounting engagements such as compilations and reviews. She specializes in tax engagements, particularly the preparation and review of individual, partnership, estate and corporate tax returns, including multi-state returns. Laurie is a member of the New York State Society of Certified Public Accountants and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. She served on the board of the Ellicottville Ski Club, Inc. and is also a former member of the board of directors and past treasurer of the Mental Health Association of Cattaraugus County. Laurie volunteers her time and talents to various community activities in the Ellicottville, New York area.
Warren C. Blanchard – Warren C. Blanchard, Jr., (Wren) resides with his wife, Susan and son, Steven in San Antonio, Texas, having retired there from the US Air Force as a Command Pilot with the rank of Lt Col. He then flew at American Airlines, finally retiring in 2005 as an MD80 Captain. Wren graduated from Colgate University in 1967 with a degree in Psychology and later from St. Mary’s University, earning a Master’s Degree in Systems Management . He remains active with the “vintage” version of the Colgate Thirteen, an a capella singing group of which he was a member in undergraduate days. He is a past volunteer with the San Antonio Symphony League and currently active in the San Antonio Parrot Head Club, a national charitable organization. Wren actively supports and helps coach Texas Special Olympics in which his son, Steven, participates. He is currently Vice-President of The A-1 Skyraider Association, a group of former Vietnam fighter pilots. Wren’s interests include golf, snow skiing, boating, cycling, motorcycling, music and photography. A Jamestown, New York native, Wren and his family have a summer residence on Chautauqua Lake.
William R. Hackney III (Chair) – A resident of Atlanta, Georgia and Lake Toxaway, North Carolina, Bill is a Senior Partner with Atlanta Capital Management, and is responsible for the firm’s economic research and investment strategy, and is the author of the firm’s quarterly investment newsletter. A graduate of University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and The Citadel, Bill retired with the rank of Colonel in the US Marine Corps Reserve, and enjoys American history, golf, business writing and art collecting.
Michael Jabot – Professor of Science Education at the State University of New York at Fredonia. He is the Director of the Institute for Research in Science Teaching at SUNY Fredonia. In addition, Mike serves on numerous regional and national committees looking at the development and implementation of the Next Generation Science Standards as well as serving on the National Faculty for the Smithsonian Institution LASER initiative. Mike also serves as a National Facilitator and consultant for various national environmental education projects contributing to their development and evaluation.
Michael Liberati – Mr. Liberati earned degrees in Plant and Soil Science, Agricultural Engineering, and Civil and Environmental Engineering. He began his professional career in 1983 as an engineering consultant, and his employment with the DuPont Company started in 1989 where he served on the management team of a new business venture that provided environmental consulting services to DuPont customers. In that role, Mr. Liberati had technical, employee management, and profit and loss responsibilities. Since 1992 he has been a member of the DuPont Corporate Remediation Group and, as a Principal Project Director, has responsibility for managing large and complex environmental restoration projects throughout the U.S. Mr. Liberati served as a Delaware State Chamber of Commerce Committee Chairman, on the Board of Directors for KEMA-North America, and was awarded the University of Delaware Citation for Outstanding Achievement. He is a Fellow with the University of Virginia Institute for Environmental Leadership, and a volunteer youth instructor with the Delaware Nature Society. He has presented at numerous national and international conferences, and is an invited lecturer at several universities. His interests include bird watching and photography, hiking, fly fishing, paddle-sports, and woodworking.
Wilson Mudge – Wilson is a partner in the law firm of Arnold & Porter LLP in Washington, DC, specializing in antitrust matters of all types including mergers, civil and criminal investigations, and civil litigation. He is a graduate of Michigan State University and The American University, Washington College of Law. Wilson has had a lifelong interest in natural history and the outdoors, including fly fishing, hiking, hunting and camping. A native of Jamestown, New York, Wilson now resides in Arlington, Virginia with his wife Amy and two children, Annabel and Emmett.
Lee Allen Peterson (Vice-chair) – The younger of two sons of Roger Tory Peterson, Lee has worked either directly or indirectly with the world of Natural History his entire life. As a gastronomic botanist, he has lectured throughout the United States and Canada and, as a jeweler, he has participated in art, museum and trade shows throughout the country. A graduate of Johns Hopkins University, Lee has been self-employed as an author and lecturer from 1972 to the present, and is the author/illustrator of A Field Guide to Edible Wild Plants of Eastern and Central North America (Houghton Mifflin Co., 1977) which he is revising for a new publication date of 2015. Lee and his wife Courtney reside on a 200 year old farm in Southeastern Pennsylvania, where they raise sheep and produce nature inspired jewelry in their Courtney Design studio.
Tory Peterson – The eldest of two sons of Roger Tory Peterson, Tory has spent his career in the fields of corporate lending, and as a broker and financial advisor. He holds degrees from Wesleyan University, University of Virginia Darden School of Business, where he earned an MBA in Finance in 1979, and served in the United States Air Force in its security service, and as a linguist. He was co-chair with E.O. Wilson at the Harvard Museum of Natural History for the Roger Tory Peterson Medal and Lecture Series. Tory and his wife Janet reside in Tryon, North Carolina.
Doug Schutte, ChFC – Doug is a wealth manager with Summit Wealth Management, Inc. in Jamestown, New York, and began his career in the financial services industry in 1984. He transitioned his business to financial planning and investment advisory in 1996, encompassing retirement and investment planning, tax, estate and charitable planning. Doug formed Summit Accounting Solutions, LLC in 2010. Doug has coached youth hockey, baseball and softball, as well as served on numerous committees in the community. He and his wife Lisa, have four children.
John Seerey-Lester – With work hanging at the White House and in permanent, private and museum collections throughout the world, John Seerey-Lester is one of the most renowned wildlife and historic artists in the world today. John has received many awards and much recognition for his outstanding achievements in the field of wildlife art. He was presented to His Royal Highness Prince Phillip and was commended for his work in conservation. Of British origin, John now lives in Florida with his wife and fellow award winning wildlife artist Suzie.
Linda Goodridge Steckley – Linda has spent the last thirty-five years as a fund raising professional, most recently as Senior Major Gifts Officer for Chautauqua Institution. Her five years at Chautauqua followed seven as vice president for development and executive education at the Brookings Institution in Washington, DC. Prior to joining Brookings, her fund-raising focus was on higher education with chief fund raising positions at Duke University School of Law, New York University School of Law, and the University of Miami where she earned an MBA in 1987. Linda currently serves as a vice president of the University of Miami Alumni Association and is a founding board member of the Fund for Education Abroad in Washington, DC. Linda and her husband raised a blended family of five sons. The family has grown and now includes nine grandchildren. Linda and Pete divide their time between their homes in Key Biscayne, Florida, and Chautauqua, New York.
William Thompson, III – Bill is Editor/Co-Publisher of Bird Watcher’s Digest, America’s longest-running magazine for birders, and is an award-winning author of numerous books on birds. He resides on an 80-acre farm in the Appalachian foothills near Whipple, Ohio with his wife the author/artist Julie Zickefoose and their two children.
Jonathan Weston – Jonathan Weston is the manager of Panama Rocks Scenic Park, a family owned and operated nature attraction in Chautauqua County. From 2004 to 2013, Jonathan worked for the United States Congress. He served as Senior Policy Advisor to Congressman Brian Higgins from 2004 to 2008 where he handled environmental and education issues, among others, and as Congressional Liaison with the U.S.-China Economic & Security Review Commission from 2009 to 2013. He currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Chautauqua County Visitors Bureau and as a Trustee with the Village of Panama, New York. Jonathan is a graduate of Cornell University, Johns Hopkins University, and the United States Air Force Air Command Staff College.
Marilyn Zagora, Ph.D. – Dr. Marilyn A. Zagora has served as vice president of academic affairs at State University of New York – Jamestown Community College since 2007. During the past several decades, she has served in a variety of other leadership roles at the college including dean of student development and marketing, dean of student affairs, division chair for human development and educational services, and ad hoc associate dean of instruction. During her tenure as a member of the counseling faculty at JCC, she delivered a full range of counseling services and taught several courses, including life/career planning and leadership development. Dr. Zagora studied at the State University of New York at Buffalo, earning a bachelor’s degree, a master’s degree in rehabilitation counseling, and a doctorate in counseling psychology. She has been the recipient of both the Faculty Award for Excellence and the Administrative Award for Excellence from Jamestown Community College. Dr. Zagora has served on the editorial board of the NACADA Journal – The Journal of the National Academic Advising Association. She currently serves on the board of the Manufacturers’ Association of the Southern Tier.