Who We Are
Maria Kingery, Morrisville
Maria co-founded Southern Energy Management in 2001, a North Carolina-based sustainable energy company. She serves as President, chief visionary, and director of cultural development, and plays a key role in marketing and business development efforts. Prior to starting SEM with her husband, Maria served as retail operations manager for Burt’s Bees. She also has sales and marketing experience in the commercial printing and business products industries. She serves on the board of NC Sustainable Energy Association among others. Maria graduated Summa Cum Laude with a BA in English Literature from NCSU. She and her husband live with their son in Raleigh.
Nina Szlosberg-Landis, Raleigh
Immediate Past President
Nina Szlosberg-Landis is a civic leader with involvements in state, local, and national policy. She is currently in her third term on the NC Board of Transportation where she represents environmental issues. She serves on the Triangle Transit Board of Authority, and represents DOT and environmental issues on the Capital Area Planning Organization. Nationally, she serves on the Board of Directors of the Walkable and Livable Communities Institute, a nonprofit organization which promotes healthier lifestyles and built environments. Here in NC, she serves on the board of directors for Lillian’s List, an organization which helps elect women to the NC legislature. In 2000, Nina founded and continues to serve on the board of The Hillsborough Street Partnership, which has successfully organized the community around the revitalization of historic Hillsborough Street. In 2001, the NC Chapter of the American Planning Association named her "Citizen Planner of the Year" and the News and Observer “Tar Heel of the Week.” In 2003, Nina was selected as one of ten Eisenhower Fellows in the United States and travelled to the European Union where she studied environmental policy. Nina is a communications professional with more than 25 years experience in broadcasting, media production, community relations, and social advocacy and is President of Circle Squared Media, a strategic media consulting firm in Raleigh. She is married to Kel Landis, III. They live in Raleigh NC.
Bill Padgett, Raleigh
Vice President, Interim Treasurer
Bill is a retired director of IT Services for NC State University for 25 years. He has led many successfully community and political efforts in Raleigh. Presently he is working to preserve as a park the 306 acres of the Dorothea Dix Mental Health facility (NC State operated mental hospital) in Raleigh. He currently serves as chair of the Wade Citizens Advisory Council, and is a strong community advocate and organizer. His current interests include investigating traffic impacts of local proposed developments and studying the stock market. He and his wife live in Raleigh where they host regular house concerts.
John Wallace, Raleigh
John practices in the fields of commercial litigation and election law. He represents a variety of corporate clients, as well as trade associations, nonprofit organizations, political party committees, state and federal PACs, and candidate committees. As such, he is active in federal courts, state courts and in administrative forums, including the State Board of Elections and the Federal Election Commission. John’s ethics law practice includes representation of lobbyists, lobbyist principals and grassroots organizations, including for-profit and non-profit entities. John advises his clients on compliance with state ethics and campaign finance laws and regulations and represents clients before the State Ethics Commission. John began his career as antitrust coordinator for the National Association of Attorneys General. In this capacity, he coordinated multidistrict antitrust litigation brought by State Attorneys General and assisted in various appellate court matters. He then served as Assistant Attorney General in the Antitrust Division of the North Carolina Department of Justice.
Guenevere Abernathy, Durham
Guenevere Abernathy is a social entrepreneur. Her latest venture is LoMoMarket to be launched spring 2012. Ms. Abernathy founded Unique Places, a conservation real estate company, in 2004 and was Managing Partner through 2011. She serves as an advisor to Greenfire Development, a development company that revitalizes inner-city properties in Durham. She sits on the Land Protection Committee for the Eno River Association, coaches gymnastics at AcroSport, and spends as much time outdoors as possible. She and her husband, Michael Lemanski, live in downtown Durham overlooking DPAC and the bustle of Main Street.
Everett Bowman, Charlotte
Everett Bowman practices antitrust law and commercial litigation with Robinson, Bradshaw & Hinson, P.A. Mr. Bowman recently received the received the Antitrust Section’s Distinguished Service Award from the North Carolina Bar Association. In addition, Mr. Bowman was selected as a 2011 North Carolina Super Lawyer. He has also been recently recognized by Best Lawyers as the Charlotte Antitrust Lawyer of the Year for 2011, and is a member of Business North Carolina’s Legal Elite Hall of Fame for his work in the antitrust area. He resides in Charlotte with his two cats, Hector and Mary. His hobbies include whitewater canoeing and cooking.
Dan Bruer, Raleigh
Dan Bruer is President of the Frankie Lemmon School and Developmental Center in Raleigh. Previously, he served as the Raleigh-based major gifts officer for the national LCV. Dan first learned about fundraising and campaign management as a college intern with a political consulting firm in Missouri, where he later held staff positions on Missouri House and Congressional campaigns. Mr. Bruer has over fifteen years experience in fundraising and nonprofit management, serving in various development positions for University of Missouri-Columbia, UNC-Chapel Hill, Mid-Atlantic Region American Red Cross, and the Triangle Land Conservancy (where he managed a $5.5M capital campaign). Dan studied Sociology and Political Science at Missouri State University, and graduate studies in Sociology at the University of Missouri-Columbia. He lives in Raleigh with his wife and two children.
Courtney Crowder, Raleigh
Courtney Crowder has nearly fifteen years of experience in public affairs, government relations and political strategy. Prior to founding Crowder Consulting, he served four years as Legislative Director and senior advisor to Governor Bev Perdue. Courtney honed his skills in a range of public affairs and government relations positions. He counseled corporate, nonprofit and governmental organizations while at Capstrat, North Carolina’s premier strategic communications firm. He served as the Legislative Liaison for the North Carolina Department of Insurance and Special Assistant to Commissioner James E. “Jim” Long and was on the campaign and congressional staff for Congressman Bob Etheridge from 2000 to 2003. No stranger to the political arena, Courtney has played an active role in a host of campaigns at every level – presidential, statewide, congressional and local. Courtney holds B.A. degrees in English literature and French from North Carolina Central University and an M.A. in liberal studies from Duke University. He also studied at Oxford University in Oxford, England where he completed the Program of History, Politics and Society at Exeter College.
Robert S. Hodgman, Greensboro
Bob Hodgman is an attorney and owner of The Hodgman Law Firm in Greensboro specializing in workers’ compensation law. He has been a regular member of the Sierra Club for many years, as well as strong supporter of The Nature Conservancy and previously the Audubon Society. He is also a strong supporter and contributor to environmental causes and his hobbies include travel, bird watching and astronomy. Bob attended Duke-AB 1969, UNC Law 1972. Most political activity has been through the NC Association for Justice (Benefactor) or the national based, Workers Injury Law and Advocacy Group -WILG ( Director). Significant interests include toxic chemical exposures and hazards in employment as it affects injured workers.
Valerie Ann Johnson, Oxford
Valerie is the Mott Distinguished Professor of Women’s Studies and Director of Africana Women’s Studies at Bennett College in Greensboro. As an advocate for environmental justice she belongs to the following organizations: North Carolina Environmental Justice Network, ACA-Net (Academics, Community, Agencies Network. She also serves as a Commissioner on the North Carolina Historical Commission. She lives with her partner and two daughters in Oxford.
Ronald H. McFarlane, Raleigh
Ron grew up in Roanoke. He graduated from the University of Virginia with a degree in Science Education. He later enrolled in Pharmacy School at VCU where he met his wife, Nancy, where they were both pursuing degrees in pharmacy. They graduated in 1980 and were married that fall. Nancy and Ron have lived in Raleigh, NC since 1984. Nancy was just elected Mayor of Raleigh October, 2011. While living in Raleigh, they have raised three children: Katie, Emily and Reynolds. Ron has held the position of Chief Operating Officer for MedPro Rx, Inc., a Raleigh based specialty pharmacy, since June, 2003. He has served as Vice Chair and currently Secretary on the board of WakeUP Wake County, a citizen’s group focused on the Water, Transit, Schools, and Growth Issues in the area. Ron has been a volunteer coach for various YMCA Youth Sports programs since moving to Raleigh in 1984. He also served on the National Board of Directors for the Myasthenia Gravis Foundation from 2001 to 2009 where he was its Vice Chair from 2005 to 2009. He is a former Board Member of the local Wake County AIDS Service Agency. He sits on the National Advisory Council for the VCU School of Pharmacy and on the VCU's Medical of Virginia Foundation.
Mac Montgomery, Kure Beach
Mac has been a strong supporter of NCLCV for many years, both as a member and as an environmental advocate. He has been a strong local advocate and as a citizen lobbyist at the General Assembly and with DENR, as well as working to elect pro-conservation candidates. Mac serves as Chair of the Cape Fear Group of the NC Sierra Club for two years, and will remain on the Group Executive Committee after his term ends later this year. He has served as Mayor and Mayor Pro-Tem for Kure Beach (2005-2009), on numerous boards, commissions, and advisory groups for environmental, arts, and other issues, as well as and local and state advisory committees. His professional career included: Healthcare Business Consulting, Health Management Associates, Richmond Community College, and the US Army.
Jim Overton, Durham
Jim Overton serves on the Executive Staff of Self Help, a community development lender, credit union, and real estate developer working with the underserved. Mr. Overton was historically associated with NCLCV during its founding years as the Conservation Council of NC. He and his wife Mary Mountcastle live in Durham.
Marion S. Sullivan, Asheville/Atlanta, GA
Marion Sullivan served as Senior Advisor to Governor Perdue in her Administration and played a leading role in the historic election of our state's first female governor. She has significant experience in public policy, non-profit management, politics, and public education campaigns. Currently, she is Director of Governmental Relations with WellPoint, and serves on the board of trustees at UNC-Charlotte. Marion has her M.P.A. from Cornell, was a national security fellow at the Army War college, received a B.A. from the American University and certificate from Duke University in nonprofit management and leadership.
Al Swanstrom, Cary
Al is a retired IBM executive and high-tech business entrepreneur. He is active in civic and charitable organizations including the Cary Planning and Zoning Board (as chair), the North Carolina Turnpike Authority Board, the North Carolina League of Conservation Voter Board (NC Conservation Council) and he just completed a term on the Wake County Planning Board. Al is a graduate of the Institute of Political Leadership (IOPL – a nonpartisan political leadership training program) and he is a member of the American and North Carolina Planning Associations. He is a longtime supporter of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society as a board member, public policy advocate, mission ambassador, Team in Training program coach, and a member of the Light the Night program steering committee. Al is an active supporter of the Frankie Lemmon School for developmentally challenged children as a volunteer, fund raiser, and program steering committee member.
Dr. Amy Tiemann, Chapel Hill
Dr. Amy Tiemann is an award-winning author, educator and media producer. She co-owns a media production studio, Manifold Recording, with her husband Michael Tiemann. Dr. Tiemann earned her PhD in Neurosciences from Stanford University and spent a decade teaching classes from fourth graders through medical school and graduate students. Her combination of perspectives as a scientist, writer and educator allow her to discuss scientific issues with a wide range of audiences. She has been engaged in environmental causes for many years, including service as a past board member of the North Carolina Chapter of the Nature Conservancy.