Marc Bunting, Chair
Marc Bunting is CEO of the Blue Jar Family Council, a multigenerational family council that inspires and encourages future generations to understand and strengthen the Bunting/Kranzlin/Duffy family values and foster wealth.
In addition, Marc is the chief financial officer and co-founder of Alpine Food Service Solutions. Alpine was incorporated in 1996, and within two years had established itself as a unique food service provider for host locations on college campuses and hospitals within the United States. Alpine currently operates healthy food service concepts that have won numerous quality product and service awards since its inception. Marc received a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Stevenson University, and earned a Wealth Management Certificate from Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business. A native Baltimorean, Marc serves on the board of directors for a number of organizations, such as Civic Works, Stevenson University, Outward Bound and Catholic Charities. His philanthropic ventures include his role as director of the Bunting Family Foundation. Marc resides in Monkton, Maryland, and has two daughters, Calli and Jessie.
Jane W. I. Droppa, Vice Chair
After graduating from Kirkland College with a bachelor's in English literature, Jane pursued a career as an audio engineer. She mixed audio and set up sound systems in clubs, theaters and outdoor venues, including a stint at the famed Folk City in Greenwich Village, New York City. Some notable clients include Chris Smither, Joan Baez, Roger McGuinn and the Rhode Island Symphony. Jane joined Maryland Sound Industries in 1985 as part of a talented sound crew, working events such as the 1986 re-dedication of the Statue of Liberty in New York City. This role landed her on Stevie Wonder's "In Square Circle Tour" in the U.S. and Canada. In 1988, Jane and her husband, Larry, started ATI, a company that specialized in live-sound mixing consoles. Now known as Automated Processes Inc., it manufactures everything from microphone preamps to large-frame studio mixing consoles used to produce much of today's music.
Jane, a devoted National Aquarium supporter, was elected to the Aquarium's Advisory Council in 1992, and in 1997 she started her first board term. She also serves on the board of directors for both Center Stage in Baltimore and Friends of the National World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C., where she chairs the events committee.
John C. Racanelli, CEO
As president and CEO of the National Aquarium, John leads a team of 600 full-time and part-time employees and 1,000 volunteers in pursuing the Aquarium’s mission to inspire conservation of the world’s aquatic treasures. The Aquarium welcomes 1.3 million guests annually at its campus on Baltimore’s famous Inner Harbor, and touches millions more through its engaging guest experiences, valuable educational programs and meaningful conservation initiatives.
John drives organizational priorities that evolve how the National Aquarium of the 21st century should look, operate and fulfill its mission. These priorities include three major projects through 2022—construction of a new Animal Care and Rescue Center, modernization of the Aquarium’s waterfront campus for public urban conservation engagement and creation of North America’s first dolphin sanctuary.
John joined the National Aquarium in July 2011 after 10 years as president of a San Francisco-based consulting firm that he founded to provide expert counsel to nonprofit leaders nationally and globally. During that time, his firm worked with over 30 leading cultural and conservation organizations—among them the Sylvia Earle Alliance/Mission Blue, International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Surfrider Foundation.
Prior to this, John spent 16 years in leadership positions at U.S. aquariums, including CEO of the Florida Aquarium in Tampa, and vice president of marketing and development for Monterey Bay Aquarium. While in college, John began his career as a diver and aquarist, experiences that he credits with giving him great appreciation for the work of everyone on the Aquarium team. John holds a degree in strategic management from Dominican University of California.
Timothy J. Adams is president and CEO of Systems Application & Technologies, Inc. (SA-TECH), a company he founded in 1989. SA-TECH is a progressive and steadily-growing professional services firm with origins in program management, operations and maintenance, logistics, high technology and technical support services to the Department of Defense.
Timothy holds a master’s degree in business administration from the University of New Orleans and a bachelor’s degree in science from Xavier University. He has also attended Dartmouth College’s Minority Business Executive Program and the Business Innovation Management Program at University of Maryland, College Park. Timothy is the recipient of Maryland’s Democratic Party Distinguished Leadership Award and has been recognized as one of the top 100 African-American leaders in America by the National Black Chamber of Commerce. He has generously given his time, talents and financial support to a variety of businesses and community organizations, and serves on several boards within the community. Timothy resides in Bowie, Maryland, with his wife, Sheila R. Tillerson Adams, and twins Timothy Jr. and Kayla. His daughter, Tiara Adams, is a senior at Bowie State University in Bowie, Maryland.
Adam Borden is brand manager for herbs and spices at McCormick & Company. A nationally recognized food entrepreneurship expert, Adam has been with McCormick since 2016, and previously worked for The Hershey Company. He also founded and served as partner of Bradmer Foods—a consulting and investing firm that operated exclusively with natural and specialty food and beverage businesses—and was principal officer of Marylanders for Better Beer and Wine Laws. Prior to that, he held positions with Mondelez International, Petrossian and Towers Watson.
John Bremer, a U.S. Air Force veteran and electrical engineer, has more than 20 years of experience in health care business development, product design, manufacturing and sales for government and commercial markets. He currently serves as the president of CIMED International, a manufacturer of high-quality medical equipment and facilities. John is also the founder and CEO of DIANAssociates, a telehealth service provider. Previously, he served as a senior military officer in the Air Force Medical Service Corps, primarily as a biomedical engineer. He is a long-term member of the American Society of Healthcare Engineers and current county executive appointee to the Anne Arundel County Veterans Affairs Commission. John holds a master’s degree in business administration from Webster University and bachelor’s degrees in electrical engineering and biomedical engineering from Johns Hopkins University and Milwaukee School of Engineering, respectively.
Keith Campbell founded Campbell & Company in 1972 and currently serves as chairman on its board of directors. Campbell & Company is one of the largest derivative investment managers in the world, with a global client base that includes institutions, corporations and individuals. Headquartered in Baltimore, it employs more than 130 skilled professionals and manages billions of dollars.
Following his success in the investment field, Keith founded the Campbell Foundation in 1998 to improve the conditions of the Chesapeake Bay and other Atlantic coastal bays. In 2003, the foundation expanded its reach to include northern California under the leadership of Keith’s daughter and the foundation’s president, Samantha Campbell. Keith serves as chairman of the Campbell Foundation, which is the top private funder for Chesapeake Bay waterways. In 2008, he was the recipient of the Outstanding Philanthropist of the Year Award from the Association of Fundraising Professionals, and received the first Outdoors Maryland Award for Stewardship of the Environment from Maryland Public Television. Keith and his wife, Pat, live in Baltimore. When not engaged in business and environmental matters, Keith likes to fish, surf, golf, fly and travel.
Todd Chester is a Senior Vice President and Regional Director of Investments for Hawthorn, PNC Family Wealth®, a business dedicated to serving the financial needs of high net worth individuals, families and family offices. As Regional Director of Investments, Todd has oversight for all Hawthorn investment activities in Maryland and Washington, D.C. Todd is a member of Hawthorn's Investment Policy Committee and Portfolio Construction Group, which determine Hawthorn's overall investment policy and strategy. Todd also serves as a Senior Investment Advisor and manages client assets. He is responsible for developing and executing customized asset allocation and investment selection strategies for clients.
Prior to joining Hawthorn, Todd was a Senior Portfolio Manager with Bank of New York Mellon's Private Wealth Management group where he was responsible for developing investment strategies for high net worth individuals, families, pension plans and charitable organizations.
Todd earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Business and Economics from the University of Pittsburgh, and a Masters in Business Administration from Robert Morris University. Todd is a CFA® Charterholder.
Todd serves the Baltimore community as a member of Mercy Hospital's Investment Committee.
David manages Brown Advisory’s national and international growth as its chief financial officer. With a focus on building world-class teams and a strong organizational culture, David’s leadership extends into the community, where he serves on the board of several nonprofits. David has served in various financial and operations leadership roles throughout his career, and thrives in growing entrepreneurial enterprises. The intersection of finance, management and operations comes together at Brown Advisory, where David oversees all non-investment areas. He joined Brown Advisory in 1997 and co-led the management buyout transaction of Brown Advisory from Bankers Trust.
As an extension of her grandfather's pioneering efforts to bring the public and our planet together, Céline Cousteau connects audiences around the globe with the marine world by sharing stories of the world's ecosystems, species and people through film and documentaries, research, art and design, and public speaking. Cousteau founded and serves as director of CauseCentric Productions, which creates cause focused multimedia content. She is currently in development of an impact campaign for her latest film, "Tribes on the Edge," featuring the indigenous tribes of the Vale do Javari in the Brazilian Amazon. As an extension of Cousteau's family legacy, she also co-founded The Céline Cousteau Film Fellowship, a nonprofit program whose mission is to empower young aspiring filmmakers, creatives and activists to inspire change through filmmaking.
In addition to serving as ambassador for the TreadRight Foundation and previously as a Member of the World Economic Forum Council on Oceans, Cousteau brings awareness to the environment through beauty and fashion collaborations, including her roles as a Guest Designer for Swarovski and creating coral-inspired jewelry for a sustainable luxury fashion collection by London based designer Deborah Milner. Cousteau also sits in on the advisory boards of The Himalayan Consensus and Marine Construction Technologies.
Cousteau, fluent in three languages, holds a degree in psychology from Skidmore College and a masters in intercultural relations from the School for International Training in Vermont.
Poetri Deal serves as the representative of The Honorable Catherine Elizabeth Pugh, Mayor of Baltimore to the National Aquarium's Board of Directors. She has been in that role since Summer 2017, previously serving as Legislative Manger for the office. Before working in the administration, she served as the Director of Advocacy and Policy at The Arc of Maryland.
Poetri graduated from Coppin State University in 2011 and University of Baltimore in 2015. She worked for both Anthony Brown's gubernatorial campaign and Barry Glassman's Harford County Executive campaign in the 2014 election cycle.
Colleen Dilenschneider is the chief market engagement officer for IMPACTS, a global leader in predictive market intelligence. Widely regarded as a leader of the next generation of nonprofit management, Colleen is an authority on the evolution and deployment of innovative community engagement practices. Using proprietary data that both identifies and predicts trends in market behavior, IMPACTS helps nonprofit organizations maintain their relevance and build affinity with audiences essential to their long-term success. Colleen has published numerous articles in both the nonprofit and general market media, and is a frequent speaker and contributor to prominent webinars and conferences. She’s a graduate of the University of Chicago and holds a master’s degree in public administration, specializing in nonprofit management, from the University of Southern California. When Colleen’s not traveling—her job takes her around the world to visit clients, do speaking engagements and work with renowned zoos, aquariums and museums all over the globe—she’s spending time with her family in one of her two home bases: Chicago and London.
Dr. Nancy Grasmick
Nancy served as state superintendent of Maryland Public Schools for 20 years, serving 24 districts, more than 1,000 schools and nearly 870,000 students. She began her career as a teacher at the William S. Baer School for the Deaf in Baltimore before serving as principal and associate superintendent in Baltimore County. Nancy received her bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Towson University, her master’s degree in deaf education from Gallaudet University and her doctorate in communicative sciences from Johns Hopkins University.
Nancy has fought to establish high standards in every Maryland classroom, and as a result, performance and expectations significantly improved. As one of her final acts as state superintendent, Nancy secured a $250 million Race to the Top grant from the U.S. Department of Education. In 2012, she was appointed as the Presidential Scholar for Innovation in Teacher and Leader Preparation at Towson University. Nancy is also a faculty member at the Kennedy-Krieger Institute, where she co-directs an innovative fellowship program to prepare administrators to be leaders in special education. Recent additions to Nancy’s lengthy list of awards are the Daily Record’s 2014 Innovator of the Year for her “All SySTEMs Go” initiative and the National Association for Gifted Children President’s Award in 2014.
Frank A. Gunther, Jr.
Frank has long been considered a father figure to the National Aquarium. Baltimore City Mayor William Schaefer selected him as founding chairman of the Board of Directors—a role he held from 1977 to 1983, supervising the Aquarium’s construction phase and its first years of operation. In 1983, Frank was elected the first chairman of the National Aquarium Foundation, Inc., ensuring the stewardship of the endowment program and the organization’s financial stability. He served on the advisory board between 1986 and 1989, and served two terms on the board of governors between 1989 and 1995. Frank chaired the Board between 1991 and 1994, and was named Director Emeritus in 2000. Frank has been a valuable member of the building, corporate gifts, long-range planning and development committees. He has also served on the boards of the Walters Art Gallery, Enoch Pratt Free Library, College of Notre Dame of Maryland and United Way of Central Maryland. Frank currently resides in Ocean City, Maryland, with his wife, Mary Ellen. He’s the proud father of eight children.
Mohannad F. Jishi
Mo is the head of business line finance for M&T Bank and Wilmington Trust. He is an active member of the bank’s leadership team, serving as a chair or member of several subsidiary boards and corporate steering committees. Mo joined M&T Bank in September, 1995, and spent his first eight years with the bank in the finance division. In August 2003, he moved to Baltimore to lead the bank’s commercial equipment finance business. He later led the Treasury Management, Merchant Services and Commercial Card sales teams, the Commercial Deposit and Treasury Management Businesses and the bank’s commercial banking activities in greater Baltimore. Immediately prior to assuming his current role, he served as business line chief financial officer for the Wealth and Institutional Services Division.
Today, Mo leads a team of business line CFOs who provide comprehensive financial and strategic planning, incentive plan administration and sales reporting for the organization’s core profit and support businesses. The team partners with business leadership to foster operational, financial and cultural integration, shape business direction and support profitable growth and ongoing performance improvement. This is facilitated, in part, through the transparent and well-controlled design and execution of incentive plans that align rewards with performance.
Since moving to Baltimore, Mo has immersed himself in the community. In addition to serving on the finance, audit, compensation and philanthropy committees on the National Aquarium Board of Directors, he chairs the Governance and Board Development Committee on the Board and Executive Committee for the Y in Central Maryland, the St. Agnes Hospital Board and the Baltimore Curriculum Project Board. He is also actively engaged in the Pencil Program, where he partners with a principal from a Baltimore City school to assist in setting and measuring enrichment strategy for the school’s students and parents.
As president of Merritt Companies, Robb Merritt oversees daily operations and management of the company, including Merritt Construction Services, Merritt Properties and Merritt Clubs. Merritt joined the family business in 1989 on the field construction crew, learning the business from the ground up as his father did, and taking over the expansion of the company in 2000.
Merritt sits on the President's Advisory Council for the Greater Baltimore Committee as well as the Baltimore County Economic Development Commission. His appointment to the National Aquarium Board of Directors accompanies his positions as board member to both the Maryland Business Leadership PAC and Living Classrooms Foundation. Merritt also previously served as president of the Baltimore Chapter of the National Association of Industrial and Office Properties (NAIOP) and is currently a member of the Legislative Committee and serves as governor of the NAIOP Research Foundation. Merritt is a graduate of the University of Colorado and received an MBA from Loyola University.
As Exelon’s chief financial officer, Joseph is responsible for overseeing the execution of all financial activities including the capital investment process, financial reporting, planning, audit, tax and insurance. He also leads the treasury function in developing and implementing financing plans as well as the investor relations department and is a member of the Exelon Executive and Risk Management Committees.
A 30-year veteran of the energy industry, Joseph served most recently as CEO of Constellation, Exelon’s competitive retail and wholesale businesses. Prior to that, he was Constellation’s senior vice president of portfolio strategy. He joined PECO Power Team in 1996 and rose through the ranks of the trading and marketing organization throughout his tenure. Joseph also serves on the board of trustees for Baltimore’s Living Classrooms Foundation.
Joseph received his bachelor's degree in economics from the University of Connecticut. He also completed the Exelon Leadership Institute Program in 2008 and the University of Chicago Executive Development Program in 2004. Joseph and his wife, Melissa, reside in Baltimore.
The Honorable Catherine Elizabeth Pugh
Since taking office on December 6, 2016, as the 50th Mayor of the City of Baltimore, Catherine Elizabeth Pugh has pursued an aggressive agenda to revitalize neighborhoods, create pathways of opportunity for young people and enhance the safety of citizens, while ushering in a new era of community policing and accountability within the Baltimore Police Department.
As a public servant since 1999, Mayor Pugh understands that solutions to the most complex challenges are best determined through collaboration and sustained partnerships.
She was first elected to the Baltimore City Council in 1999 to represent the 4th District, and in 2005 was appointed to the House of Delegates of the Maryland General Assembly, representing the 40th District. In that same year, then-Delegate Pugh ran for the State Senate and won decisively. Her bipartisan approach and skills as a keen negotiator led to her assuming various leadership positions in the Maryland Senate, including eventually serving as Majority Leader.
Mayor Pugh holds an MBA from Morgan State University and has received qualification from the University of California as an Economic Development Specialist.
The Honorable Stephanie Rawlings-Blake
Stephanie Rawlings-Blake was sworn in as Baltimore’s 49th mayor on February 4, 2010. In November 2011, she was elected to her first full term, and focused her administration on growing Baltimore’s population by 10,000 families over the next decade by improving public safety and public education, and by strengthening city neighborhoods. Following the re-election of former President Barack Obama, Stephanie was elected as secretary of the Democratic National Committee. She also served in key leadership positions in the U.S. Conference of Mayors and was elected to the USCM Board of Trustees in 2010. The Daily Record named Stephanie one of “Maryland’s Top 100 Women” in 2007 and 2011, and the National Congress of Black Women named her a Shirley Chisholm Memorial Award Trailblazer. Stephanie graduated from Oberlin College and received her Juris Doctor from the University of Maryland School of Law. A member of the Federal Bar Association and the Maryland State Bar Association, she lives in Baltimore’s Coldspring neighborhood with her husband, Kent Blake, and their young daughter, Sophia.
Jennifer W. Reynolds
Currently a partner and director of commercial real estate firm Ward Properties, Jennifer has spent more than 28 years in the asset management business, most recently serving as vice chair and chief investment officer at Legg Mason Trust. Jennifer served as chair of the board of governors of the National Aquarium from 2011 to 2013, is past chair of the National Aquarium Foundation, Inc. and has been a member of the National Aquarium Board of Directors since 1994. Jennifer has been a trustee of Dickinson College since 2000, and currently serves as chair of the board of trustees. She co-chaired the First in America capital campaign at Dickinson College between 2006 and 2011.
In addition, she is a board member of First Mariner Bank and serves on the investment committees of the Walters Art Museum, Sheppard Pratt Investment Corp. and President’s Advisory Council of Notre Dame of Maryland University. She has twice been named one of “Maryland’s Top 100 Women” by the Daily Record and is a past recipient of the Distinguished Women Award from the Girl Scouts of Central Maryland. Jennifer received her undergraduate degree from Dickinson College, a master’s of finance from Loyola College and is a chartered financial analyst.
Thomas E. Robinson
Tom is currently a senior adviser in the real estate investment banking division of Stifel Nicolaus & Co., a financial services firm. He served as managing director for Stifel and previously Legg Mason Wood Walker from June 1997 to 2005. Previously, he was president and chief financial officer of Storage USA, a real estate investment trust headquartered in Columbia, Maryland at the time.
Tom also serves on the boards of directors of Essex Property Trust, First Potomac Realty Trust and Tanger Factory Outlet Centers. He is a former governor and longstanding member of the National Association of Real Estate Investment Trusts, which awarded him an Industry Achievement Award in 2009.
In addition to being the chair of the National Aquarium's Conservation Committee, Tom currently serves on the McDonogh School's Investment Committee.
Tom received his undergraduate degree from Washington and Lee University, his master’s degree in taxation from Georgetown University and his Juris Doctor from Suffolk University. He resides with his wife, Betty, in Baltimore
Dr. Enric Sala
Enric is a National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence who is dedicated to restoring the health and productivity of the ocean. His more than 120 scientific publications are widely recognized and used for real-world conservation efforts such as the creation of marine reserves. Enric is currently working to help protect the last pristine marine ecosystems in the world, and to develop new business models for marine conservation. He founded and leads National Geographic’s Pristine Seas, a project that combines exploration, research and media to inspire country leaders to protect the last wild places in the ocean. To date, Pristine Seas has helped to create 13 marine reserves—some of which are the largest on the planet—covering an area of more than 4.5 million square kilometers.
Enric has received many awards, including Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum in 2008, the Research Award from the Spanish Geographical Society in 2013, the Lowell Thomas Award from the Explorers Club in 2013 and the Hero Award from the Environmental Media Association in 2013. He is a fellow of the Royal Geographical Society. Enric’s experience and scientific expertise contribute to his service on advisory boards of international organizations and governments.
Enric holds a doctorate in ecology from the University of Aix-Marseille, France.
Shari Sant Plummer
Environmental philanthropist and ocean activist Shari Sant Plummer is President and Founder of Code Blue Charitable Foundation, Secretary/Trustee of the Summit Charitable Foundation, founding board member of the Sylvia Earle Alliance, and Vice President of Seacology. Shari is also a member of the Ocean Unite Advisory Board, Nature's Best Photography Advisory Council, and the World Wildlife Fund's National Council. A proponent of impact photography and filmmaking, she served as board chair of the International League of Conservation Photographers for five years, and is currently an affiliate.
Shari is also a producer of documentary films including the Netflix documentaries "Mission Blue" (Executive Producer), and "Chasing Coral" (Associate Producer). She is Executive Producer on "Anote's Ark" which opened at Sundance 2018, and is Executive Producer on "Sharkwater Extinction", and "Ghost Fleet" currently in production for release in the Fall of 2018.
A graduate of NYU, Shari worked as Senior Stylist and Design Director for Ralph Lauren in New York for nine years, then as Visual Director at Esprit. She later founded the environmental lifestyle store, Worldware, in San Francisco in 1994. She sold the business in 2001, and now devotes herself full-time to environmental work, with a focus on producing impact media to inspire change.
An avid diver, photographer and ocean activist, Shari travels extensively throughout the world promoting ocean conservation and environmental awareness and lives in New York and California.
Alex Smith is the founder and president of Atlas Restaurant Group, the parent company of several eateries in Baltimore's Harbor East neighborhood, including Ouzo Bay, Azumi and Loch Bar, among others. The group recently opened two restaurants—Ouzo Bay and Loch Bar—in Boca Raton, Florida, and will soon be opening locations in Houston. Alex serves on the board of directors of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and Visit Baltimore. Prior to founding the Atlas Restaurant Group, Alex played lacrosse professionally for the Chesapeake Bayhawks. He holds an undergraduate degree in business administration from the University of Delaware and lives in Baltimore.
Chuck is currently the vice president of strategic partnerships and government relations for the United Way of Central Maryland. Previously, he was treasurer for Stephanie Rawlings-Blake’s campaign and has maintained close ties to the mayor and Baltimore City Hall. Chuck is a longtime friend to the Aquarium, serving in the past as a valuable member of the Governance and Nominating Subcommittee. He also serves on the board for the CollegeBound Foundation and chairs the Multicultural Marketing Committee for the Baltimore Area Convention and Visitors Association Board of Directors.
C. Elizabeth Wagner
Elizabeth serves as the senior adviser to the commissioner of the Large Business and International Division of the Internal Revenue Service. She is a principal adviser responsible for providing policy-level legal and technical analysis and advice, proactively identifying emerging trends that impact tax administration and developing key stakeholder relationships outside the IRS. Prior to returning to public service in 2008, Elizabeth was the director of governmental affairs at the National Association of Bond Lawyers. She also served as a director in the Washington national tax offices of KPMG LLP and PwC LLP and was an associate at Latham & Watkins. Elizabeth received a Juris Doctor from the University of Texas School of Law, a master’s degree in accountancy/taxation from the University of Houston and a bachelor’s degree in business administration and marketing from the University of Texas. Her professional memberships include the Texas State and District of Columbia Bar Associations, the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the American Bar Association. Elizabeth serves on the board of directors for the Coral Reef Alliance. She is also a volunteer diver at the National Aquarium.
Ted is head of the Fixed Income Division for T. Rowe Price, overseeing fixed income investment management. He joined the firm in 1984, and currently is the chairman of the Fixed Income Steering Committee and a member of the firm's management committee. He is also a member of the firm's Finance and Counterparty Risk Committees, as well as a member of the Diversity Advisory Council.
Ted earned a bachelor’s degree in geology from Yale University, a master’s degree in biotechnology from Johns Hopkins University, and an MBA in finance from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth. He also has earned the Chartered Financial Analyst designation.
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