Board of Directors

Beatrice von Gontard - Chair

 Beatrice Busch von Gontard has worked on behalf of wildlife and the environment her whole life. In addition to her duties as a Director of the Blue Ridge Wildlife Center, she serves on the Boards of the Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Shenandoah University, as well as the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute’s Virginia Working Landscape Committee which promotes biodiversity through sustainable land and farming practices. She and her husband, Adie, own a farm near Front Royal which produces hay and small grains while, at the same time, provides breeding, nesting and overwintering habitat to many native species, including bobolinks and short-eared owls.

Russ McKelway - Vice Chair

Russ grew up in Northwest Arlington and met his wife Lori (a former BRWC Board Member) while at medical school and residency at UVA.  Russ and Lori have lived in the valley since 1990 where they raised their two daughters and in 1997, they moved to Clarke County.  It is ever more clear to him that the soil, the flora, and the fauna have all evolved together and must be preserved together.  Given this belief, they placed their 100 acre farm in easement, are improving the quality and sustainability of their cattle farming practices, and are re-naturalizing riparian buffers on their property.  Russ has served on boards in the local area, including the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute and the Preservation of History Winchester, and has supported the Center’s work in several ways, including housing summer interns for several years. 

Amy Moore - Treasurer

Amy Moore grew up in the North Carolina countryside and spent her summers in the Blue Ridge Mountains west of Asheville, where she enjoyed sharing the outdoors with a wide variety of wildlife (including the sometimes under-appreciated amphibians and reptiles).  Amy practiced law in Washington, DC, for more than 30 years, representing clients on employee benefits and executive compensation issues.  Her clients included tax-exempt organizations both large and small, ranging from the National Geographic Society and the National Football League to the Washington Choral Arts Society.  She retired as a partner of Covington & Burling in 2016 and moved to a horse farm in Millwood, Virginia, where she raises Thoroughbred race horses.  She was attracted to Clarke County by its beautiful open land; her 126-acre farm is  under conservation easement and supports a rich diversity of wildlife.  

Susan Galbraith - Secretary

Susan had a “free-range” childhood shared with animals, both domestic and wild.  Exploring the great outdoors was a parental requirement that fed her curiosity and developed in her a deep respect for nature.  From early childhood, “giving back” was an expectation that became a way of life.  Her husband's commitment to the US Air Force required numerous relocations and opened up various work and volunteer opportunities for Susan. Her eclectic experiences include political activism, service in hospitals, a veterinary clinic, rescue-rehab-release center, therapeutic horseback riding schools, primary and secondary schools, theaters, historic preservation movements, children’s museum, domestic and international housing for humanity,  and other activities a senior mind can no longer recall.  Serving the Center blends Susan’s passion for the natural world and her hopes and efforts for its future.  

 

Timothy Bates

Tim Bates has been a resident of Loudoun County, Virginia since 1984. Originally from Maryland, Tim received his degree in Political Science from The University of Maryland College Park. Following college, Tim went to work for a large homebuilder and quickly worked his way up the corporate ladder. At the age of 28 he achieved the distinction of becoming the youngest Division Manager in that company's history. Since that time Tim has managed divisions in Virginia, Maryland, and West Virginia for large publicly-traded building companies, managing all aspects of homebuilding operations as well as land acquisition, land development and sales and marketing. After 29 years of working within the corporate homebuilding world, Tim was approached by a San Jose based development company to start up a private homebuilding operation based in Leesburg Virginia. As President of Arcadia Communities, Tim established homebuilding operations and expanded the company’s presence in Northern Virginia. In 2015, the company was sold to a large regional builder. Tim joined CalAtlantic Homes in May of 2016 as President of the Mid Atlantic Division. Tim lives in Upperville, Virginia with his wife Stephanie, their Jack Russell Tessa, two horses and a menagerie of other furry and feathered farm animals; many of them courtesy of the Middleburg Humane Society. Tim prides himself on being a self-taught naturalist and is proud of his affiliations with such groups as Ducks Unlimited, Quail Forever, Virginia Native Plant Society, American Chestnut Foundation and The Arbor Day Foundation. Tim currently serves on two other local Boards.

Patricia Carter

Trish is a life-long horsewoman who is currently part of the staff at Audley Equine. Additionally, she has 12 years’ experience in the development/fundraising field. Her experience includes a four-year term as director of development for the Piedmont Environmental Council and eight years as assistant director of development for Providence Hospital Foundation. Her fundraising skills include major gifts, private and federal grant writing and event management.  She earned the designation of Certified Fundraising Executive in 2009 and served as President of the Association of Fundraising Professionals, Mobile, Alabama Chapter for two years.  Trish is passionate about the importance of conserving land for future generations and sees the value in educating youth on the importance of respecting and protecting wildlife. Trish holds a bachelor’s degree in Interdisciplinary Studies from the University of South Alabama with concentrations in English, Sociology, and Psychology. She plays tennis and enjoys hiking and traveling with her family.

Andy Ferrari

Andy Ferrari is the co-founder and past CEO/Chairman of Trex Company, the world’s largest manufacturer of wood alternative decking, railing, fencing and trim products. Prior to founding Trex, Andy spent 25 years at Mobil Chemical Company where he was Vice President, Consumer Marketing and Sales. He has been very involved in many non-profit organizations including serving on the Boards of Long Branch, Grafton School, The United Way, Winchester Country Club, Whitman College and Shenandoah University where he was Board Chair. Andy and his wife Barbara, a past Board Officer at the BRWC, live on a farm in conservation easement located in Clarke County where they have been devoted to creating an environment that supports a diverse wildlife population including foxes, bears, deer and a multitude of bird species. Andy is privileged to have the opportunity to assist the BRWC, an organization that is performing an important service to our region.

Judy Landes

Judy returns to the Board of Directors after taking a few years off.  She is a native of Frederick County and was married to Dr. Brian Landes, a dermatologist who practiced in Winchester for over 30 of years.  Judy's degrees are in school psychology and she has taught at Shepherd University and retired from Shenandoah University after 18 years.  She has served on the boards of many social service organizations in Winchester and New York State where she has a summer home. She currently serves on the board of the Lake Placid Symphonetta in the Adirondacks. Judy brings to the BRWC a love of wildlife, an understanding of non profit governance, and an enthusiasm for the Center’s exciting future. 

Pat Robinson

Patricia (Pat) Robinson, an attorney for 29 years, currently is Of Counsel at the law firm of Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz in New York City and a member of the firm’s financial institutions practice group. Prior to joining the firm in 2010, she was Assistant General Counsel in the Legal Division of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System in Washington, D.C. Pat received her J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center in 1987. Before attending law school, she was a social studies teacher in middle schools in Houston and San Antonio, Texas, and a teacher of multiple subjects to homebound students in Houston. Pat is excited to channel her love of animals and environmental protection into working with the BRWC. She and her husband, Neal, own Chapel Springs, a historic property under conservation easement in Clarke County. 

Matt Sheedy

Matt Sheedy is President and Founder of MJS Properties Inc., a national, real estate development and investment firm. Prior to starting MJS Properties, he was a partner with Trammell Crow Company, the largest commercial development firm in the United States. He is a graduate of the Harvard Business School and Swarthmore College. Matt has been active in wildlife conservation and environmental issues, for over three decades, as an Officer and Advisory Board member of GEOS Foundation, a Board Member of the International Anti-Poaching Foundation, President and Co-Founder of Virginians for Sensible Energy Policies and as a volunteer on wildlife conservation projects in South Africa, Mozambique, Uganda, Zimbabwe, Brazil, Costa Rica, Nepal and India. He and Vicki Bendure live on a farm they put in conservation easement near Delaplane and both have been active in creating and protecting wildlife habitat.  

J. Carter Wiley

J. Carter Wiley is the founder and principal broker of The Wiley Companies, Inc., a full-service real estate brokerage firm specializing in the sales, leasing, management and development of industrial properties in Prince William, Culpeper, and Fauquier Counties. Carter has resided in Fauquier County, Virginia for the last 30 years, and lives in The Plains with his wife, son, and three dogs. As an active volunteer within his community, Carter has served on several non-profit and for-profit boards, including Ombudsman for Heritage Hunt, a senior living PUD, Virginians for Sensible Energy Policies, and Chairman of the Board of the Vint Hill Economic Development Authority. Carter is a lifelong outdoorsman who has been very active in land conservation efforts and expanding wildlife habitat. 

Blue Ridge Wildlife Center

106 Island Farm Lane
Boyce, VA 22620

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