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New Board Directors and Board Secretary

03 December 2020 6:08 PM | Jon Kohl (Administrator)

PUP is happy to announce recent additions and moves among PUP members. PUP has added three new directors and a new board secretary. See their bios below.

Dr. Michelle Lewis was a technical service member a couple of years ago and now she is back as a board director.

Dr. Trace Gale was formerly our board secretary and has become a board director.

Brian Mullis also moved from technical service member to board director.

Zach Garcia just recently joined up and has replaced Trace as board secretary.

We are thankful to all of them for contributing so much to PUP.


DR. MICHELLE LEWIS

Michelle is the founder and Executive Director of the Peace Garden Project, a non-profit with gardens in New York and North Carolina to address food justice. It looks at intersections of food justice and other justice issues. Her doctorate in ministry from Candler School of Theology focused on food justice and spirituality. Prior to relocating to North Carolina, Michelle pastored a multi-racial/multi-ethnic church in New Rochelle, N.Y. and has pastored churches on the Outer Banks of N.C., in Catskill, New York, and East Berlin, Connecticut.

 Michelle also spent two years as the Youth Worker at Newtown United Methodist Church, and assisted in providing pastoral care to the congregation in the aftermath of the Sandy Hook shooting. Michelle graduated from Yale with a Master of Environmental Science and a Master of Divinity. She is the first person of color to complete the joint degree program in religion and ecology at Yale. She focused on connecting underserved populations to the environment, and the potential role of religion. Michelle formerly served as a mayoral appointee for the New Rochelle Sustainability Commission, and as Chair of the Environmental Justice Committee for the New Haven Branch of the NAACP. She also spent time working at the United Nations in an internship as an advisor to the Federated States of Micronesia on Climate Policy. 

Before Yale, Michelle spent 12 years as a US Park Ranger, working as a Biological Science Technician, Educator, and Law Enforcement Officer. Michelle has produced two award-winning documentaries, Stairway to the Top of Hatteras, for which she was awarded a Communicator Award of Distinction with Boyer Video and Law Enforcement in the National Park Service, that won the NPS Intake Program award for innovation and creativity. Michelle holds a B.A. from Elizabeth City State University, and a M.A. from Regent University.

DR. TRACE GALE

Trace is a U.S. citizen with permanent residency in Chile, where she is a senior researcher and currently serves as the coordinator of the Human-Environmental Interactions Research Group (HEI) within the Center for Investigation in Ecosystems of Patagonia (CIEP), located in the city of Coyhaique. Through an integral lens, her research interests are broadly centered on human-environmental dynamics at the intersection of conservation and development.  Her areas of focus include human values, perceptions, affect, and experiences, with the goal of understanding how these human dynamics converge with regards to natural resource management, community development/wellbeing, and protected areas. She has led teams in the development of visitor use planning methodology, multiple national park and reserve visitor use plans, and ongoing tools for visitor use management and development. She is an affiliate professor with the University Austral of Chile, where she teaches undergraduate courses in parks, outdoor recreation, and tourism, and an affiliate professor with the University of Montana, USA, where she participates in collaborative research and graduate committees. She has designed and taught numerous undergraduate and graduate level courses about authenticity and transformative tourism experiences, and methods for planning and managing visitor experiences in protected places.

BRIAN T. MULLIS

Brian, American, is a destination management, development and marketing specialist. From April 2018–2020, he was the Director of the Guyana Tourism Authority (GTA), in which time the country became globally recognized as a leading sustainable destination. Prior to leading the GTA, he founded and led Sustainable Travel International for 14 years. Leading initiatives and delivering innovative solutions within governmental agencies and multinational and for MSMEs and community leaders in 70+ countries has given Brian a unique ability to foster multi-stakeholder collaboration, bridge communication divides, and generate tangible results at scale. This stems from 25+ years of experience in CEO positions in the private, public and civil sectors and a long track record of generating positive socio-economic and conservation outcomes through tourism. Brian has also held leadership positions on the World Economic Forum Future of Travel and Tourism Council, UN 10YFP Multi-stakeholder Advisory Committee, and the U.S. Department of Commerce Travel and Tourism Advisory Board. Prior to becoming a director, he served as country representative in Guyana and technical service member before that.

Zach garcia - SECRETARY

Zach, American, lives in Evansville, Indiana. As an undergraduate student, he studied Geography, French, and Japanese at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Zach worked as an environmental educator at Madison Children’s Museum, and then he joined the Peace Corps and served as a Food Security/Environmental Specialist in Nepal. He recently graduated from the Yale School of the Environment 2019, where he focused on environmental humanities and sacred spaces. He is currently the Associate Executive Director at Wesselman Woods, the largest urban old-growth forest in the United States. In his free time, he enjoys hiking, cooking, and netflixing.






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