Environment for the Americas is 501(c)(3) organization is governed by a Board of Directors. Our Board brings a wealth of experience in conservation, management, strategic planning, and more, along with a passion of birds and nature.


The Board meets quarterly to review the activities of Environment for the Americas and to guide its activities. Board Members rotate approximately every two to three years. We seek diverse candidates from across the Western Hemisphere who can contribute their expertise and energy to our work.

Joni Ellis

Board Chair

Joni worked with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission where she was the statewide coordinator for bird conservation outreach. She founded Optics for the Tropics in 2001 to build capacity for bird conservation across the Western Hemisphere. 

Adam Kent

Board Secretary

An Anhinga sparked Adam’s passion for birds when he was about five years old. Since then, he has worked in a variety of research and education projects, including as a naturalist guide. He has guided trips from Alaska to Tierra del Fuego and worked as Florida’s first Scrub-Jay Conservation Coordinator. 

Anne Zimmerman

Board Member

Anne served as the Director of the USFS’s national office for Watershed, Fish, Wildlife, Air and Rare Plants from 2005 to 2013. Her career with the agency spanned almost 35 years, beginning with work as a wildlife biologist in the George Washington National Forest in Virginia.  She went on to hold biologist positions as well as other natural resource positions in the Kisatchie National Forest in Louisiana and National Forests in Alabama. 

Lisa Sorenson

Board Member

Lisa is the Director of BirdsCaribbean, a strong partner of Environment for the Americas. She raises funds, coordinates projects, develops educational materials, and organizes and facilitates training workshops to help build capacity for environmental conservation in the Caribbean. She brings a Caribbean perspective to our work, particularly to activities related to World Migratory Bird Day.

Ted Cheskey

Board Member

Ted leads Nature Canada’s domestic and international bird conservation initiatives. He holds undergraduate and graduate degrees in environmental studies, regional planning and resource management from the University of Waterloo. Ted also has a long history of fieldwork and research, both as a citizen scientist and conservation professional where he has studied the impact of urbanization on forest birds for the City of Waterloo, Ontario for 20 years.

Claudia Lewis

Board Member

Claudia is an environmental educator and interpreter with vast experience in the development and management of cutting-edge environmental education curricula and programs focused on achieving measurable conservation outcomes and long-term behavioral change. Innovator, focused on sustainability and building capacity among communities. She is the designer and director of award-winning environmental centers and the exhibits and interpretive materials that support their missions.