ELA welcomes five new members to the Board of Directors in 2021:
Willow Cheeley knew she wanted to connect people with landscapes from the time she could walk herself to an Olmsted park. She has a BS in Natural Resources from Cornell University, and field experience with bird population studies. Her strong interest in combining ecology with design to make a practical impact led her to complete an MLA, from SUNY ESF. She is a MA licensed Landscape Architect with nearly 10 years of experience in Boston area design offices where projects included playgrounds, waterfronts, and public housing. Willow has also worked with non-profits including the Merrimack River Watershed Council where she managed federal grants and planted over 1000 native seedlings to improve riparian buffer habitat. She currently owns her own LLC and volunteers on a wide range of local projects to promote and install regenerative landscapes.
Leslie Duthie is retired from 35+ years at Norcross Wildlife Sanctuary where she was the horticulturist and plant propagator. Prior to that long career, she worked at the Native Plant Trust (formerly New England Wildflower Society) as assistant horticulturist. She loves everything native, and her claim to fame is growing ferns from spores. In her spare time, Leslie volunteers with her local land trust and on the town Conservation Commission where she works on preserving land that is home to the many wildflowers that she loves in the south-central region of Massachusetts. Currently, Leslie teaches for Tower Hill Botanic Garden and the Native Plant Trust and volunteers at several botanic gardens in Massachusetts.
Sandra Nam Cioffi is the Founding Principal of Ink Landscape Architects, PLLC, Creator of the CUT|FILL conference series for civic design practices, and Chief Operations Officer at QiqoChat Inc. Trained in human-centered design and project management, her goal is to advance the real-world impact of empathy tech. Sandra is a licensed landscape architect in New York and Virginia. She has designed and managed projects across the United States and abroad, including complex urban, institutional and cultural projects while at Nelson Byrd Woltz Landscape Architects, Parker Rodriguez Inc, and Margie Ruddick Landscape. Her work has been recognized by the Virginia and Potomac Chapters of ASLA, AIA|DC, and is a 2012 University Olmsted Scholar, awarded by the Landscape Architecture Foundation. Prior to becoming a landscape architect, Sandra was a Marketing Consultant for The Nature Conservancy, and Marketing Manager in the luxury fine fragrance industry in New York City. Sandra holds a Master of Landscape Architecture from Virginia Tech and a BA from The University of Chicago. She is on the PDC Designing New York: Streetscapes Steering Committee and volunteers for Green Schoolyards America.
Mae Lin Plummer serves as one of the co-chairs of the American Public Garden Association’s Inclusion Diversity Equity Accessibility (IDEA) Committee. Her motivation and commitment to IDEA comes from a life defined by curiosity, change and transformation, and bold leaps, but also a struggle to feel a sense of belonging. In looking and being different and often an outsider as a biracial Chinese American, military brat who grew up around the world trying to fit in and yet not being “Chinese enough” or “American enough,” Mae Lin has committed herself to helping others navigate differences and celebrate the diversity of the human experience. Mae Lin connected with the most joyful part of herself in the process of becoming a gardener and was inspired to leave a long career in corporate finance to pursue her passion for gardening and horticulture and inspired Mae Lin to pursue leadership development as a Longwood Gardens Fellow in the 2019/20 cohort. Mae Lin credentials include a Bachelor of Arts in International Studies, Asia Concentration; she completed the Longwood Fellow, 2019-20 Cohort; and has completed many leadership training programs and received certificates in horticulture and native plant studies. Mae Lin’s interests and talents include: supporting plant places and plant people; speaking about and facilitating transformation; mission and vision exploration / strategic planning; creating and managing projects; garden design and display; and throwing parties and making people laugh!
Georgia Silvera Seamans is an urban and community forester. She is the founder of Local Nature Lab and directs Washington Square Park Eco Projects. Georgia is one of the organizers of #BlackBotanistsWeek and co-developed the #NYCNatureForum. She is a researcher and writer with articles in Urban Forestry & Urban Greening, Arboriculture & Urban Forestry, Popular Science, and Audubon.