Advisory council

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  • The Advisory Council is group of individuals who hold a similar goal of moving Equinox Documentaries forward in its mission of environmental education. They provide support and advice to the Board of Directors.

Bennet Barrow • Dave Bass • Dick Batchelor • Bill Belleville • Linda Chapin • Jennifer Chase
Bryan DreisbachRebecca Edwards Newman • Douglas Elmore
Terry HadleyLee HannaVanessa Harper
Clay Henderson
Heather Henson • Emily Kubica • Mark O. Howerton •
Stephen Humphrey • Leslie PooleBill RandolphEileen Schein
Teri SoppBruce Stephenson David Strickland

Bill Belleville

billbBill Belleville is an award-winning author and documentary filmmaker specializing in nature, conservation and "sense of place." He's authored six non-fiction books, including the recent Salvaging the Real Florida: Lost & Found in the State of Dreams, which was honored with the National Outdoor Book Award in the Natural History-Literary genre.

Other books include Losing It All to Sprawl: How Progress Ate My Cracker Landscape, named one of the best books of the year by the Library Journal. He's contributed to nine national literary anthologies, including Bartram's Living Legacy: Travels & the Nature of the South, as well as the Best Travel Writing: True Stories From Around the World.

Bill has written over 1,000 articles and essays for Oxford America, Audubon, Sierra, Islands, Washington Post, and the New York Times Syndicate, among others. He has worked as a writer/researcher on Discovery Channel expeditions to the Galapagos, Cuba and the Dominican Republic, and co-produced and scripted three Florida PBS documentaries, all of which won national awards. With Philippe Cousteau, he scripted and helped produce a radio documentary on the manatees of Blue Spring for NPR's "Living on Earth." Recently, he contributed an interpretative essay on the making of In Marjorie's Wake to the Journal of Florida Studies.

Bill was named environmental writer of the year by the Florida Audubon Society and the Florida Wildlife Federation, and honored with the Al Burt Award from the 1,000 Friends of Florida. He has been a featured speaker on C-Span Books, at the National Archives, UF's College of Law, Rollins College, Emory Universit, and California Academy of Sciences, and was Writer in Residence at USF's Florida Studies Program. The ASLE and the Earth Ethics Institute have included several of his titles on their Recommended Reading lists. Bill has lectured widely as a member of the speaker's bureau for the Florida Humanities Council. He is on the board or advisory board of the St. Johns Riverkeeper, Reef Relief of Key West, and the Friends of the Wekiva River, Inc.

Of Bill's work, New York Times bestselling author Carl Hiaasen has written: "Bill Belleville writes gorgeously and straight from the heart." Bill, who lives in Sanford, is an avid hiker, kayaker, and diver. More info: www.BillBelleville.com.

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BENNET BARROW

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Bennett Barrow is a Certified Financial Planner and Registered Investment Advisor for Barrow Investment Management in Tampa, Florida. He is a fifth generation Floridian who grew up fishing on the waters of Tampa Bay. He also helps operate a family cattle ranch in Hardee County, Florida. Bennet graduated from the University of the South in Sewanee, Tennessee. He is married with two children.

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JENNIFER CHASE

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Jennifer Chase is a musician, playwright and professor at Florida Community College who resides in Jacksonville. She is working on a Masters in Creative Writing from the University of New Orleans.

Chase is the founder of Jacksonville Artists’ Night of Entertainment (j.a.n.e.), a non-proft organization that features concerts and silent art auctions to raise funding for child care scholarships to benefit children of single parents who work and attend school. For her work with j.a.n.e., Chase received the Women’s Leadership Award from the University of North Florida in 1998.

Chase has also received the Rotary Ambassadorial Scholarship, which allowed her to travel to Senegal in west Africa where she participated in multiple humanitarian projects.

Chase wrote and performed “Welaka,” the theme song for In Marjorie’s Wake.

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Bryan Dreisbach

Bryan Dreisbach is an eighth generation Floridian and has lived in Florida his entire life. He attended Edgewater High School in Orlando and the University of Florida in Gainesville where he earned his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in accounting.

Bryan has been involved in the outdoors his whole life through many fishing, hiking, camping, hunting, canoeing and other outdoor activities. He started as a young fisherman and learned much about Florida and the outdoors through boy scouts where he earned the highest rank of Eagle Scout. Bryan's interest in Florida and the outdoors continues to be a large part of his life and he describes his participation in fishing as a true passion.

Bryan is a Certified Public Accountant and a Partner of Franklin Street Insurance Services, a Franklin Street Financial Partners company, where he focuses his efforts on real estate, commercial property and casualty insurance and the finance and accounting for FSFP.

He is a member of Coastal Conservation Association, Florida Institute of Certified Public Accountants, The Founders Society, The Tampa Club, Florida Tax Watch and the Tampa Bay Real Estate Investment Council. Bryan resides in Tampa with his wife, Lisa and their daughter, Virginia.

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REBECCA EDWARDS NEWMAN

Dr. Rebecca Edwards Newman has been a teacher and educator for the last 15 years in Europe and North America .She received a Bachelor’s degree from Cambridge University, a Master of Arts in Eighteenth Century Literary History from York University and her doctoral degree in English from King's College. Over the past 12 years, she has taught at King’s College, Cambridge, the University of Wales and Rhodes College in Memphis, TN. In addition, she has also worked with middle- and high-school students in a series of educational institutions, from college preparatory programs to Montessori environments.

Newman is strongly committed to a learner-centered model of education that enables students to understand their own needs and establish connections with their wider communities. She is currently developing programs that challenge students develop their skills of critical thinking in the contexts of the natural environment and our relationship to it.

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TERRY HADLEY

Terry Hadley is a fourth generation native Floridian. He attended Winter Park High School and went on to the University of Florida where he earned his undergraduate degree in economics and a graduate degree in law.
After law school, Terry served four years in the Navy, including a tour in Vietnam. After the Navy, he worked as a prosecutor, heading up a felony division in the state attorney’s office in Orlando. Since that time, he has been in private practice, specializing in business law, real estate, banking, mergers and acquisitions.
Over the years, Terry has volunteered as a guardian ad litem for abused and neglected children, for which he has received several awards from the Orange County Bar and the Florida Bar. He has also been involved in the formation of several mitigation banks and a fund set aside in trust to preserve and protect that status.
It was during the filming of In Marjorie’s Wake that Terry first connected with Equinox when the crew stayed at his home on Cross Creek. The home is about four miles from his great- grandparents’ homestead farm, which Terry also still owns.
Terry says he loves the outdoors and fishing. He uses his airboat at Cross Creek to explore the wilderness and show his friends and grandchildren Florida as it used to be as thatparticular area is well preserved and natural.
Of his participation with Equinox, Terry says, “I connected with Equinox as a result of getting to know the folks doing In Marjorie’s Wake and was impressed with your stated mission. I believe Equinox does a first-class job of bringing the state of Florida alive from a unique perspective, and is helping to preserve some of the wonderful aspects of our state that are in danger of being lost in this modern era.”

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Lee Hanna

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Lee Hanna is a retired Senior Bank Executive and former President and CEO of Barnett Bank Subsidiaries. He is also a founding Board Member of The North Florida Land Trust and active in several venture capital and real estate funds.

Lee was drawn to Equinox Documentaries after learning of Bill Belleville’s approach to land preservation and conservation. One of the first times Lee met Bill, Bill explained his feeling that legislation would always be inadequate to address conservation needs and that what was really needed was to make people aware of the beauty and value of natural Florida.

Lee, who retired from a twenty-year Barnett Bank career in 1995, had been introduced to Bill through Equinox Board member Leslie Poole. Lee had just read River of Lakes, Bill’s book about the St. John’s River, and was hooked. He, Leslie and Bill met at a fish camp south of Daytona and hatched the idea for Equinox Documentaries, Inc. in order to produce documentaries that would carry Bill’s message.

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Vanessa Harper

Vanessa Harper is an experienced professional with natural leadership abilities, a steadfast work ethic and a collaborative, team-player mentality. Her diverse work and educational experiences have demonstrated the ability to work effectively with people of varied backgrounds. Vanessa's strongest personal qualities include integrity, creativity, strong critical-thinking skills and the ability to stay focused under pressure. In addition to her professional experience and talents, Vanessa brings to Equinox her education at University of Florida where she earned an MS, Interdisciplinary Ecology and at the University of North Carolina at Asheville where she received a BS in Environmental Studies

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Clay Henderson

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Clay Henderson is an environmental consultant and is Chief Operating Officer of H&K Conservation Solutions LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Holland & Knight Consulting which specializes in private conservation services. He was admitted to practice law in the state of Florida in 1980. He received his BA degree from Stetson University and his JD from Cumberland Law School in Birmingham, Alabama.

Clay has long been associated with environmental policy in Florida. He is President Emeritus of Florida Audubon Society, served on the Constitution RevisionCommission and sponsored the Conservation Amendments which were ratified by the voters in 1998. He co-authored the Save Our Everglades constitutional amendments ratified in 1996. He developed the first county endangered lands acquisition program, helped launch Preservation 2000, and Florida Forever which are the nation’s premier conservation programs.

Clay's public service includes serving two terms on Volusia County Council. He has received gubernatorial appointments as Chairman of Florida Greenways Commission, Chairman of Florida Pollution Prevention Council, Florida Communities Trust, Property Rights Study Commission, Administrative Procedure Act Review Commission, Save the Manatee Committee and Constitution Revision Commission. Other public service includes the East Central Florida Regional Planning Council, Chairman of Volusia County Water Authority and Governor’s Council for a Sustainable Florida.

In the community, Clay currently serves on the board of directors of the Florida International Festival, Citizens for a Scenic Florida, Council for a Sustainable Florida and the Board of Advisors of the Trust for Public Land. He has served on the boards of Florida Audubon Society, Florida Trust for Historic Preservation, Florida Land Trust Association, and Save the Manatee Club. He has received numerous public service awards from groups including The Nature Conservancy, Florida Wildlife Federation, Sierra Club, Florida Audubon Society, Museum of Arts and Sciences, Stetson University, and League of Women Voters.

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Leslie Poole

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Leslie Kemp Poole is a fulltime mother of two, freelance writer, student and teacher. She was a newspaper reporter with four different papers, ending with the Orlando Sentinel where she covered many topics including an award-winning series on the environment and growth management.

She continues to focus on freelance writing about environmental and community issues. Currently, she is an adjunct professor in the Environmental Studies Department at Rollins College in Winter Park, FL and is a PhD student in History at the University of Florida.

Leslie has been married for 25 years to Michael Poole, an investment banker, and she is active in several groups including the board of the Hamilton Holt School at Rollins College.

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Bill Randolph

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Bill Randolph, CPSM, is the Director of Marketing and Operations for JCR Consulting a small Land Planning and Landscape Architecture firm based in Central Florida. He has spent the past 18 years of his career working for planning and engineering firms that provide services solely within the state of Florida. His prior experience encompasses eight years of active duty military service in the U.S. Air Force and a year with Rockwell International working on publications for aviation related programs.

At the community level, he is in his fourth term on the Lakes Advisory Board for the city of Maitland, Florida. Bill has also served on local and state boards for Florida Public Relations Association and the state board for the Florida Planning and Zoning Association.

As a volunteer he has worked on two major community redevelopment projects. Bill coordinated the creation of a master plan and the implementation process to improve the Audubon Center for Birds of Prey in Maitland, and he assisted in the development and implementation of a residential campus master plan, completed by JCR, for Great Oaks Village, a children's residential foster care facility in Orlando.

Bill holds a Bachelor's degree in Photojournalism and a Master of Arts degree in Business Management. He continues to hone his photography skills through freelance assignments. While serving on active duty, Bill won numerous photo awards for his images of military life.

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EILEEN SCHEIN

Bruce

Eileen Schein is an award-winning producer and Community Outreach Specialist. She started in television and radio at the age of eight, appearing in local weekly series in her hometown of Cleveland.

Eileen’s career spans many years with the Public Broadcasting System (PBS). Her work includes Emmy award-winning PBS series as well as regional and local shows. Community projects are Eileen’s special interest. Eileen’s leisure time and work time have always been blurred because her work involving community engagement and production is also her passion.

A self-professed city girl at heart, Eileen’s leisure activities included walking on the beach and biking in the park. When she’s not working, you can find Eileen keeping up with four children and a husband, traveling, reading, cooking and bicycling.

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Teri Sopp

teriTeresa J. “Teri” Sopp is a criminal defense attorney with offices in Nassau County, Florida. Teri has been practicing law in northeast Florida for twenty-eight years; for the last sixteen years, Teri has had her own private practice specializing in the defense of criminal cases. Teri is one of just nine board certified criminal trial lawyers in practice in northeast Florida.

Teri, a graduate of Florida State University College of Law, got involved with Equinox Documentaries, Inc., after meeting Bill Belleville and hearing about his plans for the film, In Marjorie's Wake. Teri has served on the board of Equinox since hosting a fundraiser for the project in 2003.

Teri has a great interest in the outdoors, and often can be found on her boat in the waters of Fernandina Beach, where she lives. Teri is involved in the Amelia Book Island Festival, and has in the past been active in Rotary and the Junior League. She is currently the President of the Nassau County Bar Association.

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BRUCE STEPHENSON

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Bruce Stephenson is Professor of Environmental and Growth Management Studies at Rollins College in Winter Park, Florida. He is the author of Visions of Eden: Environmentalism, Urban Planning, and City Building in St. Petersburg, Florida as well as numerous articles. His work can be accessed at flahum.org and on the Genius Preserve website.

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DAVID STRICKLAND

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David M. Strickland was born and raised in Daytona Beach, Florida. Growing up, he enjoyed fishing and camping with his friends. He graduated from Emory University with a degree in history and later earned a graduate banking degree from Rutgers University in New Jersey and completed the PMD program at the Harvard Business School. He returned to Florida in late 1979.

In corporate banking, he set up regional operational sites throughout Florida, learning a great deal about the state and its incredible diversity. In 1998, David moved to Jacksonville to help the owners of Alliance Mortgage Company create First Alliance Bank, which changed its name to EverBank in 2004.

David is very active in the Jacksonville community, serving as Board Chair of Habitat for Humanity of Jacksonville, Past President of the North Florida Land Trust, Trustee of the Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce, Advisory Board member of the Coggin College of UNF, Treasurer of the Youth Crisis Center Foundation and Board member of the St. Johns River Aliance.

In addition to his local interests in the environment, education and community rehabilitation, David has been a Trustee of Stetson University for 12 years and for the Whitney Marine Science Laboratory of the University of Florida for 10 years. He is married, has three grown children, and resides in Ponte Vedra Beach.

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