Michael Collins, Executive Director, Center for Natural Capital and Lead Trainer for StreamSweepers
Michael Collins is the Executive Director of the Center for Natural Capital which hosts the StreamSweepers program. He began his career as a tenured science teacher with Culpeper County Public Schools and is the Lead Trainer for the StreamSweepers Program providing college level environmental science education to the Sweeper staff.
Mike was co-founder of Virginia Groundwater, a science-based well drilling firm that continues today as The Center for Sustainable Groundwater (CSG) in Charlottesville, VA. He has worked as a water resources consultant and led several hydro-geologic and source water protection studies which have received EPA awards. He has partnered with the Rappahannock River Basin Commission and the Virginia Department of Forestry on several market-based conservation programs and projects. He operated a sustainable home goods store in Charlottesville, VA to provide environmentally friendly construction supplies to the region. As an Environmental Planner for the Thomas Jefferson Planning District Commission in Charlottesville he led several groundwater, surface water, and sustainability projects and programs including the Rivanna River Basin Roundtable and the State of the Basin Report, the Interfaith Roundtable on Sustainability, and the Thomas Jefferson Sustainability Council and the Sustainability Accords of 1998. The Sustainability Council was selected as a Case Study of the President’s Council on Sustainable Development. Mike has also received the Chairman’s Award from the Culpeper Soil and Water Conservation District. Email Mike
Richard “Buzz” Van Santvoord, Special Projects Assistant and Logistics Coordinator
Buzz has spent the majority of his professional career working in operations, logistics and distribution and is most effective at strategic planning, process analysis and improvement, as well as team building and motivation. Buzz has extensive experience in designing fulfillment systems and processes for direct to consumer as well as business to business programs. He has more than 30 years of professional work experience in the land management, construction, civil engineering, retail management, and distribution and business operations industries. He has also been a surveyor, a draftsman, a forest firefighter, a district retail store manager, a call center manager, and a fulfilment executive and an Eagle Scout. He spent 15 years as a volunteer youth sports coach and manages the Christmas Bird Count for the Audubon Society in Central Virginia. Email Buzz
Debbie Manzari, StreamSweepers Program Manager
Debbie hires and trains individuals to perform ecological assessments and remove all trash from our rivers using canoes. She spent two seasons as the On-Water Manager leading teams of young adults to assess, clean and maintain four Virginia rivers covering more than 80 miles. In the off-season she works on community outreach and building the program.
She spent the early part of her career as a private consultant working for various EPA offices, including the Office of Drinking Water, where she provided research on projects affecting EPA regulatory decisions for drinking water standards. She then had an opportunity to run her own music publishing company for 20 years and gained valuable entrepreneurial skills. In 2012 she decided to apply that knowledge to work in the non-profit sector and teamed up with A Wider Circle, a Silver Spring based community support organization she had volunteered with since its inception in 2001, to provide management assistance to the organization. In 2014, she moved to the Blue Ridge to connect with her love of the outdoors, hiking, nature and solitude and to be closer to her family. She is certified in Wilderness First Aid, an avid beekeeper, disc golfer and a graduate of Cornell University. Email Debbie
Jeanne Meerscheidt, Rappahannock River On Water Manager
Jeanne Meerscheidt as Rappahannock River On Water Manager for the Summer of 2017. Jeanine was a Civil Affairs Medical Operations Sergeant, U.S. Army Reserves, 2007-2012. She is Phi Betta Kappa with a B.S. in Biology from University of Illinois at Chicago, and a Master of Science in Special Education, focused on learning disabilities and social emotional disorders with an emphasis on early childhood education from Rosary College/Dominican University. Email Jeanne
Mary “Maddie” Gordon, Clinch River On Water Manager
Maddie graduated from St. Paul High School in St. Paul, Virginia in 2007 where she participated with Team Estonoa helping build the Estonoa Wetlands Learning Center. Maddie attended Maryville College, in Maryville, Tennessee and graduated in 2011 with my B.A. in Business, minor in Psychology, and concentration in Appalachian Studies. She even took fly fishing as an elective at Maryville! In 2014, she completed an MBA at King University. After that she returned home to St. Paul to assume control of the family business as Administrator of Greystone Manor, an assisted living facility located in Castlewood, Virginia. In June 2017, she and her mother competed in (and won) a small business challenge hosted by the Town of St. Paul. They have since opened our new business, Clinch Life Outfitters, in St. Paul.
Her passion for the Clinch River comes from growing up fishing the river with her granddad. He grew up along the Clinch and his family depended on the river for many things including water and food. He shared with her his passion of being on the river from the time she was able to walk, and she still remembers the times they had together. Regarding her new job, Maddie says that having an opportunity to help clean and preserve what her grandfather loved so much is an amazing opportunity. Email Maddie