Board of Directors

Hugh Cropper IV, CHAIR

Hugh Cropper, IV was born  in Salisbury, Maryland and graduated from Worcester Preparatorybluebird box w alan kamauff (2) School in Berlin, Maryland (1981), the College of William & Mary, (B.A., 1985), and the University of Maryland, School of Law (J.D., with honors, 1988).
Hugh joined Cowdrey, Thompson on July 1, 2002, and he operates the firm’s Ocean City Office. He was formerly an associate, then partner, with Anderson, Coe & King in Baltimore (1988-2002). His primary practice areas include land use, zoning and property rights, administrative law, as well as general civil litigation. Hugh also represents a limited number of domestic clients in complex domestic law matters.
Hugh is the former attorney for the Town of Ocean City, Board of Adjustments and Appeals (1990-1991), and the Town of Ocean City, Board of Zoning Appeals (1991- 2002).
Hugh is a member of the Board of Directors at the Bank of Ocean City (1996- Present), and he has served as Chairman of the Board since January of 2013.
Hugh is a member of the Atlantic General Hospital Board of Directors (2010- Present), and the Former Chairman of the Recruitment and Retention Committee (2010- 2012) and the current Chairman of the Board Quality and Patient Safety Committee (2012-Present).
Hugh is a member of the Maryland Bar and the United States District Court for the District of Maryland. He is a member of the Worcester County and Maryland State Bar Associations, and he currently serves on the Board of Governors for the Maryland State Bar Association (June 2013-Present).
Hugh and his wife Jennifer live in West Ocean City with their two children (twins) Myra and Hugh Thomas. Jennifer is the Office Manager of the firm’s Ocean City office. Hugh and his family also spend time at their home located on their farm in Snow Hill, where they hunt, fish, and enjoy the outdoors. He is a former Charter Boat Captain, and an active Commercial Fisherman. He owns five farms, four of which are completely unimproved and one has been protected with a conservation easement in Worcester County. Hugh also owns a farm in Accomac County which is unimproved.

Josh Hastings, VICE CHAIRJosh Hastings

Josh monitors land use policies at the local, state and federal government levels as Policy Manager for the Eastern Shore Land Conservancy. A proud native of the Eastern Shore, Josh grew up on a poultry farm and Maryland’s first certified organic farm. Before joining ESLC, Josh served as the Legislative Assistant to the Chairman of the Education, Health, and Environmental Affairs Committee in the Maryland State Senate. He holds two bachelor’s degrees from Salisbury University, in business marketing and political science, and is pursuing a master’s degree in public policy from the University of Maryland Baltimore County.

Josh serves on the executive board of the Rural Maryland Council, the executive committee of the Partners for Open Space, and is a LEAD Maryland Class VIII fellow.

Lora Bottinelli, TREASURERlora bot

Lora Bottinelli was Secretary/Treasurer to the Maryland State Arts Council from 2012 – 2015, and brings to the LSLT her experience on Maryland’s Eastern Shore as an executive director of Salisbury University’s Ward Museum of Wildfowl Art. Bottinelli is also on the board of
directors for both the Middle Atlantic Folklife Association and she previously served as a director of the board for the Lower Eastern Shore Heritage Council. She has an M.A. in American Studies from the University of Wyoming and a B.A in American Studies and English from Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey. Lora Bottinelli has lived on the Eastern Shore for the past 12 years and currently resides with her family in Snow Hill.

Maureen Mcneill, Secretarymaureenmcneil

Maureen is an accomplished writer of books, effective public speaker and an experienced facilitator. Since 2007 she has been served as the Development
Director for Coastal Hospice and Palliative Care, Named Nonprofit of the year in 2013 by three regional organizations. Apart from her full-time career with Coastal Hospice, Maureen currently serves on the editorial board for The Daily Times, Secretary for the Wicomico County Commission for Women and Secretary for the Women’s Fund, Community Foundation of the Eastern Shore.

Tony DiPaolo, Director

Tony is a licensed professional forester in Maryland.  He graduated from Virginia Tech in 1982 tonydipwith a BS in forestry and began his forestry career in 1986 as an Assistant Project Forester in Allegany County with the MD DNR Forest, Park and Wildlife Service.  In 1987 he transferred to the Eastern Shore and worked as the Worcester Project Forester.  He then entered the private sector in 1996 as a procurement forester for the Cropper Brothers Lumber Co. in Willards, MD.  After leaving Cropper Brothers in 2013 he took a position as an Area Forester with Glatfelter working out of the Delmar Chip Facility. He is a member of the Worcester County Forestry Board and a District Supervisor with the Worcester Soil Conservation District. He is a member and past chair of the MD/DE Division of the Society of American Foresters and a past vice president for the Maryland Forest Association. He lives in Snow Hill, MD with his wife Lisa.

David Harkins, Director

Born in Washington, D.C. and from Calvert County, MD, David moved to Salisbury with his family as a toddler.  When asked what brought his family to the Eastern Shore in the early 70’s, David’s answers are concrete work and quail hunting; two passions of his father George.  David was a student-athlete at the University of Richmond, where he graduated from David Harkins
the E. Claiborne Robins School of Business in 1992 and also played baseball.  Having grown up in the family construction business, David is now owner of The Harkins Companies, a collection of construction and real estate related companies based in Salisbury.  Active in the community, David has been a board member of the Life Crisis Center since 2006 and is a past President.  He also has served on the Salvation Army’s Lower Shore Advisory Board since 2007, along with the Peninsula Regional Medical Center Foundation since 2010.  David also accepted invitation to join The Greater Salisbury Committee in 2015.

David’s love for the outdoors and hunting began at a young age and continues today.  He still remembers vividly where he was as a young boy in Worcester and Wicomico counties when he bagged his first deer, his first turkey and especially his first quail.  Today David feels very fortunate to own two waterfront farms in Worcester County, both in Lower Shore Land Trust easements and actively managed for wildlife.

David lives in Salisbury with his wife Audrey and their two sons, David and Connor.  He loves spending time with his sons on the farm and coaching their soccer and baseball teams.

 STEPHEN PARKER, DIRECTOR

Steve Parker recently retired after 23 years at The Nature Conservancy’s Virginia Coast Reserve (VCR). For the last 12 years he served as Director of this 50,000 acre protected landscape comprised of 14 wilderness barrier islands, productive salt marshes adjoining the Atlantic coast and Chesapeake Bay, and coastal uplands on Virginia’s Eastern Shore.

Parker’s particular interests lie at the nexus of preserving the health and productivity of large working ecosystems, while providing for the needs of human communities. To further the goal of protecting nature that helps people, Steve was a founding board member of Bayview Citizens for Social Justice, a non-profit organization that has revitalized a neighborhood of 50 affordable homes, created a 100 acre working farm to help support the community and provides state of the art sewer treatment facilities with zero discharge into coastal waters. He also served on the board of Citizens for a Better Eastern Shore, and was Chair of the Northampton County Cooperative Extension Leadership Council. He received the “Trailblazer” award from the Northampton NAACP, the “Dreamweaver” award from Bayview Citizens for Social Justice and the national “Bridgebuilder” award from the Partnership for Liveable Communities. He has also worked in close partnership with multiple national, state and local organizations and governments.

Prior to joining The Nature Conservancy, Parker was East Coast Vice President for the Klingbeil Company, an international real estate development firm based in San Francisco, CA. He graduated from Cornell University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Ecology and Evolutionary Theory

Doug Stephens, DIREcTOR

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Born and raised in Salisbury, Doug studied photography while attending Salisbury State College. It was then that he first combined his interest in photography with his passion for the natural beauty of the Eastern Shore. After graduating in 1983, Doug followed his father’s footsteps and became a Realtor. He has been a successful Realtor ever since and is affiliated with Coldwell Banker.  His interests include hiking, kayaking, boating of all kinds, travel, photography and writing. Doug is author of “Workin’ With the Wind,” his first book of photography and text which documents the history of the Skipjack, the watermen, and the oysters they harvest.  He recently completed his second book, “Summer Harvest,” a portrait of commercial crabbing on Chesapeake Bay, also told through photos and text. Both books reflect his love and respect for the Chesapeake Bay area and all its inhabitants.

Doug has served on the boards of the Coastal Association of Realtors, the Nanticoke Watershed Alliance and the GoGetters Foundation. He also served a term with the Maryland Department of Natural Resources’ Critical Area Commission for the Chesapeake and Atlantic Coastal Bays, and is currently a volunteer mentor with Big Brothers Big Sisters of America.

Doug lives along the Nanticoke River in Sharptown with his wife, Nancy, where they enjoy the views, wildlife and peace of one of the Bay area’s most pristine tributaries.

 Suzy Taylor, Director IMG_0675

Suzy is the founder and co-owner of Ayers Creek Adventures an eco tourism venture providing kayaking, stand-up paddle boarding, canoeing, and environmental education along Maryland’s coastal waterways.  Established in 2010 Ayers Creek Adventures has introduced a viable and profitable business venture filling a void in tourism and recreation experiences in the Ocean City, MD market.

Prior to Ayers Creek Adventures, Suzy worked as an independent consultant in various Information Technology disciplines including Strategic Planning, Information Security, IT Governance, Business Continuity and Technology Project Management focusing on large financial institutions in the North East.

Suzy currently serves on the board of directors for the Ocean Pines Chamber or Commerce, where she is a member of the finance and ambassador committees.  Suzy has served on the
Ocean City Race for the Cure committee for six years holding roles as Chairperson, Co-Chair, and Director of Operations.  In addition to the race she supports Komen Maryland in a variety of initiatives and educational outreach on the Eastern Shore.  Suzy is also an active volunteer with the Maryland Coastal Bays Program and Worcester Youth and Family Counseling Services.

Suzy holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Management Information Systems from Indiana University of PA and a Masters of Business Administration and Decision Science from Loyola University in MD.

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