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FONZ Board of Directors

The Friends of the National Zoo (FONZ) volunteer Board of Directors plays an essential role in FONZ leadership, and its members bring skills, experience and talents to further our mission of helping Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute save species through educational and fun experiences, the power of our members, and funding for critical work. Much of the FONZ Board’s work is accomplished by three standing committees (Executive; Finance, Audit, and Investment; and Governance and Nominating) and two strategic committees (Membership, Marketing, & Communications and Partnerships & Engagement).

Friends of the National Zoo is pleased to announce that Lotte Lent, Assistant Director of the George Washington University’s Museum Education Program; Wyndee Parker, congressional staff; and Yelberton Watkins, a longtime chief of staff on Capitol Hill for a senior member of the House of Representatives, will be joining the FONZ Board of Directors in 2020. As board members, they will support FONZ in its mission to help the Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute save species by raising funds, providing educational and fun experiences, and inspiring our members and guests. We are fortunate to have such respected and accomplished community leaders joining us as we continue to take FONZ to the next level.

Cindy Lewin

Chair

Cindy Lewin is a seasoned nonprofit executive and lawyer with deep experience in helping both membership organizations and environmental and wildlife conservation organizations advance their missions. Currently, she is a partner and chair of the Nonprofit Organizations Practice Group at Venable LLP. From 2010 to 2017, she served as executive vice president and general counsel at AARP, one of the largest membership organizations in the world. Before joining AARP, Lewin was senior vice president and general counsel at the National Wildlife Federation, where she was able to act on her passion for the environment. Prior to her work at the National Wildlife Federation, Lewin served as executive vice president and general counsel at Volunteers of America, and before that, she was in private practice specializing in representing nonprofit organizations, including the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, Save America’s Forests and other environmental organizations. In addition to heading the legal department at her in-house positions, she has also had responsibility at various times for information technology, ethics and compliance, human resources, facilities, internal audit, enterprise risk management and the board secretary function.

Lewin served on the ethics and accountability advisory group for Independent Sector, which revised the “Principles for Good Governance and Ethical Practice” for charities nationwide (the new version was released in 2015). She served for many years on the board of directors and executive committee of the nonprofit National Human Services Assembly, a coalition of some of the nation’s largest human services charities, and served as chair of the National Adjudicatory Council for the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority in 2015. Lewin has won numerous awards, including receiving the Career Achievement Award from the Association of Corporate Counsel-National Capital Region in 2018. She is a graduate of Wellesley College and Yale Law School.

Lewin and her husband have a blended family of three children and four grandchildren and have enjoyed many trips to the Smithsonian’s National Zoo. Lewin is passionate about the role FONZ can play in helping families connect with the natural world and in conserving that world for the future.

Larry Hanauer

Vice Chair

Larry Hanauer is the vice president for policy at the Intelligence and National Security Alliance, a nonprofit association that promotes effectiveness and efficiency in the U.S. intelligence community through robust public-private partnerships. Previously, he spent six years as a senior international policy analyst at the RAND Corporation, where his research focused on foreign policy and national security, principally regarding Africa and the Middle East.

Before joining RAND in 2010, he spent five years as a senior staff member of the U.S. House of Representatives' Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, one of two congressional committees charged with overseeing the activities of the U.S. Intelligence Community. Earlier in his career, he worked in the Office of the Secretary of Defense, where over the course of a nine-year tenure he managed U.S. defense policy vis-a-vis Israel, Iran, Iraq, and countries in Eastern Europe and West Africa. Hanauer has also served as a foreign policy advisor to a congressman from New York City, as a management consultant at Booz Allen Hamilton and as an environmental public relations consultant at Burson-Marsteller.

Hanauer and his family live near the Smithsonian’s National Zoo and believe that it is both a national treasure and a valued local resource. In addition to visiting the Zoo frequently, they regularly participate in a range of FONZ activities, including Snore & Roars, Boo at the Zoo, ZooFari, ZooLights and FONZ adult education classes. Hanauer's wife, Julie, is a longtime FONZ volunteer who has served as a behavior watch monitor for the golden lion tamarin free-range program, a panda pregnancy watch monitor and an interpreter on Asia Trail. His son has attended FONZ Nature Camp and worked as a class aide at FONZ Summer Safari Day Camp.  In 2019, Hanauer and his family volunteered at a pangolin rescue facility in Vietnam that is supported by Zoo scientists and veterinarians. 

Hanauer received his Master of Arts in law and diplomacy from Tufts University's Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy and his bachelor’s degree in English, magna cum laude, from the University of Pennsylvania, where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa.

A native New Yorker who frequently visited the Central Park Zoo as a child, Hanauer has lived in Washington for the past 25 years.

Laura Liswood

Treasurer

In 1996, Laura Liswood co-founded the Council of Women World Leaders with President Vigdís Finnbogadóttir of Iceland. Ms. Liswood is the secretary-general of the Council, which is composed of women presidents and prime ministers.

From 1992 to 1996, she interviewed 15 current and former women presidents and prime ministers, chronicled in her book and documentary, “Women World Leaders.” From 2001 to 2015, Liswood was managing director, global leadership and diversity for Goldman Sachs, and became a senior advisor.

Liswood’s professional experience includes line management in Fortune 500 companies. After the events of Sept. 11, 2001, Liswood became a reserve police officer in the Washington, D.C., Metropolitan Police Department. She recently retired as a sergeant.

She earned a Master of Business Administration from Harvard Business School, a Bachelor of Arts from California State University, San Diego and a Juris Doctor from the University of California, Davis School of Law. She is admitted to the California and Massachusetts State Bars.

Her latest book, “The Loudest Duck,” challenges traditional workplace diversity efforts and provides strategies to create inclusive organizations. She is a long-term supporter of animal sanctuaries in the United States and frequently visits zoos when she travels globally. Other interests include Southwest art, and she has biked across Siberia and the ancient Silk Route. Liswood lives in Bethesda, Maryland.

Nora Gardner

Secretary

Nora Gardner is managing partner of McKinsey’s Washington, D.C., location. Gardner combines technical expertise with a passion for people as a client leader and sought-after mentor within McKinsey. Her doctorate in biochemistry brings analytical rigor to her work with clients. Gardner focuses on organization and strategy across private, public and social sectors, including health care, pharma, scientific agencies, and defense and security clients. She also founded and leads the office’s social impact group, which connects consultants to pro bono work at local nonprofits.

Nora holds a doctorate in biochemistry from Duke University and a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry from North Carolina State University. Prior to joining McKinsey, she held postdoctoral fellowships from the American Cancer Society and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

She is married, has two daughters, and in 2015 was named “Working Mother of the Year” by Working Mother Magazine.

Eric Koefoot

Eric is an experienced software executive and an internet pioneer, having either founded or served as a senior executive for early-stage internet companies since 1996. He was the founding CEO and publisher of U.S. News Ventures, a branded internet publishing company funded in part by U.S. News & World Report. Prior to that role, he was co-founder and CEO of Five Star Alliance, a successful e-commerce startup in Alexandria, Virginia, which became the largest independent booker of luxury hotels worldwide and was sold in 2007 for a more than a 20 times return to investors fewer than three years after it was founded.

For almost seven years before that, Koefoot served in various executive roles at Washingtonpost Newsweek Interactive, including chief financial officer, vice president of business development, vice president of strategy, vice president of operations and technology, and then quite successfully as the vice president of sales for the division. Prior to WPNI, he worked for nine years as a financial executive in product development at Ford Motor Company, consulted at Deloitte Consulting, and founded a startup company, PrimeSource, which provided financial and strategic consulting services to Fortune 500 clients. Koefoot has an engineering degree from MIT and a Master of Business Administration from the Sloan School at MIT.

An accomplished Ironman and Olympic-distance triathlete, Koefoot is a co-founder and the CEO at PublicRelay, a market-leading enterprise software company providing advanced media intelligence solutions to large corporations, trade associations and government agencies.

Barbara Lang

Barbara Lang is managing principal and CEO of Lang Strategies. She manages the overall brand of the organization and oversees each of its practice areas: business development, political strategy management, executive leadership and business tactical planning, assessment and problem solving. Prior to her current role, Ms. Lang was president and CEO of the DC Chamber of Commerce, where she was responsible for the operations and overall strategic direction of the organization, as well as advancing the chamber's interests through advocacy, education, information and business development. She also worked diligently on education (pre-K-12) and workforce development issues and projects, as well as small business/entrepreneurial development initiatives.

Prior to joining the Chamber, Lang was the vice president of corporate services and chief procurement officer for Fannie Mae, where she managed all the company's procurement, real estate and facility operations. She also had a long career with IBM, where she served in several management positions in finance, administration and product forecasting.

Lang was appointed to the board of Piedmont Office Realty Trust Inc. (NYSE:PDM) in 2015, and was also on the board at Cardinal Financial Corporation. In addition, she serves on the boards of the Sibley Hospital Foundation and the Red Cross of the National Capital Area. Lang is the former chair of the Workforce Investment Council and the former co-chair of the DC Business Coalition. She also was appointed by Washington Mayor Vincent Gray to the board of directors of the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority in 2012 and completed her six-year term this fall.

Lang is renowned in the community for her business acumen, leadership and community engagement. She holds numerous awards for her distinguished leadership in the greater Washington community, including Washingtonian magazine's 150 Most Powerful People in the Washington region (twice), the Lifetime Achievement Award presented by Cardinal Bank and the Lifetime Legacy Award from the Washington Business Journal. She lives in Washington.

Lotte I. Lent

Lotte Lent is the assistant director of the George Washington University's museum education program in the Graduate School of Education and Human Development. She has taught and mentored hundreds of students, who now hold positions in art, history, natural history, and children's museums, as well as aquariums, zoos, and science centers, across the country and internationally. 

With degrees from Carnegie-Mellon University in history and the University of Western Australia in natural resource management, she draws on over 20 years of expertise as a practitioner to champion compelling opportunities for lifelong learning. She has served as an educator and advisor on environmental interpretive planning and museum education in Australia and the U.S.

Lent began her career as a park ranger on the Boston Harbor Islands National Recreation Area. In Australia, she developed the continent's first solar-powered educational drive trail and received a national award for interpretive signage at the Shark Bay World Heritage Area. Lent served as president of Interpretation Australia and returned in 2011 to deliver a keynote at the Interpretation Australia/Australian Museums and Galleries Association National Conference.

In addition to her academic role at George Washington University, Lent is a certified interpretive trainer with the National Association for Interpretation, vetting the credentials of interpreters nationwide. Funded through the National Park Service advisory board education committee, she researched and wrote the National Park Service 21st Century Interpretive Skills Vision Paper (2012).

Locally, Lent has been professionally engaged with projects at the Institute of Museum and Library Services, the United States Botanic Garden, the Smithsonian Associates, and the International Spy Museum. Nationally, she has been a regularly invited facilitator for the Future of Learning Summer Institutes at the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

As a volunteer, Lent is active with the National Association of Women Judges' Storybook Project, the Unitarian Universalist Association's Letter Writing Ministry, and the Poplar Spring Animal Sanctuary. Under the aegis of the Honor Flight Network, she supports efforts to welcome World War II veterans during their Honor Flight experiences in D.C.

Before moving to Alexandria, Virginia, last year, Lent lived with her family in Washington for 19 years.

John Lettieri

John Lettieri is co-founder, president and CEO of the Economic Innovation Group, a bipartisan research and policy organization committed to advancing solutions that foster a more dynamic American economy. Prior to EIG, Lettieri was the vice president of public policy and government affairs for a leading business association, the Organization for International Investment , where he led the organization's state and federal policy work on issues including tax reform, trade, investment promotion and manufacturing.

Before joining OFII, Lettieri was director of public and government affairs for a global aerospace manufacturer. He previously served as a foreign policy aide to former U.S. Senator Chuck Hagel, who was then a senior member of the United States Senate Foreign Relations Committee. John's commentary and research have been cited in the Associated Press, Bloomberg, The Economist, Financial Times, NPR, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, and other leading national and regional publications.

Lettieri is a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and serves on the board of regents at The Fund for American Studies, the board of directors for Lincoln Network, and the board of directors for Friends of the National Zoo. Lettieri is a graduate of Wake Forest University and lives with his wife and children in Washington, D.C.

Cynthia McCabe

Cynthia McCabe is the director of content and creative for Exelon. She directs the creation and distribution of compelling content for Exelon and its family of companies, providing strategic oversight, planning and stewardship with a focus on social and digital storytelling. Exelon is the nation’s largest clean-energy provider, with more than 10 million customers nationwide, including Pepco customers in Washington, D.C., Maryland, and Delaware.

Throughout her career, McCabe has leveraged communications expertise on behalf of myriad communities and groups. Prior to coming aboard at Exelon in 2017, she worked for more than a decade in the American labor movement, leading communications teams at the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, where she was the associate director of communications, and as a member of the interactive media team at the National Education Association. While at AFSCME, she represented the organization with the White House and U.S. Department of Labor, as well as serving as the organization’s communications lead to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign. McCabe’s career began in print media, and she worked as a reporter at The Palm Beach Post in West Palm Beach, Florida, several papers in North Carolina, and at Harper's Bazaar magazine in New York.

Today, McCabe continues to write, and her work has appeared in The Washington Post and Washingtonian. She has also appeared as a guest on NPR, MSNBC and international radio. Her cover story for The Washington Post Magazine, "A Stranger Emailed," was noted in Jonathan Franzen's “The Best American Essays 2016.” She is a member of the Public Relations Society of America, as well as the Association for Women in Media. McCabe is a graduate of Clemson University with a Bachelor of Arts in English. She lives in Maryland with her husband, Scott, and she enjoys taking her two children to the Zoo, as she did as a child.

Scott Miller

Scott Miller is deputy undersecretary for collections and interdisciplinary support at the Smithsonian Institution. He serves as the principal advisor to the Institution’s senior staff on the central planning and development of collections and interdisciplinary support operations, including collections management, conservation and preservation and related functions. He oversees the national collections program, office of fellowships and internships, Smithsonian Institution archives, Smithsonian Institution libraries and Smithsonian Institution scholarly press.

Miller is also responsible for science within the office of the provost, helping oversee the institution’s science museums and research facilities, as well as major research initiatives.

From 2004 to 2006, he was the associate director for science at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo, spearheading the rehabilitation of what is now the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute in Front Royal, Virginia. From 2000 to 2006, he was chairman of the departments of entomology and systematic biology at the National Museum of Natural History. He helped establish and lead the Consortium for the Barcode of Life — an international network that uses systematics, genomics and bioinformatics to develop DNA-based identification tools to make biodiversity information more widely available.

Before coming to the Smithsonian in 2000, Miller designed and implemented an international biodiversity and conservation program for the International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology in Nairobi, Kenya. He maintains an active research program as a curator of entomology at the National Museum of Natural History. He has published more than 200 publications and co-edited four books. His current research focuses on moths of Papua New Guinea and Africa, especially the integration of systematics, ecology, biogeography and conservation of insects and plants in Papua New Guinea.

Miller is a co-chair of the Interagency Working Group on Scientific Collections, and a member of several science organizations. He serves on the board of the Mpala Research Center in Kenya. He is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the Royal Entomological Society of London.

John Mina

John Mina is the CEO of Risk Strategies Company. Based in the Washington metro area, Mina has overall responsibility for the day-to-day operations of the company. The firm, established in 1977, has 72 offices and approximately 2,000 employees throughout the United States. 

During his career, Mina has served large public, small private and not-for-profit institutions. Prior to joining Risk Strategies, Mina worked for 25 years with Willis Towers Watson in a number of leadership roles, most recently as head of corporate risk and broking for the Atlantic South region. 

Mina started his career focused on international risks, a natural outcome having spent part of his childhood growing up in in Europe and the Middle East. Mina is an avid traveler and outside of work spends much of his time on nature photography. You can frequently find him at the cheetah and panda exhibits at the Zoo. His other interests include hiking, sailing and scuba diving. He is a graduate of Dowling College with a bachelor’s degree in business administration in management. Mina and his wife, Susan, live in North Potomac, Maryland, with their two children.

Steven Monfort

As the John and Adrienne Mars Director, Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute, Steven Monfort directs operations at the organization's 163-acre facility in Washington, D.C., and its 3,200-acre facility in Front Royal, Virginia.

Monfort is responsible for managing the organization's multimillion dollar budget; the Zoo, a public facility which welcomes approximately 1.8 million visitors each year; and the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute, which includes groundbreaking work in conservation biology. Monfort is also responsible for education programs, ticketed events and retail services implemented by Friends of the National Zoo (the Zoo’s nonprofit partner and membership organization).

Monfort has been affiliated with the Zoo since 1986, when he founded the Zoo’s Endocrine Research Laboratory. It is the largest laboratory of its kind in the United States, dedicated to monitoring hormones for assessing reproductive health and well-being in diverse wildlife species. Monfort has also served as a scientific advisor to the Smithsonian’s Under Secretary for Science and was previously the supervisor of SCBI's Education Office and an associate clinical veterinarian.

In 2006, he became the Zoo’s associate director for conservation and science, supervising approximately 100 research scientists, research veterinarians, technicians, support staff, postdoctoral fellows, graduate students and research interns located at the Zoo’s Rock Creek and Front Royal facilities. In addition to serving as the leader of the Zoo’s science directorate, Monfort was the John and Adrienne Mars Director, Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute.

Monfort is co-founder of the Smithsonian-Mason School of Conservation, an in-residence program at SCBI that immerses George Mason University students in an interdisciplinary, conservation learning environment. He is an affiliate professor at George Mason, founder of the Sahelo-Saharan Interest Group, chair of the Asian Wild Horse Species Survival Plan, co-founder and board chair emeritus of the Sahara Conservation Fund and serves as a member of the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources antelope, cervid and conservation breeding specialists groups.

Monfort has published more than 100 peer-reviewed scientific papers in the broad discipline of reproductive biology, and he helped to pioneer noninvasive endocrine monitoring techniques that are now widely used for assessing reproductive status and well-being of wildlife species in zoos and in nature. Monfort received his doctor of veterinary medicine from the University of California at Davis and his doctorate in environmental biology and public policy from George Mason University.

David Mork

David Mork is the chief of staff for Congressman Peter Roskam, who represents the western and northwestern suburbs of Chicago and sits on the powerful U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Ways and Means.

Mork has worked with Rep. Roskam since his 2006 campaign. Following the election, Mork was offered a position on the legislative staff for the congressional office and spent the next several years working on a growing portfolio of both domestic and international policy issues with a focus on translating that policy work to coalition-building and outreach to serve the constituencies and interests in the congressional district at home.

Due to his experience working with a representative from a competitive district who has also served in both the minority and the majority and House leadership, Mork brings a unique perspective to the inner workings of the House. Today, his responsibilities include managing a team with the twin goals of deepening his representative's policy expertise and maintaining a robust political operation.

Mork grew up in Wheaton, Illinois, a constituent of the congressional district he now serves. While attending the University of Notre Dame, he spent a semester in Washington interning for Speaker Dennis Hastert. After graduating, he returned home to work on the 2006 congressional campaign. During that time, he met his wife, Kirsten. David and his wife currently reside in Washington with their son, Bobby.

Wyndee Parker

 

Alonford James Robinson Jr.

Robinson is the founder and CEO of Symphonic Strategies™ Inc., a research, training and consulting firm that specializes in solving collective action challenges. Symphonic Strategies™ works with people from all walks of life to help them lead and transform the organizations and communities around them. Robinson leads a team of diverse and gifted individuals who specialize in capacity building, monitoring and evaluation, instructional design, and organizational learning. The company serves leaders in the public and private sectors.

Throughout his career, Robinson has advised and worked with leaders in the public and private sectors all around the world. Among the departments and agencies he has worked with at the federal, state, and local levels include the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food and Drug Administration, Health and Human Services, Transportation, Customs and Border Protection, Homeland Security, Veterans Affairs, Office of Naval Intelligence, Department of Defense, Administrative Office of the Courts, Corporation for National and Community Service, and more.

His clients in the private and social sectors have included ABN Amro Bank, Adobe Systems, AIG, Avon, Bank of America, BMW, Caterpillar, Children’s Defense Fund, Clinique, CVS, Delta Airlines, Deutsche Bank, Ernst & Young, Fujitsu, Goldman Sachs, Heineken, Heinz Endowments, IBM, Kauffman Foundation, Management Board Secretariat, Marriott Hotels, MasterCard, McDonald’s, Microsoft, Muhammad Ali Museum and Education Center, National 4-H Council, Pepsi, SAIC, Scandinavian Airlines, Tyson Foods, Volvo, Walt Disney Resorts & Parks, Warner Brothers Studios and Yahoo!

Robinson began his career as a global faculty member for the Corporate Executive Board, a leading international business strategy firm. While at CEB, Robinson delivered keynote remarks and led organizational strategy seminars with C-level audiences in more than 150 organizations in over a dozen countries throughout Europe and North America. His areas of expertise included corporate strategy, marketing and human resource management. After nearly a decade at CEB, Robinson left to become a senior strategist and advisor to the Children’s Defense Fund, a prominent nonprofit organization. He spent two years in that role, building the organization’s national infrastructure, modernizing its communications platform, and building multi-sector partnerships and coalitions.

Over the course of his career, Robinson has been a consultant to the Public Broadcasting Service show “Frontline,” served as a staff writer on the Encarta Africana Encyclopedia of the Black Diaspora, and was a member of the Heinz Endowments’ African American Men and Boys Advisory Board and the Open Society Foundation’s Leadership and Sustainability Working Group.

In addition to his consulting work, Robinson also delivers regular seminars and courses to public sector leaders in federal, municipal and local government agencies. He currently spends a portion of his time as an adjunct professor at the Center for Excellence in Public Leadership at the George Washington University and as a lecturer in the Customs and Border Protection Leadership Institute with the Robert H. Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland. His courses and seminars include topics that range from strategic management, organizational transformation, executive decision-making, and leading change initiatives.

Robinson holds a doctorate in government from Harvard University and dual bachelor’s degrees in social psychology and political science from Stanford University.

Joyce Rogers

Joyce Rogers has over 25 years of experience in legislative, regulatory and public policy advocacy. Currently, she leads Advocate Aurora Health’s federal, state and local advocacy work as the chief government affairs officer. AAH is among the nation’s largest not-for-profit integrated health care system in the United States and a national leader in clinical innovation, health outcomes, consumer experience and value-based care.

Before joining AAH, Rogers served as the senior vice president of government affairs for AARP.  AARP is one of the nation’s largest membership organizations with more than 38 million members. In this role, she worked with elected officials, patient advocacy groups, private sector companies and industry associations. 

Prior to AARP, Rogers was a partner at the law firm of Williams & Jensen PLLC and represented Fortune 500 companies, trade associations, nonprofit organizations and small businesses. She was also an associate at the law firm, Verner Liipfert Bernhard McPherson and Hand.

Early in her career, Rogers worked for two members of Congress, including congressman Steny Hoyer (now House Majority Leader). A native Washingtonian, she served a two-year elected term as an advisory neighborhood commissioner in the District of Columbia. Throughout her career, she has worked on presidential, gubernatorial, congressional and local campaigns.  

Rogers is a member of the board of directors for Friends of the National Zoo, and the Franklin Center for Global Policy Exchange.

Rogers is a graduate of Williams College and the University of Pennsylvania Law School, and a member of the District of Columbia and State of Maryland Bar Associations. She has certificates from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth’s Executive Management Program, Leadership and Strategic Impact Program; Georgetown University McDonough School of Business; AARP Agile Leadership Program; and Executive Leadership Council’s Institute for Leadership & Research, Strengthening the Pipeline Program.

Rogers and her husband, George Atuobi, live in Alexandria, Virginia, and have a blended family of four children. 

Brian Sands

Brian Sands is a vice president/principal with the economics practice at AECOM and has worked on assignments in the real estate and development industries for more than 25 years, with expertise in the areas of leisure/culture and mixed-use development. He has led hundreds of assignments located throughout the U.S., Latin America and the Caribbean, Europe and the Middle East, focused broadly on real estate and business economics and planning with uses including a wide range of commercial attractions, cultural attractions, hospitality properties, retail-dining-entertainment, and related uses. 

He also coordinates global production of the “Theme Index and Museum Index – Global Attractions Attendance Report,” the industry report produced annually by AECOM and the Themed Entertainment Association and is primarily responsible for the North American and Latin American commercial attraction figures.

Sands also serves as treasurer on the International Board of the Themed Entertainment Association and is a member of numerous industry organizations, including American Institute of Certified Planners, American Alliance of Museums, American Planning Association, International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions, Urban Land Institute and World Waterpark Association.

Yelberton Watkins