HANK LIBBY (CHAIRMAN)
President, Carol M. Jacobsohn Foundation
Hank Libby attended the Wharton School of Finance, University of Pennsylvania earning a BS in Finance. He also received a J.D. degree from the University of Pennsylvania Law School, and a LL.M. (Taxation) from the George Washington Law School. Hank practiced Corporate, Securities, and Venture Capital law for over twenty years in Washington, D.C. Thereafter, he operated a venture capital partnership and an investment advisory firm for twelve years. Hank is President of the Carol M. Jacobsohn Foundation, which has donated to VisionWorkshops over the last five years. The Jacobsohn Foundation focuses on funding educational, social and medical outreach programs to benefit underserved persons in the Annapolis community. Hank serves on the boards of five other charitable organizations in Annapolis.
KIRSTEN ELSTNER (EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR)
Executive Director, VisionWorkshops, Inc.
Kirsten Elstner, Director of VisionWorkshops, has been a freelance photographer and teacher since completing her Master of Arts in Photography at Ohio University in 1990. Her work has appeared in Time, Life, and Fortune magazines, as well as others, and she spent five years shooting for the Washington bureau of The New York Times. Kirsten has worked in Bangladesh for the International Red Cross, and as a photographer for Brazil’s largest newspaper, O Globo, in Rio de Janeiro.
Kirsten taught photography at the college level at the International Center of Photography in New York, The Corcoran College of Art and Design, Goucher College, The Art Institute of Boston, and The Massachusetts College of Art. Through VisionWorkshops, Kirsten mentors young people in her community, as well as nationally and internationally as Director of the National Geographic Photo Camp workshops. NG Photo Camp provides dynamic educational workshops for youth from underserved communities worldwide. Kirsten lives in Annapolis, MD with her husband and two sons.
Kara Brook is a retired internet executive and visual artist, and she joined the VisionWorkshops board 10 years ago. Previously CEO of Brook Group, where she provided web-based creative services to the federal government, international financial institutions and non-profit organizations, more recently as Kara’s focus shifted to creating visual art. She has become more deeply involved with VisionWorkshops and chaired our first gala in 2010. “Dreaming in Black and White”, brought a new series of VisionWorkshops programs to the Baltimore community.
FRED H. (BUD) BILLUPS
Bud has most recently served as Treasurer of St. John’s College in Annapolis, and as President of the Historic Annapolis Foundation.
A former naval officer and Exxon Corporation executive, Bud also served as Executive Director of the Pew Charitable Trusts from 1976 — 1988. He currently serves on the boards of Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts; the Community Foundation of Anne Arundel County; the Annapolis Symphony Orchestra; Maryland Therapeutic Riding; St. Margaret’s Episcopal Church; and VisionWorkshops.
ART STEVENS (DEVELOPMENT DIRECTOR)
Art Stevens works with PayPal as the Director for Social Innovation Projects, focusing on the companies efforts to create economic opportunity for underserved populations. Prior to this Art was responsible for MicroPlace, an online marketplace for investments in Microfinance. Art has been in the financial services business for over 25 years. His career has included significant work with the Calvert Foundation,Morgan Stanley, Franklin Templeton, and TCW Investment Management. He began specializing in the non-profit community in 2002, helping to launch a social enterprise in the elder care sector and working with a social enterprise focused on health care in southern India.
Art received his BA from the George Washington University. An instrument rated pilot and avid photographer, Art lives in Virginia with his three children.
Sam Abell’s love of photography began due to the influence of his father who was a geography teacher who ran a photography club in Sylvania, Ohio.
Sam has worked with the National Geographic Society since 1970, photographing more than 20 articles on cultural and wilderness subjects for National Geographic magazine and several books. He has lectured on photography and exhibited his work to audiences throughout the world.
Sam has published nine books with National Geographic, and a book of his best personal and professional work, Sam Abell: The Photographic Life, was published in 2002.
Sam is also a gifted teacher, artist and author. A member of the board of trustees of the Santa Fe Center for the Visual Arts, Sam lives in Crozet, Virginia, with his wife, Denise.
Staff Photographer, The New York Times, Washington Bureau
Stephen Crowley has been a staff photographer for The New York Times Washington Bureau since 1991. Stephen is a recent recipient of both the White House News Photographers Association’s Photographer of the Year Award, as well as a shared Pulitzer Prize in Photography for his work in Afghanistan. He has won 11 Pictures of the Year Awards and numerous awards from the White House News Photographers Association. Stephen has worked as a staff photographer for The Palm Beach Post, The Miami Herald, and The Washington Times, and has been a guest lecturer at the University of Texas and the International Center of Photography in New York.
Jim Webb is a teacher in Washington, D.C. who specializes in blending technology with photography and design. He writes curricula and teaches photography and design workshops for clients including Boston University, National Geographic, and The Washington Post. He is a long-time teacher for VisionWorkshops’ programs, and has led workshops in the U.S. and in India, Jordan, and Uganda.
Before becoming a teacher, Jim was head designer for National Geographic’s website, overseeing three major redesigns and winning a Webby award (the web equivalent of the Oscars) along the way. He studied photojournalism and graphic design at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Susan Reeve is the principal of Lionfish Consulting, which offers solutions to organizations and individuals to incorporate sustainability into their businesses and creates social and community programs that make a difference. Recent consulting projects have included the National Geographic 2008 Explorers Symposium, the National Geographic Big Cat Initiative, Great Plains Conservation, Photo Camp Haiti, and the Plastiki Expedition.
Prior to establishing her own firm, she was the director of the Explorers Program and Special Projects for National Geographic, where she worked for 13 years. In that capacity she was responsible for the development and oversight of all aspects of the Explorer-in-Residence Program, NG Visiting Fellows Program and the Emerging Explorers Program, including the creation of new program opportunities. In 2004 she created the Emerging Explorers Program, an annual awards program which spotlights uniquely gifted, inspiring, visionary individuals while they are at the start of their careers and recognizes the next generation of storytellers. In 2007 she developed the NG Explorers Symposium, an annual, three-day conference featuring top explorers from around the world.
Ms. Reeve helped develop and manage multi-year projects across all NG editorial divisions that created impact and opportunities for public participation. Projects included The Genographic Project, The Gospel of Judas and the All Roads Photographers Program. She was also responsible for NG Photo Camp, a series of photography workshops for youth from underserved communities both in and outside the United States.
In 2010, Ms. Reeve completed an Executive MBA in Sustainable Management from the Presidio Graduate School in San Francisco, CA. She has a B.A. in Mass Communications from Pennsylvania State University.
Ms. Reeve currently resides in San Francisco, CA and serves on various boards and committees including The Green Infrastructure Center, and VisionWorkshops. She enjoys sailing, surfing, yoga, photography and world travel.
Superintendant of Erie City School District
Jay Badams is the Superintendent of the Erie City School District in Pennsylvania. He has conducted numerous workshops at statewide conferences on test score interpretation and data-driven decision making. He has worked as a consultant for public school districts throughout Pennsylvania, and was a featured presenter at several Pennsylvania Governor’s Institutes on Data-Driven Decision Making. Jay draws on his experiences in business and in the military, as well as in teaching and school administration, to make test scores and statistics understandable and to turn data into action. Jay lives in Erie with his wife and four children.
Lelen has most recently served as Director of Visual Journalism at the University of Miami.
Lelen has an MA in Visual Communication and an MFA in Photography from Ohio University in Athens, Ohio.
Lelen’s work has received honors in the Pictures of the Year International Competitions and was a judge for the 57th Pictures of the Year International. She has coordinated and directed various conferences, exhibits and workshops including the Wilson Hicks International conference on Visual Communication, Women in Photojournalism Exhibits 1995 and 1999 and El Taller Para las Americas: Fotoperidismo and Somosfoto, workshops for Latin American photojournalists.
Lelen and her husband Michel have created “Paperseed”, a non-profit which helps build and maintain cultural centers, schools and playgrounds in rural and marginal villages of Latin America. Lelen and Michel live in St Martin Des Combes, France.