About Us - Board Members
Meadowview has five members of the Board of Directors: Dr. Phil Sheridan, Dr. Robert Wright, Jim Robinson, Brad Whitehead, and Mike Hammond. Each board member brings unique and complimentary talents to the organization. All board members contribute significantly to the organization in their own personal way. Most board members are of modest and humble financial means and their contributions are in their activities, talents, and works for the organization. Dr. Phil Sheridan, founder of the organization, works full time as a non-compensated President managing the considerable day to day affairs of the organization. He is able to do this, not because he is wealthy, but because he has a wife that supports the important work of Meadowview. Mrs. Sheridan was the anonymous matching donor in the Joseph Pines fund-raising campaign and gave over $33,000 for preserve acquisition. Dr. Sheridan also donated his house to Meadowview (appraised value $62,000) to endow the organization with a corporate headquarters and provide facilities for rare plant propagation and nursery operations. Dr. Robert Wright provides oversight of state and federal regulations, in addition to his botanical contributions, as they pertain to Meadowview because he works at an environmental consulting firm. Jim Robinson has been a supporter of Meadowview since its inception and has provided considerable financial support for land acquisition (over $50K),infrastructure upgrades (50% of the cost of wood furnace installation $7K), and preserve management ($7K). Brad Whitehead worked with Meadowview and provided the property for sale that launched the Joseph Pines Preserve. Brad and his wife Marsha have supported the work of Meadowview since 1997 and their family has a long history in southern Virginia. Mike Hammond is a recent addition to the board but has proved himself with his ten year volunteer record and considerable contributions in infrastructure upgrades and rare plant propagation. Remaining officer positions such as secretary, vice-president, and treasurer are either handled by the existing board of directors or co-handled with qualified professionals (e.g. accountant supervising treasurer duties).
Dr. Phil Sheridan
Dr. Sheridan is both the President and one of the Directors of Meadowview Biological Research Station. He has both a B.S. and M.S. from Virginia Commonwealth University where he did his research work on pitcher plant genetics and biochemistry. He has a Ph.D. in Ecological Sciences from Old Dominion University on the population biology and genetics of purple pitcher plant in Maryland and Virginia. He developed a reproductive model for longleaf pine at the Blackwater Ecologic Preserve and is an active member of the Virginia Academy of Sciences. He has been a driving force for longleaf pine and pitcher plant preservation in Virginia and has numerous, peer-reviewed papers on these and other subjects. Dr. Sheridan is also a Certified Prescribed Burn Manager with the Virginia Dept. of Forestry (certification # 710). Dr. Sheridan directs the day-to-day activities of Meadowview Biological Research Station and would be responsible for supervising the proposed project. Dr. Sheridan also has an extensive background in finance. He has ten years of experience in the savings bank industry including positions as assistant programmer, accounting clerk, bookkeeper, records manager, and supervisor in check processing. He also has several years of course work in Business Administration.
Dr. Robert Wright
Dr. Wright is a public service naturalist, instructor, and well-published field ecologist with over 20 years experience in public, private, governmental, institutional and military environmental consulting markets. He is a director of Meadowview with a BS in Environmental Science from Lynchburg College, an M.S. in Environmental Science from Americus University, and a Ph.D. in Environmental Planning from Hamilton University. Dr. Wright focuses on integrated natural resource management, environmental planning and multi-disciplinary ecological studies. In addition to having multiple certifications and specialized training in other related disciplines, he has specialized expertise in regional, state, and local flora with specific graduate coursework and commercial and research project experience in the Southern Appalachian Highlands, Cumberland Plateau, and Ridge and Valley, with taxonomic research interests in several plant groups, contemporary and historical floristics, and rare, threatened and endangered species. Dr. Wright also has expertise and special training in wildlife habitat assessments, tree stand evaluations, wetland compensation site identification/inventory, wetland functional assessment, Best Management Practices compliance, impact avoidance and minimization analyses, coastal zone management coordination, hazardous material investigations, land use analyses, litigation and trial support experience, and extensive NEPA document (CE, EA, EIS) preparation experience. He uses these positions and his expertise to conduct vegetation inventories, Mid-Atlantic and Appalachian floristic studies, regional plant taxonomic problems, and regularly conducts advanced studies in threatened and endangered species surveys and management throughout the U.S. including Maine, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maryland, West Virginia, North and South Carolina, Texas, Georgia Florida, California, Nevada, and Arizona.
Dr. Wright is also a research associate at the Freer-Ramsey Herbarium at Lynchburg College (LYN), as listed in Index Herbariorum. He is also past President (2007) of the Virginia Academy of Science Botany Section, the Secretary-Treasurer of the Virginia Botanical Associates, Inc., a 501(c) 3 organization dedicated to the study of Virginia Flora and publisher of the Digital Atlas of the Virginia Flora, he sits on the Advisory Board of the Virginia Flora Foundation’s Virginia Flora Project, and is a past (2003-2005) Board of Director at the Richmond Fire and Police Museum.
Jim Robinson (photo below on the left) is a director of Meadowview and has studied and grown Sarracenia pitcher plants since the 7th grade. He received a B. A. in botany from Southern Ill. Univ. and worked in the nursery business for several years. After earning an M. S. in horticulture from Purdue University, Jim became Assistant Director of the Connecticut College Arboretum in the early 1980’s. Jim worked under Director and world renowned ecologist Dr. William A. Niering. He eventually changed careers and became a successful computer programmer with Household Finance until his retirement in 2001. In addition to his own home gardening, Jim has helped since 1990 with prairie and savanna restoration in the forest preserve near his home in suburban Chicago, Ill. Jim has been a member and contributor to Meadowview since its inception and has played a significant role in supporting the activities of the organization both from a financial and management standpoint.
Hinton Bradford Whitehead
Brad Whitehead (photo above on the right) is a director of Meadowview with an extensive background in business administration. Brad has his MBA from UNC Chapel Hill with extensive background in the banking industry including a position at the Federal Reserve in Richmond, VA. Brads also has experience working at a local non-profit handling their financial accounting and performing financial consulting to various organizations. Brad and his wife Marsha have deep roots in southern Virginia and their families have lived and worked in the area for several generations. Brad also has local connections which are an important asset for our conservation work in southern Virginia.
Charles Michael Hammond
Mike Hammond is a U.S. Army veteran who served in the Peace Corps with a B.S. in Biology from Mennonite University in Harrisonburg, VA and significant graduate work at the University of Delaware in Entomology. He started volunteering at Meadowview in 2000 and has made major contributions to infrastructure because of his trade in carpentry. Mike has also played a big role in propagation and restoration efforts. Because of Mike’s background and combination of skills, he has been an excellent individual to discuss policies and strategies of Meadowview. As a result of this long vetting process, Mike has recently been inducted into the board of Meadowview.
Michael Kevin Smith
Michael Kevin Smith is a long-time volunteer and the webmaster at Meadowview Biological Research Station. Michael earned a BBA in Marketing and Computer Information Systems from James Madison University and currently works as a User Interface Designer for the Entrepreneurs' Organization in Alexandria, Virginia. Michael's interest in carnivorous plants began while living in North Carolina, when he received his first pitcher plant at the age of eight. Since then, Michael continues to grow his collection of pitcher plants, focusing on rare highland Nepenthes species.
Michael collaborated with Director Dr. Phil Sheridan and Meadowview volunteers to overhaul the Meadowview website in 2010. He built the first secure online store for Meadowview and successfully increased traffic to the website by over 1400% since coming aboard. Michael has been involved in viral campaigns, webcasts, and video production for Meadowview; and continues to work with the team to support the website and conservation efforts.