Board Members and Staff

Assateague Island Alliance is managed by a volunteer Board of Directors (BOD). Each year, volunteer recommendations are made to the board for new members, replacing those who have served their term. Volunteers are typically individuals who have a passion for the island and who have demonstrated a willingness to “give back to others.” Their application is vetted amongst the board members and references are checked. Currently, the Board of Directors consists of:

Dick Arnold is the Vice President of the AIA Board. Dick has been retired for 20 years and was a former employee of the C&P Telephone Company for 12 years. Right out of high school, Dick spend 3 years in the Army, worked for a number of real estate companies, including his own; had his own insurance company and owned a gas station. We are fortunate to have Dick teach classes about HorseShoe Crabs and Monarch Butterflies on the island and they are extremely well attended and applauded. Dick is still trying to figure out what he will do when he grows up.

Elizabeth Cullen is the Treasurer of the AIA Board and lives locally. Elizabeth is working diligently to analyze our costs and figure out cost effective ways to support the National Park Service.

Kathy Emmert is Secretary of the AIA Board. She moved to Ocean Pines when she retired from her career as a dietitian/nutritionist. Her professional life included more that 20 years in management. She has volunteered with a number of nonprofit organizations, including the YWCA of Annapolis and Anne Arundel County. She loves the national parks in general, and, especially, Assateague Island National Seashore.

Nancy Gaither fell in love with Assateague Island National Seashore on her first visit and can’t seem to stay away. She calls it her “Little Slice of Heaven.” In 2018, Nancy volunteered with the National Park Service and taught courses at the Visitor Center called “Horse Tales” and “The Secrets of Assateague.” Evaluations gave the sessions “rave reviews” so AIA will be repeating them again in the summer of 2019. Of late, she has been a keynote speaker around Ocean Pines and Ocean City where she shares her passion for the island and teaches others about the past, the present and the wildlife that lives on it. She is semi-retired from wonderful companies such as Apple Computer, Inc., Booz Allen Hamilton and UnitedHealthcare where she has had adventures as Vice-President of Customer Support, Director of Training and more. She is the former Team Leader and Creative Team Director of the 6th place International Award winning chorus, Harbor City Music Company Show Chorus. Currently, at her business S.O.A.R.(Seizing Opportunities, Achieving Results), Nancy is consulting with major companies such as Perdue and Johns Hopkins University as an Executive Coach. Nancy is the President of the Assateague Island Alliance.

Cynthia Griffin is retired with a sales background and has happily transplanted to Ocean City from Baltimore MD. Community service featured heavily while serving as president of 2- 501(c) 3 neighborhood associations, as secretary of the Parking Authority Advisory Board and as parking representative of Baltimore’s largest residential parking area representing 2500+ residents (20 yrs). Cynthia has held seats on the Key Highway Task Force, Federal Hill Main Street, Medstar Women’s Advisory Board, Camden Yards Community Task Force, the first Baltimore Casino Local Development Council (LDC), et al. She is currently serving on Board of Seascape Condominiums in Ocean City. Cynthia joined the AIA Board in October 2018 and immediately began organizing and reviving the Foster Horse Program. Her enthusiasm and passion for the island is contagious and people love learning from her.

Joe Lieb was born, raised and educated in Washington D.C. in a happy Catholic family with ten brothers and sisters. He visited Ocean City in 1962 and realized this was where he needed to live. Joe married his best friend, Pam Berg and moved to Bishopville where they grow organic produce on a small farm with a healthy apiary and a view of Ocean City. Joe has been on the Pony Patrol with Assateague Island National Seashore and is known by many for his dedication, receiving an award from the Park Service in 2018 for volunteering over 700 hours on the island. To quote Joe, “Life is good!”

Karen Roquemore Lockard was born and raised in Charleston, SC, and lived there until she began traveling the country in 1991 as part of a military family.  She landed in Elkton, MD, in 1998 and has been there ever since. She is married to Louis Lockard, and they have three sons and three grandchildren.  She works full-time in the medical device manufacturing industry at Terumo Medical, where she has been employed for the past 14 years.  Karen’s first visit to Assateague was in July, 2013, and she has been in love with the island ever since.  A few months after her first visit to the magical place, her father passed away, and the island became part of her therapeutic place to escape and heal. She and Lou are on the island most weekends, where most of their time is spent enjoying their favorite part, the OSV.  They have developed a love of the horses, and have made many wonderful friends while on the island, always willing to give an individual their “first OSV” tour, all the while snapping photos. Karen is hoping to enjoy the island for many years to come!  As an AIA Board Member, Karen has been organizing and tracking our inventory and working with others to create a compelling display for when we are out in the community.

Eric Waterman has been on the AIA Board for several years and is known for keeping the team well abreast of their by-laws and policies. He retired to Ocean City from Baltimore in 2012, after a career as construction industry trade association executive in Washington, DC. He is still an arbitrator and consultant for some of these associations. Eric is a long time volunteer at Diakonia and is active in Ravens Roost #44 in Ocean City and the Montego Bay Home Owners Association.

Ivy Wells is the Economic and Community Development Director for the Town of Berlin. She also manages the Berlin Main Street Program. In addition to serving on the Assateague Island Alliance Board of Directors (BOD) she also serves on the BOD for the Community Development Network of Maryland; The Lower Eastern Shore Heritage Area Council and is a member of the group Tourism, Arts and Downtown Development( TADD). Ivy would live on Assateague is she could. (Wouldn’t we all?) Her love of the ocean, the horses, birding and nature makes her a wonderful asset on our board.

Robin Zimmerman is a Maryland native and CPA with over 25 years of experience, largely in tax compliance for real estate partnerships including many enjoying the benefits of the historic tax rehabilitation credit. She has served as treasurer of Loch Raven Skeet and Trap and also serves on a residential association board.  Although she had been to Assateague in the past, she didn’t appreciate it until the Snowy Owl irruption in 2013 when she decided to go to Assateague to see if she could see one. To her delight, she and her husband saw 4 in one day. They also became aware of the adorable Buffleheads that day while walking a “zillion miles in the sand.” To quote Robin: “It was a bitter February day!”  Within the week they had an OSV pass and with ALL of the required and suggested equipment.  However, they were horrified by the trash and started picking up the litter each visit. While the owls are neat, they have really came to love waterfowl and raptors. They were lucky enough to stumble upon Mike Yates (Earthspan). Between Earthspan’s research with migrating Arctic Peregrine Falcons and Project Snowstorm’s research with Snowy Owls, Robin has became aware of how unique Assateague is and how important it is to a vast array of species and how much we learn from the research that happens on the island. This made her want to support the island, the park and AIA.


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