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:

Earl Blansfield, Director, hails from Havre de Grace, MD, but now lives in Delaware. Shortly after graduating from high school, he joined the US Air Force where he spent 21 years before retiring at Dover AFB, DE in 2002.  He graduated from Wilmington University with a Bachelor degree in Human Resources and currently works at the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development in Bethesda, MD, as a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) analyst.  He is married to Barbara and they have five sons, and five grandchildren.  Earl’s appreciation for Assateague developed through Barbara’s love for the horses and his love of nature and wildlife photography.

Taryn Bradley, Director, is the administrative assistant with Worcester County Tourism office. Her passion for the preservation of wildlife and nature on the island is her driving force for joining the Assateague Island Alliance.  Taryn also assists the Board of Directors with technological and design efforts, as she studies Graphic Communications and Marketing with the University of Maryland System. Her spare time is spent with her husband, two children, dogs, and cats, and they hope to spend more time on the island camping and beachgoing.

Elizabeth Cullen, Director, 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 be effective as a Board as well as support the National Park Service. Elizabeth lives with her husband, daughter and dog close to the island and loves spending time on it.

Anne Ferris, Director, loves everything about Assateague Island and her favorite thing to do is drive the OSV looking for nature and, of course, the horses. She loves that the horses are wild, as nature intends them to be. Ann has volunteered with the Assateague Island Alliance previously in helping with the organization of the Foster Horse program and will be serving as the AIA Board Secretary.

Nancy Gaither, Director, 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.” Nancy is a keynote speaker throughout the Eastern Shore where she shares her passion for the island and teaches others about the past, the present and the wildlife that inhabit the island with two presentations called “Horse Tales” and “The Secrets of Assateague.” The Salisbury Lion’s Club, Women’s Club of Ocean Pines, Polish-American Club of Ocean City, the Rotary Club in Pocomoke City and more have all learned about early island days and some of the treasures now found on the island. 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 4th 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.

Ashlie Kozlowski, AIA Outreach Coordinator, began her career with a Bachelors degree in Marine Biology, which led to a 12 year career in Environmental Research and Education in various areas of the coastal mid-Atlantic region. Ashlie’s current position with AIA allows her to balance raising a family and expressing her passion for Coastal Ecology to help protect and preserve the naturally existing barrier island, Assateague Island National Seashore, for this and future generations. Ashlie is instrumental in helping the team find and apply for grants, as well as administer programs throughout the year.

Joe Lieb, Director, 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 and received an award from the Park Service in 2018 for volunteering over 700 hours on the island. In this photo, Joe is installing on each picnic bench in National Park procedures for safely storing food. To quote Joe, “Life is good!”

Karen Roquemore Lockard, Director, 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; working with others to create a compelling display for when we are out in the community and organizing trips for Assateague Wild Horse Foster Parents with Wildlife Biologist, Allison Turner.

Emmet McGovern, Director, tells us that “Assateague Island is the only place that he goes where stress melts away” and we couldn’t agree more. Emmet has spent nearly every Sunday on the island for the last 17 years raising his son and making life long friends. Three years ago, Emmet gave back to the island by creating, a crowd sourced app that keeps track of the amount of vehicles on the OSV, along with the fly conditions (bless you, Emmet!), weather and tides. This app has allowed him to organize a free “recovery and safety” class for OSV drivers, a holiday light parade and an annual cleanup.

Zoe Newman is the Junior Ambassador to the Assateague Island Alliance. Zoe first visited the island when she was “little” in August of 2011 and she never forgot the experience of seeing horses roaming free and the beauty of the island. She and her mom visit the island regularly and call it their “Happy Place” or their “Second Home.”  She enjoys taking pictures on the island because no matter what time of the year it is, there is always beauty to be seen.  The wildlife, the sunrises or sunsets, the ocean and most especially the magnificent horses!  Zoe volunteers at SMAWLS, which is a non-profit organization that rescues abandoned or neglected cats. She also raises 14 chickens and has several regular customers that order eggs every week. During the summers, she works for a friend doing landscape work and house work, so that she is able to renew her foster horses. Zoe was the “first” in fostering all of the Assateague Wild Horse, fostering 22 of the horses on her own (with her egg money). Her mom helped with all of the others.  Zoe is a freshman at Great Mills High School and dreams of become an Assateague Park Ranger of Biologist.

Ivy Wells, Director, 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 if she could. (Wouldn’t we all?) Her love of the ocean, the horses, birding and nature makes her a wonderful asset on our board.


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