About AIA

Assateague Island Alliance (AIA) was formed January 1, 2008 as the only non-profit Friends Group organization to promote the education, awareness and protection of Assateague Island National Seashore’s wildlife and natural resources for the enjoyment of current and future generations. All proceeds directly benefit Assateague Island National Seashore.

Assateague Island Alliance partners with the Assateague Island National Seashore to promote the awareness and protection of the island’s wildlife and natural resources for the enjoyment of current and future generations.

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:

Board Members and Staff

Anne Ferris

Anne is our Board Finance Director and loves everything about Assateague Island. 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. Anne is the AIA Treasurer and keeps us on our toes with respect to our financial status.

Lynn Fisher

Lynn hails from Baltimore County, MD, but now lives in Berlin with her husband, Clark. They have 3 children and 7 grandchildren. In 1992, Lynn graduated from the College of Notre Dame of Maryland with a Master of Arts degree. She had a varied career with Lucent Technologies where she served as a member of the 1984 Olympics Telecommunications Team, Human Resources Director, and Customer Service Director. In 2001, she retired from Lucent and took a position with the State of Maryland as a Human Resources Director, and then moved to the position of Chief of Staff for the Director of Operations of the Maryland Transportation Authority. She retired from the State in 2012. Lynn’s love for Assateague started through her passion for wildlife photography. She has been volunteering with AIA since May 2019 and is the Volunteer Coordinator of the Foster Horse Program. If you receive a foster packet from AIA, you can be sure that Lynn touched it with her special TLC (tender-loving care)! Lynn recently began serving as the board's Vice President.

Nancy Gaither

Nancy 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, MD. 4-H Extension Service 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 and also assists individuals with resume and interview preparation. Nancy is the President of the Assateague Island Alliance and is a firm advocate of doing what is needed to keeping the island and its residents wild and preserved.

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 all the while 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. As the AIA Outreach Coordinator, Ashley is instrumental in helping the team find and apply for grants, as well as administer programs throughout the year.

Joe Lieb

Joe 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

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

Chris Lloyd

Chris hails from Wilmington, Delaware where she attended Delaware Tech and University of Delaware majoring in Business. Chris has worked her entire career in the financial services industry and she has worked for a large international bank for the past thirty years. She currently holds the position of Senior Vice President, Community Development. Chris has served as a member of the Board of Directors for a number of nonprofits entities in a variety of positions and committees. Chris discovered Assateague in 2011 and immediately fell in love with its beauty and uniqueness. Being a beach girl her whole life, the ocean and the beaches are certainly a draw, but being a hobbyist photographer the island provides Chris with a myriad of amazing subjects. Chris realized very quickly that the delicate ecosystem of the island needed to be protected and is pleased to help in any way she can.

Emmet McGovern

Emmet 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 osvcount.com, 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.

Steve Poorman

Steve Poorman hails from Pennsylvania and is our newest member of the AIA Board, joining in late 2020. Steve told us on his application that "My wife, Jen, and I have been devoted to the preservation of the island resources, as well as educating others since we first visited the island in 2017. Based on the rapidly growing popularity as a destination, education and outreach are imperative to ensure the habitat and wildlife will be here for future generations." In his spare time, Steve is the plant manager at the Hope Creek Nuclear Generating Station and has 6 department managers reporting to him, overseeing 350 employees.

Zoe Newman

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. Zoe is currently providing us with Horse of the Month postings for the AIA Facebook page and is doing a wonderful job.

Laurie Westling

Laurie has lived in Maryland since the 70’s. Living both on the Western and Eastern Shore. In 2019 Laurie and her husband Ed moved to the town of Berlin. The decision for the location was based on the love of a small town and the love of Assateague Island. Working towards retirement in the near future after 35 years in business for a defense contractor, Laurie currently volunteers for Assateague Island National Seashore. She enjoys the continued opportunity to learn about all things Assateague and sharing with visitors and states that Assateague Island is “My happy place!"