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Welcome Aboard to Our New Board Members!

Our Foundation is thrilled to welcome four new members to our Board, Mrs. Kate MacGregor of Jupiter, Mr. John Phelan of Palm Beach, Mr. Nick Wiley of Eads, TN, and Mrs. Kathy Barco of Jacksonville!

 

Kate currently serves as the Vice President of Environmental Services for NextEra Energy, ensuring thoughtful environmental planning and compliance from project development to operations. Before joining NextEra Energy, Kate served as the Senate-confirmed Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Department of the Interior, overseeing 70,000 employees and an annual budget of over $14 billion. Kate’s work at the Interior included managing responsible domestic energy and mineral development on public lands and waters, implementing the Great American Outdoors Act to enhance our National Parks, combating the missing and murdered American Indians and Alaskan Natives crisis, enhancing rural broadband, overseeing the Department’s COVID-19 operational response, and other Interior-focused priorities. Kate also served as the Interior’s Regulatory Reform Officer, in charge of improving the Interior’s review and promulgation of regulations and identifying regulations for repeal, replacement, or modification.

Kate joined the Interior Department after working on Capitol Hill for 10 years. She served as Legislative Director for Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) and as Professional Staff handling energy and public lands-related issues on the House Natural Resources Committee for two Chairmen. Kate is an avid rower and a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania.

John Phelan is the Founder and Chairman of Rugger Management, LLC, a private investment firm based in Palm Beach, Florida. Before launching Rugger, he co-founded MSD Capital, L.P. (“MSD”) in 1998, the private investment firm for Michael Dell, the founder and CEO of Dell Technologies. John was also the co-founder of MSD Partners, L.P., an SEC-registered investment adviser for a select group to invest in strategies initially developed by MSD. John is Chairman Emeritus of MSD; during his leadership, the firm posted double-digit net returns and over $20 billion in profits.

John received his M.B.A. from Harvard Business School, a bachelor’s in Economics and Political Science from S.M.U., and a general course degree with an emphasis in economics and international relations from the London School of Economics. He is on the Board of Trustees at the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Aspen Art Museum (Chairman), Spirit of America, and the Third Option Foundation. He is also involved with his respective alma maters and currently serves on the Board of Dean’s Advisors for the Harvard Business School, the Investment Committee for the S.M.U. Endowment, and the North American Advisory Board for the London School of Economics. John and his wife Amy have permanently endowed free admission to the Aspen Art Museum and recently named the Phelan US Centre at LSE.

John is an avid fisherman born and raised in Coral Gables, Florida.

Nick serves as Chief Operating Officer for Ducks Unlimited, Inc., a national nonprofit conservation organization headquartered in Memphis, Tennessee. Before working on the national stage, he dedicated 30 years to conservation in Florida, working with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC). He served in several roles with FWC, beginning as a wildlife biologist in the field and culminating as Executive Director for eight years. During this time, he strongly advocated for connecting people with conservation by working with FWC staff, commissioners, partners, and stakeholders to improve and expand opportunities for hunting, fishing, boating, and wildlife viewing. In recognition of his work in Florida, Nick was honored to receive the Fish & Wildlife Foundation’s Conservation Leadership Award in 2017.

Nick is a fellow of the National Conservation Leadership Institute, past president of the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies, professional member of the Boone and Crockett Club, Board member and past Chairman and member of the Council to Advance Hunting and Shooting Sports, and Board member for the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership.

Nick is a Certified Wildlife Biologist with a Bachelor of Science Degree in biology from Georgia Southern University and a Master of Science Degree in Wildlife Management from Auburn University. He serves on Dean’s Advisory Councils for Auburn and Georgia Southern Universities. He enjoys hunting, fishing, hiking, camping, and boating with family and friends.

Kathy Barco was appointed as a FWC Commissioner by then-Gov. Jeb Bush in September 2004 and reappointed by then-Gov. Charlie Crist in August 2007.

The Jacksonville resident is no stranger to conservation and fish and wildlife management issues and is active in many outdoor sporting activities. “Everything is a balance. We all have to live here together, and I’m looking forward to helping maintain that balance,” Barco said. “I want to make sure we base our decisions on as much factual information and good science as we can.”

Barco is president of Barco-Duval Engineering, Inc., a heavy-construction company. She has served as a commissioner on the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission, which manages recreational and commercial marine fishing from Maine to Key West, and the Guana-Tolomato-Matanzas National Estuarine Research Reserve’s Management Plan Citizens Board. Barco is also a member of Ducks Unlimited, the Cedar River Club, Safari Club International, and the International Game Fish Association.

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