Save the date for the 31st Annual Environment Virginia Symposium on March 23 - 25, 2021

On March  23 - 25, 2021, VMI will once again be the place #WhereLeadersMeet from every sector touching the Commonwealth's environment.

Below are the dedicated individuals working behind the scenes to bring the conference program together with a balance of topics and voices.  

You will also find links to previous conference materials for the past two years, including links to videos, the conference program, and any white papers produced by the attendees.


The symposium is produced each year thanks to the collective endeavor of staff at the VMI Center for Leadership and Ethics and our Conference Planning Committee.  Together, they combine the expertise of event hosting and environmental program planning and development.

VMI’s Center for Leadership and Ethics hosts the Environment Virginia Symposium along with several other national conferences which tackle complex issues of national urgency.  The Center’s offices are located in Marshall Hall, a certified green venue location.


State Government

  • Sharon Baxter, Virginia Department of Environmental Quality
  • Mereym Karad, Policy and Communications Advisor to the Secretary of Natural Resources at Office of Governor
  • Tom Smith, Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation
  • Michelle Stoll, Department of Forestry
  • Ed Zimmer, Virginia Department of Forestry

Federal Government

  • Miranda Ryan, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers – Norfolk District

Regional Government

  • Adrienne Kotula, Chesapeake Bay Commission

Local Government

  • Richard Street, Virginia Environmental Professionals Organization



  • Tina Bickerstaff, EEC
  • Dave Gunnarson, Natural Environmental Solutions, LLC  
  • Chris Stone, Clark Nexsen
  • Joe West, AECOM


  • Ruth Debrito, Smithfield Foods, Inc.
  • Richard Gangle, Dominion Energy
  • Bill Gill, Smithfield Foods, Inc.
  • Kateri Shreve, Luck Stone
  • Matt Wells, WestRock


  • Kendyl Crawford, Virginia Interfaith Power and Light
  • Harry Godfrey, Virginia Advanced Energy Economy
  • Joe Maroon, Virginia Environmental Endowment
  • Peggy Sanner, Chesapeake Bay Foundation
  • Kendall Tyree, VA Association of Soil & Water Conservation Districts
  • Tamim Younos, Green Water-Infrastructure Academy
  • Mary Rafferty, Virginia Conservation Network

Virginia Military Institute (Academia)

  • Program Chairman: Col. David Gray, Director, Center for Leadership and Ethics
  • Program Coordinator: Maj. Kim Connolly, Assistant Director for Programs and Conferences, Center for Leadership and Ethics
  • Conference Coordinator: Derek Pinkham, Conference Project Manager, Center for Leadership and Ethics
  • Assistant Planner: Emily Coleman, Assistant Conference Planner, Center for Leadership and Ethics