Business Advisory Council Members
Greg Jacoski, Executive Director, Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation
Greg Jacoski is the executive director of the Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation (GHOF). Born and raised in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Greg grew up fishing and diving along the coast from New England to North Carolina. After earning dual bachelor's degrees in Environmental Science and Journalism from Temple University, Greg moved to Ft. Lauderdale, Florida to pursue a master's degree in Marine Biology at Nova Southeastern University (NSU). While attending NSU, Greg worked as an administrator for the National Coral Reef Institute and the Guy Harvey Research Institute. Greg joined the GHOF when it was established in 2008.
As the Executive Director, Greg has overseen tremendous growth of the GHOF. The GHOF partners with businesses, state agencies, universities, and conservation organizations around the world to conduct cutting-edge scientific research to advance the knowledge of our ocean resources. The GHOF also creates engaging marine science educational content and documentary films to bring the undersea world into classrooms, living rooms, and mobile devices for teachers, students, and the general public. Additionally, the GHOF maintains a series of educational scholarships to assist the students that are working to become the next generation of marine scientists.
As a representative of the GHOF, Greg currently serves on the Center for Sportfishing Policy Government Affairs Committee, the Florida SeaGrant Advisory Council and NOAA's Office of Marine Sanctuaries Business Advisory Council.
Elissa Foster, Senior Manager of Product Responsibility, Patagonia, Inc.
Elissa Foster is senior manager of product responsibility at Patagonia. She is responsible for researching and measuring the environmental impacts of Patagonia's products and developing and implementing programs aimed at reducing those impacts. Elissa has been working on environmental projects for Patagonia for 16 years. Prior to working in her current position at Patagonia, Elissa worked as an environmental specialist for the City of Ventura. Elissa has a bachelor's degree in Zoology from UC Santa Barbara, master's degree in Environmental Science and Management from the Donald Bren School of Environmental Science and Management at UCSB, and a doctorate of Environmental Science and Engineering from UCLA.
Taldi Harrison, Government and Community Affairs Manager, REI
Taldi Harrison is REI's community & government affairs manager. In this capacity she oversees REI's federal government affairs work and policy-related philanthropy. Her work focuses on fostering collaborative partnerships with a number of national non-profits and decision makers at the federal level to ensure access to and infrastructure for inspiring outdoor recreation opportunities. Taldi serves on the Board of Directors of the Washington Green Schools Alliance, Eastrail Partners, The Conservation Alliance, and the Mountains to Sound Greenway Technical Advisory Committee. Raised in the Flathead Valley in Montana, Taldi is an avid outdoors woman who enjoys hiking, mountain biking, climbing, camping, mountaineering, and skiing.
Jessica (Wahl) Turner, Executive Director, Outdoor Recreation Roundtable
Jessica Turner is the executive director of the Outdoor Recreation Roundtable (ORR), America's leading coalition of outdoor recreation trade associations and organizations, comprised of 31 national association members serving over 100,000 businesses. Ms. Wahl has over a decade of experience in outdoor recreation spanning the public, private and non-profit sectors. Prior to ORR, Ms. Wahl directed Outdoor Industry Association's (OIA) outdoor recreation and conservation portfolio in Washington D.C. where she led a successful effort that gained landmark government recognition of outdoor recreation's contribution to the national Gross Domestic Product.
Ms. Wahl was also the co-founder and past-chair of the Coalition for Outdoor Access working to reform outfitter and guide permitting systems within federal land agencies, an effort designed to help more Americans gain access to the outdoors. Before OIA, she worked at the Department of the Interior in the Office of the Interior Secretary and managed First Lady Michelle Obama's Let's Move! Outside and Let's Move! in Indian Country initiatives. She has a master's degree in American Government from Georgetown University and is an avid outdoorswoman who loves kayaking, climbing, hiking, and running.
Marie Fukudome, Director, Environmental Affairs, Hyatt
Marie Fukudome leads Hyatt's global environmental sustainability platform and strategy development. Her work focuses on Hyatt's 2020 goals as well as developing the next set of company goals. 2020 goals include reducing greenhouse gas emissions, water consumption, and waste at hotels, as well as advancing responsible supply chain initiatives. Examples of focus areas include increasing energy and water efficiency, food waste prevention, reducing single-use disposables, and supporting Hyatt's Food. Thoughtfully Sourced. Carefully Served. philosophy. Fukudome oversees Hyatt's tracking of sustainability metrics for measuring progress against these goals and manages Hyatt's Environmental, Social Governance (ESG) reporting, including publishing Corporate Responsibility reports and CDP submissions.
Joost Ouendag, Vice President of Product Marketing, Viking River Cruises
Joost Ouendag has spent the last 20 years in the cruise industry, almost all of it in various roles with Viking. He helped shape the river cruise itineraries and shore excursions before taking a role in the marketing team. Moving to Basel, Switzerland in 2016, he oversaw the rapid expansion of the ocean cruise product, and more recently, he has laid the groundwork for the expedition cruise itineraries in the Great Lakes. Before his time with Viking, Mr. Ouendag worked in North American inbound tourism, designing programs for overseas travelers in the U.S. and Canada. He is a consummate traveler with a master's Degree in Linguistics from Utrecht University in the Netherlands, and he is fluent in four languages. He has written two books on river cruising in Europe.
Taishya Adams, Policy Director, Outdoor Afro
Taishya Adams is a passionate and dedicated servant leader laser focused on justice and liberation through community building, personal transformation, and systems change. With over 25 years of experience across the country and the world, Taishya serves at the intersections of education, health, workforce, science, and environment. Collaborating with multidisciplinary stakeholders to strengthen access, representation, meaningful participation and quality, Taishya is committed to fighting the good fight for each other and our planet. Taishya is the policy director and Colorado co-lead for Outdoor Afro. Outdoor Afro is a nationwide network with 90 volunteer leaders in 30 states guiding thousands of outdoor events each year based on a simple mission to celebrate and inspire African American connections to nature. As policy director, Taishya engages with Outdoor Afro's networks, policy makers, and mission-aligned organizations on education, health, and environmental policies affecting Black people and the planet. She also leads the implementation of Outdoor Afro's policy priorities at the federal, state, and local levels.
In 2019, Taishya was appointed by Governor Jared Polis to serve on the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commission – the first African American woman in the Commission's history – where she provides oversight on Colorado state parks and wildlife management. Previously, Taishya worked at American Institutes for Research as a Senior Education Equity leveraging policy, research, and practice to strengthen public education. Taishya also worked with the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools, the D.C. Public Charter Schools Board, Global Classrooms Washington, D.C., and the Children Defense Fund Freedom Schools. Taishya is the founding Board President of New Legacy Charter School – a public charter high school and early learning center for teen parents and their children in Aurora, Colorado. In addition to Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commission, Taishya also sits on the Colorado Nature Areas Council, and the Conference on World Affairs at University of Colorado Boulder. Taishya holds a master's degree in International Education from George Washington University and a bachelor's degree from Vassar College in Political Science and Film.
Maite Arce, President and CEO, Hispanic Access Foundation
As a passionate founder, Ms. Arce established a national nonprofit organization that provides access to a path for the development and rise of Latino leaders and elevates their voices in areas where they are underrepresented. She has raised $28 million over 10 years for innovative initiatives including the annual Latino Conservation Week that activates communities around stewardship, outdoor recreation, and advocacy among Latinos nationwide. Ms. Arce's work informs and equips advocates and decision makers with research and reporting specific to communities of color including "The Nature Gap: Confronting Racial and Economic Disparities in the Destruction and Protection of Nature in America" and "Place, Story, and Culture: A Top Ten List of Places Important to the Latino Community and in Need of Preservation." Her work has resulted in financial empowerment and education of nearly 50,000 leaders in 18 states with philanthropic corporate partners including H&R Block and Southern California Edison.
Ms. Arce values trust, responsibility, ethics, and service to the community. She believes marginalized communities know what is best for themselves and are the most qualified to develop effective solutions for the challenges they face – however, they need power, resources, and trusted guidance and encouragement.
Her board service includes the Moab, Utah-based Public Lands Solutions and Annapolis, Maryland-based Chesapeake Conservancy.
She is a native of Ensenada, Baja California, Mexico. Maite lives with her husband Ted and parents, Elena and Jose near the confluence of the Potomac and Shenandoah rivers in Virginia. She and her husband enjoy exploring trails in the Rocky Mountain west and kayaking the watersheds of the Chesapeake Bay. Ms. Arce holds an honorary doctorate from Logos College.
Recreational and Commercial Fishing
Martin Peters, Yamaha Marine Division Manager, Government Relations
Martin Peters is division manager, government relations for Yamaha's U.S. Marine Business Unit, the entity within Yamaha Motor Corporation, USA that markets, sells and distributes Yamaha Outboards in the United States. The unit also operates G3 Boats®, Skeeter Boats®, Yamaha Marine Performance Propellers, Inc., and other marine industry companies.
Peters joined Yamaha in 2006 and currently leads the business unit's government relations, advocacy, conservation, and Yamaha RIghtwaters™ sustainability efforts. He also leads teams that create communication, education, and sponsorship strategies that support the marine brand.
Before joining Yamaha, Peters spent seven years with Porsche Cars North America as Corporate Communications Manager, and seven years with Michelin North America as Public Relations Manager. In the 1990s, Peters served as the feature editor for Exotic Cars Quarterly magazine and Road & Track Specials publications. He began his career as a researcher, writer, and associate producer at Maryland Public Television (MPT) for the national program "MotorWeek." Also at MPT, he produced a segment on Chesapeake Bay log racing canoes for "Outdoors Maryland" that won a Capitol Region Emmy Award.
In January 2017, Peters was appointed to NOAA's National Marine Sanctuary Business Advisory Council (BAC) as one of 15 council members to serve a three-year term. He currently serves on the Natural Resources and Energy Policy Sub Committee for the Georgia Chamber of Commerce and on the Government Relations Committee of the American Sportfishing Association® (ASA). Past service includes chairman of the Communication Committee for the Center for Sportfishing Policy, chairman of Boat PAC for the National Marine Manufacturers Association® (NMMA®) and chairman of Tread Lightly, a non-profit organization that advocates for ethical land use and public land access.
In October 2019, ASA presented Peters with its Fisheries Conservation Achievement Award in recognition of "outstanding contributions to fisheries conservation and recreational fishing and boating."
Peters holds a bachelor's degree in Mass Communications from Towson University and a master's degree in Publications Design from the University of Baltimore. He raced sports cars in endurance events throughout the 1990s and now enjoys hunting, shooting sports, and fishing with his family. His father handed him a fishing rod for the first time at age six on the Patuxent River in Maryland.
In 2011, Peters won the Kenai River Classic fishing tournament in Alaska, having caught a 51-inch king salmon. He fishes for cobia and red drum on the Georgia coast and for bass and crappie in his family's North Georgia pond. Peters and his wife, Dianne, and children live in Marietta, Georgia.
Dave Bulthuis, President, Pure Fishing
Dave Bulthuis, the president of Pure Fishing N.A., and is a passionate angler and boater who has spent his career in the fishing tackle industry. He is a staunch advocate for conservation, recreational fishing and boating, clean water, and abundant fish stocks. Bulthuis serves on the corporate council of the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership, is a board member of The Center for Sportfishing Policy and is a past Chairman of the American Sportfishing Association. He believes that increasing access to great boating and fishing for all Americans is a critical component to growing participation and offering exciting and memorable outdoor experiences.
Bulthuis resides in New Smyrna Beach, Florida and can be found enjoying his free time boating and fishing throughout Florida and the Florida Keys with his wife, Amy and their two sons.
Natural and Cultural Resource Management
Sherry L. Rupert, Chief Executive Officer, American Indian Alaska Native Tourism Association (AIANTA)
American Indian Alaska Native Tourism Association (AIANTA) CEO, Sherry L. Rupert (Paiute/Washoe), has nearly two decades of executive-level experience managing and promoting Native American tourism. Since joining AIANTA as CEO in 2019, she has spearheaded several initiatives, including the organization's groundbreaking new Tribal Agritourism program and overseeing AIANTA's first-ever virtual American Indian Tourism Conference, which drew a record number of registrants in 2020. As CEO of the only national association dedicated to indigenous tourism, she is the leading voice when it comes to advocating for travel and tourism as a significant economic driver in tribal nations. Among her responsibilities, she curates a robust educational program for tribes and indigenous-owned hospitality enterprises around the country. Prior to assuming the role of CEO, she was President of AIANTA's Board of Directors since 2010. During that time, she was instrumental in working with Congress to pass the Native American Tourism and Improving Visitor Experience (NATIVE) Act.
Rupert was formerly the executive director of the State of Nevada Indian Commission, where she reported directly to the governor of Nevada to serve as a liaison to the state's 27 tribes, bands, and colonies. During her tenure, she developed the Nevada Indian Territory initiative and won awards and accolades for her work in preserving the site of the Stewart Indian School as a museum and cultural center.