Today, Chesapeake Conservancy announced that Tony J. Spencer and Ed Hatcher have been elected to the organization’s board of directors. Maite Arce, Mark Belton and Dr. Nancy Walters concluded their board service.
“On behalf of the board, I am pleased to welcome Tony and Ed. Tony’s vast experience in equity activism and cultural storytelling brings important skills to our board as we are dedicated to lifting the voices of everyone in the Chesapeake and creating public access for all,” said Chesapeake Conservancy Board Chair Randall Larrimore. “Ed’s dedication to Chesapeake conservation and expertise in public relations will help us communicate urgent information as we advance our efforts to conserve 30% of the Chesapeake by 2030 and address the effects of climate change.”
“We thank Maite, Mark and Nancy for everything they contributed during their time on the board,” Larrimore continued. “It has been a pleasure to work with such dedicated and enthusiastic conservationists.”
“Over the years I have served on the Anne Arundel County Public School Board, on a number of Boards and Commissions for the state of Maryland and Anne Arundel County, worked for three Annapolis mayors, was faculty at the University of Maryland Fire and Rescue Institute and currently serve with various societies and other committees—all with distinct missions for specific audiences,” said Chesapeake Conservancy Board Member Tony J. Spencer. “I decided to accept the Chesapeake Conservancy’s offer to join the board because it champions issues that benefit and affect society on a macro level. The preservation of Elktonia Beach in Annapolis, Maryland is a perfect example of this.
“When Elktonia Beach is completed, it will have preserved a major piece of history to educate everyone and provide a permanent place for Blacks of the Chesapeake to operate and educate the public. No one will be left behind, excluded or denied access to this historic jewel. I feel that I can contribute to the efforts of the Chesapeake Conservancy,” continued Spencer.
“Chesapeake Conservancy uses smart advocacy, innovative technology and thoughtful land preservation strategies to protect our land and waters,” said Chesapeake Conservancy Board Member Ed Hatcher. “Climate change makes the work of the Conservancy more pressing and important than ever. I am proud to be a part of this great organization.”
Tony J. Spencer
Commissioner Tony J. Spencer, representing Anne Arundel County, was appointed to the Maryland Commission on African American History and Culture in 2018 by Governor Lawrence J. Hogan and reappointed in 2021. Commissioner Spencer is a member of the public relations committee at the Banneker-Douglass Museum in Annapolis, MD, and brings 50+ years of audience engagement, community equality and equity activism and visual art; 35 years of community collaboration; five years as a school board member for Anne Arundel County Public School Board; 10 years of grant management; three+ years of grant evaluation; seven years of visual art exhibitions; and 18 years of ancestral research.
Ed Hatcher is a retired communications professional active in environmental advocacy, philanthropy and Maryland Democratic Party politics. In 2000, Ed founded and became president of The Hatcher Group, a full-service communications firm that works with nonprofit organizations and foundations to advance progressive social change. In 2019, Ed and his wife and business partner, Angie Cannon, sold The Hatcher Group. For more than 12 years, Ed served as an active board member of the Maryland League of Conservation Voters and as board chair from 2012 to 2021. He serves as a Maryland Democratic Party Trustee and as a member of its Finance Committee and was recently named co-chair of Governor-elect Wes Moore’s Climate and Environment Policy Transition Committee. Earlier in his career, Ed worked as a journalist, chief of staff and press secretary to members of Congress and as a communications and policy professional for several associations. He received his bachelor’s in English from Duke University, a master’s degree from the Columbia School of Journalism, and later in his professional life, a master’s in American history from the University of Maryland. Today, Ed and Angie divide their time between Bethesda and Rock Hall, Md.
Chesapeake Conservancy’s mission is to conserve and restore the natural and cultural resources of the Chesapeake Bay watershed for the enjoyment, education and inspiration of this and future generations. We empower the conservation community with access to the latest data and technology. We partnered to help create 206 new public access sites and permanently protect some of the Bay’s special places like Werowocomoco, Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge, Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad National Historical Park, Mallows Bay National Marine Sanctuary, Fort Monroe National Monument, Elktonia Beach and Pissacoack along Fones Cliffs on the Rappahannock River. www.chesapeakeconservancy.org