Barbara Birdsey

President

Barbara Birdsey is the founder of the Pegasus Foundation, a nonprofit organization committed to animal protection, environmental preservation and public education in various parts of the United States, the Caribbean and Kenya. Previously she founded the Orenda Wildlife Land Trust in Massachusetts. Prior to that, she was a licensed social worker for the Department of Social Services, Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

She graduated from Boston University with a bachelor’s of associates in psychology and from Bridgewater State College with a masters of Education in counseling. She has been visiting or living in the Treasure Coast area of Florida for many years and currently divides her time between Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Florida, where she has interests in various environmental projects. Her board experience includes:

  • Provincetown Center for Coastal Studies
  • Alliance to Protect Nantucket Sound
  • Hobe Sound Animal Protection League
  • Save the Manatee Club
  • Cape Cod Stranding Network
  • Academy of Performing Arts

Compact of Cape Cod Conservation Trust (where she currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Charles H. Thomsen Land Fund, which loans and disburses funds to Cape Cod land trusts)

Richard Geisinger Jr.

Vice-President

Richard Geisinger Jr. has over 35 years in Real Estate related business .He has owned and operated a real estate company, construction company and as well as participated in key developments in the area. His employment experience include Prudential Geisinger Realty, Inc. and Sailfish Point Realty. He also served as the President of the Realtor Association of Martin County.

Richard received his BA at the University of Memphis. He is a Licensed Florida General Contractor and Real Estate Broker. He is also the Founding Member and Past President of the Lyric Theatre, Center for the Arts and YMCA of Martin County, and he is an active board member for Global Citadelle Ministries (Haitian Orphanage and is the active president of the Martin County Tax Payers Association.

Scott Turnbull

Past President

Scott Turnbull is resident of Stuart and a business, securities, and trust litigator with the Law Firm of Crary Buchanan, a cornerstone of the Treasure Coast community for more than 80 years. Scott joined Crary Buchanan after serving as a federal law clerk for two years and managing a national litigation practice for a large Michigan based law firm. In addition to his law degree, Scott has a masters in Business Administration, and has served on various legal committees and boards.

In addition to advocating for clients, Scott is an advocate for conservation and preserving South Florida’s history. He is avid reader of Florida history and biographies on the presidents of the United States. Scott is most widely read on Theodore Roosevelt and takes much of his conservation ethic from President Roosevelt’s efforts to protect and preserve America’s natural resources such as the national wildlife refuges in Florida at Pelican Island, Passage Key, and Island Bay. Like these refuges, Martin County has treasured lands for continued conservation and wildlife protection.

Appreciating nature through hiking, kayaking, camping, birding, and hunting, Scott sees continued opportunities to preserve South Florida’s history while conserving Martin County’s natural resources.

Laura Haase

A vital contributor to Martin County Parks and Recreation Department for nearly 15 years, Laura first earned her bachelor’s of science in Parks, Recreation and Tourism Management in 1989 at North Carolina State University in Raleigh, N.C.

Moving to Martin County in 1990, she served as assistant activities director for Indian River Plantation, recreation coordinator in Jensen Beach, and recreation program supervisor for Martin County before last attaining her current role as recreation administrator.

In that role, she handled a variety of duties, chiefly grant-writing and overseeing the department’s after-school programs, community centers, summer camps, special events, athletic programs and general programming.

She’s committed to creating and sustaining innovative programming that provides recreational, educational and cultural programming to our youth. This personal principle is evident beyond the bounds of her career. While currently employed with the Children’s Services Council, she’s active with the American Red Cross in Martin County and has served as board member and secretary for Tykes and Teens, a not-for-profit dedicated to enriching the lives of children and their families through mental health counseling and substance abuse prevention treatment.

Joe Connolly Remembered

Founding member Joe Connolly 1932-2009

Treasured Lands Foundation fondly remembers founding board member Joseph Connolly, who passed away Aug. 6, 2009, due to complications from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known Lou Gehrig’s disease.

Highly respected and widely liked, Joe’s strength of mind, body and spirit propelled him to heights of accomplishments in public service, business, academia and the athletic field. He also devoted his energy and focus to protecting Martin County’s natural environment, lush green space and bird and wildlife habitats.

His persona dignified, his nature soft-spoken, his leadership style calm and understated, Joe served Jupiter Island as town mayor, vice mayor and town commissioner for a combined 11 years, and town manager for three years. Nevertheless, he still fulfilled an ambitious schedule of nonprofit leadership and volunteerism, spanning everything from environmental protection for threatened species and habitat to character growth and development for at-risk children.

In addition to Treasured Lands Foundation, he served with Blowing Rocks Nature Conservancy, 1,000 Friends of Florida and Hobe Sound Nature Center.

Founder and board member of Big Brothers/Big Sisters International, Joe was the chair of the national board for Big Brothers/Big Sisters of America. He was one of only 19 people in the organization’s 100-plus years of operation to receive the Special Lifetime Achievement Award.

Retired as senior partner in the Boston-based international consulting firm, Harbridge House, Joe held a bachelor’s of arts degree from Harvard and an MBA from Northwestern University. For more than 35 years he taught business policy and strategy at Northwestern and Northeastern universities. He provided a broad range of management consulting and executive development services to major companies around the world.

An avid distance runner, Joe ran in 92 marathons, even winning several Ironman Triathlons. His tenacity and endurance were on display as he battled ALS.

Though the disease—characteristically rapid in its progression—hampered his overall mobility and ability to speak, it didn’t damp his determination to contribute professionally. He attended meetings, weighed in on important town matters—communicating in writing after his speech failed him—and all around continued living the stalwart example of service and dedication that defined his career.