Corridor Connect

Ecology + Economy for a Better Florida

Save the Date

We had such a fun and productive time with you at the 2022 summit, we’re doing it again!  Save the date for Florida Wildlife Corridor Foundation’s signature summit: Corridor Connect: Ecology + Economy for a Better Florida, happening September 26-28, 2023, at the Caribe Royale in Orlando.

Corridor Connect brings together leaders from the business and conservation community to look for solutions and identify ways to help balance Florida’s growth while also protecting the remaining half-million acres of critical Corridor links that are at risk of development by 2030.

Join us for three days filled with all things Corridor, ecology, and economy to be part of the focused conversation on Florida’s most at-risk resource. For updates about tickets, speakers, and content, be sure to subscribe.

Summit Program Committee

2023 Corridor Connect Committee Members provide program and presenter expertise to ensure that we deliver a collective culture that’s inclusive of all corridor voices and interest. Meet our committee members!

Mallory Dimmitt
Mallory Dimmitt
Chief Executive Officer, Florida Wildlife Corridor Foundation

Mallory Dimmitt is the inaugural CEO of the Corridor Foundation and former Vice President of Strategic Development for Lykes Bros. Inc., a fifth-generation family-owned agribusiness based in Florida. Previously, Mallory led The Nature Conservancy’s Colorado Plateau Initiative from Telluride, Colorado, assessing large-scale conservation opportunities in a four-state region of the West, and prior to that directed the Southwest Colorado Project for the Conservancy’s Colorado Chapter. She has served as a member of Telluride’s Town Council and has worked with local, regional, state, and federal agencies and organizations on natural resource issues.

Mallory earned her B.S. in Natural Resources from the University of the South in Sewanee, Tennessee. She was awarded a Doris Duke Conservation Fellowship at Duke University’s Nicholas School of Environment, where she earned a Masters of Environmental Management (MEM) in Environmental Economics and Policy. Mallory is an alumnus of Class IX of the Wedgworth Leadership Institute for Agriculture and Natural Resources and a current member of Leadership Florida Cornerstone Class 39.

Jason Lauritsen
Jason Lauritsen
Chief Conservation Officer, Florida Wildlife Corridor Foundation

Jason Lauritsen implements the vision and mission of the organization to connect, protect and restore essential conservation habitat statewide. Jason’s expertise includes environmental conservation and restoration, land management science, wetland protection, and Wood Stork recovery in the Western Everglades. He is an experienced speaker, educator, and writer who has authored numerous papers, publications, and presentations throughout his more than 20-year career in conservation and natural resources management.

Lauritsen has served on the Estero Bay Agency for Bay Management, SWFL Watershed Council, Wood Stork Monitoring and Recovery Group and the Lee County Density Reduction/Groundwater Resource Advisory Committee. At the crossroads of science and policy, Jason developed tools and refined regulatory approaches to improve impact assessment and mitigation for wetlands and listed species for State and Federal agencies. He has provided consultation to agencies and private land owners on preserve design and configuration to maximize local and landscape level benefits to wildlife. In 2016, he served as a delegate to China on a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) exchange program to share expertise in wetland restoration and mitigation.

Lauritsen has a Master’s in Science Education from the University of Iowa and a Bachelor’s in Animal Ecology from Iowa State University. He worked as a rainforest guide in Ecuador in 1992. In 2001, he joined Audubon at the Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary as the Natural Resources Manager and prescribed burn boss. Continuing his career with Audubon he became the Big Cypress Ecosystem Science Coordinator in 2005 before being promoted to Assistant Sanctuary Director in 2007 and Sanctuary Director in 2012 where he led the crown jewel of Audubon’s Sanctuary network until Dec of 2018.

Lauritsen is committed to landscape level conservation and long planning horizons to achieve sustainability. He advocates the pursuit of a deep science-based understanding of our complex and often fragile ecosystem that undergirds the quality of life for both people and wildlife. If future generations are to enjoy the beauty and diversity of a healthy natural world, Jason believes it will require broad stakeholder support and partnerships that are central to effective land stewardship.

Elizabeth Guthrie
Elizabeth Guthrie
Collaboration Teams Facilitator, Florida Wildlife Corridor Foundation

Elizabeth comes to the Florida Wildlife Corridor Foundation with over a decade of conservation experience in Florida. Previously she served as the Director of Land Stewardship for North Florida Land Trust, and as an Adjunct Professor of Natural Sciences at Flagler College. Originally from North Carolina, Elizabeth earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She also holds a Master of Science in ecological restoration from the University of Florida and has earned graduate certificates in both GIS and natural resources policy and administration. Elizabeth is an alumnus of Class XIX of the Florida Natural Resources Leadership Institute.

Elizabeth currently resides in St. Augustine where she serves as an appointee on the Land Acquisition and Management Program (LAMP) Advisory Board for St. Johns County, and as a member of the inaugural Science Advisory Board for Flagler College. In her free time, she enjoys kayak fishing, gardening, and live music.

Donayle Whitmore
Donayle Whitmore
Director of Outreach Programs, Florida Wildlife Corridor Foundation

Donayle is responsible for program oversight, including mural exhibits, expeditions, corridor partnerships, and various other events and initiatives supporting corridor protection and growth. She is a St. Louis native who currently resides in Clearwater, Fl. She brings over twenty years of nonprofit leadership, development, and advocacy. Holds a B.A. in Mass Communications from Southern University A&M College. She has served as a catalyst for change in various communities throughout her career. In her most noteworthy moments, she led School Choice Missouri a state-wide initiative which advocated for equitable educational opportunities for students throughout the State of Missouri and beyond. She also founded Ptah Academy of Arts & Sciences, St. Louis’s first Holistic Elementary School. She was Gubernatorially appointed to the St. Louis Board of Elections, Missouri State Board of Education, and Missouri’s Women’s Council. She has also served two consecutive federally appointed terms with the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights under Presidents George Bush Jr. and Barack Obama. She is a published author and poet who loves the beach life and is a proud parent of her two daughters and grandson.

Dr. Joshua Daskin
Dr. Joshua Daskin
Director of Conservation, Archbold Biological Station
Dr. Joshua Daskin is a leading voice for the use of science in conservation of large landscapes and biodiversity. He is the Director of Conservation at Archbold Biological Station in Highlands County, FL where he oversees land management and application of science for local-to-regional conservation. Daskin is among the foremost proponents of the campaign to protect the 18-million-acre Florida Wildlife Corridor.
Previously, Daskin helped reestablish scientific capacity in Gorongosa National Park, Mozambique during the park’s extensive post-war restoration and developed a new scientific understanding of how war affects wildlife Africa-wide.
Daskin earned a B.S. in Biology and Environmental Studies from Brandeis University, a M.Sc. in Zoology while a Fulbright Scholar at James Cook University in Australia, and a Ph.D. in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from Princeton University.
Heather Obara
Heather Obara
Associate Director, Alachua Conservation Trust

Heather has been working with Florida non-profits for more than 12 years and joined the land trust community in 2019. She is a native Floridian and grew up on the Gulf Coast. Heather received her B.A. in English Literature in 2010 from Florida State University and her Juris Doctor with Honors in Environmental and Earth Law in 2013 from The Dwayne O. Andreas Barry School of Law. She is licensed to practice law in Florida.

Heather started her career in springs science and conservation in 2014 with the Howard T. Odum Florida Springs Institute before joining ACT. As Associate Director, Heather works with ACT staff to promote the organization and its programs to donors, community partners, and the public. She also assists with conservation easements and acquisitions. Prior to becoming Associate Director, Heather served as ACT’s Community Outreach Coordinator.

Jane West
Jane West
Policy and Planning Director, 1000 Friends of Florida

Jane West is the Policy & Planning Director for 1000 Friends of Florida, where she works with
citizens to provide guidance on critical growth and development issues facing communities
across Florida. She lobbies the Florida legislature to promote legislation for sound community
planning that protects Florida’s natural resources. Prior to joining 1000 Friends in 2019, she
litigated precedentsetting environmental and land use issues in Florida, in both state and federal
courts. She is an AVrated attorney admitted to both in Florida and Maine, as well as the southern
and middle districts of Florida, the 7th and 11th Circuit Court of Appeals and the US Supreme Court.
She was raised in Budapest, Hungary before moving to Florida as a teenager. She served as the
Chair of the City of St. Augustine Beach’s Planning and Zoning Board and is currently a
Commissioner of the St. Augustine Port, Waterway & Beach Commission.

Noah Valenstein
Managing Partner, Brightwater Strategies Group, PLLC
Julie Morris
Florida and Gulf Programs Manager, National Wildlife Refuge Association

2022 Florida Wildlife Corridor

Summit Reel (60 sec)

The inaugural-multi-day Florida Wildlife Corridor Summit took place over three days in April 2022 to convene thought leaders for discussions, collaboration, and problem-solving all geared toward conserving the Florida Wildlife Corridor.

The Summit united close to 300 conservationists, business and real estate experts, landowners and producers, policy makers and state agency leaders to work on some of the most pressing concerns facing the Corridor today.

Whether you missed the Summit or are looking to relive it, here you can watch panel discussions, keynote speakers, and get a taste for the Corridor Academy breakout sessions.

2022 Florida Wildlife Corridor

Summit Opening

The Florida Wildlife Corridor spans approximately 18 million acres of contiguous open space, more than 40% of the state. This land is home to Florida’s wildlife, the headwaters of many rivers and wetlands, and to vital working lands, including ranches and farms.

The Corridor consists of both public and private natural and working lands, including forests, swamps, fields, pastures, farmlands, and timberlands.

More than half (54%) of the Corridor – 9.6 million acres – is currently conserved, protected from future development. The remaining 8.1 million acres (46%) are considered opportunity areas for conservation. Each speaker explores the history of this vital connected landscape, the path taken to achieve designation and the road ahead as we envision the future.


  • Hilary Swain, Archbold Biological Station, Executive Director

  • Carlton Ward Jr, Wildpath, Founder
  • Mallory Dimmitt, Florida Wildlife Corridor Foundation, CEO

Fireside Chat

Considerations for a Connected Landscape

The State of Florida has spent decades protecting land to allow nature to flourish, create resilience and provide for abundant opportunities for recreation. The efforts of P2000 and Florida Forever have led to 2.6M acres of much needed protection. As we face a changing climate and rapid development, understanding the added value of connected landscapes to both nature and the economy gives us an opportunity to act before it’s too late.


  • Temperince Morgan (Moderator),The Nature Conservancy, Florida Executive Director
  • Gary Tabor, Center for Large Landscape Conservation, President
  • Maurice Pearson, MSE Group, a Montrose Company, Principal Scientist
  • Betty Osceola, Miccosukee Tribe, Owner Buffalo Tiger Airboat Tours
  • Emily Purcell, Ducks Unlimited, Director of Conservation Programs- South Atlantic

Fireside Chat

Building Blocks to Success

Successful conservation at scale will take collaborative efforts, new tools, and innovative financial mechanisms. Some efforts are already under way, but we need to look across sectors to increase our chances of success.


  • Traci Deen (Moderator), Conservation Florida, Chief Executive Officer
  • Ron Ritter, Mckinsey & Company, Partner
  • Anthony Cho, Future of Cities, Founder
  • Steve Brumby, Impact Observatory, CEO/CTO
  • Eric Eikenberg, The Everglades Foundation, Inc., Chief Executive Officer

Fostering a Shared Framework

For Conservation

Florida state agencies worked together to establish the Florida Wildlife Corridor Act and continue to work closely across state and federal agencies to build the Corridor’s protection. Each agency highlights their plans for protection and collaboration.


  • Jennifer Marshall, Florida Department of Transportation

  • Keith Rowell, FDACS-Florida Forest Service, Land Programs Administrator
  • Juan Hernandez, US Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service

  • Thomas Eason, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, Assistant Executive Director
  • Shawn Hamilton, Florida Department of Environmental Protection, Secretary
  • Noah Valenstein, (Moderator) Brightwater Strategies,, Managing Partner and former Secretary of Florida Department of Environmental Protection

Remarks from Speaker Designate of the Florida House,

Paul Renner

Paul Renner shares the journey that led to the unanimous passing of the Florida Wildlife Corridor Act.

Success Stories

Inspirational stories of conservation progress around the state, the country and the globe.


  • Jason Fischer: Disney’s Animals, Science, and Environment, Conservation Program Manager
  • Beth Pratt: National Wildlife Federation, Regional Executive Director, California Regional Center
  • Steve Boyes: Wild Bird Trust and Okavango Wilderness Project and National Geographic Explorer, CEO

  • Jason Lauritsen (Moderator), Florida Wildlife Corridor Foundation, Chief Conservation Officer

Corridor Academy:

Passion and Purpose, excerpt

This track took a deep dive into the role of storytelling and education in facilitating successful conservation outcomes. A day-long interactive session led by experts in their field that draws on real-world examples. Together, we explored tools for education, immersed ourselves in past expeditions, and learned how to harness the power of impact media to capture the hearts and minds of decision makers, stakeholders, and the public. This is a clip from the track featuring Rae Wynn-Grant and Vanessa Serrao. See the variety of speakers from the full track listed below.

Session Speakers:

  • Rae Wynn-Grant (Moderator), University of California at Santa Barbara (UCSB), Wildlife Ecologist

  • Vanessa Serrao, National Geographic Society , Executive Producer
  • Ross Donihue, Esri, Content Strategist Lead
  • Angeline Meeks, Archbold Biological Station, Conservation Cartographer
  • Alex Freeze, Center for Animal Human Relationships, Virginia Tech, Assistant Director
  • Gabby Salazar, University of Florida, National Geographic Explorer and Doctoral Student
  • Meredith Budd, Florida Wildlife Federation, Regional Policy Director
  • Blake Wheeler, Canvas of the Wild, Head of Operations & Technology
  • Jennifer Adler, PhD, Jennifer Adler Photography, Photojournalist | Director

Corridor Academy:

Scaling Solutions to Conservation, excerpt

This track looked at collaborative efforts, tools, and approaches from different scales and geographies that hold promise for application within the Florida Wildlife Corridor. Sessions included a showcase of effective collaboration examples from Florida and beyond, a discussion of the public and private approaches to closing conservation gaps, and the opportunity for participants to work together on developing conservation solutions for the Corridor in a hands-on, charette-style workshop. This is a clip from the track featuring Drew Bartlett, Katasha Cornwell, Bob Carey, Kae Hovatar, Dr. Mark Penning, Darren Joffe (Farmer D), and Billy Van Pelt. See the variety speakers from the full track listed below.

Session Speakers:

  • Lynn Cherry (Moderator): Carpe Diem Community Solutions, President

  • David Wolfe: NW Florida Sentinel Landscape, Private Lands Stewardship Coordinator
  • Jim McCarthy: North Florida Land Trust, Inc, President
  • Thomas Eason: Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, Assistant Executive Director
  • Samantha Browne: FDEP
  • Drew Bartlett: SFWMD
  • Katasha Cornwell: FDOT
  • Robert Carey: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Division Manager, Environmental Review
  • Kae Hovater: Florida Association of Mitigation Bankers, Executive Director
  • Dr. Mark Penning: Disney’s Animal Kingdom, VP, Animals, Science and Environment
  • Daron Joffe: Farmer D Consulting and Citizen Farmers, Founder, Citizen Farmers and Farmer D
  • Billy Van Pelt: American Farmland Trust, Director of External Relations and Senior Advisor

Corridor Academy:

Funding Conservation at Scale, excerpt

Conservation at the scale of the Corridor will require funding beyond what the State can provide. This track highlighted opportunities to increase funding for conservation from federal and private sources as well as explored new frontiers of public/private partnerships. This is a clip from the track that features Noah Valenstein, Buck MacLaughlin, Lindsay Stevens, and Jim Strickland. See the variety of speakers from the full track below.

Session Speakers:

  • Mallory Dimmitt (Moderator): Florida Wildlife Corridor Foundation, CEO

  • Charlie Houder: Alachua County, Director, Land Conservation and Management
  • Tim Telfer: Volusia County

  • Tabitha Biehl: Polk County Parks & Natural Resources, Land & Water Natural Areas Manager
  • Nick Wiley: Ducks Unlimited, Chief Operating Officer
  • Drew Bartlett: South Florida Water Management District

  • Katasha Cornwell: Florida Department of Transportation

  • Robert Carey: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Division Manager, Environmental Review
  • Kae Hovater: Florida Association of Mitigation Bankers, Executive Director
  • Dr. Mark Penning: Disney’s Animal Kingdom, VP, Animals, Science and Environment
  • Daron Joffe: Farmer D Consulting and Citizen Farmers, Founder, Citizen Farmers and Farmer D
  • Billy Van Pelt: American Farmland Trust, Director of External Relations and Senior Advisor
  • Buck MacLaughlin: Avon Park Air Force Range, Range Operations Officer
  • Lindsay Stevens: The Nature Conservancy, Director of Protection and Sustainable Communities Strategy
  • Jim Strickland: Strickland Ranch, Owner

Corridor Academy:

Frontiers in Corridor Science, excerpt

How can information and data advance the efficient and effective conservation of the Florida Wildlife Corridor? In this track we considered the important natural and human components of Corridor conservation, including biodiversity, water, and rural economies, and looked at how data can inform different methods of land protection. Participants had the opportunity to contribute their expertise and to help identify outstanding data needs. This clip features Eric Stinson, Elizabeth Boughton, Aldyen Donnelly, Josh Daskin, Jon Oetting, and Viv Slaughter. See the variety of speakers from the full track below.

Session Speakers:

  • Josh Daskin (Moderator), Archbold Biological Station, Director of Conservation

  • Jeff Schmucker: Central Florida Regional Planning Council, Director of Planning

  • Wendy Graham: University of Florida Water Institute, Professor and Director
  • Billy Van Pelt: American Farmland Trust, Director of External Relations and Senior Advisor
  • Beth Stys: USFWS, Regional Climate Adpatation Ecologist
  • Reed Noss: Florida Institute for Conservation Science, President
  • Stephanie Romañach: USGS
  • Elizabeth Boughton: Archbold Biological Station, Buck Island Ranch, Program Director, Associate Research Biologist
  • Vivienne Sclater: Archbold Biological Station, Director of Data and Technology
  • Jonathan Oetting: Florida State University, Chief of Conservation Planning Services
  • Dr. Mark Anderson: The Nature Conservancy, Lead Scientist
  • Dr. Tom Hoctor: University of Florida Center for Landscape Conservation Planning, Director
  • Eric Stinson: Agoro Carbon Alliance, Agronomist
  • Aldyen Donnelly: Nori Carbon, Co-founder and Director for Carbon Economics
  • Joseph Guthrie: Archbold, Program Director, Predator Prey Program
  • Jennifer Codo-Salisbury: Central Florida Regional Planning

Connecting Brand to Purpose 

Hear what we have in store for connecting brand to purpose. The morning began with a keynote address from Sylvia Earle followed by an interview on the Live Wildly Brand Campaign.


  • Sylvia Earle: National Geographic, Explorer and Oceanographer

  • Arnie Bellini: Bellini Better World Foundation, Founder

  • Jen Sissler (Moderator): Live Wildly, VP of Brand Marketing

  • Dan Sallick: Subject Matter, Partner & Co-Founder