25th Anniversary of the ACE Basin
A Grand Vision for Conservation Bios and Titles of our Spearkers
Colden Battey, Chairman
Nemours Wildlife Foundation Board
A member of Harvey and Battey, PA since 1963, Mr. Battery has a diverse history of serving the residents of Beaufort County and the surrounding Lowcountry. Mr. Battery served as Chairman of Beaufort County Council for 8 years and was Chairman of the Board of FirstBank, a federally chartered bank, from its inception in 1986, until it merged with First National Bank in 1999.
In addition to serving as Chairman of the Board of Nemours Wildlife Foundation, Mr. Battey served as a member of the South Carolina State Ports Authority and currently serves on the Jasper Port Authority.
Ernie Wiggers, President and CEO
Nemours Wildlife Foundation
Dr. Wiggers was born in Newberry County, South Carolina and grew up on a small rural farm where his interest in the outdoors developed. He received two degrees in wildlife science from Clemson University and his PhD from Texas Tech University. He was on the faculty and later became Chair of the Fish and Wildlife Department at the University of Missouri. In 1999 Dr. Wiggers returned to his home state and assumed the role of founding Director of the Nemours Wildlife Foundation. Over the past 15 years, the Foundation's role in scientific investigations has grown with almost two dozen graduate students studying topics as diverse as bobwhite quail, eastern diamondback rattle snake, wild turkeys, clapper rails and mottled ducks. These studies have been in collaboration with several universities including Clemson University, University of South Carolina, University of Georgia, and Mississippi State University. Dr. Wiggers helped establish the SC Prescribed Fire Council and has served as state chair of this Council and the SC Chapter of the Wildlife Society. Dr. Wiggers is currently the CEO and President of the Nemours Wildlife Foundation and serves on the ACE Basin Task Force.
Charles Lane, Chairman ACE Basin Task Force
Mr. Lane is the managing member of Holcombe, Fair & Lane, a land and commercial real estate firm located in Charleston, South Carolina. From the beginning of the ACE Basin Project, Mr. Lane has been a dedicated member and fierce supporter. He serves as the Chairman of the ACE Basin Task Force. Additionally, Mr. Lane properly served as the first Chairman of The South Carolina Conservation Bank Board and as a board member for many conservation minded organization to include the South Carolina chapter of The Nature Conservancy, Delta Waterfowl, Ducks Unlimited, Inc., and the Coastal Conservation League. Mr. Lane received his Bachelor of Arts from Clemson University in 1977. In 1998, he was awarded the distinguished alumni award. In 2008, he received recognition as a Hero of Conservation by Field and Stream Magazine.
Michael McShane, Board Member of Nemours Wildlife Foundation
Past Chairman, ACE Basin Task Force
Mr. McShane of Johns Island has long served the citizens of the Lowcountry as past Chairman of the S.C. Natural Resources Board, past chairman of the ACE Basin Task Force and past president of the Board of Trustees of the Lowcountry Open Land Trust.
Today, Mr. McShane is principal of Johns Island Enterprise LLC, a holding company of family business interests and continues to serve his community as a member of the ACE Basin Task Force, Board of Trustees for MUSC Children’s Hospital, Board of Directors for Nemours Wildlife Foundation.
Paul Schmidt, Chief Conservation Officer
Ducks Unlimited Inc.
Mr. Schmidt is Chief Conservation Officer for Ducks Unlimited Inc. He leads DU's national and international conservation programs and serves as a member of the senior executive team. His responsibilities include supervision of all of DU's public policy, science and habitat conservation operations, including four regional offices focused on conservation delivery and a governmental affairs office in Washington, D.C. dedicated to public policy work. Prior to joining Ducks Unlimited’s executive team, Mr. Schmidt was Assistant Director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for Migratory Birds.
Robert Bonnie, Under Secretary
U.S. Department of Agriculture Conservation Services
Mr. Bonnie is the Under Secretary for Natural Resources and Environment. At USDA, Bonnie oversees the Forest Service and Natural Resources Conservation Service on a variety of natural resource issues, working closely with the Farm Service Agency. He also served as Senior Advisor to Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack for environment and climate change. Prior to joining USDA, Mr. Bonnie was vice president for land conservation for the Environmental Defense Fund where he focused on developing incentives to reward farmers, ranchers and forest owners for stewardship activities on private lands. Mr. Bonnie has master's degrees in forestry and resource economics from Duke University. He grew up on a farm in Kentucky and now lives in Virginia.