VIRTUAL VALLEY TALK: PEOPLE, PARKS, PLANET
May 12 @ 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm
From supporting local parks to protecting a multi-state watershed, advocating for the environment and our communities has never been more important. During Love Your Park week, FOW will be joined by speakers from the Coalition for the Delaware River Watershed (CDRW) and the Philadelphia Parks Alliance for a conversation on building coalitions, mobilizing communities, and effective advocacy to create change – as well as how you can make a difference!
Grab a drink, get comfortable with a laptop (or smartphone), and join the program via Zoom. This event will also be recorded for participants.
Sandra Meola (CDRW) has been serving as the Director of the Coalition for the Delaware River Watershed since 2018. Sandra is responsible for directing advocacy strategy to advance policy priorities, building relationships among a diverse group of stakeholders, and connecting the dots for effective partnerships. Prior to her role with the Coalition, Sandra served as NY/NJ Baykeeper’s Policy and Communications Director where she founded a plastic pollution campaign consisting of research, education, and advocacy. She received an Environmental Champion Award from the US Environmental Protection Agency for this work. Sandra earned a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and History and a Master’s degree in Public Policy from Monmouth University. Sandra was part of Lead NJ’s 2017 graduating class and a member of the 2019-2020 NJ Conservation Leadership Program cohort.
Alex Doty (PPA) has a strong professional history in bringing small organizations forward with focused strategic planning, growing coalitions, and creative fundraising to support this growth. As Executive Director of the League of American Bicyclists in Washington, DC, he oversaw a national summit, built stronger local advocacy, stabilized their membership program and consolidated data information. Locally, he led the Bicycle Coalition for 11 years, growing it from two staff and a small budget to a staff of 20 with a budget of $1.2 million. He has shared best practices with partner organizations, worked to advance equity, diversity and inclusion within his organizations, and cultivated skills and growth among his staff.
Lula Defersha (PPA) joined the Philadelphia Parks Alliance in 2020 and serves as Campaign Director. In this role, she connects, strengthens, advocates, and builds trust between parks and recreation staff and partner networks. Lula is passionate about solving local and global challenges, empowering communities to be leaders, advocates, and agents of positive change, and strengthening stakeholder relationships/partnerships that reinforce and sustain the execution of a social mission.