Speaker biographies

Aidan Barnes

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Aidan Barnes is the Director of Programs and Partnerships at the C&O Canal Trust. Originally from Michigan, they have a background in outdoor and experiential education, including teaching English in…

David Brooks

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David Brooks is currently appointed as the Education Director at Schoharie Crossing State Historic Site in Fort Hunter, N.Y. – within the system of sites operated by the NYS Office…

Ralph Buglass

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Ralph Buglass is a C&O Canal Association member who has led several nature walks for the organization focusing on trees. He is also a frequent speaker for Montgomery History, the…

Joel Cohen

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Dr. Joel Cohen’s career began as a Peace Corps agricultural Volunteer in Nepal’s upland rice farming communities. Upon returning to the U.S., he completed his doctoral degree on the genetic…

Stacy Leroy Daniels

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Dr. Stacy Leroy Daniels (PhD, University of Michigan is a chemical-environmental engineer with experiences in large and small businesses, teaching, consulting, nonprofit organizations, and historical societies (inc. the American Canal…

Elizabeth Fitzsimmons

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Liz has been a destination marketing professional for more than 20 years where she has effectively communicated to consumers through a variety of marketing platforms, to encourage visitation for the…

Martha Capwell Fox

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Martha Capwell Fox has been the Historian and Archives Coordinator for the National Canal Museum, a program of the Delaware & Lehigh National Heritage Corridor, since 2012. She is the…

David Gilbert

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David Gilbert has spent the past 40 years exploring 19th century mill sites, raceways, and old canals along the Potomac and Shenandoah rivers and their many tributaries. His fascination with…

Karen Gray

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Born in Big Valley, Alberta, Karen Gray grew up in Spokane, Washington and she holds a BA from Whitworth University in Spokane; a three-year post-graduate degree from the Harvard Divinity…

Emily Durán Hewitt

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Emily Durán Hewitt started at the C&O Canal National Historical Park as a seasonal Interpretive Ranger in Williamsport and Hancock. In 2012, she became the Volunteer Program Manager based out…

Brian Joyner

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Brian Joyner, PE, is a Norfolk, Virginia based coastal engineer at Moffatt & Nichol who focuses on the planning and design of coastal resilience infrastructure projects.  He specializes in detailed…

Robert Kapsch

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Robert J. Kapsch received his B.S. in engineering from Rutgers University; a M.S. in management and a M.A. in American Studies, both from the George Washington University; a Ph.D. in…

Hollie Lynch

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Hollie Lynch is Education Program Coordinator at the C&O Canal National Historical Park.

Rod Mackler

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Rod Mackler is an active volunteer in the C&O Canal National Historical Park. He was appointed to the Park’s federal advisory commission in July 2019. He has served as first…

Daphne Mayer

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Daphne Mayer has been the Museum & Education Director for the Delaware & Lehigh National Heritage Corridor since 2017.  She oversees the operation of the National Canal Museum and its…

Blyth McManus

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Blyth McManus became interested in material culture while earning her master's degree in art history. By a happy coincidence, her academic backgound in American art and material culture of the…

Bill Miles

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Mr. Miles has been the managing engineer for US Waterways for Bergmann in Rochester, NY for the past 32 years. He obtained his bachelor's degree in Civil Engineering at Syracuse…

Derrick Pratt

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Derrick Pratt is the Museum Educator and Interim Curator at the Erie Canal Museum in Syracuse, NY. A native of the canal community of Chittenango, NY, Derrick received a B.A…

Joe Reed

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Joseph (Joe) Reed is the Park Civil Engineer & Engineering Services Team Leader for the C&O Canal NHP, serving as a full-time federal employee of the National Park Service (NPS).…

Abbie Ricketts

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Abbie Ricketts operates a long running business in downtown Brunswick just off the canal. She has served in her community as a Main Street Chairman, Greater Brunswick Area Chamber of…

Doug Riegner

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Doug Riegner serves as Director of Community Relations for the Great Allegheny Passage Conservancy. Their mission is to strengthen and support allied trail partners to ensure a high-quality experience for…

Deidra Ritchie

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Currently serve as Executive Director of the Canal Place Preservation & Development Authority (CPPDA)and the Passages of the Western Potomac Heritage Area (PWPHA). I was born and raised in Frostburg,…

Cliff Robinson, Jr.

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Clifford Robinson Jr. is currently the Vice Chairman of the Delaware and Hudson Transportation Heritage Council (DHTHC), the Executive Director of the Neversink Feeder and Canal Conservancy (NFCC), the moderator…

Tracy Salvagno

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Tracy Lynn (Hixon) Salvagno is a lifelong resident of Hancock, Maryland. Her paternal roots in Hancock date back to mid 1800’s . She is the unofficial assistant Town Historian and…

Ralph Salvagno

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Ralph Salvagno M.D. is a semi-retired orthopaedic surgeon and a former Mayor of Hancock (2017-2021). Having previously served as Chief of Staff at Meritus Medical Center , he currently serves…

Dan Spedden

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As the President of Visit Hagerstown Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB), Dan serves as the voice for the hospitality industry in Washington County, Maryland, organizing diverse tourism assets into one…

Burton Suedel

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Dr. Suedel is a research biologist at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Engineer Research and Development Center, Environmental Laboratory in Vicksburg, Mississippi. He obtained his bachelor's degree in…

Joshua A. Trott

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My name is Joshua Trott and I am currently an intern with the park service through the American Conservation Experience Emerging Professionals in Conservation (ACE EPIC) program. My background focuses…

John Ward

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John Ward is an Associate Professor and Chair of the Geography and Anthropology Department at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside.  In addition, he serves as Director of GIS for the College…

Daniel Wiles

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Dan was born and raised in the Finger Lakes Region New York State.  Dan and his wife Lisa have been familiar faces at canal symposiums, festivals and events for many…

Elke Witt

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Born 21.10.1959 in the region Lutherstadt Wittenberg. Profession: Geograph with a diploma (in german: Diplom-Geograph) , Martin-Luther-University Halle-Wittenberg 1982. Since 1990 general manager of the Tourist Association,  UNESCO World Heritage…

August 30 – September 2, 2021
Hagerstown, Maryland USA