The Faces of The Nature Foundation
Douglas A. Coleman
As founder and Executive Director for The Nature Foundation at Wintergreen, Doug Coleman has been protecting the heritage and beauty of the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia for over 30 years. His national and international conservation and education efforts through seminars, study programs, nature walks and other informative group sessions held at the Foundation have encouraged the understanding, appreciation, and conservation of the area’s natural resources.
Armed with an undergraduate degree in biology from Virginia’s Bridgewater College and having done graduate work at the University of North Carolina’s Highlands Biological Station and the University of Delaware, Coleman began working with the developers of Wintergreen Resort in 1975 to create a plan to protect the 6,000 acres that were designated for conservation. He personally designed the Wintergreen community’s environmental policies and natural sciences programs, which are still in effect today.
Coleman founded the 20-year-old Spring Wildflower Symposium held annually at Wintergreen and in 1994, propelled the Wintergreen Nature Foundation into a science-based research and education non-profit organization located at Wintergreen Resort in the central Blue Ridge Mountains.
He has generated a number of awards for the Foundation, including launching the program that won the National Environmental Achievement Award for resort communities in 1987, the Southern Appalachian Botanical Society’s Windler Award for the best systematic paper of the year in 1993, and the Phoenix International Environmental Award from the Society of American Travel Writers in 1999.
He recently initiated The Natural Gardens of Wintergreen, a strategic effort to join the community together to support landscaping efforts that protect propagated native plant tissue collected in and around Wintergreen’s 11,000 acres. In addition, he served on the Flora of Virginia advisory committee and worked on The New Flora of Virginia, the first comprehensive illustrated flora of the Commonwealth.
Membership and Special Events Coordinator
Hey! I’m Liz, the Membership and Special Events Coordinator at The Nature Foundation at Wintergreen. I grew up splitting my time between Augusta County and Miami, Florida, and learned to ski at Wintergreen as a child. After earning a degree in advertising/marketing from Florida International University, I returned to the mountains that I love. My husband, Matt, and I welcomed a daughter in 2013 – my dream is that she will one day love these mountains as I do.
I grew up outside Annapolis Maryland fishing the tributaries of the Chesapeake Bay and wandering the woods behind my house. I attended Virginia Tech (go Hokies!) and received a degree in Forest Resource Management. After spending a few years in the wilds of the Adirondacks, I came to The Nature Foundation as the Forest Management Coordinator. When I am not busy shuttling one of my four children to various activities, I can be found canoeing a lovely Virginia river, traipsing through the woods, coaching high school wrestling or on a date with my lovely wife.
Hi there! I’m Kathie, the Education Director at The Nature Foundation at Wintergreen. I hail from Northern Virginia and have made my home in Lynchburg, VA. I have provided environmental education in the Central Virginia area for over 15 years. I am passionate about conservation and instilling the appreciation of Virginia’s beautiful and unique resources.
My educational background is in Biology and German. I earned my degrees at George Mason University in Fairfax, VA. I am a member the North American Association for Environmental Education and of the Central Blue Ridge Master Naturalist Chapter. I spend my free time in the garden, woods or on the river. My husband and I have gratefully raised two bright young women, who share our values in caring for our natural world.
As the Education Director for TNFW, I provide environmental education for the Nelson County community and to surrounding counties. I love Wintergreen for it’s near perfect beauty and the fellowship of the Wintergreen community. I thoroughly enjoy offering programs, activities and “road trips” for our members; and I especially appreciate each and every volunteer who has made this position the best I ever had. Thank you!
The Nature Foundation Bookkeeper
Hi, I’m Sharon Bolmey. I consider myself a southern girl, growing up in Mississippi, Louisiana and Alabama. When I was 12 my family moved to Fairfax, VA where the school put me in speech therapy to eradicate my southern drawl. We soon moved to California where I attended California State University Northridge, with an undergraduate degree in Psychology. I wanted more scientific job skills and continued with a graduate program in Industrial Psychology. I intended to become a researcher focusing on coal mining safety. At that time, Kaiser Permanente Medical Care program was scooping up all the Industrial Psychology graduates, so I went along for the ride. Initially I was doing staffing and methods studies in hospitals and clinics. After a few years, I fell in love with, and married my boss (Armando). Management promptly transferred me to the finance department where I was responsible for negotiating and reporting on hospital budgets. Not where I planned to go but I liked it! I became a stay at home mom for our two sons, Michael and Nicholas.
We moved to Ivy 19 years ago to escape the hectic pace and earthquakes of Southern California. When our sons grew up to be amazing young men, I returned to work part time in office management and bookkeeping. My most recent job was working as a finance associate for The Boys & Girls Club of Central VA. I have more hobbies than I can tell you about and love to travel, especially on or near water.
Armando and I hope to travel The Great Loop when we retire, and are just beginning to look at boats and contemplate the vast amount of knowledge we will need to acquire.
I’m very excited to be working as a bookkeeper for The Nature Foundation! Doug, Liz, Josh and Kathie are a talented team to be working with and I am so pleased to see the dedicated support of board members and so many wonderful volunteers. I feel joyful each time I drive up the mountain, seeing the mountains, forest and clouds. I have made friends with a chipmunk who lives in the front yard of Trillium house! Please stop by and say hi. I am in the office Tuesdays and Wednesdays.