Recognized as a leader in her field, Fran P. Mainella attributes her ongoing success to the three C’s: courage, connections, and communications. She has spent more than four decades as a certified parks and recreation professional, steadily working her way up the chain. She jumped at every opportunity she came across and, over the years, built a vast network of colleagues and peers. Ms. Mainella’s journey culminated with her appointment as the 16th director of the National Park Service of the U.S. Department of the Interior in 2001. She was the first woman to hold this position, and was nominated by then-President Bush. Previous employers include the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, the Florida Recreation and Park Association, the Tallahassee Parks and Recreation Department, and the Town of Lake Park, Fla.
Now, Ms. Mainella is using her background to help others in the industry. She has been the president of Fran Mainella Consulting, LLC, since 2014, and a visiting scholar at Clemson University since 2006. She also lends her voice to presentations at venues like the upcoming League of Women in Government Annual Symposium. She is currently a board member for The Children in Nature Network and for Guest Services Inc. She also serves as the vice-chair of the South Florida National Park Trust, a philanthropic arm for the South Florida National Parks. In 2015, she presented the Pugsley Award to Senator Lamar Alexander, and in 2014, she spoke at the Massachusetts Park and Recreation Association’s Annual Conference. Additionally, she was the keynote speaker at the 16th Water Conservation and Xeriscape National Conference, the Designing Natural Play Areas Conference, the Tennessee Parks and Recreation Conference, the Indiana Park and Recreation Conference, the Great Lakes Park Training Institute, the Women as Leaders Certificate Program, and the Nebraska Park and Recreation Conference, among others.
Well-known in the environmental health community, Lori Braunesreither is proud of how much she has grown. She started her professional journey with the goal of working in a crime laboratory, but as the field was relatively new, there weren’t too many open positions. She ended up taking a job with Ventura County Environmental Health instead, and it was there that her career really took off. Her coworkers and peers helped her figure out her place in the industry by directing her to different certifications and departments, ultimately leading to her involvement in related professional organizations like the California Environmental Health Association. Ms. Braunesreither was welcomed with open arms, and she hasn’t looked back since. She loves the close bonds she has formed with her colleagues and the work she does. She is currently a senior environmental health specialist for Contra Costa County Environmental Health through Contra Costa Health Services.
Over the years, Ms. Braunesreither has become a respected and trusted voice in her field. She presented “Introduction to California Environmental Quality Act” at the California Environmental Health Association in 2011, “Solid Waste 101” at the Annual Educational Symposium of the California Environmental Health Association in 2011, and “How to Write a Solid Waste Facility Permit” for the Northern Update of the California Environmental Health Association in 2006. She also created manuals and binders for the Executive Committee and developed training manuals for the board of directors of the California Environmental Health Association, and edited “CEHA Bulletin” and “The Mission Bell” for the group.
Art | Environmental Services
Driven by her belief that everyone has a moral obligation to do the best they can, Elizabeth Franz Albert has dedicated her life to being a beneficial member of her community. She has spent the majority of her career as a conservationist and environmentalist, striving for a cleaner and healthier world. In her pursuit of a healthy environment, Ms. Albert campaigned against the herbicide Dacthal, which causes lymphoma and Parkinson's disease and is used by lawn care companies, home owners, farmers, and golf course greens keepers. She is also an organic gardener, growing produce without harmful pesticides.
Another key part of her professional journey was art. She discovered her talent as a painter early on, and participated in several exhibitions. Her specialty was portraits and still life. Her crowning achievement was having her art praised by the architect William McCoy, who designed the Pickwick Theatre in Park Ridge, IL. Ms. Albert’s career progressed again when father offered her his seat on the stock exchange, trusting her to invest wisely. She proceeded to thrive as an investor in stocks and real estate.