Chesapeake Conservancy Welcomes New Board Members

Annapolis, Md. – Today, Chesapeake Conservancy announced that Principal Chief Keith F. Anderson of the Nansemond Indian Nation, Michelle Bailey Hedgepeth and Vibha Jain Miller have been elected to the organization’s board of directors. Thad Bench and Beattra Wilson have concluded their board service.

“On behalf of the board, I am pleased to welcome our new board members,” said Chesapeake Conservancy Board Chair Randall Larrimore. “Chief Anderson, Ms. Bailey Hedgepeth and Ms. Miller each bring exceptional leadership skills, and we are grateful that they have chosen to share their wisdom, time and energy with our ambitious nonprofit as we work to protect 30% of the Chesapeake Bay watershed by 2030.”

“We thank Mr. Bench and Ms. Wilson for sharing their expertise and leadership during their time on the board,” Larrimore continued.

“I am deeply honored to serve on the Chesapeake Conservancy board of directors. The organization has had a tremendous impact on protecting the Chesapeake Bay and prioritizing the needs of its surrounding communities. I look forward to being an integral voice for environmental stewardship,” said Principal Chief Anderson.

“I am extremely honored and privileged to join the board, and I look forward to serving and bringing my views to the organization. I am passionate about environmental issues and particularly about environmental justice. I look at this appointment as an opportunity to pursue these passions and make a difference for communities of color,” said Ms. Bailey Hedgepeth.

“I’m very excited to be joining the Chesapeake Conservancy’s board of directors and will work hard to advance the organization’s wonderful mission,” said Ms. Miller.

Principal Chief Keith F. Anderson

Principal Chief Keith F. Anderson serves as the chief and executive officer of the Nansemond Indian Nation, one of Virginia’s seven federally recognized tribes. The tribal service area includes Portsmouth, Norfolk, Virginia Beach, Chesapeake, Newport News, Hampton, Suffolk and Isle of Wight in Virginia. Prior to becoming chief, he served as the environmental program coordinator for the Nansemond Indian Nation, deepening both his experience and connections with local, state and federal officials and building on his lifelong interest in environmental justice. Chief Anderson has 35 years of experience in cultural preservation and has served as a career parks and recreation professional for the City of Virginia Beach, located at the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay. He serves on the board of trustees of the Fort Monroe Authority.

Chief Anderson has committed his life to honoring the enduring traditions of American Indians across the globe and is a community leader who is “forged by tradition and thrives in the modern world.” He is an accomplished cultural presenter and the executive director of Red Crook-ed Sky American Indian Dance Troupe (RCS). With a core group of family members and friends, Chief Anderson co-founded RCS in 2006. Under his guidance and management, the organization has been featured at nearly 200 venues across the United States and Canada. Highlights include the John F. Kennedy Center, Children’s Museum of Indianapolis and the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department. Strengthening their reputation as dynamic presenters, Chief Anderson and the troupe have been featured in a variety of publications, artworks, documentaries and film projects.

Chief Anderson holds a bachelor’s degree in health administration and sports sciences from the University of Richmond and is currently pursuing a certification in nonprofit management from Tidewater Community College. Chief Anderson lives in Portsmouth, Virginia, with his two devoted sons – Kameron and Kalen.

Michelle Bailey Hedgepeth

Michelle Bailey Hedgepeth has extensive experience in local government operations, research and project management. She has over 20 years of experience working in cities and towns across the country on various issues. Ms. Bailey Hedgepeth has recently taken on a new position as the town administrator for the Town of Bladensburg, MD. Before that, she worked for Howard County government as assistant chief administrative officer.

Professionally, her specialties are strategic planning, public information/media relations, performance measurement, local government policy implementation and analysis, inter-governmental relations, franchise administration, labor negotiations and other related areas.

Ms. Bailey Hedgepeth holds a Master of Public Administration from Florida State University and a bachelor’s degree in political science from Purdue University.

She moved to Maryland in 2011 with her husband and their daughter. Her hobbies include gardening, beekeeping, tennis and other outdoor activities. She has a blog called BeeMore, where she tries to chronicle her adventures in gardening and beekeeping. She also belongs to several professional and service organizations. Ms. Bailey Hedgepeth currently serves as the treasurer of the Harbor City (MD) Chapter of the Links, Incorporated and the treasurer of Dubois Circle.

Vibha Jain Miller

Vibha Jain Miller served as the senior vice president of people and DEIBA (Diversity, Equality, Inclusion, Belonging and Accessibility) at FiscalNote. Prior to FiscalNote, Ms. Miller served as vice president, human resources & chief talent officer at Cogent Communications of Washington, D.C., a publicly traded, global internet service provider with a highly diverse team of 1,200 employees. Previously, Ms. Miller served as vice president of human resources for the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC), a global, mission-driven association of leading graduate business schools, and owner and administrator of the GMAT exam, where she provided strategic oversight of all HR functions. Before her time at Cogent and GMAC, Ms. Miller held executive-level HR positions at WETA, a public broadcasting station; Conservation International, a nonprofit environmental organization; Octagon, a global sports and entertainment content marketing company; and Discovery Communications, a global media company. Before then, Ms. Miller served in HR roles at several companies, including Discovery Communications, The Nature Conservancy and Goldman, Sachs & Co.

Ms. Miller holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Connecticut, a Master of Business Administration in management and international business from the Leonard N. Stern School of Business at New York University and a Leadership Coaching Certification from Harvard University.

Ms. Miller has previously served on the boards of the Potomac Conservancy, the HR Leadership Forum, Job IQ, the George Mason University Career Services Employer Advisory Board and the McLean Estates Community Association. Vibha and her husband Greg will soon begin dividing their time between McLean, Virginia and Rehoboth, Delaware. They intend to devote their attention to a cleaner Chesapeake Bay. They raised their three children in McLean and recently welcomed a daughter-in-law. Ms. Miller enjoys being outdoors, traveling, gardening, hiking and spending time with friends and family.