Our Board of Directors

Photo of Bente Cooney

Bente Cooney, Board Member and Founder, grew aware of the need to protect our fragile earth while sailing for 18 years before settling on the Eastern Shore. Bente worked on Capitol Hill and later with non-profit organizations. She co-founded a non-profit organization in Washington, DC to advocate for the rights of nursing home residents.

Laura Connor, Board Member, Treasurer and Volunteer Coordinator, is also responsible for organizing all PFQAC clean up events. Laura worked as Director of Human Resources for a national law firm in Washington, DC, before retiring. Laura is a volunteer mediator with Community Mediation Upper Shore, a free service to Queen Anne’s County and Kent County residents and businesses.

Courtney Leigh

Courtney Leigh, Board Member, is Membership Coordinator for ShoreRivers. She worked for 11 years with the Chesapeake Bay Environmental Center (CBEC) in many different roles engaging citizens of all ages in environmental education and stewardship.  In her free time, Courtney gets outside for triathlons, kayaking, hiking, and camping. She loves connecting with her community as a volunteer with several nonprofits.  

Sara Shelley, Board Member and Outreach Coordinator, is responsible for initiating and cultivating relationships with businesses, individuals, and other relevant environmental organizations. Sara ran her own business in the DC metro area for over 15 years before relocating to Grasonville.

Support Staff

Julie Schaeffer, Founding Member & Media Specialist, Grasonville, MD
I chose to establish PFQAC with my friends because it has an important ethical message. Working with Plastic Free QAC makes you really think about how your individual choices can make a difference to the environment. It makes me rethink everything I do and how I do it.

Ashley Gal, Marketing Consultant, Chester, MD
I’ve always tried to do my part when it comes to being environmentally responsible, so when I saw the opportunity to donate my skill to PFQAC, I knew I could do more and jumped at the opportunity.
I have two young daughters and if I can help leave the world a bit better for them then I have done my job as their mother.

Lucy Kruse, Artist, Social Media Marketing, Communications, Environmentalist, Cleanup Volunteer, Chester MD
The outdoors and natural environment (its waterways, trees, native plants and inhabitants), has always been my haven. Recently retired from a career in a highly technical federal agency, I now use my “left brain” analytical and business skills to support my “right brain” communications and artistic endeavors–one of which is the creation of environmental art.  Today my artistic focus is to up-cycle and re-purpose plastics and other found debris into sculptures that capture the public’s attention as a catalyst for sharing our important environmental message.

Barbara Shelley, Graphic Design, New York, NY
As a retired graphic designer, I am privileged to contribute my design skills to an organization like PFQAC. After all, I am borrowing the earth from my granddaughter.

Dean Horowitz, Tech Consultant and Trash Volunteer, Stevensville, MD
Helping PFQAC is part of my retirement commitment to “environmentalism’. Getting rid of single use, throw away items, needs to happen!
I like tech support, trucking garbage bags, fixing odds and ends, welding, digital devices, and my car always carries a bunch of reusable canvas shopping bags!!

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