The Pennsylvania Land Conservation Conference takes place April 26-28 in Reading. On the morning of Thursday, April 27, Dr. Michael Mann will deliver the conference keynote address, “The New Climate War: The Fight to Take Back Our Planet.” Before that, conference attendees (and keynote-only ticket purchasers) will enjoy breakfast, as well as welcoming remarks from an array of local and state dignitaries from the plenary: Michael Rivera (Berks County Commissioner), Marcia Goodman-Hinnershitz (Reading City Councilperson), and Cindy Adams Dunn (Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Secretary). Following are some biographical highlights of our plenary dignitaries:
Michael Rivera began serving as Berks County Commissioner in January of 2020. He is also a Real Estate professional at Keller Williams Platinum Realty in Wyomissing together with his wife and son. He resides in Bern Township with his wife Zylkia, and his children, Andre and Adriana.
Michael was born in Pottstown and lived there till the age of 6, when he and his family moved to Puerto Rico, where he grew up and got married. In 1996 he and his wife moved to PA to start their business in Real Estate.
Professionally, Rivera has been a small business owner for many years and spent over seven years in the banking industry. Prior to his role at Keller Williams, he also worked as Assistant Vice President of Business Services at the Greater Reading Chamber of Commerce & Industry, where he assisted and guided entrepreneurs and business owners in obtaining the resources they need to be successful and developed and implemented programs to help small businesses grow and be sustainable.
In his role as County Commissioner, his background in banking, business and Real Estate are key to his focused efforts on fiscal responsibility, economic development, and workforce development for the County of Berks.
Community engagement is vital for him as he has served on various non-profit boards. He currently serves on the West Lawn United Methodist Church Personnel Committee, where he and his family are active members. Michael is also a member of the Prison Board and vice chair of the Salary Board, Retirement Board, Reading Regional Airport Authority, and co-chair of the SOS Berks Coalition.
Marcia Goodman-Hinnershitz, MSW, has dedicated her career to the betterment of society through education and advocacy.
Following her graduation from Pennsylvania State University, Marcia joined the newly formed Child Protective Service Unit at Berks County Children and Youth Services.
She obtained her Masters of Social Work at Temple University and for 30 plus years, she has been employed by the Council on Chemical Abuse, as the Prevention Program Manager and currently as the Director of Planning and Resource Development.
Marcia proudly serves her community, first as a Reading School Board Director and is currently fulfilling her fifth term as a City Councilperson in the City of Reading. She has always placed environmental issues as her first priority in her legislative and community work.
Cindy Adams Dunn
Cindy Adams Dunn has served as the Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources since 2015. She has served multiple positions in the agency under three governors during the last three decades. Ms. Dunn first joined DCNR in the mid-1990s as Director of Community Relations and Environmental Education. Past DCNR roles included serving as Deputy Secretary of Conservation and Technical Services from 2007-2013, where she led Conservation Landscape program and oversaw the grant program, which provides $30-$60 million annually for conservation and recreation throughout the commonwealth. Other leadership posts include Director of the Bureau of Recreation and Conservation and Director of the Office of Education, Communications, and Partnerships.
During her tenure, Ms. Dunn has helped position Pennsylvania as a leader in land conservation, outdoor recreation, green practices, and public land management. Under her leadership, the department:
- Created the Pennsylvania Outdoor Corps to connect youth and young adults with job opportunities relating to the outdoors and the environment
- Advanced water quality initiatives within the Chesapeake Bay and across the commonwealth through investments in conservation, buffer plantings, and restoration
- Advanced mitigation and adaptation best practices related to climate change
- Managed the highest visitation at state parks and forests
- Received historical levels of funding to address the growing conservation and recreation needs of the commonwealth
Ms. Dunn’s non-profit conservation and advocacy roles include serving as the president and chief executive officer of PennFuture, state director of Audubon Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania coordinator for Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay, and as an environmental educator for the Chesapeake Bay Foundation. Ms. Dunn holds a bachelor’s and master’s degree in biology from Shippensburg University. She and her husband, Craig, reside in Cumberland County.
When not championing the efforts of DCNR, Ms. Dunn enjoys the natural and recreation resources DCNR works hard to protect and promote through hobbies that include birding, canoeing, fishing, and hiking.