President: D. A. Aldridge
After her water pipes froze the second time while living near Chicago, D. A. stopped writing Environmental Impact Statements and moved to Jupiter, Florida. Fifteen years later it was Hurricane Andrew that “blew” her future husband Al to the Keys and into her life. They decided to call Tavernier their home and own a solar assisted home there.
Al’s job made them world travelers, moving from Saudi Arabia, England, Germany, China, Finland, and back to England. They also had the opportunity to live and work around the U.S.
It was her 2½ years as a member of VISTA (Volunteer In Service to America), when she first graduated from college, that D. A. experienced the impact a few people could do to change their community. Now retired, D. A. continues her involvement by being an officer of the Island of Key Largo Federation of Homeowners Association, her homeowners’ group, and the Upper Keys League of Women Voters.
Vice-President: Available as of May 2021
We are electing a new Vice-President as our long-standing fellow board member, Bill Hunter is retiring. He and his wife will be leaving the Keys in May and we wish them all the very best.
Treasurer: Mark Songer
Inspired by moving to Key West in 2004, Mark Songer is a born again environmentalist who has trouble saying no to an impossible task. He is graduate of Leadership Monroe County and currently serves as Treasurer for the League of Women Voters of Florida. Mark also has a keen interest in restoring the Everglades and is Last Stand’s designated representative to the Everglades Coalition, a group of over 60 diverse not-for-profits who constantly cajole anyone who will listen to provide funding for projects. In his spare time, he is an avid bird watcher, walks his dog and prepares favorite recipes from Indian Home Cooking.
Secretary: Joyce Newman
Joyce Newman has called Big Pine Key home since 1975. Now retired, she taught first grade at Sugarloaf and in Marathon, advocated for Keys water quality and Florida Bay issues under the mantle of Clean Water Action, and organized and directed the Keys-wide lecture series, Florida Keys Discovery. Through the years, Joyce has always held the accomplishments of Last Stand in high esteem.
A transplant from San Diego, her role as a community activist began in the late 70’s by participating in a successful grassroots effort opposing a huge condominium project planned for pristine barrier dunes on the southeast coast of Big Pine. That early experience led to a growing interest in how enforcement of zoning and land use laws affects environmental protection.
Joyce believes good governmental decisions are usually the result of close attention and hard work by citizens. She likes to think she brings institutional memory, varied experience and persistence to the Last Stand board.
Don DeMaria is originally from Jacksonville, Florida. He has lived in the Lower Keys since 1977 and has worked mainly in the commercial fishing industry. Don has also served on various Federal and State fisheries’ advisory panels and served one term on the Sanctuary Advisory Panel. Don resides on Summerland Key with his wife Karen and they have one child, Dora DeMaria, who lives in Key West and works for Reef Relief.
Dora DeMaria was born and raised in the Florida Keys and the chain of islands have always held a special place in her heart. Dora attended Florida State University and completed her Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science with a focus on Oceanography. She also completed several environmental internships, most notably an internship where she designed educational programs about sea turtles for an after school group located in the Florida panhandle. She also joined the Netflix original movie Chasing Coral at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival aboard the traveling ocean bus where she worked with the underwater virtual reality headsets. Dora then interned for Reef Relief as the Stormwater Education Intern and Education Intern, and then volunteered during Reef Relief’s summer Coral Camp. From her experiences, Dora realized how much she enjoyed teaching others, especially children, about marine life and conservation. She is currently employed at Reef Relief as the Education Manager. Dora is incredibly excited to fight for environmental protections and engage our community as a board member for Last Stand.
Dottie Moses and her husband moved to Key Largo in 1982 from Miami. She is a 3rd generation South Floridian. After retiring from AT&T in 2002, Dottie spent time traveling and began volunteering. Today, in addition to her work for Last Stand, Dottie helps raise native plants for Dagny Johnson Botanical State Park, the hardwood hammock that was saved from development and was the catalyst for the Florida Keys to be designated an Area of Critical State Concern. She is also a volunteer for Crocodile Lake National Wildlife Refuge where she helps maintain the butterfly garden, builds nests for the endangered woodrat and plants torchwood trees for the endangered Schaus Swallowtail Butterfly. During sea turtle nesting season, Dottie volunteers to survey nests on Sea Oats beach.
Dottie began her community activism after a development agreement threatened her neighborhood. She is now the President of the Island of Key Largo Federation of Homeowner Associations, Treasurer for Save A Turtle, and Secretary for the Florida Keys Scenic Corridor Alliance. Dottie pays close attention to activities both on land and at sea that could have an impact on her community and has had some success at keeping impacts at bay.
After decades in educational technology sales and training and 15 years of business ownership, Ann and her husband Rich moved to the FL Keys in 2005. They observed the negative quality-of-life impacts that increasing population and heavier traffic created and heard persistent concerns that “affordable housing” was not actually affordable.
In 2015, Ann got involved with Save Summerland Native Areas when a developer proposed a high-density affordable housing complex on a nearby undeveloped property, without designating any units for low-income housing. After much grass-roots coalition-building, this plan was denied by the County as being in the wrong location, having the wrong zoning, and being seriously over-scale for the community.
Post Hurricane Irma, land use changes were again at the forefront when various committees sought to change the Livable CommuniKeys Plans developed in partnership between the County and residents in 2012. Troubled by density changes to the plans, Ann and other concerned residents formed Friends of the Lower Keys (FOLKs) to resist those changes. These measures were defeated, but the land-use and affordable housing issues remain.
Ann is inspired by Last Stand’s accomplishments over the years and hopes to bring a business background to the environmental and land-use issues facing the Keys.