Meet the Team

 

Paige Konger-square

Paige Konger

Board of Directors

Paige Konger was raised surrounded by animals and the ocean in Dunedin, Florida. Her family has owned and operated the Tarpon Springs Aquarium since its opening in 1990. She has been caring for and educating about a wide array of animals since before she can remember. She also started scuba diving, kayaking, and exploring nature at a very young age. Paige graduated Summa Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Acting from Oklahoma City University where her primary studies focused on classical theatre. While in school, she worked with Oklahoma Children's Theatre as an actor, teacher, and a part of their literacy outreach program. During her senior year she founded Paige's Planet, an organization and social media campaign dedicated to promoting preservation and science education through the arts. Through this platform, she has taught standard-based workshops at schools, preserves, nonprofits, YMCAs, and many more. She has been featured as a woman changing the world on GenHERation and on local news outlets as an expert/ environmentalist regarding sharks, alligators, and the environment. She continues to manage the Tarpon Springs Aquarium and further her education. She is proud to be a part of Blue-Green Connections and everything it stands for. Through Blue-Green Connections, she hopes to help protect the precious ecosystems she grew up exploring.

 

Vicki Love

Vicki Love

Board of Directors

Treasurer

Vicki grew up in Baton Rouge and spent much of her childhood camping and on the beach. As such she has always been drawn to nature. She attended college at Louisiana State University where she earned a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics with a minor in Psychology. From there, she went to work in the United States defense industry where she has worked for over 30 years. Vicki recently converted to part-time so she could spend more time with her newly retired husband and working Blue-Green Connections Inc. as the cause is near and dear to her heart. Vicki enjoys spending her spare time camping, boating, and enjoying the beach.
Tracy Love Tippin

Tracy Love Tippin

Board of Directors

President

Event Coordinator

Tracy grew up with a deep appreciation of nature and has been promoting sustainable living for many years.  She attended Louisiana State University and received a Bachelor’s of Science in Mathematics with a minor in
Computer Science. She worked at EDS as a software engineer until she switched careers to a full-time mom. Tracy lived in Costa Rica for two years where she became actively involved in environmental sustainability. In 2014, she founded Mind, Body & Earth which offered classes, retreats and eco-tours to Costa Rica. In 2016 she became the US Marketing Manager for HomeBiogas, an international pioneer in environmental issues. Tracy spends her free time hiking, paddle boarding, kayaking, traveling and socializing with friends, family and dog.

 

NMM Profile

Nichole Mattheus

Board of Directors

Ecologist and Educator

Nichole grew up in the Tampa Bay area where she gained an appreciation for nature and Florida’s wildlife. She is an ecologist with over 15 years of experience fostering environmental awareness through previous graduate and professional work. She earned her Master of Science in Ecology and Evolution from the University of Alabama, followed by a post-graduate internship
with the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute in Amphibian and Reptile Conservation. Throughout these experiences she’s strived to be an ecological researcher and environmental educator, while aiming to motivate fellow citizens to strive for effective conservation initiatives. Nichole is honored to be a team member of Blue-Green Connections and partake in their
environmental leadership. Additionally, she volunteers for a variety of groups such as the Florida Springs Institute, the Suncoast Sierra Club, Eckerd College and local Dunedin parks. When she is not working towards conservation of beautiful Florida, she can be found camping and hiking
with her family.

Sharon BGC profile pic

Sharon Kemp-Gonzalez

Board of Directors

Born and raised in England, Sharon has spent the past 30 years living/traveling in the US. After receiving her  BA from Rutgers University and a Masters in Education, she enjoyed a lively teaching career in New Jerseys public school system. Sharon has also traveled extensively around the world. - having lived and been educated in four different countries: UK, US, Borneo and the Bahamas. Additionally, her family has spent many years in San Miguel De Allende, Mexico, working extensively with local charities, (ultimately running Dia de Los Muertos/Day of The Dead Tours to the area).

Her passion for education and the dissemination of knowledge, coupled with a nomadic heart and an entrepreneurial spirit, led to Eat The Peach Travel, a small group travel business that she runs alongside her husband, Tom.  As Covid, began to halt travel, Sharon began to reassess, refocus and strive to rebound better.  With this in mind, she enrolled in USF’s Global Sustainability graduate program, using her love of travel to fuel another lifelong passion - the environment. She knew that travel would come back, but that it had to come back better, and that sustainability was the key.

Joining Blue Green Connections, along with heading up the Florida Chapter for Impact Travel Alliance, is a natural extension of Sharon’s sustainable business model built around: People, Planet, Profit. She believes that sustainability needs to be seen from a holistic viewpoint, “We can do it all still, but we have to do it better -it’s the new world order whether we like it or not.”

Ray Bouchard

Ray Bouchard

Hope Spot Pioneer

Ray was born a few hundred feet away from the Bay in Clearwater, Florida. His first breath was the salt air rolling over the mangroves on the eastern shore of the Bay.  He has been deeply connected to the sea his entire life.  Ray studied Oceanography before moving to New York to pursue an acting career, landing roles on Ryan’s Hope, All My Children, and Smokey and The Bandit 3, as well as several theater productions, before his love of the sea carried him to the Mediterranean and the Caribbean to work on 140-170 ft yachts. Starting as a deckhand, he advanced to First Officer and ultimately received his US Coast Guard Certified Ocean Operator License. For over 30 years, Ray has enjoyed working in the entertainment industry both in front and behind the camera. Ray is also a competitive sailor, Volunteer Guardian Ad Litem, and Youth Sailing Safety Volunteer.

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