Matthew Fleischer, Executive Director
Matthew Fleischer was appointed as Executive Director of Rock Creek Conservancy on February 3, 2014.
Matt brings a new energy to the Conservancy and is tasked with growing the donor base and increasing the impact the organization has on the Rock Creek Park and watershed. The Conservancy is poised for growth and Matt is excited to play a key role in helping the national Rock Creek Park celebrate its 125th Anniversary in 2015.
As the 3rd oldest national park and one of the largest Metropolitan Parks in the world, the 33 miles of creek and more than 2,000 acres of land are a great natural haven in the busy and bustling capitol region of the United States.
Prior to joining Rock Creek Conservancy, Matt served in the private sector as the President and CEO of Hook & Ladder Brewing Company, as well as sat on the board of the Hook & Ladder Firefighter Burn Foundation. Matt launched Hook & Ladder in 2004 and grew the business to close to $7 million in revenue while raising more than $5 million in funding. Hook & Ladder was a mission-based business and donated a portion of every sale to local firefighter burn foundations and hospital burn centers across the country. In 2008, Matt was named one of the top 35 entrepreneurs under 35 in the Washington D.C. area by BisNow.
Matt holds a B.A. in American Studies from the University of Mary Washington and a M.B.A from the University of Maryland, Smith School of Business. While at the Smith School he was named a scholar at the Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship, as well as serving as an associate on the New Markets Growth Fund, and as President of the Entrepreneurship Club.
An avid outdoorsman and nature lover, Matt enjoys hiking and backpacking trips in the wilderness. He spent two months backpacking through British Columbia and Alaska, but can also be found walking the trails of the beautiful Rock Creek Park on any given weekend.
Matt is now dedicated to protecting and revitalizing the national treasure of Rock Creek Park and building partnerships with government agencies, other non-profit organizations, businesses, institutions, community groups, and residents to work together to preserve Rock Creek Park for present and future generations.
Matt lives with his wife, Sarah, two young sons, and beloved family dog in Kensington, MD just on the fringe of the Park.
Alex Sanders, Program Manager
Alex first learned about the Rock Creek Conservancy as a volunteer with the Potomac Appalachian Trail Club. He joined Rock Creek Conservancy in April 2013. He has degrees from George Mason University in history, and worked as a research associate at Morgan Angel & Associates in the fields of American Indian and environmental history. He is also an appointed member of the Arlington County Environment and Energy Conservation Commission and has participated in several Arlington County commissions concerning stormwater management, stream restoration, and urban forestry.
Sarah Mitchell, Development Officer
Sarah joined Rock Creek Conservancy in November of 2012. She completed her Bachelor’s degree at Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota. She has worked in marketing, event planning, and fundraising at The Nature Conservancy and Greenpeace as well as the Autism Society. As a native of the Washington, DC area, she grew up near Rock Creek and is having a great time introducing her children to it.
Karen Zeiter, Volunteer Coordinator
Karen joined Rock Creek Conservancy in August of 2012. She graduated with a Bachelors of Science in Environmental Studies from Towson University and first started working with Rock Creek Conservancy as a Chesapeake Conservation Corps Volunteer. She has worked at the Food and Drug Administration in the Department for Environmental Safety and Strategic Initiative, the Chesapeake Bay Trust, and REI. As an active Outdoor Trip Leader throughout her college career, Karen enjoys outdoor recreation activities such as rock climbing, hiking, and backpacking. Her favorite parts of Rock Creek are Lake Frank and Lake Needwood in the upper part of the watershed, which she encourages all park users to explore.