We are delighted to highlight the individuals who serve on our Board of Directors. These leaders use their diverse backgrounds and experiences to guide the work of the Foundation as we seek to fulfill our mission to help people find joy in nature. Please get to know our long-time friend and supporter, Dan Jackson, Board Vice President, in our Beyond the Board spotlight.
Twenty-three years ago, Dan Jackson received an email about the Alice Ferguson Foundation’s upcoming stream cleanups, and from there, the rest is history. That spring, Dan adopted a local stream in Fairfax County, Virginia – one of the first in the county. He was a site leader for several years and organized cleanup events at his site for the local community to lend a hand. A few years later, Dan helped Tracy Bowen, former Executive Director, craft an application for Leadership Fairfax, Inc.’s Northern Virginia Leadership Awards, for which the Alice Ferguson Foundation received top recognition for their community partnerships and cleanup efforts in the region.
When reflecting on his favorite memories of being on the Farm, Dan recalls the first time he brought his sons, five and seven at the time, to help Eileen Watts, former Farm Manager, with daily farm chores – collecting eggs, feeding the pigs and cattle, etc. This became a frequent family activity, and eventually, they brought along their friends to help with the chores and fish and camp overnight in the lodge.
Dan is the Senior Director of Strategic Growth and Business Development at Markon Solutions, headquartered in Falls Church, Virginia. He supports the company’s Department of Defense and Federal Civilian agency market leaders in developing and executing market-focused strategies. He is also involved in the firm’s M&A activities.
Dan has been a member of the Foundation’s Board of Directors since 2009. In 2014, he was elected Board Chair, completing two two-year terms. After a brief hiatus, Dan rejoined the Board and is actively serving as Vice President.
When asked why he became involved with the Board, he stated, “I believed in the Foundation’s mission and vision and felt I could help the Foundation achieve success through my networks and the knowledge, skills, and abilities I possess.” He shared, “I also wanted to instill an environmental ethos in my children and show them that community service is important.”
Additionally, Dan hoped to build new skills from his time on the Board by serving on various committees and networking with like-minded individuals.
The Alice Ferguson Foundation’s mission is significant to Dan. “It’s not just about reaching kids at a young age to instill a passion for the environment, but also engaging with teachers and adult learners to understand the land, work with it, and how to protect it.”
He played an instrumental role in bringing the Foundation’s annual Pinot on the Potomac event to life. In 2014, the Board of Directors wanted to host a spring/summer fundraiser to complement Oktoberfest. With a background in winemaking, Dan volunteered to make and share a variety of homemade wines, including Carmenere, Amarone, Verdicchio, Chardonnay, and chocolate raspberry port. The inaugural Pinot on the Potomac was so well received by Foundation members and the community it has been held annually ever since. Dan continued to make and share his homemade wine at several Pinot on the Potomac events that followed.
Thinking about the future of the Foundation, Dan said, “I’m going to put on my business hat here. I look forward to a time when we are consistently generating revenue and are margin positive so we can offer comprehensive, environmental- and energy-related programs, employ more full-time staff, and enhance the experience of Hard Bargain Farm for all our constituents and visitors.”
In his free time, Dan enjoys spending time with his two sons, who reside in Brooklyn, New York, and Richmond, Virginia, traveling abroad with his wife, wood-smoking various meats, making wine, hiking, and practicing yoga. Dan is also working diligently for a December 2023 finish to his Doctorate in Business Administration, focusing on organizational leadership from National University.
Dan’s unwavering support and guidance have been invaluable in shaping our Foundation’s success and growth. We are truly grateful for his commitment to the Alice Ferguson Foundation. Thank you, Dan!