Who We Are
President and CEO: Sophie Twichell
Sophie joined the National Recreation Foundation in 2014 after spending 25 years in the nonprofit sector. She served as the executive director of Brushwood Center at Ryerson Woods in Riverwoods, Illinois for over ten years. There she identified which segments of the community were not users of public open space, and then launched a series of successful programs to engage these populations with the outdoors, thereby affording access to the myriad of health benefits derived by time in nature. Prior to that, she managed international conservation programs for The Field Museum in Chicago and served as assistant director of the Lake Michigan Federation, today’s Alliance for the Great Lakes.
Active in her community, she serves on several nonprofit boards and advisory committees. Sophie is a member of the Lake County Health Department’s Live Well Lake County Steering Committee and the Woman's Board of the Chicago Horticultural Society. She serves as First Vice President of the Garden Club of America's National Affairs & Legislation Committee.
Sophie graduated summa cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania with a BA in cultural anthropology. She earned her law degree with honors from the Chicago-Kent College of Law with a certificate in Environmental & Energy Law. Email Sophie.
Director of Partnerships: Tim Richardson
With over 40 years of experience in youth development, sponsor relations, military relations, partnership negotiations, program development and resource development, Tim’s focus is on improving the lives of youth living in under-resourced communities. After serving as a National Recreation Foundation trustee for 13 years, Tim changed roles in 2019. As NRF's Director of Partnerships, Tim assists the Foundation in increasing its impact by building partnerships and grantee capacity.
Tim founded Legacy International in 2009 to help not-for-profit agencies in the U.S. and abroad maximize existing resources and reach their stretch goals. Recent clients include: U.S. Tennis Association Foundation, C.A.R.E., The First Tee, U.S. State Department, Behind the Bench (NBA Wives Association), Bridge to Cross (South Africa), General Organization for Youth and Sports (Kingdom of Bahrain), Connor Sport Court and Organization of Black Aerospace Professionals. Tim currently serves on the board of the Maynard Jackson Youth Foundation.
Prior to launching Legacy International, Tim's professional career spanned 28 years with Boys & Girls Clubs of America with his final position being Vice President of Military Services and International Projects.
Richardson earned his BS degree in business administration and marketing at Chapman University in Orange, California. Email Tim.
Grants Manager: Megan Michael
As the National Recreation Foundation’s Grants Manager, Megan enjoys learning about and connecting with the many nonprofit organizations and programs throughout the United States whose impactful work encourage all youth to be active and outdoors. Her own love of nature and outdoor recreation bloomed many years ago as a college student interning for the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation & Natural Resources, where she spent summers immersed in Pennsylvania’s state parks.
Megan previously held marketing communications roles with the University of Maryland’s Office of Technology Commercialization and the Biotechnology Industry Organization in Washington, DC. She is an active participant in her community, volunteering for the Lake Bluff 4th of July Committee, working on the communications and grants committees for the Lake Forest High School Foundation, and serving as the Village of Lake Bluff’s Clerk (2019-2021).
Megan received a BA Communications/Public Relations from Elizabethtown College (Pennsylvania) and a MS Management/Non-Profit Management from the University of Maryland, Global Campus. Email Megan.
Charles E. Hartsoe Fellow: Caitlin Reilly
Caitlin works in outdoor education at Davidson College. She holds an MS in Parks, Recreation, and Tourism Management and a BS in Environmental Studies. Her research as a graduate student focused on intergenerational environmental education and youth agricultural literacy. She now enjoys working with college students as they seek to be thoughtful outdoor leaders and engaged community members. Caitlin grew up in Charlottesville, Virginia and has worked as an outdoor recreation and environmental education practitioner in the Carolinas, Iceland, and Australia. In her free time, Caitlin loves spending time running, biking, camping, and relaxing outside, preferably with good friends and good food. Email Caitlin.