Meet Our Team - Costa Rica Board
Lana Wedmore is a pioneer, conservationist and community leader in Costa Rica. Living on the Osa Peninsula since 1991, she has worked tirelessly for the benefit of the community building infrastructure, culture, education, health, security, sustainable tourism and environmental protection to ensure responsible growth near the Corcovado National Park.
Lana is the owner and also built Luna Lodge, a leading sustainable rain forest wellness eco-lodge, that has earned the highest sustainability ranking from the Costa Rican government.
Lana served as the President of the Association for Integral Development of Corcovado for 10 years. Her leadership was influential in building the 1st sustainable solar powered bamboo school in Osa Peninsula in Costa Rica. She served as the President of the Chamber of Tourism of Corcovado for three years and her passion and drive helped bring the different communities together to promote Tourism on the Osa Peninsula. She also served as Vice-President of the Wellness Costa Rica Association, an organization committed to furthering the Sustainable Health of the locals and visitors.
In 2008, Lana founded The White Hawk Foundation to respond to the growing urgency to protect the land surrounding Corcovado National Park. Educating people locally and internationally about conservation is a passion of Lana and her team of guides. Lana's message is very simple "we must save the rain forests to save ourselves." The White Hawk Foundation is a place where individuals and philanthropic entities can make a tangible difference.
Since the founding of the White Hawk Foundation, contributions have enabled us to acquire and protect land that could have been devastated by commercial or agricultural development. This land has been donated to a conservation easement, protecting it into perpetuity. The foundation has raised over $260,000 USD. The goal today is to raise $10 million to protect one of the most important biological corridors next to the Corcovado National Park.
Dr. Jenna Lawson
Secretary and Scientific Advisor- Mammals
Jenna is a biodiversity and climate scientist currently working as a research associate with Imperial College London investigating how we can use new technology, such as robotics and acoustics, to conserve biodiversity and mitigate against climate change. Jenna received her Ph.D. in 2021 where she used bioacoustics to determine the distribution of the spider monkey and design a biological corridor for wildlife and assessed the impact of land use change on native forests on the Osa Peninsula.
Jenna has worked on conservation projects in the UK, Peru, Fiji, and Costa Rica and is still heavily involved with conservation work on the peninsula. In addition to her research activities, Jenna is actively involved in activism and outreach both in the UK and overseas, to help people to understand and act on the ecological crisis that faces humanity. Her love for wildlife brought her to Costa Rica to work on the Osa Peninsula, it was here that she learned about the amazing work of the White Hawk Foundation. Jenna's passion, research, and expertise is critical in the development of the Foundation's conservation strategy, education, and communication.
Treasurer and Scientific Advisor- Plants
Charlotte is a biologist having received her master’s degrees in Biology and Forest & Nature Conservation at the university of Gent (Belgium) and Wageningen (The Netherlands) respectively. She is fascinated by all living beings on our planet; especially the interactions between plants and animals and the different uses of wild plant species.
After several internships in Kenya, China and Mexico, she was sure that she will continue her career within the field of tropical biology, focusing on the combination of nature conservation and sustainable land use practices. She is currently working on her PhD at the university of Leuven (Belgium), in collaboration with the university of Costa Rica.
She is very excited to be part of the amazing team of the White Hawk Foundation, where she apply her knowledge and experiences within the various ongoing projects, from environmental education to defining land use management plans.
Soy Aida Soto Rodríguez, nativa de Puerto Jiménez, desde joven sentí la necesidad de colaborar en los comités para obras que ayudarán al progreso de nuestra comunidad, ya que somos una zona alejada y por la ubicación geográfica, desconectados de las instituciones a las que les correspondía velar por mejorar las condiciones de vida de los habitantes de este distrito.
En el año 2002 fui elegida vice alcaldesa del cantón de golfito y en el 2004 asumí como alcaldesa debido a separación del alcalde titular, gestión que finalice en marzo del 2006.
Actualmente ocupó el cargo de regidora suplente desde el año 2016.
Willadell grew up in rural North America where her love of nature was established as a young child and has only grown stronger with her time spent on the Osa. A lifelong educator at the college level, she brings her passion for education to the foundation highlighting the importance of education in changing and evolving perceptions about the value of preserving and enhancing the rainforest.
Becoming involved in the White Hawk Foundation has been a natural fit for Willadell, blending her education experience with the young and adults alike with her love with of nature
Geoff Blanco is the President of an Outdoor Power Equipment dealership in Indiana. After receiving his B.A. with a major in Anthropology and a minor in Sociology, Geoff turned to consulting in information technology and ended his time in the industry as the Vice President of Sales & Marketing for a consulting firm whose clients are the Fortune 500. Leaving the industry to spend more time with his family and a career closer to his personal interests, Geoff became a partner and subsequently the full owner of his current company.
It was on his first trip to the Osa Peninsula that Geoff experienced the richness of the biodiversity within the Osa, the importance of it to the local community, Costa Rica, and the world. Since that first adventure, he continues to return to the Osa and specifically to the White Hawk Foundation to further his knowledge of the vast ecosystems and consider the intersections between the natural world, community, and sustainable economic interests.
The White Hawk Foundation leverages Geoff’s academic and business backgrounds towards furthering the foundation’s mission.
Evalena Leedy is a yoga teacher, owner/director of YogaSole. Having attended Temple University in Philadelphia, she built a career in New York City in the world of advertising and marketing. Creating and cultivating a connection between the Osa Peninsula and communities in the U.S- specifically New York is her mission. Providing advertising and marketing expertise, she has hosted several successful events for the Foundation.
Evalena's passion for protecting the environment and strong belief in the goals of the White Hawk Foundation is instrumental in enlightening perceptions regarding the importance of the Osa Peninsula to communities as far away as New York.