Navigator Board of Directors

Robin Bossert | Founder/Executive Director

Robin Bossert

Founder/Executive Director

Robin Bossert, Scoutmaster-of-the-Year by the New York City District of the BSA in 1999. Founded the Navigators USA in 2003. A member of numerous Boards, runs his own video production company for the past 35 years.

Hon. Shawn Kelly | Treasurer

Hon. Shawn Kelly


Prior to taking the bench as a Justice of the New York State Supreme Court, Shawn spent the majority of his career as a union attorney and public defender, and working as a community activist. Originally from Wilkes-Barre, PA., he was raised by a single mother and was the first in his family to graduate college. Shawn’s love of nature comes from growing up exploring the lakes, streams, mountains, and hiking trails of the magnificent State and County Parks near Wilkes-Barre. Shawn lives with his husband Dave and their dog Scout in upper Manhattan.

Ellen Wilson

Ellen Wilson

Vice President

Ellen Wilson has taught geography at the community college level for over 20 years.  Prior to that she worked with non-profit organizations in Washington D.C. protecting habitat and public land for flora, fauna, and hominid.  Ellen was one of the original leaders of Navigators Chapter 33 and remains an active parent.  She and her Navigator son are involved with the local social circus in St. Louis and she spends her volunteer time working on issues for social justice and inclusive equality.

Palak A. Patel


FinTech executive with over 15 years experience in the areas of product and business management for a wide range of organizations including startup, high growth, and mature businesses. Palak has jumped in with both feet helping us develop apps while keeping track of our balance sheet.

Miles Chapin | Secretary

Miles Chapin


Miles Chapin has served on the Board of the All Souls UU Church, as chair of Musica Viva, and as Vice President of the Heart & Soul Charitable Fund.  Other board service has included The Rene Dubos Center for Human Environments, The Experiential Orchestra, the Earth Communications Office, and RARE (formerly the RARE Center For Tropical Environments).  He has a background in the Arts, but for the last 15 years he’s worked as an Associate Broker with Brown Harris Stevens, one of the leading real estate firms in the City.  A native New Yorker with deep roots, he lives in Long Island City with his two soon-to-be-adult children.

George Dorsey

Founding Board member, George is presently retired and serving on several non-profit boards after a forty year career in the property casualty insurance field in California. He served as President of American Star Insurance Co. and Rathbone King and Seeley, Inc. (surplus lines brokerage firm). He founded Dorsey, Nevin and Associates, a claims administration firm in l996. He served as President and General Manager of Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc. from 1992 – 1999.

Gena Garrett

Gena Garrett

Gena Garrett leads Chapter 111 in Evansville, IN. A Girl Scout from 1st – 12th grade, she found Navigators while searching for inclusive scouting options for her two boys. Gena holds a BS in geology and a BA in English from the University of Southern Indiana. She led experiential science programs at the Evansville Museum of Arts, History, and Science from 2005 – 2011, was a teaching naturalist at Wesselman Woods Nature Preserve from 2011 – 2019, and now teaches 7th grade science.

Tony Porterfield

Tony Porterfield

A Principal Engineer at a technology startup, Tony is the co-founder and leader of Navigators Chapter 41 in Los Altos, CA. Tony is active in his community and enjoys coaching youth sports. He is a well known advocate for protecting the online privacy and security of student information.Tony is also an avid sailboat racer.

Heli Rinta-Filppula Blum

Heli Rinta-Filppula Blum

Heli is the leader of Chapter 2, the original outreach program in East Harlem, for 9 years. She is a teacher with a Masters of Elementary Education, Child Development Associate credential and certification in Orff Music and Folk Dance education. She also taught children in the Elementary and Early Childhood classrooms for over 20 years.

Jim Gordon

Jim Gordon

Jim Gordon is the former Group Vice President of Corporate Brand and Reputation for Time Warner Cable. In that role he was responsible for the company’s portfolio of community partnerships and investments, including Connect a Million Minds – a five-year, $100 million philanthropic initiative that was created to inspire youth to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).


Principal at Summit Group Consulting LLC.  CTAM University at Harvard Business School and is a current member of the Arthur Page Future Leaders Program.

Mary Carole Starke

A consultant at Grenzebach, Glier and Associates (GG+A), Mary Carole Starke brings 30+ years of fundraising, data management, systems and technology to the Navigators board. She is a graduate of Elmira College and the University of Maryland and in 2022 completed a 10-month leadership program with Maximizing Organizational Resources (MOR). She is a long-time resident of New York and enjoys the beauty of the Hudson Valley.

Adrienne Dahms

Adrienne Dahms

Adrienne Dahms has a BA from Emory University, a MA from CU Boulder, 2 kids, 1 husband and 1 corgi mutt. She lives in Superior, CO and has been involved with the Navigators USA movement for many years first as a chapter leader, then planning the Jamboree and sitting on the board. 

Jane Furse Friedman


Jane was the force behind our first three Jamborees. A journalist and philanthropist, she enthusiastically supporter of our cause. Taken from us by cancer, we truly miss her.

Russell Williams | President Emeritus

Russell Williams

President Emeritus

A retired NYPD police officer with 26 years of service, Russell is a former Marine who early on got involved with Navigators as a volunteer and went on to lead Chapter 1 in NYC for many years.

Emile Nava | In Memorium - Founding Board Member

Emile Nava

Founding Board Member

Emile helped to start Boy Scout Troop 103 in a homeless shelter in 1980 and was instrumental in establishing The Navigators. He was a member of the Alpine Club and a Marine Veteran.