Our Team

Founder and Principal

Photo of Ernest Shea
Ernest Shea

Ernie Shea is the President of Solutions from the Land (SfL), a not-for-profit organization that incubates and supports farmer-led, multi-stakeholder platforms that inspire, educate, and equip agricultural partners to innovate and lead efforts to sustain productivity, enhance climate resilience, and contribute to local and global goals for sustainable development. SfL brings agricultural thought leaders to the forefront of conversations about the food system, the environment and the future.

Shea has over 40 years of experience at the global, national, state and local level where he has designed and facilitated initiatives to enhance the effective functioning and ability of agricultural landscapes to sequester carbon, protect water quality, improve public health, and ensure a growing and resilient food system.
Early in his career, Shea worked for the State of Maryland where he held a number of senior leadership positions including Assistant Secretary of Agriculture for Agricultural Development and Resource Conservation with responsibility for soil and water conservation, land preservation, domestic and international marketing and other service-oriented programs designed to strengthen the state’s agricultural industry.

From 1986-2004 Shea served as Chief Executive Officer of the National Association of Conservation Districts (NACD). As CEO of NACD, Shea represented and facilitated the effective functioning of the association consisting of nearly 3,000 local units of government, 17,000 public officials and 7,000 employees with combined annual budgets exceeding $1billion.

Among his current activities, Shea facilitates the 25x’25 and North American Climate Smart Agriculture Alliances and coordinates SfL’s state level climate smart agriculture work program. He serves on the Board of the Harry R. Hughes Center for Agro-Ecology and is involved with the Chesapeake Bay cleanup effort focusing on agricultural, conservation and bioenergy projects. He is also the Founder and Principal of Natural Resource Solutions (NRS), LLC, a conservation and natural resource policy and program consultancy.

Ernie and his wife Karen reside in Lutherville, Maryland where he serves on the Board of the Lutherville Community Association. They enjoy sailing and spending time with their three grown children and seven grandchildren.


Photo of Shannon Mott
Shannon Mott

As an executive assistant, Shannon provides administrative support to the President as well as event coordination, bookkeeping, and maintenance of websites and databases for NRS and its clients. She also supports the many volunteer leaders that guide and direct our conservation and renewable energy alliances and programs.  Shannon has worked as an Executive Assistant for over a decade to a number of CEO’s and Senior Executives. She attended Green Mountain College in Poultney, VT.

Project Support

Photo of Reg Modlin
Reg Modlin

Reg Modlin is currently a Senior Advisor for NRS after retiring from Fiat Chrysler Automobiles. In a career spanning 43 years, his responsibilities included heading the area responsible for all matters involving safety and environmental regulatory affairs for FCA US LLC. His responsibilities included policy development to guide creation of legislation and regulations in the NAFA region, vehicle emissions certification, fuel economy strategy and reporting, vehicle safety compliance demonstration, and resolution of compliance issues with EPA and NHTSA, and others. Over the course of his career, he held leadership roles with the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, Electric Drive Transportation Association, USCAR/Freedom Car/USDRIVE, Engine Manufacturers Association, California Fuel Cell Partnership, and others. Throughout his career, he integrated his continuing interest in alternative fuels. To this end, he helped to lead efforts through USCAR/USDRIVE that resulted in DOE projects pursuing High Octane Fuels. He supports NRS in promoting long-term advocacy of various stakeholders towards policies and technical developments in the interest of a sustainable transportation sector. He currently lives in Palm Desert, California with his wife, Kathleen.

Photo of Brian Williams
Brian Williams

Brian is an agriculture and food-system consultant doing business as Local Nexus since 2017. He has worked nearly 15 years on food, agriculture, and farmland preservation issues, mostly as Ohio director of American Farmland Trust (2005-2008) and with the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission from May 2009 to September 2020. Before that, he had a 25-year newspaper career in five Ohio cities, two other states, and Thailand, focusing on local food, land use, planning, farmland preservation, urban revitalization, transportation and regional cooperation.