Abby Hardy-Moss is the conservation planner and GIS manager at Essex County Greenbelt Association. Her work includes the creation of printed and interactive maps, natural resource analyses and prioritizations, database design & management, landowner outreach, GPS data collection, and grant writing. She is also an adjunct professor of GIS in the Geography Department at Salem State University. Abby has a masters of environmental policy and planning from Tufts University.
Abigail Weinberg is the director of conservation research at the Open Space Institute. She develops science-based approaches for landscape-scale conservation for foundations, public agencies and nonprofits. Her work has informed investments of over $60 million in land protection grants to protect two million acres and develop nearly 100 science-based conservation plans for land trusts and public agencies. Abby has a master of forestry from the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies.
Adam Snyder is the Conservation Campaigns Manager for The Nature Conservancy’s Global Conservation Campaigns team. Adam oversees all ballot and legislative public finance work of the team. Prior to joining The Nature Conservancy, Adam was on the political front lines for conservation in Alabama, serving for a decade as executive director for two different statewide non-profits: the Alabama Rivers Alliance and Conservation Alabama. While at Conservation Alabama, Adam led the grassroots portion of the highly successful Alabama Forever Wild Land Trust renewal campaign in 2012, which created up to $300 million for conservation through 2032.
Alec Giffen serves as Maine Representative for NEFF, working to accelerate the pace of conservation in Maine and increase the use of wood in construction. He serves as senior science and policy fellow for the Clean Air Task Force, heading efforts to capitalize on the role of forests in reducing global warming. Alec previously served as director of the Maine Forest Service, and has 40+ years of experience in natural resource planning and program administration.
Alex Czayka is the eastern field director for Western Reserve Land Conservancy, where he focuses the majority of his time on generating new land conservation and restoration projects that include conservation easements, acquisitions, and habitat restoration. Alex also spends time engaging donors, planning events, providing community outreach, and working with conservation partners throughout his five-county service area.
Alex Seymour is a researcher and GIS analyst, collecting and manipulating UAS data for projects like land cover mapping, erosion monitoring, and wildlife surveys. He works at the Duke Marine Robotics and Remote Sensing Lab (MaRRS) in Beaufort, North Carolina, where he applies unmanned aerial systems (UAS) to marine, coastal, and conservation science.
Alison Paul manages the Youth Conservation Action (YCA) program for the Keller Science Action Center at The Field Museum in Chicago. Working in partnership with schools, non-profit organizations, and land-owning agencies, YCA uses a place-based environmental education model to get youth excited about nature and active on local urban conservation issues. Alison has more than a decade of experience working in formal and informal educational settings to support the next generation of environmental leaders.
Allison Schichtel is the conservation GIS analyst at Sonoma County Ag + Open Space where she supports conservation planning and decision-making through GIS and spatial analysis. She facilitates data integration through database design and management and the adoption of mobile GIS. She has a master’s degree in GIScience from San Diego State University and a bachelor’s degree in botany and environmental biology from Humboldt State University.
Allison Smith has a graduate degree in Environmental Conservation from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. She is currently working in nonprofit development and fundraising. She is an avid hiker and dreams of visiting all the National Parks.
Allyson Brownlee Muth began at Penn State in 2004 as a forest stewardship program associate working with the Pennsylvania Forest Stewards Volunteer Program and Women and Their Woods, and conducting outreach to forest landowners. Allyson has degrees in forestry and an Ed.D. with an emphasis in collaborative learning. She has a strong interest in peer learning and in creating dialogue to advance understanding of forest stewardship issues and opportunities.
As LWCF coalition manager/Northeast regional coordinator at the Appalachian Mountain Club and a leader within the Land and Water Conservation Fund Coalition, Amy Lindholm coordinates the Coalition’s work with the Alliance and hundreds of land trusts as critical partners, along with conservation and recreation organizations, businesses and stakeholders across the country to advocate for full, permanent and dedicated funding of LWCF. Amy was a staffer for the House Natural Resources Committee for several years before joining The Wilderness Society in 2011, rising to become director of TWS’s LWCF Campaign. She led that organization’s efforts as co-chair of the LWCF Coalition through the fight for reauthorization in 2015, and transferred that work to a new organizational home at the Appalachian Mountain Club (AMC) this year. AMC is deeply involved in conservation efforts in partnership with local land trusts throughout the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic, which brings a strong new dimension to Amy’s work with both the Coalition and the Alliance.
Amy Lutsko is senior project manager at Penn Trails and is responsible for trail project management including conducting professional trail/pathway assessments, project planning and project construction. She is the project lead for Penn Trails’ proprietary, state-of-the-art, GPS trail assessment process, data dictionary, data base reporting system and resulting reports for clients. Amy also conduct environmental field services including wetland and forest stand delineation, forest conservation plans, arboricultural inventory, tree benefit analysis and tree risk assessment.
Amy Wilson Morris has led community-based park, trail, and open space planning projects throughout the western United States. She specializes in working with diverse partners to build community consensus and leading a wide range of community engagement. Amy was previously the associate director of planning at The Trust for Public Land. She has a PhD in environmental studies from UC Santa Cruz and a bachelor’s in environmental biology from Columbia University.
Anais Spitzer grew up working the land in rural Texas. She has extensive experience in developing operational and strategic planning, creating and implementing programming, growing community engagement, and building partnerships.
Andrew Zadnik has managed Western Pennsylvania Conservancy’s Land Stewardship program since 2007. Previously, he worked as a biologist with the Virginia Dept. of Game and Fish. He holds a master’s degree in wildlife and fisheries resources and a bachelor’s degree in environmental science. Originally from Connecticut, he and his family live in McCandless, PA, just north of Pittsburgh.
Andy Bicking is director of public policy for Scenic Hudson, where he oversees the formation of the organization’s public policy goals and implementation of advocacy initiatives. He has been instrumental securing conservation funding for the Hudson River Valley region from county, state and federal budgets, advocating for new laws and regulations to protect the Hudson River and its landscapes from poorly-planned development, and guiding coalitions as well as state agency advisory committees. He has more than 20 years of experience in environmental policy, advocacy, and, early in his career, outdoor education and volunteer management.
Andy Loza has served since 2000 as executive director of the Pennsylvania Land Trust Association where he develops guidance, implements technical assistance and education programs, and leads public policy efforts. His initiatives include development of model documents and other resources at ConservationTools.org. His work is informed by seven years as a land trust executive director and leading planning, conservation, development, and trail initiatives for county government. Recently, he served on the Alliance’s Standards Advisory Team.
Anita O’Gara has served the Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation (INHF) for more than 30 years, gaining experience in all aspects of development and communications. She built INHF’s system to gain and retain donors with an eye toward efficiency, affordability and long-term relationships.
Anna Drexler-Dreis is Interim Director of the Colorado Headwaters Land Trust, which works to protect Grand County’s open space, water, wildlife and agricultural values through conservation easements. Her personal commitment to the environment began during her childhood running and hiking the shores of Lake Michigan and Cape Cod. She worked on organic farms in the South Pacific and with the Colorado State Forest Service studying the mountain pine beetle epidemic. She has bahclor’s and master’s degrees in environmental management.
Tony Nelson is the Sonoma Valley program manager for Sonoma Land Trust, managing several preserves, directing a regional wildlife corridor conservation program, and developing and implementing targeted research and monitoring programs. He has bachelor’s and master’s degrees in wildlife and fisheries ecology and has been working in conservation fee land and easement stewardship for 25 years.
April De Simone is Co-Founder of Designing the We. She has over 15 years of experience in strategically designing, developing and launching for-profit, nonprofit, and government projects. Continuing to advocate for social innovation, Ms. De Simone is co creator of various for – purpose ventures and initiatives that promote market based solutions to address complex social challenges. A Dean Merit Scholar, she recently completed her master’s in design and urban ecologies from Parsons the New School for Design. Ms. De Simone continues to be recognized for her leadership and dedication in supporting frameworks that promote a just and equitable society.
Arthur DeMeo is director of community greenspace services for Western Pennsylvania Conservancy. Arthur manages the day to day operation of Community Gardens and Greening Program projects, including the community gardens program, school greening, downtown greening projects and the Erie tree planting program. He manages and collaborations with key community partners to ensure high-quality delivery of conservancy projects.
Audrey Friedrichsen is the land use and environmental advocacy attorney at Scenic Hudson, Inc. Audrey has been at Scenic Hudson for four years, where she is a member of the Policy, Advocacy and Outreach Team, which works to safeguard the environmental and economic resources of the Hudson River Valley. She also provides legal support to other teams in the organization, as well as the Scenic Hudson Land Trust. She holds a juris doctor as well as a master of laws in land use and sustainable development, both from The Elizabeth A. Haub School of Law at Pace University, and a bachelor of science degree in biology from Cornell University. Prior to joining Scenic Hudson, she practiced municipal, land use and environmental law at private firms.
Attorney Barbara Holmes joined the Beaufort County Open Land Trust as Director of Land Protection in July 2017. She administers Beaufort County’s Rural and Critical Land Preservation Program and works with landowners, partners and stakeholders to identify easement or fee acquisition priorities and opportunities for the Trust. She gained a passion for land conservation while serving as staff attorney for Lowcountry Land Trust in Charleston from 2008 to 2017. In her spare time she is a dedicated volunteer at the Avian Conservation Center in Awendaw, SC.
Barbara Johnson is vice president of the John S. Watson Institute for Public Policy.
Becky Thornton has been the Ppesident/CEO of the Dutchess Land Conservancy (DLC) (NY) since 1996. The DLC has protected over 41,000 acres and holds over 400 conservation easements. She has a bachelor’s degree in landscape architecture from Penn State U. and a a master’s degree in nonprofit management from Northeastern U.
Bill Kastning has been active in land preservation for over two decades supporting MCF since the mid-90’s and now serving as its Executive Director since February 2012. He is a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP) and served as the Director of Planning in Denton, MD where he wrote its master plan and land use regulations. After a 30-year corporate career, he joined NJ’s Green Acres Program as a land acquisition specialist. Monmouth Conservation Foundation, the County’s only land trust (accredited), during its 38 years has directly preserved over 6,500 acres. Working with a number of partners, MCF has collaboratively preserved more than 16,000 acres for a total of 22,500 acres throughout Monmouth County.
Bill Labich is a senior conservationist with Highstead Foundation and coordinator of the Regional Conservation Partnership (RCP) Network. With a background in forestry and land use planning, Bill organizes, writes about, and assists others in advancing collaborative approaches to regional conservation. He coordinates the New England Forest Policy Group and co-coordinates the Hudson to Housatonic RCP. Bill is also the author of “The Regional Conservation Partnership Handbook (Highstead 2015).
Bill is Leahy is a nationally recognized leader in the field of natural resources preservation, with over 20 years of experience in land conservation with a focus on transactional real estate, strategic planning, board development, donor and foundation philanthropy, and partnership building. As executive director of the Big Sur Land Trust for more than 10 years, Leahy successfully led the organization in strengthening community engagement, resulting in new stewardship partnerships and constituencies. Prior to that, he worked for The Nature Conservancy, where he negotiated easement acquisitions at priority sites. In that capacity, he managed one of California’s largest and most visible public land conservation projects, the 10,000-acre Palo Corona Ranch purchase in Monterey County. He became the executive director of the Maryland Environmental Trust in 2015.
Bob Bendick is director of The Nature Conservancy’s Gulf of Mexico Program. Prior to this, Bob was the Conservancy’s director of U.S. Government Relations at the World Office in Arlington, Virginia, supervising the Conservancy’s relationships with Congress and the Obama Administration over a wide range of policy activities. Before coming to Washington, D.C., Bob was vice president and managing director of the ten-state Southern U.S. Region of the Conservancy. He has been with The Nature Conservancy since 1995 in various roles. Prior to working for TNC, Bob was deputy commissioner for natural resources of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation managing natural resources functions in New York State government. During this time, he also served as chair for three years of the Northern Forest Lands Council. He was also the director of the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management, supervising all conservation and environmental functions of Rhode Island State government.
Bob Wilber has been the director of land conservation for Mass Audubon since 2000. Previously, he worked in similar capacities for the Massachusetts Chapter of The Nature Conservancy, and Massachusetts State Forests & Parks. Bob is a past president of the Massachusetts Land Trust Coalition (MLTC), and currently serves on MLTC’s Board of Trustees. He lives in Stow, where he is president of the all-volunteer Stow Conservation Trust, and a member of the Town of Stow’s Open Space Committee. During his 35+ year career, Bob has been directly involved in the protection of more than 40,000 acres in Massachusetts.
Brad DeForest is the executive creative director at BackOffice Thinking, LLC in Pennsylvania.
Brandon Hayes has spent his entire career in nonprofit communications. Before Openlands, he was at the youth arts education organization, Marwen, and was a publicist for Goodman Theatre. Additionally, he is a photographer and essayist, chronicling all fifty-nine US National Parks and writing about conservation issues. He has a bachelor’s in Humanities, concentrating in Art History, History, and English from University of Michigan-Dearborn.
Breece Robertson is the vice president and director of planning and Geographic Information Systems (GIS) at The Trust for Public Land. She joined TPL in 2001 to create a comprehensive, coordinated GIS program. Today she provides leadership for the organization’s national Conservation Vision and GIS service. In 2011, she received a Planning Research Fellowship from the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy. She is has a master’s degree in geography and planning from Appalachian State University.
Brian Charles is the Community Outreach Assistant for Western Pennsylvania Conservancy.
Bronson is the director of Forest Carbon Science and an ecological accountant for The Nature Conservancy.
Bryant Seaman is an associate at Clayton, Dubilier & Rice, a private equity firm based in New York, where he supports investment teams through financial diligence and modeling. He was previously an Analyst at Morgan Stanley in San Francisco and graduated from Stanford with a bachelor’s degree in management science & engineering.
Cameron Becker has worked for Arizona Land and Water Trust since 2015 and has a degree in natural resources from University of Arizona.
Carl Palmer is the founder of LegacyWorks Group, a firm dedicated to helping families and their foundations work with community groups to restore, enhance and protect the places they love. Carl previously co-founded Beartooth Capital, served as president and CEO of Greenbridges, and was executive director of the Ogden Nature Center. Carl holds a bachelor’s from Brown University and an master’s from the Graduate School of Business at Stanford University.
Carmen Bray is director of communications for Western Pennsylvania Conservancy and has 22 years of experience in nonprofit and government communications and public relations. She has worked in the conservation industry since 2010. She has extensive experience in a variety of communications disciplines, including media relations, crisis communications, public relations, communications marketing, social media, websites and advertising.
Carolyn Buck is the Red Rock Trail System Director for Freshwater Land Trust in Alabama.
Carolyn Waldron is Midwest Director of the Land Trust Alliance, leading programs that serve 170 community-based land trusts in a 13-state region. She has 30 years of experience in natural resources conservation and advocacy. Carolyn has led projects to conserve large ecosystems from the Florida Everglades and Okefenokee ecosystem to the Hoosier National Forest and Oregon sea. Previously, Carolyn directed the Environmental Law Program and served as an adjunct professor at Indiana University, and, while there, worked with the state land trust community to develop a conservation funding campaign. As a vice president with National Wildlife Federation, she led its national wetlands conservation policy program and southeast region. At ICF Incorporated, she managed U.S. EPA projects to involve the public in addressing environmental challenges. Carolyn holds an MPA in environmental policy and policy analysis and a BA in environmental studies and fine arts from Indiana University.
Cassandra Pallai is the geospatial program manager for the Chesapeake Conservancy’s Conservation Innovation Center, a non-profit organization based in Annapolis, MD that empowers partner organizations with innovative data, analyses, and tools for improving management outcomes. She collaborates with government agencies, universities, other NGOs, and private businesses to understand challenges and explore ways to advance the efficiency and effectiveness of conservation and restoration programs.
Catherine Marrion has been a charitable organization attorney for 30 years, and has been a member at the Waller Smith & Palmer land conservation department for four years. She negotiates and prepares conservation easement for numerous Connecticut land trusts and conservation organizations as well as eastern Connecticut farmers, and works closely with state and federal organizations to obtain funding for easements. She also has represented conservation organizations in actions before the Connecticut courts to implement needed deviations from easements, to allow for better protection of important land including crucial waterways.
Celia Vuocolo is the wildlife habitat and stewardship specialist for PEC. Celia has worked for the Piedmont Environmental Council since 2014. She is an master’s candidate in the environmental science and policy graduate program at George Mason University, where she is researching the occurrence of a parasite in bumble bees. Celia completed a Smithsonian Graduate Fellowship in 2015. She has a bachelor’s in conservation and wildlife management from Delaware Valley College, and has held positions as a park ranger, wildlife rehabilitation center manager and as a wildlife management consultant.
Cheryl Fox was one of the founders of the Summit Land Conservancy in 1998 and has been its executive director since 2005. The Conservancy was the first land trust in Utah to achieve accreditation in 2011. A local land trust, 25 of the Conservancy’s 27 easements provide public access and many are on publicly owned land or on properties preserved through development agreements.
Chris DuPont is a board member of Speaking Up for Us, an advocacy rights group for people with develomental disabilities, is developmentally disabled, and is a proud volunteer for Blue Hill Heritage Trust.
Chris Eng is a fish and wildlife biologist at USFWS’s Branch of Habitat Restoration as well as a Work Group member of the Estuary Restoration Act Council.
Chrissy Allen is the development and outreach director for Blue Hill Heritage Trust and has diverse experience in event planning, marketing, hospitality and community outreach and education.
Christian Dietrich serves as general Ccunsel for The Montana Land Reliance, the nation’s largest statewide land trust, with over 1,000,000 acres of Big Sky country under easement. He chairs the Nonprofit Section of the State Bar of Montana, and is a graduate of St. Paul’s School, Yale University and the University of Montana School of Law. Christian is the co-author of Conservation Easements: Tax and Real Estate Planning for Landowners and Advisors (American Bar Association, 2011).
Christine P. Johnson became Ppesident of Conservation Foundation of the Gulf Coast in 2011. After earning a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the College of Charleston and an MBA from the University of Florida, Christine worked in management and consulted with Fortune 500 companies in fields ranging from manufacturing to media. Christine completed the Girl Scouts of Gulfcoast Florida’s $7M capital campaign and then served as Director of Development for Ringling College of Art and Design leading a team of five to raise over $100M.
Christine Lambert Pentino serves on the Board of Directors of the Cacapon and Lost Rivers Land Trust (CLRLT). She is an attorney by training who has been working in the nonprofit sector as a fundraiser for close to 20 years. Christine specializes in gift planning and on gifts for collaborative interdisciplinary partnerships. Christine earned her BA from Johns Hopkins and her JD from The Catholic University of America. She is also a certified Master Gardener with the University of Maryland Agricultural Extension in Baltimore City. She and her husband Marc live in Baltimore but also have a cabin on 184 acres of mostly forested mountain property in Largent, WV, where they spend as much time as possible. Their property is under a conservation easement jointly held by CLRLT and The Potomac Conservancy.
Chris Kirkpatrick has been the executive director for The Prairie Enthusiast for the past five years. The organization serves portions of Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Illinois through its 11 locally based chapters. Previously, he served as the director of land protection for the Jo Daviess Conservation Foundation for 10 years in northwest Illinois. He is trained as an ecologist and continues to utilize this training, not only to help run the The Prairie Enthusiasts, but it is an integral part of how he continues to have strong connects with nature both through work and in his personal life.
Christopher G. Miller has served as The Piedmont Environmental Council (PEC) president since 1996. Mr. Miller is responsible for overall management and strategic planning for PEC, including its land conservation program, habitat restoration, rural economics, energy policy, land use policy, smart growth and transportation policies. He is a founding member of the Coalition for Smarter Growth and a founding co-chair and Steering Committee member of the Choose Clean Water Coalition. Mr. Miller also serves on the boards of the Virginia League of Conservation Voters, the Virginia Conservation Network, the Chesapeake Conservation Partnership, and the Journey Through Hallowed Ground Partnership. He also is a member of the Land Trust Alliance Leadership Council.
Cindy’s primary responsibilities are to manage annual visits to the Conservancy’s protected properties, ensuring the conservation goals of the agreements are upheld, and to communicate with landowners about environmental questions and inquiries related to their conservation easement. She also coordinates the Conservancy’s grants and funding opportunities. Previously, Cindy worked as a research specialist at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, a field research assistant at La Suerte Biological Field Station in Costa Rica, and as a naturalist for The Great Basin Institute in Reno. She also contributed to multiple conservation research studies throughout her education in Pennsylvania and Alabama. Cindy has a bachelor of science in biology from Ursinus College and a master of science in geography from The University of Alabama.
Claire Catlett is the land conservation field representative for PEC. Claire works with landowners in the protection and stewardship of their lands, and leads stream restoration projects for trout habitat and water quality in the Upper Rappahannock River watershed. Claire has spent much of her career creating cross-watershed collaborations for watersheds, developing grassroots-to-grasstops outreach and on-the-ground restoration projects for citizens, landowners, non-profits, local and federal government entities. She served as an AmeriCorps in NM and AZ, and holds a master’s degree from Denver University.
Claire Wood is the communications coordinator for the Leelanau Conservancy. Claire manages outreach efforts which include coordinating messaging to share the story of the Leelanau Conservancy’s mission and engaging volunteers in our work to protect Leelanau’s land and water.
Colin Novick is a Worcester, MA native and an alumnus of the University of Chicago. He has pursued conservation for the past two decades and serves as the executive director of the Greater Worcester Land Trust. Colin has also served with the Massachusetts Land Trust Coalition, the Appalachian Mountain Club, the Bolton Land Trust, and the Regional Environmental Council. He serves as a deacon for the Cathedral of Saint Paul in the Diocese of Worcester.
Corey Brinkema has served as president of the US national office of the Forest Stewardship Council for the past decade. Corey brings a total of 30 years experience in conservation and sustainable development in both the US and internationally. He holds bachelor’s degree in earth sciences from Dartmouth College and an MBA from University of Michigan.
Dale Threatt-Taylor received a Bachelor of Science in Conservation from North Carolina State University in 1991. Her career began as a Soil Conservationist with the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service. She later joined the Wake Soil and Water Conservation District as a Conservation Technician and progressively moved into one of the Natural Resource Conservationist positions. Dale received a Masters of Environmental Management from Duke University in 2011. In 2012, she was selected as one of 30 agriculturalists in North Carolina identified to participate in the Agricultural Leadership Development Program at North Carolina State University.
Dale’s vision for a successful society includes active communication, professional board service, and productive membership. She wants everyone to understand that locally led conservation begins with an individual, and that all of our conservation work matters.
Dan Holmes is the director of state policy at The Piedmont Environmental Council (PEC). He joined the organization in 2000 working on statewide campaigns related to energy and air quality and served as PEC’s Orange County land use (planning) staff for over a decade. He has served on numerous state advisory workgroups and represents the organization at the state capitol.
Executive Director Dan Rademacher leads many of GreenInfo’s largest and most complex projects, especially those that include extensive interactive design and user engagement. Personal specialties include strategic communications and messaging, data-driven storytelling, interaction design for web (desktop, mobile, responsive), visual design for print and presentation, copywriting, innovative intersections of authoritative data, and emerging open data sources. Previously Dan served as Project Director at Stamen Design, a National Design Award-winning firm. He was also editorial director of Bay Nature magazine, which covers conservation in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Dan Studnicky is the director of individual giving at the Land Trust Alliance.
Dave Tobias recieved a master’s degree from the Yale School of Forestry in 1989, and that year joined The Nature Conservancy in New York as assistant director for the Lower Hudson Chapter. In 1996 he joined the NYC Department of Environmental Protection and serves as their section chief for the Land Acquisition Program. To date the City as avoided the estimated ~$10 billion costs of filtration due to the continued success of a comprehensive watershed protection program including Land Acquisition as the core. As of 2014 the Program has solicted almost 500,000 acres in a watershed of over one million acres, of which 130,000 acres have been acquired from willing sellers — at a pace of about two deals per week since 1997 with a budget of $580 million. The program involves partnerships with numerous land trusts and NGOs and acquires land and conservation easements at fair market value from willing sellers.
David Allen brings over 30 years’ experience in organizational development, board governance, and fundraising to his Development for Conservation consultancy. David works nationally with land trusts and other conservation groups to improve systems that raise more money.
David Hartwell is former board member of the Land Trust Alliance and Accreditation Commission. In 2001 he began building a collation to create a long-term vision for land conservation in Minnesota and led the coalition through the passage of a constitutional amendment increasing the sales tax by 3/8%, which generates $300 million annually for habitat, clean water, parks and arts. In 2016, he received the Land Trust Alliance’s Kingsbury Browne Conservation Leadership Award.
Dr. Dave Johnston is the MaRRS lab director, leading with a vision of UAS and other autonomous systems revolutionizing conservation and ecological science.He works at the Duke Marine Robotics and Remote Sensing Lab (MaRRS) in Beaufort, North Carolina, where he applies unmanned aerial systems (UAS) to marine, coastal, and conservation science.
David Metz has provided opinion research and strategic guidance to hundreds of non-profit organizations, government agencies, businesses, and political campaigns in all 50 states since joining the firm in 1998.In a challenging cycle for Democrats in 2016, Dave’s research helped to re-elect five Democratic members of Congress; guide successful ballot measures to legalize marijuana in Maine, Massachusetts and Nevada; win elections for the Mayors of Phoenix, Houston, Sacramento, and Salt Lake County; win approval for major regional transportation improvements in Seattle, Phoenix, and the San Francisco Bay Area; and pass landmark soda tax measures in San Francisco and Oakland, California. Dave has provided opinion research on key message and policy issues to numerous environmental and conservation organizations, among them The Nature Conservancy, the Trust for Public Land, the Natural Resources Defense Council, Environment America, the League of Conservation Voters, the Environmental Defense Fund, Climate Solutions, Ducks Unlimited, American Rivers, Greenpeace, Earthjustice, the Wilderness Society, the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, the Sierra Club, the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership, the National Wildlife Federation, and the National Audubon Society.
David Montague has been the executive director of the Downeast Lakes Land Trust since 2014, and is now serving as President. Prior to joining DLLT, he worked in the outdoor recreation industry in Maine, Wyoming, and Virginia and conducted wildlife research in the northern Rockies, Appalachia, and Africa. He is a Registered Maine Guide, and has degrees in wildlife biology from Colorado State and Virginia Tech. He lives in Grand Lake Stream with his wife and assorted animals, and in his spare time he enjoys hunting, sailing, gardening, and renovating his 150-year-old farmhouse.
David Shoch is TerraCarbon’s Director of Forestry, advising clients on the design, development, and implementation of forest carbon offset projects with over 20 years experience in forest inventory and biometrics. David has contributed to the development of numerous forest carbon standards and methodologies. He holds a Master of Forestry degree from the Duke University Nicholas School of Environment and a bacelor’s in biology from the University of Richmond, and is an SAF certified Forester
Dean Dougherty is the director of stewardship with the San Juan Preservation Trust where he has worked for over 15 years. He oversees the stewardship department which is responsible for the monitoring of over 230 conservation easements and 68 preserves. He holds a master’s degree from the University of Washington with a specialization in invasive plant control.
Derek Shiels started with Little Traverse Conservancy (LTC) in 2014 and transitioned to director of stewardship in 2017. Previously, Derek spent a season monitoring natural areas with the Leelanau Conservancy and nearly two years with Missouri’s Department of Conservation inventorying cave fauna as a biological technician. He has an undergraduate degree in Natural Resources Management and Masters Degrees in Environmental Science and Biology. He hopes to hit 3,000 iNaturalist observations by year’s end!
Dianne serves as executive director of the Institute for Conservation Leadership and leads fundraising, financial management, and program design and delivery. She has worked with local, state and regional leaders in the environmental and conservation community since 1985, including over 1,800 groups across North America. Her areas of specialty include leadership, organizational development, strategic planning, collaborative strategies, and fundraising. Dianne’s previous staff positions have been with Union of Concerned Scientists, Americans for the Environment, and the Committee for a Sane Nuclear Policy (SANE). A native of the Great Lakes region, Dianne earned a double degree in Religion and Sociology from Wittenberg University (Ohio).
Doug Hill recently retired from the full time practice of real estate, municipal, and land protection law in NH. He is now a land protection specialist for Squam Lakes Conservation Society in Holderness, NH.
EJ Porth is the communications and outreach director at the Gallatin Valley Land Trust in Bozeman, MT. In 2017/2018, EJ worked with land trust partners, County Commissioners and the community to successfully pass a levy which renewed funding for the county’s Open Lands Program. Since its inception in 2000, the Gallatin County Open Lands Program has provided $20 million in funding to protect over 50 properties covering more than 50,000 acres of working lands, water and habitat. Taxpayer dollars have been stretched and matched at a rate of 5 to 1. November’s passage of the levy secures an additional $20 million over the next 15 years for private land conservation in a quickly growing county.
Elaine Vaudreuil is a land use planner at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) specializing in coastal land conservation and its use to achieve multiple benefits in coastal areas, whether for species habitat, improved water quality, or reducing flood risks. She has managed NOAA’s Coastal and Estuarine Land Conservation Program since 2002 and recently helped develop a new Guide for Considering Climate Change in Coastal Conservation. Elaine has a master of regional planning from UNC-Chapel Hill and cachelor of city planning from the University of Virginia.
Elias grew up in Bowdoin, Maine where he spent much of his younger years outside – riding bikes, hiking and exploring nature. Upon graduating from Warren Wilson College with a degree in sustainable forestry, he moved to Northern California to join the AmeriCorps program and become part of the hardworking team at Bear Yuba Land Trust (BYLT). Always interested in technology, Elias began flying drones three years ago as a hobby and quickly integrated his love of photography and flying things into his daily out-in-the-field stewardship work with the Land Trust. Today he is a Part 107 FAA Certified Remote Pilot advancing monitoring processes in remote areas and sharing beautiful landscapes from above with BYLT’s conservation community.
Elizabeth Ward is the director of communications for the Land Trust Alliance. Previously she was at The Nature Conservancy, which she first joined in 2004 as director of marketing communications. Among other roles, she was responsible for the Conservancy’s flagship marketing channels, including the award-winning Nature Conservancy magazine; elite media relations; brand marketing; film and video; digital marketing and strategic communications for the Conservancy’s policy, strategy and science work. She is a graduate of Wellesley College.
Ellen Fred is an attorney and mediator practicing law in California and Michigan in the areas of real estate and tax law, focusing primarily on land conservation transactions and nonprofit tax issues. She represents land trusts and landowners on myriad aspects of conservation transactions. Ellen earned her law degree in 2003, summa cum laude, from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law. Prior to establishing her solo practice, Ms. Fred was with the San Francisco law firm of Coblentz, Patch, Duffy & Bass, LLP, where she practiced for four years in its land conservation section, and also served as a judicial law clerk to the Honorable Melvin Brunetti of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in Reno, Nevada.
Ellen Stern Griswold is the policy and research director at Maine Farmland Trust (MFT). In that role, she oversees all of MFT’s municipal, state, and federal-level policy work, as well as the research projects that both inform MFT’s policy work and support the overall effectiveness of MFT’s programs. Ellen obtained her LL.M. in food and agriculture law from Vermont Law School, her law degree from Georgetown University Law Center, and her bachelor’s in public policy from Brown University
Emily Parish is the vice president of conservation for The Land Trust for Tennessee. She graduated from the University of the South (Sewanee, Tennessee) magna cum laude with an undergraduate degree in Environmental Studies and Spanish and summa cum laude with a master’s degree in environmental law and policy from Vermont Law School (South Royalton, Vermont). Hired at the land trust in 2004 as a land protection assistant, Emily has completed training in conservation easement drafting, stewardship and defense and has been promoted to her current position. She successfully led the organization through the land trust accreditation process in 2008 and the accreditation renewal process in 2014. She also recently served as a member of the Land Trust Alliance Standards and Practices Advisory Team. As vice president of conservation, Emily oversees the conservation and stewardship program, including the projects of eight staff in two offices.
Emy is responsible for the management, strategic direction, and public outreach for the Fund’s work with the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District and the City of Ann Arbor to implement the Greenseams®, Working Soils, and Ann Arbor Greenbelt programs. Emy also serves as the Fund’s representative for the Chicago Wilderness region to help offer the full array of the Fund’s programs and services to its conservation partners.
Eric Eckl founded Water Words That Work, LLC and oversees all the company’s client projects. Eric has more than 20 years experience planning and executing environmental outreach and communications programs. Eric is a sought-after conference speaker and has appeared on CNN and been quoted in the New York Times. Before starting the firm, Eric worked for Beaconfire Consulting, American Rivers, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the Environmental Law Institute.
Eric Olsen currently serves as the director of the Lands Program for the N.J. Chapter of The Nature Conservancy. In this role, working with a team of four, he oversees land protection, land management and land policy work for the Chapter. During his tenure with TNC, Eric has worked on several forest and freshwater initiatives including land protection, stewardship, and river restoration projects.
Eric Roth has held the position of grants manager at Mohonk Preserve since 2012. At Mohonk Preserve, Eric manages a portfolio of 40 grants totaling over $2.5 million. He possesses 20 years of experience in nonprofit management and fundraising. Eric holds a master’s degree in library science from SUNY Albany and worked as archivist/librarian and as executive director for Historic Huguenot Street, in New Paltz, NY. He has also worked as grant writer for Orange County Community College, State University of New York, and as a private archives and grants consultant.
Erika has spent two decades as a brand builder and strategist in the sports, entertainment and non-profit sectors. She has directed and produced short-form content and programming for ESPN, The Walt Disney Company, X Games, and Outside Television. While working in corporate media, Erika gained a strong appreciation for storytelling and its potential to impact change. Since then, she has dedicated her career to grassroots and national non-profit organizations focused on issues such as homelessness, the environment, and women’s health, partnering with professional athletes, Olympians and global brands to create purpose-driven content and campaigns. With the advancement of drone technology, she and her co-worker Elias Grant are using aerial footage taken in the field to capture the hearts of prospective members and donors who for the first time can experience the beauty of these remote locations and gain a stronger appreciation for land conservation.
Ethan Winter is the senior community engagement manager at Cypress Creek Renewables. He was formerly the New York senior program manager for the Land Trust Alliance, and has also worked with Jackson Hole Land Trust, The Nature Conservancy of California and the National Park Service. He is a graduate of the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies where he was a Doris Duke Conservation Fellow and a Presidential Management Fellowship finalist.
Mr. Lloveras San Miguel, Esq. is currently the executive director of the Conservation Trust of Puerto Rico, a position he has held since January 1, 2003. Presently, the Trust is one of the biggest land trusts in America, managing more than 23,000 acres of land. Mr. Lloveras is also co-founder and Chairman of the Board of Microjuris.com, Inc. This private company, founded in 1992, is the leading internet provider of legal and legislative information in Latin America with operations in Argentina, Chile, Puerto Rico and Venezuela. In addition, Mr. Lloveras served as an Advisor on Federal Affairs to the Governor of Puerto Rico from 1989 to 1992. He has also served as a Representative on the Board of Advisors for the National Trust for Historic Preservation, as a Member of the Government Relations Committee and the Technology Committee at the Chamber of Commerce, as a Committee Chair for the Center for the New Economy, as well as a Student Mentor for Puerto Rico Youth at Risk. Mr. Lloveras holds a Magna Cum Laude Juris Doctor degree from the University of Puerto Rico, a Masters Degree in Public Policy from Harvard University, and a Bachelor of Arts from Dartmouth College (Senior Fellow). Mr. Lloveras is married to Michelle Marxuach and is the father of two children.
Fred Gifford is Director of GIS at the Trust For Public Land. In this position he leads cutting-edge conservation GIS projects and programs.
Gary is the executive director for the Heart of the Rockies Initiative, a partnership of 22 land trusts operating in the Northern Rockies. This follows 10 years with the Blackfoot Challenge, a model community-based collaborative operating in western Montana. He served as co-chair for the Southwestern Crown Collaborative of the landscape restoration program for 6 years, is on the leadership team for Rural Voices for Conservation Coalition, the coordinating committee for the Network for Landscape Conservation, the Executive Committee for the Board of Sustainable Northwest, and volunteers on the local fire department as a fire fighter and board chair. In his spare time, Gary enjoys remodeling houses, and getting outside with his family, especially his 2 grandsons.
Part of the all-volunteer board that founded Columbia Land Trust in 1990, Glenn became its first executive director in 1998, a position that he still holds. Glenn has led the Land Trust through 26 years of growth and currently serves on the Land Trust Alliance’s National Council. Glenn is a believer in the land’s ability to uplift the human spirit.
Greg joined the Commission in 2012. As the former executive director of North Olympic Land Trust in Washington, he became familiar with accreditation while leading that organization through the process. He began his land conservation career in 2005 as a Colorado Conservation Fellow, and has education and experience in the fields of environmental science, regional planning, natural resources management, and finance.
Hali Plourde-Rogers is the executive director of the Virginia Eastern Shore Land Trust. She moved to the Eastern Shore of Virginia in 2012 with her husband, a native of Onancock. Hali has a master’s of urban and regional planning and a bachelor’s in English from Virginia Tech. Between getting her degrees, Hali worked in marketing and communications. She joined the VES Land Trust staff in 2012 as stewardship manager.
Hallie Schwab is a conservationist at Highstead in Redding, CT, where her work focuses on supporting collaborative, cross-boundary conservation through the Regional Conservation Partnership Network. She holds a master’s degree in natural resources from the University in Vermont, and has done research on how woodland owners make decisions about the future of their land. Her prior professional experience includes outreach and stewardship roles with regional land trusts in New York and Massachusetts.
Hannah Clark is executive director of the Washington Association of Land Trusts, which represents 27 land conservation nonprofits in Washington state who are working collectively to strengthen private, voluntary land conservation. Throughout her career, Hannah has worked to ensure communities have the resources they need to protect their best outdoor spaces. She also works with the national LWCF Coalition and was previously federal policy director for the Washington Wildlife and Recreation Coalition. She holds her bachelor’s in public policy from the University of Michigan Ford School.
Hanni Muerdter has been Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy’s Stewardship and Conservation Planning Director for the past ten years. She oversees the organization’s program of monitoring and managing conservation easements and fee land properties, focusing on compliance and efficiencies. She was awarded North Carolina Land Trust Council’s Rising Leader of the Year in 2016. Hanni co-chairs Blue Ridge Forever’s Conservation Committee, which facilitates knowledge sharing between western NC land trust staff.
Hans Carlson is executive director of Blue Hill Heritage Trust, an accredited land trust on the coast of Maine.
Heather Haney is an attorney at Kaplan Kirsch & Rockwell LLP (CO), focusing on real estate, land use, and public and private financing in both Colorado and California. Heather represents landowners and conservation organizations in complex conservation easement transactions throughout the mountain west; meeting the landowner’s goals for the current and future generations, while also protecting tens of thousands of acres of agricultural lands, natural habitats, and open space from development. Heather earned her law degree from the University of California, Berkeley, Boalt Hall School of Law. Prior to law school, she earned both her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in environmental biology from the University of Pennsylvania and was an environmental consultant in San Diego.
Dr. Heidi Kretser is a conservation social scientist for the Wildlife Conservation Society and serves as adjunct associate professor at the Cornell University Center for Conservation Social Science. For over 20 years, Dr. Kretser has worked to improve conservation of wildlife and wildlands by using tools and perspectives from the social sciences to incorporate the human dimensions of natural resource policy and management into conservation practice.
Holley Darden is a 20-year marketing professional who has worked for nonprofits such as The Smithsonian Institution, The Nature Conservancy, and a leading PBS television and radio station. She is known for developing national call-to-action campaigns that drive a target audience from interest to action. She has executed innovative programs with corporations and media partners such as Lexus, 3M, Georgia-Pacific, Orvis, Visa, Bank of America, S.C. Johnson, Procter & Gamble, Discovery Channel, and Parade Magazine.
Ira holds a master’s in city and regional planning from Pratt Institute and previously was executive director of the Dutchess Land Conservancy and a past president of the Land Trust Alliance-NY. In his role at NYCDEP he leads the Natural Resources Division and is responsible for programs in Land Stewardship (fee and conservation easements), Recreation, Land Use Permits, Forestry, Ecology, and Community Water connections.
Jack Savage is the Vvce president of communications/outreach for the Forest Society, He oversees public relations, communications with the Forest Society’s 10,000 member households, education programs and volunteers. The campaign to protect New Hampshire’s landscape from Northern Pass generated international public interest and attention.
Jad Daley directs American Forests’ conservation programs including Policy, Community ReLeaf, American ReLeaf, and related initiatives such as Wildlands for Wildlife.
Jim Wyse is a partner in the law firm of Coughlin Duffy LLP in Morristown, New Jersey, practicing in the areas of conservation law, contracts and business acquisition. He represents numerous national, regional and local land trust organizations, private landowners, and governmental agencies in complex land preservation transactions, and serves as general counsel to the New Jersey Conservation Foundation . He was the legal editor of the most recent revision of the Alliance’s Conservation Easement Handbook.
Jamie Knowlton is co-founder of Better Place Forests, and leads the partnerships, acquisitions, land operations and financing segments of the company. Prior to co-founding Better Place Forests in 2015 after taking a year-long sabbatical with his wife to travel to some of the world’s most beautiful places, Jamie was a real estate and infrastructure developer and investment banker, most recently at Brookfield Asset Management.
Jamie Pottern is the Farm Conservation Program Manager at Mount Grace Land Conservation Trust. She protects working farms across north-central and western Massachusetts, focusing on innovative mechanisms that keep farms available for farmers. Jamie coordinates the Greater Quabbin Food Alliance, a regional network fostering cross-sector connections to strengthen and rebuild local food systems. She holds a master’s degree in Sustainable Landscape Planning and Design from the Conway School of Landscape Design and a bachelor’s from Brandeis University.
Janet Milkman spend her early professional years in New York City government and the following 25 years in non-profit organizations, working on smart growth, energy conservation and renewables, green building, and connecting children with nature. She has worked in New York, New Jersey, Minnesota, Philadelphia and now Cape Cod. As Executive Director of Barnstable Land Trust since early 2017, Jane is doing her favorite work in her favorite place. She has a bachelor’s from Wesleyan University and a master’s in public affairs from Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson School.
Jeannette became Big Sur Land Trust’s president and CEO in October of 2014. Prior to coming to BSLT, she worked for Sierra Foothill Conservancy for five years as executive director, following three years as development and outreach director. During her tenure, the organization doubled its operations capacity, reached a milestone of 25,000 acres of conserved lands, and became Land Trust Alliance accredited. Jeannette worked in the American Samoan Islands for the Community and Natural Resources Division, documenting medicinal uses of plants by traditional healers, working with local farmers to promote non-timber forest products, and coordinating village tree plantings in areas devastated by hurricanes. She received a degree in botany from the University of Hawai’i at Manoa and a master’s degree in forest science from Oregon State University. Jeannette serves on the board of the California Council of Land Trusts and on the national Leadership Council of the Land Trust Alliance. She is also an alumnus of the Center for Whole Communities.
Jeffrey Swinehart is deputy director at Lancaster Farmland Trust (PA). As deputy director, Jeff is responsible for overseeing programs and resources necessary to accomplish the mission of the Trust and achieve the goals established by the Board of Trustees. Jeff focuses on the preservation of land through the acquisition of conservation easements and the maintenance of those easements. He also supervises the land preservation staff and is the lead on all Terrafirma claims and other challenges. Jeff is a longtime conservation leader and speaker.
Jeff has been leading community and urban forestry projects in the Pittsburgh region since 2004. Projects have included the coordination and management of volunteer tree plantings, street tree inventories both large and small, and tree care events. Other experience includes major fundraising for regional forestry and green infrastructure projects, partner coordinator among non-profits, municipal staff, elected officials, and private sector partners, financial management of forestry and green infrastructure projects including large government and private foundation grants, and the oversight of ecological and green infrastructure analysis projects for municipalities and county parks. Jeff has a bachelor’s in applied anthropology and a master’s in public & International affairs.
Jennifer Brady-Connor designs and maintains the systems and materials that ensure accreditation applicants and accredited land trusts have a good user experience and tools needed to promote the accreditation brand. She has reviewed more than 70 applications for first-time and renewal accreditation since joining the Land Trust Accreditation Commission in March 2008. Previously she worked for a local land trust, followed by many years at the Land Trust Alliance where she provided technical assistance to land trusts and aided in Land Trust Standards and Practices revisions.
Jennifer Casey is the executive director for Fondy Food Center in Wisconsin.
Jennifer Danis is the senior staff attorney for EELC’s Energy Infrastructure program. Jennifer is working with the Rethink Energy NJ Campaign to advocate for sustainable energy choices in the region. Ms. Danis has experience with multi-disciplinary environmental campaigns, which include litigation, advocacy and grassroots coalition building. Working as an attorney at the Natural Resources Defense Council on the New York/New Jersey Harbor Bight Project, Ms. Danis researched complex litigation strategies to address legacy pollution of regional waterways. She is an alumna of the University of Pennsylvania, and graduated magna cum laude from Boston University School of Law.
Jennifer Miller Herzog is Chesapeake program manager at the Land Trust Alliance and manages the Chesapeake Bay Land and Water Initiative, a joint effort of the Chesapeake Bay Funders Network and the Alliance to accelerate land protection and restoration to benefit water quality. Jennifer’s 20-year career has included philanthropy, collaborative and community-based conservation, strategic grassroots advocacy and policy, and fundraising-primarily in the context of large landscape conservation efforts in the Yellowstone to Yukon region and the Chesapeake Bay Watershed. She has also worked at the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, The Wilderness Society and Wilburforce Foundation. She is based in Annapolis.
Jennifer Plowden is the Senior Conservation Economist at The Trust for Public Land in Massachusetts.
Jennifer Sims served on the board of Columbia Land Trust for 14 years. Recently appointed to the Advisory Council, she continues to support the land trust’s fundraising and outreach efforts. Starting her professional career as a land use planner with Metro, Portland’s regional government, Jennifer retired in 2010 as the chief financial officer with the City of Portland. She holds a bachelor’s degree in geography from Portland State University and an MPA from Lewis and Clark College, and currently serves on the Land Trust Accreditation Commission.
Jen Thompson brings more than 20 years’ experience in fundraising and communications to her position as development and marketing manager at Chikaming Open Lands, a land conservancy serving Southwest Michigan. In addition to her development and marketing work, she led the launch of the conservancy’s environmental education program, the Mighty Acorns, in partnership with The Field Museum in Chicago.
Jeremy Gabrielson is Maine Coast Heritage Trust’s conservation and community planner. Jeremy comes to conservation work with a background in community planning and rural economic development.
Jerome Faulkner is a member of NRCS Easement Programs Division in Washington, D.C. He is the NRCS national grassland reserve program manager and the ACEP-ALE national program manager. He has been working with NRCS easement programs in many aspects including restoration planning, acquisition, and program implementation at the state and national level. He is the Easement Programs Division RCPP point of contact and routinely assists the national RCPP team with easement programs.
Jerry Pedretti has been the bookkeeper for The Prairie Enthusiasts since 2015. Over this time Jerry has improved TPE’s complex financial management system. This includes effective ways to manage and track income and expenses for the sites that TPE owns. Jerry is also a small business owner as well as the Clerk for the Town of Genoa, Vernon County, WI. This gives Jerry years of bookkeeping experience in the for-profit, non-profit, and government sectors.
Jessica Collier is the coastal and marine resource specialist for the US Fish & Wildlife Service in Virginia.
Jessica Jay is the founder and principal attorney of Conservation Law, P.C., a law firm devoted to ensuring the permanence of land conservation through sound transactions. Jessica represents easement holders and landowners in the Rocky Mountain West. She engages easement holders, professionals and landowners in educational workshops and guides the next generation of land conservationists through her Land Conservation Law courses at the Vermont Law School and the Denver University Law School.
Jessica is the vice president of education for Allegheny Land Trust. She holds degrees in Marine Science and Secondary Education, and is the PAEE State Coordinator for Project WET. Beginning as a field instructor in coastal marine sciences at the Chincoteague Bay Field Station, VA, she moved westward to teach at the Lorado-Taft Field Campus of Northern Illinois University. Prior to ALT, she ran The Outdoor Classroom in Pittsburgh’s South Hills for 10 years, focusing on educating youth about Southwestern PA’s variety of ecosystems.
Jessica Whittaker is a review specialist for the Land Trust Accreditation Commission. She is a licensed attorney, who practiced in primarily the areas of real estate and estate planning law. Prior to entering into private practice, she was the executive director of the Sippican Lands Trust, Inc. (SLT), where she successfully guided staff through the accreditation process during the pilot program. Jessica also worked in land protection for both SLT and the Buzzards Bay Coalition, Inc. She has served on several nonprofit boards and committees, and served as Commissioner from 2009 to 2012.
Jill Bays holds a bachelor’s degree in human relations and organizational behavior from the University of San Francisco. Jill was a founding director of Transition Habitat Conservancy since its inception in 2005 and has helped the organization achieve its current conservation status of preserving 7,000 acres of land in the West Mojave Desert in both Los Angeles and San Bernardino Counties Jill serves as a volunteer board President
Jimmy Daukas has been the vice president for marketing and communications for American Farmland Trust since 1997 and added the new role of managing operations in 2003. Previous positions include director of marketing and, later, acting vice president of marketing and communications for Earth Force, a children’s environmental action organization; and vice president of marketing for Working Assets, a San Francisco-based company offering innovative, donation-linked services that raise money for nonprofit organizations. Jimmy holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from Middlebury College and a master’s of business administration and master’s of public management from the University of Maryland.
John Barrett has been the Land and Water program director of the Arizona Land and Water Trust since February 2016. Before taking his current position, he held a leadership position at a regional conservation organization near Chicago, Illinois, and was an attorney in Tucson, Arizona, from 2006 to 2013. Mr. Barrett earned his law degree from Vermont Law School and a master’s in American Indian studies from the University of Arizona.
John Cawood is the education manager and has been with Openlands since 2013. He oversees Openlands’ Education programs – from teacher training workshops to field trips to nearby natural areas – reaching over 60 Chicago Public Schools.
John Hasse is a professor of geography and director of the Geospatial Research Lab at Rowan University where he is actively engaged in multiple funded projects focusing on land use, urban sprawl and smart growth. John’s work in geospatial techniques for land use analysis is recognized throughout the state he and his team have been instrumental in developing the NJ Conservation Blueprint’s priority models.
John Watson is vice president at D&R Greenway Land Trust in New Jersey.
Jon Chapman is the stewardship manager at the Maryland Environmental Trust, and has worked there since 2003. He has a bachelor’s in biology and society (emphasis on natural resources policy) from Cornell University and master’s in forest science from UW-Madison. After 10 years of academic research in New York, Puerto Rico, Wisconsin, and Woods Hole, MA , Jon moved his family to Maryland in 1992 to work with the State Forest Conservation Program at the MD DNR. He has served on several park, conservancy and land trust boards in the Annapolis area.
Jon Leibowitz joined Northeast Wilderness Trust in 2017 after serving as the Executive Director of the Montezuma Land Conservancy, where he completed 23 conservation easement transactions that protected over 13,000 acres and also lead the organization in expanding its mission through the implementation of outdoor-focused educational programming. He earned a master’s degree in Environmental Law and Policy and a law degree from Vermont Law School.
Jonathan Blum is a shareholder at Polsinelli PC and a three-time Rally presenter. Jonathan gained a wealth of knowledge while serving as in-house general counsel for a major international charity and private foundation. Through this in-depth knowledge, Jonathan assists nonprofit leaders to manage their legal matters and build capacity for the future.
Since starting the Working Woodlands Program in 2009, Josh led the enrollment of over 55,000 acres of forestland across North America including developing Pennsylvania’s first carbon project in 2012. He has extensive experience in assessing and providing voluntary and compliance carbon market solutions to forest landowners. On the weekends, he enjoys managing his own conserved working forest with his wife and two daughters in the mountain ridges of central Pennsylvania.
J.T. Horn is a senior project Mmnager at The Trust for Public Land’s Montpelier, VT office where he has worked since 2007. At TPL his experience includes creating new municipally managed community forests, conserving large timberland parcels, preserving farmland, and building citizen coalitions in support of conservation projects. His current portfolio covers the Northeast. Prior to TPL, he worked for 10 years at the Appalachian Trail Conservancy as the New England Director overseeing 730 miles of the Appalachian National Scenic Trail. J.T. is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of St. Lawrence University in Canton, NY with a degree in philosophy.
Judy Anderson of Community Consultants has worked in the land trust sector for over 20 years. Judy currently assists nonprofit organizations on practical strategic conservation initiatives incorporating local communities, climate change, governance, communications and community-based fundraising strategies. She also coaches land trusts in Guided Organizational Assessments, systems development, easement drafting and stewardship, inclusive conservation, and building greater community relevance to ensure their work withstands the test of time. Judy is a regular presenter at national and regional land trust conferences and trainings on topics including fundraising/outreach, easement drafting/stewardship, climate change and land protection, and inclusive conservation.
Julius Pasay is The Climate Trust’s forest and grassland manager, developing forest and grassland carbon projects for landowners throughout the United States. Prior to joining The Trust, Julius managed the Yale School Forests in New England and studied climate-smart agroforestry as a Fulbright Scholar in France. Julius holds a Master of Forestry degree from the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies and is a certified forester.
.Justin Garland is a Redwoods program manager for POST. With nearly a decade of conservation experience, he has worked to protect over 50K acres of forestland in CA and OR, and specializes in conservation of working forests and implementing sustainable forest management practices.
Karen Buck is vice president of conservation impact which radically impacts how organizations fulfill their missions and achieve results. Following 15 years working in fundraising, Karen now works with land trusts to create business, fundraising and marketing plans. She also teaches Reshape the Future: Be a Nonprofit CEO and is the author of, Ready, Set, Go, A Succession Toolkit.
Since 2004, Karen Martynick has been the executive director of Lancaster Farmland Trust a private, nonprofit land trust dedicated to preserving the rich, productive farmland of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. Prior to joining the Trust, Karen served for 12 years as County Commissioner in Chester County, where she was involved in the protection of over 30,000 acres of open space and farmland. Karen is on the Board of Directors of the Pennsylvania Land Trust Association, and is a member of the Land Trust Alliance Leadership Council.
Karin Marchetti Ponte is a lawyer who has devoted her career to land trust representation, in particular conservation easement design and drafting. She is the author of the drafting guide in the Conservation Easement Handbook, 2005, LTA. She has been general counsel to Maine Coast Heritage Trust since 1985, and principal at Land Conservation Legal Services since 1992. She is a member of the Claims Committee at Terrafirma Risk Retention Group. She authored legislation in Maine to limit amendment of conservation easements.
Kat Deely is outreach coordinator for Westchester Land Trust in Bedford, NY, as well as acting as the H2H NY Facilitator for the Hudson to Housatonic (H2H) Regional Conservation Partnership. She holds a master’s degree in natural resources from the FNEP Program at the University of Vermont. She also serves on the board of trustees for Merck Forest and Farmland Center in Rupert, VT. Her professional experience is in community conservation and deep programming.
Katherine “Kat” Garvey is the director of the Land Use and Sustainable Development Law Clinic at the WVU College of Law. The Land Use Clinic provides legal and planning services to conserve land and water, and support local land use planning. Garvey began her career at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region VII in the National Agricultural Compliance Assistance Center and with the Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics. She continued her focus on protection of natural resources as an assistant professor of law and staff attorney at the Land Use Clinic at Vermont Law School. In Vermont, Garvey worked with local governments, land trusts and other nonprofits to address legal questions related to land conservation in the Northeast. Professor Garvey received her law degree from the University of Missouri in Kansas City in 2004, and LLM from Vermont Law in 2010.
Catherine M. (Kate) Harper, a partner at Timoney Knox since 1997, is also a member of the Pennsylvania General Assembly in the House of Representatives, representing eastern Montgomery County. Ms. Harper has a general practice, but focuses on land use (particularly municipal, conservation and zoning law), real estate and civil litigation in Bucks and Montgomery Counties. She has argued before the Supreme Court of the United States, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals, all of the Pennsylvania appellate courts and the county courts in southeastern Pennsylvania. Kate also represents land trusts, landowners and conservancies in preservation projects and enforcement of conservation easements. With extensive experience in environmental issues, Ms. Harper served on the Environmental Hearing Board Rules Committee and was Vice-Chair of the Montgomery County Planning Commission and the Schuylkill Greenway Study Commission. She chaired the Montgomery County Open Space Planning Board and helped write the county’s Open Space Plan. She is past Chair and a founding member of the Montgomery County Lands Trust, a member of the Delaware River Regional Water Planning Committee, and was appointed by former Gov. Ed Rendell to the Statewide Water Resources Committee. She was a past member of the Board of Directors of 10,000 Friends of Pennsylvania, a statewide organization devoted to revitalizing urban areas and growth management in suburban and rural areas. Ms. Harper, who graduated maxima cum laude with a degree in political science from LaSalle University, was named to Who’s Who in American Colleges. She earned her law degree from the Villanova University School of Law in 1981.
Katherine Hollins is the program manager for the Sustaining Family Forests Initiative at the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies where she facilitates Tools for Engaging Landowners Effectively workshops throughout the U.S. Katherine has a background in natural resource outreach and communications, as well as experience managing multi-partner collaborative efforts. She has a master’s degree in natural resources and the environment from the University of Michigan and a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Virginia.
Kathy DeCoster began her tenure at The Trust for Public Land in 1994, becoming vice president and director of Federal Affairs in 2009. She has worked to secure funding for specific land conservation projects across the nation and advocated for new and existing programs such as the Land and Water Conservation Fund, Forest Legacy Program, and the Farmland Protection Program. Prior to joining TPL, Kathy worked on Capitol Hill for 14 years. Kathy has been an attendee and a presenter at numerous rallies over the years.
Katie Pofahl is the community outreach manager for the Elkhorn Slough Foundation on the central coast of California, working with K-12 schools and partners to develop outdoor classrooms and their use. In addition to her work with ESF Katie serves as a director for the Monterey Peninsula Regional Park District park district which includes the Outdoor Collective, a project to empower outdoor educators in Monterey County. She also formerly worked in documentary film and worked with PBS to create a documentary to promote ocean-friendly seafood choices with the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch program. Katie is originally from Wisconsin where she received degrees in Zoology and Conservation from the University of Wisconsin – Madison and learned a deep love for both wilderness and healthy working landscapes.
Katrina Howey is the Land Trust Alliance’s grant management specialist. For the past 13 years, Katrina has helped oversee and administer the New York State Conservation Partnership Program (NYSCPP). Funded through New York’s Environmental Protection Fund, the NYSCPP is managed by the Alliance in coordination with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. Between 2003-2017, the NYSCPP awarded 788 grants totaling $14.9 million to over 80 land trusts across the state, leveraged more than $17 million in local matching funds and enabled land trusts to conserve more than 27,000 acres of working lands, forests, wildlife habitat, and urban open space.
Kelly Watkinson is the Land and Climate Program Manager with the Land Trust Alliance. Kelly coordinates the efforts of the Alliance to help land trusts protect resilient lands, mitigate climate change, and pursue renewable energy solutions. Her previous experience includes 11 years as a resource and land conservation professional working to protect and restore lands of Chesapeake Bay watershed.
Kelsey Thompson is the education director for Athens Land Trust, where she oversees ALT’s three youth education and job-skills programs. She helps to design and implement youth programming, including curriculum design, staff oversight, and fundraising. Kelsey also oversees ALT’s AmeriCorps VISTA and Food Corps members who build capacity within the organization and Athens community. Kelsey’s unique background allows her to view community problems from a systematic and person-centered lens to craft effective solutions.
Kendrick Chittock is project manager for Western Reserve Land Conservancy, where he manages, coordinates and leads real estate transactions with individual project teams and professionals that move projects from negotiations through public funding and closing. Along with traditional land protection work, Kendrick works to engage the hunting and angling community through the Land Conservancy’s Sporting Circle.
Kenneth Holbrook (Maidu, Pit River) is executive director and a founding member of the Maidu Summit Consortium.
Kim Penn, a climate coordinator develops resources and provide technical assistance to help communities implement green/natural infrastructure as a strategy to reduce coastal hazards and climate impacts.
Kris Larson serves as executive director for the Minnesota Land Trust, where he has worked in various capacities since 1998. The Minnesota Land Trust is a state-wide non-profit organization with a mission to protect and restore Minnesota’s most vital natural assets. From 2003 to 2006, Mr. Larson served as the executive director of the Colorado Coalition of Land Trusts based in Denver, where he oversaw program delivery to more than 60 land trusts and local government conservation programs. Prior to 1998, he worked at the Brandywine Conservancy in Pennsylvania. Mr. Larson has an undergraduate degree from Carleton College and a master’s in environmental design from the University of Georgia.
Kristalyn Loson is a senior attorney with The Nature Conservancy and frequently advises on tax and regulatory issues related to fundraising and programmatic transactions. Previously Kristalyn worked in private practice advising dozens of charities, associations, and other tax-exempt organizations on issues such as private benefit, unrelated business income tax, charitable solicitation regulation and governance.
Kristen Sharpless is the executive director of Stowe Land Trust. A Vermont ecologist with more than ten years of experience in the conservation, education and nonprofit sectors, Kristen served as SLT’s program manager for four years before stepping into the executive director role in May 2018. Kristen came to SLT from Audubon Vermont where she worked as part of a team to implement strategic regional conservation programs through the Forest Bird Initiative, including the Foresters for the Birds Project – an innovative and nationally-recognized conservation partnership. A graduate of the University of Vermont’s Field Naturalist Program, Kristen has a deep appreciation for Vermont’s natural history, its communities, and the state’s working landscape. She has worked as a consulting ecologist and volunteer specializing in assisting municipalities with community-based town forest planning, as well as an educator engaging people of all ages in conservation education programs and projects.
Kristen Wishon is a public relations professional with seven years of experience in public relations, social media management and campaigns, marketing and writing. Originally from Charleston, WV, Kristen has her bachelor and master’s degrees in journalism from West Virginia University. Kristen’s passion for environmental conservation brought her to Pittsburgh in 2013 when she joined the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy’s communications team.
Kristie Kendall is the historic preservation manager at The Piedmont Environmental Council. She has worked in the preservation field for over 10 years, engaging in a variety of issues from battlefield landscape preservation to community-focused events honoring local heritage.
Kristin Deboer has worked in the environmental field for 25 years on a variety of issues from recycling and toxics-use reduction to endangered-species recovery and wilderness restoration. She has served as the executive director of Kestrel since 2006 and has overseen the organization’s growth from a volunteer-led group to a professionally staffed regional land trust. Kestrel tripled its rate of land protection and diversified its approach. Kristin holds a bachelor’s degree in economics and environmental science from Bucknell University and a master’s degree in environmental studies from Antioch University.
Kristin Kirkwood is the executive director of the Harford Land Trust (HLT) based in Bel Air, MD. She works with landowners to conserve land and protect its natural resources, scenic beauty, rural character, and promote a healthy quality of life in Harford County. Before joining HLT, Kristin was a senior manager with PricewaterhouseCoopers Public Sector LLP advisory practice for 10 years. She was a leader in the firm’s practice focused on government clients with international missions.
Kristin Thomasgard-Spence is the program director for the DoD’s REPI Program, which links conservation, communities and national defense. She provides policy and guidance to the Military Services’ land protection partnerships to sustain mission capability at 86 locations in 28 states. Ms. Thomasgard previously worked for the Army’s Sustainable Range Program, and she has a bachelors n political science and public administration from University of Wisconsin-La Crosse and an masters from the Johns Hopkins Carey Business School.
Kristina Ortez grew up in California’s San Joaquin Valley. She graduated from Harvard College with a degree in anthropology and has an MPA from the University of New Mexico. Kristina has been an organizer, advocate, policy analyst and board member on public lands and water issues for fourteen years. She is now the executive director at Taos Land Trust.
As Conservation Director, Krisztian protects and improves land across Georgia using conservation tools such as easements, NRCS programs, and program development to foster sustainable agriculture, wildlife habitats, and healthy communities in Georgia. Krisztian is a lifelong educator, with experience teaching in two-year institutions, Extension, and through community outreach on topics of planning, ecology, conservation, geospatial analysis, and water quality.
Larry Knutson’s orientation to sustainable, natural surface trails has been acquired as a contractor in the planning, design, construction, and maintenance of such trails, as well as, professional trails related education and certifications with the US Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management and Fish & Game. He is coauthor of the 2014 Universal Access Trails: Design, Management, Ethical, and Legal Considerations, for the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation & Natural Resources. Penn Trails, a member of the Professional Trail Builders Association, current 2016 trail planning, design and construction projects include sites in Pennsylvania, Maryland and Virginia.
Lawrence Kueter is an attorney with The Law Office of Lawrence R. Kueter in Denver, Colorado. His law practice is limited to land conservation. For 30 years he was with the law firm of Isaacson Rosenbaum, a firm nationally known for its conservation practice. Since 1990, his practice has included representing numerous landowners, local land trusts, governmental entities, and statewide and national conservation organizations in land conservation matters. He currently serves as legal counsel to the Colorado Coalition of Land Trusts and the Colorado Cattlemen’s Agricultural Land Trust. He is a former member of the Board of the Land Trust Alliance and former chair of the Land Trust Accreditation Commission. Larry received his law degree from the University of Denver. He has a master’s in economics from Wayne State University and received his bachelor’s from the University of Wisconsin.
Laura Robinson is a senior attorney with The Nature Conservancy and has assisted on conservation transactions throughout the Southern United States since 1994. Working to assist the various Chapters of The Nature Conservancy, as well as state and local governments throughout Florida, Georgia, Arkansas, Mississippi, and Louisiana, Laura has been instrumental in the acquisition of fee and conservation easements on hundreds of thousands of acres of critical conservation lands. Laura has an undergraduate degree in Zoology from the University of Florida and a law degree from the University of Florida, Levin College of Law.
Laura Szwak directs New Jersey Conservation Foundation’s Conservation Assistance program, that includes a grant program for conservation nonprofits, annual NJ Land Conservation conference, and the NJ Land Trust Network. She also manages NJ Conservation Foundation’s work in developing and promoting the Conservation Blueprint, a statewide planning and mapping project. Laura has formerly worked for the Land Conservancy of NJ as Assistant Director, and for the National Park Service as an Outdoor Recreation Planner.
Lauren Long, a coastal conservation specialist with The Baldwin Group at NOAA’s Office for Coastal Management, develops products, conducts trainings, and provides technical assistance to help communities increase their resilience to hazards using natural infrastructure. Lauren teaches the Office’s Green Infrastructure for Coastal Resilience course and has recently helped develop several products to help communities assess their exposure to hazards and identify priority conservation areas to increase resilience.
Lee Alexander is the conservation projects manager with Columbia Land Conservancy in upstate New York. She is a graduate of Cornell University, where she studied natural resources and agricultural ecology. Lee began her conservation career with The Nature Conservancy in 2000, where she conserved freshwater systems through land protection and state policy. She later worked with both The Trustees of Reservations in MA and Scenic Hudson in NY before joining the staff of her home land trust in 2015. Lee is delighted to be raising her young son in Columbia County, where she herself developed her love for the outdoors.
Leia has been working in education for over 20 years. Leia’s commitment to community conservation in her 8-year tenure as director of education at Kennebunkport Conservation Trust has led to the expansion of the Trust in Education program from K-5 to a vibrant k-12 program as well as programming for all ages. Leia enjoys spreading this passion for conservation through place-based education; connecting people to their local landscape, the local heritage and each other in order to create a stronger sense of place and encourage a future of conservationists.
Leigh Whelpton is the program director of the Conservation Finance Network at Island Press, a program that seeks to accelerate the pace and scale of land and resource conservation, restoration, and stewardship in the United States. Prior to Island Press, Leigh managed professional training programs and applied conservation initiatives for the Cheetah Conservation Fund in Namibia. Leigh holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of California at Berkeley and an master’s degree in environmental science from the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies.
Lena Pollastro has been with the Land Trust of Napa County since 2007, currently serving as their lands project Mmnager. She supervises the monitoring & stewardship program for all completed conservation projects, covering 45,000 acres in Napa County. She also manages the land acquisition program for the organization, including all aspects of drafting, due diligence and landowner contact. Previously, Lena was the stewardship coordinator for the Inland Northwest Land Conservancy. She has a bachelor’s in environmental sciences and a master’s in natural resource sciences from Washington State University.
Leslie Ratley-Beach joined the Land Trust Alliance as its first Conservation Defense Director in 2007. Leslie leads the national conservation defense liability insurance program (Terrafirma) and the Alliance’s conservation defense center. Previously, she worked with the Vermont Land Trust as stewardship director and project counsel.
Lianna Lee has worked at accredited land trusts throughout New England, and is currently the Communications Specialist for the Northern Forest Center. She is also a founding board member of TerraCorps, an AmeriCorps program that places members with environmental organizations in Massachusetts.
Linda Orel is a Conservation Finance Director with The Trust for Public Land. Based in Boston, Linda drafts legislation and designs ballot measures, while managing voter outreach campaigns for land and water conservation. She has been directly involved in technical assistance, ballot measures and legislative campaigns at the state and local level in Arkansas, Connecticut, Georgia, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Vermont. Linda also directs The Trust for Public Land’s climate conservation work, providing technical assistance to state and local governments and citizen groups to create new public funds for natural climate solutions. Linda is the Executive Director of The Trust for Public Land Action Fund, TPL’s lobbying affiliate. Prior to her work at The Trust for Public Land, Linda was an environmental lawyer, advocate, teacher and foundation officer, and directed a statewide nonprofit.
Lisa McCauley is an easement specialist with the US Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service in Montana.
Liz Brownlee is the Executive Director of Oak Heritage Conservancy, a land trust that serves southeast Indiana. Liz is a Millennial, a sustainable farmer, and a Board Member of the Indiana Land Protection Alliance.
Lori Faeth joined the Land Trust Alliance as Government Relations Director in July, 2017. In her role, Lori is responsible for advancing policy strategies and securing public funding to support land trusts and advance land conservation. She is a veteran of both federal and state government as well as nonprofit organizations. Lori joined the Alliance after serving as the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy and International Affairs at the U.S. Department of the Interior where she was responsible for advancing the Department’s cross-cutting and mutli-stakeholder domestic and international policy issues. Prior to returning to DC in 2009 she spent six years as a senior advisor to Arizona Governor Janet Napolitano. She advised the governor on a broad range of issues including agriculture, energy, natural resources, and the environment. She worked on broad policy issues including forest health, climate change and water management and represented Arizona on the Western Governors Association Staff Advisory Council and the Western Interstate Energy Board. Previously, she spent more than ten years at The Nature Conservancy as part of the national government relations team, ending her tenure as the Director of Government Relations for Arizona.
Lori Robertson has a background in education and youth engagement. She has worked extensively over the past 15 years with public land partners to implement programs that advance the public’s understanding and support of conservation initiatives. She is currently the director of conservation at National Recreation and Parks Association. Lori has a bachelor’s in creative writing from Montclair State University and certificate in marketing from Georgetown University.
Public Opinion Strategies Partner Lori Weigel is based in the firm’s Colorado office. Professionally, Weigel has a unique niche as a “conservative conservationist.” She has polled extensively for conservation organizations, including The Nature Conservancy, the Trust for Public Land, the Energy Foundation, Environmental Defense Fund, National Wildlife Federation, the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, the Wilderness Society, the League of Conservation Voters, the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies and the Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions at Duke University. This has included extensive research on clean energy, climate change, land conservation, and water quality issues. Lori has spoken about public lands and conservation issues at numerous conferences and forums, including to US Fish and Wildlife Service and NOAA last year, at the Department of Interior, Department of Agriculture, White House, Capitol Hill, and to the boards of TNC, NRDC, CGBD, and other conservation organizations. Weigel has directed research efforts for hundreds of political and public affairs campaigns throughout the country, including polling on behalf of presidential campaigns in four of the last five presidential elections. Her political work today is primarily focused on polling for and against ballot measures. She has polled on behalf of the winning side of statewide ballot measure campaigns in over a dozen states, as well as local measures from Washington to New Jersey and Florida to Wyoming.
Lynette Tully joined the Maryland Environmental Trust in 2016 as their easement stewardship specialist. She works closely with easement landowners, volunteers and partnering local land trust to conduct regular monitoring of MET’s 1084 easement properties. Lynette first joined the land trust community as a conservation assistant with the Virginia Outdoors Foundations. She also served as a natural resource field technician with California State Parks focusing on native habitat restoration and invasive species control.
Maianna Voge is a senior GIS specialist with GreenInfo Network with broad experience in helping land trusts and other organizations with GIS systems, data, analysis and map development.
Marc Smiley is an organizational development consultant and owner of Solid Ground Consulting, who has worked with hundreds of land trusts since 1989. Marc’s background as a staff member, executive director, board member, and officer for land conservation groups is complemented with more than 30 years of consulting experience covering the “core muscles” needed for effective land trusts: leadership, strategy, brand, and culture, and of course, fundraising. Marc wrote two of the Alliance’s Learning Center curricula (boards and fundraising), was one in the first group of Accreditation Commissioners, and has presented at more than 25 Rallies.
Maria Janowiak is a trained forester and deputy Ddrector of the Northern Institute of Applied Climate Science. She is also the coordinator for the New England Climate Change Response Framework, serving New York, Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island. Maria has been working with land managers on issues related to climate change and adaptation since 2007.
Mark Anderson is director of conservation science for The Nature Conservancy’s Eastern U.S. Region. He provides science leadership, ecological analysis, and landscape assessments for conservation efforts across twenty-two eastern states. He holds a doctorate in ecology from University of New Hampshire and has published widely on climate change resilience, large landscape conservation, biodiversity, and forest dynamics. In 2016, Mark won The Nature Conservancy’s Conservation Achievement award.
Mark Robinson has served as executive director of The Compact of Cape Cod Conservation Trusts, Inc. since its founding in 1986. The Compact provides technical assistance to 25 land trusts on Cape Cod, including landowner negotiations, fundraising, land management, and state/municipal coordination. Mark previously worked on coastal management and water quality issues for the Cape Cod Planning and Economic Development Commission. He has served on the Barnstable Conservation Commission, Lincoln Institute of Land Policy Conservation Study Group, Massachusetts Land Trust Coalition, and Association to Preserve Cape Cod. He is the Governor’s representative on the Cape Cod National Seashore Advisory Commission.
Mark Schiavone is the executive director of the Berkeley County Farmland Protection Board. He manages 50+ easements totaling over 5,000 acres. He is also vice president of the West Virginia Association of Farmland Protection Boards.
Mark Secrist is a Fish and Wildlife Biologist in the Division of Habitat Restoration for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in Maryland.
Mary Alice joined the Conservation Trust for North Carolina in 2016 as the communications and marketing director where she leads the effort to build greater public awareness for land trusts and connect North Carolina communities to the benefits of conservation. For more than 25 years, CTNC has helped save the places you love – streams, forests, farms, scenic vistas, wildlife habitat, parks, and trails. CTNC protects natural areas along the Blue Ridge Parkway, assists 22 local land trusts, and connects North Carolinians from all walks of life to the outdoors. Mary Alice earned her degree in Mass Communications and Rhetorical Writing from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. In her spare time, Mary Alice enjoys hiking with her dog, Hazel, and exploring North Carolina’s hidden treasures from her kayak.
Mary Burke is the associate director for educational services for the Land Trust Alliance where she serves as the managing editor for the Standards and Practices Curriculum, the most authoritative resource on private land conservation in the United States. Mary also produces webinars and other resources for land trusts, including Field Guide, a quarterly newsletter on issues of importance to boards. Prior to joining the Alliance, Mary worked for Sun Microsystems where she developed custom training solutions for government, business and education organizations. She has taught literature and writing at the University of Maryland where she also earned her Ph.D. in English literature. Mary also holds a master’s degree in English literature from Georgetown University and a degree in journalism from the University of Texas.
MaryKay O’Donnell is the senior midwest program manager for the Land Trust Alliance and is responsible for assisting land trusts with organizational and leadership development, training, mentoring, and peer learning. In coordination with Gathering Waters, MaryKay co-manages the Land Trust Excellence and Advancement Program (LEAP) in Wisconsin. She came to the Alliance in 2007 with 18 years of experience in conservation land acquisition. MaryKay co-authored a Standards and Practices Curriculum Guide titled Acquiring Land and Conservation Easements. She enjoys living in northern Michigan with her husband and two boys, and is on a quest to visit every major league baseball park.
Meghan Mullee is an assistant vice president in the Nonprofit & Corporate Risk division at Alliant Insurance Services, Inc. A Kohlberg Kravis Roberts (KKR) portfolio partner, Alliant is the largest specialty brokerage in the United States, and ranks among the top five privately held insurance brokerage firms nationwide. Meghan has written and presented on insurance topics for the Land Trust Alliance and works closely with land trusts nationally to solve their insurance needs.
Melinda Beck practices in the area of conservation, land use, real estate transactions and real property transfers. Melinda assists local governments, land trusts and private landowners with purchases and donations of conservation easements throughout the United States and internationally. In her career, Melinda has completed hundreds of conservation transactions. Melinda’s practice also includes assisting landowners and land trusts with issues related to oil and gas development, including negotiation of leases and surface use agreements.
Melissa oversees the accreditation review process, works closely with the Commission to review and update the Requirements Manual, and has reviewed over 70 accreditation applications to date. Previously, she worked at The Nature Conservancy developing key ecological indicators for the Hudson River adaptive management plan and collecting data to assess the success of invasive species reduction programs. Melissa has a master’s degree in biodiversity, conservation and policy from the University at Albany and a bachelor’s degree in biology from Cornell University.
Merritt C. Reitzel practices corporate/business and real estate law, as well as general litigation, with the Harrisburg, Pennsylvania law firm of Schiffman, Sheridan & Brown, P.C. She advises local and statewide land trusts in the establishment, interpretation, assignment, and enforcement of conservation and historic preservation easements, and provides counsel in the area of non-profit corporation law. In September of 2017, Ms. Reitzel was appointed as Commissioner of the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board.
Mike Koutnik is a board member for Gathering Waters in Madison, Wisconsin, and lives in Eagan, MN. He is also a founding board member and chair-elect for the Friends of Lake Superior Reserve. Mike is assisting both organizations with leveraging GIS to achieve their objectives. He has 25 years experience in GIS, with most of that time spent with Esri. Mike is also helping individual trusts with their GIS needs.
Mike Powell is an attorney and has been the executive director at Greenbelt Land Trust of Mid-Missouri since 2015. He has put his legal and management skills to work over the last three years helping Greenbelt and other nonprofits to provide their employees with competitive, affordable health insurance. He has more than a decade of experience working with nonprofits on issues of governance, finance, and accounting, and has been working in the land trust sector since 2013.
Mike Williams is the real property manager with the Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District. Mike has worked for the District for 24 years and helped to permanently protect over 27,000 acres of open space and parkland in the Santa Cruz Mountains, foothills and bay lands of the Peninsula south of San Francisco in San Mateo, Santa Clara and Santa Cruz Counties. Mike attributes much of the success of District’s land conservation efforts to working collaboratively with private and public land conservation partners, counties, cities, towns and local communities.
Miranda Chien-Hale is a scientist at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency working on issues pertaining to water quality. Miranda received a master’s degree in environmental management with a focus on water resources management from Duke University’s Nicholas School of the Environment, and a bachelor’s degree in geology from Occidental College.
Miriam Avins is the founder and executive director of Baltimore Green Space. She has published white papers on community-managed open space; stewardship practices of land trusts; and Baltimore’s forest patches and received the 2010 Aileen Hughes Award for Leadership in Land Conservation. Miriam is co-chair of the Baltimore City Commission on Sustainability.
Misti Schmidt is an attorney at Coblentz Patch Duffy & Bass in San Francisco, where she focuses her practice on the real estate and tax aspects of conservation transactions under the mentorship of Bill Hutton. She also has expertise in the acquisition, disposition, financing, and leasing of commercial real estate. Misti received her juris doctorate from the University of California, Berkeley, Boalt Hall School of Law, where she received a Certificate in Environmental Law. Prior to becoming a lawyer, Misti was an AmeriCorps*VISTA Leader at an environmental project and was a law clerk at the Center for Biological Diversity, EarthJustice, and the Natural Heritage Institute.
Molly Fales serves as the director of conservation transactions at CCALT where she manages conservation easement transactions and assists with public policy. In addition to working to conserve Colorado’s agricultural lands, she grew up on a working ranch outside Carbondale, CO, which is now under a conservation easement. Molly holds a bachelor’s from Dartmouth College and a law degree from the University of Oregon School of Law. She is a member of the Colorado Bar.
Monique Stairs graduated from Limestone Community School and went on to study at the University of Maine at Orono. Her early career was within the mental health field. In November 2010, she began working for SUFU. She has been the program director for the last 4 years. She sits on the Maine Developmental Disabilities Council and is an active volunteer for Girl Scouts of Maine.
Nancy Moore is managing partner of The Conservation Consulting Group (CCG), a collective of highly experienced professionals dedicated to building the capacity and advancing the mission of conservation organizations throughout the United States. Specialties of CCG include strategic planning, board development, facilitation, organizational assessments, coaching, and education. Nancy also has more than 30 years of experience in nonprofit management and leadership, including 11 years as an executive director. Additionally, she applies her passion for the natural environment, talents as a group leader and facilitator, and interest in other cultures as an international adventure travel expedition leader for Natural Habitat Adventures, exclusive partner of the World Wildlife Fund.
Nancy Terseck joined the staff of Piedmont Environmental Council in the fall of 2016. Previously, Nancy served as the Controller for CRDF Global. She also spent several years overseeing the finance department at the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. She holds a degree in Accounting from the College of St. Benedict in Minnesota. Being a transplant, Nancy has grown to love the beauty and rich history of Virginia. She is excited to be a part of an organization that works to preserve and promote the natural beauty of the Piedmont region. In her spare time, she enjoys exploring the historic towns of the area with family and friends.
Nate Fuller is the conservation and stewardship Director for Southwest Michigan Land Conservancy. He works with partners and volunteers to develop and implement conservation and restoration projects throughout southwest Michigan. He is a graduate of Northland College and Western Michigan University with degrees in biology and geography with an emphasis in environmental and resource analysis. Nate has 20 years of experience working for conservation organizations providing environmental stewardship and education.
After a business career, Nathan Aaberg has worked for an urban river advocacy group, a land trust, and now for the Liberty Prairie Foundation (LPF). Located in the Prairie Crossing conservation community in Grayslake, Illinois, LPF is a nonprofit dedicated to people and nature thriving together. Many of its programs are devoted to promoting sustainable food, and Nathan leads its land access activities. Nathan lives in Prairie Crossing with his family and myriad native plants.
Neal Bungard is a Natural Resource Program Leader in 20 State Northeastern Area of the USDA Forest Service. Neal has worked in forest land conservation since 2001 with the Forest Legacy Program. Neal is currently the USDA Forest Service Community Forest Program Manager for the 20 States. In this capacity Neal has worked with a number of town and not for profit entities to create or expand over 20 Community Forests totaling over 7,000 acres since 2012.
Nelson Checkoway, co-founder and principal of Rising Tide Direct LLC, has three decades of experience as an annual fund director, fundraising consultant, and award-winning copywriter. He has served dozens of conservation organizations including the National Audubon Society, American Farmland Trust, Triangle Land Conservancy, Texas Agricultural Land Trust, and The Nature Conservancy. Nelson has written, edited and/or produced more than 2,000 direct response fundraising letters raising nearly one-half-billion dollars in annual fund and membership gifts.
Nick Richardson is the vice president for enterprise and finance at the Vermont Land Trust (VLT), where he oversees operations and long-term financial strategy, and leads VLT’s work on a range of economic development efforts. Previously, Nick served as the director of operations at Encore Redevelopment, a Vermont-based renewable energy development company. Nick received his master’s in business administration from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College, where he was the inaugural recipient of the James Allwin Award for Community Service. (E14)
Pam Greene has worked for the Peconic Land Trust for 22 years in various capacities. She was the director of stewardship for six years with responsibilities that included the coordination and management of all properties owned and protected by the Trust. Most recently she became senior vice president, continuing her stewardship responsibilities along with Human Resources and other management responsibilities for the Trust. She recently completed Leadership Development training at the Center for Creative Leadership in Greensboro, North Carolina. A native of Indiana, Pam has resided in Hampton Bays with her husband, three children, and two grandchildren for the last twenty-nine years.
Pat Pregmon understands conservation transactions from all points of view, having represented land trusts, owners and government agencies in hundreds of transactions. She brings to conservation the experience gained in planning and implementing sophisticated real estate and finance transactions as a partner with a large, national law firm. In 1998 she formed Pregmon Law Offices. She has authored numerous model documents and guides. She is a member of the Alliance’s Conservation Defense Advisory Council.
Patrick Williams brings both a personal passion for conservation as well as a professional focus in public communications to his position with Openlands. He has previously worked with the Illinois Chapter of the Sierra Club and Chicago Wilderness and completed an internship with Openlands in 2014. He has a bachelor’s in History from the University of St Andrews/College of William & Mary Joint Degree Program.
Paul Keogan is founder and principal at BackOffice Thinking. Paul has been a leading technology consultant for the past 20 years. Paul’s passion is to transform his clients’ use of technology to better serve and engage their constituents, grow their donor base, and run their organizations more effectively. He consults with nonprofit executives on technology, finance, and communication strategy and, with the BackOffice Thinking team, has led numerous software selection, design, and implementation projects throughout the U.S.
Paul MacDonald is a director and shareholder of the Concord, N.H. law firm of Ransmeier & Spellman P.C. Paul concentrates his practice in real estate, land use and municipal law, and land conservation law, and is admitted to practice both in New Hampshire and Vermont. Paul is a past chair of Five Rivers Conservation Trust, a local land trust serving the Concord, New Hampshire area.
Peter R. Stein joined The Lyme Timber Company in 1990 as managing director and provides leadership in the structuring of conservation-oriented forestland and rural land purchases and dispositions. Peter also manages the Company’s conservation advisory business. Previously, Peter was senior vice president of the Trust for Public Land. Peter is a member of the boards of the National Alliance of Forestland Owners, the Forest History Society and the Hubbard Brook Research Foundation. He is a former board chair of the Land Trust Alliance and served as a founding Commissioner of the Land Trust Accreditation Commission.
Rachel Soobitsky is a geospatial project manager in the Chesapeake Conservancy’s Conservation Innovation Center, a nonprofit organization based in Annapolis, MD that empowers partner organizations with innovative data, analyses, and tools for improving management outcomes. She has expertise in land cover data development and documentation, partner management, and project tracking.
Rand Wentworth teaches leadership, negotiation and environmental policy at the Harvard Kennedy School. He was president of the Land Trust Alliance from 2002-2016 and now serves as president emeritus. Wentworth was the founding director of the Atlanta office of the Trust for Public Land and, in his first career, was president of a commercial real estate development company. He is a graduate of Yale University and has an MBA from Cornell University.
Ray Lyons, a conservation attorney based in Harvard, Massachusetts, represents landowners, the New England Forestry Foundation, the Northeast Wilderness Trust, and other conservation organizations. He serves on LTA’s Education Committee and Conservation Defense Advisory Council (emeritus) and the Massachusetts Easement Defense Subcommittee (MEDS). A former trustee of the Groton Conservation Trust, he holds a BA in Music from Ithaca College and law degree from Suffolk University.
Rebecca Dahl currently works for the Thousand Islands Land Trust in Clayton, NY as the Zenda Farms programs director, where she is developing and implementing plans to revitalize TILT’s Zenda Farms Preserve into a model for sustainable agriculture and a center for environmental education and community engagement. Her love of the land comes from her diverse work at farms, zoos, and as an environmental educator.
Rebecca Jewett has led Palmer Land Trust as executive director since 2014. With over a decade of experience in the outdoor and conservation fields, she has overseen the planning, management, and implementation of countless environmental restoration, stewardship, and conservation projects working with government agencies, stakeholders, and the public.
Rebecca Martin Seaman has been the chairman of the Dutchess Land Conservancy board since 2014 after taking on the vice chairmanship in 2007, and serving on the board since 2002. She heads/serves on numerous DLC Committees including Executive, Development, Finance and Investment. Rebecca graduated from the Southern Methodist University School of Law and has practiced in Texas and in New York.
Reggie Hall is the director of The Conservation Fund’s land conservation loan program, where he works with land trusts, nonprofits, community partners and government leaders nationwide to save special places outdoors. He started his land conservation career at the Conservancy of Southwest Florida before moving on to the Carolina Mountain Land Conservancy in NC. He has a juris doctorate from Vermont Law School and a bachelors from Williams College.
Rick Flores is a graduate student at UC Santa Cruz.
Rita Hite is vice president for public affairs at American Forest Foundation.
Rob Aldrich is director of community conservation at the Land Trust Alliance. Previously, he was director of communications, and also director of information services. Rob has worked for USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service, a private consulting firm on contract to USAID, and was a Peace Corps volunteer in Guatemala. He speaks Spanish and has a bachelor’s in plant and soil science with a master’s in urban planning.
Rob Levin practices law in Portland, Maine, specializing in land conservation. He represents a variety of land trusts and landowners, and has spoken and written extensively on land conservation issues. Since 2005, Rob has written and updated Land Conservation Case Law Summaries for the Land Trust Alliance.
Rob Wade is a place-based educator in the Upper Feather River region of California’s northern Sierra Nevada. He is the creator / coordinator of Learning Landscapes, a K-12 partnership between the Feather River Land Trust and regional schools that supports all teachers and some 2000 students annually. Rob is the 2017 recipient of the Excellence in Environmental Education Award, presented by the California Environmental Education Foundation.
Bob Heiser is a regional director for Vermont Land Trust where he has worked for 13 years focusing on community, forest, and family lands. Bob previously worked for NorthWoods Stewardship Center on their Ecosystem Management Project and for Cambridge Associates advising governing boards of higher educational and non-profit organizations on financial matters. Bob graduated from Amherst College and has a master’s degree in resource ecology from the University of Michigan and an MBA from Dartmouth College.
Ron Carlton is the legislative director for The Trust for Public Land’s Federal Affairs Department. He is the organization’s lead federal affairs advocate for land conservation in Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Oregon, South Dakota, Texas, Vermont, Washington, and Wisconsin. He also coordinates a broad group of nongovernmental organizations and municipal agencies that support the Community Forest Program. Additionally, Ron is The Trust for Public Land’s liaison to the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service.
Ron Rohrbaugh is assistant director of the Cornell Lab’s Conservation Science Program. For more than 20 years his work has focused on science-based conservation through strategic planning, research, citizen science, and partnerships. He is also chair of the International Wood Thrush Conservation Alliance and a board member of the Appalachian Mountains Joint Venture.
Ms. Leigh has worked exclusively in the field of Indian law since graduating from the U.C. Berkeley School of Law. She is currently a Partner at Berkey Williams LLP, a law firm dedicated to representing Indian tribes and Tribal organizations. Ms. Leigh serves Tribal clients in many areas of the law, including environmental and cultural resources protection, health, welfare, employment, Indian child welfare, Tribal TANF, land rights, and Tribal law. Ms. Leigh has appeared in federal, state, and Tribal courts on a number of issues affecting Tribal rights and sovereignty. She regularly appears before the Intertribal Court of Southern California on Indian child welfare and other Tribal matters
Ryan Owens has been executive director of the Monadnock Conservancy in Keene, New Hampshire since 2008. He is a former president of the New Hampshire Land Trust Coalition and serves as an online expert on the Land Trust Alliance’s Ask an Expert forum in The Learning Center. He completed his master’s degree through the Field Naturalist Program at the University of Vermont and holds an undergraduate degree in ecology from Dartmouth College.
Sara Barker is the project leader for the Land Trust Bird Conservation Initiative and focuses on priority bird species of conservation concern and developing habitat management plans and conservation strategies.
Sara Michael is the charitable giving manager for the Leelanau Conservancy. Sara manages the annual giving program and helps with large campaigns which have included a $21 million capital campaign and the creation of some of their most beloved natural areas.
Sara Wilson is president and principal consultant of Mayes | Wilson & Associates and is passionate about helping land trusts build strong boards and board-staff relationships. Over the last 15 years she has helped scores of organizations operate more effectively; govern in alignment with current land trust best practices; navigate through board and staff leadership transitions; and plan comprehensively for the future. She is a frequent trainer at Rally and state-wide land trust conferences.
Sarah Barnes, a once-reluctant Indiana native, left a solitary field position to join Shirley Heinze Land Trust in 2014 to deliver the Mighty Acorns curriculum with partners in Northwest Indiana. As programs manager she oversees outreach, education, and land protection. Sarah is passionate about fostering a sense of place in local youth through positive outdoor experiences. Her commitment to conservation drives Sarah to connect people of all ages and backgrounds with nature.
Sarah Brooks joined the Methow Conservancy in the spring of 2004, bringing with her experience in public relations, fundraising, and publication production for nonprofit organizations. Sarah serves as Associate Director, overseeing the organization’s fundraising activities and had the honor to be the Campaign Director for the Methow Conservancy’s successful $20 million Imagine the Methow Campaign. She has served on the board of Advancement Northwest chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals and is a frequent presenter on fundraising issues in the Northwest.
Sarah Clark is a senior associate with the Institute for Conservation Leadership and has over 20 years of experience in collaborative efforts and leadership development with advocacy and community-based organizations. Sarah earned her master’s degree in organization development from American University/NTL and a bachelor’s degree in sociology from Miami University.
Sarah Mayhew is the director of education for the Little Traverse Conservancy in northern Michigan. She has worked in the field of environmental and adventure education for 15 years.Her professional experiences include: interpretation for the Michigan State Parks, adventure education through Bellingham Parks & Rec. in Washington State, and snowboard instruction.Sarah has been with the Little Traverse Conservancy since 2011. The Conservancy has an established direct-service K-12 education program that reaches 4,000 students per school year from 40 different schools.throughout their five county service area. Program topics range from insects and plants to snowshoeing and nature photography. All programs are conducted on Little Traverse Conservancy properties, and meet the current curriculum standards for the State of Michigan, through their goal of promoting appreciation and awareness of the natural world.cy.
Dr. Sarah Reed is the director of applied conservation science for the Americas Program of the Wildlife Conservation Society and an Affiliate Faculty member in the Department of Fish, Wildlife and Conservation Biology at Colorado State University. She has over 17 years of experience researching how land development and human activities affect wildlife and biodiversity and working with communities and government agencies to apply conservation science to land-use planning and policy.
Sarah Wells, director of land protection, manages Mount Grace’s Landscape Conservation Program which focuses on biodiversity conservation by designing multi-landowner landscape-scale land protection projects. She is also responsible for providing leadership for the North Quabbin Regional Landscape Partnership. Before joining Mount Grace in 2012, Sarah was the MassLIFT-AmeriCorps Regional Conservationist with the Partnership where she was responsible for organizing the multi-partner/multi-landowner Quabbin to Wachusett (Q2W) Forest Legacy Project. Sarah is a wildlife biologist and conservationist with five years of experience working on ecological restoration and land protection projects, and holds a bachelor’s degree in natural resources studies with a minor in wildlife and fisheries conservation from UMass-Amherst. Sarah is a native of Orange, MA and lives at Fox Hill Farm in Orange.
Scott Fulton is a biotechnology entrepreneur who became actively involved with conservation and the land trust movement by working as an active volunteer on site management and citizen science projects for the last 15 years with his local (Madison, WI) chapter of The Prairie Enthusiasts. His involvement gradually grew to leadership at the overall organization level, and he is currently serving as the board president.
Scott Morton is the Easement Coordinator for the USDA-NRCS in Arizona and has worked for USDA-NRCS since 2005. He obtained his bachelor’s degree in forestry at Louisiana Tech University.
After building Mainspring’s land protection program into one of the strongest in the Southern Blue Ridge, Sharon became just the second executive director in the organization’s history in 2015. Prior to joining Mainspring in 2001, Sharon worked as a Research Technician for the University of Georgia at Coweeta Hydrologic Laboratory. During her 14-year tenure as Land Protection Manager and then Deputy Director, Mainspring protected 33 miles of the Little Tennessee River and conserved 24,000 acres of land, including all municipally owned watersheds west of Waynesville. Sharon was instrumental in launching conservation initiatives with the Eastern Band of Cherokee and merging the Little Tennessee Watershed Association into Mainspring, expanding the core initiatives to include water restoration and youth education. Sharon is a graduate of Western Carolina University with a degree in Natural Resource Management.
Shelley Raymond is director of finance and operations for Essex County Greenbelt Association. Shelley has worked at Greenbelt for over five years and was the lead on Greenbelt’s website redesign. She graduated with a bachelor’s in environmental science from UMass Amherst and an MBA from Antioch University New England.
Shelli’s passion is land trust success and sustainability. As president of Conservation Impact, she has worked with 100+ land trusts and 500 conservation groups to help them be more potent and efficient. Shelli’s dynamic, truth-telling style challenges organizations to be as great as they must be, and inspires boards, directors and staff to question assumptions and reframe their thinking about the future. Are you ready to take your land trust to its next level of success and sustainability? Shelli can help you build the skills, mindset and confidence to get there. Shelli has spent her career providing technical assistance, training, consulting, writing, and graduate level teaching to help nonprofits achieve their missions.
Sheryl Schaffner runs her own solo law practice, SF North Bay Law, with a focus on environmental protection, land conservation, public agency law, and mediation services. She has a 24-year history of providing in-house and contract legal services to cities, counties, special districts, state agencies and nonprofit organizations, including land trusts. She has also served as a land trust board member, as an elected city councilwoman, and as a pro tem judge. She recently retired from her position as General Counsel to the Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District, and started her own firm.
Soapy began her real estate career in 1978 working for a major west coast developer, managing the acquisition and construction of 15,000 apartment units and consulted on the construction and property management of numerous large-scale projects in the Western United States. Soapy currently sits on the PG&E Pacific Forest and Watershed Lands Stewardship Council as Vice President, the Statewide Blue Print Committee, The Leavens’ Ranches Board of Directors, the Aldo Leopold Award selection committee, and the Tejon Ranch Conservancy Board of Directors. She is a member of the California Cattlemen’s Association and the Farm Bureau. Soapy served under Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger on the Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board, and under Governor Pete Wilson on the Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board (OSHA). She participated in the California Agricultural Leadership Program and then served as a member of their Board of Directors. She previously served on the California Ag Visioning Committee, as interim President of the Tulare County Economic Development Corporation. Soapy’s love of agriculture and the Sierra foothills motivated her to relocate from San Diego to Springville in 1993, where she has owned and managed ranches and a small citrus operation since 1989. She is now the executive director of Sequoia Riverlands.
Stacy McCormack is conservation finance director for the Mid-Atlantic at the Trust for Public Land (TPL). Stacy joined TPL in September 2016. Stacy leads efforts to generate new sources of conservation funding at the state and local level with a focus on New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Prior to joining TPL, Stacy was the director of government affairs for American Littoral Society where she worked to secure sustainable funding for open space in New Jersey. Stacy has also worked in state agencies and local governments on a wide variety of environmental issues including recycling policy, food access, and increasing parks, playgrounds, and community gardens in underserved communities.
Stephanie Goglia as a program specialist with the US Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service in Washington DC.
Stephanie has worked for the Marin Agricultural Land Trust in Northern California since 2013 and previously interned for the Upper Valley Land Trust in Hanover, NH. She holds a bachelor’s in global studies and history from UC Santa Barbara, a law and master’s degree in environmental law and policy from Vermont Law School, and is a licensed California attorney. Prior to joining MALT, Stephanie was an environmental journalist with the Las Vegas Sun.
Food is a universal experience; an act that unites everyone. This realization profoundly influenced Stephen’s decision to farm. He spent five years learning in deep Wisconsin loam, Maine silt loam, and Georgia clay. Working on diverse farms in these soils instilled a strong sense of community, respect for the land and its inhabitants, and the sweat and knowledge needed to steward a farm. Stephen continued his farm odyssey by joining the Fondy Food Center in 2010. Working with immigrant and limited resource farmers to establish a 40 acre farm along Lake Michigan has been a dream come true. Starting a second farm, with a third in the works is icing on the cake. He loves puzzles. Current ones include: learning to speak Hmong, remembering how to speak Spanish, fitting new ideas into old techniques, and ensuring that farming is a viable and accessible vocation and avocation. Stephen graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a degree in Literature and Creative Writing. He can walk his two dogs at once, but only one cat at a time. The horse and pony are another story.
Stephen J. Small is recognized as the nation’s leading authority on private land protection options and strategies. Before authoring the Federal Tax Law of Conservation Easements and Preserving Family Lands: Book I, Book II, and Book III and his latest book, The Business of Open Space: What’s Next??, Steve wrote the federal Income Tax Regulations on Conservation Easements as attorney-advisor in the Office of Chief Counsel of the Internal Revenue Service.
Steve Epting is national coordinator of the Tribal Clean Water Act (CWA) Section 319 Nonpoint Source Program, in addition to serving as a team member in the Healthy Watersheds Program at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. His work focuses on assisting states, tribes and partners in implementing watershed-based approaches to protect and restore water quality associated with nonpoint source pollution. Steve has a M.S. from University of Maryland, where he conducted research to model wetland-stream connectivity using field-based and geospatial datasets.
Steve Swartz recently retired as general counsel for the Humane Society Wildlife Land Trust, a national land trust based in Washington, D.C. Before taking that position in 1999, he was in private practice for nearly 20 years concentrating in the areas of real estate law and governmental regulation with particular emphasis on litigation, arbitration, dispute resolution and loss prevention. He has presented programs on various aspects of conservation, real estate and construction law and litigation avoidance for non-profit and business audiences, including at prior Rallies. He is a member of the Land Trust Accreditation Commission and an alumnus of the Alliance’s Conservation Defense Advisory Council. He continues to serve as a senior attorney for the Wildlife Land Trust’s parent organization focusing on litigation and risk management.
Mr. Apfelbaum has conducted ecological research, designed award-winning projects, successfully navigated regulatory programs, and contributed his unique creative scientific expertise and enthusiasm to over 7,000 projects throughout North America and beyond. He is one of the leading ecological consultants in the U.S., providing technical restoration advice and win-win solutions where ecological and land-development conflicts arise. Mr. Apfelbaum has authored hundreds of technical studies, peer- reviewed technical papers, books, reports, ecological restoration plans, and regulatory monitoring and compliance reports. Mr. Apfelbaum’s book, Nature’s Second Chance (Beacon Press) won accolades from the New York Times, and was listed as one of the “Top 10 Environmental Books of 2009.” Restoring Ecological Health to Your Land (Island Press), Apfelbaum’s most recent book (coauthored with Alan Haney and part of a three-volume series), has won praise as the first comprehensive ‘how-to’ restoration books for landowners. Mr. Apfelbaum promotes using ecological and conservation design principles in developments, industrial projects and parks that help clients save money while increasing ecological functionality, improving public perception and generating award-winning outcomes. Mr. Apfelbaum is also a much sought after speaker at educational events focusing on ecological restoration, ecosystem assessment, alternative stormwater management and conservation development.
Steven Manning is the president of the Pacific Northwest Invasive Plant Council, Vice President of the Mid Atlantic IPC and serves on the board of the North Carolina IPC. He is also the founder and President of Invasive Plant Control, Inc. and co-author on the publication; Miller, J.H.: Manning, S.; Enloe, S.F. 2010 “A field guide for the management of invasive plants in southern forests” published by the USDA Forest Service, Southern Research Station.
Susanne Kibler-Hacker has been vice president for development at the Forest Society since 1999. She designed and implemented the Society’s $31 million Centennial Campaign, 85 land campaigns, and numerous fundraising efforts for general and project support. Susanne has a master’s degree in forestry from the University of Maine.
Suzanne Simpson is the land stewardship director for Bayou Land Conservancy, where she focuses on the protection and enhancement of BLC’s conservation lands. Her stewardship philosophy balances protecting wildlife habitat with the importance of community access to natural spaces. She holds degrees in biology and ecology from Texas A&M University and the University of Florida. When she’s not outside for work, she’s outside for some other reason.
Tammara Van Ryn is executive director of the Land Trust Accreditation Commission. She joined the Alliance in 1997 and served in several regional and national roles before transitioning to lead the separately-incorporated Commission in 2006. She previously served as the policy director for the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests and also worked as a forester. Her background is in forestry and environmental law and policy.
Thomas N. Masland is a shareholder and director of the Concord, N. H., law firm of Ransmeier & Spellman, Prof. Corp., and represents both conservation organizations and landowners in land protection projects, conservation transactions, and, for land trusts, related matters including stewardship and easement enforcement. He is a member of the Land Trust Alliance Conservation Defense Advisory Council, and has served on the Boards of two regional land trusts. A Fellow and Regent of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel Tom is a frequent lecturer on both conservation and estate planning topics to professional audiences as well as the general public.
Will Abbott serves as vice president for policy & reservation stewardship at the Society for the Protection of NH Forests. He oversees public policy advocacy and the management of the Forest Society’s 56,000 acres of fee owned properties. Three of these properties, and 13 Forest Society conservation easements would have been directly impacted by Northern Pass.
Todd Garcia-Bish has been the director of environmental education at Camp Lutherlyn in Prospect, Pennsylvania since 1996. Lutherlyn’s environmental education program serves between 5000 and 6000 students a year from pre-school to college age. The multi-faceted program includes environmental science, group building, history, archaeology, sustainability, and outdoor recreation.
Tom Butler is vice president for conservation advocacy at Tompkins Conservation an international organization that aims to secure wild landscapes where all the native plants and animals thrive and nearby human communities flourish. A Vermont-based activist and writer, Tom is the former board president of the Northeast Wilderness Trust and was the longtime editor of Wild Earth journal. His books include Wildlands Philanthropy, Plundering Appalachia, and ENERGY: Overdevelopment and the Delusion of Endless Growth.
Tom Gilbert directs NJ Conservation Foundation’s statewide campaign to stop unneeded, damaging pipelines and transition the state to renewable energy. Tom previously served as senior conservation finance director with The Trust for Public Land where he helped to design and pass twenty successful state, county and local ballot measures. Prior to joining TPL, Tom served as director of Eastern Forest Conservation for the Wilderness Society and Executive Director of the NY/NJ/PA/CT Highlands Coalition, where he led successful campaigns to pass both federal and New Jersey state legislation to protect critical lands and waters in the Highlands region.
Tom has been a land agent for the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests since 1996. Previously, he served as Executive Director of the Lakes Region (NH) Conservation Trust. Tom has a Masters in Urban Planning from the University of Michigan. He serves as a founding director of the all-volunteer Gilmanton Land Trust, in his home town, and lives on property on which he and his wife donated a conservation easement.
Tom Kay is the executive Ddrector of Alachua Conservation Trust. He holds a bachelor’s degree in environmental policy and behavior from the University of Michigan’s School of Natural Resources and Environment and a law degree from Florida State University’s College of Law. He has volunteered on local and national political campaigns and served as the campaign chair for Alachua County’s successful Wild Spaces & Public Places conservation sales tax ballot initiative in November 2016.
Thomas Stolp is the executive director of Ozaukee Washington Land Trust.
Tracy Collins is an attorney who has practiced in the litigation department at Waller Smith & Palmer for 30 years, and with the land conservation department for 15 years. She is the co-counsel with John Pritchard, President of the Lyme Land Conservation Trust in the case entitled Lyme Land Conservation Trust v. Platner. The case involved violations of a conservation restriction on protected property in Lyme, Connecticut bordered on three side by water. Attorney Collins and her firm tried the case and defended the appeal in which the Connecticut Supreme Court upheld the trial court’s rulings that Beverly Platner violated the conservation restriction and ordered the property to be restored, ordered $350,000 in punitive damages and $300,000 in attorney’s fees.
Troy is the director of ecological management at The Nature Conservancy in New York.
Valentin Lopez is the Chairman of the Amah Mutsun Tribal Band, one of three historic tribes that are recognized as Ohlone. The Amah Mutsun are comprised of the indigenous descendants forcibly taken to Missions San Juan Bautista and Santa Cruz. Chairman Lopez is also the president of the Amah Mutsun Land Trust which was established in 2012. He is a Native American Advisor to the University of California, Office of the President on issues related to repatriation. He is also a Native American Advisor to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) and the Phoebe Hearst Museum of Anthropology. The Amah Mutsun are currently working to restore their traditional indigenous knowledge regarding land stewardship so they can return to the path of their ancestors. Consequently, the Amah Mutsun are very active in conservation and protection efforts within their traditional tribal territory. Chairman Lopez is working to restore the Mutsun Language and is a traditional Mutsun singer and dancer.
Valerie Dorian has developed innovative approaches to cause marketing and corporate partnerships in leadership roles at Best Friends, the National Park Foundation and The Nature Conservancy. She has successfully constructed partnerships with Fortune 500 companies, including Bank of America, Coca-Cola, Disney, Delta Air Lines, Macy’s, NBC Universal, and Subaru. Valerie’s partnerships – characterized by win-win results grounded in mission and business objectives – that have garnered national media recognition and earned multiple Cause Marketing Forum Halo Awards.
Valerie is a senior review specialist and joined the Commission in 2012. She previously served as executive director of the Saginaw Basin Land Conservancy in Michigan where she managed $4 million dollars in grant funding to purchase conservation easements. Prior to that she served in various roles with the Bay Area Chamber of Commerce, Alliance for Bay County Schools, United Way, and VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America). Valerie also served as a consultant and facilitator with Crystal Planning Solutions, and was on the boards of several nonprofits and a private foundation. Her educational background includes a master’s degree in quality management.
Dr. Vanessa Perry is responsible for land protection and program development in the Mississippi Headwaters and Metro areas of Minnesota. She brings 20 years of experience in natural resource oriented community engagement, land use planning, and applied social science research to her role. Vanessa has a bahcelor’s in environmental policy and planning from The Ohio State University, and both a master’s and a doctorate from the University of Minnesota in natural resource science and management.
Vicki Adams is a real estate appraiser in Washington who works with landowners, land trust organizations and governmental agencies to determine the value of conservation lands for donation and acquisition purposes. Her experience ranges from very large and diverse tracts of land to smaller recreational properties and natural and/or cultural resource sites, and includes forest, farm, riparian and coastal habitats.
Warren Whitney is the land trust program director at Maine Coast Heritage Trust, and works to bring a variety of communications, training, networking, capacity building and other services to Maine’s land trust community. He began his career in the computer mapping world (what we now call GIS), and was the executive director of a small land trust. He’s a graduate of Dartmouth College, and enjoys cross country skiing, fishing and canoeing on the “west coast” of Maine.
Since 2008 Wendy has been the Land Trust Alliance’s Western Program Director. Prior to joining the Alliance, Wendy served as executive director of Five Valleys Land Trust (FVLT) in Montana for ten years. She was a founding member of both the Heart of the Rockies Initiative and the Montana Association of Land Trusts.
Tim Abbott is Regional Land Conservation and Greenprint Director with the Housatonic Valley Association. He has been a conservation leader in New England for the last 20 years, with prior positions as Director of The Nature Conservancy’s three-state Berkshire Taconic Landscape Program and as a Program Director with the Trust For Public Land in Connecticut. Under his leadership, the Litchfield Hills Greenprint Collaborative (RCP) has facilitated more than 5,000 acres of protected land and leveraged more than $14,000,000 in public and private funding for these projects. Tim is on the RCP Network Steering Committee representing Connecticut’s Regional Conservation partnerships. He administers the Connecticut State Committee of the Highlands Coalition and is a past chair of the Connecticut Land Conservation Council. He serves on Senator Murphy’s Connecticut Conservation Council and on the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection’s Natural Heritage, Open Space & Watershed Land Acquisition Review Board. Tim holds a master’s degree from Clark University in International Development (recipient of a J. William Fulbright Fellowship to Namibia in 1996) and a bachelor’s degree n English from Haverford College (1990).
Will Abberger is vice president and director of Trust for Public Land’s national conservation finance program, helping state and local governments and citizen groups throughout the United States gauge public support for open space and craft ballot measures that generate new sources of funding for parks and conservation. He has worked on over eighty state and local ballot measures. In 2014 he directed the successful statewide campaign in Florida to win approval for the Water and Land Conservation Amendment which will generate $22 billion for conservation and restoration.
Buzz Constable is a land use, conservation and commercial real estate attorney. He has advised about sustainable land uses and conservation to public agencies and the private sector, including board membership in The Massachusetts Land Trust Coalition, the Lincoln Land Conservation Trust and The Trustees of Reservations, as well as the LTA CDAC (emeritus). Living in Lincoln, MA, Buzz has educational experiences at Williams, Yale, BU and Harvard.
Bill Silberstein is an attorney at Kaplan Kirsch & Rockwell LLP (CO). For over 30 years, Bill represented landowners and conservation organizations in hundreds of conservation easement transactions and in more than 30 IRS audits of conservation easements. Bill helped the Forbes family create a conservation easement for its ranch in the San Luis Valley. Bill is counsel to the Colorado Coalition of Land Trusts, and a frequent conservation lecturer and author.