Abdiel López Torres (he/him/él) is a Senior Land Project Manager at Scenic Hudson; a New York based not-for-profit working to preserve land and farms and create parks that connect people with the Hudson River, while fighting threats to its natural resources that are the foundation of the valley’s prosperity. Abdiel works on land and conservation easement acquisitions, drawing from his previous experience as a project manager and geologist in the environmental remediation and construction fields. Abdiel is a born and raised Puerto Rican who is passionate about conservation projects that bring a positive impact to historically underserved communities.
Alex Czayka joined Western Reserve Land Conservancy in 2013. Alex’s involvement with the Land Conservancy includes working on conservation transactions, ranging from donated conservation easements to fee acquisition and habitat restoration. Prior to joining the Land Conservancy, Alex worked for the Nature Conservancy in Ohio.
Alex leads the Trust for Public Land’s (TPL) federal lobbying and project support for close-to-home access to nature. Before joining TPL in 2019, Alex was the Legislative Director for Natural Resources at the bipartisan National Governors Association responsible for advancing all 55 governors’ federal advocacy priorities.
Dr. Alexandra Sutton Lawrence is the vice president of conservation, justice & equity at the Ocean Conservancy in Washington DC.
Allison bridges conservation and education as the Community Education Manager at the Laguna Foundation. She plans, manages, and leads outings and online programs for a robust public education program that serves thousands of people across the Laguna de Santa Rosa watershed. An active community member, Allison is a director on the CNPS Milo Baker Chapter board, a trained Basic Wildland Firefighter with the Good Fire Alliance and organizes for climate action with the Sunrise Movement.
Amy Wilson Morris has led collaborative conservation planning projects throughout the western United States. She specializes in bringing together data-driven analysis and equity-driven community engagement to increase climate resilience. Amy is a principal at Land and Water Connections Consulting, and she was previously the Associate Director of Planning at The Trust for Public Land. She has a PhD in Environmental Studies from UC Santa Cruz.
Andy Johnson is Founder and Executive Director of the Winneshiek Energy District, Iowa’s first energy district, as well as Executive Director of Clean Energy Districts of Iowa (CEDI). Under his mentorship, energy districts are operational in Clayton, Howard, Dubuque, Johnson and Delaware counties in Iowa, with several more in formation. He worked in sustainable agriculture and natural resources management for the USDA before returning to the family farm and beginning his energy district work.
Angelina González-Aller manages the Center for Large Landscape Conservation’s Climate Resilience Program. In this role, Angelina supports communities in their efforts to achieve conservation goals and prepare for a changing world. Angelina has a background in public policy and years of experience as a research and policy analyst. In 2018, Angelina received a PhD in political science, specializing in racial and ethnic studies, health disparities and U.S. policymaking.
Anya Byers leads the land stewardship program for The Nature Conservancy in Colorado. She and her team monitor and manage over 710,000 acres of conserved land across the state. She enjoys integrating new technologies and geospatial approaches to inform conservation planning and adaptive management. Anya has worked on land stewardship and applied ecology research in Colorado, New Mexico, and California and graduated from Stanford University.
Avery is a masters candidate at the Yale School of the Environment.
Ben Helphand has a more than 20 year career focusing on mechanisms for communities to have a direct hand in the creation and stewardship of the built environment. Helphand is the Executive Director of NeighborSpace, a nonprofit urban land trust dedicated to preserving and sustaining community managed open spaces in Chicago. NeighborSpace shoulders the responsibility of property ownership for a network of flower, vegetable and prairie gardens across the City, so that community groups can focus on gardening and community building. Helphand came to the organization in 2007 and has grown it from 52 to 122 protected community spaces. In that time he expanded the scope of the land trust to include emerging interest in urban agriculture and nature play. Helphand is also the co-founder and president of the Friends of the Bloomingdale Trail (FBT), an all-volunteer, community-based organization that since 2002 advocated for the conversion of the under-used Bloomingdale rail embankment. Now as the official Park Advisory Council for the Bloomingdale Trail, FBT serves as its long-term community stewards. Helphand has also served as a board member of the Active Transportation Alliance, the Mayor’s Pedestrian Advisory Committee, in 2012 was awarded a Chicago Community Trust Emerging Leader Fellowship, and was part of Next City’s 2018 Vanguard class. In 2019 Helphand was Appointed to the Board of the Chicago Community Land Trust. Originally from Oregon, Helphand came to Chicago to pursue a degree in the history of religion from the University of Chicago and then went on to Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism.
Ben Dair works across Sustainable Northwest’s Forest, Energy, and Green Markets program areas to increase the funding available to conservation projects by delivering analytical support and business services to partners. Ben is a graduate of the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies and is a candidate for certification as a Chartered Financial Analyst. He received his bachelor’s degree from Swarthmore College.
Beth White is the President and CEO of the Houston Parks Board. which is responsible for implementation of Bayou Greenways 2020–the city-wide initiative creating more than 14,000 acres of new green space. She is also and at-large member of the National Capitol Planning Commission that preserves and enhances historical, cultural and natural resources in the National Capital region.
Bill Mulligan is a retired managing partner of Primus Capital, a Cleveland-based private equity firm. He is also director of several privately-held Primus portfolio companies and two public companies. Before joining Primus in 1985, Mulligan served in various management and operating roles at McKinsey & Company, Deere and Company and First Chicago. Mulligan is a past Land Conservancy board chair and also serves on the board of trustees of The Cleveland Clinic, Denison University, Transplant House of Cleveland, and the Land Trust Alliance. He and his wife, Hattie, have preserved their family land in Hunting Valley with a donated conservation easement.
Blaine Stand is an anthropologist and resilience planner with experience in sustainable development analysis; resilience policy research and advocacy. With a focus on human interaction with the built environment, he examines how people influence and are influenced by the policies around them; how communities can utilize and enhance their natural assets; and how resilience strategies translate both hard and soft benefits to the communities in which they are implemented.
Bob Bendick has been the Gulf of Mexico Program Director at The Nature Conservancy since 2013. Before that he was National Director of Government Relations at TNC Headquarters, Southern U.S. Regional Director, and Florida Chapter Director at the Conservancy. He was the founding co-chair of the Network for Landscape Conservation and continues to serve on the NLC Executive Committee.
Bob O’Connor is the Director of the Division of Conservation Services for the Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs and coordinates dozens of grants to communities and land trusts and also coordinates forest conservation policy and oversees state-review of conservation easements.
Bob Wilber is the Director of Land Conservation at MassAudubon and has decades of experience at other land trust and state agencies doing land conservation projects across the state.
Brady Holden is an award-winning documentary filmmaker and leader in conservation storytelling in the Pacific Northwest making short films for The Nature Conservancy, Columbia Land Trust, Wallowa Land Trust, Friends of the Columbia Gorge, North Coast Land Conservancy, Coalition of Oregon Land Trusts and The Land Trust Alliance.
Brandon Hayes launched Bold Bison Communications and Consulting in 2019 after twenty years in non-profit communications, most recently as Director of Communications at Openlands, Chicago’s regional land trust. Brandon was Manager of Communications and Development at Marwen, which provides high-quality visual arts training to underserved youth, and he was a publicist at Goodman Theatre in Chicago. Brandon serves on the Board of Directors of the Institute for Conservation Leadership and Chicago Artists for Action.
Bray J. Beltrán is an ecologist by training. He firmly believes collaborative bottom-up conservation can help people find the balance between the well-being of local communities and the resources we use to maintain our quality of life. Bray strives to develop a science program that informs private and public land protection and stewardship and that is inclusive of all people in the Intermountain West. Bray grew up in Colombia and immigrated to the U.S in 2000.
Breece Robertson is the director of partnerships and strategy for the Center for Geospatial Solutions. She engages in initiatives globally to build, connect, and manage partner ecosystems around data and geospatial integration. She supports and guides game-changing technology innovation and development to fill critical gaps and improve upon legacy methodologies to meet more ambitious conservation, climate, biodiversity and equity goals.
Bridget Fithian is the executive director for Sierra Foothill Conservancy. She oversees over 41,000 acres of conserved lands and specializes in developing partnerships and creative solutions to achieve conservation goals, including improving climate resilience. Bridget serves as the California Council of Land Trust’s vice chair and is the board president for the Sierra Cascade Land Trust Council. She is also part of the Land Trust Alliance Leadership & Excellence Program.
Caity Varian is digital communications managerfor US Nature4Climate where she manages the program’s website and social media accounts, assists with content development and digital strategy, develops and tracks metrics to measure performance and coordinates with our partners and allies to amplify efforts. Prior to working with the USN4C team, Caity served as Development Coordinator with The Nature Conservancy’s Arizona Chapter, and as a Communications Consultant with Save the Bay.
Caleb Berrios is a member of the Kingston YMCA Farm Project and one of the highschoolers who was on the Youth Design Team selected to research and design a memorial at the Pine Street African Burial Ground. After the final design from the Youth Design Team was presented to the public on March 10th, 2020, Caleb stayed on as the Youth Steward of the Burial Ground. Over the following summer he worked collaboratively with Harambee, Kingston Land Trust, and the YMCA Farm Project to clean and install garden beds in a neighboring lot to the Burial Ground. Caleb is a self-taught musician in his free time, a Kingston, NY native, and an active member in his community. He is looking forward to continuing his education as a college freshman.
Campbell Moore is the director of TNC’s Central Appalachians project. He has worked on forest conservation and Natural Climate Solutions from Central Africa to the Central Appalachians. He works with seven states to conserve and restore the high biodiversity and climate resilience of forests in his region. He has a master’s degree from the Yale School of the Environment.
Carolyn duPont leads the Growth & Partnerships team at Upstream Tech, a technology company that uses satellite data and machine learning to help companies and conservation organizations manage and monitor natural resources. Carolyn holds a bachelor’s degree from Stanford University, an MBA from MIT Sloan School of Management, and an MPA from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. She serves on the boards of the TPL in Massachusetts, the Conservation Law Foundation and the MIT Sloan Sustainability Initiative.
Carrie McKillip is National Chair of the Extension Disaster Education Network (EDEN), a collaborative multi-state effort by Cooperative Extension Services across the country to improve the delivery of services to citizens affected by disasters. She works with community groups and agencies in participatory community planning, community development, resource development, and business development education. Partnering with state agencies and local communities, she has facilitated the development of multi-jurisdictional Natural Hazard Mitigation Plans.
Celeste is food forest steward at Trees Atlanta.
Chelsea Welch is the energy and climate policy advisor for the Land Trust Alliance. As part of the Alliance’s government relations team, she helps to craft policy priorities for the land trust community around natural climate solutions and smart energy infrastructure siting. Her career in environmental policy began as a staffer for the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and she later served as an appointee in the Department of the Interior’s Office of Congressional and Legislative Affairs. Chelsea is also a recently returned Peace Corps Volunteer, serving in Zambia as an agroforestry extension agent.
Christine Walker, director of marketing and philanthropy, joined Indian River Land Trust in 2020 to lead their marketing and philanthropy efforts, bringing a great love for, and experience in, land conservation. Her recent role in leadership giving at Sonoma Land Trust helped the organization raise vital support from the community. Prior to that, she managed a successful campaign for the Marin Agricultural Land Trust, helping to preserve another 10,000 acres of productive farmland bordering the Point Reyes National Seashore. Like so many, Christine was lured to Florida by the iconic beauty and incredible biodiversity of its shores, lagoons and woodlands and serves a key function in helping the Indian River Land Trust protect those precious natural resources
In March of 2021,Oregon Governor Kate Brown appointed Chuck Sams to the Northwest Power and Conservation Council. Chuck Sams is Cayuse, Walla Walla, Cocopah, and Yankton Sioux. He grew up on the Umatilla Indian Reservation in Northeast Oregon. Prior to joining the NW Council he held positions to include Executive and Deputy Executive Director for the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation (CTUIR), Communications Director for the CTUIR, Environmental Health and Safety Officer/Planner in the Tribal Planning Office for the CTUIR, President/Chief Executive Officer of Indian Country Conservancy, Executive Director for the Umatilla Tribal Community Foundation, National Director of the Tribal & Native Lands Program for the Trust for Public Land, Executive Director for the Columbia Slough Watershed Council, Executive Director for the Community Energy Project and President/Chief Executive Officer for the Earth Conservation Corps. Chuck has worked in the nonprofit natural resource and conservation management field for over 25 years. In addition, Chuck serves on the boards of the Oregon Cultural Trust and Gray Family Foundation. Chuck holds a bachelor of science in business administration from Concordia University and a master of legal studies in Indigenous Peoples Law/Federal Indian Law from the University of Oklahoma. He is a veteran of the U.S. Navy where he served as an intelligence specialist. He lives with his wife, Lori Lynn (Reinecke) Sams and their four children on the Umatilla Indian Reservation near Pendleton, Oregon.
Cleveland Justis is the founder and principal of the Potrero Group. An accomplished organizational leader in entrepreneurship and the environment for the past 25 years, Cleveland has worked and consulted widely with startups, businesses, nonprofits, foundations, and governmental organizations, including the National Park Service, Resources Legacy Fund, and Grand Canyon Conservancy. His expertise spans strategic planning, business planning, board development, public/private partnerships, entrepreneurship, network analysis, and innovation. He currently teaches Social Entrepreneurship at UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business
Colin Lawson is Troute Unlimited’s New England Project Coordinator. His focus is on reconnecting Eastern brook trout habitat in high priority watersheds through the removal, replacement or retrofit of impassable road stream crossings and other instream barriers. Additionally, Colin coordinates large wood habitat efforts across the northeast coordinating multiple field teams reconstructing roughly 10 miles of instream work per year. Colin’s graduate work at Antioch University concentrated on hydro-ecology and modeling vulnerability of community infrastructure.
Conor Hall hails from the mountains of Southwest Colorado. From 2015-2019, he served in Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper’s administration as Director of External Affairs and a Senior Advisor. He also served as a Senior Advisor on Climate and Conservation on Michael Bloomberg’s 2020 presidential campaign. He joined The Trust for Public Land’s Conservation Finance program in 2019. Conor managed the successful Denver Climate Sales Tax campaign for Measure 2A on the November 2020 ballot.
Corey is a citizen of the Passamaquoddy Tribe. He has advised and represented Native American governments and their enterprises for nearly a decade. A significant focus in his work relates to natural resource-based economic development, including developing voluntary carbon offset projects. In 2016, he assisted the Passamaquoddy Tribe in establishing an Improved Forest Management carbon offset project that will remove 3.8 million tons of greenhouse gases in furtherance of the California compliance offset program.
Cris Coffin is Senior Policy Advisor for American Farmland Trust and directs the National Agricultural Land Network (NALN), a professional network that connects and builds the capacity of public agencies, land trusts, farm and conservation organizations and land use planners to retain and protect agricultural land. The NALN is working to help train and support agricultural land protection practitioners in engaging farmers, ranchers and landowners around regenerative farming practices.
Danielle Shannon is the coordinator of the USDA Northern Forests Climate Hub and helps land managers cope with and adapt to the challenges of climate change. She likes to focus on using adaptation resources to aid management decisions in forested watersheds and wetlands
Development for Conservation assists conservation organizations raising money from individual donors by improving renewal, cultivation, and major gift systems. David Allen brings 30 years’ experience to the practice, including 13 with The Nature Conservancy. He has devoted his professional career to helping conservation organizations and land trusts pursue excellence in all aspects of their conservation endeavors. David is a skilled seminar presenter, particularly in major gift fundraising. Specialties include Development Audits, board training and campaigns.
David Foote is the director of stewardship for the Grand Traverse Regional Land Conservancy. He has worked for city, county, regional, and state and non-profit public lands programs for 25 years. David has a law degree from Florida International University, a master’s degree in nonprofit and public organizations from Florida State University, and a bachelor’s degree in environmental studies from the University of West Florida.
David Publicover is senior staff scientist and assistant director of Research for the Appalachian Mountain Club in Gorham, NH. He oversees forest management planning and has coordinated three forest carbon offset projects on AMC’s 75,000 acres in Maine. Dave holds a bachelor’s degree in forestry from the University of New Hampshire, a master’s degree in botany from the University of Vermont, and a doctorate in forest ecology from the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies.
Dez Ramirez is a Portland-based writer, poet and creative strategist and community engagement manager at Columbia Land Trust. Her work centers identity, gender, race, community and multidisciplinary creative arts. As a LATINX storyteller, Dez’s aim is to uplift voices from my community and amplify BIPOC (black, indigenous, people of color) experiences and perspectives.
Dylan is vice-president of portfolio development for Finite Carbon where he leads client relations with non-profit, family, corporate, and Native American forest landowners. Previously, Dylan served as director of forest conservation for The Nature Conservancy’s Pennsylvania Chapter where he developed TNC’s Working Woodlands Program and directed the Virginia Forest Landowner Education Program at Virginia Tech. He is an ACF and SAF Certified Forester and earned forestry degrees from Clemson and Virginia Tech.
Eddie Rosa is the Community Engagement Director for Groundwork Lawrence (GWL) and coordinates dozens of grass-roots project on a range of greening, parks, and community gardening projects and works closely with neighborhoods and the City to make GWL a leader in grassroots community involvement for conservation and improved quality of life for residents.
Elizabeth Vranas leads the implementation of the Family Forest Carbon Program at the American Forest Foundation. She designs strategies to incentivize woodland owners to steward their land for carbon sequestration, along with co-benefits like wildlife habitat.
Ellen Fred is a partner at Conservation Partners LLP, practicing 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 Conservation Partners, 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.
Emma comes to Mount Grace as an avid hunter, angler, hiker, and outdoors woman. She lives at the base of Mount Tully, a Mount Grace protected property. Emma feels very passionate about protecting her “backyard” and grateful to be able to call it a job. Emma spent the last 20 years as a union organizer and negotiator, fighting for social justice, for working class people to have a voice on the job, and for a chance at a decent quality of life. She is thrilled to be applying those same collaborative skills to conservation. She believes deeply in our need to bridge differences, foster a culture of finding common goals, and stand up for what we believe in if we are to be successful. She follows in the footsteps of her father, who was a Mount Grace board member, her brother who was the key note speaker at an annual meeting, and her parent Jay Lord, who helped found Just Roots, another Mount Grace project. Love of the land is in her blood. In this age of crazy storms, unprecedented weather, and bird population decline, conservation of our “backyard” is more important than ever.
Erik is the executive director of the Colorado Cattlemen’s Agricultural Land Trust (CCALT) and the president of the Partnership of Rangeland Trusts (PORT). Since its founding995, CCALT has worked with more than 300 landowners across Colorado on conservation solutions for their families and land. PORT was established in 2006 and now represents 8 organizations working in 10 states. PORT’s goals are to advance conservation in a way that works for producers and respects production agriculture.
Erin is an enrolled member of the Brothertown Indian Nation and graduate in Environmental Studies and Communication from Carroll College and Natural Resources Law at the University of Oregon. Erin has worked on numerous community based conservation and social justice initiatives in Liberia, Belize, and Montana. Because she believes strong communities are essential to sustaining conservation, Erin is inspired to employ rural development resources to ensure the resiliency of Montana’s communities for future generations.
Erin is the Land Trust Alliance’s Vice President of Conservation Initiatives and has been an Alliance staff member since 2006. Previously, Erin was senior program officer at the International Fund for Animal Welfare where he led programs to mitigate threats to endangered whales. He held several positions with the Environmental Protection Agency-New England, and served in the U.S. Peace Corps (1991-1993) in Senegal. He holds a master’s degree in urban and environmental policy and planning from Tufts University.
Erin Tarr is the executive director of the Bear Yuba Land Trust, which works to protect forests, oak woodlands, meadows, riparian habitat, farms, and ranches in the Sierra Nevada mountains and foothills. Through programming and access to their extensive trail systems, Bear Yuba Land Trust helps local community members, especially youth, connect to nature. Erin has a background in biology and is the secretary and treasurer for Sierra Cascade Land Trust Council.
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.
Geary has worked as a conservation professional for more than 40 years. He began his career with California State Parks where he served with distinction, first as a ranger and then as an ecologist, receiving two awards from the Director of State Parks and one from the Lieutenant Governor for his work on wildlife corridors and obtaining statewide funding for State Parks’ natural resource management program. After retiring from State Parks, Geary worked first as a refuge and then endangered species biologist (his current position) for the United States Fish and Wildlife Service. Geary also worked as Associate Director of the Coachella Valley Mountains Conservancy, and for The Wilderness Society where he focused on National Landscape Conservation System projects and was a conservation representative on the BLM California Desert District Advisory Council. While with The Wilderness Society, Geary played a lead role in facilitating the introduction and passage of the Riverside County Wilderness Bill, which added to existing wilderness and monuments, designated new wilderness areas and created the first Wild and Scenic Rivers in Southern California. He received a Wilderness Hero’s award in 2011 from The Wilderness Society in recognition of his efforts. Geary was elected to the Joshua Basin Water District board in 2016 and joined the Mojave Desert Land Trust board in early 2017 where he has been actively involved and served as treasurer until he was elected to be the Executive Director.
Genny McIntyre has a helped lead two successful inaugural comprehensive campaigns and established or reorganized several advancement and fundraising programs. Genny has 32 years of fundraising, communications and nonprofit management experience . In 2006, she was hired to establish the advancement division at the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy, which has nearly 10,000 member households. Prior to that, she served as advancement vice president at West Liberty University, where she established the institution’s first development program. (A13)
Greg Plotkin is Digital Communications Manager at American Farmland Trust where he develops and implements AFT’s online communications strategy, overseeing multiple websites, email communications, social media, video, and other digital content. He has also served as AFT’s manager of institutional partnerships, where he developed a comprehensive fundraising strategy for foundation, corporate, and government partners. Greg has also served as a fundraising and communications consultant to several leading nonprofit organizations, including The Edible Schoolyard Project, Trees for the Future, and Rainforest Action Network
Healy Hamilton is a chief scientist at NatureServe. She is a biodiversity scientist with graduate degrees from Yale and the University of California, Berkeley, and extensive field experience in the tropical forests of Latin America. At NatureServe, Dr. Hamilton leads a staff with expertise in ecology, zoology, botany, conservation, data science, and information management. Together they deliver foundational information on the distribution, conservation status and trends of species and their habitats. She is also a world expert on the taxonomy and evolution of seahorses and their relatives. Dr. Hamilton is an elected Executive Committee member of the IUCN U.S. National Committee, an Honorary Fellow of the World Conservation Monitoring Centre, a contributor to the IUCN Species Survival Commission for Seahorses and Pipefish, and a member of the Key Biodiversity Areas Committee. She is the recent past President of the Society for Conservation GIS, a Switzer Foundation Environmental Leadership fellow, and a former U.S. Fulbright Scholar.
Heidi Habeger leads Groundswell’s fundraising efforts and finds her inspiration in engaging with others who feel passionate about protecting our local landscape. She has been with Groundswell and connecting with supporters since 2010. After working for Sonic Foundry and Sony Creative Software in international sales and marketing, she wanted to make a difference locally. She is a University of Wisconsin-Madison alumna with degrees in Economics and Spanish and is fluent in Spanish. Heidi has always called Wisconsin home except for a few years spent in Spain and Chile. She and her husband Caleb stay busy raising their son, Odin, and while always busy with home remodel projects, they like to take advantage of Madison’s bike trails and other outdoor opportunities that make Dane County a wonderful place to live.
Helen is the program manager at The Conservation Finance Network.
Henry Tepper is the Strategic Conservation Advisor to the Fundación Tierra Austral. He is also a Boston-based independent environmental consultant and co-teaches a course on land conservation practice in the US and around the world in the Sustainability Masters Program at the Harvard University Extension School and at Brandeis University. Henry has worked in land conservation for 30 years, and has served in executive leadership roles at The Nature Conservancy, The National Audubon Society and Mass Audubon.
Hilary Hunt is director of land protection at Southwest Michigan Land Conservancy. She has worked in environmental justice and conservation for 10 years in Michigan, Oregon, New York and Nevada, and leads the initiative to protect land in southwest Michigan. She has a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Science/Spanish from the University of Michigan, and a master’s degree inNonprofit Management from the University of Oregon.
Hollis Hunt, senior director, has helped nonprofit organizations fulfill their missions through executing CCS Fundraising methodology and implementing a client-specific plan to ensure successful fundraising efforts. She has also guided nonprofit leadership and volunteers to successfully communicate the organization’s mission, case for support, and impact of fundraising efforts to request and inspire participation. During her time with CCS, Hollis has served several institutions including conducting a feasibility and planning study for Resources for the Future, an environmental-economic think tank in Washington, DC. She also facilitated a feasibility and planning study for Indian River Land Trust in Vero Beach, FL and is currently serving as their campaign director for their
Isaac is the manager of Urban Projects and Thriving Communities at the Western Reserve Land Conservancy.
Jaime is deputy program director, stakeholder engagement, communication and outreach for the REPI program.
Jake Faber manages the Land Trust Alliance’s collaborative remote monitoring projects with NRCS and other conservation partners to support effective stewardship through innovative remote monitoring technologies. Previously, he organized aerial monitoring opportunities for conservation advocates across the Southeast and led hands-on youth conservation programs on public lands in the Pacific Northwest. Jake earned his bacherlor’s degree in Environmental Studies and Conservation Biology at Middlebury College.
Jane Pepper was born in Scotland. After she moved to the US in her 20s, she received degrees in horticulture and botanic garden management from Temple University, Philadelphia and the University of Delaware. For almost 30 years, she was President and CEO of the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society, the organization responsible for the Philadelphia Flower Show, an event that drew more than 250,000 people to Philadelphia each spring. For the past decade, she has enjoyed participating in the activities of various not-for-profit organizations, including Natural Lands and Longwood Gardens.
Jeanne Beiter engages with community leaders and agricultural experts in an effort to accelerate restoration and protection of Western New York headwaters. Educates municipalities and communities to increase capacity and outreach to create long-term partnerships with the goal of conservation. Provides management and oversight for multiple grant-funded projects. Develops partnerships and grant proposals to support the mission and project goals of Waterkeeper.
Jeff Appel is a practicing attorney in Salt Lake City. He is also a member of the board of directors of a land trust, and has extensive experience with both water rights and conservation easements.
Jeff LeJava is vice president and associate general counsel for the Open Space Institute where his work focuses on the preservation of natural landscapes to conserve habitat, provide public access and sustain working lands. He also serves on the board of the Beaverkill Valley Land Trust located in New York’s Catskill Mountains. Prior to joining OSI in 2015, Jeff held a variety of legal positions in academia, government and private practice.
For the past seven years Jeff has helped develop and manage the Healthy Watersheds Consortium Grant Program, focused on protecting watershed lands to prevent degradation, on behalf of the U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities and in conjunction with the EPA and USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service. He has over 25 years of experience with forest and other habitat conservation throughout the U.S., has worked for several national conservation organizations and holds degrees in Zoology, Conservation Biology and Sustainable Development.
Jeff is the director of geospatial technology at the Center for Geospatial Solutions, bringing a wealth of experience developing systems-focused solutions at the intersection of technology and the natural world. Jeff leads efforts that empower managers with access to advanced geospatial data and analytic tools needed to conserve, protect, manage, and restore land and water resources and ensure the natural world is resilient to the effects of development, climate change, and other shocks. He focuses on identifying new ways of incorporating non-traditional technology, analysis techniques, and partnerships to modernize restoration and conservation efforts, public engagement, and public access programs to make sure projects are having the greatest impact possible. With a strong background in geospatial analysis and remote sensing, web-based tool development, and community engagement; he puts these skills to work to address the planet’s most pressing environmental issues while thinking about how emerging technologies can improve the effectiveness and efficiency of local, state, federal, and non-profit organizations around the world.
Jena Kuznik is a consultant with Potrero Group, where she has focused on project management, leadership recruitment and transition, and developing collaborative partnerships between diverse actors to create broader impact. In addition to her work with Potrero Group, Jena has managed projects for organizations focused on sustainable agriculture, water resilience, and environmental philanthropy.
Jenny Greenberg has dedicated her career to the transformation of vacant and underutilized urban land into outdoor environments where residents can benefit from recreational opportunities and time spent in nature. Jenny has served as the executive director of the Neighborhood Gardens Trust (NGT) since 2014, with its mission to acquire and preserve community gardens and shared open spaces to enhance quality of life in Philadelphia’s neighborhoods. NGT owns or leases 50 open spaces across the city and is working to expand its land preservation work to secure 60 gardens by 2022. Previously, Jenny developed funding strategies and grant proposals for major waterfront public access projects spearheaded by the Delaware River Waterfront Corporation. She secured over $9 million for the implementation of waterfront parks, trail, and creative placemaking projects on Philadelphia’s Central Delaware River Waterfront. Jenny also worked in Camden, New Jersey with Cooper’s Ferry Partnership from 2001-2010, partnering with community-based organizations to develop and implement neighborhood plans to guide the equitable and sustainable redevelopment of hundreds of acres of formerly industrial, vacant and contaminated waterfront land. She has a BA from Vassar College and a Master of City Planning from the University of Pennsylvania.
Jessica Jay is founder/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 conserving working landscapes and environmentally significant land across the country. She guides easement holders, professionals, and landowners in educational workshops, and the next generation of land conservationists in her Land Conservation Law courses at Vermont Law School and Denver University Law School. Jessica collaborates with the conservation community to defend easements and incentives, shape emerging law, and inspire new endeavors in land conservation.
Founder/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 conserving working landscapes and environmentally significant land across the country. She guides easement holders, professionals, and landowners in educational workshops, and the next generation of land conservationists in her Land Conservation Law courses at Vermont Law School and Denver University Law School. Jessica collaborates with the conservation community to defend easements and incentives, shape emerging law, and inspire new endeavors in land conservation.
Jim Boyle brings more than 25 years of professional experience supporting nonprofit organizations by employing his visionary leadership, inclusive communications style, volunteer management, and a data-driven approach to caused based fundraising. Jim serves as the Vice President of Philanthropy for the Organization for Tropical Studies managing all fundraising activities for this international organization. Jim also provides consulting services to the Lummi Island Heritage Trust, the Stockholm Environmental Institute and Children of the Setting Sun Productions.
Joe Moll has been executive director of McKenzie River Trust since 2005. Prior to that he worked in philanthropy, preserve stewardship, and youth education for the Nature Conservancy of Montana. He currently serves as the West Central Representative on the Oregon Water Resources Commission.
Joel Nystrom is the Land Stewardship Program Manager for Colorado Open Lands. Joel supports the conservation easement stewardship and landowner assistance programs at Colorado Open Lands and oversees the land trust’s GIS program.
John McCaull is the land acquisition director for Sonoma Land Trust (SLT). He has lived in Sonoma since 2005 and joined SLT’s staff in 2013. John has been practicing law in California since 1990, providing legal, real estate and land use planning skills to conservation efforts at the state and local level. With over 30 years of lobbying and advocacy experience in Sacramento for different clients and environmental organizations, John also coordinates the land trust’s government relations efforts.
Jolon Clark was elected to the Denver City Council to represent Lucky District 7 in 2015. During his tenure, Jolon has championed policies that focus on mobility and the environment. Jolon was elected President Pro-Tem of the Council in 2016, and served as President of City Council from 2018-2020. Jolon championed 2020 Measure 2A, the Denver Climate Sales Tax, approved by the voters in November 2020.
Jordan is senior director of policy advocacy and government relations at the Trust for Public Land.
Josh Parrish is the North America Director of the Nature Conservancy’s American Forest Carbon Initiative. Since 2009, he has led the conservation of over 113,000 acres of forestland across North America including developing Pennsylvania’s first forest carbon project in 2012.
Julia Farr is the executive director of the Kingston Land Trust, a nonprofit working to protect and create access to socially and environmentally significant land in and around Kingston, NY. As a trained landscape architect and permaculture designer Julia applies her background in urban design, environmental planning, community organizing and Spanish translation to building programming and initiatives that make land relevant to Kingston’s urban population and promote a healthier, more equitable and united city. Originally from Brooklyn, NY, Julia has lived in Kingston for seven years.
Julia joined HHLT in March 2019. As conservation manager, Julia works with our conservation easement landowners to help them steward their properties and she actively participates in expanding our conservation portfolio. She has conservation experience from her previous involvement with two land trusts—Joshua’s Trust and the Lancaster County Conservancy—as well as her work on the Conservation Commission in the Town of Mansfield, CT. Julia holds a master’s in natural resources and the environment from the University of Connecticut and a bachelor’s in biology from Colby College.
Julie Whelan Capel, an Associate at Mayes Wilson Associates LLC, has been providing independent fundraising, strategic planning, research and evaluation services to the nonprofit sector since 2001, and has been in nonprofit fundraising and management since the 1980s. Julie provides a variety of services to MWA clients including creating fund develop plans, case writing and training executives and boards in fundraising. She is a member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals and the American Evaluation Association.
Julius Pasay works with landowners and land managers to develop forestry and grassland carbon offset projects. Prior to his work with The Climate Trust, Julius was the Forest Manager for the Yale University Forests, balancing sustainable timber management with habitat restoration and ecosystem conservation goals. Julius is a Certified Forester and holds a Master of Forestry.
Karen Buck is Vice President of Nonprofit Impact which radically impacts how organizations fulfill their missions and achieve results. Karen works with land trusts to create business, fundraising, and marketing plans. She has spent much of the past year helping organizations clarify strategy, recalibrate plans, and build skills and practices needed to survive rapid and unprecedented change.
Karen Strong started Strong Outcomes in 2018 after twenty years working in conservation and fifteen years as a non-profit board member. She is deeply committed to science-based decision-making, creative community engagement, and effective board governance. Over her career she has built capacity to conserve natural resources in dozens of communities and organizations and is always thinking about how we can make conservation more relevant to more people.
Kari is Projects Branch Chief for the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service.
Karin F. Marchetti 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, Land Trust Alliance. 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.
Karyn Good is the community coordinator for Envision Lincoln. She has lived, worked, and raised her family in rural Montana for most of her life. Working with community members to create recreation opportunities that help bolster the local economy, while improving the quality of life for residents has been a personal andprofessional passion of hers for years. Her work with Envision Lincoln includes developing an in-town trails plan, web-based trails marketing plan and a downtown revitalization plan with the community of Lincoln. She collaborates closely within her community and with important partners including County staff, Western Transportation Institute, USFS, the Wilderness Society, and the Heart of the Rockies Initiative.
Kate Raman, AICP is Conservation Projects Manager at the Natural Lands Trust which she joined in 2018. She supports a variety of projects for land protection and planning teams, including easement and fee acquisitions, mapping and GIS support, open space planning and ordinance reviews. She has a master’s degree in Spatial Analytics from the University of Pennsylvania.
Kathleen Biggins is Co-Founder and President of C-Change Conversations, a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting productive, non-partisan discussions about the science and effects of climate change. Kathleen led the development of the C-Change Primer, a non partisan, accessible presentation that provides a 360 degree view of climate change. The Primer has been presented to almost 15,000 people in 30 states. C-Change also hosts climate change discussions with nationally recognized scientists and business and military leaders; supports burgeoning C-Change chapters in several cities; and writes op-eds, blogs, and newsletters to help more people understand the urgency of climate change and come together to address it. Kathleen is a former journalist and advertising executive and ives in Princeton, NJ.
Kathryn is the project coordinator for the northern Mississippi River corridor at Minnesota Land Trust.
Kathy Leavenworth, a retired consultant in interpersonal training, communications, group dynamics, strategic planning and outdoor team-building, has been involved in civic, community and educational issues for more than four decades. Leavenworth served as president of the Ohio School Boards Association and as a member of the Ohio State Board of Education. In addition to Western Reserve Land Conservancy, she serves on the boards of the Land Trust Alliance , Cuyahoga Valley National Park Conservancy, The West Geauga Educational Foundation and is president of the Geauga Humane Society’s Rescue Village.
Kathy Moser, a fifteen year veteran of the Conservancy, is today Senior Advisor for the Conservancy’s Government Relations team in New York. She was hired in early 1992 as Director of the Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua programs, and was promoted to run the Central American Region three years later. Kathy returned to her native state of New York in 1998 to lead the Lower Hudson Chapter and subsequently directed the successful merger of the Lower Hudson and Eastern New York chapters of the Conservancy. Since 2004, as Senior Advisor, Kathy has worked with the trustees and directors of the major conservation groups in New York to increase state funding for the environment.
Katie’s love of nature was cultivated during her youth, growing up in the wilds of Idaho. Born and raised in Moscow and Elk City, Idaho, Katie has always believed that spending time in nature is integral to one’s growth. Katie received her bachelor’s degree in Education from the University of Idaho and a Masters in Architecture from the University of Washington. Thus far, Katie has focused her professional life in the fields of Education and Architecture, with a particular interest in building community. Katie looks forward to sharing the good work of Kaniksu Land Trust with its regional community, focusing on growing the conservation, education and recreation programs.
Katie Michels is a graduate student at the Yale Schools of Management and the Environment
Katie Pofahl is a Master of Environmental Management candidate at the Yale School of the Environment focused on land conservation strategies that enable communities to respond to urgent threats from drought, fire, urban sprawl and climate change. At Yale, Katie develops programming for the Center for Business and the Environment’s conservation finance webinar series. Prior to Yale, Katie protected natural and working lands in Central California as the Community Outreach Manager for the Elkhorn Slough Foundation and board member of the Monterey Peninsula Regional Park District.
As a member of the Schultz & Williams consulting team, Kelly Grattan has worked with many social justice and community service organizations, cultural institutions and independent schools. Kelly has more than 20 years of development experience with a variety of nonprofits and earned her doctorate in administration and leadership in the nonprofit and public sectors; master’s in leadership; and a bachelor’s in business administration, marketing and information systems.
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.
Ken Grudens has been the dxecutive director of Indian River Land Trust since 2004. Ken works with the board of directors to develop and implement a variety of programs which protect and conserve the natural resources and special places of Indian River County. He previously managed the New York State Farmland Protection Program and before that was Director of Land Protection for the Columbia Land Conservancy in the Hudson River Valley. Ken most recently served as the President of the Alliance of Florida Land Trusts, Chairman of the Indian River County Conservation Committee, member of the Indian River Lagoon National Estuaries Program Citizens Advisory Committee, and member of the City of Sebastian Natural Resources Committee
Keymah Durden is one of the founders of Rid All Green Partners, and will soon serve as its first CEO. Keymah was born and raised in the predominantly black neighborhoods on the east side of Cleveland, which is also where Rid All operates. Rid All is one of the most successful urban farms in America, and is a strategic partner with Western Reserve Land Conservancy, on whose board he also serves. From the Kinsman neighborhood in Cleveland to Ghana in West Africa to Israel, Keymah has worked to create better communities through clean water, food production, and environmental conservation.
Kimberly Brewster joined Chagrin River Watershed Partners in 2016 and works with communities and Central Lake Erie Basin watershed partners on flooding, erosion, and other land use issues, including updating comprehensive plans, adopting ordinances, and assisting communities with implementing their NPDES Phase II Storm Water Management Programs. Kimberly leads and assists with planning and implementation of watershed protection, stormwater management, and restoration projects. Kimberly received her Master of Science in Environmental Studies and Bachelor of Science from Ohio University.
Kris Olsson joined the Huron River Watershed Council in 1992. She specializes in GIS analysis, landscape ecology, and local land use planning and ordinance development. Kris works with local governments and land protection organizations on promoting land use planning and policies that protect the watershed. She also trains local residents to become involved in their local government planning efforts. Kris earned two Masters of Science (resource ecology, natural resource policy) degrees at the University of Michigan.
Kristen Schmitt is a climate change adaptation specialist working in support of the Northern Forests Climate Hub. She works with a variety of partners to create new tools and to plan and execute trainings that help natural resources professionals integrate climate change into their work.
Laura Calandrella is a facilitator and sustainability strategist who helps build strong collaborative partnerships that meet today’s intersectional issues. For the last two decades, she has worked with leaders across the globe to unite diverse perspectives under shared visions for change. She is a rostered facilitator with the National Center for Environmental Conflict Resolution. And, she is certified in multiple frameworks for collaboration that she uses to guide groups to higher levels of effectiveness.
Lauren Alpert, community relations assistant at Sonoma County Ag + Open Space, manages partnerships that provide free public outings and youth education experiences focused on the protected natural and working lands of Sonoma County, and manages online communications. Lauren also serves as a co-chair for the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion committee. Previously, Lauren coordinated government affairs at the California Academy of Sciences, and led literacy intervention and afterschool education programs throughout the California Bay Area.
Lauren joined the Forest History Society staff in 2020. She is responsible for managing the library and providing reference assistance for users. Previously Lauren worked on digitization projects in the FHS archives and was also a Library Assistant for Wake County. Lauren holds an MLIS with a concentration in Cultural Heritage from Simmons University.
Lauren was appointed DCNR’s Deputy Secretary for Conservation and Technical Services on August 1, 2016. Since her arrival at DCNR in 2006, Imgrund has held several important roles, including managing the Conservation Landscapes program. Imgrund has more than 25 years of experience in building collaborative partnerships to develop place-based solutions and strategies for land conservation, outdoor recreation, community revitalization, water quality improvement and natural resource conservation.
Lee Amos is land stewardship manager and staff biologist at Conservation Foundation of the Gulf Coast. He specializes in botany and restoration ecology and has worked with the Florida Native Plant Society, Marie Selby Botanical Gardens, and Sweetbay Nursery to encourage the widespread use and enjoyment of Florida’s fabulous flora. At Conservation Foundation, Lee is responsible for parks and preserve stewardship, map making and geographic analysis, and assisting with the acquisition of new preserves.
Leigh Whelpton is the director of the Conservation Finance Network (CFN). Since 2012, Leigh has led CFN’s effort to advance land and resource conservation by increasing the use of innovative and effective funding and financing strategies. By expanding capacity, confidence, and connections among a growing network of public, private, and nonprofit professionals, CFN helps people find the capital they need to advance the pace and scale of their conservation efforts. Prior to this role, Leigh managed conservation initiatives and professional education for the Cheetah Conservation Fund in Namibia. Leigh holds an M.E.Sc. from the Yale School of Environment and a bachelor’s degree from the University of California at Berkeley.
Lillian Holden is Education and Community Outreach Coordinator at Openlands. She was hired after completing her AmeriCorps Public Ally service year as the Education Apprentice in 2018. She has been a key participant in coordinating with community leaders on the banks of the Little Calumet, ensuring that our work on the African American Heritage Water Trail, open space, and trail planning meshes with community needs and desires.
Lindsey Ketchel is executive director of Landmark Conservancy. Prior to that she served as the executive director to the Northern Waters Land Trust and Southeast Alaska Conservation Council. Her work has been focused on targeted land protection, community conservation and sustainability. Before moving out West Lindsey’s work focused on local food systems, sustainable agriculture and farm viability in New England and she raised a rare breed of sheep for 16 years in Vermont.
Lisa Wachtel joined the Catskill Center in 2016 as the Real Estate Closing Manager for the Streamside Acquisition Program. She brings over twenty-five years of experience in the legal, title insurance, and land services industries to her role. She coordinates title research and manages the later stages of the property acquisition process for the Streamside Acquisition Program. Lisa is a lifetime resident of New York, and holds an associate degree from Ulster County Community College.
Maria Janowiak has been the deputy director of the Northern Institute of Applied Climate Science (NIACS) since 2016, Maria manages many of the day-to-day operations of the NIACS team. She also works with a variety of natural resource professionals and land management organizations to integrate climate change considerations into their management and coordinates Climate Change Response Framework activities in New England and northern New York.
Mark Weston recently stepped down as Colorado’s first Director of the Division of Conservation following a 30-year career as an independent real estate appraiser specializing in the valuation of conservation easements. He is a past board member of the Colorado Coalition of Land Trusts, the Colorado Conservation Easement Oversight Commission, and speaks frequently on issues relating to appraisals and partial interest valuation.
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.
Matt has worked for Loon Echo Land Trust (LELT) as its Executive Director since 2019. Prior to that he worked for The Nature Conservancy in northern Maine’s timberlands. Matt is motivated by partnerships that blend land protection, community development, and equal access to outdoor spaces and natural resources. LELT stewards over 8,000 acres of forestland in the “white pine belt” of southwestern Maine. Active forest management has long been a component of LELT’s stewardship program.
Matthew Himel is a postdoctoral fellow at the Center for the History of Agriculture, Science, and Environment of the South
Melissa joined Keep It Colorado after a decade in the parks and recreation field where she focused on policy development, community programming and strategic partnerships. She has a bachelor of science in parks, recreation, and tourism administration from Western Illinois University and a juris doctorate from The John Marshall Law School. Melissa is passionate about protecting and preserving Colorado’s beautiful landscapes and rich heritage. When not at work, Melissa can be found hiking, biking, climbing, fishing or running with her husband, son and black lab.
Melissa has served in many roles since joining the Commission in November 2009. Most recently, she served as deputy director, overseeing the accreditation review process and facilitating the accreditation decisions for over 100 land trusts each year. She partnered in developing, interpreting, reviewing and revising the accreditation requirements and maintaining the Requirements Manual. She also co-facilitated the 2017 revisions to Land Trust Standards and Practices. Effective January 2020, Melissa was named the executive director after an external search process. She looks forward to leveraging the successes of the first decade of the accreditation program and of accredited land trusts into next phase of the Commission’s work. 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.
Michael Grasty is the Ccair of the board of directors of the Fundación Tierra Austral and is a Founding Partner of the Law Firm of Grasty, Quintana Majlis in Santiago, Chile. Michael is a past President of the Chilean American Chamber of Commerce (AMCHAM), where he helped launch the Chilean Private Lands Conservation Initiative. He served as the Chair of the Organizing Committee of International Moot Court Law Competition and as a member of numerous other international and Chilean corporate and NGO Boards.
Michelle Steen-Adams is an affiliate social scientist at the Pacific Northwest Research Station of the USDA Forest Service, where she conducts applied research on fire-prone forests to inform wildland fire policy and management. Her research spans the fields of forest social sciences, environmental history, tribal forestry, and forest landscape ecology.
Mike Koutnik has been involved with GIS for 30 years. For 25 years he advised state agencies on their use of GIS. He now consults to conservation and environment organizations, helping them apply GIS to achieve their missions. He is a board member of Gathering Waters. Mike’s education includes MS degrees in Marketing and Environmental Monitoring from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and BS in Computer Science from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse.
Mirella Ramos, Bilingual Youth Programs Coordinator at Sonoma Land Trust, coordinates in- and out-of-school time programs for youth through culturally relevant and accessible programming. They play a major role in reaching the Latine and Spanish-speaking communities through partnerships and collaboration. Mirella is an accomplished field technician having worked for California Conservation Corps, National Park Service and Forest Service. They previously coordinated field work, environmental education and youth development for Saguaro National Park’s Youth Conservation Corps.
Misti Schmidt is a partner at Conservation Partners LLP in Oakland, California, where she focuses her practice on the real estate and tax aspects of conservation transactions, including donative and mitigation conservation easements and carbon projects, as well as tax-exempt organization governance. Misti received her Master of Laws in Taxation from New York University School of Law and her juris doctorate from the University of California, Berkeley School of Law, where she received a Certificate in Environmental Law.
Mitch Lettow worked in ecological restoration and conservation for 18 years, and works to steward and connect communities to a diverse network of nature preserves. He has a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Biology/Zoology and a master’s degree in Entomology from Michigan State University.
Molly Kordas, staff attorney, has been at Openlands since 2018. Molly contributed one of the only legal comments highlighting the rollbacks to the Clean Water Act WOTUS rules’ impact on the Midwest, and is a delegate on the MWRD stormwater technical advisory committee. Molly infuses considerations of social equity and environmental justice into her advocacy for improving the conditions of our waterways for both people and aquatic life.
Nancy Moore is managing partner of the Conservation Consulting Group, a collective of highly experienced professionals who are passionate about land conservation and dedicated to building the capacity and advancing the mission of land trusts throughout the United States. Nancy has been a consultant in the nonprofit sector for twenty years, guiding hundreds of organizations through strategic planning, needs assessments, organizational assessments, Board development, program evaluations and other challenges. Nancy brings more than 35 years of experience in nonprofit leadership and management to her work as a consultant, including 11 years as an Executive Director. She also 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 in partnership with the World Wildlife Fund. Most recently, she added “elected official” to her plate as well, having been elected and re-elected to the City Council of the City of Monona.
Nathan Henry is project manager for US Nature4Climate (USN4C), a coalition of 9 conservation, sustainability, and business organizations dedicated to ensuring our natural and working lands are an integral part of the overall strategy to combat climate change. As the Project Manager for USN4C, Nathan coordinates the coalition’s Steering Committee and manages its strategic communications efforts. Nathan has also overseen the development of the USN4C website, social media properties, blog, videos and infographics.
Neal Bungard is a Natural Resource Program Leader in the Eastern Region of the USDA Forest Service. Neal has worked in forest land conservation since 2001 with the Forest Legacy Program. In the Community Forest Program, Neal has worked with a number of towns and not for profit entities to create or expand over 20 Community Forests totaling over 7,000 acres since 2012.
Neal Ramus, Director of Community Programs at Sonoma Land Trust, leads organizational strategies to broaden audiences, serve community needs, and include a multitude of voices in the work of Sonoma Land Trust. A nationally recognized youth development and program evaluation expert, Neal has presented at numerous national and international conferences, from Washington DC to Chongqing, China. Neal previously led community program development at the California Academy of Sciences, Petaluma Wildlife Museum, and Sonoma State University.
Nick Miller brings science to conservation approaches, policy, and practices through ecological planning, monitoring, and collaboration. He’s currently focusing on nature-based solutions for climate change, ecosystem service assessments to drive wetland and watershed conservation, developing bird-based indicators of ecological condition for forest management, and creating online mapping tools to support conservation and land use decision-making. Prior to joining TNC, Nick managed a regional conservation program in New York for the Wildlife Conservation Society, and created watershed-based wetland restoration planning methods for Rhode Island. Nick has a master’s degree in wetland ecology from the University of Rhode Island and a bachelor’s degree in wildlife ecology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Nicole Rosmarino, Ph.D. helped found the Southern Plains Land Trust and is currently its Executive Director. She resides in rural Bent County, CO. Nicole received her Ph.D. from the University of Colorado at Boulder in May 2002. Her Ph.D. is in policy science/political science, and her academic focus was on biodiversity preservation. She has been actively involved in efforts to protect prairie wildlife since 1994 and treasures all native prairie species, both plant and animal.
Oliver Bass, president of Natural Lands, has held leadership roles with the organization for over 21 years. Under his leadership, the organization’s communications efforts and its mission commitment to connecting people to nature grew significantly. Dedicating much of his career to conservation, Oliver is a member of the Land Trust Alliance’s National Land Trust Leadership Council, Vice President of the Pennsylvania Land Trust Association’s Board of Directors, serves on the Executive Committee of the PA Growing Greener Coalition.
Pam Geary is the director of annual funds at Western Pennsylvania Conservancy.
Patricia Leopold coordinates the Mid-Atlantic and Central Appalachians Climate Change Response Framework, where she is actively expanding partnerships, creating resources, and promoting implementation of adaptation actions in inland and coastal forest ecosystems, and at scales ranging from state agency planning to on-the-ground projects.
Paul Doscher was vice president for land conservation at the Society for the Protection of NH Forests. He was board chair of the Piscataquog Land Conservancy, and serves on the Stewardship Committee. He was a member of the Standards Advisory Team for Land Trust Alliance. For Trout Unlimited, he serves as a national Trustee and as a member of the Risk Management Committee. He designed TU’s Coldwater Land Conservancy Fund.
Paul Hardy was born and raised in the Sierra Nevada. After obtaining degrees in wildlife biology from the Universities of California and Arizona, Paul worked as a U.S. Forest Service biologist for five years, then founded the Feather River Land Trust in 1999, where he served as Executive Director for 18 years. Paul also co-created the Sierra-Cascade Land Trust Council and Northern Sierra Partnership and is a Martha Beck trained life coach. He recently launched the Center for Conservation Renewal.
Peter Dykstra practices water and conservation law in the Pacific Northwest; he previously practiced in California and served as in-house counsel for two national conservation organizations.
Peter is the co-founder of First Light, an ambitious effort between 65 organizations in Maine and the Wabanaki people to increase their presence and sovereignty on the land. We take direction from the Tribally-appointed Wabanaki Commission made up of 12 leaders representing the federally recognized Tribes of Maine.
Peter Kleinhenz works as the Aucilla River Watershed Coalition Coordinator for Tall Timbers Research Station and Land Conservancy. His job entails working with private landowners to conserve lands, developing partnerships, pursuing new funding opportunities, and managing an NRCS-RCPP grant focused on watershed-scale conservation. Peter holds an M.S. in environmental education from Southern Oregon University and serves on the board of his local Audubon chapter with a U.S. life list of 563 bird species.
Peter Nichols specializes in water, conservation, and environmental law, and serves as special counsel to various conservation organizations. He was the lead attorney in the landmark case that upheld the encumbrance of water rights and was the principal co-author of the Water Rights Handbook for Colorado Conservation Professionals.
With over 40 years experience in the fields of architecture, urban design, and development, Petr Stand has worked for state and municipal agencies, engaged in healthcare, residential and urban design, led an architectural design studio at the City College School of Architecture, chaired the board of a nonprofit local development corporation in the northwest Bronx, conducted multiple urban design studies.
Phillip Oswald is a litigation attorney in private practice who has represented land trusts and other clients in title disputes, easement enforcement, insurance disputes, clean-water disputes, and other matters before courts across New York State. Phillip serves on the Legislation, Land Use and Environmental, and Title and Transfer Committees for the NYS Bar Association. Phillip also serves on the board of directors for Saratoga PLAN. Phillip is a veteran of the US Marine Corps.
Rand Wentworth is a member of the Board of Directors of the Fundación Tierra Austral, and is the Louis and Gabrielle Bacon Senior Fellow in Environmental Leadership at the Harvard Kennedy School. He formerly served as the President and CEO of the Land Trust Alliance for 16 years. Rand also served as the Vice President and Founding Director of the Atlanta Office of the Trust for Public Land
Randi Shaw manages The Nature Conservancy’s land stewardship program in WA, covering 46,000 acres across the state. Holding a M.S. in Forest Ecology from Oregon State University, Randi has worked in stewardship and restoration for 16 years. She believes strongly that all kinds of people should be able to live in and contribute to a healthy natural world, and she works to promote inclusivity and opportunity throughout the conservation field.
Rebecca Rettmer has served as executive director of Lummi Island Heritage Trust for over 20 years. During her tenure, she has cultivated deep relationships with donors. She has personally made a planned gift to the land trust and has a keen understanding of the importance of funding the Trust’s work in perpetuity. She currently serves on the board of directors of WA Association of Land Trusts and is a member of the Land Trust Alliance.
Rich Cochran is president and CEO of Western Reserve Land Conservancy. He has served in this role for more than 25 years and is nationally recognized as a conservation leader and an expert in urban conservation and restoration and DEIJ in the context of conservation. Rich was the first employee of the Land Conservancy, which now employs 50 people, has completed more than 800 conservation transactions, and created 180 public parks and preserves
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.
Rusty Milholland is the stewardship manager for Washington Farmland Trust where he is responsible for the monitoring and administration of conservation easements held by the Trust, as well as management of its fee-owned farms and “buy-protect-sell” projects. Rusty works with farmers to support their efforts to care for the soils, water, and habitat on conserved farms, while they develop and grow the sustainable businesses that play an integral role in our local food system.
Sam Cook is the executive director of Forest Assets for the College of Natural Resources at NC State University where he coordinates the management of the forest assets owned or managed by the NC State Natural Resources Foundation, Inc. At Center for Heirs Property Preservation, he played an integral role in developing and implementing a system of support that allows landowners and forest landowners of all income levels to increase their income through sustainable forestry programs. He is the secretary for the Triangle Land Conservancy board of directors.
Sara Barker is the program director for the Cornell Land Trust Bird Conservation Initiative. She helps provide strategic planning, resources, technical assistance, planning tools, and funding opportunities to advance the pace and impact of land trust protection and stewardship efforts. She also assists land managers and practitioners in managing habitat for priority bird species and strives to build capacity for the land trust and private lands community around birds.
Sara Wilson, ACC, CPCC is Principal Consultant of MAYES WILSON & ASSOCIATES with more than 20 years of leadership experience and consulting in the nonprofit sector. Her consulting focuses on strategic planning, organizational development and growth, improving board effectiveness, staff cohesion, effectiveness and leadership development. A credentialed executive leadership coach, Sara coaches executives and managers. She is an Affiliate partner of the Land Trust Alliance, a member of the International Coaching Federation and serves in board and committee leadership roles for the Urban Ecology Center and Rotary Club of Milwaukee.
Sarah Newkirk develops and implements TNC-CA’s statewide Disaster Resilience Strategy, which works with landowners and policymakers to undertake and implement land protection, restoration, and strategic retreat in high-risk areas as they prepare communities to be resilient in the face of climate-mediated natural disasters. Since 2005, Sarah has been a leader of TNC’s climate change resilience initiatives in both California and New York, protecting and restoring ecosystems in the face of sea level rise, flooding and wildfires. Sarah has a master’s degree in Marine Environmental Science and a law degree, with an emphasis on environmental law.
Sarah Parmar is the director of conservation for Colorado Open Lands
. Sarah leads COL’s conservation team and ensures the organization’s efforts achieve significant impact statewide. Sarah completed her master’s in agricultural and resource economics, with a focus on legal issues in conservation. Her passion for Western land protection stems from her background growing up as the fifth generation on a cattle ranch in Southeastern Arizona, where her parents and their ranching community established the Malpai Borderlands Group, a collaborative conservation organization.
Sawyer Cresap is a Master of Environmental Management candidate at the Yale School of the Environment studying land and community conservation. Sawyer is a team member on the Land Wrongs and Private Land Conservation project and a writer for the Conservation Finance Network. Prior to attending Yale, Sawyer led an urgent relief and resilience-building initiative in a small Adirodack community through the Covid-19 pandemic, coordinated the Mohawk Hudson Land Conservancy’s stewardship work, and thru-hiked the Appalachian Trail.
Scott Schaffer, Principal of PIM Group, is an experienced nonprofit leader and consultant with a background in economics, finance, biology and behavioral science. A four-time past CEO in the health, housing and environmental fields, he’s led financial turnarounds, growth strategies and startups in four states. He is a sector thought leader on business model sustainability. A past land trust board member, Scott has consulted with over a dozen land trusts on strategic business planning.
Scott Schultz is the founder and president of Schultz & Williams, a national firm serving the nonprofit sector for 35 years. The company’s integrated model grew out of Scott’s successful career as a development and marketing executive for nonprofit organizations. His formative experience taught him the importance of integrating marketing, development, planning and operations to meet organizational goals. S&W has worked with over 100 land trust and other greenspace and conservation organizations across the country.
Sean is the program associate for the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation.
Sequoya Bua-Iam is an ORISE Fellow within the EPA’s Nonpoint Source Management Branch. Prior to this position, Sequoya’s research primarily addressed monitoring freshwater remediation (e.g., lake paleoecology, post-dam removal streambank erosion, and streamflow restoration), but she now enjoys researching metrics used for tracking protection of healthy watersheds. Sequoya holds a M.Sc. in Environmental Science from the University of Massachusetts Boston and a B.A. in Geology from Washington & Lee University.
Sergio Pierluissi has worked for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service since 2005, mostly with the Partners for Fish and Wildlife (PFW) Program. As a private lands biologist, he worked in Michigan, Ohio, and Alabama, and coordinated the program regionally in Atlanta. Since 2017, he has been the Regional Coordinator for PFW in Minneapolis, where he manages field staff in the eight-state region, develops policy for the program, and develops regional partnerships with several organizations.
Shaniqua is a six-year Kingston resident who first fell in love with green space as a kid dancing under the stars in her hometown of South Boston, Virginia. She later moved to New York City where she studied communications and liberal arts at Empire State College. As a proud mom and active entrepreneur Shaniqua is the co-founder of my Kingston kids, an organization originally created to help the parents of Kingston find children’s events and activities in a central location. Other community projects she’s worked on include Black History Month Kingston and the Nubian Cafe. Shaniqua is dedicated to ensuring Kingston is a well-rounded community and has come to Kingston Land Trust to assist in their mission of sharing public land access to all.
Shelby Semmes is the state director for Vermont and New Hampshire at the The Trust for Public Land.
Sophie Glovier is assistant policy director at The Watershed Institute where she works with citizens, Environmental Commissions, municipal elected officials and staff to develop and implement strong environmental policy. She led the creation of The Watershed Institute’s Community Watershed Advocate Program, which trains teens and adults to be effective advocates for water-related environmental issues in their communities. Sophie served for four years as Chair of the Princeton Environmental Commission and is a team member of C-Change Conversations, helping to educate about the risks of climate change. Sophie is the author of Walk the Trails In and Around Princeton, a trail guide whose proceeds support stewardship of open space the Princeton area. She is a past board member of D&R Greenway Land Trust and Friends of Princeton Open Space.
Stacy Meyers, Ssnior counsel, has worked at Openlands since 2006 to strengthen conservation and environmental law and policies on a regional, state and national level. With the help of her team, Stacy manages Openlands’ portfolio of 58 conservation easements across over 3,000 acres of land. She and the Openlands land preservation team provide technical assistance to acquire and transfer open space to agencies and communities, from inner city pocket parks, to vast sweeping natural landscapes. Stacy’s goal is to engage communities, policymakers, agencies and the conservation community to accelerate the speed and scale of conservation to meet the goal of conserving 30% of natural lands and waters by 2030, and be resilient to climate change. She collaborates with others to incubate new models that preserve and expand our natural lands and waters for all people where they live.
Steve Barg is executive director of the Jo Daviess Conservation Foundation (JDCF). He previously held executive positions with the Liberty Prairie Conservancy in NE Illinois, Lake Forest (IL) Open Lands Association, and the Heller Nature Center in Highland Park, IL. JDCF preserves 8,000 acres of natural areas and Native American cultural lands in NW Illinois. Steve is forging relationships with elected representatives of five federally recognized tribal groups that trace their heritage to NW Illinois.
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.
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 Swartz spent 19 years as general counsel of the Humane Society Wildlife Land Trust in Washington, D.C., before stepping down in 2017. He remains a senior attorney for the Trust’s parent organization, now concentrating on broader risk management and litigation issues. Before joining the land trust 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 is an alumnus of both the Land Trust Accreditation Commission and the Alliance’s Conservation Defense Advisory Council.
Steve Anderson is president and CEO of the Forest History Society, where he oversees all FHS programs, events, and projects. Before joining FHS in 1997, he was a forest economist and forestry professor at Oklahoma State University.
Tamara Galanter is a partner with Shute Mihaly & Weinberger LLP, and represents national land trusts and land trusts throughout California. Tamara has been senior counsel for POST on several transactions and legal challenges.
Tiffany Edwards has worked for Peninsula Open Space Trust since 2015. As the Easement Project Manager she is responsible for the monitoring, reporting, interpretation and enforcement of 37 conservation easements in San Mateo, Santa Clara, and Santa Cruz Counties.
Tim Nurvala, Senior Vice President, joined CCS Fundraising in 2008, bringing with him 20 years of experience working with nonprofit organizations, governmental agencies, and international technology businesses. Tim has provided counsel to organizations including American Forests, Indian River Land Trust, United States Naval Academy, and University of Maryland Medical System, among many others. Tim has a B.A. and M.A. from the University of Florida and a M.A., Ph.D. (ABD) from American University. He served on the boards of several organizations including the Finlandia Foundation, the Commonwealth Public Broadcasting Corporation, and the Computer Learning Center Partnership.
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 McDonald is a member of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes and the Division Manager for the Tribe’s Fish, Wildlife, Recreation and Conservation Programs. Mr. McDonald holds a Bachelor’s Degree in natural resource management from The Evergreen State College. His work experience includes conducting fish and wildlife population surveys and restoration activities, wilderness and fish/wildlife management plans, and acquiring critical wildlife habitat and travel corridors on sensitive landscapes.
Tyler Miller works with a team of stewardship managers, foresters and ecologists to steward easements and farmland across Vermont. He also leads Vermont Land Trust’s efforts to pair farmland access and ecological restoration, currently focused on incentivizing ecological overlay easements and developing pay-for-practices strategies that can work on conserved farmland.
Tyrone Wilson is the volunteer executive director of Harambee, the umbrella organization for My Kingston Kids, Black History Month Kingston, the Juneteenth celebration and the upcoming African American Cultural Festival. Harambee now holds title to the Pine Street African Burial Ground. Tyrone is the Human Rights Commissioner for Ulster County. Outside of these two roles Tyrone provides leadership to program development at the County’s Restorative Justice Center and Community Employment Center, as well as leading critical community efforts at Kingston High School. Tyrone spent four years with AmeriCorps NCCC in his youth where he gained the hands on experience of working with a group of diverse people and was able to see the differences of culture as well as the importance of working together. This experience ultimately led to his passion to create educational events of African American Culture and Unity in the community. Originally from Harlem, Tyrone has called Kingston home for eighteen years.
Victoria Alonso is the executive director of the Fundación Tierra Austral. She was formerly the CEO of an independent environmental consulting firm in Chile, Templado, and has worked for both The Nature Conservancy and in positions in the Chilean Government. Victoria is trained as an Agricultural Engineer, with degrees from the Pontifica Universidad Católica de Chile and the University of Edinburgh.
Walker Holmes is Connecticut State Director for The Trust for Public Land. She is a board member of Gather New Haven and past president of New Haven Land Trust. She serves on the Natural Heritage, Open Space, and Land Acquisition Review Board for the State of Connecticut and co-teaches a course on land conservation at Yale School of the Environment. Walker and her family live in New Haven, CT, where they try to get outside every day.
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 been directly involved in over one hundred state and local park and conservation ballot measures throughout the country.
Willie Jackson is Head of Learning & Development at ReadySet, a diversity strategy firm that creates more human-centered workplaces. In this role, Willie leads a team that brings a range of expertise and lived experience to bear in addressing complex organizational challenges. Before ReadySet, Willie founded a digital magazine for Black men called Abernathy. In its four year run, Abernathy published 400+ articles, backed by companies like Atlassian, Mailchimp and WeWork.