Andrew Fisk, Ph.D., Executive Director Contact Andy
Prior to joining CRWC in May 2011, Andy served as Director of the Land and Water Quality Bureau at the Maine Department of Environmental Protection for seven years. As Maine’s land and water quality director, Andy had extensive experience with a range of state and federal environmental quality statutes. He worked with municipalities, industry, and citizens to develop, finance, and implement clean water requirements that eliminated algae blooms, sewer overflows and maintained stream and river flows. He was also actively involved in enacting and implementing scientifically-based protections for hundreds of thousands of acres of significant wildlife habitats for tidal and inland waterfowl as well as protections for vernal pools.
Andy has a Ph.D. in Environmental Sciences, as well as a Masters in City and Regional Planning from Rutgers University. He has served as President of the Association of State and Interstate Water Pollution Control Agencies and Chair of the New England Interstate Water Pollution Control Commission (NEIWPCC). He has been active in land conservation for over a decade. At NEIWPCC, Fisk initiated the country’s first regional mercury clean-up plan for the seven Northeast states’ impaired waters which maps out strategies to make the region’s fish safe to eat.
Colleen Bent, Development Associate Contact Colleen
Colleen joined the CRWC staff in July, 2013 wanting to return to work in the field of Development. “I want to contribute and I embrace the mission of CRWC”. Colleen served as Development Director for 15 years, at Montessori Independent Day Schools in MA and in IN, initiating programs to include Annual Giving, Special Events, Foundation research, Volunteer coordination and Donor cultivation.
Colleen graduated from Marquette University with a B.A. in Psychology and Sociology. Later, she received a certificate from the Fundraising School of Indiana University. Colleen and her husband moved to Greenfield several years ago from Duxbury, MA. Her interests include weaving, fiber arts, kayaking, summer reading and baking year round.
Peggy Savage Brownell, Laboratory Manager Contact Peggy
Peggy has enjoyed managing the CRWC Water Testing Lab since it began accepting water quality samples in June 2010. She tests samples collected from rivers, streams, storm drains and flowing pipes for the presence and abundance of E. Coli bacteria to determine whether those water bodies meet or exceed the State Water Quality Standard. Peggy has also established quality control processes to ensure accurate results.
Peggy has her M.S. in Geology from the University of Georgia and her B.A. in Geology from Lafayette College. After working as a Geophysicist in New Orleans, Peggy “saw the light” and switched to nonprofit work, eventually finding her calling focusing on water quality issues at watershed associations. She worked at the Charles River Watershed Association in the Boston area and at Stony Brook-Millstone Watershed Association in New Jersey where she designed and managed water quality sampling programs, wrote Quality Assurance Project Plans (QAPPs), managed a River-Friendly program working with landowners, conducted a streamflow restoration project and initiated a dam removal project. Peggy and her husband Ken live in Amherst, MA.
Alicea Charamut, River Steward, Connecticut Contact Alicea
Alicea has been an advocate for Connecticut’s rivers and streams for nearly a decade. Alicea currently serves as the President of the Farmington Valley Chapter and on the Executive Committee of the State Council of Trout Unlimited. Her work as a volunteer leader has given her many useful skills and knowledge of water issues, which she is eager to put to work for our rivers.
Alicea holds a B.S. in Biological Sciences from the University of Connecticut and has worked in Biotech and the Beverage Industries. “Stronger Together” is a mantra Alicea lives by and she looks forward to building partnerships to reach common goals for our rivers.
Erin DeCou, Membership Coordinator Contact Erin
Erin joined CRWC in 2016 after serving as Executive Director of Neighborhood Bike Works, a youth bicycling organization in Philadelphia, PA, where she worked in the nonprofit sector for ten years. She has worked in youth development, environmental advocacy, and even a community arts organization, as well as on farm projects both in the Philly region and in India.
Erin holds a Masters in Public Administration from Rutgers University, and a B.A. in Anthropology from Skidmore College. She grew up working on her family’s peach orchards in South Jersey, and recently moved to Greenfield, in part to enjoy the vibrant farms, communities, and access to natural areas in the region.
David Deen, River Steward, Upper Valley (VT/NH) Contact David
David began at the Watershed Council in 1998. David views his river steward work as “resisting the bad things that could happen to the Connecticut River and celebrating the good things about the river.” Much of David’s time is spent reviewing permits and answering calls about possible problems on the river—as well as catching up with normal work assignments. He’s spent more than 25 years as a Vermont legislator, focusing on public policy and advocating for river protections. For most of his legislative time he’s been on the Natural Resources/Water Resources committees.
David holds a M.S. from Antioch New England Graduate School. He’s been learning about water, rivers and aquatic species for decades. David has been a NH licensed flyfishing guide for 20+ years, teaching people to fish while simultaneously teaching them the basics of healthy rivers. David likes to read everything from Shakespeare to trash mystery thrillers. His science reading interests range toward research, field reports and quantum physics, with a particular interest in ecology and fishing worldwide. Whenever possible, David goes fishing.
Andrea Donlon, River Steward, Massachusetts Contact Andrea
Andrea became CRWC’s first River Steward for the Massachusetts part of the watershed in 2003. Prior to that, she was a non-point source pollution specialist at the NH Department of Environmental Services in Concord. She has worked at the Lake Champlain Basin Program; environmental consulting firms in MA and DC and on several forest, water quality and air monitoring studies in Vermont and New Hampshire. Andrea has a B.S. in math from Haverford College and an M.S. in forestry from UVM. Her master’s studies focused on trace levels of mercury in soils and streams on Vermont’s Mount Mansfield.
As River Steward, Andrea advocates for the Connecticut and its tributaries in regulatory proceedings with hydropower facilities in MA. She comments on pollutant discharge permits; reviews development plans affecting the watershed, and works on state-wide regulatory issues with other non-profits. She enjoys canoeing and kayaking. Currently she leads the volunteer water monitoring effort, including responsibilities for the Quality Assurance Project Plan (QAPP). Andrea and her partner Christopher live in Buckland, MA with their daughter Ursula.
Phil Gilfeather-Girton, Finance Director Contact Phil
Phil has evolved from a certified bookkeeper to an accountant over the past 15 years. He has created proactive and efficient accounting systems in several non-profit and for-profit businesses in Vermont, New York and Massachusetts. He is currently working to obtain his CPA license. Along the way, Phil has operated nuclear reactors, studied Killer Whales in the western North Atlantic and reverse engineered a hybrid electric car. For 10 years, he was the Data Librarian and Assistant Storyteller at the Vermont Monitoring Cooperative a long-term forested ecosystem study supported by the State of Vermont, University of Vermont and Green Mountain National Forest.
Phil has a Masters in Accounting from New England College and a Bachelors in Human Ecology from the College of the Atlantic. He matriculated in the Natural Resources Planning Program at the University of Vermont, where his research was defining Biophysical Regions in Vermont. Phil considers himself a country accountant, aspiring gentleman farmer and intrepid lifeplace explorer.
Marion Griswold, Membership Coordinator Contact Marion
Marion joined CRWC in August 2010 as Membership Coordinator. She moved to Greenfield from the Pomperaug River Watershed in western Connecticut, where she worked in non-profit administration in a variety of capacities, including fund-raising, bookkeeping and general administration in settings ranging from academic institutions to small, local non-profits.
Marion graduated from Grinnell College in Iowa with a B.A. in American Studies. She has two daughters, both of whom live in the Pioneer Valley. She has been a zealous organic gardener of both vegetables and flowers for many years and aspires to ownership of a farmette in the Valley. In addition to growing things, her enthusiasms and interests include American folk music, historic preservation, issues of land use, farmland preservation and food policy.
Stacey Lennard, Events and Special Projects Coordinator Contact Stacey
Stacey’s passion for the river began in the spring of 1996 when, after moving to the valley from NYC, she and her husband embarked on their first paddle in celebration of his birthday. They have created a ritual of that event, bringing friends and family along for this annual birthday flotilla. Stacey began volunteering with CRWC in the winter of 2015 and now co-organizes our large events and develops special projects. She is eager to bring her creativity and organizing skills to the important work of CRWC.
Stacey holds an MFA in photography from UMass Amherst, an MA in Art Education from City College of New York and a BFA from University of Michigan. She was the Executive Director of Youth Action Coalition—a community-based youth arts and social justice organization—for nearly 20 years, and has been an arts educator and facilitator in rural and urban schools and out-of-school settings. She lives in Leverett with her husband and two teenage sons, loves canoeing, backpacking, playing the cello, reading and cooking. Last year she and son Ethan dragged 9 tires out of the river during the Source to Sea Clean-up! Stacey hopes to be a Source to Sea Through-Paddler in the near future.
Mary Link, Membership Builder Contact Mary
Mary joined CRWC in September 2015 as the Membership Builder. She has served as director, development director or consultant to help grow a variety of non-profit organizations both locally since moving here in 1985, and internationally with Peace Brigades International. Most recently Mary developed special projects for Greenfield Schools. She has a passion for the natural world, having grown up in a family of amateur naturalists, and worked as an environmental educator for several years. She also serves as chair of the development committee for Woolman Hill Conference Center in Deerfield.
Mary graduated from the University of New Hampshire with a B.A. in Social Work and Anthropology. Mary, her family and two cats live near Ashfield Lake (which flows ultimately into the Connecticut River) where she enjoys hiking, gardening, food preservation, textile arts, singing, watercolor painting, swimming and paddling, and participates in removal of invasive weeds. Our rivers provide the heart of our communities and connect us to each other throughout history. Mary welcomes your ideas for growing CRWC’s membership to keep our rivers clean and healthy.
Alan Morgan, Regional Office Manager Contact Alan
Alan has coordinated the office in our historic headquarters building since 2005, taking care of day-to-day details so the rest of CRWC’s staff can focus on the River and our programs.
After discovering that his B.A. in Philosophy did not offer a solid career path, Alan focused his efforts on nonprofit enterprises in the United States and Asia that promote cultural, educational and environmental goals. A resident of Western Massachusetts since 1975, Alan is glad to be involved in local work that directly benefits his home town of Warwick, the river he crosses every day and the community of concerned folks that make this region special.
Angela Mrozinski, Outreach & Events Director Contact Angie
Angie began working with the watershed council in 2010 as an AmeriCorps member and later became a member of the staff. Organizing CRWC events, preparing newsletters and annual reports, maintaining the website and outreach through social media are all things that occupy Angie’s time.
Angie graduated with an M.S. from Antioch University New England’s Environmental Advocacy and Organizing Program. During her time there, she worked on a variety of water-focused projects. Angie is from the “Great Lakes State” and got her B.S. in Natural Resources Management from Grand Valley State University in Michigan, where she also worked as an environmental educator.
Ron Rhodes, River Steward, North Country (NH/VT) Contact Ron
Ron joined CRWC in 2011 as our North Country River Steward. He spends most of his time in the North Country of NH & VT, an area he knows well from his years as a licensed NH fishing guide and his decade of service on the boards of the Greater Upper Valley chapter of Trout Unlimited and the White River Partnership. Ron also taught the Fly Fishing class at Dartmouth College in Hanover, NH.
Ron is a graduate of Wittenberg University in Springfield, OH where he majored in Political Science and Economics. Prior to moving to the Upper Valley, where he lives with his wife Betsy and their bird dog Kaylea, Ron worked in politics and government in Washington D.C. and Ohio.
Elayne Ryba, Outreach & Development Assistant Contact Elayne
Elayne joined CRWC in January 2016. Originally from Connecticut, she received her Associates degree in Science from Mitchell College. Moving to upstate New York, she spent 30+ years in the printing industry in sales, marketing & public relations.
But her passion is the outdoors, especially birds. Birding whenever she has a chance, she also served on the Board of Directors for the Hudson-Mohawk Bird Club & the Capital Area Audubon Society. Elayne also was a NYS licensed wildlife rehabilitator, and still gives presentations about the subject. She currently lives in Charlemont with her cat, Rosie.