Our Headquarters
15 Bank Row
Greenfield, MA 01301

Connecticut Office
1429 Park St. Suite 114
Hartford, CT 06106

Meet CRC’s Staff

Rebecca Todd, Executive Director, rtodd(at)ctriver.org, (413) 834-9457

Rebecca joined CRC in October 2023. For over 30 years Rebecca has advised organizations, individuals, and businesses in matters related to environmental, educational, contractual, employment, and non-profit management. She served as General Counsel for Antioch University, as Associate Attorney General in the Office of the Attorney General in Washington in the Education and Ecology divisions, and litigated cases for the Sierra Club Legal Defense Fund, Inc. (now Earthjustice) and the Natural Resources Defense Council, Inc. related to the Clean Water Act, the Endangered Species Act, and hazardous waste laws. Rebecca also teaches environmental law, legal advocacy, and other subjects nationally and internationally.

In addition to these professional accomplishments, Rebecca grew up in the Connecticut River watershed, has raised a family while stewarding farmland along the river in New Hampshire, and is cultivating a new passion for the sport of rowing.

Ansel Appleton, Finance and Accounting Assistant, aappleton(at)ctriver.org, 413-772-2020 ext. 201

Ansel Appleton joined CRC’s finance department in September of 2023, assisting with accounts payable and general ledger entries. Before working for the river, he pursued stints as a bartender, a bookkeeper, a traveling slam poet, and a chef. When not filling out IRS forms and expense reimbursements, he can be found reading his long-form articles, or watching the neighborhood squirrels.

Ansel is a native of Springfield, Massachusetts, a resident of Greenfield, and a proud product of Greenfield Community College.

Kate Buckman, River Steward in New Hampshire, kbuckman@ctriver.org, 413-772-2020 ext. 205

Kate joined the CRC team as the River Steward for NH in Sep 2022. She spent much of the 25 years before that involved in marine and freshwater research. She received her bachelor’s degree in Biological Sciences from Smith College where she worked on coral reef ecology and education in Belize and her PhD from the MIT/WHOI Joint Program in Oceanography where she focused her thesis research on the ecology of fish at hydrothermal vent systems on the East Pacific Rise. Kate made the short trip north back to her home state of New Hampshire in 2010 and spent many years at Dartmouth College as a member of the Toxic Metals Superfund Research Program studying trophic transfer of mercury and assisting with community science programs in Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont.  

When not contemplating how awesome fish are, Kate can often be found puttering in her yard and gardens, hanging out on the porch pondering which house project to tackle next, or walking her wiggly dog around the neighborhood.  

Rebecca Budd, Restoration Project Manager, rbudd(at)ctriver.org, 413-772-2020 ext. 222

Becky joined CRC’s staff in October 2021. She received her B.A. in Psychology from Dartmouth College and M.S. in Natural Resources from the University of New Hampshire. She previously worked with American Rivers and The Nature Conservancy on land protection, river restoration, and conservation GIS projects.

Becky has always lived near the river, from her childhood in Connecticut to her college dorm in “The River Cluster” near the upper Connecticut River. She currently lives in Northampton, MA with her family. In her spare time, she volunteers on rare species and habitat surveys and enjoys gardening, cooking, hiking, and skiing.

CRC hat in action

Angela Chaffee, Grant Strategist & Writer, achaffee(at)ctriver.org, 413-772-2020 ext. 204

Angie began working with CRC in 2010 as an AmeriCorps member. Prior to joining CRC, she 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 that engaged communities with their natural resources. Angie grew up in Michigan, the “Great Lakes State,” where she also worked as an environmental educator, and got her B.S. in Natural Resources Management from Grand Valley State University.

When she’s not working, you’ll find Angie in her garden or baking sweet treats for her friends, family, and co-workers. She lives in Springfield, MA with her husband, Kevin, and their two rescued pets.

Diana Chaplin, Director of Communications, dchaplin(at)ctriver.org, 413-772-2020 ext. 206

Diana brings over 15 years of experience in marketing and communications strategy in both nonprofit and startup organizations with a distinct passion for sustainability and uplifting storytelling. Her background also includes publishing, leadership development, and graphic design. Most notably her recent experience includes being the Marketing Director at global reforestation nonprofit One Tree Planted during 5 years of its critical growth, establishing the organization as a media-savvy environmental brand and growing a robust internal team while funding the planting of over 40 million trees – including being a funding partner of CRC! She currently oversees our content throughout the website, email, social media, and custom distribution channels in partnership with programs staff. When she’s not working, Diana enjoys exploring the great outdoors with her family in Massachusetts.

Gabrièl Chevalier, Recreation & Access Program Manager, gchevalier(at)ctriver.org, 413-772-2020 ext. 210

Gabrièl officially joined the CRC team as Lab Manager in 2018 after assisting with CRC’s water monitoring program through an internship with the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources. She tests water 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. Before working at CRC, she worked with the Appalachian Mountain Club as a data analyst and GIS specialist.

She holds a degree in Geology and Environmental Science from Mount Holyoke College. Gabrièl grew up in Western Massachusetts and is excited to be working with CRC to study and protect the waters in this region. Her love of the local rivers began with canoeing trips along the Deerfield River, extended through college where she rowed daily on the Connecticut River and continues today with her work at CRC.

Rhea Drozdenko, River Steward in Connecticut, rdrozdenko(at)ctriver.org, 413-772-2020 ext. 203

Rhea joined the CRC team in August 2022. Before joining CRC, she worked as a community engagement professional in higher education – getting students more involved in the community and creating programming for local K-12 students.  Community engagement has been an integral part of both her personal and professional life – and she tries to volunteer whenever she can.

Rhea holds a BA in Sociology with a Civic Engagement Certificate, as well as a MALS in Social Sciences from Wesleyan University. She has lived in Connecticut for most of her life, and she loves exploring the lovely gems this state has to offer. She can often be found reading a book in a hammock along the Connecticut River, experimenting with different baking recipes, or listening to live music.

Aliki Fornier, Ecology Planner, afornier(at)ctriver.org, 413-772-2020 ext. 207

Aliki joined CRC’s staff in March 2018 shortly after moving to the valley from St. Peterburg, FL. Prior to joining CRC, she was a volunteer at several conservancies around the globe. In 2013, she volunteered at the Maurtitius Marine Conservation Society, working towards the preservation of cetaceans and marine turtles around the Island of Mauritius. In St. Petersburg, she volunteered with the Boyd Hill Nature Preserve helping to eliminate invasive species. Aliki learned of CRC through her participation in CRC’s annual Source to Sea Cleanup, as well as volunteering for our mussel restoration program.

Aliki graduated with a B.A. in Biology from Eckerd College. Growing up in Switzerland, by the Lac Leman, she always spent time around water, exploring its secrets. Aliki also spends some time in Greece every year – where her family resides – sailing or scuba diving with her brother.

Fritz Gerhardt, Conservation Scientist, fgerhardt(at)ctriver.org, 413-772-2020 ext.219

Fritz joined CRC as Conservation Scientist in January 2019 but has been working as an ecologist and conservation scientist since 1987. He completed his B.A. in Religious Studies at Grinnell College, his M.F.S. in Forest Ecology at Harvard University, and his Ph.D. in Community Ecology at the University of Colorado. He has worked, studied, and taught with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Harvard Forest, Dartmouth and Middlebury Colleges, University of Colorado, Oregon Institute of Marine Biology, Vermont Institute of Natural Science, and NorthWoods Stewardship Center. For the past eleven years, he owned and operated an environmental consulting firm that specialized in conducting scientific research that furthered our understanding and conservation of the natural environment in northern New England and adjacent Canada. When not working, Fritz and his family enjoy living, walking, paddling, and gardening in the hills and valleys of the northern Connecticut River watershed.

Nina Gordon-Kirsch, River Steward of Massachusetts, ngordonkirsch(at)ctriver.org, 413-772-2020 ext. 216

Nina joined CRC’s staff in December 2023 after assisting with CRC’s water quality monitoring program during the summer of 2023. She moved to the Connecticut River Valley from northern California where she spent the past decade working across the water industry including regulatory and monitoring work for the San Francisco Bay Regional Water Quality Control Board, teaching a high school field course on natural and human-made water systems, and designing and installing professional greywater reuse projects. Before leaving CA, Nina walked 240 miles along the Mokelumne River to trace where her drinking water came from and feels passionate about connecting humans to their water sources. 

She holds an M.Sc. in Wastewater Reuse from Ben Gurion University, completed a Fulbright Scholarship in Israel and Palestine researching the fate of endocrine disrupting compounds in Palestinian wastewater treatment, and earned her B.Sc. in Environmental Science with a minor in Marketing from the University of Southern California. In her free time, you’ll find her dipping in local rivers (all year round!) and hiking with her dog Petey.  

Laura Herbert, Staff Accountant, lherbert(at)ctriver.org, 413-772-2020

Laura Herbert joined CRC as Staff Accountant in 2022.  She holds a BS in Elementary Education and has taught in the classroom and as an environmental educator.  Since beginning her career in finance and administration, Laura has worked in corporate consulting as well as in the non-profit sector. Additionally, Laura has a lifelong passion for conservation and has worked for various environmental groups doing invasives removal, species inventories, rare plant surveys, and design and implementation of land management plans. She has also developed environmental conservation curricula for students K-6. 

Laura is a licensed wildlife rehabilitator with a specialty in the care of rabbits and turtles. In her spare time, she enjoys exploring natural areas and honing her skills as an outdoorswoman. 

Alix Kaplan, Content Coordinator, akaplan(at)ctriver.org

Alix joined CRC as Content Coordinator in 2023. Their first experience on the river was working with the Invasive Aquatic Plants Crew pulling out water chestnut. Previously Alix had worked as an environmental educator in Baltimore, MD and as communications coordinator for a chamber music nonprofit.

Alix graduated with a B.A. in Environmental Studies from Tufts University. They enjoy animating, drumming, and looking under their microscope. Going on hikes with Alix will take double the amount of time since they must stop and look at everything.

Stacey Lennard, Events Manager and Source to Sea Cleanup Coordinator, slennard(at)ctriver.org, 413-772-2020 ext. 211

Stacey’s passion for the Connecticut 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 the event, bringing friends and family along for this annual birthday flotilla. Stacey began volunteering with CRC in the winter of 2015 and currently organizes our public events. She loves to combine her creativity and community-building skills to share the important work of CRC and inspire others to engage with their rivers.

Stacey holds an M.F.A. in photography from UMass Amherst, an M.A. in Art Education from City College of New York and a B.F.A. 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, MA with her husband, sons and new puppy, loves canoeing, backpacking, playing the cello, reading, and cooking. At her first Source to Sea Cleanup, Stacey and son Ethan dragged nine tires out of the river! Stacey hopes to be a Source to Sea Through-Paddler in the near future.

Mary McCaughey, Development Assistant, 413-772-2020, mmccaughey@ctriverorg.

Mary joined CRC in September, 2022. Mary has been living in the Connecticut River Valley in Western MA since 2008 when she began her studies in Plant, Soil, and Insect Science at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Mary reluctantly worked in retail sales and customer service before being lucky enough to join CRC. She currently lives in Easthampton with her husband and dog. She enjoys art, music, and spending time with family and friends.

Brett Morrison, Director of Development, bmorrison(at)ctriver.org, 413-772-2020 ext. 218 or 802-375-4519

Brett grew up on the Connecticut River – fishing, swimming, and floating on the brooks, streams, and rivers of southern Vermont’s hills and valleys. He joined the CRC team in 2018, eager to meet CRC members and work toward the river’s better future. His professional experience includes fundraising throughout New England and NYC for the Student Conservation Association (SCA), consulting and business development with a communications and printing company specializing in nonprofit fundraising, and over a decade teaching, coaching and house parenting at New England independent schools (including Bement School in Deerfield, MA and Northfield Mount Hermon).

Since returning to Vermont in 2006, Brett has served on the boards of the West River Watershed Alliance (VT) and the Strolling of the Heifers (Brattleboro, VT), and the Planning Commission in Vernon, VT. He enjoys coaching lacrosse, skiing, playing ice hockey, time with family, and exploring new parts of the river and watershed.

Ryan O’Donnell, Monitoring Program Manager, rodonnell(at)ctriver.org, 413-772-2020 ext.217

Ryan first joined the CRC team in 2013 as a lab tech in the Greenfield Water Quality Lab. He has coordinated volunteer water quality monitoring programs throughout the Connecticut River watershed since 2015. He is especially focused on using volunteer monitoring programs to bridge knowledge gaps and build coalitions where watersheds cross political boundaries. Before coming to CRC, Ryan taught science and music to students of all ages.

Ryan holds an M.S. in Sustainability Sciences and a B.S. in Geology from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and a B.A. in Classical Guitar Performance from Virginia Commonwealth University. He lives with his husband where they raise chickens, garden, make music, and hold events for the local Jewish community on their western Massachusetts homestead.

Nicole Reigle, Assistant Director of Development, nreigle(at)ctriver.org, 413-772-2020 ext. 221

Nicole has a background in development, small business administration and marketing. Before joining CRC in 2021 as the Development Coordinator, Nicole served as the Development Assistant for Healing Across the Divides – a nonprofit that provides grants for wellness initiatives for women and children in Gaza and the West Bank. She also created communication materials for Ask Nurses & Doctors, a bipartisan endeavor pushing to elect political representatives who prioritize universal healthcare. Prior to selling the small business she founded and operated with her husband from 2016-2020, Nicole acted as Assistant to the Chief Advancement Officer at Hampshire College.

Nicole holds a B.A. in English from UMass Amherst and is also a freelance graphic designer, interior decorator, and copy editor. Her other passions include stroke research and care, women’s issues, and vegan cooking/baking.

Ron Rhodes, Director of Restoration, rrhodes(at)ctriver.org, 413-772-2020 ext. 214 or 413-768-4994

Ron joined CRC in 2011 as a NH/VT River Steward, spending most of his time removing old dams, planting trees, and working with landowners and partners to implement river restoration projects. Now, Ron is the Director of Restoration Programs where he leads CRC’s aquatic and riparian habitat restoration programs throughout the watershed in NH, VT, MA and CT, and determines short and long-range restoration program opportunities.

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, Ron worked in politics and government in Washington D.C. and Ohio.

Chris Riffenburg, Director of Finance, criffenburg(at)ctriver.org, 413-772-2020 ext. 202

Christopher Riffenburg joined CRC in November 2022. Before his time here began, he had a successful tenure as the Financial Manager for Westfield State University’s profitable College of Graduate and Continuing Education; having responsibility for a $13 million dollar budget; and service to more than 5,000 students annually. Prior to Westfield State, he spent more than eight years in non-profit Financial Management, providing leadership in organizations committed to service of low to moderate income residents of Hampden County. He has extensive experience in managing grants and budgets (Private, Municipal, State and Federal). He was, at one point, the financial administrator of a grant funded by the Internal Revenue Service, working with a Qualified Tax Attorney to offer representation to citizens in United States Tax Court.

Chris is a lifelong golfer, who currently resides in Western Mass with his wife and two cats, Tweety and Hoosier. His hope is to bring his experience in financial management to growing a clean, healthy, and full of life Connecticut River.

Mallory Strider, Assistant Director of Finance, mstrider(at)ctriver.org, 413-772-2020 ext. 201

Mallory joined CRC in August 2019. Originally a native of Maryland from the Potomac River Watershed, she moved to the valley in 2014 to attend Smith College. Mallory earned her B.A. in History as a part of the Ada Comstock Scholars Program. As a history major, her capstone project for her archives concentration was a digital narrative and history of the Mill River. Prior to her relocation, Mallory volunteered with the Muddy Branch Alliance doing stream sampling as a part of the Maryland Department of Natural Resources Stream Waders Program.

Mallory enjoys riding her bicycle, spending time outside, and exploring – sometimes guided by maps and sometimes guided only with a sense of adventure.

Kathy Urffer, River Steward in Vermont, kurffer(at)ctriver.org, 413-772-2020 ext. 215 or 802-258-0413

Kathy joined CRC in 2017.  Prior to moving to Vermont, Kathy was Special Projects Manager and Operations Director for Hackensack Riverkeeper in New Jersey. In addition to managing the staff and day to day finances of the organization, she developed and ran their river cleanup program, assisted with their canoe and pontoon boat eco-cruise programs, managed stream restoration projects, and fish advisory, outreach and education projects.  More recently she has served on the Board of the Southeastern Vermont Watershed Association, the Windham Regional Commission, and has worked on education projects related to wastewater treatment.

Kathy holds a M.S. in Natural Resource Management from Antioch New England University, a B.A. in Psychology from Rutgers, and is a former Vermont Leadership Institute Fellow from the Snelling Center for Government. She is a self-taught amateur botanist and herbalist and enjoys re-learning about the natural world through the eyes of her two children.

Meet CRC’s Board of Trustees

We are continually rewarded by the generous gifts of time and skill from members of the CRC Board of Trustees. All are seasoned experts in fields that run the gamut from the environment and education, to legal, corporate business, and finance. The dedicated folks on our Board offer us the know-how and long-range thinking that helps keep CRC pointed in the right direction. We cannot thank them enough.

Justin Beatty (Trustee) Justin is a father, small business owner, cultural educator, and artist living. He is an alumnus of the University of Massachusetts-Amherst with a B.A. with a concentration in “Indigenous Policy, Culture, & Art”, a degree created through the University Without Walls program. He is also a powwow singer & emcee. As a cultural educator, his experiences as a person of Ojibwe, Saponi, and African-American descent have led his work to be focused on presenting accurate and culturally appropriate information to the general publicHe currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Social Distance Powwow, a non-profit cultural organization with 299,000 members in 100+ countries around the world.

Alison Brinkmann (Trustee) Alison’s career has been with several companies selling specialty chemicals and laboratory supplies.  She spent the last 10 years of her career with Thermo Fisher Scientific holding many positions and left after several years as a Pharmaceutical Market Director. In June 2013, Alison started Simply Sharing, a not for profit which provided furniture and household items to those transitioning from homelessness.  In June 2019, Alison transitioned the organization to another of similar purpose. Alison continues to be locally involved with Sister Cities Essex Haiti on the Policy Committee, HOPE Partnership on the Housing Committee and CRC. Alison joined the Essex Fire Engine Company as a volunteer fire fighter in 2019.Alison and Stephen Brinkmann live on Clark Lane in Essex and enjoy time on Cape Cod. The family enjoys boating on the CT River, skiing, golfing and travel.  Alison is an avid beach bum.

Tom Ciardelli (Trustee, Treasurer) Tom is a retired Professor of Pharmacology at Dartmouth Medical School and the former owner of Hanover Outdoors. A native of New Hampshire, he and his wife Andrea have been Upper Connecticut River Valley residents since the early 1980s. Tom is a Board member of The Vermont Institute of Natural Science and the Center for Northern Woodlands Education. An outdoorsman at heart, his interests include conservation and animal cognition. He spends the majority of his free time in pursuit of North American game fish.

Damon DePaolo (Trustee) Damon has 20+ years of experience in Information Technology, currently working in Cyber Security at MassMutual. A CT resident born and raised, he tempers his passion for technology and innovation with an equally strong love of the outdoors, being an avid outdoorsman who enjoys time camping, hiking, and exploring all of the amazing nature that New England has to offer. In addition to being a CRC trustee, Damon volunteers with the Boy Scouts of America, and has previously given his time as a volunteer firefighter and a CT Dept. of Energy & Environmental Protection (CT DEEP) Master Wildlife Conservationist.

Raul de Brigard (Honorary Trustee) Raul has lived in Haddam, CT for the past 30 years, and holds degrees from Harvard and UCLA in architecture and land planning. Since his arrival in Haddam, he has been active in town affairs including many years as chairman on the Planning & Zoning and Conservation Commissions. He worked at Northeast Utilities in its Hydroelectric and Land Management and Siting departments, overseeing the management of open space, including the Wildlife Management areas cooperatively operated with the CT Department of Environmental Protection and Candlewood Lake. As a Co-Chair of the CT Rivers Advisory Commission he spearheaded several river protection bills in CT. In addition to his work for CRC, he is a member of the CT River Gateway Commission, the CT River Assembly, and The Trust for Public Land´s CT Advisory Board.

David Deen (Trustee) David spent 19 years as a CRC River Steward and 30 years as a Vermont legislator, focusing on public policy and advocating for river protections. For most of his legislative career, he’s been on the Natural Resources/Water Resources committees. He helped found and now serves as chair of the VT/NH Connecticut River Chapter of Trout Unlimited and is a founding incorporator of the Vermont Community Foundation. He serves on the Vermont Climate Council, the Connecticut River Atlantic Salmon Commission and the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Board. David holds a M.S. from Antioch New England Graduate School and has been a NH licensed flyfishing guide for 20+ years, teaching people to fish while simultaneously teaching them the basics of healthy rivers. He tries to fish whenever he can.

Stephen Gephard (Trustee) Stephen recently retired from the CT Dept. of Energy & Environmental Protection after 42 years as a fisheries biologist, supervising the Diadromous Fish and Habitat Enhancement programs, spending much of his time on the Connecticut River salmon restoration program. Steve currently is a consultant and serves on many regional bodies as well as holding a presidential appointment as a U.S. Commissioner to the North Atlantic Salmon Conservation Organization (Edinburgh). He has logged over 60 years on the river and is an avid paddler, boater, angler, and explorer as well as a veteran of many river conservation efforts. He co-writes a regular column for Estuary magazine and hosts a radio show for iCRV streaming radio. He lives in Deep River, CT with his partner Leslie MacLise-Kane.

Ed Gray (Honorary Trustee) Ed went to Dartmouth (’67 Economics) and Amos Tuck (MBA ’71) with a couple of years as a naval officer in between. Ed spent a year as a small business auditor at Price Waterhouse and several more as corporate controller to a couple of small businesses before starting “Gray’s Sporting Journal” in 1975 with wife Rebecca and a group of limited partners. In 1989, they moved the magazine and their three children to Lyme, NH and sold the magazine to Morris Communications. They stayed, and have been writing full time ever since, books and magazine articles.

Leslie Harris (Trustee) Leslie manages the pick-your-own orchards at 200-acre Quonquont Farm in Whately, MA. Before coming to the farm, she served as a non-profit administrator for more than 25 years. Today, Leslie chairs the Trustees of the John T. and Jane A. Wiederhold Foundation, which funds projects in animal welfare, land conservation, and veterinary research. Leslie and her wife are the kind of people whose idea of a terrific vacation is to see how many dogs they can get into their canoe before they disappear into a cloud of bugs down some remote waterway.

Tony Judge (Trustee) Tony grew up on the Connecticut River in South Hadley Falls. For many years, he’s worked as a broadcasting executive and radio, television and film producer. He served as board vice-chair for the National Wildlife Refuge Association. Now returned from the Midwest to the Valley and its great river, Tony’s eager to help the Connecticut River Conservancy in its vital, exciting work.

Kari Kastango (Trustee) Kari began her career as a research exercise physiologist (UMASS, Amherst ‘89, ‘92) which then led her to pursue a PhD in Biostatistics (PITT ‘06). With 19 years in the pharmaceutical industry, Kari currently works as a director of statistical operations at a clinical research organization. In 2016 Kari began an exploration into racism and her own white conditioning. She is committed to helping create and hold space so other white people can explore how racism and white conditioning has impacted their lives and the communities they belong to while continuing her own inquiry. Kari actively fulfills this commitment as a teaching assistant with the UNtraining organization. Kari balances these professional and personal commitments through physical pursuits that are meditative in nature. She has completed two ultra-distance triathlons and is in year five of swimming the entire length of the Connecticut River. Kari lives in South Hadley, MA with her wife, Alison Garvey, and their two cats.

Tim Lewis (Trustee, Secretary) Tim retired from a long career in manufacturing, working at three different companies, each one smaller than the one before. The last was a family-owned business with 10 employees that made OEM Babbitt Bearings. It was a relationship made in heaven, and he managed it for 24 years. He served as Chairman of the Board of Education in Rocky Hill, CT, where he grew up and still lives. An avid paddler, and a former whitewater canoe racer, he enjoys multi-day canoe camping trips, preferably off the grid, and has paddled the Connecticut River source to sea. He is President of Great Meadows Conservation Trust, protecting and preserving vital flood plain wetlands and farmland along the Connecticut River in Wethersfield, Rocky Hill, and Glastonbury. Tim also works to protect and promote the river he knows and loves so well.

Sue Merrow (Honorary Trustee) Sue served 12 years as First Selectman of East Haddam, CT from 1991-2003 and has spent much of her life working with conservation organizations, much of it with the Sierra Club where she was President of the National Board in 1990-1991. She wrote about that period in her life in One for the Earth: Journal of a Sierra Club President. More recently, Sue helped lead the recent effort to win Wild and Scenic River status for Connecticut’s Eightmile River and is a member of the Middlesex County Community Foundation. She is currently chair of the Connecticut Council on Environmental Quality, the state agency that monitors environmental progress and makes recommendations for correcting deficiencies in state laws and programs.  A graduate of Tufts University, she lives in East Haddam with her husband of 39 years and three retired horses.

James Okun (Honorary Trustee) James is a principal at O’Reilly, Talbot & Okun, a full service environmental, safety, health and geotechnical engineering firm. He served in the CERCLA (Superfund) and RCRA division of the Environmental Protection Agency, is a member of the Connecticut Low Level Radioactive Waste Advisory Committee.

Nicole Pollard (Trustee) Nicole is a Director of Learning & Development at MassMutual. Prior to this she was the Director of Strategy and Implementation for Digital Underwriting at MassMutual. Since joining MassMutual in 2014, she has held various roles in case management and underwriting, with a specific focus on integrating industry-leading technology and data science into MassMutual’s algorithmic underwriting models. Prior to joining MassMutual, Nicole was a tenured professor of various college-level health science courses and still currently teaches at Westfield State University. She has experience in research at facilities such as Vanderbilt University and the Joslin Diabetes Center at Harvard University. Nicole received her Master’s in Physiology and her Doctorate in Health Administration with a concentration in quality analytics.

Payton Shubrick (Trustee, Vice-Chair) Born and raised in Springfield, MA Payton is a proud graduate of Central High School, College of the Holy Cross, and most recently Bay Path University. The oldest of four children, Payton is a natural leader and innovative thinker who enjoys new challenges facing traditional industries. Skilled in design thinking and ideations to solve tough problems, she currently works at MassMutual as an R&D Lab Manager. She continues to call Springfield home, living in Sixteen Acres and is currently considering MBA programs as she is a firm believer of continuous learning.

John Sinton (Honorary Trustee) John is a retired professor of environmental studies and land-use planning and has spent his professional life writing about and helping to manage environmental problems in the US and Europe. He currently contributes to a number of land preservation projects and co-authored The Connecticut River Boating Guide: Source to Sea with his wife, Wendy Sinton, and Elizabeth Farnsworth. He lives in Florence, MA and is a confirmed river rat and fly fisherman, as well as skier, hiker and biker.

Annette Spaulding (Honorary Trustee) Annette is retired from Spaulding and Madden Tax Service. Upon visiting Vermont forty years ago, she fell in love with the Connecticut River Valley and moved here permanently. An avid scuba diver for over 35 years and a kayaker for over 25 years, her commitment to preservation and ecology has made her a tireless advocate for the health of the Connecticut River. She was instrumental in the successful fight against plans to put a landfill on the banks of the river in Rockingham. Her interests in the Connecticut River include the history, archaeology, geology and biology. She gives frequent presentations to schools, local historical societies and community groups on her finds in the river, and educating the public on the river and its preservation.   She is an active member of the local fire department water rescue team.

Bob Sproull (Trustee, Chair) Bob is a computer scientist, retired from running a research lab for Sun Microsystems and Oracle.  For over twenty years, he lived in Boston and rowed on the Charles River.  He served on the board of directors of the Charles River Watershed Association for 15 years and helped them launch a capital campaign.   He lives in Leeds, MA, is the coordinator of the Friends of Mineral Hills Conservation Area, and is a member of the Yankee Rowing Club. He tries to row on the Connecticut as often as possible and enters an occasional race.

Trustees’ library of working and reference documents.