Formerly the CT River Watershed Council|

CRC’s Staff & Board of Trustees

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Meet CRC’s Staff

Andrew Fisk, Ph.D., Executive Director afisk(at) 413-772-2020 ext. 208

Prior to joining CRC 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 Officer cbent(at) 413-772-2020 ext. 206

Colleen joined the CRC staff in July, 2013 wanting to return to work in the field of Development. “I want to contribute and I embrace the mission of  CRC.” 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.

Jennifer Bowman, Community Engagement Coordinator jbowman(at) 413-772-2020 ext. 211

Jen joined CRC in 2017 as the Community Engagement Coordinator, and brings over 18 years of experience in watershed outreach, environmental science, ecology, community engagement and education, and cultural and historic interpretation to the team. She hales from central Delaware, where she grew up on a family-run sheep farm that focused on wool production, textile arts and education. From an early age, Jen learned the importance of environmental stewardship practices, conservation and education, and is very excited to join the Connecticut River Conservancy to support clean, healthy, and thriving watershed communities.

Jen holds a Master’s degree in Environmental Science and Education from Antioch University New England, and a B.A. in Psychology and animal behavior from Southampton College of Long Island University. Before joining the CRC team, Jen worked for the U.S. EPA’s Office of Environmental Education, and most recently facilitated watershed education and outreach in the Catskills with Cornell Cooperative Extension. Jen is a Certified Interpretive Guide through the National Association for Interpretation, and a lifelong Girl Scout. When not at work, Jen can be found spreading joy as a Certified Laughter Yoga Teacher. She loves to spend time traveling and exploring the outdoors, hiking, kayaking, and gardening. Jen is a painter and jewelry artist, as well as a musician, and an active member of the Quaker community.

Peggy Savage Brownell, Laboratory Manager lab(at) 413-772-2020 ext. 210

Peggy has enjoyed managing the CRC 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 acharamut(at) 860-704-0057

Alicea joined CRC in 2015 but has been an advocate for Connecticut’s rivers and streams for nearly a decade. She initially found an outlet for her passion advocating for clean, clear, free flowing rivers as a volunteer leader for Trout Unlimited, which developed the useful skills and knowledge of water issues that she brings to her role at CRC. “Stronger Together” is a mantra Alicea lives by and believes in building partnerships to reach common goals for our rivers.

Alicea holds a B.S. in Biological Sciences from the University of Connecticut. She continues to volunteer for Trout Unlimited as a board member of her local chapter, Farmington Valley, and as Chair of the Connecticut Council. And so as not to miss out on anything fishy, she is the Secretary of the Fisheries Advisory Council. She is also a member of the Connecticut Council on Environmental Quality and on the board of Rivers Alliance of Connecticut.

Andrea Donlon, River Steward, Massachusetts adonlon(at) 413-772-2020 ext. 205

Andrea became CRC’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 pgirton(at) 413-772-2020 ext. 203

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, Finance Associate mgriswold(at) 413-772-2020 ext. 201

Marion joined CRC in 2010, and after 7 years as Membership Coordinator moved to the position of Finance Associate. She came to the Connecticut River watershed from the Pomperaug River watershed in western Connecticut, where she worked in nonprofit administration in a variety of capacities, including fundraising and bookkeeping.

Marion graduated from Grinnell College in Iowa with a B.A. in American Studies. She has been a zealous organic gardener of both vegetables and flowers for many years and keeps a few hens. In addition to growing things, her enthusiasms and interests include American folk music, historic preservation, issues of land use, farmland preservation and food policy, and she serves on the board of Just Roots, Greenfield’s community farm.

Corey Kurtz, Development Director ckurtz(at) 413-772-2020 ext. 202

Corey joined the staff at CRC in October 2016, after 14 years working in nonprofits as a community organizer, policy advocate and development professional. She led development efforts at Neighbor to Neighbor Massachusetts, a statewide economic justice organization. More recently, she served as the Interim Director of Development & Marketing at Dakin Humane Society, an animal welfare organization in Western Massachusetts. Corey is excited to continue to expand the network of people who care passionately about our rivers and support CRC’s work to protect it.

Corey has an M.A. in Social Policy from Tufts University and a B.A. in Political Science from Macalester College. She spent her childhood exploring the woods and rivers of the Pioneer Valley and has loved being back in this beautiful place once again. She lives in Amherst with her husband, Uri, and their exuberant toddler, Danny.

Stacey Lennard, Events and Special Projects Coordinator slennard(at) 413-772-2020

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 CRC 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 CRC.

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.

Alan Morgan, Regional Office Manager amorgan(at) 413-772-2020 ext. 207

Alan has coordinated the office in our historic headquarters building since 2005, taking care of day-to-day details so the rest of CRC’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 amrozinski(at) 413-772-2020 ext. 204

Angie began working with CRC in 2010 as an AmeriCorps member and later became a member of the staff. You’ll find her organizing CRC events, preparing newsletters and annual reports, maintaining the website, and outreach through traditional and social media.

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.

Andrea Newman, Development Coordinator anewman(at) 413-772-2020 ext. 213

Andrea joined CRC in April 2017 to help with data management and processing of gifts and donations. She started her career as an environmental scientist and found her calling in data management and GIS for environmental organizations. She worked previously as a data and GIS specialist for environmental consulting firms, on-site contractor for USEPA, and for a start-up precision agriculture software company.

Andrea has a M.E.M. concentrating in ecosystem management and GIS from Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. She has a B.A. in environmental conservation from University of Colorado Boulder. She loves living in the Pioneer Valley close to the Mt. Holyoke range foothills, where you can find her hiking and biking with her husband and daughter.

Ron Rhodes, River Steward Vermont/New Hampshire rrhodes(at) 802-457-6114

Ron joined CRC in 2011 as one of our River Stewards. He spends most of his time removing old dams, planting trees and working with our partners in 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.

Kathy Urffer, River Steward Vermont/New Hampshire kurffer(at) 802-258-0413

Kathy joined CRC in 2017 as a River Steward.  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 MS in Natural Resource Management from Antioch New England University, a BA 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.

Liz Austin (Trustee, Board Chair) of South Hadley, MA is a retired child psychologist who spent her previous career working as a mental health consultant, teacher and administrator. She co-founded Mountain Brook Children’s Center, a nature-based program in South Deerfield, MA and served as Executive Director of StonyBrook Children’s Center on the campus of Mount Holyoke College. In 2002 her attention turned to the plight of our oceans and their fishes and she began affiliation with the Robert Barrett Fishway in Holyoke, MA as a fishway guide. In 2009 she became coordinator of public programs at the Fishway, obtaining a M.S. in Wildlife and Fisheries Conservation and Management. She is particularly interested in conservation of diadromous fishes in the Connecticut River.

Raul de Brigard (Honorary Trustee) 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 (Honorary Trustee) spent 19 years as a CRC River Steward and more than 25 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. 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. Whenever possible, David goes fishing.

Melody Foti (Trustee, Treasurer) grew up in the Rochester NY area.  Attended Sarah Lawrence College including their Year in Paris Program & graduated with a BA in Art History from Wellesley College.  She then attended Harvard Divinity School earning an M. Div.  Melody served 4 Unitarian churches over 10 years with an active “social ministry”.  She currently serves her clients through Wells Fargo Advisors, LLC as Senior Vice President – Investments & PIM Portfolio Manager.  Melody has a lifelong love of water & the natural world with activities such as swimming, sailing, hiking and kayaking bringing great pleasure. She has served on a number of boards with social justice and environmental conservation as key themes.  She enjoys watercolor painting on rice paper in her spare time.  She also is owned by a Great Dane & small Puerto Rican terrier.  She lives in Northampton.

Ed Gray (Honorary Trustee) of Lyme, NH 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.

Astrid Hanzalek (Honorary Trustee) of Suffield, CT, CRC’s longest serving board member, is known for her long, distinguished career of public service. After earning her B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania in 1949, she worked with a host of organizations, including the Greater Hartford Chapter of the American Red Cross, the Traveller’s Aid Society, and the Greater Hartford Community Council. She’s been an officer in many non-profits, from CRC to the Connecticut Energy Foundation and the Connecticut Humanities Council. Astrid was a member of Connecticut’s General Assembly from 1979-81 where she served both as Assistant Majority and Assistant Minority Leader. She’s currently a consultant and lecturer on public policy and environmental issues, working with regional radio and television stations and an occasional op-ed writer for the New York Times and several Connecticut papers.

David Hewitt (Trustee) is an avid river user and resident of Lyme, NH, for many years.  Dave is retired from the Dartmouth Printing Company which he purchased with his business partner in 1978 and ran for many years.  Dartmouth Printing Company has been in business, in various incarnations, for over 200 years since its original affiliation with Darmouth College.  He lives on the river in Lyme, NH with his family and spends many hours recreating on the river.

Timothy Keeney (Trustee) is a 5th-generation resident of Somers, CT and has a long record of public service in New England and nationally. He served as a Navy SEAL officer for 35 years; as staff to the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee; in numerous positions with the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration, including General Counsel and Deputy Assistant Secretary of Commerce; as State Environmental Commissioner in both Connecticut and Rhode Island; and as Environmental Services Director for Northeast Utilities. Currently he serves as Probate Judge for the North Central Connecticut region. He was a Trustee of the Council from 1998 to 2004.

David K. Mears (Trustee), as Director of the Environmental and Natural Resources Law Clinic at Vermont Law School, he helps students hone their lawyering skills while assisting non-profit organizations and individuals with environmental problems and conservation projects. Professor Mears returned to Vermont Law School in August 2015 after serving four years as Commissioner of the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation. Prior to joining the State of Vermont, he taught at Vermont Law School from 2005 to 2011. Professor Mears has held a number of positions in state and federal government including positions in Texas state government, the U.S. Department of Justice, Environment and Natural Resources Division, and the Washington Office of the Attorney General. Professor Mears has a degree in environmental engineering technology from Cornell University, and a Juris Doctor and Masters of Environmental Law and Policy degrees from Vermont Law School.

Sue Merrow (Honorary Trustee), 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.

Robert Moore (Trustee, Vice-Chair CT) recently retired from his role as Chief Administrative Officer for the Metropolitan District in Hartford, CT. With degrees in both Civil and Sanitary Engineering, Bob was Chief Operating Officer of Connecticut’s Department of Environmental Protection and an Independent Environmental Consultant for Malcolm Pirnie, Inc. before moving to the MDC in 2000. He lives in Durham, CT.

Melissa Ocana (Trustee) of Amherst, MA, is a Project Manager in the Dept. of Environmental Conservation at UMass Amherst working primarily on aquatic connectivity and climate change adaptation. Melissa has a broad conservation background across NGOs, government, and academia. Recently, she coordinated a capacity building program for watershed associations in NJ. Previously, she worked on natural resource policy at the US Fish & Wildlife Service and the House of Representatives as a Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute Fellow. Melissa has a M.S. in Wildlife Science from Oregon State University and a B.A. from Vassar College. She appreciates all critters and is enjoying exploring the beautiful Pioneer Valley.

James Okun (Trustee) 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.

Cori Packer (Trustee, Vice-Chair NH/VT) of Westborough, MA and Quechee, VT, was a principal with the Garvey Group, Inc. a real estate investment firm, and was a Vice President at Bank of New England in their real estate asset management division. She holds a B.A. in history from the University of New Hampshire. She has been an active member of her community, working with her church, children’s schools, Boy Scouts of America and community theater. She is an active member of the Massachusetts Republican Party. A current member of the Greater Upper Valley Chapter of Trout Unlimited and a board member of the ZOLL Foundation, Cori loves fly fishing, kayaking, hiking, skiing and travel.

Katherine Putnam (Trustee) is Managing Director at Golden Seeds Boston, and has a background in corporate banking and consulting to small businesses. She serves on the board of Baystate Health and the Food Bank of Western MA, and is a trustee of the Coordinating Council of the Pioneer Valley Plan for Progress.  Prior board service includes both non-profit and public companies as well as start ups and an industry association.  Kate lives in Western Massachusetts with her husband, their chickens and dogs.

Annette Spaulding (Trustee) of Rockingham, VT, 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. She was instrumental in the successfully fight against plans to put a landfill on the banks of the river in Rockingham. Her interests in the Connecticut 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.

John Sinton (Honorary Trustee), a retired professor of environmental studies and land-use planning, 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.

Brewster Sturtevant (Honorary Trustee), a Longmeadow, MA resident has given more than 30 years of unstinting service to CRC. Before he retired, he worked in the insurance industry and has led a distinguished career volunteering for local and regional non-profits, including the Child & Family Service Assoc., Bay State Hospital, and historical commissions and societies. Brewster graduated from Dartmouth, as did several other trustees, and loves fishing for striped bass in the salt and trout in fresh water.

Hooker Talcott (Honorary Trustee) lives in Brookline, MA, but his vacation home in Waterford, VT brought him in direct contact with the river. Since retiring from his investment management and financial consulting work in Boston, he has been able to spend more time indulging his love of the outdoors and is enjoying his service on CRC’s Board of Trustees.

Humphrey Tyler (Trustee, Secretary) of Hadlyme, CT, is the retired president of NTP Media Inc., a communications and multi-channel publishing & events company he founded in 1981 and ran with his wife Susan for 25 years. He currently serves as a member of the Board of Directors of the Lyme Land Conservation Trust, Inc., and the Steering Committee of the Connecticut Land Conservation Council. He holds a BA from and is a past trustee of St. Lawrence University.

Lora Wondolowski (Trustee, Vice-Chair MA) is Director of Leadership Pioneer Valley. Her nearly 20 years of experience with grassroots organizing and community outreach includes being the founding Executive Director of the Massachusetts League of Environmental Voters (MLEV), running the New England Programs for the League of Conservation Voters Education Fund, and working at the National Audubon Society in DC. She was one of the founders of the Friends of the Great Falls Discovery Center in Turner’s Falls. Lora holds a B.S. from the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana and a M.S. in Environmental Studies from Bard College. Lora lives in Greenfield with her spouse and two young daughters.

Trustees’ library of working and reference documents.