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Board & Staff

Board of Directors

President Steve Rawson Winchendon
Vice President Nancy Allen Petersham
Treasurer Pam Hanold Montague
Clerk Max Feldman Petersham
     
  David Christianson Ashburnham
  Warren Facey Leyden
  Lenny Johnson Carlisle
  Mimi Hellen Jones Petersham/Washington DC
  Bryan Long Orange
  Lis McLoughlin Northfield
  Ann Meilus Barre
  Gail Oswald Royalston
  Joel Shaughnessy Athol
  Al Siano Greenfield
  Jerry Wagener Northfield

 

Staff

Executive Director Leigh Youngblood
Deputy Director David Graham Wolf
Land Stewardship Director/Community Conservation Director Jay Rasku
Director of Land Protection Sarah Wells
Land Conservation Specialist Jamie Pottern
Major Gifts and Grants Manager David Kotker
MassLIFT-AmeriCorps Program Director Sean Pollock
Administrative Director Lisa Cormier
Administrative Assistant Carol Mayer
Director of Finance John Dooley
MassLIFT-AmeriCorps Impact Manager Ben Carver
MassLIFT-AmeriCorps Operations & Communications Manager Hanna Mogensen

 

Steve Rawson and his wife Kathy have lived in Winchendon for over 30 years in an energy efficient house they built themselves on 18 acres abutting land protected by Mount Grace. They have two grown daughters. Steve spent over 33 years at Simplex and SimplexGrinnell as Director of Contracting and Sales Engineering, followed by time at Paige Electric as Director of Business Development. He has a small business providing products and services to the electrical contracting industry. Steve enjoys hiking, bicycling, snowshoeing and kayaking.
 

Nancy Allen, Vice President, and her partner Charles Crowley moved to Petersham from Boston. Nancy is a graphic designer and Charles is an architect.  Nancy is currently on the board of the Petersham Historical Society and Petersham Craft Center, where she is also co-president, and is a former board member of the Petersham Memorial Library. She has participated in a variety of local and regional projects mainly focused on environmental, historical, and cultural interests. She has served on a variety of local boards including as chairman of the Petersham Selectboard and Historic District Commission, and as a member of the School Committee and Capital Planning Committee, among other public positions.

 

David Christianson Jr. is a lifelong resident of Ashburnham, MA. He and his wife Lynn have two grown children and enjoy the wilds of northern Worcester County almost every day. Dave has been something of a “jack-of-all-trades” in the business world with experience in banking, technology services and consulting, and currently works as an independent management consultant. He is chairman of the Ashburnham-Westminster Regional School Committee, and a director of Rollstone Bank & Trust in Fitchburg, MA.

 

Warren Facey has owned Bree-Z-Knoll Farm in Leyden since 1972.  The farm, a dairy, also produces maple syrup from a 3,000-tap system.  He has been Executive Director of the Massachusetts Association of Dairy Farmers for over twenty years and serves on the boards of the Franklin County Farm Bureau, Community Involved in Sustaining Agriculture, the Our Family Farms milk marketing cooperative, and the Leyden Agriculture Commission and Leyden Planning Board.

 

Max Feldman, his wife Lynne, and sons Sam and Elliott live in Petersham, MA.  After working for over 15 years as a freelance recording engineer based in New York City, in 2008, Max scaled back his work and returned to the North Quabbin area to be a stay-at-home-dad.  He assists in the stewardship of his family’s 380 acres of forested property straddling the borders of Athol, Petersham, and Phillipston.  Max currently serves on Petersham's Energy Committee and helped it achieve its Green Community designation in 2013.  When he can find the time, Max enjoys building wooden toys and and furniture.

 

Pam Hanold and her husband John moved to Turners Falls in 2002.  Pam chaired the Montague Public Safety Building Committee and serves on the Energy Committee.  The Hanolds own farm land in Montague which they lease to Red Fire Farm.   Pam’s years of living in farming communities, have given her a broad and very nationally connected sense of how important it is that we share our knowledge and viewpoints to best understand living sustainably in community.  


Lenny Johnson, and his wife Marjorie have lived in Carlisle for the past 30 years. They both have a strong lifelong interest in New England outdoor activities and land conservation, and have nearly completed hiking the New England 100 Highest Peaks. In recent years they have greatly enjoyed the landscape of the North Quabbin region. Lenny, a researcher in electronics and optics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, has long been active in local Carlisle activities. He is treasurer of the local non-profit newspaper, the Carlisle Mosquito, and he previously chaired the town Finance Committee and Capital Requirements Committee.
 

Mimi Hellen Jones worked as an attorney for the District of Columbia in land use and business regulation for twenty years, and later practiced real estate law in a D.C. firm. She is now "mostly retired" and spends time working on the family land in Petersham, much of which protected. Mimi is a life-long activist for social and environmental justice, as well as a huge sports fan. Mimi grew up in New Salem and Petersham, has two adult children and is a resident of Washington, D.C.


Bryan Long grew up north of Boston. He attended UMass Amherst, graduating in 1987 with a degree in Literature, which led to him becoming a carpenter’s apprentice in a high end woodworking company in the Boston area. Since 2001 Bryan has been self-employed as a building contractor and property manager. His interests include parenting, permaculture, gardening, whole systems management, and food security. In 2013 he and his wife, Ingrid Schatz, returned to where her family has lived for four generations. They own and operate the Dance Studio in the Central School Building in downtown Orange, the town they both now call home.
 

Lis McLoughlin, Ph.D., is a cultural anthropologist and writer. She lives off-grid in 76 acres of forest in Northfield with her husband Warren. She is co-president and field program coordinator of the Nolumbeka Project, and is on Northfield’s Historical Commission and the Four Mile Brook Watershed Advisory Committee. She enjoys hiking, snowshoeing, SCUBA and free-diving.
 

Ann Meilus, Esquire, currently serves as the managing partner of Landry & Meilus, LLP, director of Southern New England Title Co., Inc. and the Quabbin Education Foundation and donates her time to a number of community organizations such as UMASS/MEMORIAL, the Barre Library Association and the Barre Museum Association. 
 

Gail Oswald moved to Royalston in 2013 after retiring from her 30-year practice in upstate New York as a psychotherapist and health psychologist, with ongoing interest in chronic illness and aging.  She is a volunteer and member at Quabbin Harvest—the North Quabbin Community Food Co-op. Gail has been active in local opposition to the Tennessee Gas Pipeline.  She is also a member of the Northeast Organic Farming Association and the North Quabbin Trails Association.
 

Joel Shaughnessy, his wife Jean, and their children live in Athol. Joel has worked at the L.S. Starrett Company in Personnel/Human Resources for more than 25 years. He is a long-time member of the Petersham Curling Club. He is on the board of directors of Camp Wiyaka and also volunteers his time to the Athol Area United Way and YMCA.
 

Al Siano is a Greenfield native who worked in pharmaceutical sales with Parke-Davis and Johnson-Johnson.  He is a former teacher and coach, and served as a lieutenant in the US Air Force.  After retiring at age 60, Al and his wife, Mary, joined the Peace Corps and served in Romania.  Al is a member of the Greenfield Town Council, and has taken an active role with local civic organizations, including serving on the Board of Directors of DIAL-SELF, and serving as President of the Lions Club.
 

Jerry Wagener, a retired engineer, and his wife Jean volunteered for several years for the Nature Conservancy's Tallgrass Prairie Preserve in Oklahoma.  In 2005, the couple moved to Northfield from Tulsa, Oklahoma to be near family.  Soon after, Jerry began volunteering in various local activities, with particular interests in conservation and preservation of farmland and open space.  He is currently on the Northfield Planning Board, Open Space Committee, and Agricultural Commission; he also serves as treasurer for two small 501(c)(3) corporations in Northfield. Other than his volunteer work, he is a mostly-retired mountaineer who also likes wood-working, growing hot peppers, and spending time on the family farm in West Virginia.
 

Mount Grace Staff

 

Leigh Youngblood, Executive Director, During Leigh’s tenure, Mount Grace has grown from two to eleven staff. With its partners, Mount Grace has protected more than 32,000 acres since 1986, and actively manages 1,500 acres of forest land. Leigh’s application of a cooperative approach, both internally and externally, has led to many successful partnerships and innovative landscape-scale conservation projects with land trusts of all sizes, state agencies, and multi-level collaboratives. Leigh has served as an officer of the Mass Land Trust Coalition and on Land Trust Alliance national committees. She played a key role in establishing and maintaining the North Quabbin Regional Landscape Partnership, which brings together diverse groups to protect strategic open space. Leigh has consulted on conservation projects in Oregon, New Hampshire, and Georgia. youngblood@mountgrace.org

 

David Graham Wolf, Deputy Director, provides leadership for Mount Grace’s conservation, stewardship and service learning programs, is responsible for designing and executing Mount Grace’s strategic conservation plans, and oversees all project negotiation and administration. David is a conservation biologist, naturalist, and educator with over 10-years of experience working on strategic conservation projects in New England. Since joining Mount Grace in 2007 he has overseen the successful completion of over 80 conservation projects protecting nearly 7000 acres by employing a collaborative approach to executing multi-landowner/multi-partner landscape scale projects. With a bachelor’s degree in management and two master’s degrees, one in education and the other in conservation biology, David has run his own conservation consulting business and taught in the Division of Natural Sciences at Franklin Pierce University. David grew up in Worcester, MA and now lives in Rindge, NH with his wife Christina and his two children Indigo and August. wolf@mountgrace.org

 

Sarah Wells, Director of Land Protection, manages Mount Grace’s Landscape Conservation Program which focuses on biodiversity conservation by designing multi-landowner landscape-scale land protection projects. She is also responsible for providing leadership for the North Quabbin Regional Landscape Partnership. Before joining Mount Grace in 2012, Sarah was the MassLIFT-AmeriCorps Regional Conservationist with the Partnership where she was responsible for organizing the multi-partner/multi-landowner Quabbin to Wachusett (Q2W) Forest Legacy Project. Sarah is a wildlife biologist and conservationist with five years of experience working on ecological restoration and land protection projects, and holds a B.S. degree in Natural Resources Studies with a minor in Wildlife and Fisheries Conservation from UMass-Amherst. Sarah is a native of Orange, MA and lives at Fox Hill Farm in Orange. wells@mountgrace.org

 

Jamie Pottern, Land Conservation Specialist, manages Mount Grace’s Farm Conservation Program which focuses on protecting the working farms of our region using both traditional methods such as APR, and new innovative models that protect the land, support the local farm economy, and secure the future affordability of farms for new farmers. She is also responsible for managing farm project intake and assessments using Geographic Information Systems (GIS). She is professionally oriented toward fostering sustainable, resilient food systems in the region—she has worked on organic farms, including at the Farm School in Orange, and has conducted landscape design and food systems planning projects across Massachusetts. Jamie has a M.A.L.D. from the Conway School’s masters program in Sustainable Landscape Planning & Design and a B.A. from Brandeis University. She has family roots in the town of Athol and currently lives in Greenfield, Massachusetts. pottern@mountgrace.org

 

Jay Rasku, Community Conservation Director, Land Stewardship Director: Since joining Mount Grace in 2006, Jay has engaged municipal conservation boards, smaller local and regional land trusts, and state agencies in collaborative conservation partnerships that have boosted conservation capacity across the region and resulted in the protection of nearly 9000 acres. Before joining Mount Grace, Jay worked as an environmental organizer for 12 years first with MassPIRG as director of their environmental, consumer, and democracy programs and later with the Toxics Action Center organizing community groups to clean up and prevent toxic pollution from landfills, incinerators, hazardous waste sites, polluting facilities and pesticide applications. Jay has B.S. degree in biology and studio art from Bates College and lives in Greenfield, MA with his wife Iris and daughter Ivy. rasku@mountgrace.org

 

David Kotker, Major Gifts and Grants Manager, joined Mount Grace in 2007. He is responsible for managing major gifts fundraising, foundation grants development, and the annual and spring appeals. He has worked in fundraising for nonprofit environmental and conservation groups for over ten years, including four years with Greenpeace and four with the Citizens Awareness Network. He has a bachelor’s degree from Columbia College. kotker@mountgrace.org

 

Sean Pollock, MassLIFT-AmeriCorps Program Director, manages our community outreach efforts, including the innovative statewide MassLIFT-AmeriCorps program. He joined the organization in 2006. Sean worked for five years as the operations and technology coordinator for the Environmental Leadership Program, taught outdoor education in the Redwoods of California, and spent two years in AmeriCorps doing environmental education, land restoration, and trail-building. He has a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Skidmore College and lives in Greenfield, MA with his wife Jessica and daughter Ruby. pollock@mountgrace.org

 

Lisa Cormier, Administrative Director, joined Mount Grace in 2007 after working seven years for the United Way of North Central Massachusetts. Prior to that, she worked for many years at Simplex Time Recorder Co., starting as a payroll clerk and promoted to administrative assistant in several departments due to her software skills. Lisa specializes in database management and office efficiency. She appreciates nature and exploring the back roads of New England. She is also an artist who favors drawing in pen and ink. cormier@mountgrace.org

 

Carol Mayer, Administrative Assistant, joined Mount Grace in 2014. She previously worked as an Office Manager and Assistant Project Manager for many years in the construction world and for three years as Administrative Coordinator for the Town of Orange.  Carol has lived in Athol for 29 years with her husband, Bob, and has two grown children, Andrew and Alexandra.  She simply loves nature, the outdoors, walking, hiking and motorcycling with her husband in all parts of New England.  In the summer, you will find her on the beach with a book in hand whenever possible. mayer@mountgrace.org

 

John Dooley, Finance Director, joined Mount Grace in Aug. 2015.  John has worked as a Director of Finance or CFO for over 27 years, since 1988, at the age of 25.  He has worked with both non-profit and for-profit organizations, with annual revenues ranging in size from $500,000 to $35,000,000.  He began his career in the for-profit corporate healthcare arena and soon after became a Hospital CFO in 1990 for the largest Healthcare Chain in the US with revenues in excess of $10 billion a year.  John enjoys skiing, kayaking, laser tag and movies with his son and nephew.  He also enjoys gardening and construction.  John has his BBA and MBA.

 

Ben Carver, MassLIFT-AmeriCorps Impact Manager, works to build and cultivate strong MassLIFT partnerships, implement the MassLIFT service model, and support MassLIFT-AmeriCorps members’ service experience and professional development. He has served two years with AmeriCorps, doing service on watershed protection and racial justice initiatives, and has taught environmental science in Oregon, Colorado, and New Mexico. Ben holds a bachelor's degree in environmental economics from the University of Oregon. carver@mountgrace.org

 

Hanna Mogensen, MassLIFT-AmeriCorps Operations & Communications Manager, supports the MassLIFT-AmeriCorps program on a statewide scale. Hanna manages member recruitment and onboarding, communications and marketing, and day-to-day administration of program operations. Prior to joining MassLIFT, Hanna spent two years working on a large-scale coastal restoration project along the North Shore of Massachusetts. She also worked as a research technician on Mount Desert Island with the MDI Biological Laboratory and taught environmental education with Maine Audubon, Catalina Island Conservancy, and The Advent School. Hanna holds a bachelor’s degree from Smith College in biology and environmental science & policy. She originally hails from Maine, but now calls Somerville home and is enjoying a taste of city life. mogensen@mountgrace.org