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Board, Staff, & AmeriCorps Members

Board of Directors

President Max Feldman Petersham
Vice President Mimi Hellen Jones Petersham
Treasurer Lenny Johnson Carlisle
Clerk Joanne McGee Northfield
  Larry Fitzmaurice Wellesley & Warwick
  Bryan Long Orange
  Lis McLoughlin Northfield
  Steve Rawson Winchendon
  Al Rose Phillipston
  Joel Shaughnessy Athol
  Al Siano Greenfield
  David Spackman Royalston
  Phil Stevens Barre


Executive Director Leigh Youngblood
Deputy Director Emma Ellsworth
Conservation Director Sarah Wells
Community Conservation Program Manager Fletcher Harrington
Farm Conservation Program Manager Rocio Lalanda
Stewardship Manager KimLynn Nguyen
Major Gifts and Grants Manager David Kotker
Communications and Engagement Coordinator Marielena Lima
Administrative Assistant Carol Mayer
Administrative and Development Assistant Liz Wilson
Director of Finance Sharon Hogan

Our MassLIFT-AmeriCorps Program is now TerraCorps: an independent nonprofit working at the intersection of the land trust and urban agriculture movements to create a future where land is the foundation of health and well-being for all people in every community. Questions regarding TerraCorps/MassLIFT can be directed to the TerraCorps website. Mount Grace will continue as a host site for new teams of TerraCorps members who will support our mission each year.  

2019-20 TerraCorps Members Serving at Mount Grace

Regional Collaboration Coordinator Valerie Cedrone
Land Stewardship Coordinator Corey Wrinn
Youth Education Coordinator Jessica Tierney

Board of Directors

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.

Larry Fitzmaurice and Ann Fitzmaurice live in Wellesley and have recently donated Earleacres, land formerly owned by Larry's family, to Mount Grace to become part of the Arthur Iversen Conservation Area in Warwick. Larry is a graduate of Babson College who worked at Sylvania, Tyco Laboratories, Analog Devices, Balco, and as Vice President at State Street Bank from 1982 to 2002. Larry taught courses at Northeastern University and the New England College of Finance and served as Director of the Babson College Alumni Association. He has also served in government and the nonprofit sector, working as Massachusetts’ Comptroller, Commissioner of Revenue, and State Lottery Commissioner; President and CEO of the New England Center for Homeless Veterans; and Treasurer of the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans.

Max Feldman lives in Petersham with his family. Max worked over 15 years as a freelance recording engineer in New York and returned to the region in 2008. Max assists in the stewardship of his family’s 380 acres in Athol, Petersham, and Phillipston. He serves on Petersham's Energy Committee and helped the town achieve Green Community designation in 2013. Max enjoys building wooden toys and furniture.

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.

Joanne McGee, her husband Bill, and their two daughters moved to  Northfield in 1981.  Joanne is a retired reference librarian and active  in town affairs, including serving as a Girl Scout leader for many years.  She served on the Northfield Zoning Board, the Northfield Selectboard,  and led the team that developed the town’s first Open Space and Recreation  Plan.  She currently is a member of the Open Space Committee, the  Stewardship Advisory Committee that assists the Conservation Committee  with management of the town conservation properties, the Board of  Directors of Friends of Schell Bridge, and a long-time member of Mount  Grace’s Land Committee. Joanne’s interests include traveling, hiking, mah jongg, and kayaking.

Lis McLoughlin, Ph.D. is a cultural anthropologist and writer. Her current research involves the intersections of identity, land, and religion. She lives off-grid in 76 acres of forest in Northfield, MA with her husband Warren, and part of the year in Montréal, Québec; and serves on the Northfield Historical Commission and edits NatureCulture, the science page of the Montague Reporter newspaper. She enjoys hiking, snowshoeing, and SCUBA.

Al Rose holds degrees from Boston and Cornell Universities.  His Master of Science degree in Agricultural Economics thesis is, “The Family Farm and Direct Marketing: Adapting to an Urbanizing Environment”.  After working for Frito-Lay, Al and his wife, Nancy, and their children returned to his family’s now diversified and exclusively retail farm operation, Red Apple Farm, in 2001.  The operation includes a year-round, on-farm retail store and events barn, two retail winter locations at Wachusett Mountain Ski Area, and a downtown store at the year-round, indoor Boston Public Market.  Al, Nancy, and their 4 kids represent the 4th and 5th generation to work at the farm.  Al serves on the boards of the Massachusetts Fruit Growers Association—as past President, Heywood Healthcare, GVNA Healthcare, the Family Business Association of Massachusetts Advisory Council, and is Chairman of Visit North Central Massachusetts Tourism 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.

David Spackman was introduced to nature at his grandfather’s farm in Pennsylvania, where he spent summers building and repairing stone walls and clearing land.  A lawyer specializing in health care and nonprofit law, he recently retired as general counsel for Lahey Health after working to establish Beth Israel Lahey Health.  He served as Chief of the Massachusetts Division of Non-Profit Organizations & Public Charities in the office of Attorney General Martha Coakley, where he was responsible for promoting transparency and enforcing fiduciary standards for the 22,000 public charities operating in Massachusetts. He currently lives in Royalston and serves as a Trustee of Heywood Healthcare.  The land he protected in partnership with Mount Grace in 1993 is now part of the Arthur Iversen Conservation Area.

Phil Stevens has kept the 1,000-acre Carter & Stevens Farm in Barre flourishing through a combination of creativity, ingenuity, team work, and hard work. Phil and his family have addressed changes in the dairy market by diversifying their farm, first adding a farm store which sells raw milk, organic vegetables, and their own ice cream. They also host a variety of obstacle races throughout the season. Most recently, in 2016 they opened Stone Cow Brewery, now one of the foremost craft breweries in New England. They use their own blueberries, pumpkins, and local hops in their beers and use only wood harvested from their farm for brewing. Phil has been an advisor to the Massachusetts NRCS soils program and is a leader in Barre and in the state agricultural community.


Mount Grace Staff

Leigh Youngblood, Executive Director, Leigh’s tenure began in 1994. Since then, Mount Grace has grown from two to ten staff and initiated and spun off the successful TerraCorps AmeriCorps program, which supports 20+ nonprofits working at the intersection of land conservation and urban agriculture. With its partners, Mount Grace has protected 35,000 acres since 1986, and actively manages 1,800 acres of land including forests, agricultural leases, and a commercial building lease with the Quabbin Harvest Food Co-op. 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 was appointed by Governor Deval Patrick to co-chair the Massachusetts Commission on Financing Forest Conservation in 2010. She played a key role in establishing the North Quabbin Regional Landscape Partnership in 1997, which continues to bring together diverse groups to protect strategic open space. Leigh has consulted on conservation projects in Oregon, New Hampshire, and Georgia. Since 2018, Leigh has served on the national Land Trust Alliance’s 16-member Conservation Defense Advisory Council.

Emma Ellsworth, Deputy Director, comes to Mount Grace as avid hunter, angler, hiker, and outdoors woman. She lives at the base of Mount Tully, a Mount Grace protected property. Emma feels very passionate about protecting her “backyard” and grateful to be able to call it a job. Emma spent the last 20 years as a union organizer and negotiator, fighting for social justice, for working class people to have a voice on the job, and a chance at a decent quality of life. She is thrilled to be applying those same collaborative skills to conservation. She believes deeply in our need to bridge differences, foster a culture of finding common goals, and stand up for what we believe in if we are to be successful.  She follows in the footsteps of her father, who was a Mount Grace board member, her brother who was the key note speaker at an annual meeting, and her parent Jay Lord, who helped found Just Roots, another Mount Grace project. Love of the land is in her blood. In this age of crazy storms, unprecedented weather, and bird population decline, conservation of our “backyard” is more important than ever.

Sarah Wells, Conservation Director, 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 and for coordinating the conservation and stewardship staff. 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.

Fletcher Harrington, Community Conservation Program Manager, Fletcher works with local partners and community leaders to identify important community conservation priorities and develop viable land conservation scenarios.  A lifelong New England resident, Fletcher grew up exploring the local forests and coastlines, eventually finding the mountains and wilderness of the northern states. These experiences left him with a strong desire to conserve and steward natural spaces and introduce them to others. After working in the tech sector, Fletcher completed his degree in environmental science and served two terms with Mount Grace as a TerraCorps Land Steward and Community Engagement Coordinator.

Rocio Lalanda, Farm Conservation Program Manager, recently earned a Ph.D. in Geography and Environmental Science and Policy, focusing her dissertation on land conservation and, specifically, on the motivations of agricultural-land owners to protect their land in perpetuity from non-agricultural forms of development. She was born and raised in Spain, where she completed two master’s degrees in the fields of Sustainability, Corporate Responsibility and Rural Development Project Planning. Her professional background includes positions as management consultant for entrepreneurs in rural areas and director of human resources for a regional environmental nonprofit.

KimLynn Nguyen, Stewardship Manager, KimLynn returns to Mount Grace as a new staff memebr after two years of service with our TerraCorps team.  A graduate of the University of Florida with a degree in wildlife ecology and conservation, KimLynn aided monitoring programs focusing on threatened and endangered species at St. Marks and St. Vincent National Wildlife Refuges, an experience which taught her the importance of conserving the land for the benefit of wildlife and people. She has also served as a park ranger conducting environmental education at Merritt Island NWR where she taught youths to embrace the joy and understand the importance of conservation.

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.

Marielena Lima, Communications and Engagement Coordinator, is responsible for engaging our members and the general public through events, newsletters and other outreach. She was born and raised in Miami, Florida and was awarded a Posse Foundation scholarship to attend Mount Holyoke College, where she received her bachelor’s degree in Environmental Studies. Marielena has experience working in diverse environments with low-income community members, local nonprofits, and state government agencies. When she is not working, you’ll find her trying out new cooking and baking recipes, as well as exploring the various hiking trails New England has to offer with her dogs, Carrot and Bogui.

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.

Liz Wilson, Administrative & Development Assistant, is originally from Rehoboth, a small farming town in southeastern Massachusetts. When she wasn’t out fishing with her father, she usually spent her childhood getting lost in the woods with her sisters, riding her bike, or exploring her neighbor’s farms. After graduating with a master’s degree in History from the University of Connecticut, she moved to her husband’s childhood home of Winchendon in 2012 and worked as an operations supervisor in the financial sector prior to joining Mount Grace in 2019. She loves to read, swim, try new restaurants with her friends, and explore local trails and parks with her husband Deric, her one-year old son Isaac, and her dog Stormy.


2019-20 TerraCorps Team

Valerie Cedrone, Regional Collaboration Coordinator, is originally from Newton, Massachusetts and attended the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, for her undergraduate degree. After graduating with a Bachelor’s in Public Health, she decided to stay close to the Pioneer Valley because she loves the community, the mountains, and all the farmland! She spent her time in college driving buses for UMass Transit, which left her with many interesting stories. She is passionate about food and educating others about healthy, fresh, and sustainable food choices. Her favorite thing to do in her free time is go on hikes with her dog, cook, and learn about building a van to live in. She is excited to be serving with the Mount Gracethis year and learning more about land protection!

Corey Wrinn, Land Stewardship Coordinator, is very excited to be joining Mount Grace. Having grown-up in Rockport, MA, the ocean ecosystem has been at the forefront of his life and education. Corey graduated from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst in 2018 with a B.S. in Natural Resource Conservation and Marine Sciences. After spending a season as a naturalist in Homer, Alaska and a year sailing education tall ships in the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, his passion for experiential and environmental education lead him to this program where he looks forward to engaging with Massachusetts communities. He is an advocate for environmental justice, Leave No Trace principles and environmental decision-making. You can most likely find Corey playing his guitar on the street, at a venue or sauntering in local forests.

Jessica Tierney, Youth Education Coordinator, is a former elementary school teacher who loves taking children outdoors. In the past, Jessica worked with children in various capacities, including three years as a public school teacher in Springfield, staff roles in therapeutic settings, and as an environmental educator and summer camp co-director at. Having spent childhood in the Adirondacks, Jessica has always had a deep appreciation for wilderness and has been waiting for the right time to pursue a career that celebrates this. She is ecstatic to be serving as Mount Grace’s Youth Education Coordinator.