Staff & Board

Photo of staff by Stephen H Gehlbach

Staff

Ryan Owens
executive director
Ryan joined the Monadnock Conservancy as a conservation project manager in 2006 and was promoted in 2008. He completed his master's degree through the Field Naturalist Program at the University of Vermont, where he studied natural resource inventory and interpretation with an eye to applying science and communication to land conservation challenges. Prior to that, he worked in nonprofit development with The Wilderness Society in Boston. He holds an undergraduate degree from Dartmouth College, where he studied ecology and environmental studies. He serves on the New Hampshire State Park System Advisory Council, is president of the New Hampshire Land Trust Coalition and is a member of the Chamber Singers of Keene. When not working, Ryan can be found identifying plants, pondering overgrown cellar holes and baking sourdough bread. He lives with his wife and son in Walpole.

Anne McBride
land protection director
Prior to joining the Conservancy, Anne worked for the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests. She first moved to New Hampshire for an AmeriCorps program, teaching environmental education and doing trail-work in numerous state parks. After spending time on the coast of Maine and in the Hudson Valley of New York, she returned to the Granite State for a master’s degree in conservation biology at Antioch University New England. Her undergraduate degree is in environmental studies from Mount Holyoke College. Anne enjoys hiking, cross-country skiing and following old woods roads to see where they take her. Anne lives with her husband, daughter and son in Nelson.

Stacy Gambrel
conservation project manager
Stacy lived and worked in Maine for 13 years, primarily in land conservation. Most recently she was a project manager at Maine Farmland Trust, where she gained a particular fondness for farmland conservation. Stacy holds a bachelor’s degree in urban planning from Michigan State University and a master’s degree in public administration from the University of Maine. In her free time, she loves doing anything that takes her outside, including cycling, hiking, skiing and gardening. Stacy lives in Keene with her cat, Mrs. Murphy.

Rick Brackett
stewardship manager
Rick oversees the monitoring, management planning, habitat improvements and public access for the lands owned by the Conservancy. He holds a bachelor's degree in geography from Keene State College and a master's degree in resource management and conservation from Antioch University New England. Rick enjoys hiking and fishing, and volunteering his time as a member of his town’s planning board and conservation commission. He and his wife live in Fitzwilliam.

Jennifer Zaso
development director
Prior to joining the Conservancy, Jennifer worked as major fundraising events manager for National Audubon Society’s New York State programs. Her fundraising experience is complemented by her corporate business and finance background from a prior professional career in the fashion industry. She holds a bachelor's degree in communications and public relations from the State University of New York at Fredonia and a master's degree in sustainability from Antioch University New England. Jennifer enjoys hiking, fishing, hunting, kayaking, traveling and birding. She lives in Keene.

Katrina Farmer
communications manager
Katrina joined the Conservancy in 2009, after working for Yankee magazine. Previously, she worked for an independent book publisher and as a freelance writer and editor. Katrina has served on the board of the Peterborough Folk Music Society and the Monadnock Institute of Nature, Place and Culture. She holds a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Colorado at Boulder and a master’s degree from the Bread Loaf School of English at Middlebury College. She enjoys traveling and being outdoors as often as she can whether hiking, biking, camping, fly-fishing, canoeing, cross-country skiing or snowshoeing. Katrina lives with her husband and son in Harrisville.

 

Photo of the board by Stephen H Gehlbach

Board of Trustees

Steve Gehlbach
president
Steve is dean emeritus of the School of Public Health and Health Sciences at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst where he served for 16 years. He continues to teach epidemiology and conduct research on osteoporosis at the University of Massachusetts Medical School in Worcester. Steve now lives the "semi-retired life" with his wife, Carol, in Jaffrey where her family has enjoyed summers since 1949. He is also on the boards of the Sharon Arts Center and The Peterborough Players. He devotes spare time to gardening, walking and photographing the beauty of Mount Monadnock.

Monica Lehner
vice president
For most of her life, Monica has worked and volunteered in the nonprofit education sector both in the states and overseas. She currently serves on the board of the Himalayan Education Foundation, the MacDowell Colony and Friends of MacDowell in Boston. She chaired the board of The Well School in Peterborough, N.H., and also co-chaired the Well’s fundraising committee. Monica received a bachelor’s degree from Wheaton College and a master’s degree from the School for International Training. She enjoys daily walks in the woods behind her house and up the region’s small mountains, alone or with friends or family. She lives with her husband and four children in Greenfield.

Drew Landry
treasurer
Drew is a tax principal with John G. Burk and Company, CPAs, P.C. He also renders forensic accounting services for a wide variety of clients, and has assisted state and federal authorities in the prosecution of complex financial crimes. Previously, Drew was a revenue agent with the Internal Revenue Service. Drew currently serves as a trustee for the Mayhew Program for Boys, the Mount Washington Observatory, the Monadnock Community Foundation and Historic Harrisville Inc. Drew has bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Bentley College. Drew resides in Harrisville with his wife, Carol. They have two grown children.

Victoria Reck Ames
secretary
Victoria recently retired as the assessing coordinator for the Town of Swanzey and was a founding member (and the chair for many years) of the Swanzey Open Space Committee. She holds a master’s degree from Antioch University New England and a certificate of excellence in handspinning from the Handweavers Guild of America. She enjoys growing vegetables, managing her extensive perennial gardens and harvesting firewood with her working steers. Victoria lives on Honey Hill, 120 acres of LCIP-conserved forest with public hiking trails, in central Swanzey.

Jim Beard
Jim's career was in sales and marketing with various aircraft manufacturing companies, locally, nationally and internationally. He retired from a management position and then spent nearly a decade consulting for the airline industry. Since then Jim has been very involved in his local community, serving as chair of the Lempster Conservation Commission, chair of the library trustees and president of the Sand Pond Association. He received his commercial pilot license at age 18, and holds a bachelor’s degree from Embry Riddle Aeronautical University. He was born in Keene, spent his childhood years in West Swanzey (when his father was chair of the Industrial Arts program at Monadnock Regional High School) and now lives in Lempster.

Swift Corwin
As a consulting forester with Calhoun & Corwin Forestry, LLC, Swift learned how to be effective from his mentor, John Calhoun. The biggest lesson learned: that forestry is as much about the people as the trees. Some of his favorite projects have involved land protection, working with children and creating trails that showcase special places. Swift studied forestry at the University of Wisconsin. He has been involved with professional and service organizations serving on boards including the Peterborough Conservation Commission, the Granite State Division of the New England Society of American Foresters, Project Learning Tree and the Monadnock Rotary. Swift enjoys biking, skiing, swimming in lakes, writing poetry and capturing what he sees through his photography. He and his wife live in Peterborough.

Ken Goebel
Ken is the director of development for Keene State College and has worked for University of Connecticut, University of Pennsylvania and Colgate University. Before moving into higher education, he spent 21 years as a YMCA director in upstate New York and in New Hampshire. Ken is active in the Keene Rotary Club and is a board member for the Marlborough School Endowment Fund. He holds a bachelor’s degree from the State University of New York College at Cortland. Ken is an avid climber and hiker. He and his wife live in Swanzey.

John Hann
John and his wife, Nancy, own and operate a small family farm in Winchester, specializing in grass-fed lamb and Cotswold wool products. Prior to learning about life in the woods and on tractors, John worked for Verizon and its predecessor companies primarily as a labor negotiator and planner. He was chair of the Winchester Zoning Board of Adjustment for many years and helped prepare the Winchester Master Plan. Currently, John is on the Winchester Conservation Commission. He attended Mount Hermon School, received a bachelor’s degree at Union College, a master’s degree from Pace University and studied labor relations at Cornell University. His most recent learning experiences are taking piano lessons, singing in local choirs and improving his skill with an excavator while building horseback-riding and skiing trails at Full Measure Farm.

Betsey Harris
Betsey and her husband, John, were longtime property owners and residents of Dublin. During that time, she worked in land use and conservation with town boards, the Land Conservation Investment Program (the precursor to LCHIP), Southwest Region Planning Commission and several other groups. Betsey was a founding trustee of the Conservancy and donated its first conservation easement. She has performed nearly every job in the organization, both on and off the board. In 2006, Betsey and John were recognized as Dublin’s Citizens of the Year. A graduate of Radcliffe, Betsey enjoys reading, walking, kayaking and meeting new friends. She now lives in Peterborough.

Paul Kotila
chair of the stewardship committee
Paul is a professor of biology and environmental science at Franklin Pierce University, and also has been an adjunct faculty member in the environmental studies department at Antioch University New England Graduate School. His primary teaching and research interests are in freshwater ecology and water quality problems. Paul has been a member of the Fitzwilliam Conservation Commission for more than 20 years, currently serving as chair, and is a past member of the Natural Resources Advisory Committee for the Southwest Region Planning Commission. He returns to the Monadnock Conservancy Board of Trustees after serving from 1997 until 2005 and continued service as a member of the stewardship committee. Paul holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Michigan Technological University and a doctorate from the University of Wisconsin at Madison. He lives in Fitzwilliam.

Steve Larmon
Steve, a physician, has been an oncologist for the Dartmouth–Hitchcock system for the last 27 years. He works primarily in Keene and Peterborough. He enjoys sailing, skiing and running, and is on the DeMar Marathon organizing committee. He also sings in the Peterborough Chamber Choir and the Keene Chorale. Steve is a graduate of Dartmouth College and Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons. He and his wife, Jane, moved to Keene from Andover, Mass., in 1989. They have three grown children who live out of the area.

Charlie Massin
Charlie is president of The Frank Massin Agency in Fitzwilliam, N.H., which was started in 1963 by his parents, Frank and Elizabeth. He is the trustee and owner of 250 acres of woods under forestry management. Being outside whether on foot, bike or skis, and ideally with family, is a perfect day for Charlie. He also spends as much time as possible fishing nearby rivers and often takes to the trails with Bodhisattva, his Bernese mountain dog. Charlie holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of New Hampshire. He lives with his wife in Fitzwilliam; they have three grown children.

Peggy Pschirrer
Peggy’s first career was as a school teacher, then, after stepping out of the job market to raise three children, she returned to work for Xerox Learning Systems teaching courses in sales, management and basic communications. Peggy worked in the nonprofit world for the Association of Junior Leagues International for a decade followed by 15 years as an administrative hearing officer in public schools until she retired. Her volunteer work started in high school and has never stopped. Currently, Peggy serves on the select board, as trustee of Trust Funds and as chair of the Hooper Study Committee, now the Hooper Preservation Fund. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Denison University, a master’s degree from Southern Connecticut State University and a juris doctor from the University of Connecticut School of Law. Peggy and her husband live on conserved land in Walpole.

Bridges Smith
Bridges currently runs a product management team in the mobile division of Nuance Communications, a global technology company. His career has arced from professional services to engineering, starting with statistical software and moving to speech recognition and mobile phone applications. Bridges’ love for the outdoors grew during his experiences with the Johns Hopkins University Outdoors Club. His free time is often spent running the streets and trails near his home in Peterborough, or else hiking, skiing, cycling or swimming. He is happiest when sharing these pursuits with his wife, Ruth, and their two daughters.

Hillary Workman
Hillary has worked in antibody development for international pharmaceutical and technology companies in Germany, France and the United States. She earned her Ph.D. in chemistry from the University of Utah prior to joining a research team at Roche Diagnostics. She also serves on the board of the Harrisville Children’s Center. A Salt Lake native, Hillary Workman grew up camping, hiking and snowboarding in the Uintah Basin, Wasatch front and Utah’s southern canyons. She now lives in Dublin with her husband and young daughter.