Staff & Board
Robb Johnson, Executive Director (part-time)
Robb joined MLTC as Executive Director in October 2019. He has over 30 years of non-profit program and management experience in health care, human service, and environmental organizations in Massachusetts, including The Nature Conservancy, Sudbury Valley Trustees and The Bay Circuit Alliance. He has collaborated with federal, state, local and non-profit partners to complete land conservation and habitat restoration projects in many Massachusetts communities.
Robb has a Masters in Public Administration from Harvard University and a Masters in Public Health from the University of Michigan. A lifelong nature lover, he enjoys hiking, canoeing, cycling and open water swimming.
Barbara Chrenko, Operations Manager (part-time)
Barbara is a lifelong outdoors enthusiast who developed a love of open spaces and quiet places from a childhood spent outdoors, actively experiencing public access to amazing landscapes both in the US and abroad. After many years in technology (chatbots and web), she began volunteering for Maine Coast Heritage Trust and The Trustees in a variety of ways, including researching fish runs in the Bagaduce watershed and monitoring properties. She joined the Massachusetts Land Trust Coalition in late 2018. Her special conservation interest is protecting land and coastal areas for cooperative use and enjoyment by both the public and those in water-, farm- and forest-based livelihoods. Barbara enjoys hiking, sailing, skiing, traveling, and simply being outside.
Miriam Scagnetti, Conference Consultant
Miriam has helped MLTC coordinate the annual Massachusetts Land Conservation Conference since 2013. Prior to that, she organized the conference, workshops and networking for the conservation community at the The Trustees’ Putnam Conservation Institute. Miriam holds an MBA from Fitchburg State College and a bachelor’s degree from Wirtschaftsakademie Hamburg (Hamburg School of Business Administration). Growing up in a small, scenic village in the heart of a large nature reserve in Germany, Miriam has had a lifelong appreciation for natural beauty and open spaces. Besides spending as much time outdoors as possible, she enjoys reading and traveling with her husband and their two children.
Matthew Safford, Communications Coordinator
Matt has worked for a variety of land protection and research organizations, including the National Park Service and the Illinois Natural History Survey, on projects including insect and bat biodiversity surveys, endangered species conservation, and CR monitoring. Matt has a Bachelor’s in Environmental Studies from the University of North Carolina and a Master’s in Entomology from the University of Illinois. In his free time Matt hikes, climbs, and cooks.
Paul Catanzaro is an Extension Associate Professor at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Paul teaches courses in the Forest Ecology and LandConservation major and is co-director of the Family Forest Research Center,a partnership of the US Forest Service and UMass Amherst. Paul's research is focused on gaining a better understanding of the decisions private landowners make about the future ownership and use of their land. His research-based extension work provides land conservation and forest stewardship options to landowners. Paul's outreach efforts include the Massachusetts Keystone Project, www.MassWoods.org, conservation-based estate planning, and forest resiliency.
Jack Clarke recently retired after twenty-six years as Mass Audubon’s Director of Public Policy. Prior to that he was with the National Park Service at the Cape Cod National Seashore, and was Assistant Director of the Massachusetts Coastal Zone Management Office. Jack is a gubernatorial appointee to the Mass. Ocean Advisory Committee, and is on the Community Preservation Act Coalition Steering Committee. Born in Boston, Jack holds undergraduate and graduate degrees from Boston College.
Christa Collins started her conservation career at the Nashua River Watershed Association, and in 2002 joined Sudbury Valley Trustees, where she currently serves as Director of Land Protection. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Middlebury College and a master’s degree in landscape architecture from the University of Michigan, and lives in Concord, MA with her husband and two children. Christa serves on the board of Gaining Ground, a Concord-based nonprofit that grows and donates food for hunger relief, and on Concord's Junction Village Open Space Task Force.
Buzz Constable, President
William “Buzz” Constable is a well-seasoned land use and real estate investment attorney serving diverse organizations in Massachusetts. Public service includes elected and appointed positions in local, regional and statewide boards and commissions, including chairing Boston’s regional planning agency and its statewide association. Buzz has been president of the Lincoln Land Conservation Trust for many years, is on the Board of The Trustees, and recently rotated off the LTA’s Conservation Defense Council. Civic activities include boards of the Environmental League of Massachusetts, the Rural Land Foundation and the Old South Meeting House. Buzz is a graduate of Williams, Boston University, Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies and was a Loeb Fellow at Harvard.
Karen has been the President and Executive Director of the Wildlands Trust since November 2007. From 1991 to 2007, Karen served in a variety of leadership positions at the Manomet Center for Conservation Sciences, including Director of Marketing and Development and Assistant Director. Karen brings a broad base of management, marketing and conservation knowledge and skills to her position. She is a graduate of the University of Vermont.
Rita Gibes Grossman, Clerk
While Rita's professional experience was in tertiary healthcare for 25 years, she pursued her passion for the natural environment by joining the Boxborough Conservation Trust board in 2003, where she has served as president since 2006 overseeing the conservation of 63 acres in 4 transactions and has had a robust sampling of the issues confronting small, all volunteer land trusts. She serves on the Town of Boxborough’s Community Preservation Committee and the Land Stewardship Committee, founded the Boxborough Birders, and is a board member of the New England journal Bird Observer. She’s a graduate of University of Michigan, Boston College (Macy Fellow) and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health (Kellogg Fellow).
Cynthia Henshaw, Vice President
Cynthia has been the Executive Director of the East Quabbin Land Trust, which covers eight towns in central Massachusetts, since 2007 and involved with various aspects of land conservation and organizational development for sixteen years. Cynthia served as Clerk of the Mass Land Trust Coalition for four years.
Richard K. Hubbard was the Executive Director of the Franklin Land Trust from 2004 - 2019. Rich, who is recognized nationally as an authority on conserving farmland and open space, has negotiated the conservation of over 450 properties totaling close to 42,000 acres. Prior to joining FLT, he served in a number of capacities with the MA Department of Agricultural Resources, including Assistant Commissioner, Chief of the Bureau of Land Use, and for 15 years as Program Manager of the Agricultural Preservation Restriction (APR) Program - one of the most successful farmland conservation programs in the country. He began his professional career as a Community Planner for the Montgomery County Planning Commission in Pennsylvania, and later served as the Town Planner for Killingly, Connecticut and the Assistant Director of the Northeast Office of the American Farmland Trust.
Andrew Magee, Treasurer
Andy has over 25 years experience in the conduct and management of environmental studies and scientific investigations and is a partner in a respected environmental engineering firm, Epsilon Associates. He recently completed two terms as Selectman in the town of Acton and currently sits on the Town’s Open Space Committee, Conservation Commission and Community Preservation Act Committee. Earlier, he served multiple terms on the Town of Acton Sewer Advisory Committee and Water Resources Advisory Committee. Andy has been involved in conservation activities for over 15 years, served on the boards of two non-profit conservation organizations: the Acton Conservation Trust (all volunteer) and the Organization for the Assabet River (OAR)
Janet Milkman, Vice President
Janet Milkman joined the Barnstable Land Trust as Executive Director in 2017 and is thrilled to be back home on the Cape. She has worked for non-profit organizations for 30 years, with a focus on smart growth and community development, and energy and environmental policy and practice. Her previous leadership roles include the Marion Institute and of the Philadelphia-area Green Building Council and 10,000 Friends of Pennsylvania. Janet has a BA from Wesleyan University, a Master in Public Affairs from Princeton University and was a Fulbright Scholar in Germany. Her passion for nature and New England drive her at work and play.
Kathleen has over thirty years experience in real estate law including conveyancing, title opinions, tax title foreclosures and auctions, affordable housing, open space acquisitions, municipal harbor plans and smart growth zoning. She has participated in the Mass Land Trust Coalition’s Attorneys Advisory Panel, and is on the board of the Cohasset Land Foundation. Kathleen is licensed to practice in Massachusetts and is certified as a Woman Business Enterprise (WBE) by the Massachusetts Supplier Diversity Office.
Loring served most recently as Climate Change Director at Mass Audubon, promoting a program of education, policy, member action. Over 25 years with The Nature Conservancy, Loring established and directed a system of Natural Heritage Programs; led science policy advocacy for the Northeast US; ran its Eastern Caribbean Program; developed its Mediterranean Basin strategy; and led the stellar conservation team for Massachusetts TNC. In 2005, Loring received TNC’s One Conservancy Award for cross- boundary leadership. At The Conservation Fund, she authored the Greenways, a Guide to Planning, Design and Development (Island Press). Loring maintains advisory roles with the Native Plant Trust, Massachusetts LWV, Mass Master Gardeners, and the International Land Conservation Network. She is a founding board member of the Mass Land Trust Coalition, and currently serves on the Boards of the MLTC, Friends of Spannocchia, the Goodnow Library Foundation and Aurelia’s Garden (founding member). Long ago, she earned a BS in Biology from Tufts University, and a Masters of Forest Science from Yale School of the Environment. She lives in Sudbury, in a house often filled with seedlings and grandkids.
Kristen Sykes is Director of Southern NE Conservation Projects and Partnerships for the Appalachian Mountain Club. She joined AMC in 2004 and since that time has worked extensively to advance land conservation, trails, and recreational access throughout the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions. Before joining AMC, Kristen was the Interior Department Watchdog for Friends of the Earth and the Eastern Forest Advocate for the American Lands Alliance in Washington DC. She has a Master of Science in Environmental Studies from the University of Montana and a BA in International Relations from California State University Sacramento. She sits on the board of The Venture Out Project, which leads wilderness trips for the queer and transgender community. She is also the Chapter President for MassBike Connecticut River Valley. She and her husband own Pie In The Sky Berry Farm, a u-pick organic farm on protected farmland in Northampton.
Vidya is the Director of Greater Boston at The Trustees of Reservations. She has been with the Trustees since 2005. Prior to her current position, Vidya worked as the Vice President at Boston Natural Areas Network, the Neighborhood Parks Council in San Francisco and as a practicing architect in India. She holds a Master's degree in Architecture & Urban Design from Washington University and a Certificate in Environmental Policy and International Development from Harvard Extension School. She has served as Board Chair at the New England Grassroots Environment Fund and a Board member at the Northeast Organic Farming Association, MA chapter.
Bob Wilber has been the director of Land Conservation for Mass Audubon since 2000. Previously, he worked in similar capacities for the Massachusetts Chapter of The Nature Conservancy, and Massachusetts State Forests & Parks. Bob is a past president of the Massachusetts Land Trust Coalition (MassLand), and currently serves on MassLand's Board of Trustees. He lives in Stow, where he is president of the all-volunteer Stow Conservation Trust, and a member of the Town of Stow's Open Space Committee. During his 35+ year career, Bob has been directly involved in the protection of more than 40,000 acres in Massachusetts.
During his career in the conservation world, Whit Beals worked for the nascent Connecticut DEP; for the Roaring Brook Nature Center in Canton, CT; for the Nature Conservancy in Maryland and the Chesapeake Bay, and then in the Boston regional office; for the Town of Wayland, Massachusetts; for the Sudbury Valley Trustees; and for the New England Forestry Foundation (NEFF), from which he retired in late 2019. He now serves on the boards of NEFF and the EcoTarium in Worcester. He also serves as president of the Southborough Open Land Foundation and has been a member of the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority's Water Supply Citizens Advisory Committee for more than 30 years. He holds a Master of Forest Science degree from the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies (now the Yale School of the Environment).
Ed Becker is the former president of Essex County Greenbelt, a regional land trust. Over the course of a long career in land conservation, Ed led the organization in the acquisition of several hundred land parcels and was active in state and national land conservation policy, advocacy and education. He was a founding member and board president of the Massachusetts Land Trust Coalition and a member of the National Land Council of the Land Trust Alliance. After his retirement in 2018, Ed has enjoyed walks on local conservation lands, volunteering for the Cape Ann Museum and Rockport Music, and spending time with his grandchildren. He received the 2018 Mass Audubon Allen H. Morgan Award for his distinguished achievement on behalf of the environment. He has a Masters degree from Yale School of the Environment.
Jocelyn Forbush, Executive Vice President, Acting President and CEO, joined The Trustees in 2000, has held a number of roles in the organization over her tenure, including Western Regional Director, where she pioneered the organization's work in gateway cities and underserved populations, established the nationally supported Highland Communities Initiative that led to The Trustees' affiliation with Hilltown Land Trust, and led acquisitions of iconic properties like Mount Warner and Land of Providence. In 2012, she was promoted to Vice President, Program Leadership, leading the mission-based work of The Trustees. As Executive Vice President, she carries responsibility for long-term strategy including five-year agricultural and coastal visions, a ten-year public gardens strategy, the Eliot Initiative organization's priority conservation targets, established a unique data-driven property stewardship approach, and launched Trustees One Waterfront Initiative in Boston. Earlier in her career, Jocelyn worked for Mass Fisheries and Wildlife and the Quebec Labrador Foundation. Jocelyn earned her Masters of Forest Science from the Yale School of the Environment, a MMus from McGill University, and a B.M. from Northwestern University.
Mary Griffin has served as a Commissioner of the MA Department of Fish and Game, as a Regional Director of Mass Audubon, as Executive Director of the Mass Land Trust Coalition, as General Counsel of the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs, and as Chief of Legal Services and Land Protection at the MA Department of Conservation and Recreation. Currently, she is a part-time hearing officer for the MA Department of Fish and Game and a part-time Ranger for the Trustees of Reservations. She is a graduate of Davidson College and Cornell Law School. She recently moved to Orleans, MA and enjoys hiking and exploring nature with her husband Andy and dog Finley.
Laura Johnson is a life-long conservationist with more than 35 years’ experience in non-profit management. Laura was president of Mass Audubon where she spent 14 years leading the country’s largest independent state Audubon organization. Prior to joining Mass Audubon, she worked for 16 years at The Nature Conservancy working both as a lawyer and in positions including Massachusetts state director and northeast region vice president. She is a co-founder and former director of the International Land Conservation Network and now serves on that organization’s Steering Committee. From 2013-2014 she was a Bullard Fellow at the Harvard Forest, Harvard University where she completed a study on private land conservation efforts around the world. Laura served on the Board of Directors of the Land Trust Alliance for 10 years, including 3 years as Chair. She is currently a member of the WGBH Advisors Council and is a Corporation member of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute. Laura has served on the Board of Advisors of the Appalachian Mountain Club (AMC), the Board of Visitors of Mount Auburn Cemetery, and was a founding member of the MA Department of Conservation and Recreation’s Stewardship Council. Laura received a BA in history from Harvard University, and a JD from NYU Law School.
Wayne Klockner, a lifelong conservationist, is recently retired as the State Director of the Mass Chapter of TNC. He has worked for The Nature Conservancy for 38 years in Massachusetts, New York, Maryland, Delaware, and Indonesia. With TNC, he managed large and complex state and country programs that implemented conservation plans to protect and sustainably manage terrestrial and aquatic habitats. He also served as a trustee of The Jeremy and Hannelore Grantham Environmental Trust. Wayne earned a B Sc. Degree in Biology and Environmental Planning and is an avid birder and naturalist. He hopes to continue supporting biodiversity conservation and land protection into the future.
In 2001, Mary McFadden co-founded the Wareham Land Trust and worked to pass the Community Preservation Act, which has helped the town to quadruple its amount of protected land. After twenty years as an all-volunteer land trust, the accredited WLT is hiring its first executive director later this year. Mary is a member of the Mass. Audubon Council and a past board member of the Land Trust Alliance and Coalition for Buzzards Bay. She is co-founder of the Stifler Family Foundation and Maine Mineral and Gem Museum in Bethel, Maine. Mary was corporate counsel for Health Management Resources, a national healthcare company and previously served as Executive Director of the Massachusetts Commission on Judicial Conduct. She and her husband, Larry Stifler, are working with the Conservation Fund and the Mahoosuc Land Trust to place a conservation easement on their land in western Maine.
In 1996, Bernie McHugh took himself out of company operations at W.J. Grosvenor & Co so he could expand his volunteer land & wildlife conservation work. While he remains fully engaged with WJG in strategic planning and financial oversight, his passion remains in promoting conservation projects here and in the Mountain West. Many remember that, in 1999 Bernie made a proposal to the MLTC Steering Committee to serve as its unpaid Coordinator for 18 months to develop communications, outreach and funding mechanisms for it. Bernie’s ‘temporary job’ as MLTC Coordinator ended 12 years later when he stepped down and moved to Jackson Hole, WY to help protect the most intact ecosystem in the Lower 48. Bernie’s conservation efforts are dedicated to the preservation and protection of wildlife and wilderness with appreciation for land conservation as a principal tool. Bernie grew up in Watertown where ‘Silent Spring’ and the effects of environmental poisoning were real. In 1984 he saw his first Wood Duck, which led him into the dark underworld of birdwatching (637 North American species and counting). Bernie has a B.A. in Communications from the Univ. of New Hampshire.
Bob O’Connor is the former Director of the Division of Conservation Services at the Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs where he coordinated land conservation programs, forest policy initiatives and grant programs for communities and non-profits. Prior to this he directed the Watershed Initiative Program for Massachusetts and supervised operations at the Quabbin Reservoir and its watersheds. He holds a BS in forest management from the SUNY College of Environmental Sciences and Forestry and two Master’s degrees from UMass Boston in Business Administration and Conflict Resolution.
Mark H. Robinson has served as Executive Director of The Compact of Cape Cod Conservation Trusts, Inc. since its founding in 1986. The Compact provides technical assistance to 30 local and regional land trusts operating on Cape Cod, contracts with Cape Cod towns for their municipal open space projects and serves as a national model of regional cooperation for land trusts. A graduate of Williams College and the University of Rhode Island, Robinson previously worked in regional government on coastal management and water quality issues. He has served as Chairman of the Barnstable Conservation Commission, Vice-Chair and Treasurer of the Massachusetts Land Trust Coalition, and Vice-President of the Association to Preserve Cape Cod. He recently served as the Governor’s appointee to the Cape Cod National Seashore Advisory Commission. He is an elected Water Commissioner for the Cotuit Fire District and served as Chairman. The US Environmental Protection Agency acknowledged Robinson’s work with a lifetime achievement award in 2009. Robinson lives in Cotuit and has two sons. He is an avid sailor and experienced nature guide.
Loring La Barbera Schwarz, Co-Chair
Loring served most recently as Climate Change Director at Mass Audubon, promoting a program of education, policy, member action. Over 25 years with The Nature Conservancy, Loring established and directed a system of Natural Heritage Programs; led science policy advocacy for the Northeast US; ran its Eastern Caribbean Program; developed its Mediterranean Basin strategy; and led the stellar conservation team for Massachusetts TNC. In 2005, Loring received TNC’s One Conservancy Award for cross- boundary leadership. At The Conservation Fund, she authored the Greenways, a Guide to Planning, Design and Development (Island Press). Loring maintains advisory roles with the Native Plant Trust, Massachusetts LWV, Mass Master Gardeners, and the International Land Conservation Network. She is a founding board member of the Mass Land Trust Coalition, and currently serves on the Boards of the MLTC, Friends of Spannocchia, the Goodnow Library Foundation and Aurelia’s Garden (founding member). Long ago, a BS in Biology from Tufts University, and a Masters of Forest Science from Yale School of the Environment. She lives in Sudbury, in a house often filled with seedlings, and grandkids.
Following 33 years at The Trustees of Reservations, the last 26 as conservation director, Wes Ward taught for a semester at Brandeis with Frank Lowenstein and did some consulting work independently and with Solid Ground in Portland, Oregon. With time relentlessly nipping at his heels Wes felt it was his last chance to live in the Pacific Northwest, to which he had too briefly escaped as a college kid. The Brandeis experience led to a book idea, nourished by his location near the Willamette River. Title: Nature Pushes Back: Land Conservation in a Changing World. The manuscript is nearly ready for a publisher. “I look forward to hitting that Send key this fall and, soon after, volunteering for the Columbia Land Trust and the Coalition of Oregon Land Trusts, both of which are doing great work in this region of extremes.” His self described ‘checkered’ education spanned Middlebury, Schenectady, Amsterdam and Dannemora, NY, and Barnstable. College included BU and Marlboro College, then a Masters in Landscape Architecture and Regional Planning (UMass, Amherst). He added a Mid Career MPA from Kennedy School, where he met his wife, and was inspired by Prof Zyg Plater, the ‘snail darter guy’.
Henry Woolsey, Co-Chair
As Manager of the Natural Heritage and Endangered Species Program in Massachusetts, Henry spent over 30 years building the program. His last major project was overseeing the creation of BioMap2, a comprehensive biodiversity conservation plan for the Commonwealth. As part of Mass Fish & Wildlife he served for over 15 years on the Fish & Wildlife Lands Committee that evaluated and ranked land protection projects. Henry currently serves on the boards of Mass Audubon and Massachusetts Conservation Voters, and he’s a member of the Petersham Conservation Commission and Open Space Committee. He recently completed his tenure on MLTC’s board and also served several terms on Mount Grace Land Conservation Trust’s board. This summer Henry stepped down after serving for more than six years as Vice Chair of the Town of Petersham’s Selectboard. Prior to his work in Massachusetts he was a plant ecologist for the Indiana and then Minnesota Natural Heritage Program. Henry received a Master of Forest Science degree from the Yale School of the Environment