Our team combines education and deep experience in forestry, conservation, land trusts, and wilderness issues with valuable experience in other disciplines such as development, marketing, finance, and administration. We share a deep belief in the importance of NEFF’s mission and we are proud to be at the service of the forest conservation and forestry communities.
Robert Perschel | Executive Director
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Bob joined NEFF in April 2012. Previously Bob was the Eastern region director for the Forest Stewards Guild. In his 40 years as an environmental professional he has worked on forestry, large landscape conservation, and wilderness issues. Bob worked for the forest industry before establishing his own forestry consulting business and founding the Land Ethic Institute. He is an original co-founder of the Forest Stewards Guild. Bob has a master’s degree in forestry from the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies and a psychology degree from Yale College.
Sophie Anthony | Conservation Project Manager
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Sophie joined NEFF in November 2017 and is now the Conservation Project Manager at NEFF. She focuses on land protection projects in southern New England and supports NEFF’s land protection efforts through communications with private landowners. Sophie also manages the implementation of the Pooled Timber Income Fund, which uses planned giving principles to draw new lands into protection. Sophie graduated from Connecticut College in 2015 with a BA in Environmental Science and she gained experience in conservation during her time at the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation, where she started out as a Directors' Fellow and was then promoted to a project manager.
David Ayers | Development Communications Specialist
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David joined NEFF in October 2022 as Development Associate and then transitioned to Development Communications Specialist in February 2023. In this role, he works closely with the development team and other staff to help achieve NEFF’s overall fundraising goals. He has a B.A. in Writing, Literature & Publishing from Emerson College and an M.A. in Integrated Marketing Communication from Marist College. After an 11-year career in higher education, David is excited to bring his talents to the conservation field, a close passion of his.
Andrew Bentley | Conservation Easement Director
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Andrew joined NEFF in July 2017 as its Conservation Easement Manager, and oversees 150 conservation easements that protect more than 1.2 million acres of mostly private forestland around New England. He became Conservation Easement Director in spring 2022. Prior to joining NEFF, Andrew worked for seven years in the Conservation Restriction Stewardship program at The Trustees of Reservations as part of a team responsible for stewarding more than 400 Massachusetts easement properties. Andrew is finishing his master’s degree in Regional Planning at UMass Amherst, with a study focus in land use and natural resources conservation.
William Brune | Chief Conservation Officer
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Will joined NEFF in 2017 to lead NEFF’s land conservation efforts across New England. He comes to NEFF with 24 years of conservation experience, including 20 years with The Nature Conservancy working in Maine, the Adirondacks, Zambia, and Indonesia. He holds a B.A. in Environmental Studies from St. Lawrence University.
Bonnie Cody | Accounting Assistant
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Bonnie joined NEFF in January 2022. She has a bachelor’s degree in Accounting from Franklin Pierce College and 30 years of accounting experience in various industries, including real estate management, food service, residential and commercial painting, and medical.
Andrea Colnes | Deputy Director and Climate Fellow
802-522-4347 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Andrea (Andi) joined NEFF's staff in December 2021 and focuses on high-impact, nature-based climate solutions through the management and protection of New England's forests. Andi has led strategic campaigns focused on energy, large-scale land conservation, and sustainable forestry over a 30-year career, most recently as the Director for Global Green Bank Development at the Coalition for Green Capital. She also previously served as a member of the NEFF Board of Directors, and as the founding Executive Director of the Northern Forest Alliance.
Thiciane Costa | Senior Accountant
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Thiciane Costa joined NEFF in May 2019. Prior to joining NEFF, Thiciane worked 2.5 years as a nonprofit auditor for a local CPA firm. She holds a B.A. in Accounting from the University of Massachusetts Lowell.
Kim Doherty | IT/HR Administrator
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Kim Doherty joined NEFF in August 2017. Before joining NEFF, she was a Webmaster for a nonprofit in D.C. and a research analyst for several organizations dealing with energy conservation and climate change. Kim has a B.A. in Political Science and an M.S. in Environmental Studies/Policy and Administration.
Penny Flynn | Development Manager
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Penny has been with NEFF since 1995 and currently is the development manager. She is involved with all aspects of NEFF’s fund-raising program, which secures the funding necessary to pursue our mission. Prior to joining NEFF, Penny worked in commercial and residential real estate for more than 10 years. Penny holds a bachelor’s degree in marketing/management from Bentley College.
Maria Garcia | Director of Finance & Administration
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Maria is responsible for all of NEFF's financial functions, including accounting, audit, treasury, corporate finance, and investor relations. She also oversees and manages all human resources, IT, and facilities activities. Her career spans more than 30 years of varied experience in financial management, business leadership, and corporate strategy. Before joining the New England Forestry Foundation in 2003, Maria served as the Accounting Manager for JP Morgan Investor Services in their investment management division based in Boston.
Alec Giffen | Senior Forest Science and Policy Fellow
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Alec joined NEFF in 2012, and also currently works for the Clean Air Task Force. In addition to representing NEFF in Maine, he leads projects like determining how New England's forests could be managed to mitigate climate change, and defining NEFF's Exemplary Forestry standards. Alec previously served as director of the Maine Forest Service and has more than 40 years of experience in natural resource planning and program administration. Alec has an M.S. from the University of California, with an emphasis in ecology, and a B.S. in Forest Science from the University of Maine.
Beth Gula | Stewardship Manager
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Beth joined NEFF in October 2017 to support conservation easement and community forest stewardship. Beth’s introduction to land trusts was as an AmeriCorps member at Sudbury Valley Trustees in eastern Massachusetts from 2012-2013. Prior to joining NEFF, Beth managed the Appalachian Mountain Club's Bay Circuit Trail volunteer program outside Boston. She has a B.A. in Biology from Oberlin College.
Meaghan Guyader | Executive Assistant
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Meaghan joined NEFF in February 2022 as Executive Assistant. She has a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from Rutgers University and earned her Ph.D and M.S. in Civil and Environmental Engineering at the Colorado School of Mines researching emerging contaminants. She is excited to strike a new path into the world of conservation and gain a better understanding of the relationship between land stewardship and the wellbeing of our shared environment.
Lisa Hayden | Director of Outreach & Engagement
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Lisa joined NEFF in 2014, leading the MassConn initiative with multiple partners in southern Massachusetts and northeastern Connecticut to reach unengaged landowners about conserving and managing their land. Since 2021, she has been serving in a NEFF liaison role as Administrative Agent for the Mohawk Trail Woodlands Partnership, focused on forest conservation and nature-based economic development in the northwest corner of Massachusetts. She previously worked with The Nature Conservancy supporting climate change policy and communications. Lisa holds a B.A. in journalism from the University of Connecticut and an M.A. in urban and environmental policy and planning from Tufts University.
Tinsley Hunsdorfer | Communications Manager
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Tinsley joined NEFF in fall 2017, and manages NEFF’s public-facing communications efforts, leads organization-wide strategic communications planning, and serves as lead writer for NEFF’s major publications. On a day-to-day basis, she oversees the organization's newsletter, website, blog, social media presence, email newsletter, and various outreach materials. She has a B.A. in English from Grinnell College and specializes in nonprofit environmental communications. She previously worked for the National Audubon Society, Audubon Society of Portland and Oregon Zoo.
Jacqueline Perry O’Connor | Fundraising Consultant
Jackie O’Connor has more than 35 years of experience in senior-level fund development and administrative positions with nonprofit conservation organizations throughout New England. She has worked with The Nature Conservancy, Manomet, the Appalachian Mountain Club and numerous land trusts in Maine. Jackie has an exceptional record of accomplishment in capital and annual fund-raising, volunteer board development, community and press relations, and strategic planning. She served as consulting capital campaign director for NEFF’s groundbreaking Pingree Forest Partnership land conservation campaign in Maine, which raised more than $30 million. She has a B.S. from UMass Boston and attended The Museum School in Boston.
Christine Parrish | Western Maine Project Specialist
Christine leads NEFF's Western Maine Habitat Restoration initiative, which provides technical assistance to family and nonprofit landowners on improving native wildlife habitat and building climate resilience using Exemplary Forestry. She has a degree in Natural Resources from Cornell University and spent a decade working as a wildlife, forestry and fisheries biotechnician for federal agencies and working in natural resources policy before earning a master's in writing and communication. Prior to joining NEFF in 2019, Christine spent 20 years as a journalist. She is based in rural Maine.
Colleen Ryan | Forest Scientist
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Colleen is a forest ecologist with 20 years of experience synthesizing, interpreting and communicating complex scientific information. Prior to joining NEFF in fall 2022, she had a private consulting business specializing in ecological modeling and science communication. Her previous work has included building ecosystem models for the LANDFIRE program, coordinating Maine’s Beginning with Habitat program, forest restoration for The Nature Conservancy, and research on human-wildlife conflicts for the Wildlife Conservation Society. Colleen has a B.A. in biology from Harvard University and a Master of Forestry from the Yale School of the Environment.
Donna Sibley | Receptionist / Administrative Assistant
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Donna joined NEFF in March 2004 as the administrative assistant for the Littleton office, working part time. In 2017, she left Oak Meadow Montessori in Littleton, where she had been teaching since 1998, to join NEFF on a full-time basis. Prior to joining NEFF, Donna had also worked for the nonprofit Hudson Youth Center.
Jennifer Shakun | Bioeconomy Initiative Director
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Jennifer leads NEFF’s work to develop the forest-based bioeconomy in New England—promoting wood-based materials as a lower carbon, ecologically sound alternative material sourced from climate-beneficial forestry practices. She advances this work through science, program implementation, outreach and strategic partnerships along the forest products supply chain. Before joining NEFF in fall 2019, she was an Applied Forest Scientist at Manomet working with large landowners to reduce climate-related risk in North American forests. Prior to that, she was a Project Manager at INRS, LLC, working on wood energy, resource sustainability, and landowner outreach. Jennifer has a B.S. in Biology from Saint Michael’s College and dual master’s degrees in Forestry and Environmental Management from Duke’s Nicholas School of the Environment. She is also a Certified Forester.
Lindsay Sherman | Development Associate
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Lindsay joined NEFF in March 2023 as the Development Associate. She has over 10 years of experience in nonprofit development with a focus on database management and donor relations. She has done previous work for the New Hampshire SPCA and the Wildlife Conservation Society. Lindsay has a B.S. degree in Hospitality Management from the University of New Hampshire.
Catrina Vear | Grant Writer & CSC Project Coordinator
Catrina joined NEFF in April 2023 as the Grant Writer & Climate-Smart Commodities (CSC) Project Coordinator. In this role, Catrina is responsible for coordinating the many moving parts that make up NEFF’s $30 million Climate-Smart Commodities grant from the USDA, and facilitates timely completion, documentation and reporting for the grant. She also researches and pursues new federal funds to empower NEFF’s mission. Prior to joining NEFF, Catrina built her development, grants management, and project management skills at nonprofit organizations with multiple focus areas, including international human rights and animal welfare, as well as at a museum of science and nature. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Boston University.
Corey Wrinn | Stewardship Associate
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Corey joined NEFF in July 2022 to support both Community Forest and conservation easement monitoring and stewardship projects. He was a TerraCorps Member at Mount Grace Land Conservation Trust as the Stewardship Coordinator from 2019-2020, and then worked with The Trustees as the Conservation Restriction Stewardship Technician before joining NEFF. Corey has a B.S. in Natural Resource Conservation from UMass Amherst.