Board of Directors

Kevin Berend

Board Member

Kevin Berend is an environmental scientist and freelance writer from Rochester, New York. His first encounter with the Adirondacks came as a DEC intern in the High Peaks, where he remained for two more summers as a summit steward with the Adirondack Mountain Club. In his graduate research, he studied the ecology of alpine snowbank communities on Mt. Washington, New Hampshire, with a focus on how climate change may affect sensitive plant populations. He is currently working for Grand Staircase Escalante Partners in Escalante, Utah.

Kevin Berend

Lars Botzojorns

President

Growing up in Massachusetts, Lars took frequent family hiking trips as he climbed all of the New England 4,000 footers. After both working in the AMC’s hut system in the White Mountains in the 80’s, he and his wife, Jennifer, moved to Vermont. He immediately adopted the alpine portion of the Sunset Ridge Trail on Mount Mansfield. He received a Masters Degree in Natural Resources Planning from UVM, including a summer collecting visitor use data at Acadia National Park, and an internship with the Adirondack Nature Conservancy supporting the Summit Steward program. Lars became the Green Mountain Club’s Director of Field Programs in 1992. His time with the Club included production of a regional newsletter focused on the alpine zone, entitled Prenanthes, and hosting the regional alpine stewardship gathering. He also had a six month stint as Interim Executive Director. Upon leaving GMC in 1999, Lars became Executive Director of Keeping Track, a regional organization devoted to wildlife conservation planning and education. In 2004, another passion took hold and he changed careers to education, and he now works at the Burke (VT) Town School. He did not leave his career in natural resources behind, as he has taught third and fourth graders about forest ecology and Vermonters’ interaction with the land. Lars served as chairperson of the Bolton (VT) Conservation Commission and over ten years led efforts to protect and manage the town’s 400 acre Preston Pond Conservation Area. He and Jennifer live in Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom.

Lars Botzojorns

Ilana Copel

Board Member

Ilana (she/her) is the New England Office Administrator and Outreach Coordinator for the Appalachian Trail Conservancy, where she works across multiple program areas to support ATC staff and regional trail clubs from Maine to Connecticut. Her prior work experience includes 10 years of field-based education and trail work for conservation organizations including the Green Mountain Club, the Vermont Youth Conservation Corps, and the Student Conservation Association. Ilana earned her B.S. in Natural Resources from the University of Vermont, where her interest in public land management began. She now lives in the shadow of the Green Mountains and enjoys hiking and skiing throughout the Northeast.

Ilana Copel

Alicia DiCocco

Secretary

Alicia is the Director of Development & Communications at the Green Mountain Club where she works to raise funds to maintain and protect the Long Trail while employing communications strategies to elevate the importance of this work and providing opportunities for individuals to connect with the trail. She has previously worked in development at Spectrum Youth & Family Services and various environmental education non-profits in Massachusetts. Alicia lives in Vermont with her family and in her free time you can find her exploring the Green Mountains by foot or ski.

Alicia DiCocco

Nancy Ritger

Treasurer

Nancy Ritger has devoted her career to promoting an understanding of mountain ecosystems.  As an interpretive naturalist, guide, and program manager for Appalachian Mountain Club she focuses on educating outdoor enthusiasts of all ages. Through her works she instructs courses on alpine and boreal forest ecology, provides interpretive skill development, manages volunteers, and creates activity books for the Junior Naturalist Program in an effort to cultivate strong connections between individuals and the natural world. In her free time she can be found hiking, biking, or skiing in Crawford Notch where she resides with her husband, Mark and family in the White Mountains.  Nancy is proud to be the 2015 recipient of the Guy Waterman Alpine Stewardship Award.

Nancy Ritger

Sean Robinson

Vice President

Sean worked as an Adirondack High Peaks Summit Steward in 1999 and 2000. He received his M.S. at SUNY-ESF and his Ph.D. at the University at Albany, specializing in bryology (the study of mosses, liverworts, and hornworts). In 2010, he joined the Biology Department at SUNY Oneonta. He teaches courses in Botany including Bryology, Vascular Plant Systematics, and Dendrology. His research is focused on understanding how mode of reproduction in plants, particularly bryophytes, affects colonization of new habitats, range expansions, and gene flow within and between island populations. The alpine summits of northeastern North America have been the primary site for his work. Sean also conducts research focused on vegetation dynamics in the Adirondack alpine.

Sean Robinson

Paul Sannicandro

Board Member

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Laura Waterman

Board Member

Laura was married to Guy for nearly 30 years. They undertook the trail maintenance and stewardship of the Franconia Ridge in New Hampshire’s White Mountains in 1980. It was through this work of nearly two decades that they formed a close attachment to the Alpine areas of the Northeast, which became central in their lives and in their writing. The books they wrote together on the mountain history and environmental issues of the Northeast include Backwood Ethics and Wilderness Ethics. Laura now resides in East Corinth, Vermont.
Visit Laura's website to learn more about her work.

Laura Waterman

Kayla White

Board Member

Kayla White is the Adirondack Mountain Club’s (ADK) Stewardship Manager. She has worked for ADK for a decade and manages the Adirondack High Peaks Summit Stewardship Program which works to protect New York’s alpine ecosystem. She is passionate about protecting wild places and in 2019, received the Emerging Alpine Steward Award. Serving on the board of Adirondack Wilderness Advocates since 2018, Kayla became the board chair in 2021. She enjoys paddling, skiing, gardening, yoga, and fermenting things. She lives in Jay, NY with her husband and dog, Yodel the Brave.

Kayla White

Past Board Members

Brendan Wiltsie

Will Kemeza

Ryan J. Harvey

Seth Jones (2015-2020)

June Hammond (2017-2019)

Kim Votta (2014-2019)

Peter Palmiotto (2014-2018)

Charlie Jacobi (2011-2016)

Matt Larson (2011-2016)

Waterman Fund Board 2020