Board of Directors

  • Judith C. Mower, Chair
  • David Bronston, Vice Chair
  • A. Joseph Scott III, Vice Chair
  • John G. Hunter, Secretary
  • Edward Doherty, Treasurer
  • Edward Bergstraesser
  • B. Deborah Cohen
  • James C. Dawson
  • Charles A. Goldberger
  • Kristen Heath
  • Veronica Fitzgerald
  • Robert J. Kafin
  • Seymour H. Knox IV
  • Kevin M. Lanahan
  • Douglas Logan
  • Richard P. Morse
  • Richard Remmer
  • Alex T. Rogers
  • David F. Shaffer
  • Elaine Vedette Tack
  • Megan E. Toohey


Advisory Council

  • Edward A. Ames
  • Kent L. Barwick
  • Anne Perkins Cabot
  • Joan K. Davidson
  • Henry L. Diamond
  • Douglas Durst
  • John Hanna, Jr.
  • Barnabas McHenry
  • Lynden B. Miller
  • Fred Osborn
  • Larry Rockefeller
  • Anne Sidamon-Eristoff
  • Diana Taylor
 
  • PARKS & TRAILS NEW YORK
  • 29 ELK STREET
  • ALBANY, NY 12207
  • ph: 518-434-1583
  • fax: 518-427-0067
  • ptny@ptny.org

 

     

Staff

 
   


Robin Dropkin has been Executive Director of Parks & Trails New York since 2003.  Previous to that she was the organization’s Conservation Director for many years.  Robin knew early on that the environment was the field she wanted to work in, and she pursued both an undergraduate and graduate degree in environmental studies.  Her first professional job was with the Vermont Department of Forests and Parks, then Massachusetts State Parks, followed by a stint at a Berkshire County, Massachusetts land trust.  She is passionate and deeply committed to environmental issues, particularly those concerning land use.  After more than two decades of working in the environmental field, that commitment has only strengthened.  Most of her “fun” activities involve the outdoors: hiking, bicycling, cross country skiing, and gardening. 

AimeeAimee Beaudette is an undergraduate student at RPI pursuing a dual BA in Environmental Science and Biology. As a passionate outdoor educator, Aimee worked as a Fire Tower Interpreter in Waverly, NY. She has extensive experience in event coordination having worked as a conference coordinator at RPI and having helped organize a number of park cleanups through her Alpha Phi Omega service fraternity. 


laura dibettaLaura DiBetta joined the staff in September 2011. She brings nearly 15 years experience working for state, national and international environmental organizations. Prior to coming to PTNY, Laura was a founding staff member and Program Manager at the Land Trust Accreditation Commission, an independent program of the Land Trust Alliance. At the Commission, Laura reviewed organizations for compliance with national standards for nonprofit management and land conservation, as well as managed all communications for the program. Laura previously worked as Communications Associate at Environmental Advocates of New York, working on nearly every major state environmental policy issue, from brownfields and smart growth, to climate change and renewable energy. She holds a Bachelor's degree in public policy and a Graduate Certificate in Urban Policy, both from the State University of New York at Albany.

JonathanJonathan Duda joined the PTNY staff in October of 2014 bringing over a decade’s worth of experience with non-profit organizations ranging from outdoor education centers to New York State historic sites.  A native of the Albany area, he relocated from the Capital Region spending nearly ten years in the foothills of the Catskill Mountains at the Ashokan Center as an instructor, event coordinator, and eventually departing as the Marketing Manager of the thriving outdoor education center and conference facility.  His hometown beckoned him to return in 2010 where he settled into the vibrant Pine Hills neighborhood of Albany.  While balancing out multiple part-time gigs (juggling five at one point!) including a self-created travelling music program called Let’s Drum, his four seasons as the Executive Director of the Grant Cottage State Historic Site introduced him to PTNY.  Aside from his love of making noise as a percussionist, he possesses a lifelong passion for the outdoors (beginning with making his own bike trails as a child in his neighborhood woods).   A road and mountain biker, hiker and curious explorer, and thus a constant patron of our open spaces, Jonathan is excited to share his enthusiasm with Parks & Trails NY.

gregGreg Francese joined Parks & Trails New York as a Project Coordinator in November 2014. Greg has an academic background and personal interest in bicycle and pedestrian planning. Previous to working at PTNY, he earned a Master’s degree in Regional Planning from SUNY Albany and a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from the University of Vermont. While he is a native and current resident of Saratoga, Greg has been fortunate enough to previously call the city of Burlington, Vermont home. In Burlington, he gained a greater appreciation for the important roles parks and bicycle facilities play in enjoying nature. His professional goal is to use his previous experiences and passion for outdoor recreation to help facilitate the growing momentum behind expanding parks and trails across New York State. When he is not sitting behind his desk, Greg enjoys running, biking, hiking, traveling, and, on occasion, trying one of the seemingly infinite numbers of beers brewed in the region.

franFrances Gotcsik, Director of Programs and Policy, has worked with non-profits, local governments, and community groups for more than 25 years.  She began her trails work in 1991 when she became the Local Coordinator for the newly launched 90-mile Genesee Valley Greenway in western New York.  In 1993, Fran helped form the non-profit Friends of the Genesee Valley Greenway to work in partnership with the NYS Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation, NYS Department of Environmental Conservation, five counties, and 17 towns on the development and promotion of the Greenway trail.  In 1996, she became the organization’s Executive Director and served in that capacity until joining Parks & Trails New York in 2003.  Fran has also served as an environmental communications consultant and a local elected official.  She received a B.S. from Cornell University, an M.S. from the University of Rochester, and an M.B.A. from Rochester Institute of Technology.

SandySandy Johnston is a student in the Master’s of Regional Planning program at the University at Albany, concentrating in Transportation and planning to complete a certificate in Urban Policy as well. He arrived in Albany after living previously in Portland, OR; a small town in Iowa; New Haven, CT; Chicago; Jerusalem; and New York City, and so considers himself well-versed in different kinds of urban forms and personalities. Sandy has been having fun with the project of preparing the next edition of the Cycling the Erie Canal guidebook and getting to know Upstate New York through the lens of the Erie Canal corridor. Sandy has previously interned at the Center for Neighborhood Technology in Chicago, and can be found blogging at www.itineranturbanist.wordpress.com and on Twitter @sandypsj.

Margaret McGivernjoined the PTNY staff in November 1999. Margaret has worked in the non-profit sector for more than 20 years and enjoys being part of an organization with a mission to make a change for the better. As director of administrative services, Margaret oversees many of the functioning aspects of the organization including finances, human resources, and information systems. In addition, Margaret maintains the organizations website and oversees the membership program. She received a B.S. in Advertising from Syracuse University and an A.A.S. in Business Administration from Hudson Valley Community College. In her free time, Margaret enjoys being a mom, geing involved in church activites, yoga, dancing, scrabble/word games, and spending time in the great outdoors enjoying nature and all it has to offer.

JamieJames Meerdink (Jamie) joined Parks & Trails New York in January 2014 as a Project Coordinator. A native of Cleveland, Ohio, he received his bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Wisconsin – Madison, and a master’s degree in public policy from Northwestern University. Professionally, Jamie brings experience in organizing, planning, and legislative advocacy. Most recently, he served in the local planning department at the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning, working on a wide range of planning efforts. Prior to joining PTNY, Jamie and his wife lived in Chicago, where they enjoyed attending the theater, cheering on the Chicago Fire soccer team, and going to Lake Michigan beaches. He loves the outdoors, especially when experienced on a bike, as well as reading, movies, and a variety of sports.  (Fun fact: Jamie appeared on the NBC show Chicago PD as an extra - look for the paramedic in Episode 5, Season One.)

Rohan Rohan Parikh is excited to join Parks & Trails New York as Assistant Bike Tour Director. A grassroots organizer and community liaison for progressive candidates and elected officials, Rohan’s academic and professional interests lie in how we design our cities and communities, especially with regard to race, class, and sustainability. Rohan is happiest searching for great good places with a bicycle and a camera, around a campfire with a guitar and old friends, or at the movies with a bowl of popcorn.

tiffanyTiffany Soricelli joined Parks & Trails New York as the Director of Development in May 2013. As an avid hiker and aspiring Adirondack 46er, she is an enthusiastic advocate for New York’s parks and trails and is excited to work to support them. Tiffany holds an Advanced Certificate in Professional Fundraising from Boston University and received her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from SUNY Potsdam. As a passionate development professional she worked in higher education and nonprofit management prior to joining PTNY. She currently serves on the board for Women in Development of Northeastern New York and is a long-standing member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP). When not working or singing professionally in the area, she enjoys hiking, biking, Bikram yoga and trail running.

 
           
 

29 Elk Street w Albany, NY 12207 w (ph) 518-434-1583 w (fax) 518-427-0067 w ptny@ptny.org
Parks & Trails New York is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization as defined by the IRS.