Staff

  • Robin Dropkin

    Robin was previously the organization’s Conservation Director. She 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 job was with the Vermont Department of Forests and Parks, then Mass State Parks, followed by work for a Berkshire County, Mass Land Tust. She is deeply committed to environmental issues and land use. Most of her “fun” activities involve the outdoors: hiking, bicycling, cross country skiing, and gardening.

  • Rebecca De La Cruz

    Born and raised on Long Island, and residing in the Hudson Valley for 6 years, Rebecca recently made her way north to Schenectady, NY. She graduated with honors from the State University of New York at New Paltz with a BA in International Relations and Political Science where she developed an interest in political theory and public policy. Prior to joining PTNY, Rebecca was a Research Assistant at Pattern for Progress and an Environmental Program Associate at Scenic Hudson, helping her realize her passion for the outdoors and sustainability. Living in the Catskills only strengthened her appreciation of nature and commitment as an outdoor enthusiast. In her free time, she likes to read, hike with her dog, cook, and play board games.

  • Dylan Carey

    Dylan moved back to his native Capital Region in 2018 after having spent the previous five years living in Brooklyn, NY. A graduate of SUNY Albany in 2010 with a B.A. in Political Science and of the Pratt Institute in 2016 with a M.S. in City and Regional Planning, Dylan previously worked for New York City’s Office of Management and Budget, the Pratt Center for Community Development, and the Office of Congressman Paul Tonko. Dylan is an avid cyclist and loves being able to explore and discover the history tied to the many trails around the state. He also is an enthusiastic baseball, basketball and soccer fan, with a lifelong commitment to his beloved New York Mets and Syracuse Orange.

  • Jonathan Duda

    Jonathan brings 10+ year's worth of experience with non-profit organizations ranging from outdoor education centers to New York State historic sites. Formerly the Marketing Manager, Instructor and Event Coordinator at the Ashokan Center in Olivebridge, NY He is the founder of Let’s Drum, a travelling music program. He is the former Executive Director of the Grant Cottage State Historic Site in Saratoga, NY. He possesses a lifelong passion for the outdoors as a road and mountain biker, hiker and curious explorer, and thus a constant patron of our open spaces.

  • Frances Gotcsik

    Fran, Director of Programs and Policy, has worked with non-profits, local governments, and community groups for more than 30 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. Outside of PTNY, Fran enjoys historic architecture, gardening, jogging, cycling and cross country skiing. 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.

  • Anne Russell Gregory

    Anne Russell is a Charlottesville, VA native and University of Virginia alumna, where she earned her bachelor’s degree in environmental policy and French language and literature, with a minor in urban planning. While at UVA, she interned with The Nature Conservancy and volunteered with the Rivanna Trails Foundation. After graduating from UVA, Anne Russell worked in conservation law and policy at Defenders of Wildlife in Washington, D.C. and then moved back to Charlottesville to further her career in nonprofit fundraising at the Southern Environmental Law Center and Charlottesville Tomorrow. Anne Russell enjoys hiking, yoga, reading, and exploring New York’s many green spaces with her boyfriend and two dogs.

  • Hailey Hamias

    Hailey is overjoyed to be joining Parks & Trails New York as the Arthur V. Savage intern. Hailey is currently a senior at University at Albany, SUNY, pursuing two degrees in Public Policy and Anthropology. Hailey has prior background in environmental advocacy and research on local, state, and university levels. She hopes to continue working in environmental conservation and sustainability after graduation. When she’s not interning, she enjoys hiking, reading, riding her bicycle, learning about beekeeping, and admiring dogs.

  • Margaret McGivern

    Margaret has worked in the non-profit sector for more than 25 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, being involved in church activities as well as volunteering in the community, yoga, pilates, dancing, scrabble/word games, and spending time in the great outdoors enjoying nature and all it has to offer.

  • Paulina Murray

    A native of the Capital Region, Paulina is a recent graduate of Siena College where she earned a B.S. in Environmental Conservation with hopes to begin her graduate studies in the near future. Her past work focused on studying the invasive plant species of New York State with the objective to direct research initiatives and communicate with public and private landowners to provide potential management solutions. Now, Paulina is excited to join us as our new Arthur V. Savage Intern. Outside of the lab and office, Paulina enjoys hiking, cycling, kayaking and long walks with her Chocolate Lab, Coco.

  • Lisa Pepe

    Lisa is a native North Fork Long Islander. She graduated with honors from Stony Brook University in 2007 with a BA in English and Art History and in 2015 completed her certificate in Digital Arts and Graphic Design from the New School. Prior to joining PTNY, Lisa worked for six years as the Events and Design Manager for Peconic Land Trust in Southampton, NY and most recently was the Assistant Director at Hallockville Museum Farm in Riverhead, NY. Lisa also spent a year in Northern Ireland living and working at a peace and reconciliation center devoted to fostering communication and peace between people and people and the earth. A self-confessed NPR addict and podcast listener, she is looking forward to exploring up-state green spaces with her fiancé, their tiny dog, Lola and giant rabbit, Lily-Waffles.

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