Staff

  • Robin Dropkin

    Executive Director of PTNY since 2003, 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.

  • Jessica Collier

    Jessica Collier joined PTNY in July 2016 as a Program Coordinator. Previously, Jessica worked as a Senior Associate for Public Policy at the New York State Association of Health Care Providers. Jessica received her Certificate in Nonprofit Management and Leadership from Rockefeller College at SUNY Albany in December 2015 and a Bachelor’s degree in Communication and Sociology from SUNY at Buffalo. After undergraduate school, Jessica served as an AmeriCorps VISTA for two years, developing her passion for nonprofits. Jessica’s love for the outdoors stems from growing up on a family farm in Cooperstown, NY. In her free time, Jessica enjoys running, kayaking, playing on recreational sports teams, competing in a 70-mile canoe race and spending time outdoors. After attending undergraduate college in Buffalo, NY, Jessica is now an avid Buffalo Bills fan.

  • Jonathan Duda

    Joining the PTNY staff in 2014, 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.

  • Meegan Finnegan

    Meegan joined PTNY in 2015, bringing with her more than 20 years of experience in marketing, development and communications. Previously, she was the Membership Director at WAMC Northeast Public Radio where she was responsible for stewarding and growing the stations membership and managing their annual fundraising activities. Prior to that, Meegan was the Senior Manager of Outreach and Communications for the Agricultural Stewardship Association, a nonprofit land trust dedicated to protecting farmland. She’s also held marketing and communications positions in higher education and academic book publishing. Meegan enjoys spending as much time in the great outdoors as possible, particularly if it involves gardening, hiking or swimming. She has a BA in comparative literature from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

  • Greg Francese

    Greg joined Parks & Trails New York in November 2014. 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 current resident of Albany, 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.

  • 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.

  • Alison Jenkins

    Growing up in South Burlington, VT, Alison gained an appreciation for nature and outdoor recreation. After moving to Albany to go to school 15 years ago, her career has ranged from working for United University Professions, the City of Albany, and Environmental Advocates of New York. She achieved a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from St. Michael’s College and a Masters in Public Policy from the Rockefeller College at SUNY Albany. Alison enjoys being active and spending time with her family. She likes a good murder mystery, chocolate and the beach. Her goal is to visit all the national parks in the United States.

  • Margaret McGivern

    Margaret joined 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, 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.

  • James 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.)

  • Maggie Pugliano

    Maggie Pugliano joins us as our newest Arthur V. Savage intern. She is currently a student at Siena College pursuing a B.A. in Environmental Studies. After graduation, Maggie plans to continue working in the environmental conservation and advocacy field. At this time, she volunteers at Capital Roots and the Mohawk Humane Society. Maggie enjoys spending time outdoors exploring new hiking trails and camping locations.

  • Krista Ricke

    Krista is currently going into her senior year at Marist College, pursuing a B.S. in Environmental Science & Policy, as well as a minor in Political Science. Her long held appreciation for nature can be attributed to growing up spending weekends in the Adirondacks, as well as years spent camping and volunteering with the Girl Scouts. In her free time, she enjoys reading, traveling, and exploring new hiking trails with her family and their dog.