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.

  • Sarah Braymer

    Sarah Braymer has always been passionate about the environment and spending time outdoors. Sarah has a B.A. in Landscape Architecture from SUNY ESF. As an undergrad, she spent a semester abroad in Amsterdam, Netherlands, where she experienced the benefits of riding her bike daily. Prior to joining PTNY Sarah worked for Hartgen Archeological Associates, The Capital Region Chamber and The New York Farm Bureau. In her free time enjoys spending time with her husband Eric, walking her dog, playing soccer and reading mysteries.

  • Dylan Carey

    Dylan recently moved back to his native Capital Region after having spent the previous five years living in Brooklyn, NY. Dylan graduated from SUNY Albany in 2010 with a B.A. in Political Science and received his Master’s of Science in City and Regional Planning from the Pratt Institute in 2016. Prior to joining PTNY, Dylan has 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 Gregory is from 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 in 2013, 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, a nonprofit news organization. Anne Russell enjoys running, hiking, yoga, and reading, and being new to the Albany area, she looks forward to 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.

  • James Meerdink

    Jamie is 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.)

  • 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.