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.

  • Sarah Braymer

    Sarah Braymer joined the Parks & Trails NY team in November 2017. She 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 joined Parks and Trails New York in July 2018, moving 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

    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.

  • 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.

  • Lauren Haberland

    A New York native, Lauren brings over 10 years of non-profit development experience to Parks and Trails New York. She holds an Associate’s degree in Interior Design and a Bachelor’s degree in Creative Studies from the Sage College of Albany. Lauren began her career with the Columbia Land Conservancy specializing in events, outreach, and fund raising. Most recently she held the position of Development Director with Hawthorne Valley Association. Lauren is a life-long resident of Columbia County and enjoys spending her free time outdoors with her children and fiancé making memories.

  • 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.)