2017-2018 BOARD of DIRECTORS
John Reinhardt was formerly the Branch Chief for Industrial Wastewater Policy and Regulations for the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection. Mr. Reinhardt has 30 years of professional experience in environmental policy analysis, ranging from industrial wastewater, drinking water, toxic substance control strategy development, and hazardous waste. His long term involvement with MyRWA started in 1988 as part-time executive director for 3 years; chairing the Water Quality Committee; serving on the Board of Directors since 1997, including president from 1997 to 1999, as well as the current President since 2007. A long time resident of the Watershed, living in Somerville, John also served on the Somerville Conservation Commission from 1994 to 2013.
Caroline Rogers Broderick is an attorney who serves as Director of Grants Management and Compliance at Partners In Health in Boston. Caroline practiced tax law for many years specializing in public charities and charitable giving, among other areas. She is a long time member of MyRWA, grew up and continues to live on the shores of the Upper Mystic, and served for a year as Executive Director of MyRWA in 2006.
Minka vanBeuzekom brings her experience managing business concerns in the biotech sector to provide skillful accounting and financial management to MyRWA as Treasurer. She has been active in Cambridge environmental issues for more than two decades, including seven years volunteering and working with MyRWA on financial and water quality issues. She holds a Master's degree in public health with concentration in epidemiology & environmental health. As a newly-elected Cambridge City Councilor (2012) and a Cambridge resident for more than 30 years Minka is committed to MyRWA for the sake of her own grandchildren and local residents. She works tirelessly to revitalize the Mystic River, an urban jewel that deserves our attention.
Mark Jacobson has an M.S. in environmental science from UMass/Boston, and is the manager of Charles River Canoe & Kayak and the Weston Ski Track. Mark brings the discipline of a small business leader to help guide MyRWA and promote recreational activity on the area’s water bodies. For the past four years he has organized the paddling portion of the Mystic River Herring Run and Paddle, and in 2006 and 2007, he was the race director for both the paddle and run. Mark is a Lexington resident and has spent much of his life in the Mystic River Watershed.
Members of the board of directors
Shannon Ames is Executive Director of the Low Impact Hydropower Institute (LIHI), now located in Lexington, Massachusetts. LIHI is a voluntary certification program which evaluates hydropower generation facilities against eight criteria having to do with river protection and cultural and historic resources protection. Prior to joining LIHI, Shannon worked as the director of stakeholder and government relations for Brookfield Renewable Energy Group, then based in Marlborough, Massachusetts. Shannon also worked for four years with Massachusetts state senator Pam Resor who was chair of the legislature’s environment committee. Shannon worked on environmental and energy legislation. She was involved in key legislation including the development of a conservation plan for Massachusetts’ ocean resources, land conversation and protection, renewable portfolio standards, and climate change legislation. Combined with her years working in IT project management, non-profit management, and human resources, she has a broad skill set in organizational management. Shannon also has experience on boards including having served for six years as trustee for the Waldorf School of Lexington (two as board president), and as board member for the Independent Power Producers of NY, New England Power Generators Association, the Brookfield US Foundation, and Riverside Boat Club. Shannon has a BA from Colby College and an MBA in public and non-profit management from Boston University.
Joshua Boyce has a BSBA in Finance from Suffolk University and received a PGDip in Environmental Management from the University of Auckland, with particular focus on resource finance and economics. Currently C.O.O. of Africa Impact Group, Joshua has operated in 7 countries to perform social and environmentally focused advisory services and project management since 2012. He brings to the Mystic River Watershed his mix of financial acumen and environmental management as well as a passionate support of improved urban environmental awareness, advocacy, and sustainability.
Debbi Edelstein joined the board in June 2012 to invest in her watershed and offer her experience in conservation, communications, and nonprofit governance. She is the Executive Director of New England Wild Flower Society, the nation's oldest plant conservation organization, and previously served as a senior manager at the Northeast’s regional air quality association; a Vice President of National Audubon Society; head of the Southeastern Massachusetts Bioreserve project for The Trustees of Reservations; and Executive Director of the Taunton River Watershed Alliance. Before changing careers by earning a Master in City Planning degree from MIT, she was a writer and editor in fields as diverse as art, architecture, university communications, and science. Debbi lives in Arlington, where she is a Town Meeting Member.
Michael Fager’s experience as an attorney and naturalist strongly informs his board leadership in water quality, land use and other policy issues that face the Watershed. His ecosystem approach starts with understanding and preserving the often neglected, but surprisingly resilient biodiversity of our watershed and other natural resources. His dedication to the watershed is born of a clear vision of both the opportunities and the responsibility to enhance the quality of the natural environment that is the Mystic River Watershed. In addition to his J.D. from the New England School of Law, Fager has a B.S. in Natural Resource Studies from the University of Massachusetts/Amherst and is an attorney in private practice in Somerville. He is an avid birder, outdoorsman and Red Sox fan.
Karen L. Grossman acts as a catalyst on the Outreach and Fundraising Committees initiating and publicizing projects to educate others, encourage membership, increase involvement, further the mission and enhance the financial stability of MyRWA. She has been a community builder assuming leadership positions in other nonprofit organizations. As President of the Friends of Spy Pond Park since 2004, Karen promotes appreciation and respect for our natural resources. She earned a B.S. from Syracuse University, a M.Ed. from Boston University, and is a retired speech and language pathologist. Karen has been a resident of Arlington since 1974 and lives on the banks of beautiful Spy Pond.
Alex LaCroix grew up directly on the Upper Mystic Lake and has enjoyed kayaking, swimming, fishing, windsurfing and sailing there his entire life. As a graduate of The University of Vermont his sense of environmental stewardship extended beyond the simple beach cleanups he had done each spring and he became more active in the quest to cleanup and restore the Mystic Watershed. In 2001 he founded Mystic Property Maintenance, a local landscaping company with a unique focus on Integrated Pest Management and other green initiatives. Over the course of 10 years he found himself as spokesperson for the watershed and helped his customers bordering the Mystics and Spy Pond develop a clear understanding of how to properly balance having a great looking yard while protecting the sensitive water bodies abutting their properties. He became a certified pesticide applicator in 2004 and used that knowledge to help people avoid hundreds of unnecessary applications of pesticide. In 2011, Alex sold his business and is now a local residential real estate agent with Coldwell Banker in Arlington.