Patrick Herron joined MyRWA as the Water Quality Monitoring Director in 2009 and became Deputy Director in 2014. In September 2016, Patrick took on the role of Executive Director. During his tenure with the organization, Patrick worked with staff to initiate many new programs for the association including the water chestnut removal program, river herring monitoring, Mystic Greenways and phosphorus TMDL. During his time at the association, he has written and managed many of the grants that have underpinned this work and established collaborations across the watershed. He serves as co-chair of the EPA Mystic Water Quality Science Subcommittee and was awarded the EPA Merit Award in 2012. Prior to joining MyRWA, Patrick completed a doctorate in plant ecology at the University of Connecticut in 2007 and held postdoctoral positions at Woods Hole Marine Biological Laboratory and the Rowland Institute at Harvard University. Outside of work, he chases his children in and out of the water at Shannon Beach and Spy Pond among other places.
Julie Wormser joined MyRWA as its Deputy Director in July 2018 and leads its Climate Resilience program. Prior to joining MyRWA, she ran a consulting business and was a senior policy director at a variety of non-profit organizations including Boston Harbor Now, Environmental Defense Fund, Appalachian Mountain Club, and The Wilderness Society. As Executive Director of The Boston Harbor Association, Julie was instrumental in drawing attention to Boston's need to prepare for coastal flooding from extreme storms and sea level rise. She coauthored Preparing for the Rising Tide and Designing With Water, and co-led the Boston Living with Water international design competition with the City of Boston and Boston Society of Architects. Julie holds a BA in biology from Swarthmore College and an MPA from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government. She lives in the Mystic watershed with her husband, daughter, well-behaved chickens and misunderstood cats.
Development AND Communications Director
Michelle Liebetreu joined the Mystic River Watershed Association as its first ever fundraising staff in 2016. She has been raising funds and awareness for environmental not-for-profits for the last 12 years—including at the Cloud Forest School in Monteverde, Costa Rica and the Alliance for the Great Lakes in Chicago, IL. A resident of Somerville, she is excited to help her local watershed. A graduate of DePauw University in Biology and Psychology, she enjoys swimming in Mystic Lakes, as well as running along the river.
MYSTIC GREENWAYS DIRECTOR
Amber Christoffersen joined the Mystic River Watershed Association in May of 2016. She is a designer and planner who has worked on active transportation, open space and affordable housing projects in the Boston area and around the country. She is leading the participatory planning process for dozens of path and park projects across the watershed. She holds a Master’s Degree in Landscape Architecture from the University of Georgia and a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics from the College of William and Mary. As an avid long distance runner, she is constantly exploring the region's many waterfronts and parklands, looking for opportunities to make them more beautiful and accessible.
Andy Hrycyna joined MyRWA in April 2014. Andy comes to MyRWA from the Sustainability and Environmental Management Program at Harvard Extension School, where he received a master’s in ecological management. Andy discovered a passion for ecology and environmental protection mid-career, after many years in non-profit book publishing. He now leads MyRWA's water quality monitoring program and restoration efforts across the watershed. He enjoys biking and kayaking with his wife and two daughters. Andy is a passionate birder (unlike his wife and kids). Send bird-related watershed news his way!
communications AND oUTREACH Manager
Erica Wood joined MyRWA in January of 2018. Erica hails from Atlanta, GA and has made her way up the East Coast working on various community development and sustainability projects. Most recently, she led community engagement and advocacy work at a food access and environmental non-profit in North Central Massachusetts. Erica studied sustainable global development and community food systems at Virginia Tech. When she’s not working, you will find Erica gardening, exploring Boston, or embarking on outdoor adventures with friends and family.
EDUCATION PROGRAM MANAGER
Marian Miller joined Mystic River Watershed Association as a volunteer in the fall of 2017. A life-long educator, she brings a passion for sharing knowledge, creating interesting, interactive STEM content for audiences of all ages, and helping people understand ecological issues that impact their own communities. Marian holds a Masters in Education from Tufts University. A city lover, supporter of parks – tiny and grand, outdoor enthusiast, wildlife watcher, hiker, long-haul walker, and adventurer – the world is an amazing place – eyes open! An avid fan of water all its forms, Marian is excited to make the Mystic the focus of her work!
Stormwater Project manager
Catherine Pedemonti joined the Mystic River Watershed Association in April of 2018. With a Masters of Science in Ecological Design from the Conway School of Landscape Design, Catherine has worked for a variety of organizations dedicated to the stewardship of our public lands, including the Emerald Necklace Conservancy, Friends of Fresh Pond Reservation, and Mass Audubon's Drumlin Farm. A resident of West Medford, Catherine enjoys spending time walking, biking, and canoeing along the Mystic with her wife, two kids, and puppy.
Kimberly Provo is a resident of Woburn and has lived in the Mystic River Watershed most of her life. She has an Accounting degree from Newbury College. She is currently the Office Manager and has been with MyRWA since 2006. She has had varied professional experiences including an assistant Montessori Elementary teacher at the Stoneybrook Montessori School in North Chelmsford as well as a Human Resource Representative for UPS in Chelmsford for many years. She enjoys gardening and spending time with her family.
2018 - 2019 Board of Directors
Lawrence (Larry) Feldman, Ph.D, LSP is a senior principal at the environmental and geotechnical consulting firm of GZA GeoEnvironmental, Inc. His work has focused primarily on the assessment and remediation of sites contaminated by oil and hazardous material, and on providing litigation support in cases involving such sites. He is an appointee to DEP’s Hazardous Waste Site Cleanup Advisory Committee. He served on the Board of Registration of Hazardous Waste Site Cleanup Professionals (“Licensed Site Professionals”) from its creation in 1992 until 2004, and served on the Board of the LSP Association from 2004 until 2009, including a term as President. He also serves on the Public Affairs Committee of the Massachusetts chapter of NAIOP, the Commercial Real Estate Development Association. Dr. Feldman has lectured at programs presented by a number of legal and other professional organizations.
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. A 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.
MEMBERS OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Shannon Ames is Executive Director of the Low Impact Hydropower Institute (LIHI), now located in Lexington, Massachusetts. Prior to joining LIHI, Shannon worked as the director of stakeholder and government relations for Brookfield Renewable Energy Group. 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.
Nasser Brahim is a Senior Planner and Climate Change Practice Lead at Kleinfelder, a multidisciplinary engineering and design firm in Boston. He helps communities and critical infrastructure owners prepare for climate change by implementing vulnerability assessments, resiliency plans, and capital and operational improvements. He holds a Master of Environmental Management from the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies and focused as an undergraduate on ecology and integrated water resources management. He lives in Squantum with his wife, Megan, daughter, Leila, and dog, Dexy.
David Burson is an architect with over forty years of planning, design and project management experience in both private and public sector practice. His work has focused primarily in the areas of institutional facilities programming, design and campus planning, and urban transportation and infrastructure project planning, design and joint development. Mr. Burson is a Senior Project Manager with Partners HealthCare Real Estate and Facilities, for whom he provided design, permitting and construction oversight for their new Administrative Campus at Assembly Row in Somerville. He was also Partners’ project lead for the Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital development in the Charlestown Navy Yard, and the Mass General North Shore Center for Outpatient Care in Danvers, MA. He previously served as architectural principal for the Wallace Floyd Design Group in Boston, and as VP for Campus Development for the Asian University for Women in Chittagong, Bangladesh.
Meera Deean is an urban designer with more than a decade of experience in the private, public, and nonprofit sectors. She is currently a Senior Architect/Urban Designer at the Boston Planning and Development Agency where she conducts design reviews for building projects, prepares urban design studies, and provides urban design leadership and support for the planning department . Previously, she was Boston Harbor Now’s Director of Planning and a senior designer at Utile, Inc. Meera holds a B.A. in Art History from Williams College and a Masters in Architecture from the Harvard Graduate School of Design.
Rosalyn (Rose) Fennell has been the Deputy Regional Director for the Northeast Region of the National Park Service since January 2016. She is one of two deputy regional directors assigned to the region. Based in Boston, she oversees operations for parks and programs located in New England, including upstate and central New York, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Vermont and Maine. Prior to joining the National Park Service, Rose was a Washington DC lobbyist working on issues of environmental justice, wilderness, and youth employment in the field of conservation.
Karen L. Grossman acts as a catalyst on the Outreach and Development 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.
Erik Hansen serves as the Chief Sustainability Officer at Wynn Resorts. In that role he leads the development of the global sustainability strategy and energy procurement goals for the company. His experience extends across all facets of environmental protection and government regulation and he was instrumental in instituting several large-scale sustainability and renewable energy projects at Wynn Resorts. Encore Boston Harbor, which is part of Wynn Resorts brand, is opening in June of this year. The United States Environmental Protection Agency recently awarded an Environmental Merit Award to Encore Boston Harbor in recognition of their construction of a living shoreline at this site, as well as the $68 million remediation of the site.
Mark Jacobson is a resident of Lexington and General Manager of Charles River Recreation, which operates boat rental locations on the Mystic and Charles River. He has an MS in Environmental Science from UMASS Boston and has been a longstanding advocate for restoration of the Mystic River and promoting opportunities for recreation on the river. He previously served on the board of MyRWA from 2006-2018. He has helped organize the Mystic River Herring Run and Paddle for the past fourteen years. During the past year, he has served on the Nominating and Governance Committees.
Barbara Kessner Landau is an attorney with Noble, Wickersham & Heart LLP where she specializes in environmental and land use law, and design and construction law. Barbara assists municipalities, property owners, and non-profit organizations with environmental planning and compliance, including climate resilience, brownfields cleanup and redevelopment, stormwater management, and wetlands compliance. Barbara previously served as general counsel for a brownfields developer; she worked as Brownfields Coordinator for MassDEP designing the Massachusetts Brownfields Act; and as Assistant General Counsel for the MA Executive Office of Economic Affairs. Barbara is committed to addressing the need for climate resilience while maintaining access to, vibrancy and water quality of the Mystic River and other local waterways.
Rick Olick can regularly be found on the banks of the Mystic River, Horn Pond or the Mystic Lakes photographing the spectacular wildlife including bald eagles, great horned owls, barred owls, various hawks and waterfowl. Rick brings a wealth of experience in former roles as Federal attorney, Federal administrative judge, as a trainer in mediation and conciliation techniques and Directing Attorney at a non-profit organization serving refugees and immigrants. Rick has recently completed training to become a part-time nature educator at Mass Audubon Habitat. Rick holds a B.A. from Tufts University, a J.D. from Emory University School of Law, and an M.A. in Teaching English as a Second Language from UMASS Boston.
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 President from 2007-2018. A long time resident of the Watershed, living in Somerville, John also served on the Somerville Conservation Commission from 1994 to 2013.
Mark Rodgers has been working locally in the energy communications field for twenty years. Mark is a Communications Manager at Exelon Generation which owns and operates two energy facilities along the Mystic River in Everett -- both facilities are longtime supporters and sponsors of MyRWA. Previously, Mark was the Communications Director of Cape Wind, the nation’s first proposed offshore wind energy project. Mark is a graduate of The George Washington University and is a lifelong Massachusetts resident.
Karl Touet has over 30 years of extensive experience dedicated to the environmental field including brokering and underwriting environmental liability insurance, environmental due diligence, consulting, and environmental risk liability transfer associated with brownfield real estate transactions. Currently, Karl is a principal at the environmental insurance brokerage firm of Twin Elms, LLC where he structures and places environmental insurance policies for a variety of complex real estate transactions, remediation projects, Brownfields redevelopments and M&A deals throughout the U.S. and Canada. He is a member of the Environmental Business Council and other similar organizations.
Joshua Weinberg is Senior Special Counsel in the Division of Investment Management of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, and a resident of Arlington. He is also a part-time lecturer in the Graduate Program in Banking & Financial Law at the Boston University School of Law. Joshua holds a J.D. from Boston University School of Law and a B.S. (cum laude) from Tufts University. Joshua enjoys kayaking with his wife and two sons on Spy Pond in Arlington, as well as exploring other natural areas along the Mystic.