Meet our Board and Staff

Gay Mills was a 2015 Finalist in the Athena Awards, the annual prize of the Women's Council, an affiliate of the Rochester Business Alliance and awarded to those who are recognized for their exceptional leadership. Gay has been involved in the Trust since its founding in 1989, first as a volunteer, then in 1998, as Executive Director. In addition to her duties as director, Gay is a member of the New York State Land Trust Alliance Advisory Committee and chair of the Corbett's Glen Advisory Council in Brighton and the Gosnell Big Woods Preserve Planning Committee in Webster. Also, she has served on the NYSDEC Region 8 Open Space Committee and the Open Space Committee for the Town of Greece. Previously, she worked as a teacher/naturalist at Cumming Nature Center and prior to that at the Connecticut Audubon Society. Active in her community, she has served on the Environmental Conservation Board and the Planning Board in the Town of Mendon, and more recently on the Village of Honeoye Falls Master Plan review committee. Currently she serves as co-chair of the Princeton Club of Rochester's Summer Internship Program and is on the Princeton Club of Rochester's Princeton Prize in Race Relations committee. At Genesee Land Trust, Gay directs a full time staff of three and part time staff of two. She welcomes any questions you might have about the work of Genesee Land Trust, protecting your land or becoming a member.

Lorna Wright began volunteering with the Genesee Land Trust as a volunteer in 2005 assisting with special events, easement monitoring, and land trust accreditation preparation and joined the staff in 2013 as the Director of Conservation Programs. Prior to joining the Genesee Land Trust full time, Lorna worked with The Nature Conservancy managing the Tug Hill Conservation Area preserve and working with local communities, hunt clubs, and other conservation organizations to protect and maintain the rural characteristics and natural resources of the Tug Hill region. Lorna received her bachelor's in biology from University of Rochester and master's degrees in environmental management and forestry from Duke University. Lorna enjoys spending time outdoors all year-round, playing ultimate frisbee, and hiking. Contact Lorna if you would like more information about protecting your land.

Kevin Farrell joined Genesee Land Trust staff in the spring of 2015. He grew up in Mendon before heading east to the University of New Hampshire to earn a B.S. in Environmental Conservation Studies, specializing in Environmental Policy and Sustainable Development. After graduating, Kevin served in two AmeriCorps programs including as a crewmember in the Texas Conservation Corps and as Land Steward for the Buzzards Bay Coalition through the Massachusetts Land Initiative For Tomorrow (MassLIFT) Program. Before joining Genesee Land Trust, Kevin worked for the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation assisting with environmental remediation projects. At Genesee Land Trust, Kevin coordinates the Preserve Stewards Program, the Land Management Committee, preserve management, conservation easement monitoring, and seasonal work parties. Contact Kevin if you would like more information about our preserves. Kevin loves spending time outdoors and can frequently be found on Saturday mornings at the Rochester Public Market.

Lindsay Recktenwald joined Genesee Land Trust in 2017 with nearly a decade of fundraising and communications experience. She lived in 5 other states before settling in New York in 2010. Lindsay graduated from John Carroll University with a Communications degree and also received certificates in publishing and sustainable business management. Lindsay has a strong interest in sustainability and local food and is excited to be part of Genesee Land Trust's efforts to preserve farmland and protect natural lands. At Genesee Land Trust, Lindsay is responsible for communications efforts. If you have a question about social media, a print publication, or the website, please contact her. When not working, Lindsay spends her time curling, practicing yoga, biking, cross-country skiing, or cooking or baking something delicious.

Leah Schwartz is working at Genesee Land Trust as an AmeriCorps VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America) through Rochester Youth Year. Rochester Youth Year is a program based out of the University of Rochester that places recent college graduates at various not-for-profit organizations throughout the city. During her yearlong service, Leah is working on Genesee Land Trust's urban projects dealing specifically with capacity building, volunteer recruitment, and community engagement. Leah received a bachelor's degree in English (Language, Media, and Communications) and Anthropology from the University of Rochester. Previously Leah has interned with the Friends of the Public Market as a Rochester Urban Fellow and most recently worked at the Trailside Nature & Science Center in her home state of New Jersey. Outside of her work hours you can find her hiking or enjoying Rochester's rich film history whether at The Little or the historic Dryden Theatre.

Karen Arbegast began volunteering for Genesee Land Trust 7 years ago out of a desire to help conserve this region's natural resources and joined the Genesee Land Trust staff in 2011 as the Database Manager. Originally from Norwich, NY, Karen has lived in Rochester for many years and graduated from Nazareth College with a degree in English. She also studied Environmental Chemistry and Ecology at Finger Lakes Community College. Karen has also worked as a journalist and a service coordinator in the field of human services. Karen and her family love the great outdoors and she frequently takes her children on nature walks! As Database Manager, Karen keeps track of and responds to all donations and continually updates information regarding membership. Karen has commented more than once that "Genesee Land Trust has the greatest members." Email Karen if you need your contact information updated.

2017-2018 Board of Directors

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Erin Cabral is the Director of Marketing and Communications for Planned Parenthood of the Rochester/Syracuse Region. Erin's professional work has been dedicated to Rochester's non-profit community. She began her career at the Memorial Art Gallery and went on to work in marketing for the University of Rochester Medical Center. A passion for preservation led Erin to the Genesee Land Trust. Whether it is preserving cultural assets, healthcare access, or open space, Erin has a deep commitment to ensuring that the resources enjoyed today are available in the future. At Genesee Land Trust, Erin serves on the Marketing and Newsletter Committees and volunteers for special events.

Allen grew up exploring the gullies that feed into Ellison Park. After a 16-year sojourn in New York City, he returned to Rochester. Allen played a leadership role in the establishment of Corbett's Glen Nature Park. He has been involved in civics, real estate and construction for over 30 years. Currently, he is a Vice President at Conifer Realty responsible for the development of affordable housing. In addition to trying to make the world a better place, he spends a fair amount of time on a squash court and at a bridge table. At the Trust, Allen serves on the Land Management and the Urban Initiative Committees.

John has extensive experience in both corporate and personal finance. He holds a B.S. in Finance from Syracuse University and an MBA from George Washington University. He is currently Vice President, Investment Officer for Canandaigua National Bank and Trust. John began his career at Eastman Kodak Company as the Controller of Lincoln Plant in 1986. Subsequently, he was Manager of Finance and Operations for the Federal Systems Division. He was the Director of the Federal Government Marketing organization where he managed the sales and marketing of $250M in commercial products sold to the Federal government and was Marketing Manager for Kodak's first digital camera and digital printer. For over a decade John was Kodak's Director of Public Affairs. His responsibilities included lobbying and public relations initiatives with governments and community-interest groups. John was the corporate liaison for economic development initiatives, environmental issues, charitable contributions, workforce training, real estate, tax negotiations, and the arts. Prior to joining Kodak, John was a Director of Contracts for a Northrop Aircraft Company subsidiary in Washington, D.C. He was a Lieutenant in the U.S. Coast Guard serving in Coast Guard Headquarters and as Commanding Officer of the Lifeboat Station in Chincoteague, Virginia.

John currently serves on the WXXI Public Broadcasting Council Trustee Council, Pathstone, Inc. Enterprise Center Board, and the St. John's Senior Services Executive Committee of the Board. At Genesee Land Trust, John serves on the Finance and Development Committees.

Mary Hadley is Senior Program Manager at Causewave Community Partners. Prior to joining Causewave, Mary spent 2 years at Hillside Family of Agencies and over 30 years working in industry at Kodak, Xerox and Bausch + Lomb in various business, marketing, and engineering leadership roles. She became a volunteer for the Trust in 2009, working on the Urban Initiative Committee. Having a passion for youth services, she was excited to have an opportunity to "bring nature to the city" by working at Conkey Corner Park and El Camino Trail. As a lover of the outdoors, Mary believes strongly in the mission of Genesee Land Trust. Her additional volunteer activities include Flower City Habitat for Humanity and Vice Chair of Women Build, Senior High Christian education teacher, and tutor at Young Women's College Prep Charter School. Previously she has worked on the marketing committee at Sojourner House and planned a corporate United Way campaign. At Genesee Land Trust, Mary continues her work with the Urban Initiative Committee as it explores more trail and park projects throughout the city.

Simeon Banister is a Commercial Real Estate Appraiser with Midland Appraisal Associates, Inc. in Rochester, NY. He is also the principal and owner of Legacy Advisory Services, LLC, a consulting firm that offers strategic planning and real estate consulting services. Recently, he led an innovative project, Save for Success, a joint partnership between Monroe Community College, ESL Federal Credit Union, and the PathStone Corporation. He also serves as a President of the Greater Rochester Martin Luther King Jr. Commission and serves on the boards of the Hillside Foundation and the Congressional Award Foundation.

Selected as one of the Best Lawyers in America, Matt Belanger is a member of the New York State Trial Lawyers Association and the Monroe County Bar Association. He has served as president of the board of the National Kidney Foundation, and has volunteered for Rochester's Child, a fundraising arm of the Rochester Area Community Foundation. Matt also serves on the board of directors for the Braddock Bay Bird Observatory. For Genesee Land Trust, Matt shares his leadership skills on our Development Committee and volunteers in myriad ways for our many events. In his free time, Matt enjoys golfing, fly fishing, and cooking.

Cenie is a recently retired pediatrician and 40-year Brighton resident. A Genesee Land Trust member since 1992, she is a lifelong, passionate conservationist, advocate for land preservation, backpacker, gardener, and trail maintenance worker. Cenie has also been a Sierra Club member since the early 1960s, currently excom member and treasurer of the RRG of the Sierra Club and an Adirondack Mountain Club member. Additionally, she is a volunteer pediatrician at St. Joseph's Neighborhood Center and supporter for the out-of-doors for children's and adult's physical health and emotional development. For the Trust, Cenie co-chairs the Land Management Committee, serves on the Backyard Habitat Tour and Urban Committee and volunteers for special events.

David and Helen have lived in Marion for the past 11 years. Prior to that they resided in the Boston area. They have two children in college. David is the Executive Director of Wayne ARC and sits on several Wayne County boards. He is co-chair of the Wayne County Collaborative Council, Treasurer of the Wayne County Rural Health Network, member of the Wayne County Business Council and past president of the Collaborative of the Finger Lakes. He is an avid birder and gardener. He has a B.A. in History and an M.S. in Special Education.

Diane has been a Science Librarian at the University of Rochester's Carlson Science and Engineering Library for 28 years. She learned to value good stewardship of the land while working beside her father on the family's dairy farm in Vermont. After moving to Western New York 35 years ago to pursue an MLS degree at SUNY Geneseo, she treasured the farms in the Genesee Valley and the forests in the Finger Lakes. Noticing the spreading suburban development in the early 1990s, she joined the Genesee Land Trust and soon became a member of the Board. Diane participates on the Land Protection Committee and the Farmland Initiative and volunteers for fundraising activities and special events.

Jill is a graduate of Cornell Law School and Colgate University, whose practice is concentrated in the areas of estate planning and administration, preparation of Wills and trusts, estate and gift tax planning. Selected by her peers as one of the Best Lawyers in America, in the area of trusts and estates, from 2001-2013, and included in New York Super Lawyers from 2007-2012, she is a Fellow of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel. Jill is the recipient of the New York State Bar Association's 2009 Attorney Professionalism Award, which recognizes a member of the Association who displays the highest standards of professionalism in service to clients, outstanding ethical conduct, commitment to promoting respect for the legal system in the pursuit of justice and the public good, competence, good judgment, integrity, and civility. Jill has also served on the boards of several other professional and community organizations and is a Past President of the Foundation of the Monroe County Bar and is Past Chair of the Board of Directors for the Rochester Area Community Foundation.

Scott is a SUNY-ESF alum with a background in land use planning and environmental conservation. He works as a municipal planner for the Town of Greece and has previous experience with environmental permitting and site assessments in the utility industry. Scott's career interests include development review, trails and active transportation planning, open space and farmland protection, parks and recreation planning, and geographic information systems. Prior to joining the board Scott worked on land conservation with Genesee Land Trust and other organizations, aiding in the permanent protection of more than 600 acres of habitat and prime farmland in the vicinity of the Braddock Bay Wildlife Management Area (WMA). He coordinates the Town of Greece Trails and Open Space Committee, serves as chair of the Town of Parma Farmland Protection Committee, and represents both communities on the Braddock Bay WMA Managament Committee. Scott serves on Genesee Land Trust's Farmland and Land Acquisition Committees and lives in Parma with his wife, Robin, and sons, Owen and Sean. He is an avid hunter and outdoorsman. Scott recently snowshoed the 124-mile Northville-Placid Trail, is working to complete the 46 Adirondack High Peaks with his two sons, and has a life goal of hiking the Appalachian Trail.

Ed Doherty is retired from Rochester Area Community Foundation where he served as Vice President for Community Programs. He led the Foundation's grantmaking and community leadership efforts. Prior to his tenure at the Community Foundation, Ed served in Rochester city government for more than 31 years, including nearly 20 years as Commissioner of Environmental Services. He also serves as treasurer of Parks and Trails, New York - a statewide advocacy organization. Ed is on the board of directors of the Children's Agenda and serves as a Community Fellow at the Center for Community Engagement at St. John Fisher College. At Genesee Land Trust, Ed serves on the Urban Initiative Committee.

Udo is a Professor Emeritus of Geological Sciences, University of Rochester. He is a native of Germany, where he received his education (Ph.D. in physics), before coming to the United States as a research fellow at Harvard University. In 1980, he joined the faculty in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences at the University of Rochester, serving in later years as director of Environmental Programs and Chair of the Department, before his retirement in 2010. He is interested in environmental issues and sustainability concerning the education of the broader public and the development and implementation of new policies in these fields.

Scott Forsyth is a self-employed attorney with his brother, George. Forsyth & Forsyth is a family firm that was established 115 years ago and protects the legal interests of families in Monroe, Wayne, Ontario, and Livingston counties. Scott is the past chair of the Monroe County Bar Association Trusts & Estates Section, and is a member of the Monroe, New York, and Florida Bar Associations. At Genesee Land Trust, Scott serves on the Land Acquisition and North Coast Committees.

Jeff is Vice President of Client Relations for Forte Capital working with families, businesses, and non-profits in the areas of asset allocation and investment, portfolio analysis, corporate and individual retirement plans, endowment management, and charitable giving. He began his financial career at Calvert Group where he held a number of roles in senior management. More recently he served as Vice President of Development and Communications at the Rochester Area Community Foundation working in planned giving and outreach to financial and legal advisors. At Genesee Land Trust, Jeff serves on the Governance and Development Committees. He earned his Bachelor's degree in Political Science from College of Wooster (OH). He and his wife, Marlea Allan, live in Honeoye Falls with their four children and enjoy kayaking, fishing, hiking, and camping throughout Upstate New York.

Rochester native Mindy MacLaren has held a lifelong interest in land conservation since, at about age 11, she began to notice the disappearance of local farms and the housing developments that took their places. Mindy became involved with Genesee Land Trust in 2015 when she obtained eighteen acres of former farmland in Penfield. She has been working with Genesee Land Trust to ensure this land remains undeveloped for future generations. In the near future it will become a nature preserve in honor of local "ecopolitician," the late Irene Gossin. As a mother, certified aromatherapist, amateur herbalist, and nature-photographer lover, Mindy is honored to join the Board of Genesee Land Trust.

Carol and husband Jim have raised three children on their 65-acre apple orchard in Williamson, NY. Their 1846 era home continues to be a work in progress where grandkids visit and with gardens abound. Carol is a retired Physical Education teacher and Gymnastics Coach as well as a retired Youth Minister and Liturgy Coordinator for St. Mary's Of The Lake Church. She is a Board Member for Wayne County Trailworks and the Pultneyville Mariners. A worldwide adventure traveler, she and Jim have written two books on long-distance bicycling trips across the United States. She is currently pursuing her Adirondack 46 High Peaks Challenge. She is also a potter and watercolor painter, outlets which allow her to express her creative side. At Genesee Land Trust, Carol serves on the Land Management Committee.

Jean McCreary is a graduate of the University of Rochester and the University of Florida Holland College of Law. She is a partner in the Energy and Environmental practice group of Nixon Peabody LLP, representing clients from a wide range of industrial sectors, developers, lenders, and landowners in environmental regulatory and enforcement matters; facility permitting, operation, decommissioning, and demolition; site investigation and remediation and brownfields redevelopment; and transactional due diligence. She has been recognized for exceptional standing in the national legal community in Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business 2015 for Environment, New York, and for many prior years, the 2015 edition of The Best Lawyers in America. She was selected by her peers for inclusion in the 2013 New York Super Lawyers Upstate Edition for Environmental law, and in 2014 received an award for Excellence in Law as one of the Top Women in Law in Rochester. She has been honored for pro bono work and has served on the boards of Girl Scouts of America (WNY Chapter), the Women's Council of the Rochester Business Alliance, the Rochester Area Multiple Sclerosis, The Auditing Roundtable (Past President), and various other organizations. Jean resides in Victor with her husband, Gregory Franklin, and has one son, Evan Franklin, who lives in Denver.

David Ryder is an Adjunct Professor of Public Policy at the Rochester Institute of Technology and the Executive Director of Joan Rothenberg Family Foundation. He has served on the Brighton Conservation Board since 2013 and is a member of the Burroughs Audubon Nature Club, the Friends of Washington Grove, and the Rochester Civic Garden Center. During his career as a lawyer, David served as an Assistant Attorney General for the State of Florida and as a staff attorney for the Southwest Florida Water Management District and the Legal Aid Society of Rochester. His greatest career achievement by far has been serving as a stay-at-home parent to his three children, Jamie, Jason, and Mark. He is particularly interested in native plants and invasive plant species eradication. In his spare time, David enjoys reading political history and perennial gardening at his home in Brighton, New York.

Kayleigh is a Major Gifts Officer at the Rochester Area Community Foundation. She works with our region's most philanthropic families in order to create and sustain equity and vitality. Kayleigh moved to Rochester in 2004 from Northern New York. She graduated from the University of Rochester with a Bachelor of History and graduated from SUNY Brockport with a Master of Public Administration. She became a Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE) in early 2016. In addition to her role at Genesee Land Trust, Kayleigh's love for the environment led her to serve as Board Vice Chair for Corn Hill Navigation and as a member of the Advisory Committee for One Cubic Foot, a project assessing the biodiversity of the Genesee River. Kayleigh was named a 2013 "Woman to Watch" by the Democrat and Chronicle in recognition of her community leadership and professional achievement. She is a proud homeowner in the City of Rochester and enjoys exploring our city and the Finger Lakes Region. At Genesee Land Trust, Kayleigh serves on the Land Acquisition Committee.

A native Rochesterian, Ann Stevens is an editor and owner of East River Editorial (, specializing in non-fiction books about history, photography, and the arts. She previously worked for George Eastman Museum and Silver Pixel Press, a division of the Saunders Group. Ann has been a member of Genesee Land Trust since 2003 and has served on the Land Acquisition Committee since 2011. She enjoys running, biking, birding, hiking, canoeing, and Red Wings baseball and is passionate about land conservation and historic preservation. She works to prevent hydraulic fracturing in New York State and volunteers for relief/service projects in New Orleans, Biloxi, Pittsburgh, Rochester, and Henrietta. Ann and her husband, Bill, make an effort to live sustainably through using solar energy, repurposing, and gardening. At Genesee Land Trust, Ann chairs the Land Acquisition Committee and serves on the Farmland Protection and Executive Committees.

2017-2018 Advisory Board

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Rochester NY 14607

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