East Haddam Land Trust, East Haddam, Land Trust, Land Preservation
   East Haddam Land Trust

Directors and Founders

The 2017 Officers and Board of Directors

All of our officers and directors are volunteers, elected annually for three year terms according to our bylaws.  The Officers and Directors for 2014 are listed below (a photo is pending). Click on the officer's name to send him/her a direct email or use this contact us link and we'll make sure the email gets to the right person. 


Rob Smith President, Chair of Stewardship Committee, Chair of Land Acquisition Committee

Rob graduated with a degree in forestry from the University of New Hampshire and made a career managing various state parks and open spaces for the State of Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection, retiring as Assistant Director of State Parks. He has been an East Haddam resident since 1984, served on both East Haddam and Lyme Ambulance services and has been actively involved in the Land Trust for over two decades.

Barbara Pokorny, Vice-President, Chair of Membership and Fundraising Committee

Barbara moved from Niantic to East Haddam 7 years ago. Drawn here by the quiet, the beautiful wooded terrain and many inland waterways, Barbara is interested in maintaining and preserving open space, and sharing its charms with others, particularly children. An avid birder, Barbara is also interested in gardening and is a former docent at the Connecticut College Arboretum. She holds bachelor's and master's degrees in nursing, practices as a family nurse practitioner, and holds appointments to the adjunct nursing faculty at various universities in Connecticut.

Doreen Jezek, Treasurer, Chair of Finance Committee

Doreen grew up in East Haddam Connecticut.  She earned a bachelor’s of science in Natural Resources at the University of Connecticut and a masters of science at Auburn University.After working 28 years in hospital laboratories supporting organ transplantation she has returned to East Haddam from Kentucky to retire. Doreen has served on professional boards in the role of board member, treasurer, and currently as vice president of operations. In retirement Doreen enjoys  gardening, birding, kayaking and hiking local trails.

Joene Hendry, Secretary, Chair of Outreach, Events & Communications Committee

Joene has spent 35 - and counting - years in East Haddam raising children, volunteering, gardening, and relishing the natural beauty of the region.  With a certificate in Landscape Design and accreditation in Organic Land Care, Joene advocates for and designs environmentally-friendly gardens and landscapes. She writes about gardening in her blog,www.joenesgarden.com and contributes to Connecticut Gardener magazine. Joene previously wrote medical news for consumers and professionals, served East Haddam Ambulance as an EMT and in administrative roles, was elected to the East Haddam Board of Education, and volunteered on numerous education committees.


Dean AndersonDirector, 

Dean grew up in the Lake Hayward section of East Haddam. He earned a bachelor's degree in physics from Dartmouth College in New Hampshire and a masters' degree in electrical engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Hartford, CT. Dean has worked in the aerospace industry for the past 31 years at Triumph Engine Control Systems (formerly Chandler Evans) in West Hartford, where he is currently manager of hydromechanical engineering. Dean has volunteered as an Emergency Medical Technician with East Haddam Ambulance Association for 15 years, serving eight years as Chief of Operations. He has a lifelong love of the outdoors and the open spaces of East Haddam. In his spare time he enjoys cycling, hiking, snowshoeing, and kayaking with his wife, Jean, and dog, Emma.

Marilyn Gleeson, Director

Marilyn moved to East Haddam in 2007.  She earned an associate's degree in Advertising Design from Lasell College and a bachelor's degree in Sociology from Southern Connecticut State University.  She spent 40 years working in the insurance industry, much of it ensuring legislative compliance and managing large projects.  Her love of hiking eventually led to her join the East Haddam Conservation Commission and taking on the responsibility of GPS-ing Town and Land Trust hiking trails and creating the popular trail maps.  When not out enjoying nature, Marilyn can be found baking, reading, or traveling. 

Vickie DeNicola, Director

Vickie worked nearly 20-years in marketing, digital media, and e-commerce with startups and private companies including Disney, ESPN, Hasbro, and The Great Courses. Now Vickie focuses her talents as Director of Operations at White Buffalo, Inc., a 25-year old conservation and ecosystem management organization founded by her husband. She is also working towards a M.S. degree in Environmental Science and Policy at Johns Hopkins University. Vickie is anxious to pair her passion for open space and wildlife with her marketing and digital media experience to help promote and advance EHLT’s mission.

Susan Dowling, Director

In 2003, Susan began splitting her days between her long-time home in Brooklyn NY, where she has been active in community organizations, including the Boards of the Brooklyn Heights Montessori School and the Cobble Hill Association, and East Haddam where the city girl has come to love the natural beauty of eastern Connecticut. Susan is looking forward to retiring after more than 23 years at Goldman Sachs, giving her more time to spend in her CT garden and work to preserve the open spaces in East Haddam for future generations.


Donald Donner, Director

Donald is a second generation life long resident of East Haddam and plans to continue the tradition with children of his own. As a graduate from the University of Connecticut, Donald has worked in the commercial real estate industry for the last 12 years, with a focus on retail and industrial type properties. His passions include embracing all four seasons of outdoor activities including hiking, swimming, boating, stewardship, snowboarding, and any other excuse to be outside. You can often find him traversing Devils Hopyard with his loyal companion Brooklyn, his chocolate lab.


Roger Nemergut, Director


Roger graduated from the University of Connecticut with a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering and is a licensed Connecticut professional engineer. He currently owns Nemergut Consulting, a civil engineering consulting business with an office, in Killingworth, serving Middlesex and New Haven counties. He is a member of the State Health Department Code Advisory Committee which advises the State Health Department on regulations relating to on-site subsurface sewage (septic) disposal systems, and serves on the 34th District State Representative’s Building Advisory Council. Roger is also a board of director of the Killingworth Library Association. He has been a land owner in East Haddam for over 25 years and a resident since 1997.

Noel Cherubino, Director


Noel has been an East Haddam resident for ten years now. She can often be found out hiking the trails or paddling and fishing the waterways with her husband and two small children. Currently Noel is a part-time instructor of child classes with the Westbrook YMCA and Two Coyotes Wilderness School.  Noel is passionately curious about everything outdoors, from wild edibles to friction fire to singing nature-inspired songs. Noel brings a balance of organizational skills and field skills to the EHLT and is looking forward to utilizing that balance of skills to further land preservation for all.

Matt Montano, Director

Matt came to East Haddam in the late 90's when he moved from Haddam Neck to a small farm with his mother and older brother.  Being raised on a farm with a variety of animals contributed to Matt's decision to attend the University of Connecticut's College of Agriculture and Natural Resources where he earned a degree in Resource Economics.  Following college, Matt moved to Old Saybrook where he met his wife, Kelly, and the two embrace their love for fishing and boating along the Connecticut coast.  For as long as he can remember, Matt has loved all things outdoors, including hiking, mountain biking, snowshoeing, and target shooting to name a few.  Matt is excited to be moving back to East Haddam this year, where he and Kelly can usually be found in the woods with their two springers, Bruce and Mabel.



Many thanks to EHLT Founding Members:

Anita Ballek

Alan Birmingham

Martha Tonucci

Stephen Gephard

Richard H. Goodwin

Art Merrow

Judith L. Nicholas

Peggy Wilson

Frank Wolcott


Past Presidents 1979 - 2016

Thanks to past Presidents:

Frank Wolcott

Richard H. Goodwin

Stephen Gephard

Arthur Merrow

Lesley Olsen

Pat Anderson

Greg McHone

Jonathan Modica

Maureen VanDerStad

Joel Ide

Barb Bloomberg

Rob Smith

Shannon Hawkins

Jane Zirlis

Pete Govert


Past Directors 1979 - 2016


Thanks to past Directors:


Jane Anderson

Pat Anderson

Noelle Avakian

Anita Ballek

Bob Ballek

Alan Birmingham

Gordon Bishop

Matt Budzik

Peggy Carlson

Greg Chasko

Logan Clarke

Hugh Crowley

Mary Beth Durland

Matt Elgart

Heidi Fellner

Judy Fiala

Roberta Fusari

Stephen Gephard

Kathy Golec

Pamela Gourlie

Don Goss

Sarah Gworek

Shannon Hawkins

Wickes Helmboldt

Nel Herbst

Joan Holbrook

Joel Ide

Tim Johnson

Gary Kania

John Kashanski


Anne Kilpatrick

Gary Laskowski

Hans Lohse

John Matthew

Lee May

Greg McHone

Jean Meredith

Art Merrow

Dot Millen

Jonathan Modica

Hank Montrose

Jonathan Morris

Jamie Murphy

Leslie Olsen

Roy Parker

Joe Parkos, Jr.

Deb Piez

Kathy Reynolds

John Rozum

Rob Smith

Sarah Thurmond

Martha Tonucci

Maureen VanDerStad

Charles Wolf

Pietrina Saxton

Gail Sharkey

Rob Smith

Lynn Wilkinson

Jane Zirlis

The East Haddam Land Trust
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