Julie Slavet, Executive Director
Julie has over 30 years of experience in community affairs and program development. For six years, she served as the senior district staff member for Congresswoman Allyson Schwartz, leading constituent services and outreach efforts in a district of 650,000 constituents in Montgomery County and Northeast Philadelphia. Julie has worked at city and state levels of government and for a range of non-profit organizations. Julie earned a B.A. in Environmental Studies from Smith College and an M.S. in Public Affairs from the University of Massachusetts. Julie is active with Indivisible PHL, and has served as leadership for the Jenkintown Community Alliance, Montgomery County Democratic Women’s Leadership Initiative, and Hiway Theatre. Two solid facts about Julie: 1.) She LOVES Twitter and 2.) She misses Boston. Julie at 215.744.1853 or .
Robin Irizarry, Philadelphia Watershed Coordinator Robin leads TTF’s community watershed engagement and improvement efforts in Philadelphia, working with key stakeholders to engage and educate residents about watershed and stormwater issues. Robin has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Landscape Architecture from Temple University’s School of Environmental Design, and worked most recently as a Landscape Designer/Installer with Land Stewards, LLC and as an Adjunct Teaching Assistant at Temple. He’s a native plant and permaculture enthusiast. He loves woodworking and is the owner/craftsman of Fiddlehead Toys. Robin grew up in Olney, playing in Tacony Creek. He lives with his family near the creek in Cheltenham. His creek experience as a child helped to shape his passion for ecological potential. Robin at 215.744.1853 or .
Doryán De Angel, Community Watershed Leader (Philadelphia)
Doryán works with Robin on the Philadelphia watershed team to engage and educate residents about watershed and stormwater issues. A resident of Cheltenham, Doryán started with TTF as an outstanding hands-on volunteer. She is fluent in Spanish and has a Bachelors in Environmental Science from the University of Puerto Rico. She was a student collaborator on the San Juan Bay Estuary Project. Doryán at 215.744.1853 or .
Marcus Isaac Paul, Community Organizer (Philadelphia)
Marcus is part of the Philadelphia watershed team. He obtained a bachelors degree in Political Science from Cheyney University of Pennsylvania. He grew up in Feltonville, so the Tacony Creek has never been too far from home. Marcus learned about community outreach while working for PA State Representative Jason Dawkins, assisting constituents and planning community events. Marcus is excited to be part of TTF, and to have the opportunity to forge new relationships with the community and its leaders. Fun facts about Marcus: he lives for the “three P’s” to be happy; Politics, Photography, and Poetry. Marcus at 215.744.1853 or .
Frankie Lazauskas, Upstream Conservation Leader
Frankie recently received a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Environmental Sciences from Drexel University. Growing up near the Raritan River in NJ, Frankie has always enjoyed going on hikes and hunting for salamanders on stream banks. His love for salamanders sparked his interest in pursuing work in environmental protection and education – landing him at TTF. He has previously worked on the Delaware River Watershed Initiative assisting in the Academy of Natural Sciences’ monitoring efforts. Frankie is excited to bring his passion for the outdoors to the TTF team. Other than enjoying nature, Frankie enjoys playing rugby and pick-up basketball in his free time. Frankie at 215.744.1853 or .
Emilie Wetzel, Communications & Development Manager
Emilie grew up in Le Roy, New York and spent much of her childhood exploring the forest and Oatka Creek near her home. This time outdoors sparked her interest in protecting the environment, inspiring her to pursue a degree in Conservation Biology from St. Lawrence University. Following graduation, Emilie moved to Germantown and initially got involved with TTF as an intern in the hopes of positively impacting her community. Three facts about Emilie: she has a fat cat named Kelvin who loves to snuggle; she occasionally plays ukulele and sings at local cafes; and she is mildly obsessed with Nubian goats. Emilie at 215.744.1853 or .
Board of Directors
Rosanne Mistretta, Director of Experiential Learning and AFS Outside, Abington Friends School (AFS)
Rosanne Mistretta is the Director of AFS Experiential Learning and Director of AFS Outside, a school wide outdoor learning program designed to connect children with the outdoors. She has an undergraduate degree in psychology from Dickinson College; a Juris Doctor with an emphasis in environmental law from the University of New Hampshire School of Law and a Master’s degree in Environmental Education from Arcadia University. Before becoming an educator, she worked for 10 years as an environmental attorney for the US Environmental Protection Agency Region III in the Superfund division. She has also served as an adjunct college professor teaching environmental science and as a school programs coordinator for a nature center. A past Outward Bound Instructor and whitewater canoe instructor, she has directed a comprehensive outdoor/environmental education summer program for a North-Central PA land conservancy and served on the board of Family Nature Summits, a national environmental/adventure organization for families. Rosanne regularly presents on science and environmental topics at national and regional conferences such as the North American Association for Environmental Education.
General Manager, Public Affairs, Philadelphia Water Department
Vice President: Philadelphia
Joanne Dahme was appointed General Manager of the Public Affairs Division in January 2009. Joanne holds a B.C.E. degree in Civil Engineering from Villanova University and an M.J. in Journalism and a Masters in Creative Writing, both from Temple University. Joanne joined the Water Department in 1980 and served as the Manager of the Public Affairs Division from 1994 to 1999. She later served as Watersheds Programs Manager for the Department’s Office of Watersheds until returning to assume her current position in Public Affairs. She currently serves on the board of the Delaware Estuary Program in addition to several regional watershed planning committees.
Bryan Havir, Township Manager, Cheltenham Township
Vice President: Montgomery County
Bryan T. Havir, P.P., AICP has worked for Cheltenham Township since 1998, first as Assistant and now as Township Manager. He holds a BA in Political Science and a MPA in Public Administration from the Pennsylvania State University. He is a licensed professional planner in the State of New Jersey, member of the American Institute of Certified Planners, American Planning Association, and the Urban Land Institute, Philadelphia Chapter. With over twenty-five years combined municipal and county government and land use planning experience, he has a strong background and passion for helping to make local government efficient, effective, action-oriented and responsive to community needs and goals. His focus areas include developing cooperative programs and regional planning initiatives, and seeking funding for economic and community development and sustainable planning initiatives, housing and neighborhood preservation, and open space and historic preservation, conservation, environmental and watershed stewardship. He has served on the TTF board as Cheltenham Township’s municipal representative since 2005.
Susan Myerov, Member, Abington Township Environmental Advisory Council and Senior Program Director, PA Environmental Council
Susan Myerov, AICP resides in Abington, within the headwaters region of the Tookany Creek, where she currently serves on the Township’s Environmental Advisory Council. Susan has a long association with TTF, having served as Secretary previously from 2005 to 2012. Susan is a certified professional planner with over 25 years experience in public, private and non-profit organizations focused on land conservation, watershed protection, land use and open space planning. In 2013, Susan joined the Pennsylvania Environmental Council (PEC) as Senior Program Director where she leads a number of watershed and water resource program initiatives. Susan was Senior Planner at Heritage Conservancy for over 10 years where she managed open space and river conservation studies, representing the Conservancy on the TTF Board. She holds a Master of City Planning degree from the University of Pennsylvania and BS degree from Penn State University in Man-Environment Relations. In her spare time, Susan enjoys walking with friends along the region’s great trail systems, trying her best to identify birds and different vegetation along the way. She also loves spending time with her family, especially in the kitchen where they all enjoy cooking and generally making a big mess.
Maria Kiernan, Independent Consultant
Maria is a health policy consultant with an extensive background in formulating, communicating, and evaluating program policy. She has advised and assisted the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Previously, she served as a Lead Analyst for SRA International, and has worked with the Philadelphia Department of Public Health, the Center for Science in the Public Interest, and the Health Care Advisory Board. She has an M.G. A. from the Fels Center for Government of the University of Pennsylvania and a B.A. in Communications from the University of Pennsylvania. Maria is a TTF Streamkeeper!
AeLin Compton, Community Initiatives Specialist, Office of Stewardship, Philadelphia Parks and Recreation (PPR)
As a liaison for the Philadelphia Department of Parks and Recreation (PPR) to community and volunteer groups, AeLin develops and leads volunteer service projects, and provides direction and supervision on a wide variety of park improvement projects. She comes to TTF with a wealth of experience from PPR, as well as The Nature Conservancy, Friends of Princeton Open Space, and the New Jersey Invasive Species Strike Team. She has a B.S. in Ecology and Natural Resources from The Rutgers School of Environmental and Biological Sciences.
Michael Connor, PE, LEED AP BD + C
Principal Engineer, Transportation, NV5
Michael Connor serves as engineering department director and office manager for The NVA Group’s Philadelphia office. Michael has over 14 years of local experience as a civil engineer focusing on greenways and bicycle-pedestrian community improvement projects, watershed planning, green stormwater infrastructure, and the design of community parks, plazas, and other areas within the public realm. Many of his projects are located within the region and often involve engagement with municipalities, residents and businesses, and often involve local and state permitting. Michael’s career is dedicated to offering communities engineering design services to assist with projects which connect communities, allow community access to natural areas, improve water quality within local watersheds, raise the level of safety of road corridors for alternative modes of travel, and developing more vibrant and enjoyable shared spaces within our local communities.
Lissette Goya, Senior Accountant, Mural Arts Philadelphia
We got to know Lissette when she worked with us as Senior Accountant with J. Miller & Associates, LLC. With a Bachelor of Applied Science in Accounting from Fox School of Business, Lissette currently serves as Senior Accountant with Mural Arts Philadelphia. She lives in Olney, steps away from Tacony Creek Park.
Carolyn Hirsh, Director of Operations, Lindy Communities
Carolyn Hirsh is the Director of Operations for Lindy Communities. Her educational background includes Montgomery County Community College, Manor College Realtors certificate, PAA industry courses,Temple University Professional Development Communications Certificate, and 2014 NAA Dale Carnegie Leadership Training. Carolyn serves as an Board Member of the Eastern Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce, Pennsylvania Apartment Association Board Member and Education Committee,The Art of It Community Collaborative Co- founder, and Lindy Communities Neighborhood Outreach.
Nate Johnson, Founder & President, Roofmeadow Services, Inc.
Nate Johnson is a Principal and the Director of Project Delivery for Roofmeadow, an award winning green roof design firm located in Mt. Airy, Philadelphia. Nate is also the President and Founder of Roofmeadow Services, Inc. which is focused on providing high quality maintenance and installation services for on-structure landscapes and other green stormwater infrastructure. In addition to contributing to business development at Roofmeadow, Nate manages all aspects of the bidding and construction process for Roofmeadow and he provides construction oversight for many of their most high profile projects, including the PECO Headquarters (Philadelphia, PA) and the SAP America Headquarters Expansion (Newtown Square, PA). A native of Cheltenham Township, Nate returned to the area after graduating from the University of Miami with degrees in Environmental Science and Broadcast Journalism. In 2004, while interning at the Miami-Dade Department of Environmental Resource Management, Nate researched and wrote the 56-page “Green Local Government Designation” guide book for landscape maintenance. Nate also spent two years building log cabins and timber frame homes in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. Nate currently resides in Glenside with his wife, Lauren, and their daughters. Nate is an active Streamkeeper, often bringing along his daughters too!
Luanda Morris, Early Head Start Specialist, Early Head Start – Child Care Partnerships, Montgomery County Intermediate Unit
Luanda Morris provides technical assistance and monitoring to the PA Key/Berks County Intermediate Unit’s Early Head Start Child Care Partnerships programs in Montgomery, Bucks, and Chester counties. Prior to that, she provided programmatic support for the promotion and implementation of early childhood education specifically focused within the Federal Head Start program. She has an M.Ed. from Neumann University, and a B.S. in Administration of Justice from Penn State. Luanda, her husband and two daughters are regular participants in our Tacony Creek Park programs!
Marilyn Torres, Senior Director, Visitor Experience, Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University
Marilyn is Senior Director, Visitor Experience at the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University and earned a Bachelors of Science in Human Resources and a Masters of Science in Accounting from the University of Phoenix. She is an active neighbor and user of Tacony Creek Park!
Donna Wray, Vice President, Digital & Multichannel Marketing, TGaS Advisors
Donna is Vice President, Digital & Multichannel Marketing at TGaS Advisors. She has a BA in Psychology from Bryn Mawr College and an MSc in Computer Science from Villanova University. She lives in Wyncote near Rock Creek and has lots of hands-on buffer planting and clean-up experience with TTF, especially as a former Abington Friends School parent.
Board of Advisors
Laura S. Craig, Ph.D., Science & Economics Program Director,
American Rivers; Co-Chair
Laura Craig is an expert in aquatic ecology, river restoration theory and practice, nutrient cycling, monitoring and evaluation, and project and contract management. She has also authored an extensive list of publications and reports, has taught courses at both Penn State and the University of Maryland, and has many been recognized with many honors and awards. Laura has a Ph.D. from the University of Maryland, and a B.S. in Biology from Susquehanna University.
Stefanie Kroll, Ph.D., Project Science Director, Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University; Co-Chair
As Project Science Director for the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University, Stefanie coordinates biomonitoring and research efforts for the William Penn Foundation’s Delaware River Watershed Initiative. She has authored numerous manuscripts and technical reports, and is a regular expert presenter at conferences across the country. She has a Ph.D. in Ecology from the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry (SUNY-ESF), a Master’s equivalent from the Department of Agronomic Engineering of the University of Castilla-La Mancha, and a B.S. in Environmental and Forest Biology from SUNY-ESF.
Glen J. Abrams, AICP
Senior Director of Planning and Sustainable Communities
Pennsylvania Horticultural Society
Glen Abrams serves as Senior Director of Planning and Sustainable Communities at the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society (PHS) where he leads the development, management and delivery of high-quality programming around urban greening, community stewardship and sustainable practices. Prior to joining PHS, Mr. Abrams worked for the City of Philadelphia. During his tenure at the Philadelphia Water Department, he was instrumental in the early demonstration projects and partnerships that established many of the green stormwater infrastructure initiatives that are now the cornerstone Philadelphia’s innovative and award winning Combined Sewer Overflow Long-Term Control Plan, “Green City, Clean Waters.” Mr. Abrams is recognized as a certified planner by the American Institute of Certified Planners and is a graduate in City and Regional Planning from the Ohio State University. He is a frequent speaker on green infrastructure and community engagement and has presented for the American Planning Association, American Society of Landscape Architects, American Rivers, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, in addition to many other organizations.
Susan Harris, Cerulean, LLC
Susan Harris is the Owner of Cerulean, LLC, which offers project management and environmental consulting services including: grant writing and administration, construction bidding & oversight, stormwater inspections and evaluations, budget and time tracking, coordination of education and outreach programs, technical support, and environmental program coordination. With over 12 years of experience managing and implementing green infrastructure, stormwater retrofits, and stream restoration projects, Susan served as previously as Watershed Specialist at the Montgomery County Conservation District. Her responsibilities included coordinating the Watershed program, reviewing plans and permit applications for compliance with Chapter 102 Erosion and Sediment Control program, website administration, and coordination of educational events as well as managing and coordinating watershed restoration and protection projects.
Gerry Kaufman is a an environmental and social activist. He served as TTF’s only President since the organization was established as a non-profit organization in 2005 until June 2014. He was active even before that, and participated in the many years of meetings when TTF was just an idea, because of his role as Executive Director of the Awbury Arboretum in Germantown.
Ken Kolodziej, Environmental Services Consultant and Owner, KJK Associates
Ken Kolodziej has served his country and community in a variety of ways, as a Captain in US Army AR, and through his involvement in starting 15 organic farms in Philadelphia and a re-entry program for inmates leaving incarceration called Roots to Reentry. He has been a landscape consultant for over 45 years, and the owner of KJK Associates for 30 years.
Lara Roman, Research Ecologist
Philadelphia Field Station, US Forest Service
Lara studies the temporal dynamics of urban forests, including tree mortality and growth, canopy cover change, historical development of urban forests, species composition change, and citizen science monitoring. Her studies take a participatory research approach, collaborating with practitioners for study design and implementation. She has been funded by the National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center, the TREE Fund, the Garden Club of America, the Sacramento Municipal Utility District, and the Schwabacher and Berkeley Fellowships. She received a PhD at the University of California, Berkeley, and a Bachelors in Biology and Masters of Environmental Studies from the University of Pennsylvania. She is currently a Research Ecologist with the US Forest Service, Northern Research Station, Philadelphia Field Station.
Emily Saich, Director of Museum Services
Universal Services Associates, Inc.
Emily has fifteen years of experience working with museums, designers, and cultural institutions creating unique visitor experiences and informal learning opportunities through exhibitions. She has managed design development and fabrication of exhibits for children’s museums, science centers, nature centers, historic sites, zoos, aquariums, and botanic gardens. In her current role as Director of Museum Services for USA, Inc., she leads business development, front end project direction, and design development efforts. She has been a guest speaker at University of the Arts, presented sessions at the American Public Gardens Association and the PA Museums Conference, and teaches a graduate course in museum studies for Johns Hopkins University. Emily has a MFA from Tyler School of Art/Temple University, and lives in Philadelphia. She has a passion for open-ended play, green spaces, parks equity, and providing opportunities for all kids to experience nature in their daily lives.
Rev. Derick Scudder, Bethel Chapel Church & President, Juniata Action Committee
Derick Scudder is Junior Pastor of the Bethel Chapel Church, where one of his main responsibilities is leading the youth group each Friday night. He also leads the worship at Bethel, manages the church office and oversees long term planning. Growing up in Juniata, Derick has always loved this community. He serves as President of the Juniata Action Committee (JAC) and helps organize Juniata Fest, an annual business fair in the neighborhood. Derick is also a chaplain and Police District Advisory Council member with the 24th Philadelphia Police District. Derick grew up in North Carolina and moved to Philadelphia in 1992 when he was fourteen. He attended Bodine High School for International Affairs and grew up in the youth group at Bethel Chapel. Derick graduated from Bob Jones University in 2004 and a year later from seminary with a Masters Degree in Bible. Derick and his wife Sarah have three children (Sophia, Naomi, and Mercy). Derick enjoys cooking, history and the perpetual disappointment of being a Philadelphia sports fan.
Patrick Starr, Pennsylvania Environmental Council
Patrick Starr serves as Executive Vice President and leads the southeast regional office (serving Berks, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, and Philadelphia Counties) located in Center City, Philadelphia. Major initiatives under Starr’s direction include the Tidal Delaware Initiative, East Coast Greenway, Urban Stormwater Management and Philadelphia Sustainability. Patrick serves on numerous task forces and boards including Mayor Nutter’s Sustainability Advisory Board, Delaware River City Corporation, the Central Delaware Advocacy Group, and the GreenSpace Alliance. In years past, he co-founded the Delaware Valley Smart Growth Alliance, chaired the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission’s Regional Citizens Committee, and served on the board of the Schuylkill River Development Council. He works in partnership with numerous government agencies and municipalities including the City of Philadelphia.
Michael Stokes, AICP, Montgomery County Planning Commission
Michael Stokes is the Assistant Director of the Montgomery County Planning Commission where he has worked for the past 30 years. Prior to working for the county, Michael held a number of planning, engineering and environmental management positions. He holds a Master of Science degree in water resources engineering from Villanova University and a Master of Regional Planning degree from the University of North Carolina. He is also a graduate of Vanderbilt University. He serves as Chairman of the Perkiomen Watershed Conservancy, and is a board member of the Schuylkill River Greenway Association and the Perkiomen Watershed
Improvement Corporation. He has held several municipal volunteer positions in the past including Chairman of the Limerick Township Municipal Authority and Chairman of the Limerick Township Planning Commission.
Robert Thomas, AIA, Partner, Campbell Thomas & Co. & President, Philadelphia Parks Alliance
Bob Thomas is a founding partner of Campbell Thomas & Co. Architects, a firm founded in 1976 and noted for historic preservation, energy conscious design, community development, greenways, accessible design and appropriate technology. Bob has led numerous architectural, planning, greenway, solar, bicycle and public transportation projects and has worked with such agencies as the Fairmount Park Commission, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, and the Montgomery County Planning Commission. In addition to his architectural skills, Mr. Thomas previously worked as a planner for SEPTA, and has worked on the Philadelphia Zoo Transportation Center. His knowledge and use of public transportation is invaluable in planning sites to be accessible to all sectors of the population. In recognition of his achievements and advocacy for accessibility, he was served as Chair of the City of Philadelphia’s Accessibility Advisory Board for 12 years. In this capacity he has reviewed over 800 projects, assisting in the development of innovative solutions to meet the spirit of the code and law, thus resulting in the 1997 President’s Access Award. Bob was a co-founding Board member of the Philadelphia Parks Alliance, and currently serves as President.
Michael Thompson, Community Planner,
Philadelphia City Planning Commission
Mike has been a city planner in Philadelphia since 1987. He has a Masters degree in Community Planning and Environmental Design from University of Cincinnati and a B.A. in Urban Geography from Villanova University.