Meet our Team
Mark joined the Conservancy as Executive Director in 2013, but his history of involvement with the organization goes back much further. As one of the organization’s founding board members in 1992, he has had a hand in many of the organization’s conservation successes. Mark’s early work with the Land Conservancy led to a 17-year career with The Nature Conservancy as Director of Land Protection for the Eastern New York Chapter. Before working for The Nature Conservancy he was a Senior Natural Resource Planner with Albany County. Mark began his career working for the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation helping with the State’s Bald Eagle reintroduction program. A life-long resident of the Capital District, Mark is passionate about sharing an appreciation for the natural beauty of the area by helping to conserve our open spaces.
Development and Marketing
Lea Montalto-Rook is Director of Operations and Development for the Mohawk Hudson Land Conservancy, responsible for managing the Conservancy’s operations, fundraising, communications, outreach, and events. Lea has lived in the Capital Region since 2011. She was previously Director of Individual and Corporate Relations for The Wilma Theater in Philadelphia and before that Program Director for the metro-NYC and Northeast marketing activities of Team Enterprises, an experiential and event marketing agency. Lea holds an M.S. in International Marketing from Saint Joseph’s University and a Graduate Certificate in Theater from Villanova University. Lea lives with her husband and two children in Delmar and in her spare time enjoys gardening, coaching soccer, and painting.
Communications and Outreach Coordinator, Carrie Stickan
Carrie Stickan joined the Mohawk Hudson Land Conservancy in 2019 as Communications and Outreach Coordinator. After moving to Delmar with her family in 2014, Carrie worked as a Marketing, Communications and Design consultant for the System Dynamics Society in Albany. Before that, she worked for several Chicago-area non-profit organizations, including the John G. Shedd Aquarium, the International Museum of Surgical Science, and the Frank Lloyd Wright Preservation Trust, and has also volunteered at the schools her children have attended. Carrie holds a BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and began her career as an illustrator, freelance artist, and art instructor. In her free time, Carrie loves to draw, spend time outdoors, and garden.
Conservation and Stewardship
Sarah is Conservation Director for MHLC, responsible for oversight of land stewardship and assisting with property acquisitions. Sarah brings nearly ten years’ experience in habitat restoration initiatives for bird habitat, riparian and wetland areas as well as experience in protection of conservation lands, non-profit program development, and trail planning. She received a Bachelor’s degree in Wildlife Science from SUNY ESF and her Master’s degree in Science Education from the University of Albany in 2012. Sarah is an avid outdoor enthusiast who enjoys back-country skiing, mountain biking, hiking, paddling, sailing, and bird watching.
Stewardship Coordinator, Kent Harlow
Kent joined MHLC as the Stewardship Coordinator in the summer of 2019. Kent earned a degree in Wildlife and Conservation Biology from the University of New Hampshire in 2013, and brings with him a variety of experiences in education, leadership, and AmeriCorps programs throughout New England. His background ranges from leading Youth Conservation Corps Crews in Vermont and Virginia to growing school garden programs in Maine. Born and raised in Schenectady County, he is very excited to be back home to run, hike, and further explore the Capital Region.
Bob joined MHLC in June of 2019 as our new part-time Stewardship Assistant. Bob will be coordinating our Preserve Stewards and the MHLC stewardship work days. As a past Steward of the Keleher Preserve, Bob’s experience is an asset to this position. With a former career in higher education, Bob has coordinated hundreds of community events, trained staff and volunteers, and led strategic planning processes for college departments and professional organizations. His professional background and strong leadership skills will serve the Stewardship team well!
Lisa Lyon Evans Conservation Intern, Alec Betancourt
Alec Betancourt, returned to MHLC in May 2019 for his second summer with us. Alec is an Altamont resident studying Environmental Engineering at SUNY Buffalo. Alec will spend his summer with us maintaining our 18 preserves and he will also work on an independent project to mitigate standing water and mud on the trails of the Bozen Kill Preserve. This internship is made possible by the generosity of people who have donated in memory of Lisa Lyon Evans.
Kristi joined the MHLC team as a part-time office manager and bookkeeper in the Spring of 2018. She has experience as an Office Manager as well as a Property Services Director. Kristi’s background is in School Counseling in which she received her MS from Long Island University. Kristi has been in the Capital Region since 2005 having settled in Delmar in 2009. She loves yoga, Crossfit and riding bikes along the Rail Trail with her husband and two young daughters.
Board of Directors
Christopher Gorka, Chair
Michael Barrett, Vice Chair
Elliott Shaw, Treasurer
Kim Baker, Secretary
Peggy Sherman, Chair
Peter Ten Eyck