Board of Directors
Lucy Crocker Abisalih, President
Lucy is a native of Lunenburg who spent many weekends of her youth hiking and picnicking in the very woods we are working to protect. For the past 30 years her work has included board service to public and independent schools in Massachusetts – as a school committee member to the Pentucket Regional School System, a trustee to Applewild School in Fitchburg, Lawrence Academy in Groton and Trustee Emerita at Pike School in Andover. Other board leadership positions include The Community Foundation of North Central Massachusetts, The Georges River Land Trust (Maine) and the Community Advisory Board of the Fitchburg Art Museum. She also serves as a personal fiduciary.
Richelle Brown, Treasurer
A native of Worcester, Richelle now resides in Leominster. A graduate of Nichols College and Bentley University with an MBA in Corporate Finance, Richelle manages public and private companies in a financial leadership role for a variety of industries. Upon returning to Massachusetts, Richelle settled in the north central Massachusetts area where family ties and outdoor memories are strong. Richelle’s appreciation and interest in conservation is rooted in her family’s legacy of volunteerism and conserving those places of environmental and historic significance.
Betty Reid, Clerk
Betty is a life-long resident of Fitchburg and educator. In her distinguished 35 year career, she served in the Monadnock Regional School District as an elementary school teacher and as Adjunct Faculty Member/ Master Teacher for the Critical Skills Program at Antioch University. She has always enjoyed walking in North County Land Trust’s Crocker Conservation Area and is an avid outdoor enthusiast. Recently retired, she hopes to continue to share her passion for environmental stewardship in her work with the North County Land Trust.
Wilson Acuna, Director
Born and raised in Colombia, Wilson has been a resident of North Central Massachusetts since he moved to Leominster in 2013. He is a graduate of Tufts University, with a B.S. in Biology and Environmental Studies. Over the years he has worked and volunteered with multiple environmental organizations such as the Massachusetts Audubon Society, the US Fish and Wildlife Service, and more recently The Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation. Wilson is an avid naturalist and nature enthusiast who enjoys hiking, swimming, kayaking, and birdwatching; he is also an artist who draws inspiration from nature for all of his artwork.
Mary E. Cringan, Director
Mary Cringan, recently retired after 38 years as a classroom teacher and elementary/middle school principal in Fitchburg, Lunenburg, and Princeton, MA. She serves as Chairperson of the Project 351 Educators Advisory Group and Secretary for the Friends of Coggshall Park. She loves running, hiking, volunteering for non-profit organizations and traveling. Mary enjoys helping with maintaining the trails for North County Land Trust and looks forward to finding other ways to promote NCLT’s mission and vision.
Desiree Demski-Hamelin, Director
Desiree is the Deputy Director at Freedom’s Way National Heritage Area and knew the work of NCLT since her days working for us as an AmeriCorps service member.
Ben Howard, Director
Ben is a passionate outdoor enthusiast who grew up in Luneburg, MA. After spending the better part of the last decade living and working across parts of Asia, he has recently moved back to his hometown. His outdoor passions stretch from hiking, biking and backcountry snowboarding to bird watching and backyard gardening. Ben has worked in wide range of Sales, Business Development and General Management roles and is excited to use this experience to support NCLT and further the mission of preserving, protecting and promoting the landscapes of North Central Mass.
Angela Kearney, Director
Angela is the owner/proprietor of Minglewood, LLC an ecological design/build company. With a M.S. in Ecological Planning & Design from the Conway School, and BS and BA in Biology and Art from Lewis & Clark College, Angela brings passion and knowledge to the board. She has 20 years of experience in Conservation Planning and Design overseeing the successful development and execution of two Open Space Plans and countless other land protection projects. Her commitment to the environment is also demonstrated in her many accreditations and certifications including LEED Accredited Professional, Accredited Organic Land Care Professional, Ecological Landscaping Association, and SOMWBA.
Carrie Novak, Director
Carrie lives with her husband and daughter on a small farm in Templeton. Carrie is a Senior Loan Officer for the USDA Farm Service Agency, where she has worked for 35 years. She is active in Town government, chairing Templeton’s Open Space Committee and serving on its Agricultural Commission. Carrie is also an active member of Bethany Baptist Church in Gardner and she serves as a mentor gardener for “Growing Places”. Carrie has a long-standing interest in natural resource conservation, especially the conservation of open space and agricultural land. In her leisure time, Carrie enjoys gardening, working on her small farm and visits with her grandchildren.
Alan N. Rousseau, Director
Alan has been a NCLT director since 2005 and has served as Board President from 2006 till the beginning of 2018. He has had a lifelong interest in conservation that began with spending a lot of time on his families’ woodland in Gardner MA. Alan served as a volunteer Boy Scout Leader from 1990 to 2006, and co-established the Gardner Alliance for Responsible Development in 2002. He has been employed in the Computer Industry (Digital, Compaq, Hewlett-Packard) over the past 40 years in a number of professional and management positions. Alan resides in Gardner with his wife, Susan, and is the father of three grown children, James, Jennifer, and Thomas.
Anna Wilkins, Executive Director
Anna Wilkins, firstname.lastname@example.org, Executive Director. Anna has worked in the field of conservation for over a decade in Massachusetts. She brings her training in Ecology and Natural Resource Management from Sterling College, VT, and experience managing over 2,000 acres of municipal conservation land as well as a love and passion for community engagement to NCLT. She is pleased she can focus on north central Massachusetts, where she was born and raised. Anna lives in Ashburnham, MA with her husband and two young children.
Jassy Bratko, Director of Land Protection
Jassy Bratko, email@example.com, Director of Land Protection. Jassy manages the land protection program for NCLT and supervises the stewardship for the over 500 acres of conservation land owned by the trust. Jassy had previously served with distinction as an NCLT Director, chairing the Board’s Land Committee, from 2012 till 2016, when she stepped down to enter into her current position. She was Chair of the Hubbardston Open Space and Recreation Committee for 19 years, overseeing two land protection projects and the stewardship of town conservation land. She also chaired the Town’s Community Preservation Committee. She has a BSc in Geography from Worcester State College.
Matt Emsley, Director of Finance and Administration
Matt Emsley, firstname.lastname@example.org, Director of Finance and Administration. Matt has had a long career in business at several companies and in a variety of industries. He is a graduate of Bentley University and Northeastern University (MBA) as well as a Certified Public Accountant (CPA). Matt is an active runner and an avid hiker who recently completed both the VT Long Trail and all the NH 4K peaks. He is excited to merge his passion for the outdoors and finance together in his role at NCLT. Matt lives in Sterling, MA with his wife and has two college age children.
Lisa Adams, Outreach and Engagement Coordinator
Lisa Adams, email@example.com, Outreach and Engagement Coordinator. Lisa helps to bring North County Land Trust’s mission of conservation through a range of events (nature hikes, educational programs, etc.) to north central MA. Lisa has work experience with database management, event planning, project management and has spent hours volunteering within this community. That experience combined with a love of our natural spaces brought her to NCLT. Despite not having previously lived in the northeast, she is fully dedicated to preserving this area that Lisa now calls home. Lisa lives in Westminster, MA with her husband and daughter.
Emily Merlino, Stewardship Coordinator
Emily Merlino, firstname.lastname@example.org, Stewardship Coordinator
Emily is a Massachusetts native who loves hiking, backpacking and spending time outdoors. She looks forward to serving with North County Land Trust and to help conserve the forests and farmlands of North Central Massachusetts. If you see her on the trails, say hello!