Staff and Board

Staff and Board

Executive Director

Trustees

Den Frelinghuysen

Flip Huffard

Photos Pending:

Scott Arneill
Thad Hall

Volunteers

Peet Foster – DLT Beekeeper

Sig Buchmayr – Volunteer at Large

Trustees Emeriti

Ed Cosden

Linda Ferguson

Charlie Goodyear

Betty Jewett

Shirley Nichols

Beth has over 20 years of experience in domestic and international consumer brand, sports, and event marketing, as well as in sales and public relations in both the for-profit and non-profit sectors. A Darien resident for fourteen years, she and her husband have raised three children, all DHS graduates. Beth’s extensive community outreach and board service include the Darien Environmental Group, the Town of Darien, and The Community Fund. Beth joined the DLT Board in 2017 and became Executive Director in 2018.

Erika joined the board of the Darien Land Trust in 2011 and has been Co-President for the past two years. Erika moved to Darien in 2008 after a decade living in London and is originally from outside of Boston Massachusetts. Erika believes that the best way to protect the environment is to involve the local community to preserve habitat so that we can all benefit in a fundamental and economic way. Erika works as a portfolio manager for Tikehau Capital, an alternative asset manager, and lives in Darien, Connecticut and Teton Village, Wyoming. Erika served on the Darien Parks & Recreation Committee for nine years and is a member of the Garden Club of Darien.

John G. O'Brien- John joined the board of the Darien Land Trust in 2015 and has been Co-President since 2018. John and his wife Dale are residents of Darien for 20+ years where they have raised their three daughters, all Darien High School graduates. John has actively supported local organizations including Joshua House Fund, ABC in Darien, Darien EMS - Post 53 and the Fresh Air Fund. Appreciation for open space and the integration of natural habitats is driven by living earlier years in densely populated metropolitan areas.

Janet graduated cum laude from the University of Maryland College Park in 2003, earning a B.S. degree in Information Technology. She began her career by joining Deloitte Consulting, where she advised and assisted Fortune 500 companies with enterprise-wide system implementations across the nation. In 2008, Janet joined HSBC Securities (USA), Inc. as vice president within the Wealth Management group, responsible for Product Development. In 2014, she departed HSBC to become a stay at home mom. Since moving out of the city, she has thoroughly enjoyed exploring the CT outdoors with her family. She is grateful for being able to introduce fascinating elements of nature to her little ones and see them grow up in an environment where the ocean meets the meadows. Janet’s interesis include experiential travel, landscape photography and the performance arts. Janet lives in Darien with her husband Michael and their four children.

Michelle is the Advertising Sales Manager with ‘This Old House’ Magazine selling broadcast, print and digital. Until recently, she lived in NYC with her husband, Justin, and two children, Sofia and Jake. It wasn’t until Iwo years ago that she realized she missed her hometown of Darien and decided to move back where her parents and brother both live. She loves to play tennis, go for runs and enjoy all that Darien has to offer. She and her family live in one of the most beautiful parts of town – at the top of Christie Hill Road – and she loves to run by Waterbury Field.

Elizabeth moved to Darien in 2015 with her husband David and two sons. She is a native of Ithaca, NY and a 1992 graduate of Cornell University with a BS in Design and Environmental Analysis. Elizabeth practiced commercial interior design with the architectural firm Swanke Hayden Connell up to 2002, and has been very active in several school Parent Associations, including serving as Treasurer. She and her family spend part of the summer on Twin Lakes in Salisbury, CT and their 1766 home in Westbrook, CT that they have been restoring since 2002. In addition to interior design, Elizabeth enjoys graphic design, painting, gardening, walking their tireless 3-year-old lab and playing tennis. She and David  have been members of the Darien Land Trust since 2015 and have enjoyed the annual Farm to Table Dinner.

Kara has been actively engaged in a number of civic and philanthropic endeavors over the past 14 years, including Board positions at Greens Farms Academy, Third Option Foundation, and board committee positions for the Squam Lake Conservation Society, the Piranha Swim Team, and the Putnam Indian Field School. She was recently elected as a member to the RTM. Kara is a graduate of Wesleyan University with a B.A. in economics and holds an MBA from Harvard Business School.   Prior to retiring to raise her family, she spent over a decade working in strategic planning in the financial services, healthcare and entertainment industries. Kara has three children and has lived in Darien for 13 years. She is an avid hiker, enthusiastic triathlete, and is working toward a certificate in Applied Positive Psychology from University of Pennsylvania through Coursera.

Christian has lived in Darien with his wife and Iwo children since 2001. He previously served on the Board of the Darien Nature Center, As a Communications and Public Policy executive with Bank of America, his responsibilities include managing the firm's Global Advisory Council and Policy Analysis & Development. Prior to his current role, Christiaan served as Director, Media Relations for the New York Stock Exchange. Prior to entering public relations, he worked as a financial journalist for Dow Jones Newswires and the Wall Street Journal. Christiaan holds a Masters in Law from the University of Utrecht (Netherlands) with a specialty in environmental law, a Journalism Certificate from the Auckland Institute of Technology (New Zealand) and is accredited in Public Relations by the Public Relations Society of America.

Jay has lived in Darien with his wife and two children since 2010. He is an avid outdoorsman who spends much of his free time trail running, fly fishing and bow hunting around Fairfield county and US. He has served on multiple organizations that promote land and wildlife conservation, and habitat creation, and dedicates much of his energy to his family’s 500 acre farm in Wellsville, NY. Jay is also heavily involved with Darien youth sports. He has spent over 20 years in finance and currently serves as an executive at Bank of America.

Polly joined the Board in 2012 after moving back to Darien from Vermont where she earned an advanced degree in environmental law focusing on land conservation and water law.  Polly sees conserving open spaces as an important benefit to our community and environment. Polly has practiced law for over 20 years in Connecticut at large and medium sized firms primarily in the areas of commercial real estate and environmental law.  She now works as underwriting counsel for a national title insurance underwriter.

Chris moved to the US  in 1977 with PepsiCola Corporation as a Marketing Executive in the International Division.He settled into Darien with his family and served on the RTM where he learned of plans for the Town to use Selleck’s Woods for affordable housing. This spurred him to become involved with DLT and a nascent Friends of Selleck’s Woods. Starting in the mid 90’s he formally joined both boards.  After his retirement in 2000 he became fully committed to nature conservation  and did pioneering actions in the administration and active stewardship of some 70 properties. He was vice president of DLT a few times and from 2012 to2014, was its President. Today he remains on the board and continues to lead activities on his special love – the fifty acres of Dunlap and Selleck’s Woods Nature Preserves.

Throughout her life, Brooke has been fortunate to spend a significant amount of time exploring nature and playing outdoor sports. An elementary school teacher for many years in New York City, Pennsylvania, and Connecticut, Brooke has also taught in underserved schools in Bridgeport for fourteen years as a volunteer. She has also coached soccer and served on local PTA and church committees for many years. Brooke spends time each year in Acadia National Park; she has been shaped by her exposure to this extraordinary place.

Nina is a familiar face to many families at the Darien Nature Center, where she has worked and volunteered for over 25 years. She advocates for animals and the environment by getting involved with causes such as open space initiatives, clean water efforts and Darien’s Pollinator Pathway. To prove that even the smallest parcel of land is worth preserving, she spent a year outside in a tent in her backyard half a mile from town and took note of the many animals with whom she shares her space. Nina and her husband Dave are both Darien Natives.  They raised their son Coleman here and are now very happy grandparents to two adorable kids.

Tim is a Director and Head of the Emerging Growth Team at Citi Global Markets, where he has spent 12 years on the Equity Research Sales desk. Tim grew up in Darien, and spent his childhood visiting DLT's Olson and Selleck’s Woods properties. He currently lives near the Waterbury Field where he loves to take his young girls for “bird tours”.  He graduated from Darien High School in 1999 and is a 2003 graduate of Gettysburg College with a BS in Business Management. Tim enjoys spending time with his wife Lauren and three girls, and loves food (especially grilling/smoking meats - their house is nicknamed the “Hollow Tree Smokehouse”), He is very active in the community, where he hosts an annual event to raise money for Person to Person’s Toys for Tots, and is a member of the Noroton Presbyterian Church.

Amy has lived in Darien for 18 years with her husband and two sons. A seven-year member of the Darien Land Trust, Amy chairs the Outreach Committee and leads communications efforts with the media, writing timely articles for the Darien Times and other news outlets. Amy also spearheads events, including educational panels, documentary films and the Land Trust's annual Farm to Table Event in August. Most recently, Amy produced several video series with experts on conservation issues for the Land Trust website as well as a video series to celebrate the Land Trust's 65th anniversary. A veteran magazine journalist, Amy now enjoys writing for regional magazines, including Sound Watch and Darien, New Canaan & Rowayton Magazine. She is a graduate of Connecticut College and the Radcliffe Publishing Course.

Michael is recently retired from a successful career in banking technology. He and his wife Pascale are new additions to Darien from Westchester County NY, with a weekend home in Berkshire County, MA. They were drawn in part to be closer to their children and grandchildren and to the wealth of amenities & natural resources Darien enjoys. Michael has taken a number of classes in gardening and landscape design at the New York Botanical Garden, and recently completed an NYBG class, ‘Gardening with Natives’. He also commenced a ten-week online course on Pond Management, and assisted with a new native garden at the DCA Bird Sanctuary featuring roughly 230 perennials. Michael was also recently named to Darien’s Parks and Recreation Commission and serves as Co-Chair, Pear Tree Beach Building Committee.

Penny’s pursuits in journalism, education and social work span many years and include work in college counseling. She and her family relocated to Darien five years ago, where she served on the ABC Board and is an RTM member for District 2. Penny is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and currently works at Darien Holistic Psychotherapy.