Our People

Our People

Russell Hirschler

Executive Director

Russell came to the Upper Valley in 2001, where he was drawn to the amazing quality of life and recreational resources the area offers. He has been the Executive Director of the Upper Valley Trails Alliance since 2008, where he is responsible for the day to day operations as well as the future vision of the organization. He was formerly the Director of Education at Save The Bay in Providence, RI. He also served as the Development Director at the Upper Valley Land Trust in Hanover, NH, and the Development Director/Program Manager at Wolftree, Inc, a science education organization in Portland, OR. Russell received his undergraduate degree in Natural Resource Management and Environmental Planning from Binghamton University and his Masters Degree in Organizational Management from Antioch University, New England. Russell grew up in and around New York City, but found opportunities to explore the mountains of New England, Alaska, Wyoming, and Montana at an early age. Since then he has been traveling and hiking worldwide for the last 30 years. He lives in Lyme, NH, with his wife, two children, and chocolate lab.

Sean Ogle

Trail Programs Director

Sean grew up in Knoxville, TN, and took advantage of the incredible natural resources of the region by hiking, backpacking, and kayaking from a young age. These experiences coupled with an extremely outdoorsy family fostered a connection with the natural world and particularly the southern Appalachian Mountains. After attending the University of Tennessee for Journalism, Sean was able to work in conservation in many places across the country. First, he served on a trail crew with the Student Conservation Association with the Florida Trail Association followed by a position as a leader for the Manchester Conservation Leadership Corps with the SCA New Hampshire Conservation Corps and finally as the project leader for Phoenix Field School in Arizona. He then returned to work with the Florida Trail Association as Field Coordinator in Tallahassee, FL. In 2014, Sean created the Smoky Mountain Corps, a residential conservation and sustainability program based in North Carolina, which runs conservation and leadership training crews for young adults. Sean also served as the Trail Resources Manager for the Appalachian Trail Conservancy, overseeing trail programs with Georgia, North Carolina, and Tennessee.

Randy Richardson

Development Director

Randy has strong ties in the Upper Valley. He grew up in South Woodstock and later served as Headmaster at the Oliverian School in Pike, NH. He received his BA from Hamilton College and MALS degree from Wesleyan University, and has spent most of his professional life in education, first as a teacher and coach and then as an administrator. Before his time at Oliverian, Randy led the Derryfield School in Manchester, NH, and was a consultant at the Breakthrough Collaborative, a national program focused on educational equity. He is fully committed to the UVTA mission and fusing his love of the outdoors and the Upper Valley with his experience as an educational administrator and fund raiser. Randy lives and hikes with his family and dogs in Woodstock.

Program Manager

Kaitie grew up near Salt Lake City, UT, and as a child loved exploring the mountain ranges and national parks of her home state. In 2013, she began work at the Mill Hollow Outdoor Education Center as a residential cabin counselor where she worked to help the children of Salt Lake City foster a love of the outdoors. She went on to receive a bachelor’s degree in Psychology/Family Life and Human Development from Southern Utah University where her education was punctuated with weekend trips to explore the Canyonlands of the Southwest. Her time at UVTA has deepened her love for non-profit work and public service. This inspired her to pursue a Masters Degree in Public Administration, Education and Non-Profit Management from Southern Utah University online and will graduate in 2021. At UVTA, Kaitie manages the Passport to Winter Fun program, a fitness incentive program designed to keep kids (K-6) physically active during the winter season. She also coordinates volunteer efforts and plans UVTA’s four annual events: the Tour de Taste, the Skate-a-Thon at Lake Morey, the Annual Meeting and Dinner at Simon Pearce and the STOAKED Trail Race. Click on her name to find out why Danger is her middle name!

UVTA Board of Directors

Beth Krusi

Consultant, UVTA Board Chair

Beth has lived in the Upper Valley since 1977 and has been exploring trails in the area (and around the world) for most of her life. Recently retired, Beth spends even more time outdoors with her husband and dog. She brings her work experience as director of marketing for the Montshire Museum of Science and publisher for Appalachian Mountain Club (AMC) books, maps and journal to UVTA. She served on the board for Vermont Attractions Association, the Hanover Area Chamber of Commerce, and the Outdoor Industry Women’s Council. Access to the outdoors and trails is one of the primary assets of the Upper Valley. Beth has a BA in Environmental Studies, and a MS in Management.

Dennis Stern

UVTA Board Vice Chair

Dennis’s fondness for the outdoors dates to the 1950’s and the many summers he spent hiking, camping and canoeing in the north woods of Wisconsin, his home state. He and his wife Barbara live in the foothills of Lyme where their family has built a network of trails. Before retiring to the Upper Valley in 2009, he worked for 28 years at the New York Times. From 2010 to 2014 he was VP of operations at Vermont Law School. He is a graduate of Haverford College and New York University School of Law.

Vic Henningsen

UVTA Board Secretary

A long time commentator for Vermont Public Radio, Vic teaches history at Dartmouth’s Osher Lifelong Learning Institute. He fell in love with the outdoors during early summers in the White Mountains and quickly developed lifelong enthusiasms for hiking, x-c skiing, cycling, and kayaking. After working in the Whites and for five seasons on Mt. Mansfield as a Green Mountain Club caretaker and ranger-naturalist for the Vermont Deptartment of Forests and Parks, he spent more than 30 years teaching history at Phillips Academy in Andover, MA. Vic earned his B.A. in history at Yale, a master’s in history at Stanford, and a doctorate in history of education at Harvard. Parents of two adult children, Vic and his wife, Susan McCaslin, live in Thetford Center.

Rich Synnott

Active Entities Consulting, UVTA Board Treasurer

Rich is a consultant for the fitness, wellness and aquatic industry. He has been in the fitness and wellness industry for 35 years and has served as the Director for many of the largest and most prestigious health and wellness clubs in New England. He’s been a featured speaker at industry conferences, has provided consulting services for clubs throughout New England, and has written numerous articles for trade publications. His recreational interests include hiking, biking, snowshoeing, backpacking, rock climbing, and mountaineering. Rich has served on many boards to improve the health, fitness and recreational opportunities in the communities in which he has lived and worked, including Chambers of Commerce, Rotary Clubs, and the Economic Redevelopment Committee for Green Airport in Rhode Island. He is a past President of the New England Health and Racquet Sport Association, past President of the New England Fitness and Wellness Network and has served on the New Hampshire Dance for Heart Committee. More recently, Rich worked to develop the South Shore Initiative into a self-sustaining resource to fight the growing childhood obesity epidemic by bringing exercise and fitness programs back into local schools. He and his wife Heidi reside in Quechee.

Lucy Gibson

Toole Design

Lucy has lived in the Upper Valley for nearly 30 years, and enjoys trails of all kinds and in all seasons, including hiking, skiing, mountain biking and canoeing. Growing up in northeastern Ohio and spending summers in Algonquin Park, she found that hiking, biking and canoeing were very gratifying pastimes. Professionally, she is committed to helping communities become more walkable and bikable in her work as a transportation planner and engineer. She is currently working on active transportation plans for over a dozen communities in Vermont and beyond, and has also worked nationally on projects advocating redirection of transportation projects in favor of promoting clean, active and sustainable mobility. She has a BS in Civil Engineering from University of Vermont, and a MS in Engineering Sciences from Dartmouth College. She lives in Sharon with her husband, Greg DeFrancis.

Natalie Starr

DSM Environmental Studies

Natalie came to the Upper Valley 25 years ago, joining her husband who grew up in South Woodstock. After bushwhacking for years on cross-country skis in the hills of North Pomfret, South Woodstock and Hartland, she took up backcountry skiing and has enjoyed the trails and woods on Mount Ascutney most snowy winters since. When she isn’t skiing, biking, or hiking, she consults on sustainable waste management policies and programs as a principal at DSM Environmental Services. Through her work, she has helped communities and state governments make sustainable waste management decisions as they move to reduce waste and increase recycling of materials and organics. Her work has also taken her across the globe to help local governments in developing countries improve basic sanitation systems in developing countries. Natalie was asked in 2006 to become a Donella Meadows Sustainability Leadership Fellow working with fellows across the country and the world to both preserve Meadows’s legacy and to practice systems thinking to address the most pressing environmental challenge, climate change.

Augustus "Gus" Southworth

Gus has been practicing law since 1973 and recently retired as a partner from Carmody Torrance Sandak & Hennessey’s litigation group, which was named a “highly recommended” Connecticut litigation team in Benchmark Litigation’s Guide To Leading Business Litigation Firms and Attorneys. He practices in state and federal court in the areas of commercial and personal injury defense litigation, including medical litigation; representation of health care providers and hospitals in malpractice litigation; representation of physicians and hospitals in administrative proceedings, and regulatory and non-professional liability matters, including litigation and representation of private educational institutions. He grew up on a small family farm in Western Connecticut in the 1950s and 1960s and graduated from Dartmouth in 1966. He previously served on the Board Flander’s Nature Center, Woodbury, Connecticut. After spending part of every summer in the area, Gus now lives with his wife, Susan Moorman, at their family house full time on Crystal Lake in Enfield where he continues to pursue his interests of hiking throughout New England, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, biking, rowing his single shell on Crystal Lake and Connecticut River, and maintaining our 30 acres woods on the lake.

Kelli Pippin

Alice Peck Day Memorial Hospital

Kelli grew up in Vermont and now calls West Lebanon home. She appreciates the physical and mental health that access to mother nature provides. Her outdoor joys include birding, yard work, hiking, and exploring new and familiar trails with her partner and two poodles. She relishes in group fitness activities including Couch to 5K, The Prouty, and Bootcamp as she believes exercise is more fun with friends! Kelli brings over 20 years of integrated marketing experience gained in the trenches of health care, higher education, luxury consumer products, and renewable energy. She is currently the manager of marketing and communications at Alice Peck Day Memorial Hospital where she has spent the last five years managing the hospital’s traditional and digital marketing and internal communications. Prior to APD, She served in a similar capacity at the Center for Digital Strategies at the Tuck School of Business, and also lectured in the Tuck/Google Digital Excellence Program. Past free lance clients include Black Diamond Equipment, Tea Forte, and Timbuk2. She earned her BA at Wesleyan University in Norfolk, VA.

Karen Kaliski

Freelance Writer

Originally from the Albany, NY area, Karen spent many childhood weekends riding aimlessly around the backroads of Vermont in the backseat of her parents’ car. She inherited their appreciation of small towns and great scenery and set a goal to become a Vermonter herself. That was achieved in 1989 when a marketing position with a small, software start-up brought her to the Upper Valley. That experience led to product management and marketing executive positions inside several local, high tech companies. Since 2005, Karen has consulted with global enterprises including TechTarget, RSA Security, Salesforce.com, and Verizon as well as many national and local companies and organizations. Karen lives in Thetford, VT with her husband, two college-age children, and two cats. She is an avid traveler, hiker and kayaker and works hard on her golf game, to no avail. Karen earned a BA from St. Lawrence University and MPA from the State University of New York.

Matt Oscadal

Mascoma Bank

Matt is a native to the Upper Valley where he grew up exploring local trails with his family and camping in the White Mountains. After experiencing the western states for a few years as a young adult, he returned to the East Coast and currently lives in Hartland, VT with his girlfriend, two dogs, and a cat. He is an avid skier, hiker, and rock climber and has worked with both local and national organizations to maintain our open spaces and keep access free to the public. He works as a commercial credit analyst at Mascoma Bank where he also serves on the Donation Committee, B-Corp Environmental Impact Team, and Emerging Leaders Committee. Prior to banking, he worked as an accountant at a private firm in Massachusetts and on staff at Grassroot Soccer in Norwich, VT. Matt earned his BA from Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster, PA.

David Bartlett

Winrock Advisors Limited

David Bartlett founded Winrock Advisors Limited in 2013 as a specialized advisory firm focused on arranging private lending facilities and other special situations debt transactions for a global client base. Since 2006 David has also been Director of Pacific Harbor Holdings Limited (PHH), a Hong Kong SFC licensed asset manager, and the Managing Director and Office Head of Pacific Harbor Advisors (HK) Limited, an affiliate of PHH. David has over 20 years of experience in handling financial transactions in global markets. Prior to forming Pacific Harbor, the key principals established and managed Amroc Asia, a TPG / Avenue Capital affiliate – trading, advising and originating stressed and distressed debt transactions. While at Amroc, the team closed over USD1.2 billion in stressed, distressed and high yield transactions for a gross investment return of approximately USD500 million. In addition to the Amroc Investments business, the team sub-advised significant and wellknown managers who were looking for exposure to high yield, stressed and distressed debt in Asia. David was the Executive Director in Amroc Asia’s Hong Kong office from 2002 until 2006, generating transactions in China, Thailand and the Philippines. From 2000 to 2001, David was the COO of HNH Group Limited in Hong Kong. From 1998 to 2000, he was Project Manager of Corporate Banking & Investment Research of Asia Market Intelligence Group in Hong Kong. In 1997, David served for a year as Manager of Indonesian Equity Research at PT Samuel Sekuritas Indonesia in Jakarta, and from 1991 to 1994, he was the Program Manager of Africare based in Burkina Faso working with World Bank grantees and Project Manager at Associates in Rural Development in Burlington, Vermont implementing USAID financings. David was awarded a B.A. from the University of Vermont in 1990 and an M.B.A. from the Amos Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College in 1997.

Nancy Collier

Nancy has lived in the Upper Valley for over 40 years. She spends more time outside than inside whenever possible. Winter interests include pond hockey games, xc skiing and “spike” hiking. In the summer she rides bikes exploring back roads and trails all over the Upper Valley. Summertime also is a favorite time to explore small lakes and ponds in a kayak. Raised in Massachusetts, she found great satisfaction in outdoor opportunities in high school and college outing clubs. Her career ultimately focused on community and environmental planning in the public and private sectors. When she changed focus to family life and child rearing, she took on volunteer work for the local Conservation Commission and later the Planning Board. After a long tenure in community work, she switched to nonprofit work at a local land trust serving as Chair of the Board for almost a decade. She earned a BS from the University of Vermont and an MS from Antioch New England in Resource Management and Administration. Nancy and her husband John live in Hanover where they manage their own land for forestry and recreation, creating mountain bike trails and maintaining a hockey pond in the winter.