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.

Kaitie Eddington

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. 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 Simon Pearce Dinner and the STOAKED Trail Race.

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.

Conrad Reining

Dartmouth College

Conrad Reining is the Associate Director of the Arts and Sciences Development Office at Dartmouth College in Hanover, NH. In this position he helps ensure that more than 40 academic departments and programs have the resources necessary to carry out a wide range of research, teaching, and service activities. Between 2001 and 2013 he was the Eastern Program Director for the Wildlands Network, where he was responsible for coordinating conservation planning, outreach and fundraising for a large portion of eastern North America. A major focus of his work was the development of a trans-border network – a Wildlands Network Design – of linked conservation areas in the Northern Appalachians of the northeastern U.S. and southeastern Canada. As a board member of Two Countries, One Forest (2C1Forest), he has supported the development of a comprehensive conservation strategy for the Northern Appalachians. He also collaborated with more than 20 other organizations to establish the Staying Connected Initiative, which is dedicated to conserving critical habitat linkages in the Northern Appalachians. He is co-developer of a framework for measuring and monitoring landscape connectivity at large scale, and was part of a team that identified best management practices to reduce the impact of transportation infrastructure on wildlife in Vermont. Conrad holds a Masters degree from the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Sciences and a BA degree from the University of California, Berkeley.

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 provide. Her outdoor joys include birding, yard work, hiking, and exploring new and familiar trails with her partner and poodle. 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 four years managing the hospital’s traditional and digital marketing. 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.