Board of Trustees


Joan Allen, Trustee

Joan Allen has been a member of the SLT Board of Trustees since 1998. She is active on the Recreation and Education Committee and is a co-leader of the Dirty Boots Kids Club. Her educational background includes a BS in Forestry from Michigan Tech University and a MS in Plant Pathology from Cornell. Joan works as an Assistant Extension Educator at UConn in Storrs. Her primary responsibilities include plant problem diagnosis, educational lectures and presentations on plant pests and diseases, and writing for news outlets, magazines, and the UConn Home & Garden Education Center website, newsletters and blog. She is also Secretary of the Board of Directors of Farm to Family, the organization formed by the merger of Gifts of Love and Community Farm of Simsbury.

Chad Alfeld

Chad is a partner at Landmark. He is involved in investor relations, marketing, and transaction origination of alternative investments.

Prior to joining Landmark, Chad served as controller for Health Plans Capital Services Corporation and as a senior consultant at Arthur Andersen.

He serves on the board of the Connecticut Venture Group and the board of its Hartford Chapter.

Chad received an MBA from the University of Chicago, as well as an MS from DePaul University and a BA from Middlebury College.

Ted Almy, Trustee

Ted has been an SLT Trustee since 2000, and served as Vice President from 2010 — 2012. Ted has strong memories growing up on 20 diverse acres of woods, fields and Charles River watershed terrain near Boston. One of Ted's earliest childhood memories was of a large family meeting at his grandparent's home in Westport Massachusetts that ended with the decision to donate a large parcel of ancestral tidal land on Narragansett Bay to the Audubon society. Ted works at the Hartford branch of UBS Financial Services, where he co-runs one of the firm's larger investment advisory and wealth management practices.

“My years on the Simsbury Land Trust board have allowed me to support a mission that I care deeply about and serve with a group of some of the most interesting and capable individuals I have ever had the pleasure of working with. I find it extremely satisfying to think of the timeless legacy and quality of life this organization is preserving for current and future generations of Simsbury residents.”

Mary Baier, Trustee

Mary’s love for the outdoors began during her childhood in Bridgeport. She and her husband, Chris, have been volunteers with the SLT since a chance meeting with a SLT Trustee over 15 years ago. Mary was one of the founding members of Keep the Woods (KTW), a grass roots organization that carried the guidon for the Ethel Walker School Preservation Campaign. She was the Chairman until shortly after the Phase 1 Town Referendum Vote and continues to volunteer with KTW to this day.

In addition, to volunteering the SLT and KTW, Mary is an active member of the Jack Russell Terrier Club of America, Yankee Jack Russell Terrier Network, Russell Rescue, and a proud Associate Member of the First Company Governor’s Horse Guards upon her Honorable Discharge in 1992.

She has resided in Simsbury since 1991. She currently lives in the western part of town with her husband, and their two Rescue Jack Russell Terriers. You can mostly likely find her hiking any one of the numerous SLT Trails with her two terriers.

Karen Brand, Secretary

Karen is a member of the SLT Board of Trustees, and serves as chair of the Governance Committee and Board Secretary. She is a business lawyer with the law firm of Reid and Riege, P.C. She lives in Simsbury with her husband, 2 college aged sons, their dog and cats and several hens. She loves enjoying the outdoors and the natural world in every way, from hiking or trail running with her dog to watching the butterflies, bees and birds in her backyard.

Though she has lived in Simsbury for most of her adult life, Karen is a Florida native; as a child she saw many beautiful places disappear to development. She deeply appreciates living in a community where people care about farms and open space, and she enjoys helping people who work to preserve them.

Dick Davis, Trustee

Dick served as SLT President from 1996 — 2008, and has been on the Board of Trustees since 1994. His interest in nature and conservation began as a child with his mother who was a science teacher and in endless hours exploring the hillside pastures of Shelburne, MA. He also remembers boyhood summers wading in the rich tidal pools along the Maine Coast and long distance hiking in the Green Mountains of Vermont. Dick has spent his career in commercial real estate working for many years with Aetna Realty Investors and the past 12 years with Babson Capital Management and Cornerstone Real Estate Advisers.

“My time with the Simsbury Land Trust has been one of the real joys of my life. Here I have found the camaraderie of kindred spirits and the great satisfaction of sharing in large goals and important achievements. Here I have found a place where each person really can make a difference. Together we are ensuring that future generations have the same opportunities we have had to explore, enjoy and respect the natural world upon which we all depend.”

T.J. Donohue, Trustee

T.J. Donohue is a Simsbury lawyer involved in full general practice of law with concentration in all matters real estate. In addition to his role as a Trustee for the Simsbury Land Trust, T.J. is a director of the Greater Hartford Convention and Visitor’s Bureau, the Simsbury Free Library, and the Simsbury Historical Society. He serves on the Board of Trustees for the SLT and has been a lead participant in every major SLT acquisition in the past 15 years. T.J. also participates on the Governance Committee. T.J. is available to speak to any group or individual who wants to learn more about the SLT mission and team.

“For Simsbury to continue to be a most desirable community it must continue to balance growth and development in order to shape and finance our future with preservation and conservation of our extraordinary resources and places as the defining elements of our character. Participation in the SLT is an honor.”

Bob Ellis, Treasurer

Bob Ellis joined the Board of Trustees in 2002 and has been the organization's Treasurer since then. Bob is a CPA an spent 33 years in public accounting working predominantly with not-for-profit companies. Bob has lived in Simsbury for 40 years.

Fred Feibel, President

Fred is currently one of the longest serving members of the SLT board. He is a local veterinarian who lives in West Simsbury with his family Hannah, Sam and Hallie. When he has free time he is usually outdoors hiking, fishing or gardening, always with a couple of dogs at his side. Fred also serves as president of the Board of Trustees for the Simsbury Land Trust.

“Simsbury is blessed with a wealth of beautiful vistas, unique geological features and diverse habitats. There are samples of each that are accessible and preserved for the future in large part due to the vision and effort of the Land Trust. I appreciate being part of such an active and effective group.“

Katie French, Trustee

Katie French is a Simsbury native who enjoys a successful real estate career in the Farmington Valley with Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage. One of her favorite aspects of this job is introducing relocating families to the beauty of Simsbury and the many resources the town has to offer. Katie spent time growing up here exploring the woodlands and trails in the area on foot, bike and horseback. She has served on the Board of Trustees since 2002.

“I find it amazing that we have accomplished such a wonderful balance of protected land in conjunction with residential and commercial development. This dedicated group on the land trust is educated, forward thinking and sensitive to our environment. I enjoy learning from them and sharing our mutual interests in this endeavor.”

Rob Heagney, Trustee

Rob Heagney joined the Simsbury Land Trust board in 1999 after having been a long time SLT member and supporter. A Simsbury resident since 1969, Rob and his wife Barbara have raised four children in Simsbury all of whom enjoyed hiking and other recreation opportunities found in town. Rob is Chief Legal and Operations Officer of Ark Underwriting Inc. and is affiliated as Of Counsel with the Simsbury Law firm of Hassett & George. In addition to his work with the SLT, Rob has served in local government on the Planning Commission, Board of Selectmen, Board of Finance (Chair), and Ethics Committee. Rob also served as Simsbury's State Representative from 1998-2006. “Simsbury is a naturally beautiful community blessed with a dedicated land trust which has preserved key portions of the natural landscape for our perpetual enjoyment.”

Paul Henault, Trustee

Paul joined the Board of Trustees in 2014. Paul is senior vice president of The Hartford Steam Boiler Inspection & Insurance Company with responsibility for reinsurance assumed and the client company acquisition team. He also serves as the company’s industry relations officer. Paul was elected three times to the Simsbury Board of Finance and was Chairman for 15 years. During that time he was an active participant in many of the decisions the Town of Simsbury made regarding financial contributions to land acquisition.

Paul and his wife Terry have owned a house in Simsbury since 1984, and Terry has been a resident of the town since 1966. Both are very active in their community and walk the woods and open spaces weekly with their two dogs. They have three grown children.

Chuck Howard, President Emeritus

Chuck served as the vice president of the Simsbury Land Trust from 2006 to 2008 and was president from 2008 to 2014. He currently serves as president emeritus. Chuck and his wife, Joan, have been residents of Simsbury since 1977.

Chuck is a litigation partner in the law firm of Shipman & Goodwin LLP, where he was chair of the firm’s Litigation Department from 1985 to 2000. He currently serves as the firm’s general counsel. Chuck also serves as independent counsel to ombudsman offices at major corporations, universities, research facilities, and other organizations throughout the United States and is the author of the book, The Organizational Ombudsman: Origins, Roles, and Operations - A Legal Guide, published by the American Bar Association in January, 2010.

In addition to serving on various state commissions and committees, Chuck has long been an active volunteer in Simsbury. In his spare time, he can be found on local hiking trails or in the White Mountains of New Hampshire or paddling a kayak on the Farmington River and in Maine.

Dr. Jeremiah N. Jarrett, Trustee

Jerry Jarrett is Associate to the Dean and Professor of Biology in the School of Engineering, Science, and Technology at Central Connecticut State University. He earned his PhD at Tufts University in 1997 and joined the faculty at CCSU that same year. He has been funded by the U.S. Dept. of Education (FIPSE) and the National Science Foundation and his research in marine ecology has been published in the journals Bioscience, Ecology, Marine Ecology Progress Series, Crustacean Biology, and the Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology.

Jerry and his wife Helen were drawn to Simsbury in 1998 because of the easy access to hiking, canoeing, and running/biking trails as well as the rural character of the town and the wonderful education system. “As a resident of Simsbury, I am grateful for the monumental work of the SLT board in acquiring and protecting so many unique properties throughout town.” Jerry joined the SLT board in 2016 and is looking forward to helping with outreach and stewardship activities.

Diana Moody, Trustee

Diana spent her earliest years in Jacksonville, Florida before moving to Colorado. It is among the Rocky Mountains that she fell in love with the natural world. Diana also enjoyed her work there managing a natural foods restaurant, which revealed the important linkage to land and farm preservation.

Diana and her husband Jim moved to Simsbury in 1987 and fell in love with its bucolic landscapes, farms and open space. Diana looked for involvement in conservation and open space protection. By chance, in 1996, she was asked to help the grass roots organization Keep the Woods. She worked doggedly with a dedicated team that successfully preserved the Ethel Walker Woods; an accomplishment she says was the most fulfilling of her life. Diana joined a SLT committee in support of efforts to preserve George Hall’s farm. She joined the Board of Trustees in 2014.

Along with gardening, hiking and alpine skiing, cycling is one of Diana’s favorite activities. Furthering her efforts to build a better community, Diana is a member of Simsbury’s bicycle/pedestrian advisory committee and is a key contributor to town’s efforts to elevate its status as a Bicycle Friendly Community. She also volunteers for Simsbury Free Bike and the Farmington Valley Trails Council.

Diana remains passionate about land preservation and is proud to be a Trustee for the Simsbury Land Trust. Her membership allows an expanded involvement in the SLT’s preservation efforts and stewardship of the land.

Sally Rieger, Trustee

Sally focused her attention on conservation after retiring from teaching Biology at Central Connecticut State University. In addition to her role as stewardship chair at Simsbury Land Trust, she serves as chair of the Lower Farmington River and Salmon Brook Wild and Scenic Study Committee, a group under National Park Service auspices aimed at securing further protection for the river. Sally has been recognized by the Connecticut D.E.E.P as a Master Wildlife Conservationist and by the Town of Simsbury as a Hometown Hero for her river advocacy. Sally’s role on the SLT’s education committee continues service that has extended from Peace Corps teaching in Libya through nursery school teaching and Girl Scout leadership in Simsbury.

Elliot Schulman, Trustee

Elliot has served on the Board of Trustees since 2002, and was chair of the Governance Committee from 2004 — 2012. Elliot retired as Manager of Engineering Operations at United Technologies Corp. Research Center in 1992, and was Co-founder, COO and CFO of CT Technology Associates from 1992-2001.

As a boy growing up in the Bronx, New York, nature was not a big part of Elliot’s life. But moving to Simsbury 19 years ago was an eye opening experience for him. The beauty of the farmlands and woodlands spread about the town made him decide that he wanted to do what he could to keep it as it is for future generations to enjoy. “I have never been associated with a group of people more dedicated to the preservation of nature and its beauties as I have with this organization. I am gratified that I was able to contribute in a small way to the outstanding success of the SLT in acquiring the development rights to many beautiful land parcels and ensuring that several family owned farms would be able to continue to provide for the needs of the town’s people for the foreseeable future.“

Susan Van Kleef, Trustee

Susan’s interest in nature was nurtured when she was a young child living in Cleveland. She would beg her parents to take her to the Cleveland Zoo and Cleveland Museum of Natural History. Many years of summer camp out in the country, looking for signs of wildlife and sleeping under the stars, immersed her in nature and cemented her appreciation for the value of open natural spaces. Susan has been a science educator for over 25 years. During that time she has taught science to ages pre-school through college. She presently teaches 8th grade at the Middle School of Plainville. She joined the SLT Board in 2012.

Susan chose to move to Simsbury in 1996 because of all the open space. Susan started working with the Simsbury Land Trust because they have been so effective in preserving open space and she wanted to be part of the effort in the future. She was involved in preserving the Ethel Walker Woods with Keep the Woods and is a member of the Simsbury Clean Energy Task Force.

Margery Winters, Vice President

Margery and her family moved from Chicago to Simsbury in 1986 and she brought with her training in geology, hydrology, and soils and prior work in environmental impact assessment at Argonne National Laboratory. In Simsbury, Margery raised her children and became active in a variety of organizations including the Simsbury Garden Club and the founding of the Simsbury Educational Enhancement Foundation. Margery worked for many years on water management issues with Rivers Alliance of Connecticut and has served on the Simsbury Inland Wetlands Commission since 2000. She has found her ideal job as Assistant Director of Roaring Brook Nature Center where she is delighted to be able to share her passion for science and nature with students of all ages. Margery believes the Simsbury Land Trust has a vital role in bringing a better appreciation of the importance of our natural areas to the entire community. She currently serves as vice-president of the SLT Board of Trustees.