GCT Trustee Bios

GCT Trustees are all volunteer members with a diversity of skills.

Brian Bettencourt

Trustee Brian Bettencourt

Brian Bettencourt is part of a three-generation Groton family.  He grew up along the Squanacook; insects, reptiles, and amphibians have been life-long subjects of fascination.  Brian received a bachelor’s in Biology from UMass Amherst, a PhD in Biology from the University of Chicago, and is currently a drug developer in the local biotech industry.  As a current and founding member of the Invasive Species Committee in Groton, Brian is proud that his kids recognize and root out Asian bittersweet, garlic mustard, and Japanese knotweed on their own, and consider it quite a sport. Using iNaturalist to keep track of backyard finds and creatures of puzzlement on hikes with his wife and kids is a serious hobby and one that dovetails perfectly with his love of computers.

Holly Estes Secretary

Secretary Holly Estes

Holly has worked as a science educator for almost 25 years and is passionate about teaching others about the natural world. Her time in education has provided her with numerous opportunities to expose children and adults to the outdoors. In addition, she has experience in conducting field inventories in wetlands and uplands with a focus on invasive shrubs and trees.

Holly earned her MS in Conservation Biology from Antioch University New England, her MEd in Science Education from UMass Amherst, and her BA in Biological Sciences from Smith College. She works as the Science and Engineering Curriculum Specialist for the Sudbury Public Schools. In the past, she has worked for the Townsend Conservation Commission, and held positions on both the Groton Conservation Commission and the Groton Board of Health.

Mark Gerath President

President Mark Gerath

Mark has been a Trustee since July 2012, and was elected President in May 2021. His appreciation of Groton and open land combined with his project management skills and experience as an environmental engineer make him a valuable asset to our organization.

He is skilled in assembling management reports and preparing budgets. Being a Trustee has enabled Mark to foster a better connection to the community. He currently serves on the Stewardship Committee.

Mark is a Water Resources Consultant with a Master of Biochemistry and Master of Environmental Engineering. He is Groton Public Library Trustee and consistent trails committee volunteer. His interests include trail running, hiking, gardening and reading.

Debbie Howell

Trustee Debbie Howell

Debbie recently and intentionally moved to Groton for its open space and many, many beautiful trails. She currently works at the Weston Conservation Department focusing on stewardship of over 2,000 acres of conservation land with 100 miles of trails as well as 10 conservation restriction properties. Before moving to Groton, she served on the Sudbury Conservation Commission as well as Racial and Social Justice Community Group. Debbie’s previous career was as a Project Manager in environmental consulting focusing on hazardous waste site investigation and remediation. Debbie graduated from Tufts University with a BS in Chemical Engineering and then earned her MS in Environmental Sciences at Rutgers University. In her spare time, Debbie spends most of her time outside – walking trails, birding, gardening, and photographing nature.

Susan Hughes Vice President

Vice President Susan Hughes

Susan has been a Trustee since 2011. She is skilled in communications, outreach, writing, energy and marketing. She has put her skills to excellent use moving membership to online e-news, expanding community visibility and improving membership engagement. She is also working to keep the website interesting and up-to-date.  She enjoys being out on GCT properties (Fitch-Woods is her favorite). She currently serves on the Communication/ Membership Committee and was elected Vice President in May 2021.

Susan holds a BS in Journalism and works in communications at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, writing and managing external media. Her interests include hiking, reading and playing Scrabble (especially when she can beat Ed).

John Llodra Treasurer

Treasurer John Llodra

John was elected a Trustee and Treasurer of the Trust in May 2016, after having served as a member of the Trust’s finance committee and advisory council. John and his wife Grace moved to Groton in 1998 to start a family, in no small part due to Groton’s extensive conserved lands and vast network of recreational trails. He can often be found exploring these treasured resources while mountain biking, hiking, cross country skiing, or simply enjoying the peace and solitude of nature.

John is a founding principal of New Harbor Financial Group, which provides investment advisory and financial planning services to individuals, families, and organizations. John also spent several years as a management consultant to corporate clients in the energy industry.

John earned his BS, with distinction, in Operations Research & Engineering from Cornell University, and is a Certified Financial PlannerTM professional.

Ed McNierney

Trustee Ed McNierney

Ed has been a Trustee for many years and is a recent past President of the GCT. He has contributed significantly to the LTA accreditation efforts, and has helped move the Trust’s overall organization and record-keeping forward. He has experience with the Trust and with a number of the projects and technologies the GCT needs to implement and maintain going forward, especially document management and stewardship GPS/GIS skills.  He has also served on other non-profit boards, both environmental and other.

He is an experienced Chief Technology Officer and VP of Engineering, and has worked with a wide variety of organizations from start-ups and nonprofits to large companies. He holds an AB degree in Organic Chemistry from Dartmouth College.

Dan Moore

Trustee Dan Moore

Dan moved to Groton in 2022, attracted by the rural setting, abundant trails, and access to the rail trail. Dan and his wife are avid runners and can frequently be seen on the trail, or running the streets of Groton. Dan and his family also enjoy hiking and anything on the water. Dan has worked in e-commerce operations for the last fourteen years. Prior to that, he served as an Army Combat Engineer Officer for twelve years, including three combat tours in Iraq. Dan has a BS in Computer Science and Electrical Engineering from West Point and an MBA from MIT.

Richard Muehlke

Trustee Rick Muehlke

Rick is a long-term Trustee. He is a property steward, performs regular litter cleanup and other minor stewardship of many of GCT’s properties.  He has managed Eagle Scout projects and negotiated land sales. He is a certified, insured herbicide treatment contractor. Rick serves on the General Field, Land and Accreditation Committees. Rick works as a field marketing and events representative for Next Step Living, Inc, and holds a BA in Political Science from Yale University and an MBA from University of Minnesota, Carlson School of Management. He is also property manager for New England Forestry Foundation, and operates a Christmas tree farm.

Bob Pine

Trustee Bob Pine

Bob is a long-time Trustee who recently has worked with two Eagle Scout candidates to complete projects on GCT land. He has also lent his expertise to analyzing potential land transfers and land uses. He is the Chair of Stewardship Committee and helped develop the GCT self-evaluation form. He also sits on the Nomination, Lost Lake Boat Launch and Term Limits Policy Committees.

Bob has a background in landscape architecture and engineering and is Director of Environmental Planning and Engineering at Pine & Swallow, an environmental engineering firm he helped found in 1972. He holds his 
MLA from Harvard Graduate School of Design, his MSc in Geotechnical Engineering from Cornell University 
and his BS in Civil Engineering also from Cornell.

Michelle Ruby

Trustee Michelle Ruby

Michelle has been a Trustee since 2012. She has helped with a detailed ecological survey and monitoring work. She is also cataloging and organizing the monitoring reports from the last two years. She maintains a running list of Eagle Scout project suggestions and is working to further develop more GCT’s fee property and monitoring reports.  She currently serves on the Stewardship Committee.

Michelle teaches AP Environmental Science at Lawrence Academy and coaches the outdoors and the girls’ ice hockey programs. She attended Williams College. A lover of the outdoors, Michelle backpacks and bikes.

Milene Tabory

Trustee Milene Tabory

Milene was born and raised in Lima, Peru where she developed a strong advocacy drive to help improve our world. Previously working as a victim witness advocate for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, she fiercely championed the rights of victims. Now, Milene focuses her passion on environmental advocacy and conservation, aiming to mitigate the impacts of the climate crisis and preserve biodiversity for future generations. In addition to Groton Conservation Trust, Milene is a key contributor to Far Away Projects, a nonprofit organization where she collaborates closely to formulate and execute their overall strategy in supporting sustainability initiatives globally.

Charles E. Vander Linden

Trustee Chuck Vander Linden (left) pictured with trustee Rick Muehlke (center) and former trustee Ted Lapres (right)

Chuck has been a Trustee since 1985. He is committed to protection of the environment and public access to conservation land and has legal skills to assist in the work of the Trust. He has participated in land acquisition projects, worked with other Trustees with clean-up and management of properties and assisted in protecting the long-term strength and viability of the organization. He has served as President and Vice President and currently is on General Field, Land, Accreditation and Investment Committee.

Chuck is a Partner at the law firm of Starr Vander Linden, LLP. He graduated cum laude from Harvard Law School and served on the Groton Zoning Board of Appeals for 15 years. His interests in hiking, golf, kayaking and travel.

Kristen von Campe

Trustee Kristen von Campe

Kristen became a trustee in May 2022 after serving as a member of the GCT Advisory Council. She and her husband moved to Groton in 1997 and raised their two children here. Groton’s extensive conservation land and trails offered endless family outings. Kristen is a retired librarian and has served as a trustee for the Groton Public Library for the past 20 years. She also serves on Groton’s Complete Streets Committee and spent several years as a water monitor for the Nashua River Watershed Association. Her other volunteer work centers on assisting families that live in transitional housing.

Kristen holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from Bryant University, a Master’s Degree in Library and Information Science from Simmons University and completed extensive MBA coursework at the University of Southern Maine. Happiest when outdoors, Kristen enjoys cycling, snowshoeing, kayaking, gardening, tennis and hiking. Her favorite GCT events are the Groton Traverse and the General Field Sunset Party.

Dan Von Kohorn

Trustee Dan Von Kohorn

Dan Von Kohorn became a Trustee in December of 2021 and serves on the Finance Committee.  He and his family moved to Groton in June of 2016, attracted by the beautiful conserved lands and open natural spaces. Dan also conserves land in Orange, MA where he maintains 340 acres of natural woods, fields, wetlands, and trails, some of which is in Chapter 61A for agricultural use.

Dan’s professional background is in Finance and technology, and he currently serves as CIO for Broom Ventures. Dan studied economics and applied math at Princeton University. His interests include hiking, horticulture, reading, tinkering, and spending time with his wife and three kids.