Leadership

Pamela Aey Adams, Co-President
Eileen Grant, Co-President
Theodore B. Lynn, PhD, Secretary
Sally Harold, Treasurer
Meg Begley, Board of Directors
Helen Post Curry, Board of Directors
Shaun Roche, Board of Directors
Margot Burns, FCSP Board
Eric Hammerling, Executive Director, CT Forest & Parks Association
Christine Koster - Board of Directors
Ryan Snide, Board of Directors
Jay Willerup - Board of Directors
Tom Tyler, Director, State Parks Division, CT DEEP, Ex Officio
Susan Whalen, Deputy Commissioner, CT DEEP ~ Ex Officio
Mike Lambert, Chief of the Bureau of Outdoor Recreation, CT DEEP ~ Ex Officio
Pamela Aey Adams, Co-President

Pam was born in Norwich, CT and currently resides in Colchester. She is an active volunteer, currently serving on the Board of Directors of the Friends of CT State Parks and the Board of Directors of the Thames River Heritage Park Foundation. In recent years, she served on the Mystic Country (Eastern CT Regional Tourism District) where she served as the Chairperson and, Friends of Harkness Memorial State Park. She was also a member of the CT State Park Centennial Celebration Committee-2013-14 which helped to raise nearly $50,000 for the Centennial Celebration and the CT State Parks Centennial Commemorative Book. Pamela serves on the America State Park Foundation as a Retiree member of the National Association of State Park Directors. In her leisure time, Pam is a member of the Norwich Power Squadron (US Power Squadrons), a boating education organization and the West Highland White Terrier Society of CT. Ms. Adams was elected as a Justice-of-the-Peace in 1981 and continues to serve in that capacity. Prior to her retirement in 2009, Pamela served as Director of the Connecticut State Park system for 12 years and was a dedicated public servant with the CT Department of Environmental Protection; retiring after 33 years with that agency. Other Information: BA, Wittenberg University, MS University of Connecticut. Married to Thomas.

Eileen Grant, Co-President

As well as serving as Co-President currently, Eileen held prior office as FCSP’s President for eight years. (2007-2014) She deepened the FCSP partnership with DEEP and CFPA, and led a successful multiyear campaign to raise awareness of the lack of funding for and staffing of the State Park System.

Eileen is a landscape designer and sole proprietor of Latin Roots Garden Design in Madison, CT. Her interest in historic gardens led her to Harkness Memorial State Park in 1996. She has volunteered there since that time assisting with the restoration of the renown Beatrix Farrand and Marian Coffin gardens. She co-chaired the Friends of Harkness horticulture committee for 20 years and organized
the Friends’ Annual Plant Sales. She served as the President of the Friends of Harkness for four years (2000-2003) and is at present a member of its Board of Trustees. She joined the FCSP Board in 2004 and has focused her efforts on legislative issues pertaining to Parks.
In September of 2014, Eileen was nationally recognized for her efforts on behalf of Connecticut State Parks; she received the 2014 Presidents Award by the National Association of State Park Directors (NASPD). The award is given annually to an individual or organization that has made an extraordinary contribution, innovation, and/or best practice at a state, regional or national level, furthering the goals of a system of state parks.

Eileen holds an Honors B.A. and an M.A. in Literature from the University of Connecticut.

Theodore B. Lynn, PhD, Secretary

Ted, whose home adjoins West Rock Ridge State Park, is director of research and development at Dexsil Corp., a Hamden business that makes environmental test kits. Ted earned his undergraduate degree in chemistry at the University of Vermont and his Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from Yale University. Ted did three years of post-doctoral work at the Technical University in Berlin, West Germany, before returning to Hamden.

Ted has been a member of West Rock Ridge Park Association since 1996.  He became association vice president in 2002 and president in 2008. Ted is a member of the West Rock Ridge State Park Advisory Council.  He enjoys hiking the trails, bicycling on Baldwin Drive and cross-country skiing in the park with his wife, Amy, and their three children.

Ted is grateful to Bill Doheny, Steve and Barrie Collins, and all the others who had the vision and long-term energy to create West Rock Ridge State Park, and to preserve this valuable and unique landscape for future generations to enjoy, and to the past and present leaders of the Friends of Connecticut State Parks. He looks forward to working with FCSP to ensure the continued success of Connecticut’s wonderful and valuable state parks.

Sally Harold, Treasurer

Sally Harold is the Director of River Restoration and Fish Passage for the Connecticut Chapter of The Nature Conservancy where she has been employed for the last thirteen years. Sally works with colleagues in the Connecticut River Watershed and around Long Island Sound to develop and find funding for projects at priority barriers to allow fish passage upstream to important spawning habitat. In Connecticut, Sally has been involved in over a dozen fish passage projects including three dam removals. She has also been involved in dam owner outreach, legislative initiatives and regional conservation planning efforts for The Nature Conservancy.

Meg Begley, Board of Directors

Meg Begley is Chair of the Publicity/Social Media and Co-Chair of the Fundraising Committees. She is the FaceBook and Instagram administrator who enjoys creating posts that engage people in the wonders of Topsmead and the Friends’ efforts to preserve this special place.

Meg is a resident of Harwinton where she lives with her husband, Paul, and mini poodle, Grace. She loves being on the water, especially in her kayak dubbed, “The S.S. Dragonfly,” so named after the fliers that alight on her vessel while paddling. She engages in various fitness activities and creative endeavors and enjoys attending concerts of different genres at many of Connecticut’s music venues.

Meg spends much time strolling the grounds of Topsmead, usually with Grace in tow. It is a constant source of peace, inspiration, joy, and solace. She plans to bring her program management skills and creativity to advance the Friends’ efforts to preserve and enhance this beautiful public land. Her over thirty years of experience in a wide range of positions in the corporate and university worlds will benefit the good of our beloved state forest at the “Top of the Meadow.”

Helen Post Curry, Board of Directors

Helen Post Curry, an Interior Designer and Color Consultant by profession, lives in New Canaan and works to promote and preserve the work of her great-grandfather, the renowned architect Cass Gilbert. She runs the tours of his magnificent Woolworth Building in NYC, and has recently created the Friends of Seaside State Park in Waterford, CT to help preserve its architectural heritage, which includes two of his last buildings.

As President of the Friends of Seaside, she is passionate about protecting its dynamic coastal habitat and is delighted to serve on the board of the Friends of CT State Parks.

Shaun Roche, Board of Directors

Born and raised in Waterbury, Shaun has been visiting Connecticut state parks since the earliest days of his youth. Parks like Harkness, Gillette Castle, Black Rock, Devils Hopyard, Wadsworth Falls, and numerous others, shaped Shauns love of both the natural world and of the human stories of our states past. These places are part of the reason Shaun attended Central Connecticut State University and majored in history. After finishing his B.A. and M.A. degrees, Shaun worked for the National Park Service as a ranger at Sagamore Hill National Historic Site in Oyster Bay, New York for more than six years. In 2011, Shaun accepted a position with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and was happy to return to Connecticut. He now works on the shoreline and owns a home with his wife in the Middletown area. Shaun joined FCSP in 2015 to advocate for our state lands and raise awareness so more citizens will enjoy them.

Margot Burns, FCSP Board

Margot Burns is currently the Environmental Planner for the Lower CT River Valley Council of Governments where she coordinates the Lower CT River and Coastal Region Land Trust Exchange and recently led the development effort of the Menunketesuck / Cockaponset Regional Greenway and its 2012 designation as a CT State Greenway.  Margot earned her MS in Geography/Environmental Protection and holds a BA in Environmental Geography from Central CT State University. She currently serves on the Steering Committee for the Connecticut Land Conservation Council as Secretary for the Eastern CT Resource, Conservation, and Development Area, and is a member of the Chester Conservation Commission.

Eric Hammerling, Executive Director, CT Forest & Parks Association

Eric has been Executive Director of CFPA since May, 2008 after serving for over five years as the Executive Director for the Farmington River Watershed Association in Simsbury. Eric holds an M.S. in Environmental Science/Range Management from U.C. Berkeley, and a B.A. in History from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. Under Eric’s tenure, CFPA worked to have the New England Trail designated as the most recent national scenic trail in the U.S. and the first in the northeast since the Appalachian Trail over 20 years ago. Through his work at the Farmington River Watershed Association, Eric spearheaded the ongoing effort to designate the Lower Farmington River and Salmon Brook as Wild & Scenic Rivers. In his 22-year conservation career, Eric has also worked for the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation on both coasts, the Center for Ecological Technology in Northampton, and for the late Congressman Silvio O. Conte who represented Western Massachusetts. In addition to serving on the Board of the FCSP, Eric currently serves on the Board for Rivers Alliance of Connecticut and Connwood, as well as on the Steering Committee for the Working Lands Alliance and the Connecticut Land Conservation Council.

Christine Koster - Board of Directors

Chris has been an avid supporter and member of the Friends of Hammonasset (FOH) since 2005.  She was elected as Vice President in 2015 and she has been President since 2016.  FOH works to protect, enhance and preserve Hammonasset Beach State Park through environmental education.  Chris has been a member of the Friends of Connecticut State Parks since 2013 and joined the Board of Directors in 2017.

Chris has over 25 years of financial services experience.  Starting her career in Southampton, NY she moved to New England in 1994 where she continues building relationships with business banking clients.

 

Ryan Snide, Board of Directors
A life long Griswold CT resident Ryan Snide wakes up everyday inspired to help others. He is a self employed Plumbing and Heating Service Professional with a life long passion for the outdoors. Raised in the Pachaug Forest, he is the founding President of Friends of Pachaug Forest. Ryan has also joined the Connecticut Forest and Park Association as a Trail Manager for the Quinabaug Trail and works with the various other trail building groups in the State.  He is a strong community advocate with a very positive perspective on life who works hard to instill the same attitude in the volunteers he leads. ” If we all did things we are capable of doing, we would literally astound ourselves.”
Jay Willerup - Board of Directors

Jay joined the FCSP board in 2013. He started his tenure with the state parks simply by offering his services in the visitors book at Heublein Tower. He joined the Friends of Heublein Tower board of directors in 2002. In 2009 accepted the position of Co-President of the board. As an architect, Jay brings his interest in restoring buildings back to their original integrity. His ability to gather support, secure materials and labor have led to many successful restoration/recreation projects at the tower. He, other members of the board and the Park Manager have collaborated on many projects together, relying on their individual strengths and talents to accomplish daunting tasks. Jay’s never afraid to be hands on, from bending copper for light fixtures to climbing up to the cupola to change the light bulb in the beacon. Jay lives in Simsbury with his wife Tara and daughters Taylor, Maggie and Maeve.

Tom Tyler, Director, State Parks Division, CT DEEP, Ex Officio

Tom is the Director of the State Parks and Public Outreach Division of the DEEP, and serves on the FCSP Board as an Ex-Officio member. Tom began his career working for DEEP in the early 80s in the State Parks Division. For 5 years, Tom worked at several parks in the greater Hartford area, including Penwood, Stratton Brook, and Talcott Mountain State Parks. Tom then worked for 10 years in the private sector, doing legislative advocacy for a number of clients, several focusing on environmental issues. He returned to the DEEP in 1997 to direct the legislative program for the DEEP working for each of the past five Commissioners representing the DEEP before the General Assembly on a wide range of issues, including significant collaboration with the Friends in their legislative work. Prior to becoming Director of Parks, Tom’s other duties for the DEEP have included leading the Land Acquisition and Management Program, as well as the Indian Affairs program.

Susan Whalen, Deputy Commissioner, CT DEEP ~ Ex Officio

Susan has served as Deputy Commissioner for Environmental Conservation at DEEP since April, 2008.  She is an avid gardener and outdoorswoman. For more than twenty years, she has held a variety of environmental management and policy positions in both the public and private sector. She has been responsible for developing and implementing innovative public private partnerships, and for expanding educational programming and recreational opportunities in parks. In her hometown of Harvard, MA, as a member of the Harvard Historical Commission she led the effort to develop design standards for historic buildings, and has served as Co-President of the Friends of the Harvard Public Library since 2004.

Mike Lambert, Chief of the Bureau of Outdoor Recreation, CT DEEP ~ Ex Officio

Mike is Chief of the Bureau of Outdoor Recreation for the Connecticut Department of Energy & Environmental Protection.  In this role, he oversees the administrative, operational and managerial functions of the State Parks, Boating, and Environmental Conservation Police Divisions.  Mike’s career in state parks began with North Carolina State Parks, where he started as a Park Ranger and worked through the ranks to become Park Superintendent working in five different state parks throughout western North Carolina.  He eventually became Chief of Operations for North Carolina State Parks where he planned, organized and managed 41 operational units within the state parks system overseeing interpretation and education programming, law enforcement, emergency services and park maintenance and operations.  He left North Carolina for his current position in Connecticut where he works to provide outdoor recreation opportunities consistent with the long term protection of the state’s natural resources.  He has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Earth Sciences from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.

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