Our People & Partners

  • Staff
  • Board of Directors
  • Partners
Stephen Burrington
Executive Director
Stephen Burrington
Executive Director

Stephen Burrington (steve@groundworkusa.org) is the Executive Director of Groundwork USA. He brings a lengthy record of accomplishment in the non-profit, government, and private sectors, along with a compelling vision for the organization and a deep commitment to our mission of changing places and changing lives. From 2007 until he assumed the Groundwork USA leadership role in 2014, he was a consultant to state and local leaders and diverse private sector organizations across the nation, planning and helping implement strategies in sustainable land use, transportation, and energy. His clients included the US EPA; governors’ offices, state cabinet officials and mayors; environmental, business, and community development organizations; national foundations; and developers of renewable energy and transit-oriented development projects.

Steve was formerly Commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation, where he led the formation of the nation’s sixth-largest and most diverse state parks, natural resources and infrastructure agency. He also served as undersecretary in the Massachusetts Office for Commonwealth Development, where he created nationally recognized programs for advancing sustainable development in cities and town centers. Before entering state government, Steve was Vice President and General Counsel for the Conservation Law Foundation, New England’s leading environmental advocacy organization. He began his career as an attorney with the civil legal services program for low-income people in New Orleans, Louisiana, and is a graduate of the University of Edinburgh and University of Michigan Law School.

“Groundwork USA combines the Trusts’ ability to effect change at the local level with the know-how and resources of a nationwide network,” says Steve. “That’s exactly what our times require—exactly what we need to reach the goal of “no community left behind.” I have watched Groundwork Trusts in action for more than a decade, and am amazed by their ability to grapple with complexity, overcome difficult circumstances and accomplish great things.”

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liz carver
COMMUNICATIONS AND NETWORK DEVELOPMENT MANAGER
liz carver
COMMUNICATIONS AND NETWORK DEVELOPMENT MANAGER

Liz Carver (liz@groundworkusa.org) joined Groundwork USA in October 2015 as Manager of Communications and Network Development. She oversees internal and external communications and helps shape capacity-building activities for the Groundwork USA network. Prior to joining Groundwork USA, Liz worked for CLF Ventures, the market-solutions arm of Conservation Law Foundation, where she provided project management, strategy development, and marketing and communications expertise to projects related to clean energy and climate change, sustainable food systems, and healthy communities. Before shifting to the environmental arena, Liz worked over 20 years as a documentary and website producer for public television and non-profit organizations.

Liz has a BA from Yale University and an MA in Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning from Tufts University. An avid gardener and choral singer, Liz lives in Boston, Massachusetts with her wife. She serves on the Board of Directors of Coro Allegro, Boston’s LGBT classical chorus, and has served on the Board of GreeningRozzie, a community-based sustainability organization.

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Anjali Thavendran Chen
Trust Services Director
Anjali Thavendran Chen
Trust Services Director

Anjali Chen (anjali@groundworkusa.org) is Groundwork USA’s Director of Trust Services, responsible for managing relationships between the National Park Service, Groundwork USA, and its growing network of local affiliates across the country. Drawing from a broad range of experience in environmental and energy policy, nonprofit fundraising, and organizational development, she acts in the capacity of project officer, advisor, and business manager for Groundwork USA’s network of 22 affiliates (also known as Trusts).

Anjali works with the largest cluster of Groundwork USA staff in the Yonkers office of Groundwork Hudson Valley. She loves the buzz of working in an office where Green Team youth (14-18 years) are in and out of the office working on various projects; where plants, tools, and CSA shares of food are all around the office; where plans are made for trips to National Parks, planting schedules, arts events, harvesting schedules, Farmers’ Market activities, and Science Barge events; and where conversations around politics, race, and life all happen easily and comfortably together.

Before joining the Groundwork USA team, Anjali worked with community groups in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area on fundraising and organizational capacity-building. Prior to that, she consulted with D.C. consulting firms on federal regulatory and energy policy issues as a Senior Economist & Energy Research Analyst. In her post-college and grad school years, Anjali worked with national and international non-governmental organizations advocating for sustainable development policies, in Sri Lanka, Geneva, New York, and Washington, D.C.

Anjali has a B.A. in Economics & Sociology from Brandeis University and a Masters in International Affairs (concentration in Environmental Policy) from Columbia University. She lives in Hastings-on-Hudson, just north of Yonkers, with her husband and three daughters, where she is actively engaged in the community.

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Amanda Cochrane
Director of Resource Development
Amanda Cochrane
Director of Resource Development

Amanda Cochrane (Amanda@groundworkusa.org) joined Groundwork USA in September of 2016 as Director of Resource Development. In this role, she seeks out partnership opportunities with foundations, corporations, and others interested in working to create more equitable and sustainable communities, particularly in those places in our country where there has been consistent disinvestment and marginalization.

Before joining the team at Groundwork USA, Amanda led fundraising and development at Groundwork Lawrence, one of Groundwork USA’s largest Trusts. In that role, she oversaw approximately $1.2M of private fundraising each year through foundation, corporate, and individual campaigns as well as an annual gala event. Amanda brings 15 years of experience in the nonprofit field devoted to organizations with social justice missions and has worked on issues such as domestic and sexual violence prevention, international development, and child welfare.

Amanda has a BA from Colby College and an MBA from the Heller School for Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University. She lives in St. Johnsbury, Vermont with her husband and three children and enjoys being active in the outdoors with her family.

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Curt Collier
National Youth Programs Director
Curt Collier
National Youth Programs Director

Curt Collier (curt@groundworkhv.org) oversees Groundwork USA’s National Youth Programs. Working in collaboration with the National Park Service and the US Fish and Wildlife Service, Collier has acted to create award-winning corps-styled programs in a number of our nation’s national parks and refuges, including Yellowstone, Grand Teton, Shenandoah National Park, and Gateway National Recreation Area, as well as along the Appalachian National Scenic Trail.

Curt helps to boost the corps competency and youth development capacity of the Groundwork USA network, creates ongoing training opportunity for Youth Leaders, and engages in outreach to funders and supporters to further these efforts. He helps to design programs and workshops at the network level to address emerging issues in youth educational preparedness and career development, and oversees the annual National Youth Summit, gathering together 60+ youth and youth leaders with professionals in the NPS, USFWS, NFS, DOI, and BLM.

A leader for the Society for Ethical Culture, Curt has a BA in Philosophy, an MS in Communication Disorders, and certificates in counseling from the Post Graduate Center for Mental Health. Prior to leading the above activities he taught at Texas Tech University, Texas A&M Kingsville, and most recently at Hofstra University.

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MoniCA Gregoire
Program Assistant
MoniCA Gregoire
Program Assistant

Monica Gregoire (monica@groundworkusa.org) joined Groundwork USA in September 2016 as a Program Assistant. She provides staff support for Groundwork USA’s capacity building and technical assistance programs focused on brownfields, equitable development, and environmental justice. Prior to joining Groundwork, Monica worked in real estate in both the private and nonprofit sectors.

Monica is interested in multimodal transportation and community building through meaningful partnerships. Passionate about serving her community, she is an elected member of the Chelmsford (MA) Planning Board. She also serves as a local pedestrian advocate working with citizens and officials to improve pedestrian conditions and infrastructure.

Monica has a BA in Sociology from Tufts University and will soon receive an MA in Urban Planning from Tufts’ Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning program. Monica enjoys gardening, hiking, and spending time with her family.

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Ann-Marie Mitroff
River Programs Director
Ann-Marie Mitroff
River Programs Director

As River Program Director for Groundwork USA, Ann-Marie Mitroff (annmarie@groundworkhv.org) is responsible for co-coordinating EPA’s Urban Waters Learning Network with partner organization, River Network. Using her 20+ years of on-the-ground experience in managing conservation and river projects in urban areas, she provides guidance and program perspectives to urban waters practitioners across the country including local Groundwork Trusts through the Urban Waters Learning Network. The Network provides peer-to-peer networking and resource learning opportunities, a communications system, website, and coaching.

Ann-Marie is also Groundwork Hudson Valley’s River Program Director. For over a decade, she’s been responsible for implementing river restoration efforts including tree planting and invasives management, water quality and fish studies, wetland reviews, municipal stormwater/green infrastructure projects, and river clean-ups. She coordinated the City of Yonkers’ habitat plan and community engagement process on the eight-year Saw Mill River Daylighting project, completed in 2012.

Prior to joining Groundwork, she developed and managed water and energy conservation programs for public and private utilities in Santa Cruz and San Jose California; Washington, DC; and Seattle. Ann-Marie has an MPA from Seattle University and a BA from the University of Washington.

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Kate O’Brien
Capacity Building Director
Kate O’Brien
Capacity Building Director

Kate O’Brien (kate@groundworkusa.org) serves as Director of Capacity Building for Groundwork USA, a dynamic network of 23 nonprofits engaging local stakeholders in realizing healthier, more resilient and more equitable neighborhoods in communities facing sustained marginalization. In this role, Kate leads Groundwork USA’s equitable development technical assistance program and community of practice, designed to build readiness in disinvested communities for planning and carrying out more inclusive initiatives, projects and programs. She also coaches nonprofit practitioners to develop funding and partnership strategies that sustain their work.

Kate has been part of the Groundwork USA network for over 14 years, starting as a program coordinator for Groundwork Lawrence in Massachusetts before transitioning to Deputy Director in 2004, and then Executive Director in 2007. Under her leadership, the organization leveraged $1.5 million to support design and construction of two riverfront brownfield-to-park projects, as well as pre-development of the now-complete $2.6 million Spicket River Greenway. More recently in her own community, Kate secured grant funds for a citywide open space planning process she then designed and led in partnership with a coalition of nonprofits, local government leaders, and stakeholders.

Kate is drawn to organizations and groups of people facing an undeniable paradigm shift. As an active board member of two local nonprofits in recent years, she has channeled her strategic planning, visioning and adaptive leadership skills, and through those experiences has helped build not only more potent community-based organizations, but also a number of lasting personal friendships. Kate holds an MA in Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning from Tufts University, and a BA from Kalamazoo College. She is an avid organic gardener, mountain biker, and yogi who lives in Portland, Maine with her husband and two young sons.

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MICKEY FEARN
chair
MICKEY FEARN
chair

Mickey Fearn has served as the Chair of Groundwork USA’s Board of Directors since 2015. A parks, recreation, and conservation professional for over 45 years, he is currently Professor of Practice at North Carolina State University’s (NCSU) Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism Management, and was formerly the Deputy Director for Communications and Community Assistance at the National Park Service (NPS), where he worked to increase the participation of currently under-represented groups in our parks.

Prior to joining NPS, Mickey was at Seattle Parks and Recreation, developing and implementing programs to connect urban youth to the natural world while promoting personal responsibility and healthy lifestyles. He also managed Seattle’s Race and Social Justice Initiative and led a range of successful community renewal programs as director of the Seattle’s Innovation Project and executive director of the Neighborhood Leadership Program.

At NCSU, in addition to teaching classes, Mickey works with the College of Natural Resources’ (CNR’s) Community for Diversity in Natural Resources to address its challenges regarding diversity and inclusion and engaging in cross-campus diversity activities. He is also working with local government and non-profits to engage communities of color in ecology and environmental activities, and connecting federal agencies to the important research and work that CNR is doing.

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HEATHER MCMANN
TREASURER
HEATHER MCMANN
TREASURER

Heather McMann is the Executive Director of Groundwork Lawrence (GWL) and serves as Treasurer for the Groundwork USA Board of Directors. Heather began consulting with GWL in December 2005, joined the staff as Operations Director in 2006, and became Executive Director in 2009. With over 20 years experience in the nonprofit sector building community and individual assets, she holds a breadth of knowledge in nonprofit management, with a focus on preparing organizations for growth.

Prior to joining GWL, much of her experience was with youth organizations focused on creating our communities’ next generation of social justice leaders. Heather received her MBA from The Heller School of Social Policy & Management at Brandeis University and her BA from Smith College. Beyond her roles with the Groundwork network, she serves on the Board of Directors of the Massachusetts Public Health Association, is an Essex National Heritage Area commissioner, a Haverhill Brownfields Steering Commission member, and a volunteer with EforAll and the MSPCA at Nevins Farm. In 2010 Heather was honored to be one of the YWCA of Greater Lawrence Tribute to Women Awardees and to be included in the Irish Echo’s Top 40 Under 40.

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STACEY TRIPLETT
Secretary
STACEY TRIPLETT
Secretary

Stacey Triplett is a dedicated instructor. Whether leading African American and Latino households to greater financial capabilities in future homebuyer workshops or developing college students at Portland Community College where she teaches state and local government, Stacey uses a learner-centered, equity lens to evaluate her actions. No stranger to mentoring, she seeks to elevate learning in all environments and values peer-based, culturally specific, bilingual approaches to personal and professional development.

Stacey’s public service background includes regional as well as local roles. She has focused on urban habitats, workplace health and safety, public transportation, public water and sewer system improvements, and inventive recycling technologies. Each area supports Stacey’s holistic view of what’s required for effective community development and asset-building.

Most recently, Stacey served as Metro’s Senior Managing Analyst in the Sustainability Center. She has more than ten years experience with the regional government of the greater Portland, Oregon metropolitan area. Her past work at Metro includes creation of an interdisciplinary team for urban habitat protection as well as start-up of organization-wide strategic initiatives. She led Intertwine Alliance efforts in the conservation education community, providing service to educational program providers who shared a focus on environmental literacy of residents.

Stacey is a member of the Urban Committee of the National Park System Advisory Board. She is active in local democracy reform efforts as well, most recently supporting Honest Elections Seattle as an exciting reform in the funding of candidates for local government elected positions.

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Monica Anderson
at-large member
Monica Anderson
at-large member

Monica Anderson is the Director of Community Relations and Corporate Citizenship for Lifespan, Rhode Island’s first health system, where she directs partnerships with community organizations and oversees community-focused initiatives. Anderson first joined Lifespan in 2004, leading community relations efforts for The Miriam Hospital.

Monica was instrumental in the successful approvals of The Miriam Hospital’s 2005 and 2010 Institutional Master Plans with the city of Providence. In 2006, she led the creation of The Miriam Hospital’s Community Investment Grants Program, which has contributed more than $450,000 to Providence’s Summit and Mt. Hope neighborhoods.

During her career, Anderson has had experience working directly with community stakeholders such as merchants associations, residential neighborhood associations, retail and commercial developers/property owners, and local non-profit organizations across the state. Before joining Lifespan, she was a program director for The Providence Foundation and The Rhode Island Foundation.

Since 2004, Monica has served on Groundwork Providence’s Board of Directors, which she chaired for several years. She also chairs “Hospitals for a Healthy Environment, RI.” She is a graduate of the University of Rhode Island and is a resident of Narragansett, Rhode Island.

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Robert Baron
AT-LARGE MEMBER
Robert Baron
AT-LARGE MEMBER

Rob Baron joined the Groundwork USA board in 2006, and has served on the Board of Directors of Groundwork Hudson Valley (formerly Groundwork Yonkers) since 2005. With degrees from Columbia University and Hamilton College, Rob has held positions at organizations working in higher education finance, job training, social services, and housing. He spends much of his volunteer time supporting mass transit and active transportation in the New York region, and recently served as co-lead on a local solar energy program.

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Veronica eady
AT-LARGE MEMBER
Veronica eady
AT-LARGE MEMBER

Veronica Eady is the VP and Massachusetts Director of Conservation Law Foundation (CLF), New England’s premier environmental advocacy organization, where she advocates for environmental justice, food justice, and transit equity. She re-joined the Groundwork USA Board of Directors in September 2016, having served previously from 2006-2008.

Before joining CLF, Veronica worked as a consultant in Berlin, Germany, specializing in environmental justice and human rights. She previously served as Associate General Counsel and Director of Environmental Justice at New York Lawyers for the Public Interest, a non-profit civil rights law firm; as Director of the Environmental Justice and Brownfields Programs for the Massachusetts Executive Office of Environmental Affairs, where she was the principal author of Massachusetts’ Environmental Justice Policy; and as Executive Director of the Roxbury, MA-based environmental justice advocacy organization, Alternatives for Community and Environment.

Veronica has held appointments on several faculties, including Europe-Viadriana University in Germany; Tufts University, in the Department of Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning; Fordham Law School; and Stanford Law School. She is the former chair of EPA’s federal advisory committee for environmental justice, the National Environmental Justice Advisory Council.

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Ashley Perez
AT-LARGE MEMBER
Ashley Perez
AT-LARGE MEMBER

Ashley Perez grew up in Yonkers, New York, where she joined the Groundwork Hudson Valley (GWHV) Green Team in the summer of 2010, participating in her first-ever nature outing of any sorts. Blown away by the experience, she decided to come back for a second summer and every summer after until she aged out of the Green Team (which is for high-school youth age 14 to 18 years).
While at GWHV, Ashley participated in just about every program offered, including the farmers’ market, the Science Barge, Green Team, and after-school programs, and loved everything that she did. Since then Ashley has participated in programs with the National Park Service and the Student Conservation Association all over the US, rooted by her interest in diversifying the conservation movement.

She graduated from SUNY Purchase College with a B.A. degree in Environmental Studies with a focus on ecology. She has worked as a National Park Service seasonal ranger at the Statue of Liberty National Monument, and is currently Lead Educator on The Science Barge, a program of Groundwork Hudson Valley. Ashley plans to attend graduate school next fall with intentions to study Urban Ecology or Regional Planning.

Read more about Ashley’s path to the Groundwork USA Board of Directors.

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Donald Pomeroy
AT-LARGE MEMBER
Donald Pomeroy
AT-LARGE MEMBER

Donald Pomeroy currently serves on the Groundwork USA Board, having first been elected in 2013, serving as Treasurer and on the Audit-Finance Committee through 2015.

Donald has 30 years of project-technical and overall business financial-managerial experience in the science-engineering consulting industry. As a technical practitioner, he is a Certified Professional Geologist and licensed waste site clean-up professional in MA (CPG), with more than experience in directing remediation design, construction, and operations-maintenance programs throughout the Eastern and Gulf Coast states.

His operational and business leadership positions have included serving as Director and Treasurer/Chief Operating Officer of Geologic Services Corporation (GSC), a professional environmental consulting firm in Massachusetts that was acquired by Kleinfelder in 2005. Through 2015, Donald served with Kleinfelder, where he was an elected Board member; Senior Vice President; and held leadership and management positions, including for Kleinfelder’s Eastern Division and Texas-Gulf Coast Region. Donald holds a B.A. in Geology from Dartmouth College.

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DENEINE POWELL
AT-LARGE MEMBER
DENEINE POWELL
AT-LARGE MEMBER

Deneine Powell is the Executive Director of Groundwork Milwaukee, where she leads daily operations and provides strategic direction by collaborating with staff on program strategy, cultivating relationships with key allies, and working with the Board, donors, and foundations. Under her leadership, Groundwork Milwaukee has launched several successful initiatives to promote green infrastructure workforce development programming and to expand the base of volunteers actively engaged in the stewardship of local green spaces.

Deneine has over 15 years of consulting and nonprofit leadership experience, most recently as principal consultant of Lilly & Hampton, a small business and resource development consulting firm. Before founding Lilly & Hampton, she worked for several nonprofit groups, including UW Parkside’s Small Business Development Center, Milwaukee Community Service Corps, and the Center for Self-Sufficiency. In addition, Deneine has experience mobilizing grassroots advocates, formulating public policy, partnering with public agencies, and developing programs. Deneine received her bachelor’s degree in cultural studies and comparative literature from the University of Minnesota, and her master’s in organizational leadership from Marian University. She lives with her husband and two children in Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin.

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Lilly Shoup
AT-LARGE MEMBER
Lilly Shoup
AT-LARGE MEMBER

Lilly Shoup is a Senior Associate with Nelson\Nygaard Consulting. Lilly has more than 10 years of experience in multimodal transportation planning, performance management, and policy development. She focuses on national transportation policy and planning to ensure communities are able to integrate transportation and land-use through coordinated planning. Lilly believes that transportation investment can drive economic growth, lead equitable community development, and drive environmental performance.

Prior to joining Nelson\Nygaard, Lilly served as a Policy Analyst in the Office of the Undersecretary for Transportation Policy at the US Department of Transportation in Washington, DC, where she managed the Partnership for Sustainable Communities and related livability initiatives. She worked on the TIGER Program, federal transportation authorizations, and policy proposals to ensure transportation investments support sustainable communities.

Lilly previously served as Research Director at Transportation for America and a Senior Associate at ICF International. She is author of national publications including “Dangerous by Design” and “The Fix We’re In For: National Bridge Assessment.” She holds a Master in City and Regional Planning from the University of Maryland at College Park and a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and Public Policy from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

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NATIONAL PARK SERVICE RIVERS, TRAILS, AND CONSERVATION ASSISTANCE PROGRAM

NATIONAL PARK SERVICE RIVERS, TRAILS, AND CONSERVATION ASSISTANCE PROGRAM

US EPA, BROWNFIELDS PROGRAM &
 US EPA, OFFICE OF WATER

US EPA, BROWNFIELDS PROGRAM &
US EPA, OFFICE OF WATER

US FISH & WILDLIFE SERVICE

US FISH & WILDLIFE SERVICE

CENTER FOR COMMUNITY PROGRESS

CENTER FOR COMMUNITY PROGRESS

THE JPB FOUNDATION

THE JPB FOUNDATION

SURDNA FOUNDATION

SURDNA FOUNDATION

NATIONAL PARK FOUNDATION

NATIONAL PARK FOUNDATION

NATIONAL FISH AND WILDLIFE FOUNDATION

NATIONAL FISH AND WILDLIFE FOUNDATION