Connecticut River Commissioners are volunteers appointed for three-year terms by the governors of each state, except for designated positions as noted below.
New Hampshire’s Connecticut River Valley Resource Commission
Rebecca Brown (member at large) Rebecca Brown and others founded ACT in 2000 as the North Country’s first locally-based, grassroots land conservancy. She served as ACT’s first board president. Rebecca graduated from Mount Holyoke College and took an M.A. in political science from the University of Pennsylvania. After arriving in New Hampshire in 1993, she took a job as a cub reporter for The Courier newspaper in Littleton. Her newspaper and freelance work focused on forestry, wildlife, and outdoor recreation. She also reported for N.H. Public Radio for some years before becoming editor of The Courier. Rebecca left the newspaper to become Communications Director for the Connecticut River Joint Commissions. Rebecca’s book, Women on High: Pioneers of Mountaineering was honored by the National Outdoor Book Awards. She is editor and contributing author of Where the Great River Rises: An Atlas of the Upper Connecticut River Watershed. She wrote the concluding chapter on the region’s future in the acclaimed book, Beyond the Notches: Stories of Place in New Hampshire’s North Country, published in 2011.Rebecca is also a dedicated volunteer. She is past chair of the North Country Region Advisory Board of the N.H. Charitable Foundation. She served on the board of the Arts Alliance of Northern New Hampshire and on the Sugar Hill Conservation Commission. She is a trustee of the Fairbanks Museum in St. Johnsbury, Vt., serves on the Sugar Hill Planning Board and the board of the North Country Council, and is president and an at-large representative for New Hampshire on the Connecticut River Joint Commissions. Rebecca can be found on trout streams, trail running, hiking, and hunting. She lives with her husband Harry Reid and their canine Wily-Mo in Sugar Hill.
Donna Drouin, Walpole (designated by CT River Watershed Council) – Mrs. Drouin is a native of Keene, who received degrees at Keene State College in Geography (BA) and a Masters in Education. While residing in Keene, she chaired the Keene Conservation Commission, briefly, was a city councilor and served on various other community committees. She is now retired, having taught high school social studies for 17 years in the Green Mountain Union School District of Chester, VT. Since retirement in 2004, she has been a volunteer with the Walpole Recycling Action Program and the Walpole Historical Society. In April 2011, Mrs. Drouin was elected president of the Historical Society. She has held memberships in the Connecticut River Watershed Council and the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests for many years.
Robert Harcke, Westmoreland (designated alternate by Southwest Region Planning Commission) – Mr. Harcke, a riverfront landowner, is the chief executive officer of Continental Cable Company in Hinsdale, a business that he founded in 1969. He has served as president of the Hinsdale Commercial and Industrial Development Corporation since 1999. He is a board member of the Southwest Region Planning Commission, and serves on its economic development and brownfields advisory committees. He has served on the Westmoreland Budget Committee and is a member of the town’s planning board.
Cleve Kapala, Hopkinton (representing hydroelectric interests) Mr. Kapala is Director of Government Affairs and Relicensing for TransCanada Hydro, the present owner of the hydro generating dams on the Connecticut and Deerfield Rivers. He previously served as Director of Relicensing for the company’s predecessors, New England Power Company and USGen New England. Mr. Kapala has also been a director of the New England Salmon Association, a member of the board of trustees of the New Hampshire chapter of The Nature Conservancy, and former Director of Education & Policy for the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests.
Chris Thayer (designated by North Country Council) Mr. Thayer is the Director for Programming and Outreach for the Appalachian Mountain Club (AMC), and oversees its youth, family, and adult programs throughout the region for the organization. Chris serves as a senior staff representative working with local communities, state and federal agencies, and regional partners on a host of issues and initiatives related to public lands stewardship, tourism economic development, and youth development in Northern New Hampshire. A recent graduate of Leadership New Hampshire, Chris currently serves as a board member of the North Country Council, board member and past president of the NH Outdoor Council, Co-Chair of the NH Grand Tourism Development Team, and member of the Town of Sugar Hill Planning Board. In his twenty-three years with AMC, he’s served in a variety of capacities related to backcountry resource management, search and rescue coordination, public information dissemination, and educational programming. Chris’s connection to Northern New Hampshire and the Appalachian Mountain Club is rooted deeply through personal and family outdoor experiences. A year-round outdoor enthusiast Chris, his wife and two young boys are residents of Sugar Hill, NH where they enjoy all that the region has to offer.
Elaine Levlocke, Chesterfield (designated by Southwest Regional Planning Commission) As a life-long resident of Chesterfield, the Connecticut River has always been an important natural resource throughout her life. Elaine is co-owner of T&E Adjusting and Estimating, Inc. with her husband, Tom. Elaine serves her community as Select-woman, Commissioner and Director to Southwest Region Planning Commission, and as member on the Committee on Governmental Affairs. Former positions held include Chesterfield Fire & Rescue Precinct Commissioner (Chair), Planning Board (Secretary), Hazard Mitigation Plan Update Committee, Master Plan Revision Committee. Elaine enjoys spending time with her husband, two adult daughters, and grandson doing outdoor activities that include photography, hiking, walking, and snowmobiling.
Brendan Prusik, Columbia (representing forestry and the forest products industry) Brendan Prusik is the Coös County Extension Forester and a Natural Resources Field Specialist with a concentration in Business and Economic Development for the University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension. As a resident of Columbia, NH since 1986, he brings over 30 years of experience from New Hampshire, Vermont, Maine, Pennsylvania, New York, Idaho and Oregon in forestry, forest industry and forest products to the Commission. He received his Bachelor of Science in Forest Biology and Resource Management from the State University of NY at Syracuse. He is currently pursuing a degree as Master of Education at USNH Plymouth State University. Brendan has served regional natural resources interests on Nash Stream Forest Advisory Committee, NH Timberlands Association Board of Directors, VT Timberland Owners Association Board of Directors, Granite State Society of American Foresters Board of Directors, Chair of Vermont Sustainable Forest Initiative, NH Forest Advisory Board (FAB), and Co-chair of NH FAB committee on Liquidation Harvesting in New Hampshire. He is a Member Society of American Foresters and NH Timberland Owners Association; a certified NH Tree Farm Inspector and Project Learning Tree Educator and has been a licensed Forester in NH since 1993.
Mary Sloat, Lancaster (member-at-large) – Mrs. Sloat is former chair of the planning boards of both Northumberland and the Coos County Unincorporated Places, and serves on the Board of the Northern Forest Canoe Trail and on the Citizen’s Advisory Committee for Nash Stream. Formerly vice-president of the board of directors of the North Country Council and chair of its Northern Forest Lands Committee, she has taken leadership roles in the North Country League of Women Voters and 4-H, and participated on the STA-North Economic Development Commission and the Heritage Trail Advisory Committee. Mrs. Sloat has served as chair of the NH River Commission and President of the Connecticut River Joint Commissions.
James McClammer, Charlestown (member-at-large) – Jim is an ecologist, land use consultant and president of Connecticut Valley Environmental Services Inc., a small business that assists clients perform environmentally responsible development projects. He has served on the Charlestown Planning Board, the Upper Valley Lake Sunapee Regional Planning Commission, and the Resources, Recreation and Development Committee of the NH State Legislature as a State Representative. He trained at the University of Maryland and Yale University. He was previously employed by the Smithsonian Institution and the National Arboretum in Washington, DC, a real estate and development firm in Connecticut, and Dufresne-Henry Engineering Company in Vermont.
Richard Sanders, Monroe (member at large) – Dr. Sanders is a Dartmouth graduate in behavioural psychology and took his PhD in human behavioural psychology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He served as a professor and chair of the graduate program in Behaviour modification at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, Ill from 1966 to 1977. He returned to New Hampshire to start a private practice and consulting business as well as bringing his Simmental cattle breeding operation from Illinois. He served as chairman of the sports medicine committee for the Luge for four years and then for all the sliding sports at the Olympic Training Center in Lake Placid. Dr. Sanders has been a licensed hunting and fishing guide in NH and had served on the Joint Commissions for a number of years until 1996. He and his wife raised their cattle in Monroe from 1978 until 2005 when they put their open land into the federal grasslands program and now raise organic hay.
Richard Walling, Bath (member-at-large) Mr. Walling, a riverfront landowner, holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in anthropology. While he now operates a cabinetry shop and carpentry business, most of his professional life was spent in the field of cultural resources management (primarily review and compliance archeology) within university, state, and private sectors. Mr. Walling serves as chair of the CRJC Riverbend subcommittee and vice chair of the Ammonoosuc Local Advisory Committee. In addition he has served the Town of Bath on a number of committees including the Planning Board (Vice-Chair), Master Plan Revision Committee, Natural Resources Inventory Committee, and the Ammonoosuc River Corridor Study Group, among others. He also served on the Wells River Watershed Council, is on the Board of Trustees of the Ammonoosuc Conservation Trust, is active in the Keep Growing local agricultural initiative, participates in VRAP, and has recently become involved in River Runners.
Vermont ‘s Connecticut River Watershed Advisory Commission
Tara Bamford, Thetford (member-at-large) Tara Bamford directs the community and environmental planning program at North Country Council, the regional planning commission serving the northern third of New Hampshire. Ms. Bamford has both a B.S. and M.S. in Natural Resource Planning. Land use planning to protect water resources has been a common thread in her work for over twenty-five years, beginning at Cape Cod’s Sole Source Aquifer program. While at North Country Council, and previously at Upper Valley Lake Sunapee Regional Planning Commission, Ms. Bamford has worked with numerous Connecticut River corridor communities and tributaries in both N.H. and Vermont, conducted several projects for the CRJC, wrote the successful nomination of the Cold River to the N.H. Rivers Management and Protection Program, and developed a “no net loss” floodplain ordinance for NHDES, which was published as the statewide model. She serves on the Executive Committee of the Northern New England Chapter of the American Planning Association, and on the Board of Two Rivers Ottauquechee Regional Commission. Ms. Bamford and her spouse steward a conserved portion of Conant Swamp, a few hundred yards from the Connecticut River in Thetford, Vermont.
Peter Blodgett, Thetford (member-at-large) – Peter Blodgett grew up on a dairy farm bordering the Connecticut River in Bradford, Vermont. He holds an M.S. from Dartmouth College. He is the Director for the Latham Memorial Library and the Peabody Library in Thetford, Vermont. Peter serves on the Board of Governors for Leadership Upper Valley and is Treasurer for the Parish Players. He has canoed the river from First Connecticut Lake in New Hampshire to Old Saybrook, Connecticut. On cold snowy nights he can be found grooming Nordic ski trails in Thetford.
Chris Campany, AICP, Brattleboro (Windham RPC) Chris Campany is the Executive Director of the Windham Regional Commission based in Brattleboro, Vermont. The Windham Region consists of 27 towns within a 920 square mile area of Southeastern Vermont. The purpose of the commission is to assist towns to provide effective local government and work cooperatively with them to address regional issues. Prior to his tenure at the Windham Regional Commission, Chris was an Assistant Professor of Landscape Architecture at Mississippi State University; Deputy Director of Planning and Zoning, and Zoning Officer, for Calvert County, Maryland; Deputy Commissioner of Planning for Orange County, New York; Federal Policy Coordinator for the National Campaign for Sustainable Agriculture in its work on the 2002 Farm Bill; founder and Executive Director of the Baton Rouge Economic and Agricultural Development Alliance in Louisiana; and a Program Analyst and Presidential Management Intern with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in Washington, DC. Chris holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and a Master of Public Policy and Administration from Mississippi State University, and a Master of Landscape Architecture from Louisiana State University. He is a Certified Planner through the American Institute of Certified Planners.
David Deen, Westminster (member-at-large) David is the River Steward for the Connecticut River Watershed Council. He is responsible for public education and advocacy on issues affecting the River in the Upper Valley reach of the river. David has served in the Vermont Legislature for 24 years as chair of the Fish, Wildlife and Water Resources Committee among other assignments. He serves on the board of the Connecticut River chapter of Trout Unlimited and as a board member of the Vermont River Conservancy. He tries to fish whenever and wherever he can and represents fishing interests on the Vermont Connecticut River Resource Commission. David holds a MS in Environmental Science from Antioch New England Graduate School.
Jameson W. Doig, Newbury (member-at-large) Jameson W. Doig is Visiting Research Professor in Government, Dartmouth College, and Professor Emeritus at the Woodrow Wilson School and Department of Politics, Princeton University. At Princeton, he was graduate program director, Department of Politics, 1988-90, chair of the department, 1997-2000, founding director of the Mamdouha S. Bobst Center for Peace and Justice, 2000-04, and director of the Guggenheim Summer Internship Program (Princeton, Barnard, and Columbia), 1996-2008. In 1977-82, he was a member of the New Jersey Corrections Council. In 1994-96, he was a member of the Committee on the Third Regional Plan, Regional Plan Assn. (NY, NJ and CT), and in 1996-2004, he served on the advisory council at the Taubman Center, Harvard University. Since 2008, he has been a member of the Riverbend Subcommittee of the Connecticut River Joint Commissions. Most of his research and writings have been concerned with American politics—as, New York: the Politics of Urban Regional Development (co-author, 1982); Leadership and Innovation (joint editor and co-author, 1987, 1990); Empire on the Hudson: entrepreneurial leadership and political power at the Port of New York Authority (2001), and “The Best as Enemy of the Good,” Journal of Urban History (2014). He has also written and lectured on constitutional law in the United States and Canada, on cooperation and conflict between those two nations in the field of water management, and on the problem of protecting “precarious values” in complex organizations.. He is currently engaged in a study of corruption in the United States, and in a comparative study of judicial leadership at the US and Canadian supreme courts.
Samantha Holcomb, Woodstock (designated by Two Rivers-Ottauquechee Regional Planning Commission) – Samantha is a Planner at the Two Rivers-Ottauquechee Regional Commission. A majority of her work at the Commission revolves around water quality and water resources. Samantha’s passion for the natural environment began at a very young age, and she holds a B.S. in Environmental Biology from the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry and a Master’s in Environmental Law and Policy from Vermont Law School. She is a Certified Floodplain Manager through the Association of State Floodplain Managers. Samantha enjoys spending time outdoors, and in the summer months it is hard to find her without a canoe/paddle or fishing pole in-hand. She also enjoys hiking with her dog, Harper.
Steven Lembke, Guilford (member-at-large) Steve Lembke has lived in the Village of Green River, VT for 33 years and has been actively involved in the preservation of the Green River and it’s watershed. He was a founding member and past President of the Green River Watershed Preservation Alliance and is a current Trustee and past President of the Green River Village Preservation Trust. Steve and his wife Linda, a hand book-binder and Guilford Conservation Commission member, believe that the health of the Connecticut is heavily dependent on the health of its tributaries. Steve has been a Board member and past President of the United Way of Windham County; Hotline for Help; the Brattleboro Hockey Educational Trust and the Brattleboro Chamber of Commerce. He is currently a Vice President at Road Scholar (formerly Elderhostel) headquartered in Boston MA, where for the past 30 years, he has helped develop and manage a wide range of educational travel programs for older adults. Prior to joining Road Scholar, Steve was the Director of Marketing for Country Journal Magazine. He enjoys travel, hiking, tennis and working on his land.
Alison Low, St. Johnsbury (designated by Northeastern Vermont Development Association) – Ms. Low is a planner at Northeastern Vermont Development Association (NVDA), and is an active member of the Connecticut River Scenic Byway Steering Committee. As the regional planning commission for Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom, NVDA works with 55 communities to improve quality of life and protect the region’s uniquely rural assets. Previously, she was the downtown coordinator for St. Johnsbury, where she helped to found St. Johnsbury Works!, a “Main Street” program modeled on the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s comprehensive approach to downtown revitalization.
Jason Rasmussen, Hartland (designated by Southern Windsor County Regional Planning Commission) – Jason is the Senior Planner at the Southern Windsor County Regional Planning Commission (SWCRPC) based in Ascutney, Vermont. The primary purpose of the SWCRPC is to assist with and advocate for sound planning and development activities in the ten member towns within southern Windsor County. Jason is a professional planner certified by the American Institute of Certified Planners, the professional institute of the American Planning Association. His current duties include, but are not limited to, managing the transportation program, Act 250 review, assisting municipalities with preparing town plans and land use regulatory documents, and technical assistance with local development review.
Kurt Staudter, Springfield (member-at-large) – Over the course of more than a quarter-century, Kurt’s career working for National Grid and New England Power has given him a unique perspective on the Connecticut River. From operating the Bellows Falls Hydro Plant in the 1990s, to his job now in Substation Operations & Maintenance, every day his work takes him someplace along the river. From 1998 until 2013, he served on the Mt. Ascutney Subcommittee of the Connecticut River Joint Commissions, and during the last few years was the co-chairperson. A longtime activist and political columnist, Kurt along with his wife Patti also run the Vermont Brewers Association representing the growing number of craft breweries in the state. He has a Bachelors of Arts degree from the National Labor College and participated with a fellowship in the Harvard Trade Union Program.
Michaela Stickney, Waterbury (designated by the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources) – Michaela Stickney is Coordinator of Vermont’s Lake Champlain Basin Program, a large, bi-state and multinational watershed program. Her twenty years of experience in watershed planning and aquatic biology include work in twenty Vermont towns, four states, and seven countries. Ms. Stickney is working on Governor Douglas’ Clean and Clear Action Plan, a new statewide water quality improvement initiative. She and her husband sell hay and framing lumber from their 150 acre hilltop farm.
Brendan Whittaker, Brunswick (member-at-large) – The Reverend Mr. Whittaker, who holds degrees in forestry and divinity, began his career in Vermont state government as Essex County Forester, and was appointed by Governor Davis to serve as First Chairman of the Act 250 District 1 Environmental Commission. Governor Snelling appointed him as Director of the State Energy Office in 1977, and in 1978 as Secretary of the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources. In 1991 he was appointed by Governor Snelling to the Northern Forest Lands Council. He later joined the Vermont Natural Resources Council as Northern Forest Project Manager. A selectman of Brunswick, Mr. Whittaker and his wife operate a market garden from their farm. Though retired, he continues to fill in at Episcopal churches in NH. He is a founding member of the nation-wide “Forest Stewards Guild.”