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 CommissionRebecca 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.
Robert Christie, Hanover (representing statewide conservation organizations) - Dr. Christie is a retired pathologist, laboratory director, Adjunct Professor of Pathology at Dartmouth Medical School, and a writer. A member of the Lancaster Conservation Commission, he is also active in a number of regional conservation organizations, as well as the Weeks State Park Association and North Country Chamber Players. Dr. Christie served for 15 years on the White Mountains Regional School Board and is a former member of the Board of Trustees at Norwich University, which awarded him an honorary degree. During World War II, he served as a tank company commander in Europe where he received the Bronze Star. Members of his family own Christie’s Maple Farm in Lancaster.
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.
Aaron Simpson, Lebanon (designated by Upper Valley Lake Sunapee Regional Planning Commission) Aaron Simpson is an attorney with offices in Lebanon and Claremont, New Hampshire. Aaron obtained his law degree as well as a masters in environmental law from Vermont Law School. Aaron is a resident of Sunapee, New Hampshire and has served on numerous municipal and civic boards as well as the Upper Valley Lake Sunapee Regional Planning Commission.
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 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.
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.
Peter Gregory, Woodstock (designated by Two Rivers-Ottauquechee Regional Planning Commission) - Executive Director of the Two Rivers-Ottauquechee Regional Planning Commission since 1997, Mr. Gregory is also a former treasurer of the Greater Upper Valley Solid Waste Management District. Gregory serves on the Vermont Transportation Operations Council, an advisory panel to the Vermont DOT Secretary, and is a Board member on the Vermont State Infrastructure Bank serving as Chairman for the past 4 years. He helped develop the Vermont Byways Program, provides staff support for the Vermont Scenery Preservation Council, and is active on the Connecticut River Byway Council Steering Committee. He was presented with the Regional Leadership award by the New England Association of Regional Councils in 2003.
Thomas Kennedy, Hartland (designated by Southern Windsor County Regional Planning Commission) - Mr. Kennedy is Executive Director of the Southern Windsor County Regional Planning Commission, chairman of the Vermont Association of Planning and Development Association, and active on the Vermont Scenery Preservation Council and Connecticut River Byway Council Steering Committee. He lectures students in elementary and middle schools on the history, life and culture of people in southern Africa, and is active in youth soccer in Hartland and in the Upper Valley. He and his wife own a small farm in Hartland, Vermont where they raise livestock breeds that are considered to be endangered.
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.
Beverly Major, Westminster (representing agricultural interests) - Currently Town Librarian in Westminster West, Mrs. Major is a retired teacher. She is also a former chair of the Westminster School Board and chair and founding member of the Windmill Hill Pinnacle Association. She serves on the local Board of Civil Authority and has served on the State School Directors’ Board and the boards of the Extension Service and Brattleboro Community House. Her family owns the dairy sheep cheese-producing Major Farm in Westminster. For 17 years she led a large and very active 4-H club in her area. In 2008 Mrs. Major was honored by EPA with the President’s Volunteer Service Award and by Gov. Douglas with an Outstanding Community Service Award.
Gary Moore, Bradford (member at large) - The emergency management director for his native Bradford, VT. Mr. Moore is a consultant in homeland security, training fire, police and emergency management officials around the country. He is a syndicated columnist and freelance writer. He is also a member of the VT Hazardous Materials Response Team. Mr. Moore has served on all three of the government commissions focused on New England’s largest river, currently including the four-state CT River Flood Control Commission, and, formerly, the CT River Atlantic Salmon Commission. He has served as President of the Connecticut River Joint Commissions. Moore has also was commissioner of VT’s Dept. of Fish & Game, chair of the VT Water Resources Board, and is currently chair of the VT State Colleges System board.
Gayle Ottmann, Hartford (member at large) - Executive Director of the Hartford Area Chamber of Commerce and Vice Chair of the Hartford Select Board, Mrs. Ottmann is an active member of the Scenic Byway Council Steering Committee. She is involved in an array of area non-profit organizations with emphasis on tourism and economic issues., including Upper Valley Housing Coalition Public Outreach and Education Sub-Committee, member of the State of Vermont’s Cultural Heritage Tourism Council, member of the Upper Valley Transportation Committee, Vermont’s Rail Advisory Council, member of the Executive Board of Vermont Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives, and Program Director for the White River Rotary Club.
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 multi-national 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.”