Board Members

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Board members are elected for two-year terms and meet monthly. The board has active Stewardship, Acquisitions, and Fundraising and Membership committees. The Stewardship and Fundraising/Membership committees meet several times a year – volunteers are welcome. The CNY Land Trust always needs volunteers who love Central New York to participate on committees. If you are interested, please contact us. To learn more about the Central New York Land Trust, Inc. as an organization, please click here.

Rick Smardon lives on the near east side of the City of Syracuse, close to the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry where he is Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus in the Department of Environmental Studies. He has a master’s degree in Landscape Architecture from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and a Ph.D. in Environmental Planning from the University of California, Berkeley. He was the architect of CNYLT’s Design Competition venture and continues to be its guiding force. His interests include nature photography, ecotourism/hiking, canoeing, cross country skiing and acoustic guitar. He has been a member of the board since 1983.
Christopher Sandstrom resides in Elbridge with his wife and son in a passive solar house that he built. He is the owner of Cayuga Tree Service, Inc. and has been in the tree care business since 1969. He is a Certified Arborist and also a Registered Consulting Arborist with the American Society of Consulting Arborists. He studied at SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry at Syracuse and received his degree in Resource Management in 1975. He is a past president of the E.S.F. Alumni Association and serves on the Board of Directors. He also serves on the Town of Elbridge Commission on the Environment. Joining CNYLT in 1989, he drafted the tree policy for the group. He serves on the Stewardship Committee. In his spare time he enjoys travel, scuba diving, reading and spending time on the Salmon Reservoir.
Steve Kulick lives in Syracuse and works at Le Moyne College as Director of Government and Foundation Relations and Academic Resources. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science from Syracuse University and a Master’s of Public Administration from the Maxwell School at Syracuse University. He has served in several capacities since first joining the board in 1982 and is the Chair of the Fundraising Committee. He is a member of the Syracuse Planning Commission and the Onondaga/Syracuse Human Rights Commission. When he is not crafting puns to share at board meetings (and even when he is) he enjoys running, tennis, gardening, cross-country skiing and theatre.
Kathleen Bennett is a native of Waterloo, New York. She is a member with the law firm of Bond, Schoeneck & King, PLLC and she is a member of the firm’s Environmental Practice Group and the Tax Assessment, Condemnation and Property Valuation Group. She received her A.B. (magna cum laude) in History and English from Colgate University in 1995 and her J.D. (magna cum laude) with a concentration in Environmental Law from the State University of New York at Buffalo in 1998. Her interests include softball, pugs, golf, snowshoeing, nature hikes, music, reading (especially history and fantasy), photography, watching college sports (SU and Colgate) and professional sports (Buffalo Bills, NY Mets, Boston Red Sox, and Buffalo Sabers).
Margaret Bocsor resides in Phoenix, close to the Great Bear Springs Recreation Area where she enjoys hiking with her dogs, snow shoeing and cross country skiing as well as trail work. Other interests include practicing yoga, canoeing and listening to live folk music at the Oswego Music Hall. She holds a BS in Management from Syracuse University and is retired from a career in Financial Administration for not for profit agencies in central New York.
Jane Field hails from Tully and is an Engineer at WIXT-TV (Channel 9). She received a B.S. in Radio and Television from Ithaca College. Jane is a past president of CNYLT, is a member of the Fundraising, Publicity & Membership Committee, and has served on the board since 1986.
Jack Gramlich lives near Baldwinsville, not far from Beaver Lake Nature Center, with his wife, daughter and two dogs. He is the Coordinator of the environmental education program for OCM BOCES, and teaches students, trains teachers and oversees the Atlantic Salmon in the classroom program. He has a B.A. in History from Dartmouth College. After spending two years in Nepal in the Peace Corp, Jack moved to Syracuse and received an M.S. in Education from Syracuse University. He has also taken too many other graduate courses from the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry and the State University at Oswego. For several years he was the Director of Centers for Nature Education at Baltimore Woods and started their Summer Camp. Jack enjoys making trails, making signs, and clearing brush for CNYLT. At home (when he has time) he enjoys winter sports, running with the dogs, making maple syrup, gardening, camping and fishing. He is the steward for three of CNYLT’s properties; Canterbury Woods in the Town of Lysander, Cicero Swamp in the Town of Cicero and Whiskey Hollow in the Town of VanBuren, and is also a member of the Stewardship Committee. He has served on the Board, off and on since 1977, and has held many elective offices during that time
Catherine, a lifelong Central New Yorker, has extensive experience in field biology and environmental outreach. Catherine has worked for the US Forest Service and held National Science Foundation Teaching Fellowships. She is currently working towards her doctorate degree at the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry. Catherine serves on the Stewardship Committee, contributing much value with her teaching skills and knowledge of CNY habitats.
Joe Livingston is an electrical engineer, NABCEP certified for solar PV installation. He has worked in new product development since 1999 developing emerging software and electronics. Transitioning the design work to a more sustainable, environmentally-charged direction, Joe now designs renewable energy systems at his company, Divine Renewable Energy. He works with CNY clients in an effort to use energy more efficiently and to convert from fossil energy sources to modern renewable sources. He installs solar PV systems as well as managing other custom design projects for clients. Joe enjoys spending time with his wife and dog and keeps active by hiking, biking, running, practicing yoga, and playing ultimate frisbee. Other activities he enjoys are growing organic fruits and vegetables, playing guitar and drums, and building custom speakers and amplifiers.
Andy Obernesser is a native Central New Yorker, born and raised in the Utica area. After completing his graduate studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, he returned to work as a land use planner with Environmental Design and Research (EDR) in Syracuse. Andy is a hobby homebrewer and an unsuccessful hunter, and enjoys spending time with his family in the Adirondacks and the Finger Lakes region. He lives in the Town of Geddes with his wife and two children.

Peggy Ries is a Marketing Manager at Barton & Loguidice, a 250+ person engineering, planning, environmental science and landscape architecture firm. In this role, she oversees proposal development, marketing, business development, promotional events and seminars, market research, strategic planning, and client relationship management activities. She began working at her dad’s advertising agency at an early age, and now has more than 30 years of experience in marketing and communications. She enjoys hiking, kayaking, camping, cross-country skiing, and ice skating. Peggy is a passionate advocate for environmental causes, social justice, and animal welfare. She also serves as board secretary for Spay and Neuter Syracuse, a non-profit veterinary clinic, and previously served as secretary and board member of the Society For Marketing Professional Services (SMPS).

Kathy Schwab lives in Elbridge and is a 4th Grade Teacher and Elementary Science Subject Supervisor in the Weedsport Central School District. She has a B.S. in Elementary Education and M.S. in Elementary Science Education from SUNY Cortland. She received recognition as Outstanding Elementary Teacher of the Year by the Cayuga-Onondaga School Boards in 1994. In 1992 Kathy’s students turned a neglected outdoor courtyard into a perennial garden, complete with a composting area and small pond. The garden continues to serve as an outdoor classroom for the entire school. She volunteers as a monitor with the Save Our Streams Program. Kathy enjoys painting, hiking, gardening, antiquing, and teaching chess to her fourth graders at Weedsport Elementary.
Steve Schwab’s roots are in the Town of Elbridge. He returned there after receiving a B.S. in Biology from State University College at Cortland in 1975, a D.D.S. from State University of New York at Stony Brook in 1979 and after completing the General Practice Residency Program at Upstate Medical Center in 1980. Steve currently practices dentistry in Syracuse. His organized environmental pursuits include current Chair of the Town of Elbridge Commission on the Environment, monitor with the Save Our Streams Program, former Advisory Panel member for the Great Lakes Aquatic Habitat Fund and board member of CNYLT since 1987. Personal pursuits include organic gardening, hiking, bird watching, native/natural landscaping and New York Yankee baseball.
As part-time Executive Director, Meredith manages daily operations and communications for the CNYLT. Meredith brings more than 10 years of experience as a nonprofit manager to the job, particularly in environmental education, communications, policy, and community outreach initiatives. Meredith has lived in Syracuse with her husband since 2000. She loves to hike and cross-country ski in Central New York and you can find her shopping year-round at local farmers’ markets.