Meet the people dedicated to preserving AMC’s mission and championing its vision
AMC members have a voice in our organization’s governance, including a vote on the Board of Director officers and directors.
Open details in popupRobert W. Ackerman
Open details in popupCharlie ArsenaultRegional Director, Central Region
Open details in popupBeth ZimmerRegional Director, Northern Region
Open details in popupEileen YinRegional Director, Mid-Atlantic Region
Open details in popupNick Wilkoff
Open details in popupCindy CrosbyRegional Director, Eastern Region
Open details in popupMartha (Marty) WallaceSecretary
Open details in popupWilliam B. Tyree
Open details in popupSamarjit Shankar
Open details in popupStephen Rushmore Jr.Vice Chair
Open details in popupShan Soe-Lin Hecht
Open details in popupLaurie GabrielVice Chair
Open details in popupCheryl Duckworth
Open details in popupBirgitta C. Dickerson
Open details in popupKathy CampbellTreasurer
Open details in popupYvette Austin SmithChair
Open details in popupScott Barringer
Open details in popupRichard BatiukRegional Director, Southern Region
Open details in popupShalin Desai
Open details in popupNicole ZussmanPresident and Chief Executive Officer
Hannah GauthierExecutive Team Manager
Chris ThayerSenior Director, External Affairs and Contracts
Steve TatkoVice President, Conservation Research and Land Management
Rondi StearnsVice President, Marketing and Communications
Faith SalterVice President, Learning and Volunteer and Community Engagement
Jennifer NorrisChief Development Officer
Chuck JohnstonChief Financial Officer
Paul CuhnaVice President, Operations
Heather ClishVice President, Conservation and Recreation Advocacy
Libbi CintiVice President, Human Resources
Valerio VitiNew Hampshire
Paul BrookesSoutheastern Massachusetts
Dawn RileyNew York-North Jersey
Karla GeisslerDelaware Valley
Diane JonesWestern Mass
Nominees for 2024 Board of Directors
As a member, you have a voice in AMC’s governance. AMC’s nominating committee is dedicated to transparency in its work and strives for a diverse pool of candidates for volunteer leadership positions that is reflective of our membership, mission, and region. Members are invited to send recommendations for Board of Directors candidates to [email protected] for the committee’s consideration. Per AMC’s bylaws, the Nominating Committee shall publish a list of its nominations to the Members in writing at least 16 weeks prior to the annual meeting.
2024 Board Officers for Election
Chair: Yvette Austin Smith
Vice Chair: Cheryl Duckworth
Treasurer: Kathy Campbell
Secretary: The Secretary is appointed by the Board of Directors
Karen Brace (2024 Nominee, Regional Director, North Region)
Karen’s a native Mainer who’s actively involved in AMC’s Maine Woods Initiative, chairing her chapter’s MWI Committee. She lives on the coast of Maine adjacent to trails and protected land. In the winter you’ll find her cross-country skiing at MWI or alpine touring in the western mountains. During the shoulder seasons, in addition to hiking, she participates in the MWI Committee’s trail work trips. Karen’s spent her professional life in the related fields of communications, membership and development for mission-driven nonprofits and local government. She’s an active volunteer and has chaired the Maine Women’s Network and the Dartmouth Club of Maine. Recently Karen has run events at the Maine lodges to introduce members to AMC’s conservation projects and the 100,000 acres of land that make up the Maine Woods Initiative.
Cindy Crosby (2024 Nominee)
Cindy is a native Bostonian who, in 2016, decided it was time to slow down, retire, and come home after many years of international work as an executive in the healthcare industry. Today, she is a management consultant and coach who is passionate about helping leaders grow, change, and transition in their careers. Cindy is the past chapter chair of the AMC Boston Chapter, leads hikes, and is a volunteer naturalist at the huts. She is Board Chair at Tailored For Success assisting job seekers gain economic self-sufficiency and as a coach at American Corporate Partners helping veterans transition from military to civilian careers. Cindy holds a B.S. from Suffolk University and is a graduate of Executive and Organizational Leadership Programs. When not working, Cindy can be found hiking and backpacking in New England, in a Pilates studio, or outdoors learning to sketch en plein air.
Cynthia Dow (2024 Nominee)
An avid outdoor enthusiast, Cynthia first enjoyed AMC huts and trails in 2015; she enjoys hiking, skiing, adventure travel and competitive sailing. She leads the Boston office and New England region for Russell Reynolds Associates and also serves on the firm’s Executive Committee. She focuses on executive search, succession planning and leadership development projects for a wide range of organizations from non-profit and social impact organization to public and private companies. She also serves on the Board of Directors for the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce and the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law.
Before joining Russell Reynolds Associates, Cynthia was an assistant general counsel with Cadbury Schweppes, general counsel to a technology company, and an attorney with Baker Botts LLP in Dallas. Cynthia received her BA, with distinction, in government from Cornell University and her JD from the Columbia School of Law, where she was a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar and an editor of the Journal of Law and Social Problems.
Ben Howard (2024 Nominee)
Ben is a passionate outdoor enthusiast and environmental advocate. After spending the better part of the last decade living and working in Asia, Ben reconnected with the AMC on a memorable Hut to Hut adventure. Ben is currently the VP of Sustainability at Bemis, where he is broadly responsible for developing & executing the company’s strategy for improving People and Planet impacts globally. Ben currently resides in North Central MA, where in addition to spending lots of time Outdoors with his family, he also serves as Board Chair for North County Land Trust. Ben is deeply committed to developing, supporting, scaling solutions to address the environmental challenges of our time.
Paul Wilson (2024 Nominee)
Paul joined the AMC when he moved to Boston in the early 1980s, and soon found himself leading whitewater trips, and occasionally teaching outdoor leadership skills, for the Boston Chapter’s Paddling Committee. He is a member of the Board of Advisers, and he has enjoyed expeditioning with the President’s Society to Alaska and to the Canadian Rockies -- and, less ambitiously, to Medawisla for the cross-country skiing. In 2023, Paul retired after more than a decade as a judge of the Massachusetts Superior Court. In retirement he continues to teach at Boston College Law School, and to serve on the Board of the American Bar Association’s National Conference of State Trial Judges.
2024 Board of Directors Continuing Service:
*up for re-election in 2024
Robert W. Ackerman*
Bob has been a member of the AMC for many years, enjoying the huts and trails in all seasons, participating in educational programs and occasionally joining climbing excursions. Following a few years on the Harvard Business School faculty, Bob was drawn into industry, first in paper manufacturing and later in metals. More recently, as a Senior Partner at Watermill Group, he has been leading invests in privately held corporations. Bob is interested in conservation and the responsible and productive use of natural resources; in particular, sustainable forestry and innovative approaches to land use for recreation and wildlife habitat for the long-term benefit of all people and our environment.
Charlie Arsenault (Regional Director, Central Region)
Charlie has been an AMC member since 2004. Over this time, he has served in several AMC volunteer roles including chair of the Worcester Chapter and Mountain Leadership School instructor. Charlie is a technology development and non-profit strategy consultant with White Blaze Consulting and Empower Success Corps. His outdoor pursuits include hiking, backpacking, skiing, and paddling. He has completed New Hampshire’s 48 4,000-footers, an AT thru-hike in 2017, a Long Trail hike in 2018, the Boroughs Trail in 2020, and the Colorado Trail in 2021. Charlie and his wife Lynne reside in Westborough, Mass.
Yvette Austin Smith (Chair)
Yvette has been an AMC member since 2005, a member of the President’s Society since 2013, and a member of the Board of Directors since 2016. She began her first term as Chair of the Board in 2022. Yvette lives in Brooklyn with her family (and assorted pets). They all enjoy visiting AMC facilities, as well as camping, kayaking, hiking and amateur birding — whether at Corman Harriman (and soon, Baker Outdoors Center), The Berkshires or Down East (Maine). Yvette is a strong advocate for creating an inclusive community in the outdoors. When indoors, she is the Chair of Global Finance Practice of Compass Lexecon, one of the world’s leading economic consulting firms. Yvette holds an AB from Harvard and an MBA from Columbia Business School.
A Massachusetts native and Connecticut resident, Scott Barringer has been a member of the AMC for 17 years, the President’s Society for 12 years, and the AMC Advisory Committee for 8 years. After graduating from Harvard College, he worked at Goldman Sachs for 23 years, retiring as a partner and subsequently joining Shelter Growth Capital Partners in 2015. Scott was introduced to the AMC and the White Mountains by his father-in-law Jim Hamilton with whom he made many exploratory trips to Maine as part of the early stages of the Maine Woods Initiative. The Hamilton Anglers Annual Maine trip continues to this day. Scott enjoys hiking and fly fishing in the White Mountains with his wife, two children (volunteer trail croo!) and dog, using their cabin in Jackson, NH as base camp. Scott currently serves on the Board of the Cos Cob Archery Club.
An AMC member for many years, Rich has been the Potomac Chapter Treasurer, served on the Potomac Chapter Executive Committee, as the chapter’s Paddling Committee chair, and is an AMC certified paddling and hiking leader. Prior to his retirement, Rich was the Associate Director for Science, Analysis, and Implementation at the United States Environmental Protection Agency's Chesapeake Bay Program Office located in Annapolis, Maryland. There, he led the integration of science into multi-partner policy-making and collaborative decision-making. Rich is a co-founder of CoastWise, providing pro-bono help with development and implementation of collaborative watershed management strategies to over 65 agencies and organizations all around the world. Rich is an active member of Chesapeake Conservancy’s Board of Directors and serves as the vice chair of the Maryland Department of Natural Resources’ Black Bass Fisheries Advisory Committee and as a member of the Bay Journal’s Scientific Advisory Committee. Rich received his B.S. in Environmental Science from the University of New Hampshire in 1984 and M.S. in Environmental Toxicology from American University in Washington D.C. in 1985. Rich lives in Annapolis, Maryland with his wife Susan, and enjoys fly fishing, kayaking, canoeing, hiking, camping, backpacking, bird watching, trail building and maintenance, and traveling.
Kathy Campbell (Treasurer)*
Kathy has been an AMC member since 2001 and has enjoyed hiking in the White Mountains and around the globe since she was a child. She has been a President Society member since 2017, on the Advisory Board since 2019 and has served as secretary and conservation chair on the Potamac Chapter board. She joined the AMC Board in 2022. Kathy is the current Treasurer and Finance Committee chair. After a 37 year International Finance career with an energy firm that took her around the globe, she became an entrepreneur. In 2017 she started KT Coaching Partners, a leadership coaching firm. Kathy utilizes her cross-cultural team building skills and transition management skills to assist clients in expanding their thinking about what is possible. Kathy loves hiking, kayaking, biking, skiing and just being outdoors. She holds a Business degree from Northeastern University and an MBA from Loyola University of Chicago. Kathy and her husband reside in Northern Virginia and have two grown children.
Shalin Desai is the former Vice President of Advancement for the Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC), leading ATC’s development, membership, communications, and visitor services work. Before that, he spent fifteen years leading marketing efforts for McMaster-Carr, Jetsetter, and TripAdvisor. He currently serves on the LegacyWorks Board of Directors, and has also served on ATC’s Board and as co-chair of the communications committee of the Recreate Responsibly Coalition. He has completed end-to-end treks of the Appalachian Trail, Pacific Crest Trail, and Continental Divide Trail, becoming the first person of South Asian descent to complete the Triple Crown of long-distance hiking. He is the former president of the Boston chapter of the University of Chicago Alumni Association, receiving the university’s Young Alumni Service Award in 2016. He holds a BA from the University of Chicago. Shalin is a former member of the Worcester Chapter Executive Committee where he served as the programs chair, receiving the Marian Pychowska Award in 2019. He is based in Hudson, Massachusetts.
Birgitta C. Dickerson*
Birgitta has spent the majority of her professional career as a corporate in-house counsel for multinational corporations including Salesforce, The Boston Consulting Group, and currently, Cabot Corporation, where she is Chief Counsel. Birgitta previously served on AMC’s Board of Directors (2006–2012), as Secretary and a member of the President’s Search Committee. Birgitta currently serves on the Nominating and Governance Committee and the DEI Committee. Birgitta also is a Director for the Victim Rights Law Center, an Honorary Director for Massachusetts Audubon Society, and former Director for the Massachusetts Black Women Attorneys. She received her JD from the University of Pennsylvania and BA from Emory University. In Birgitta’s spare time, she enjoys pilates, running, hiking, horseback riding, and spending time with her husband and three teenaged children.
Cheryl Duckworth (Vice Chair)
Cheryl has been an AMC member since 1992 and a member of the President’s Society since 2008. She served on the Investment Committee from 2009-2013 prior to moving to Singapore for 5 years. She rejoined the Investment Committee in 2019 upon her return to the Boston area. Cheryl is a retired partner at Wellington Management having held several roles across the investment and client teams over the last 25+ years. Originally from New Jersey, Cheryl grew up an avid soccer player and skier. However, she credits her husband for getting her hiking and camping. She, her husband and two daughters hike, ski and climb extensively wherever there are mountains including some very far-flung locations during their time in Singapore, but the mountains they know the best are the White Mountains of New Hampshire.
Shan Soe-Lin Hecht*
Shan Soe-Lin, MPH, PhD, is an undergraduate capstone faculty member at the Jackson Institute for Global Affairs (2021-2022). She is also a managing director at Pharos Global Health Advisors, a non-profit global health advisory firm based in Boston, MA, that she helped to co-found. Shan specializes in developing solutions to complex strategic, organizational and operational issues affecting global health non-profit organizations, private philanthropies, multilaterals, and US health care payer and provider systems. Through her tenures with the Boston Consulting Group (BCG), Recon Strategy, Results for Development Institute and now Pharos Global Health Advisors, Shan specializes in developing forward-looking strategies, resource mobilization approaches, competitive landscapes and investment cases for organizations and governments focused on nutrition, HIV, TB, and maternal and child health issues. More recently, Shan has advised developing countries and NGOs on Covid control, and published several op-eds in the New York Times, the Boston Globe and Politico on domestic Covid control and return-to-work strategies. Shan also works with her clients to improve their organizational effectiveness and leadership development. Her clients have included the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Gavi, Unitaid, the Global Fund, Partners in Health, Nutrition International, and Kirk Humanitarian. Shan holds a PhD in Experimental Medicine, and a B.Sc in Microbiology & Immunology, both from McGill University, and a MPH from the Harvard School of Public Health.
Stephen Rushmore Jr.
Stephen is the president and CEO of HVS, an international hotel consulting firm that provides services to the hospitality industry. Stephen began his affiliation with AMC in 1990, working in reservations at Pinkham and as a croo member at Madison Spring and Lonesome Lake huts. Stephen has served on the Board of Directors (2014–2018; 2019–present) and the Board of Advisors (2010–2014). Aside from hiking, he enjoys bicycling, golf, skiing, and flying small airplanes. Stephen currently resides in Rye, N.Y., with his wife and family.
Samarjit is an investor, global macro strategist and economist with over 30 years of experience. Over the years, he has worked in senior leadership positions at Mariner Investments, BNY Mellon in Boston, J P Morgan in New York, State Street in Boston and Barclays BZW in London, Hong Kong and Singapore. He has traveled globally, presenting on macro investments to portfolio/pension managers, hedge funds, and central banks. He has spearheaded numerous thought leadership initiatives with global money managers and policy makers, having worked closely with the International Monetary Fund and on World Bank projects over the years. He is the Chair of the AMC’s Investment Committee, having served on it since 2015 and on the Board of Advisors (2013–2018). He is a member of AMC’s President’s Society. He enjoys family time at his homes in Belmont, Mass., and Randolph, N.H., with the latter enabling many outdoor pursuits.
William B. Tyree*
Bill is the Managing Partner of Brown Brothers Harriman, a privately-owned global financial services firm headquartered in New York City, where he has worked for over 38 years. Outside of work, Bill is a passionate advocate for youth services. He is the chairman of the board of the Boys’ Club of New York, a 147-year-old social service organization serving more than 2,000 inner city boys (ages 6-16) through two clubhouses in New York City and a summer camp in Harriman State Park. Bill graduated from Dartmouth College and received his MBA from Wharton. He lives in New York City with his wife, Kathryn, and has three adult children, two of whom work and live in NYC.
Nick Wilkoff is the Chief Marketing Officer at L.L.Bean, and joined the company in 2004. In this role, Nick is responsible for L.L.Bean’s marketing investments, brand strategy and amplification, creative expression, as well as accountability for its Ecommerce channel. Prior to taking on the role of CMO in 2020, Nick held a number of leadership positions across Marketing, as well as running its International business in Japan and Canada.
After studying Environmental Policy at Middlebury College, Nick began his career working for a Boston-based GIS (geographic information systems) consulting firm, AppGeo. Nick then joined Forrester Research as an industry analyst covering IT trends. A Maine native, Nick currently resides in his hometown of Brunswick with his wife and two teenage children.
Eileen Yin (Regional Director, Mid-Atlantic Region)*
Eileen Yin has been an AMC member since 1998. She joined as a hiker and soon went on to bike, backpack, climb, ski, and canoe and kayak with the club. Her AMC journey continued as an activity leader, Committee Chairs, and Chapter Chair. She is a past NY-NoJ Chapter Appie of the Year and received the Club's Volunteer Recognition Award. Eileen is enthusiastic about expanding AMC's presence in the Greater New York region and strengthening the AMC community.
Annual Meeting and Election
AMC’S 148TH ANNUAL MEETING & ELECTION OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS will be held on SATURDAY, JANUARY 20, 2024, 8:30AM ET at the Four Points by Sheraton Hotel, Norwood, MA. Virtual attendance will also be available. If you are unable to attend the meeting, proxy ballots for participating in the election will be sent by email in early January.
The Appalachian Mountain Club’s 147th Annual Meeting and election of AMC Board of Directors took place virtually on January 21, 2023 at 9:30AM ET. We are pleased to announce that the Board of Directors slate was approved. A recording of the meeting can be viewed below: