Staff & Board Members

Christa Drew head shot

Job Opening! Financial Planning and Analysis Manager
Friends of Herring River (FHR) is seeking an experienced, skilled, and detail-oriented individual to fill a new staff position – Financial Planning and Analysis Manager – adding essential capacity to a small and dedicated team. The candidate who is selected will be energetic, organized, and make a significant difference within the operations of FHR and assist FHR in supporting the largest salt marsh restoration project in the Northeast U.S.
to restore full tidal flow for numerous benefits to the coastal habitat, ecosystem services, and climate. FHR works alongside a talented team of project co-owners, funders, and contractors.

Read the full job description here.

Christa Drew head shot

Christa Drew, Executive Director
Christa joined FHR after many years of transformative leadership, building organizations and systems change across a variety of sectors including equitable community development, health, food systems, criminal & social justice and arts & culture. Trained in conflict transformation, creative community engagement, and with a Masters in Public Policy & Administration she has served as executive director, community organizer, co-founder, professor, and consulting principal. She has a lifelong love of the Outer Cape and is thrilled it is now her fulltime home and host to her many nature-based and artful activities.

Christa Drew head shot

Christine Odiaga, Assistant Project Manager
Christine is living her dream, “washed ashore” and working full time on Cape Cod. Prior experience includes ten years of outreach and education as a MassDEP Wetlands Circuit Rider, three years as a municipal Conservation Agent/Stormwater Coordinator and six years of construction site sampling and monitoring on the Central Artery/Tunnel Project (fascinating!!). She took advantage of the Cooperative Education Program at Northeastern University and considers that experience as important as classes.

Christa Drew head shot

Erika Pfammatter, Operations Coordinator
A life-long classical musician and teacher, Erika moved fulltime in 2018 to her beloved Wellfleet where she served as Operations Manager for the Cape Cod Chamber Music Festival for three years. There she managed donation processing, ticket sales, fundraising appeals, sales reports, e-blasts, mass mailings, and handled all database and website management. Erika is delighted to bring those skills to FHR in support of the Herring River Restoration Project.

Board of Directors – 2024

Lisbeth Wiley Chapman
Beth created and ran Hopper House Tours from 2013 to 2021. She toured local residents and vistors from around the world to where American artists Edward Hopper and his wife, Josephine, painted in Truro and Wellfleet. She now presents illustrated lectures on the Hoppers and their work in private homes. She has provided pro bono PR services to local non-profits. She held leadership positions at the Church of St. Mary of the Harbor (Episcopal) in Provincetown, and sings in the 100-person Outer Cape Chorale. From 1991 to 2015, Beth ran Ink&Air, a public relations firm specializing in marketing and communications strategy for financial services firms, mutual funds, and financial advisors.

Jackie Fouse, Treasurer
Jackie has had a 40-year international corporate career, mostly in the healthcare industry. She most recently served as CEO of Agios Pharmaceuticals in Cambridge, MA. She has B.A. and M.A. degrees in economics and a Ph.D. in finance. In 2017 she decided to pursue a Master’s in environmental management from the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies. She completed that program in 2019, during which time she participated in research with the Herring River Restoration Project team. She is highly interested in not only contributing to the restoration of the Herring River, but also in the preservation of the unique attributes of the Cape Cod ecosystem at large. Jackie and her partner have owned their home in Wellfleet since 2009.

Lauren Kaufmann
Lauren has devoted her career to innovating creative and thought-provoking ways to educate learners of different ages, backgrounds and perspectives. For more than ten years, she has worked in the museum field, where she has curated exhibitions that spark meaningful dialogue about timely topics. She particularly enjoys organizing public programs that offer new insights into topics of both historic and contemporary concern. Lauren previously worked in educational publishing, where she wrote and edited curriculum material for the K-12 market.

Chris Miller
Chris is the Director of the Natural Resources Department in the Town of Brewster. He has a BS in Wildlife and Fisheries Biology, an MS in Chemical Engineering and a graduate certificate in local government. His background includes 12 years with the town, plus over 10 years in environmental consulting. He has been the project manager for several large salt marsh restoration projects and coastal resilience projects in Brewster.

Katie Murphy
Katie co-owns and operates Field Point Oyster Farm in Wellfleet, MA, where she has lived since 2003. As a life-long environmentalist and a huge fan of Wellfleet and the Outer Cape, Katie is dedicated to salt marsh restoration and enhancing our ecological, economic and social resilience along this beautiful coast. She has a BA in Environmental Economics from Bryn Mawr College and an MS in Natural Resources from the University of Vermont and a graduate certificate in Ecological Economics from the Gund Institute.

Laura Parkin
Laura works with nonprofits and philanthropists to design and raise funds for high-impact initiatives. She builds on a 30+ year career helping establish, grow, and invest in high-impact organizations as an entrepreneur, social entrepreneur, venture capitalist, and head of a private foundation. As Chief Strategy and Finance Officer at Results for America, Laura led the spin-out from an incubator. Prior to RFA, Laura spent 10 years in India, as founding Executive Director of a private foundation and co-founder and CEO of an entrepreneurship education nonprofit that grew to partner with over 500 academic institutes. Laura received her BA and her MPA from Harvard, and is currently Treasurer of Harvard Alumni for Climate and the Environment. Her home in Wellfleet abuts the Herring River Restoration Project.

Dale Rheault, Chair
A licensed independent social worker, with a specialty in addiction therapy, Dale has spent 40 years as a therapist, working for the past 13 years in Provincetown. She has a deep background as a volunteer for not-for-profit organizations. A member of the Board of Wellfleet Preservation Hall, she has assisted in its major fundraising campaigns. Dale is a Trustee Emerita of the Pennfield School in Portsmouth, Rhode Island. Abutters to the Herring River, Dale and her husband look down from their home in Wellfleet to the mouth of the river.

David Shapiro
David is a school program coordinator for Mass Audubon Cape Cod. In this role, he works to develop and deliver environmental education programs to students across Cape Cod. Prior to his current role with Mass Audubon, David taught environmental education programming at the NEED Academy, a residential environmental education program in Truro, MA, that provides week-long experiences in the Cape Cod National Seashore for local grade 5 students. David also worked as an interpretive park ranger with the Cape Cod National Seashore for six seasons.

Philip Tabas, Clerk
Philip is Special Advisor with The Nature Conservancy in Arlington, VA. He served as the Conservancy’s General Counsel from 2003 to 2013. He has also held other positions in TNC in the areas of land protection, government relations, compatible economic development and conservation planning. He has also worked to secure tax policy and legislation changes for conservation at the US Federal and state levels of government, as well as in other countries. Prior to TNC, he practiced law with a private law firm, worked as an attorney for a government water resources management agency and was an attorney with an environmental consulting firm. He is a member of the Board of Directors of The Potomac Conservancy and a member of the American College of Environmental Lawyers. He teaches a summer course entitled “Ecosystem Conservation Strategies” at the Vermont Law School.

Science Advisory Group – 2024

Barbara Brennessel & John Portnoy, Co-Chairs

Charter: Given the Friends’ history and commitment to science-driven restoration efforts, this Group reviews and opines on the Friends’ communications and activities which are rooted in science, as well as helps convene and lead scientific events and talks related to the Herring River Estuary, on behalf of Friends of Herring River.

Barbara Brennessel, PhD
Trained as a biochemist at Fordham and Cornell, Barbara taught at Wheaton College until her retirement in 2013. She studies diamondback terrapins, river herring and shellfish. In each case, she has written a book about the subject. Barbara is a member of the Wellfleet Conservation Commission and volunteers with the Wellfleet SPAT Science Research Committee, IFAW and Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary.

Jackie Fouse, PhD
Jackie has had a 40-year international corporate career, mostly in the healthcare industry. She most recently served as CEO of Agios Pharmaceuticals in Cambridge, MA. She has B.A. and M.A. degrees in economics and a Ph.D. in finance. In 2017 she decided to pursue a Master’s in environmental management from the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies. She completed that program in 2019, during which time she participated in research with the Herring River Restoration Project team. She is highly interested in not only contributing to the restoration of the Herring River, but also in the preservation of the unique attributes of the Cape Cod ecosystem at large. Jackie and her partner have owned their home in Wellfleet since 2009.

John Portnoy, PhD
John holds degrees in biology (BA), wildlife biology (MS) and marine ecology (PhD).  He worked as a National Park Service ecologist on Cape Cod for 29 years conducting research on a range of topics in wetland ecology and biogeochemistry, with the latter focused on wetland elemental cycling.  He has volunteered on the Town of Wellfleet Natural Resource Advisory Board, Conservation Commission, Mayo Creek Restoration Committee and Open Space Committee. Since retirement from the NPS, he has continued to volunteer with the Cape Cod National Seashore and Friends of Herring River.

David Shapiro
David is a school program coordinator for Mass Audubon Cape Cod. In this role, he works to develop and deliver environmental education programs to students across Cape Cod. Prior to his current role with Mass Audubon, David taught environmental education programming at the NEED Academy, a residential environmental education program in Truro, MA, that provides week-long experiences in the Cape Cod National Seashore for local grade 5 students. David also worked as an interpretive park ranger with the Cape Cod National Seashore for six seasons.

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Friends of Herring River

1580 Route 6, #5
Wellfleet, MA 02667
(508) 214-0656
info@herringriver.org

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