Board and Staff

Board of Directors

Linda M. Barber, President

Linda has been a permanent resident on Chautauqua Lake for 45 years. A retired attorney who specialized in arbitrating commercial insurance disputes and a certified reinsurance arbitrator, Linda is a cum laude graduate of Chatham College with a Bachelor of Arts in History and Political Science and cum laude graduate of Temple University’s School of Law, where she served as an editor of the Law Review. Linda’s work in the insurance industry includes claims from hazardous waste sites and toxic chemicals, and she also has served as an expert witness. Linda is a member of the Pennsylvania Bar and formerly the SVP, a Chief Claim Officer and a Director of International Insurance Company. She has served as an officer of CIGNA, first as Assistant General Counsel and then as Chief Claim Officer for environmental and other long-tail claims. She has been a member of the CWC Board since 2010 and has served on the boards of the Chautauqua Lake and Watershed Management Alliance and the Chautauqua Lake Association.

 

Jeanne Wiebenga, Vice President

Jeanne was born and raised in the Netherlands, where she completed medical school at Leiden University. After completing medical school, Jeanne worked for 3 years at a mission hospital in Ghana, West Africa, and then went on to complete a Master’s of Public Health degree from Harvard University and an OB/GYN residency at SUNY-Buffalo. She returned to Africa as a senior staff physician at a referral hospital in Blantyre, Malawi. In 1992, Jeanne returned to the USA, working in private practice and becoming a permanent Chautauqua resident. In 2002, she resumed her global travels and worked with undeserved women in Arizona, Alaska, Australia and once again, Africa. Now semi-retired, Jeanne is an avid traveler with a passion for nature photography.

“Over the last 25 years, I have enjoyed living near Chautauqua Lake, but have also witnessed the deterioration of the lake due to many factors, many beyond our control. I have been a supporter of the CWC for many years because I believe in their emphasis on preventative action, and I am seeing results. When asked to join the board 2 years ago, I did not hesitate to jump on board, and I will try to further their mission whatever way I can.”

 

Robert Wooler, Vice President

A year-round resident of Maple Springs, Bob brings 44 years of experience as an executive director of nonprofit organizations to the CWC. Originally from Pittsburgh, Bob spent three decades in New England before moving to Chautauqua County in 2006. With skills in management, fund development, marketing, communications and evaluation, Bob is first and foremost an advocate for prevention and conservation, believing this approach to community development, social welfare and watershed management is the most beneficial and cost effective.

 

Judy Maskrey, Secretary

A Pittsburgh native and lifetime Pennsylvania resident, Judy graduated magna cum laude from Westminster College with a BA in accounting. She is a member of the Pennsylvania Institutes of CPAs and was active in the Pittsburgh Chapter of Tax Executives Institute, including serving as Chapter President. Judy began her career with Price Waterhouse; worked as a Manager of Taxes at National Forge Company, a privately held corporation in Warren County; and was Director of Taxes at Ferranti International, Inc., in Lancaster, PA. Returning to Pittsburgh in 1992 to join PPG, Judy held management positions in that firm in the International, State and Local and U.S. Tax Functions. She also served for 2 ½ years as Director of Government Affairs. Judy retired in 2013 as Director, Federal Taxes, for PPG Industries Inc., where she was responsible for federal tax planning, compliance, audit and tax policy matters.  In her retirement, Judy and her husband Fred are splitting their time between their homes in Pittsburgh and on Chautauqua Lake. They enjoy sailing, gardening, reading, skiing and traveling.

 

Don Kimmel, Treasurer

A year-round visitor to Chautauqua Lake since 1967, Don has been a Maple Springs property owner since 1974. In his professional life, Don served as president and chief operating officer at mid-market company and as a senior vice president international at a Fortune 400 company. Don also served as a board member of two Cleveland-area companies. In addition to serving on the CWC board, Don has served as a board member of non-profit human services agency since 1994, and has served as both chairman and vice chairman. Don holds a Bachelor of Science degree from University of Wisconsin-Madison, and he is a graduate of SSE Program at IMD Business School in Luanne, Switzerland.

 

Ted First, Director

Ted is a year-round resident of Chautauqua Institution. A retired designer and builder of solar and green-energy homes, Ted served for 35 years as a volunteer with Habitat for Humanity and has volunteered for more than 20 years with a peace village in Israel and with Quakers in Palestine. Ted is married with 11 grandchildren, and his hobbies include making stained glass windows and marble mosaics. 

“I serve on the CWC Board with a deep commitment to its mission and bring other board experience and professional expertise in construction and business.” 

 

Michael Jabot, Director

Mike is a professor of science education at SUNY Fredonia and a director of the Institute for Research in Science Teaching and its Center for Earth Observations. Mike has served on the lead team for the Next Generation of Science Standards, as well as on the science advisory for the New York State Education Department. His current research focuses on the use of big ideas in the shaping of learning progressions around education for sustainability and how these curriculum interventions in classrooms help shape student actions. Mike has received the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Research from the State University of New York, the William Hagan Young Scholars Award and the Champion of Teacher Development awards by the Science Teachers Association of New York State, and he has been recognized for Excellence in Teaching. Mike is a member of NASA’s Educational Outreach Team, serving as an Earth Ambassador and as a Master Trainer for the NASA GLOBE Program. 

“I serve on the CWC Board because I believe that there is nothing more important for our region than fostering a deep appreciation for our regions’ natural resources and the development of an understanding of how we can be good stewards of these resources. I hope I bring a unique skill set in how we can help communicate this goal to others and to build their understanding of ‘our place’.”   

 

Mary Laumer, Director

Mary is a permanent resident of Chautauqua County and former property owner at Chautauqua Institution. Born in Pittsburgh, Mary spent 18 summers at Chautauqua Institution. She is a graduate of Allegheny College, where she earned a degree in Aquatic Environmental Science, and the University of Michigan, where she earned a degree in Environmental Chemistry. Mary has worked as an environmental consultant for 34 years, specializing in analytical chemistry, industrial process chemistry, wastewater treatment and hazardous waste remediation. She is a current member of the American Chemical Society.

“I believe in the mission of CWC, especially as it pertains to improving the condition of Chautauqua Lake. I hope that my efforts can grow and strengthen this vital organization.”  

 

Craig Seger, Director

For CWC, Craig has taken on the role of “Preserve Foreman,” integrating volunteers into the CWC Gateways to Nature Program, which strives to increase public access to CWC’s preserves. Through the Gateways to Nature Program, Craig and a team of volunteers build trails, bridges, information kiosks and signs to make CWC properties more easily accessible and safer.

“I’m the guy with the tools, trailer and truck making it possible to construct most anything we desire to make the public welcome. I hope to expand my energies into the educational duties of our organization.”

 

Deb Trefts, Director

Deb is a policy scientist with extensive U.S., Canadian and international conservation experience. Growing up in the Lake Erie region, Deb enjoyed sailing on Chautauqua Lake. In college, she turned her affinity for boating into a multidisciplinary career in ocean-, coastal- and watershed-related problem solving. A keen interest in public service inspired her focus on the art and science of deciphering and developing public policy at all levels, from local to global. Deb has graduate degrees in environmental and public policy, ecosystem science, marine affairs and environmental law, and a Bachelor of the Arts in political science.

“I am concerned about the health and viability of Chautauqua County’s waterways and the communities that depend on them. Based on experience, I know that genuinely sustainable development generates work that people can take pride in and empowers individuals and communities.” 

 

Arthur D. Webster, Director Emeritus

Art is a former CWC board president. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from Duke University, a Master of Divinity from Princeton Seminary and Doctor of Ministry from Pittsburgh Seminary. Art served Presbyterian minister at the First Presbyterian Church in Westfield, NY, as well as in pastorates in New York City, Oklahoma City, Pittsburgh, Wheeling, W.V., and Lake Forest, Ill.

“My background in large church management and Doctorate in Organization Development enabled me to make a unique contribution to the development of CWC. I believe that of all the organizations working for the improvement of Chautauqua Lake and its watershed, the CWC has the most effective and comprehensive approach.” 

 

William R. Locke, Director Emeritus

Bill served as a CWC board member from 2008-2016 and as CWC treasurer 2012-2016. Originally from Brookville, Pa., Bill served in the Air Force and graduated from Midwestern State University in Wichita Falls, Texas, with a Bachelor’s degree in business administration. Bill worked as an internal auditor and consumer loan officer for a West Palm Beach bank for 27 years and worked with the United Way of Palm Beach County as a volunteer and loan executive. Bill has been a summer resident of Dewittville for the past 21 years, and he is involved in many different local organizations. Bill is active on several CWC committees and serves as chair of the golf committee.

“My wife and I love Chautauqua Lake and want to do all we can to keep our lake healthy.  I accepted the invitation to join the CWC Board of Directors because I felt I could help the Conservancy fulfill its mission by bringing my financial background and organizational abilities to the table.”

 

Michael K. Lyons, Director Emeritus

Mike is co-president of Anderson Cleaners, and, before retiring, he served as the development director for the Roger Tory Peterson Institute.

 

Rebecca L. Nystrom, Director Emeritus

A founding trustee of the CWC, Becky is a professor of biology at Jamestown Community College and coordinator of the college’s environmental science program. Becky holds a bachelor’s degree in Biology, magna cum laude, from SUNY-Buffalo and an M.S. in Biology from SUNY-Fredonia. Becky has served as a CWC board director and president, and she is a past chair and current member of the CWC’s Conservation Committee. Becky has assisted in botanical inventory fieldwork on CWC preserves and has led numerous wildflower walks. She served on the Chautauqua County Department of Planning’s Macrophyte Management Strategy technical advisory group and is a regular columnist for the Chautauqua Watershed Notes. She is past president of the JCC Faculty Association and currently serves on the JCC Foundation Board, JCC Sustainability Committee, JCC Forest Stewardship Taskforce, Chautauqua County Forest Pest Taskforce and Chautauqua County Lake and Watershed Management Alliance Scientific Review and Advisory Committee.

“My strengths include skills as an educator, communicator and collaborator, and my scientific background in biology, botany and aquatic ecology. My passion is a healthier, more sustainable world for all.”

 

Thomas A. Small, Director Emeritus

Lifelong Chautauqua summer resident; Former Vice President of Sales for the Midwest Division of World Travel BTI; Former President of Central States Airlines and Executive Vice President of Dyson Corporation; holds a BS from Gannon University and a MBA/Advanced Management Degree from Case Western Reserve; Former President and Board Member of the Fairmount Center for Creative and Performing Arts; served on various Chautauqua Institution committees, West Geauga School Board and the Cleveland United Way Campaign.

 

Staff

 

John Jablonski III, Executive Director

John is a founding member of the CWC and has served as executive director since the organization expanded to include the position in 1993. During his career with the CWC, John has secured $4 million in State Bond Act and EPF funds to conserve Chautauqua Lake open space. He is responsible for conserving 700 acres of land establishing 10 nature preserves/wildlife areas. Prior to working with the CWC, John drafted $3.4 million in successful proposals to state, federal and private funding sources, including the proposal establishing the Greater Jamestown Economic Development (Empire) Zone. John holds a bachelor of science degree in natural resources from Cornell University and a master of science degree in urban and regional planning from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He has worked as City of Jamestown planning coordinator, assistant director of planning for Chatham, Mass., and as a planner and environmental educator for the Genesee County Department of Planning/Coop. Extension. He serves as a member of the Chautauqua County Environmental Management Council
and the Chautauqua County Water Quality Task Force and served on the Chautauqua Lake Management Commission.

 

Jill Eklund, Director of Operations

Jill holds a bachelor’s degree, summa cum laude, from Southern New Hampshire University. At the CWC, Jill is responsible for drafting and editing The ‘Shed Sheet newsletter, organizational publications, correspondence and general office administration and records management.

 

Claire Quadri, Conservationist

Claire Quadri joined CWC in September 2017 as a conservationist. In this position, she is responsible for environmental
education and outreach programs, including public outreach for New York State DEC funded Water Quality Improvement Projects and CWC’s “Starve the Algae! Save the Lake!” watershed education program. Claire has an environmental career that spans more than 30 years. She has held the positions of environmental engineer for the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority, senior project manager for environmental consulting firms in New York and Massachusetts, and vice president and manager of environmental risk analysis for HSBC Bank USA. Claire holds a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Conservation and Management from Barnard College, Columbia University. She is also a member of the Chautauqua County Environmental Management Council.

 

Jennifer Nesbitt, Development Coordinator

Jennifer accepted the position of CWC development coordinator in 2018. A graduate of Penn State University with degrees in journalism and political science, Jennifer has spent the majority of her career as a journalist, working to cover local communities and nonprofit organizations. After moving to Chautauqua County in 2014, Jennifer launched her career as a freelance copywriter and marketing consultant, specializing in content marketing and branding. As Development Coordinator, Jennifer focuses on building relationships with CWC supporters and expanding awareness of CWC’s mission, events and achievements through marketing and public relations. 

 

David B. Anderson, Conservationist

(part-time) – Dave provides important conservation outreach to rural stream, forest and wetland owners in Chautauqua County on behalf of the CWC. Dave is a retired clinical instructor from SUNY Fredonia in early childhood practice and elementary school teacher. He holds master’s degrees in education and political science, a certificate of advanced study in education administration/supervision) and a bachelor’s degree in political science. He is an avid trout fisherman.