Directors & Advisors

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Debra Iles, Chair
Higher Education Executive – resident of Newton
Debra Iles serves as the Associate Dean for Executive Education at Harvard Kennedy School. She has previously worked as an executive with Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, was COO of a health care quality start-up, and served as a management consultant. As a frequent runner along the paths of the Charles, she is interested in the connection between active recreation and the parks.

Joan Pickett, Treasurer
Senior Director, Planning & Business Development, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center – resident of Cambridge
Joan Pickett has more than 13 years of experience working in strategic planning and business development at one of Boston’s top academic medical centers. She is active in civic activities including advocating for preservation of open space. She believes that the Charles River Parks are one of the most valued open space resources in Cambridge.

Virginia R. Foote
Resident of Cambridge
Virginia Foote is a finance and impact investing professional who has worked in private equity, corporate operations as well as investment banking. Foote currently is the Director of Fund Development at Conservation Law Foundation (CLF) Ventures, where she is responsible for developing and growing a portfolio of impact investment funds seeking both financial and environmental returns. Prior to joining CLF Ventures, Foote was the Director of Finance and Operations for a private equity fund investing in clean energy and materials. Foote is a member of the Trustees Collaborative, a greater-Boston parks advocacy group, and The Boston Club. Foote lives with her family in Cambridge and is an active user of the Charles River Parks.

Nathan Gauthier
Energy & Sustainability Lead, Facilities Center of Excellence at Takeda Pharmaceuticals – resident of Dedham
Nathan Gauthier is a sustainable real estate professional committed to sustainable design, construction and operations. He has lead sustainability programs for large corporate and academic organizations, consulted on green building projects across the globe, and teaches graduate courses on sustainability at multiple universities. Nathan enjoys canoeing and kayaking on the Charles with his two daughters and is also a member of the Dedham Conservation Commission.

Taurean Green
Resident of Somerville
Taurean serves as the Lead Compliance Specialist at Payfactors. She previously served as a Contracts Negotiator at Raytheon BBN Technologies Corp. Taurean actively uses the Charles River as a place to hangout with her friends. She is particularly interested in the continued environmental preservation of the Charles River and its ability to connect the residents of Massachusetts. 

Lonsdale G. Koester
Resident of Cambridge
A self-described “serial do-gooder,” Lonsdale Koester is an experienced nonprofit and political/public sector leader with expertise in organizational development, strategic planning, policy analysis, financial management, fundraising, and volunteer engagement. She and her family love the Charles River in all its seasons, and most especially from the bow of their sturdy old green canoe.

Steve Kropper, Clerk
Partner, Skunk Works Fund – resident of Arlington
Steve is an entrepreneur in clean energy, telecom and big data. He organized GovOnTheT 2015, worked for the City of Boston, and held elected and committee assignments in Lexington. He was also responsible for maintenance of the Pleasant Brook Community Pool in Lexington for five years. He builds experimental kayaks, and in the summer, he paddles the Charles every week.

Frans Lawaetz
CIO / Co-Founder Vyasa Analytics – resident of Boston
Frans brought his love of open water swimming with him from the Virgin Islands to Boston where he co-founded the Charles River Swimming Club. He swims in the Charles as often as is allowed and looks forward to the day when river swimming is a daily feature of summer life. When not in the water Frans can be frequently found running along or windsurfing on the Charles.

Gautam Sundaram
Associate Principal, Perkins & Will – resident of Newton

Gautam Sundaram is an architect and landscape architect with over 20 years of national and international experience in planning and design of a diverse range of project types.  He is an Associate Principal at Perkins and Will and serves as the Urban Design and Landscape Architecture practice leader in the Boston Studio. He brings forth a strong emphasis on the role of landscapes to address climate change and social equity issues with a thoughtful, resilient and place making approach.

ADVISORY BOARD

Renata von Tscharner
Founder and retired President, Charles River Conservancy — resident of Cambridge
von Tscharner founded the Conservancy in 2000 and led it until her retirement in 2018. She trained as an architect and urban designer in Switzerland, and all her professional life has focused on planning and improving public spaces. She co-authored several books, taught at various colleges and hosted a TV program. Renata enjoys bicycling along the river.

To contact Renata, please email renatavontscharner@gmail.com.

Ron Axelrod*
Former Head, TAM Engineering; valuable advisor to the Lynch Family Skatepark project- resident of Cambridge

Jeffrey Bilezikian
Principal, Mill Lane Management/philanthropist – resident of Watertown

Dennis Carlone
Architect & Planner, Cambridge City Councilor – resident of Cambridge

Philip Crutchfield
Retired business executive, Harvard Business School lecturer – resident of Cambridge

John DeVillars
Managing Partner, BlueWave Strategies – resident of Boston

Catherine Donaher*
Principal of CD+A, founding Charles River Conservancy Board Member – resident of Brookline

Honorable Michael Dukakis
Professor at Northeastern University, former Governor of Massachusetts – resident of Brookline

Michael Epstein*
Retired physician, former COO of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center – resident of Cambridge

Paul Fremont-Smith, Jr.
Retired business executive/philanthropist – resident of Boston

Jennifer Gilbert*
Principal at VIVA Consulting – resident of Cambridge

John Isaacson
Executive, Isaacson, Miller – resident of Cambridge

Mark Kraczkiewicz*
Retired economist/international development – resident of Watertown

Daniel Langenthal
Independent Consultant  – resident of Cambridge

Henry Lee
Founder of the Friends of the Public Garden – resident of Boston

Edward LeFlore*
Principal, CSL Consulting, LLC – resident of Hopkinton

Linda Lerner*
Consultant & Executive Coach – resident of Boston

Harry Mattison*
Software Developer – resident of Allston

Geraldine Pangaro
Retired VP, John Hancock Life Insurance Company – resident of Boston

Randy Peeler
Managing Director at Berkshire Partners – resident of Cambridge

Matthew Petrie*
Architect – resident of Watertown

Bruce Schwoegler
Founder & Chairman, MySky Communications, Inc. – resident of Wayland

Amy Segal*
Counsel, Wilmer-Hale – resident of Newton

John R. Shields
Principal of Shields Design, Project Director, Esplanade 2020, a Vision for the Future – resident of Boston

Ann Tikkanen
Chief Financial & Administrative Officer at The Trustees of Reservations – resident of Cambridge

Paul Walker*
Program Director, Global Green USA, founding CRC board member – resident of Cambridge

Ania Wieckowski*
Managing Editor, Harvard Business Review Press – resident of Brighton

John T. Williams (Ike)
Attorney, Stern Shapiro Weissberg & Garin LLP – resident of Cambridge

Michelle Wu
Attorney, Boston City Councilor – resident of Boston

*Denotes former Board Member