Mike Burcin, Executive Director
Mike Burcin began working with the Conservancy as a consultant in 2012 to implement recommendations generated from a needs assessment conducted from June through December of 2011. He conducted the needs assessment, looking at environmental education in Lancaster County, while talking to providers and consumers of environmental programming, and all school districts in the county.
Prior to working for the Conservancy, he spent 35 years in public education. After graduating from Delaware Valley Regional High School in Frenchtown, New Jersey, Kansas Wesleyan University with a bachelor’s degree in history, and Kansas State with a Master’s degree in history, he taught for ten years in the state of Kansas. In 1985, his family moved to Lancaster County where they have lived ever since. For 21 years, he was principal of Martin Myelin Middle School in the Lampeter-Strasburg School District. Mike is committed to connecting kids with nature and creating enrichment activities for the children of Lancaster County while engaging parents, the community, and schools. He currently lives in Lampeter with his wife, Debbie.
Kathie Shirk Gonick, Director of Land Protection
and In-House Counsel
As Director of Land Protection, Kate works with landowners, businesses, funders, and local and state government to identify and protect Lancaster County’s most vital natural lands. Kate, a native of Lancaster County, previously held a position at the Brandywine Conservancy in Chadds Ford, PA, drafting subdivision and land development, and zoning ordinances, and working on general land use and historic preservation planning. Kate also held the position of Cultural Resource and Environmental Planner/Archaeologist for the Pinelands Commission, New Lisbon, N.J. and developed a program in archaeology for Cheyney University teaching several courses and establishing a laboratory and University guidelines.
Kate practiced land use law for over 25 years before receiving her M.A. in Anthropology/Archaeology from Temple University where she is a doctoral candidate. Kate holds a B.A. from Sweet Briar College and a J.D. from Penn State University Dickinson School of Law. Kate enjoys all types of winter activities, including downhill and cross country skiing and hiking. Other hobbies include gardening and writing. Kathie and her husband, Jeff, live in Manheim Township.
Fritz Schroeder, Director of Urban Greening
Fritz has been responsible for developing residential and institutional greening programs since 2007. Born and raised in Lancaster County, Fritz has an extensive network of contacts and relationships within the community. As a community organizer, he has been successful in leveraging these relationships to accomplish the mission and goals of LIVE Green. He has an extensive background in landscaping and tree management, and has overseen the design and installation of various stormwater capture and infiltration techniques from rain barrels to green roofs.
Prior to joining LIVE Green, Fritz was the Director of Economic Development for the East King Improvement District and has volunteered with Little Conestoga Watershed Alliance, Susquehanna Sustainable Business Network, Buy Fresh Buy Local, and the Lancaster County Conservation District Foundation. Fritz received his B.A. from The College of Wooster in Ohio.
Theresa W. Shuman, Director of Development
Terri joined the staff in August 2002, bringing a strong natural resources background and organizational skills. She received her B.S. in ecology from the University of Illinois and her M.S. in environmental biology from Kansas State University. Terri served as a non-game wildlife biologist with the Kansas Fish & Game Commission and especially enjoyed involvement in ruffed grouse, wild turkey and eastern chipmunk reintroductions. When she and her husband relocated to Florida, Terri worked as a water conservation planner with the St. Johns River Water Management District where she co-authored that agency’s first water conservation rule. She has also worked as an elementary school science and reading teacher, and has specialized training in grant writing, planned giving and project management. Her family received a 2010 Chestnut Grove Foundation “Seeds of Sustainability” Environmental Excellence Award for safeguarding wildlife habitat in their own backyard. Terri is a past president of Penn Manor Little League and serves on the Penn Manor Superintendent’s Council. She lives in Martic Township on Steinman ridge within view of Trout Run Nature Preserve.
Thomas Stahl, Director of Stewardship
In January of 2008, Tom joined the staff of LCC as Forester where he monitored our preserves and easements in addition to directing the stewardship crew and supporting education programs. Tom graduated from Penn State University where he received his degree in Forestry with a concentration in Forest Resource Management. Using his degree, Tom gained experience with the Bureau of Forestry, which provided him the opportunity to learn and implement techniques for sound forest management. Also, Tom’s experience as a Park Ranger with the Maryland Park Service at Point Lookout State Park has enabled him to see first-hand how the confluence of the Chesapeake Bay and the Potomac River is treasured by its visitors and why it is clear that watershed protection is of the utmost concern.
In 2011, Tom was promoted to Director of Stewardship where he will continue his forestry work as well as overseeing the implementation of management plans for each preserve. He has a true love of nature and the outdoors, and his hobbies include fly fishing, hiking, biking, camping and visiting historic landmarks. Tom, his wife Debby and her son Chris live in Mount Joy.
Nancy Beachler, Administrative Assistant
Nancy joined the Conservancy in January, 2012, as the new Administrative Assistant to Jerry Fulmer, after initially calling about volunteer opportunities. Joining a small group after many years in large companies, Nancy claims her initial nervousness was immediately put to rest by the strong work ethic and professionalism that she witnessed. Nancy would like to extend a thank you to everyone for welcoming her so warmly. She thoroughly enjoys learning about the Conservancy and all things environmental. Nancy is married, with one grown daughter who has ‘flown the coop’. Scrapbooking, reading, photography and traveling are some of her favorite pastimes and she is looking forward to visiting and photographing some of the Conservancy’s properties and incorporating them into a scrapbook.
Lydia Martin, Director of Education
Lydia Martin joined the Lancaster County Conservancy as a Land Steward in 2012. Lydia monitors conservation easements, assists with stewardship activities, supports educational programs, and completes other LCC initiatives. She is a self-taught naturalist and landscape design consultant with substantial experience and knowledge, especially with native flora and fauna. Her interest in landscape design has provided her with firsthand experience in rain garden, bog, meadow, and traditional garden design and installations. She looks forward to sharing her passion and creativity to enhance the LCC’s mission to preserve land in Lancaster County for future generations.
Lydia lives in the southern end of Lancaster County with her husband and four children. They own and operate Highmark Construction, a residential and commercial construction business and are passionate about restoring their property in the River Hills region. She enjoys volunteering with local groups to build environmental awareness and promote healthy living. Her favorite past times include trail running, gardening, reading, writing, photography, and plant propagation.
Betty Moyer, Office Administrator
Betty Moyer joined us in February 2006 as Office Administrator. Betty is the first person you see when you walk through our door, and she supports the Director of Development and CEO/COO in their day-to-day operations. With her thorough understanding of fundraising and database management, she is invaluable as we continue to build our membership and donor base. Betty came to us from the law office of Shirk, Reist, Wagenseller & Mecum, where she was a front-line representative for the firm’s clients. A native “Lancastrian”, Betty lives in Millersville with her husband, Sam. She spends most of her free time with her family, including two grown children and three grandchildren, who also live in Lancaster.
Jerry Fulmer, Finance Administrator/Consultant
Jerry Fulmer worked as a consultant for the Conservancy since 2000 when he had his own business providing Accounting Services and Business Systems Consulting, specifically for non-profit organizations. He was hired as the Vice President of Administration and Finance in 2011 and worked closely with Ralph Goodno, the President and CEO, to help shape the overall management and direction of the organization. He was responsible for overseeing the day to day internal operations of the Conservancy, including finance, audit, budgeting, human resources, information systems, general administrative functions and special projects, and worked closely with our internal Directors and respective Board committees.
Jerry became the ‘Acting President & CEO’ in 2012 and took on many additional responsibilities while still handling his administration and financial duties. In January of 2014, he returned to a consulting position for the Conservancy. Jerry previously held the position of Project Manager, Information Services at High Industries and also served as Manager of Information Services for Champion Aviation in South Carolina, Cooper Tools in North Carolina and Campbell Chain in York Pennsylvania.
Jerry loves nature, especially walking in the woods, and is committed to the Conservancy’s mission to protect natural lands and open space in Lancaster County. As a child, he recalls receiving a large picture book on Trees, and has fond memories of camping and staying in cabins along the Susquehanna. Jerry serves on the Resurrection Catholic School Board as Finance Chairperson and volunteers at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Lancaster. He lives in Lancaster with his wife, Barbara, and enjoys spending time with his grandchildren, building model railroad layouts, outdoor photography and family genealogy research.
Ralph H. Goodno, Former President & CEO – Deceased
Ralph joined the Lancaster County Conservancy as President & CEO in April 2002 and lead the organization’s programs and growth for 11 years. Before joining the Conservancy, Ralph was President of the Merrimack River Watershed Council in Massachusetts and New Hampshire for 12 years, President of County Lands, a for-profit land saving company, and Executive Director of the Housatonic Valley Association for 10 years. Ralph is a licensed landscape architect with an undergraduate degree in environmental design from the University of Massachusetts and a postgraduate degree in landscape architecture from the State University of New York and Syracuse University. He completed required coursework for an MBA from the University of New Haven, and also holds a real estate license in Connecticut.
He has received numerous awards for his work including the Red Rose Award from Lancaster New Era, Green Seal Award from the Executive Office of Environmental Affairs in Massachusetts, Ralph Goodno Day, a proclamation from the Governor of Massachusetts and the Charles Downing Lay Award from the Housatonic Valley Association in Connecticut.
We are mourning the loss of our colleague, friend, and leader Ralph Goodno who passed away on Thursday, June 12. To honor Ralph, our Board of Directors has renamed the Lower Susquehanna Fund to the ‘Ralph H. Goodno Riverlands Endowment Fund’ and will also be renaming a scenic trail on one of our preserves in the near future.
To learn more about Ralph’s work in Lancaster County and here at the Conservancy, click here
I see Ralph
June 21, 2014
I see Ralph in the wonder of children’s eyes who for the first time marvel at the beauty of the iridescent , vibrant colors of a scarlet tanager or indigo bunting, hear the calming whistle of the branches of trees gently swaying in the wind, or touch a squirming slimy red bellied salamander;
I see Ralph in the reflection of hiker’s faces as they cup their hands and sip cold fresh water from the crystal clear trout streams shaded by mossy banks with the shadows of hemlock trees at Fishing Creek, Steinman Run, Trout Run, and Texter Mountain Reserves that are home to the skittish native brook trout, the rare black nosed dace minnow and various invertebrates;
While standing at the Pinnacle Overlook, I see Ralph in the vivid colors of the sun setting on the Susquehanna River framed by the magnificent forested river hills with occasional interruptions of the silhouettes of the wing spans of bald eagles, osprey or red tailed hawks soaring past at eye level;
Like springtime in the many wild places Ralph explored and forever preserved, I see Ralph’s courageous spirit in the determination of the early wildflowers such as trout lilies, vibrant blue violets, and delicate white violets; to miraculously arise from the once hard frozen earth to reveal their unspoiled beauty;
Which let us know that life will go on….