Karen Mauney-Brodek, President

kmbimg_7378_2Karen Mauney-Brodek is responsible for all day-to-day operations, long-range planning and the fiscal health and well-being of the conservancy. She works with the board and staff to develop the budget, expand fundraising efforts, create programming and design strategies to further the organization’s mission to protect, restore and maintain parks of the Emerald Necklace designed by Frederick Law Olmsted. Prior to joining the conservancy in August 2016, Karen served as a program and project manager for the City of San Francisco Parks Department where she led outreach, communications, planning, design and construction of numerous public park renovation projects and initiatives, including internal and external stakeholder management. Previous to her ten years with San Francisco Parks, she was chief of the Design Build Program in the Design & Construction Division of the New York Department of Parks & Recreation, managing a $15–20 million annual program which selected, designed, and built or rebuilt all or portions of 100 parks and playgrounds annually. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Columbia University and dual master’s degrees in Architecture, and City and Regional Planning/Urban Design from the University of California, Berkeley.

Ellen Arnstein, Volunteer Coordinator

Ellen.160Ellen Arnstein develops, coordinates, and supervises volunteer stewardship projects and service days throughout the Emerald Necklace. She has worked as an environmental educator, editor, and Peace Corps volunteer (Bolivia) and hopes to bring a little from each of these varied experiences to her position. Prior to joining the Conservancy, Ellen was the volunteer manager at MillionTreesNYC and feels a somewhat motherly affection for the 300,000 trees planted during her tenure. Ellen graduated with a degree in Biology from Le Moyne College and a Master’s in Environmental Management from Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Science.

Mary Hickie, Special Projects Coordinator

emerald necklace staff hickieArchitect Mary Hickie joined the conservancy after serving for two years as a volunteer. In 2014, she completed the restoration of the 1930 fountain in the James P. Kelleher Rose Garden underwritten by the conservancy’s Justine Mee Liff Fund. In addition, she serves on the conservancy’s project review committee which analyzes proposed new development on the necklace for potential impacts. She is also responsible for coordinating advocacy efforts for the Park Overseers with a focus on improving access to the parks. Hickie is a registered architect in Massachusetts.

Kent Jackson, Director of Education

Kent.160Kent Jackson is an experienced program administrator and a seasoned environmental educator who has successfully created, developed, directed, and evaluated environmental youth leadership programs over the past 18 years. Kent has previously worked with The Appalachian Mountain Club, Eagle Eye Institute, The Trustees of Reservations and the Rose Kennedy Greenway Conservancy. He is a certified American Canoe Association Instructor, a Wilderness First Responder and a Leave No Trace Master Educator.

Susan Knight, Director of Development


Susan Knight oversees all development initiatives at the conservancy including the annual fund, foundation grants, donor cultivation and corporate underwriting. She coordinates efforts with the conservancy’s president and its board of directors and works with volunteers on the annual Justine Mee Liff Fund’s Party in the Park, a major fundraising event. Prior to joining the conservancy, Knight served as executive director at The Family Center of Greater Peterborough, in Peterborough, NH. She received her BA from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and her MEd from Harvard University.

Jeanine Knox, Director of External Relations,

Jeanie.160Jeanine Knox is responsible for conservancy communications, visitor services and public education. In addition to overseeing newsletters and publications, she develops and administers programs and materials that enrich the visitor experience including tours, presentations, docent training, events, and exhibits. Prior to joining the conservancy, Knox worked in both the public and private sectors as an educator and marketing director. She received her BA from Boston University and her MEd from Bridgewater University.

Ginger Leib, Development Coordinator


Ginger assists with coordinating development projects and events at the Emerald Necklace Conservancy. Previously, she worked as the Youth Program Director at Community Boating, Inc. on the Charles River. She is thrilled to be joining the Emerald Necklace team, as an avid user of Boston’s parks both on foot and on her bike. When not at work, Ginger enjoys biking, hiking, and sailing. She hopes to someday visit all the National Parks in the U.S. and Canada.

Kate Sosin Oeser, Marketing & Communicatons Coordinator

Kate.160Kate Sosin Oeser is an enthusiastic Olmsted admirer and a longtime community reporter. Prior to joining the Emerald Necklace Conservancy, Kate served as the associate editor for Windy City Times and as a reporter for The Boston Courant. She lives in Savin Hill with her wife, Alicia, and dog, Snax. Kate is an avid photographer and especially enjoys taking photos in the parks. “I’m so excited to join the team and share my love of the Emerald Necklace!” Kate said.

Ray Oladapo-Johnson, Director of Park Operations

roj-9-26-16Ray Oladapo-Johnson is responsible for parks projects and operations. Prior to joining the conservancy, he was a curator at the Wildlife Conservation Society, responsible for the horticulture, maintenance, and exhibit design for all New York City Zoos, most notably the Bronx Zoo. He also worked as a project manager for URS, a private construction management corporation under contract to the City of New York Parks and Recreation Department. His work with URS involved managing the citywide coordination of street tree installation, street triangle installations and city park maintenance for the city of New York.

John Smith, Accountant

emerald necklace staff smithJohn Smith is responsible for finances, payroll and human resources. He has experience with non-profit organizations in the Boston area. Smith has a BS from Cornell University and a MBA from Boston University School of Management.

Jessica Welch, Director of Annual Giving

JessJessica Welch manages annual giving including annual appeals, individual donor cultivation, and overall fundraising communications strategy. Jessica is a resident of Jamaica Plain and an avid user of the parks. Year round she is running, walking her dog and cycling to work through the parks. Prior to joining the Conservancy, she fundraised for Community Servings and the Massachusetts Horticultural Society. Jessica has a BA from the University of Vermont.

Shattuck Visitor Center

125 The Fenway, Boston, MA 02115

Open year-round Monday-Friday:
9:00am – 5:00pm
Saturday and Sunday (May-October only):
11:00am – 4:00pm