Staff

Karen Mauney-Brodek, President

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Karen Mauney-Brodek is President of the Emerald Necklace Conservancy, working to restore and improve the Emerald Necklace’s 1,100 acres for all. She led the successful celebration of the Conservancy’s 20th Anniversary in 2018 with the presentation of Fog x FLO: Fujiko Nakaya on the Emerald Necklace, a world-class exhibition of site-responsive art throughout the Necklace, and is currently leading a major revitalization of Charlesgate Park with neighborhood group Charlesgate Alliance. Karen is a board member of Preservation Massachusetts, and is a member of the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation Special Commission, where she aids DCR in improving the management and operations of the resources it stewards.

Prior to joining the Conservancy, Karen served as Deputy Director for Park Planning in the San Francisco Parks Department, where she led outreach, communications, planning, design and construction of numerous projects and initiatives. She developed two public bond measures overwhelmingly approved by San Francisco voters that provided $400 million for parks. Prior to that, she was Chief of the Design Build Program in the Design & Construction Division of the New York Department of Parks & Recreation, managing a $15 million annual program to select, design, and build or rebuild all or portions of 100 parks and playgrounds annually.

Erin Baker, Administrative Assistant to the President

Erin Baker assists President Karen Mauney-Brodek and the rest of the Conservancy team with several administrative and operational tasks. She holds a BA in Sociology: Law and Society with a minor in Environmental Studies from the University of California, San Diego, and has extensive background in volunteering and environmental causes, including work in student government and the San Diego Planning Commission. Erin also holds a Paralegal Certificate from the University of San Diego, and is excited to bring her experience and enthusiasm for accessible green spaces to the Emerald Necklace.

Declan Battles, Marketing and Communications Coordinator

Declan works to increase the public’s awareness, appreciation, use of and support for the Emerald Necklace and the work of the Conservancy through social media, special events, communications and media relations. He is a summa cum laude graduate of Suffolk University with a degree in Public Relations with a Minor in Media & Film. Bringing experience from prior work with the South Boston St. Patrick’s Day Parade, McNeil, Gray & Rice, and Suffolk University’s Dept. of Communications, Journalism & Media, he has been passionate about open space and its need in urban communities since childhood. He is a lifelong fan of music, movies, hiking and the outdoors.

Alyx Britton, Land Stewardship Coordinator

Alyx is serving as the TerraCorps Land Stewardship and Community Engagement Coordinator at the Conservancy this year.

Alyx recently graduated from Harvard College with a BA in Environmental Science & Public Policy and Studies of Women, Gender, & Sexuality with a focus in food systems. Over the past five years, they have helped found and maintain numerous initiatives to support and advocate for low-income individuals, first-generation students and LGBTQIA+ folks. Now, they’re eager to merge their passion for social justice with their love of the outdoors at the Conservancy. Outside of work, you can find Alyx tending their herb garden, fixing furniture they find on the sidewalk and trying out new recipes in the kitchen.

Pete Conlin, Development Coordinator

Pete brings decades of experience of working with development information. Having spent over 30 years working within Harvard University’s fundraising office, he was involved in both the reporting and data maintenance aspects of development. While working at Harvard, Pete took advantage of the Harvard Extension School and received his undergraduate degree in history and graduate degree in Non-Profit Management. Pete is an avid Boston sports fan and enjoys traveling, but also loves a nice day on the beach or poolside.

Claire Curran, Major Gifts Manager

Claire comes to the Conservancy having held a range of roles in university and non-profit fundraising, most recently at the Museum of Science in Boston. She brings a passion for sustainability which she developed organizing environmental initiatives as a sustainability coordinator at Hamilton College. Her love of the outdoors was fostered by family hikes in New England, and time spent rowing on the Connecticut river during her years on the crew team. As the Major Gifts Manager, Claire cultivates and stewards the Conservancy’s donors, helping to encourage support of the parks and to raise funding for essential parks projects. In her spare time, Claire enjoys game nights with friends, exploring new areas of Boston and beyond, and cooking at home with her partner and two cats.

Maria Ferreira, Education Coordinator

Maria holds a PhD from the Baylor University School of Education in Exercise, Nutrition, and Preventive Health. Her postdoctoral fellowship focused on Native North American Medicinal Plants, at the University of Kansas.

She has taught and conducted research at Haskell Indian Nations University and First Nations University of Canada, and is committed to Indigenization of science. At the Emerald Necklace Conservancy, Maria coordinates educational programs.  She envisages a great opportunity to bring outdoor resistance exercise to the Emerald Necklace parks, thus addressing resistance exercise access inequity. She is also a former provincial level Olympic weightlifter and assistant coach in Quebec.

Kent Jackson, Director of Education

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Kent is an experienced program administrator and a seasoned educator who has successfully created, developed, directed, facilitated and evaluated environmental education, nature connect and leadership programs for more than 20 years. Kent has previously worked with The Appalachian Mountain Club, Eagle Eye Institute, The Trustees of Reservations and the Rose Kennedy Greenway Conservancy.

Finn Kelley, Visitor Engagement Associate

Finn Kelley works as the Conservancy’s Visitor Engagement Associate at the Shattuck Visitor Center. He is a third-year student at Northeastern University working towards a degree in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, along with a Master’s in Environmental Science and Policy and a minor in History. Finn brings experience from Washington, D.C. where he served as a congressional intern. In his free time, he likes to travel and watch movies.

Jen Mergel, Director of Experience and Cultural Partnerships

Jen grew up near Franklin Park and is a nationally respected contemporary art leader working to expose Boston’s histories and collaboratively reimagine its futures. She has organized 50+ exhibitions for museum, academic and citywide audiences, including for the Conservancy the award-winning project Fog x FLO: Fujiko Nakaya on the Emerald NecklaceIn 2017, Jen founded the Curatorial Network Accelerator of Boston after heading the Contemporary Art Department at the MFA Boston and her prior curatorial roles at the ICA Boston and Addison Gallery. She holds degrees from Harvard University and Bard College, is a Center for Curatorial Leadership Fellow, and continues her studies through the Racial Equity Institute. She loves learning through artist interviews, urban gardening and trying new recipes. Jen builds the Conservancy’s capacity to invite more inclusive and impactful park experiences through partnerships with history-keepers, change-agents and thought-leaders in public-making through art, design and culture.

Jamie Santuccio, Director of Conservancy Operations

Jamie oversees the work of the Conservancy’s Finance and Human Resources consultants, the operations of our two facilities, and seeks to operationalize processes across the organization and 1100 acres of park. Jamie joined the Conservancy as Events Manager in 2017 after previous roles in nonprofit event management and experiential marketing. In her spare time, she enjoys hiking and camping in the White Mountains and walks through the Emerald Necklace with her dog, Willow.

Veronika Trufanova, Director of Development and External Relations

Veronika (Nika) is responsible for overseeing the Conservancy’s fundraising, marketing, public relations and public programs. Nika previously worked at the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco, where she led the Institutional Giving program for over six years, raising unrestricted, project-based and campaign support from corporations, foundations and government granting agencies. She also held several roles on the development team at the Harvard Art Museums, encompassing database management, development operations and donor and member events. Nika holds a bachelor’s degree in Art History from Haverford College. She is an avid tea drinker and an unabashed Italophile.

Mailing Address

350 Jamaicaway, Boston, MA 02130

Shattuck Visitor Center

125 The Fenway, Boston, MA 02115

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