Board

Stephen Baird, Chicago, Illinois, is President and Chief Executive Officer of Baird & Warner and the firm’s fifth-generation owner. He holds memberships in the World Presidents Organization, the Chief Executives Organization, and the Commercial Club of Chicago. Baird is a Life Trustee of the Morton Arboretum and a member of their Finance Committee. He serves on the local Advisory Board of U.S. Bank and the Foundation Board of Lurie Children’s Hospital. Baird is actively involved with public radio serving on the Board of WBEZ in Chicago for over 10 years. He served as its Chairman for three years and chaired the Investment, Finance, Executive and Governance Committees. A cum laude graduate of Harvard University, Baird remains active in the Harvard Community through the HAA Schools and Scholarship Committee and is the Co-Chair of the Harvard Schools Committee in Chicago, which interviews applicants for admission. Baird has long worked for the preservation of open space as past-president of CorLands, the Openlands Project, and currently as a National and Chicago Board Member for The Trust for Public Land where he serves as Chairman of the Finance Committee.

Lisa Cashdan, Norwich, VT, has had a long-standing interest and commitment to the Trust for Public Land. Lisa first began working for Trust for Public Land in Newark NJ and helped establish the NYC Land Program. She ended her career with TPL as Senior Vice President on the National Projects team. In 1990, Lisa went on to work with the Vermont Community Foundation (VCF) and the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation (NHCF) and helped establish the Upper Valley Community Foundation (UVCF). She became the first UVCF Executive Director and later a staff member of the VCF as a Senior Philanthropic Advisor. Since she retired in 2011, Lisa serves on the Board of Directors of the VCF. Lisa has served on numerous local, regional and national Boards and Advisory Councils including the Boards of the Montshire Museum, Vermont Institute for Natural Science, Norwich Public Library, Vermont Land Trust, The Mountain School, Vital Communities of the Upper Valley; and has served on the following councils: New Hampshire Charitable Foundation’s Wellborn Ecology Fund, the Trust for Public Land National Advisory Council, Appalachian Mountain Club, Island Press, Open Space Institute ‘s Community Forest Fund, and the Land Trust Alliance President’s Council. Lisa has degrees in Social Psychology (SUNY, Purchase) and Environmental Psychology (MA in Environmental Psychology, CUNY Graduate Center).

Page Knudsen Cowles, St. Paul, Minnesota, is on the national board of The Trust for Public Land where she served as Chair from 2010 – 2016, and is immediate past chair of The Trust for Public Land’s Action Fund. Page is a founding member of The Trust for Public Land’s Minnesota Advisory Board and past Chair; and she serves on the Board of Advisors for the Yale School of Management; and as a Trustee at the Minneapolis Institute of Art. She is Managing Partner of Knudsen Vineyards in Oregon, and President of Madison Valley Park Foundation. An active volunteer in the Twin Cities for many years, Page has served on the boards of the Children’s Theater Company, Planned Parenthood Minnesota/South Dakota and Graywolf Press, a nationally acclaimed literary book publisher, where she currently serves as a member of its National Council. She is a former trustee of St. Paul Academy and Summit School, an independent school in St. Paul, MN. Page was an investment professional in the financial services industry during the 1980s, and a founder and partner in Ruminator Books Press, an independent trade book publishing company. A native of Seattle, Washington, Page received her B.A. from Yale College, her M.B.A. from Harvard University and is a retired Chartered Financial Analyst.

David Hartwell, Minneapolis, MN, is an advisor to, or board member of many businesses, nonprofit organizations and foundations. In 1989 he founded and was president until 2015 of Bellcomb, Inc., a global designer and manufacturer of composite panels with an annual manufacturing capacity of 50M square feet. His current corporate board portfolio includes companies in the financial, building products, natural resources and retail sectors. His board work with nonprofit organizations is generally in the conservation arena and includes organizations doing work on local, national and international issues. David is an enthusiastic avid birdwatcher. He is also an avid urban vegetable gardener. He travels, often with his wife, whenever he gets an opportunity around the world having visited 80 countries and making Delta Airlines quite happy every year. He has 4 children and 8 grandchildren.

Whitney Hatch, Ipswich, Massachusetts, serves as chairman of the board of Issue One, working to put citizens back in control of our democracy by reducing the power of money in American politics and policymaking; worked at The Trust for Public Land from 1998 until 2011 primarily as director of the New England region; served for 15 years at GTE Corporation in various capacities; currently serves on The Trust for Public Land national board; the Conservation Law Foundation board and chairs CLF’s Massachusetts advisory board; reappointed by Governor Deval Patrick to a second, seven-year term on and serves as chair of the stewardship council of the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation; appointed to a 3-year term on the Ipswich Municipal Electric Subcommittee; serves on the board of the John Merck Fund and the Merck Family Fund; advisory board of the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, and founding board member of the School for Field Studies; previously served as chairman of the American Rivers and Management Assistance Group boards. Awarded the 2017 Liff Spirit Award from the Emerald Necklace Conservancy.

Bill Lee, Washington, DC, serves as president of The Trust for Public Land Action Fund, and Senior Vice President of Policy, Advocacy and Government Relations for The Trust for Public Land. Bill leads The Trust for Public Land’s strategic direction and implementation for public policy, government relations, and advocacy at the federal, state, and local levels. From 2001-2008, Bill served as Legal Counsel for the Conservation Finance team at The Trust for Public Land and, since then, he’s led policy and government relations teams at American Rivers and, most recently, the Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids.

Jim Mann, Chicago, IL, retired as founding executive director of the Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation in 2010. As the first executive director, Jim oversaw all aspects of the organization’s operations and took the lead role in its public outreach and education efforts. Prior to this, he was Midwest director and associate general counsel for state policy at the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Jim has over 30 years’ experience in public policy and community development in both the public and the private sector and was a practicing attorney for 15 years, representing governments, public interest organizations and private interests in the development and implementation of public policies at the state and local level. He brings extensive ground-game experience through his involvement in many election campaigns. Jim holds a B.A. from Yale University (1965) and J.D from University of Chicago (1968).

Caroline Niemczyk, Bedford Hills, New York, serves as chair of The Trust for Public Land Action Fund. Also serves on the boards of The Trust for Public Land and Open Space Institute. Advisory Board roles include the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, the Yale Institute for Biospheric Studies, and the Land Trust Alliance. Her career includes having served on the staff of Senator Daniel P. Moynihan, as a program officer at the Smith Richardson Foundation, as special assistant to Boston University president John Silber, and as an adjunct professor on the history faculty at Barnard College.

Thomas Reeve, Lopez Island, Washington, serves as Chair of The Trust for Public Land’s National Board. Tom is past chair of The Trust for Public Land’s National Leadership Council and of its Washington State advisory board. Currently serving on the Washington and Hawaiian Islands and Northwest advisory boards, he is also a board member and past president of the board of the Washington Wildlife and Recreation Coalition. Tom has recently served on the national council of the Land Trust Alliance and as chair of the San Juan Islands National Monument Advisory Committee. He had an 18-year career at Microsoft, managing teams focused on consumer software, internal tools, international software versions, the Works business, media production, and the MSN.com portal site.

Diane Regas, Berkeley, California, serves as CEO of The Trust for Public Land. Prior to The Trust for Public Land, Diane worked for more than a decade at Environmental Defense Fund, most recently as executive director. Prior to EDF, Diane served at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, as the top civil servant protecting our nation’s rivers, lakes, and bays. Diane earned her A.B., M.S. in energy and resources, and J.D. at the University of California, Berkeley, and resides in Berkeley, CA.