Errol has over 30 years of experience in both corporate finance and direct company operations, primarily in the Technology, Media and Entertainment (TMT) sectors. He has served in senior roles at institutions including BNP Paribas, The Bank of New York, Chase Manhattan and GE Capital, as well as founding and managing a private equity fund at Veronis Suhler Stevenson in NYC. Errol was the CFO of Metropolitan Talent, a company which managed Simon and Garfunkel, Bruce Hornsby and others, as well as promoted concerts throughout the country. Errol also founded and operated several media and technology companies, ranging from physical and online content providers to online music distribution firms. Errol owns and operates a recording studio in the NYC area, and has released numerous CD’s under the name “Psychoteria”. Errol holds a BS in Electrical Engineering from MIT, and an MBA in Finance from NYU.
Jeff serves as Director of Corporate Strategy and General Counsel for a family-owned hospitality company. Previously Jeff served as Chief Legal Officer for Och-Ziff Capital Management Group where he was also a Partner and Executive Managing Director. Prior to joining Och-Ziff, Jeff was with Schulte, Roth & Zabel, LLP from April 2003 to April 2005, Crowell & Moring LLP from January 2002 to April 2003 and Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP from September 1996 to January 2002. Jeff holds a B.A. in Political Science from Purdue University and a J.D. from the University of Miami School of Law and is admitted to the bars of New York and the District of Columbia.
Cristina Civetta has been a board member since 2019. Growing up a native New Yorker and graduating from NYU with a degree in Art History and Advertising. Cristina was born with Congential heart disease and has been a fierce voice for the American Heart Association and junior victims having undergone seven life saving surgeries thus far. Cristina has been yearning to become more involved in the Wolf center since learning and becoming involved with it through board president Martha Handler. Cristina has helped to bring in new audience and items to events the WCC. She hopes to be able to bring her events and fundraising/strategic partnership background to the center to continue its pivotal work.Cristina lives between Manhattan and Pound Ridge with her husband Ed Scheetz and their two dogs,two cats and two goats.
Susan Watkins Freund has been an active supporter of the WCC for over a decade, and continues to be instrumental in both strategic planning and development. Susie first learned about the WCC when she met co-founder Hélène Grimaud who was performing at the Caramoor Summer Music Festival. With five children and a strong commitment to both education and the environment, Susie quickly offered her support, joining the Board a few years later. After graduating from Boston University, Susie, who was born and raised outside of Philadelphia, moved to New York where she worked while earning a Masters Degree in History from Columbia University. Her interest in conservation and the environment began in earnest when she was a researcher for the industrial display company designing the Washington State Department of Ecology’s pavilion at Expo ’74 in Spokane–known as the first environmentally-themed World’s Fair. The pavilion celebrated the State’s victory over litter from the first trash (Adam and Eve’s apple core) to the landmark passage of the Model Litter Act. Other exhibits covered subjects including the importance of protecting aquifers and vanishing species as evidence of man overstepping his boundaries in the environment. Susie serves on the Board of Caramoor Center for Music and The Arts where she is a member of the Executive Committee, and is a member of the Board of Big Arts—Sanibel (Florida). She has also served on the Parent Boards of both Rippowam-Cisqua and the Low Heywood School for Girls, as well as on the Fund Raising and Development committees of the Katonah Museum of Art where she initiated the highly successful annual House Tour. Susie, who was a competitive swimmer as a child, continues to play championship golf. She and her husband John live in Pound Ridge with their horses, dogs and 13 visiting grandchildren.
Hélène Grimaud is a renowned concert pianist and a founder of the Wolf Conservation Center. Hélène Grimaud was born in Aix-en Provence in the south of France in 1969. At the age of 17 she appeared at Daniel Barenboim’s invitation with the Orchestre de Paris and began a career wherein she has performed with most of the world’s major orchestras and renowned conductors. Hélène champions many charitable causes, including the Worldwide Fund for Nature and Amnesty International. In addition to her dedication and hard work in founding the WCC, Hélène has become a global advocate for wolves, their relationship to the environment, and the human role in protecting their future. In Hélène's words, wolves are not only essential “biodiversity engineers,” preserving balances among animal and plant species but also “endlessly fascinating creatures who have much to teach humans.” Hélène is the author of three successful books, “Retour à Salem” (Albin Michel, 2013), “Leçons Particulières” (Robert Laffont, 2005), and “Variations Sauvages” (Robert Laffont, 2003) / "Wild Harmonies" (Riverhead / Penguin, US, 2006). Hélène's deep dedication to her musical career, both in performances and recordings, is reflected and reciprocally amplified by the scope and depth of her environmental and literary pursuits.
Martha Handler joined the WCC board in 2001 and is currently serving as Board President. After graduating from the University of Colorado in1981, she worked as a private environmental consultant for the EPA, NRC and Department of Energy in Washington, D.C., San Francisco and Los Angeles. During this time Martha specialized in community relations at various Superfund sites across the country, and wrote regulations and provided oversight in the areas of nuclear waste, oil refinery production and waste, and asbestos removal from public buildings. In addition, she worked with the EPA and the insurance industry to prepare detailed financial responsibility requirements for underground storage tanks which were subsequently presented to Congress. Martha has been an environmentalist, philanthropist and community activist for many years. While living and attending school in the West, she learned about the plight of the wolves and the misguided beliefs of many of the ranchers and others concerning how vital the wolves as a top predator are to the overall health of our environment. When her family moved East and she learned there were wolves literally “living in her backyard,” she jumped on the opportunity to get involved to not only spread the word about the importance of the wolves but also about overall environmental stability. Since joining the Board, Martha has remained one of the WCC’s most ardent and enthusiastic supporters. In addition to serving on the WCC Board, Martha has also served on the boards of the Lewisboro Land Trust and the Lewisboro Library. Most recently, she has turned her attention to writing and is currently working on a novel and various other fiction and non-fiction projects.
Maryanne Hartley has spent most of her career as a small business owner and consultant in the outdoor apparel industry, working with renowned European brands such as Rossignol, Belfe & PostCard and VIST, who were looking to market and expand in North America.
Having grown up in the Berkshires she developed an early devotion to conservation, and a respect for the environment and the animals that are so critical to the ecosystem. The passionate research and fundraising for wolves by one of her children led her to the WCC. Over the last 2 decades, Maryanne has been involved in both charity and fundraising projects, supporting organizations such as the Maine Children’s Cancer Program, Boston Ballet, and the German International School in Montreal where she has lived for the past 15 years before moving to Connecticut with her family.
As we all know a journey starts with knowledge and desire without which no significant progress can be made.
It advances through a collective vision that excites and energizes all concerned to reach the destination, and through a strategy adaptable to changing circumstances, tells us how to proceed.
But as always, the journey’s success is determined by how well folks execute…and although our road is long, we can and must change the direction of protecting one of our most valuable resources: wolves!
I’m so privileged to work with an outstanding board and thank so many for the opportunity that I have been granted to help make a difference!
Tripp Killin is the Executive Director of the Jeniam Foundation, a small family foundation in CT that focuses primarily on conservation issues. Previously, he was Associate Director of the New Mexico Wilderness Alliance, an advocacy group working to preserve wild places in the Land of Enchantment (including vital wolf habitat). After leaving the staff, he joined the Board of the Alliance, where he served for a number of years in various capacities. Tripp received a B.S. in Biology from the University of New Mexico (Go Lobos!) and then spent a decade in the software industry, first in Silicon Valley and then in Albuquerque. Tripp joined the Wolf Conservation Center to help save a creature that is critical to many wild ecosystems and which represents the very essence of Wilderness. He believes wolves are an indicator species for health of the human spirit.
Claudia Neary is an attorney and the Marketing and Brand Developer for Dolphin Organics. Claudia grew up in Los Angeles and was fascinated by whatever nature was around her. She graduated from UCLA, met her husband Michael, and moved to New York to attend Fordham Law School. She was first introduced to wolves through her brother-in-law, Tim. He loved wolves and took every opportunity to tell people about them. Tim passed away in 2007 and ever since then, the wolves kept coming back into her life. She began by attending all the events and supporting the WCC every way she could. She learned about these magnificent animals and how they are so integral to the environment. She joined the WCC Board in 2017. Besides serving as a Board Member at the WCC, Claudia is also a Board Member for the Hunts Point Alliance for Children and helped start the mentoring program. She also provides pro bono legal work and volunteers at Rippowam Cisqua where her five children attend.
Shari Wolf Ruckh, a Certified Public Accountant, joined the Board in the spring of 2010 and became Treasurer in 2011. Shari obtained a BS in Psychology in 1987 from Union College in Schenectady, NY, and an MBA in Certified Public Accounting in 1989 from Hofstra University, in Hempstead, NY. She spent the next two years as an auditor in the Retail and Publishing division of Arthur Andersen, LLP, and then went on to a career in private, corporate accounting including the positions of: Accounting Manager at the World League of American Football; Manager of Financial Accounting at Home Box Office; Controller of US Operations of the recruiting firm Michael Page International; Controller and Assistant Treasurer of the music label, publishing and distribution company Ryko Music Group; and most recently, Assistant Controller at World Wrestling Entertainment. Currently, Shari has chosen to leave the workforce to focus on raising her daughter. In addition to being on the Board of the Wolf Conservation Center, she also is on the Board of the Pound Ridge Neighbors’ and Newcomers’ Club as its Treasurer, and is the co-head agent for her graduating class and is on the Alumni Council of Union College. Shari is a member in good standing of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. Shari resides in Pound Ridge, NY with her husband Robert Ruckh and her daughter Amelia. She has always been a great lover of all types of animals, and considers it an honor and a privilege to serve the wolf population by being involved with the Wolf Conservation Center.
Rob Schultz serves as Vice President and Executive Director of Audubon Minnesota and the Upper Mississippi River for the National Audubon Society. Prior to joining Audubon, Schultz served in executive director roles with the International Wolf Center, the YMCA, the Saint Paul Police Foundation and the International Peace Garden. As Capital Campaign Director of Northern Star Council, he led a successful $25 million capital fundraising campaign that exceeded its goal despite an unprecedented economic recession. He has served as an Adjunct Professor at Minnesota State University Mankato, been active as a President's Cabinet member of Northern Star Council, serves as a Trustee of the Cheetah Conservation Fund, and is working on a master's degree in biology through Miami University's Global Field Program. In his free time, Rob enjoys photographing wildlife and the northern lights.
Dean Travalino has served on the Wolf Conservation Center Board since 2000 and is currently its Secretary. Dean is an attorney who specialized in real estate and land use law and is a former partner in the law firm of Allen, Litt & Hulnick in Tarrytown, NY. Dean's commitment to the environment began as a teenager when, as an avid amateur photographer, he helped a local grassroots group led by his mother raise community awareness to save "Nunataks,” the Hall Estate, from development. The property is now the Greenburg Nature Center. A twenty-year resident of Lewisboro, he was legal adviser in the formation of both the Lewisboro Horsemen's Association and the Honey Hollow Pony Club, and served on the original Advisory Board of the Phelps Memorial Hospital Hospice Program. Currently, Dean is on the board of the Westchester Oratorio Society, is a member of the Town of Lewisboro's Advisory Committee for the Disabled and is chair of the Town's Cable Advisory Committee. He is a graduate of Fordham College where he studied history and holds a Juris Doctor degree from Boston University School of Law.
Nina Fascione, International Rhino Foundation
Randolf Perry, Nonprofit Attorney and Advisor
Scientific Advisory Board
Charlie Duffy, VMD (Veterinary Medical Doctor)
Cristina Eisenberg, Ph.D., Earthwatch Lead Scientist, Author
Dr. Don Moore, Smithsonian Zoo/ Polar Bear international
Rolf Peterson, Wolf Biologist