New Members join Catskill Center Board of Directors

Arkville, NY – The Catskill Center for Conservation and Development warmly welcomed several new members to its board of directors during a recent meeting of the board. Since 1969 the Catskill Center has been led by dedicated board of directors who share a deep passion and respect for the region. Thanks to their professional experiences and appreciation for the Catskills, these newest members to the board will strengthen the Catskill Center, and our efforts in the region.

“We are thrilled to deepen the bench of the Catskill Center’s board of directors, expanding the capabilities of the board, growing our network and drawing on their guidance to lead the organization and to continue collaborative work with our community to inspire and steward the region,” says Jeff Senterman, executive director, Catskill Center.

“We are deeply honored and grateful that these outstanding members of the Catskills community have agreed to serve with us on the board, as we continue our moving forward on our vision of economic development for our towns and the wise stewardship of our spectacular natural heritage,” says Markley Boyer, chair, Catskill Center board of directors.

The newest members of the board of directors are:

Rocci Aguirre

Rocci is the Director of Conservation for the Adirondack Council and is responsible for the design, implementation, and leadership of the Council's conservation program.  Based out of the High Peaks region of NY, Rocci’s primary duties focus on public land-use planning, natural resource management, and environmental policy within the Adirondack Park.  Rocci graduated from SUNY Cortland in 1995 and holds a MS in Resource Management and Conservation from Antioch University New England. His 22 years in the conservation field includes years working as a ranger with the National Park Service, overseeing land protection efforts for land trusts in NY and NH, field work with Trout Unlimited in the Catskills, and the past 4 years directing conservation efforts for the Council.  While career and travels have taken him across the country and back, his heart (and immediate family) still remains in Ulster and Sullivan Counties where he grew up, graduated high school, first learned to hike, hunt, fly fish and paddle a canoe, and worked his way through college taking tips and mowing lawns at some of the most iconic resorts of the western Catskills.

David Bunde

David is an independent designer and web developer, with clients ranging from musicians and artists to pharmaceutical and telecommunication companies. After graduating with degrees in philosophy and fine art, and continuing studies in Germany for two years, he moved to Manhattan selling his artwork on the streets of SoHo, becoming involved in the arts community, and developing an interest in computer related art.

In 2010 he purchased a rundown farm house in Pine Hill. Discovering an intense love of the Catskills, he moved there a year into the gut renovation of the home, where he now lives full time. He is an active member of the community, volunteering his time and talents to local groups, including the Pine Hill Community Center. He is currently renovating the original apothecary building on Main Street in Pine Hill, hoping to help in the growing revitalization of the hamlet.

David is also an avid hiker and after climbing all of the Catskill high peaks he joined the Board of Directors of the Catskill 3500 Club.  He leads hikes year round and is the Trail Maintenance Chair, promoting volunteer participation as well as keeping the Catskills clean and the mountains safe and enjoyable.

Michael Connor

Michael is Executive Director of Open MIC – the Open Media and Information Companies Initiative – a non-profit organization which works to foster vibrant and diverse media through market-based solutions, including shareholder engagement. He has served as a consultant for more than a decade in the field of corporate social responsibility and is the owner and Editor of Business Ethics magazine, an online publication.

Michael helped launch Open MIC following a distinguished career as a media executive, entrepreneur and journalist. He is a former staff reporter for The Wall Street Journal and Correspondent and Senior Producer for ABC News. His television work has received numerous honors, including two national Emmys, a Columbia-duPont Award, a Writers Guild Award and a nomination for an Academy Award. He also held executive positions at Dow Jones & Co., where he led global development of the company’s TV and multimedia operations, served as CEO of a London-based pan-European business news channel and was Executive Producer of The Wall Street Journal Report, a weekly syndicated program.

In addition to the Catskill Center, Michael currently serves as a board member of the Center for an Urban Future, a NYC-based think tank dedicated to highlighting the critical opportunities and challenges facing New York and other cities. He is a graduate of the College of the Holy Cross.

Cyndi LaPierre

Cyndi LaPierre grew up in Pittsfield, MA, in the beautiful Berkshire Hills.  With a BA in Art History and Elementary Education from Emmanuel College in Boston, MA, she moved to the Mountain Top in the Greene County Catskills in 1970, married Paul LaPierre, and began a 34 year career as a teacher at Windham-Ashland-Jewett Central School.  Cyndi and Paul settled in the Town of Jewett in 1977 where they raised three children. During her teaching years she added an MS in Education from SUNY New Paltz to her credits and worked as a coordinator of professional development through Leading EDGE, LLC.  Her Leading EDGE experience opened opportunities to work with teachers in New England, New York State, California, the United Kingdom, and Beirut, Lebanon.

In the 1990s Cyndi began working with the Mountain Top Historical Society as a volunteer helping to organize various events.  After retiring from teaching full-time she became a member of the MTHS Board of Directors and is currently serving as their president, following in the footsteps of the dedicated volunteers who have guided the MTHS through more than 40 years of service to the community.  She has also been a Board Member of Greene Room Players, Greene County Council on the Arts, and is currently serving on the Greene County Planning Board.

In October, 2016, Cyndi had the privilege of publishing an Arcadia book about the Town of Hunter entitled  Around Hunter, in partnership with Dede Terns Thorpe, the Town of Hunter Historian.  The writing of the book was an adventure and an education.  The beauty of the area has always been an inspiration for LaPierre, and the story of the pioneers who settled in and around Hunter is full of heart. It is an archetype for the all of the towns that are nestled in these beautiful mountains.

Ray Pucci

Ray Pucci is optimistic about the future of the Catskill Mountains.

Throughout his over thirty-year career working with regional non-profit, education, government, and business groups, Ray has demonstrated a straight-forward approach coupled with strategic thinking that has contributed to his reputation as an honest partner and advocate.

During his two tenures as president of the Delaware County Chamber of Commerce--in the late-1990s and today--Ray has initiated successful efforts to re-brand the Catskill Mountains to new audiences of visitors. Understanding that environmental stewardship, agriculture, natural resources, and main street retail development contribute to regional promotion, Ray continues to facilitate connections among business owners, government, advocacy groups, and residents to create a shared future for the Catskills.

Nan C. Stolzenburg

Principal Planner and founder of the consulting firm Community Planning & Environmental Associates in Berne, NY, Nan is a Certified AICP Planner and a Certified Environmental Planner (American Institute of Certified Planners) with a Master’s degree in Regional Planning.  She also has degrees in Wildlife Biology (MS and BS).  Nan has 25 years of professional and technical experience in many areas of land use and the environment, with special interests in small town and rural planning, environmental planning, community revitalization, comprehensive planning, and public participation.    Her specialty areas include land use planning techniques for rural and small communities, open space, environmental and agriculture land use planning, comprehensive plan development, community involvement strategies, and development of zoning and land use regulations.  Ms. Stolzenburg is among one of 33 people nationwide to have received the Certified Environmental Planner advanced certification in 2011. She has developed many comprehensive and strategic plans for upstate New York communities including the Catskill region, some of which have won national and state-level planning awards. She has been a past board member of the Schoharie Land Trust, and is currently on the Board of the Schoharie Community Development Corporation.

Nan and her husband own and run Proud Castle Farm, a dairy farm in Schoharie County.  Her other interests include birdwatching, hiking, border collies, along with all things related to genealogy.



Our Mission: To protect and foster the environmental, cultural and economic well-being of the Catskill region. Guided by the foundational understanding that conservation creates opportunity, we are the major force advocating for the Catskill region.  Since 1969, we have led the effort to protect the Catskill Park and Catskill Forest Preserve, while advancing local and regional economic development initiatives.  Our interdisciplinary approach to protecting our ecosystems and creating vibrant communities encompasses four program areas – Arts & Culture, Education, Natural Resources, and Regional Planning.

Connect with us on social media @catskillcenter#catskillcenter

43355 Route 28, Arkville, NY 12406