Steep Rock Association Announces Leadership Changes

The Board of Trustees and staff of Steep Rock Association are excited to announce leadership changes in the organization.

In June, Board President Eugene Pinover and Chairperson Kirsten Feldman stepped down after serving their respective terms. The Board elected Thomas Rickart of Washington, as President, and Peary Stafford of Warren, as Secretary. John Santoleri of Washington, continues as Treasurer.  In addition, Kathy Guttman and Sara Carter were elected as new members.

Rickart is an attorney with Chipman, Mazzucco, Emerson, LLC. Affiliated with Steep Rock for over ten years, Rickart stated “Gene and Kirsten have left the organization in great shape having accomplished a tremendous amount during their tenure. I am honored to have the opportunity to continue Steep Rock’s commitment to conservation and the community’s connection with nature.

In addition, Dr. Brian Hagenbuch became the new Executive Director of Steep Rock Association on March 2.  Hagenbuch brings over 25 years of non-profit conservation and management experience to the organization. He has a strong background in environmental education, conservation biology, invasive species, and forest ecology. Dr. Hagenbuch earned degrees in entomology as well as a PhD in environmental studies from Antioch University- New England.

“I am honored and privileged to be chosen to lead this incredible organization and their very dedicated and passionate Board and staff,” Hagenbuch stated. “Steep Rock has a nearly century long record of success in preserving the local landscape, offering passive recreation opportunities to residents and visitors, and contributing to the overall quality of life in the Washington area. I look forward to building upon those traditions as well as working with the Board, staff, and community on new initiatives.”

Founded in 1925, Steep Rock Association is an accredited land trust whose mission is to conserve ecologically and historically significant landscapes in and around Washington, CT, and the Shepaug River Valley and to enhance the community’s connection with nature. Steep Rock Association is the fourth largest land trust in Connecticut, with over 5,200 acres owned or held in easements. For more information, call 860-868-9131 or visit

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