Lori Ensinger President

Lori Ensinger

President | 914.234.6992 ext 20

Lori was a member of the WLT Board of Directors from 2004 through 2013, and served as Chair of both the organization’s Investment Committee and Governance & Nominating Committee. She is a member of the New York Land Trust Alliance Advisory Board, which helps shape the programming for New York State by addressing land trust needs and emerging issues, evaluating Alliance policies, and recommending programs and public policy initiatives to the Land Trust Alliance at the national level. Lori is a past Chair of the Board of Directors of Teatown Lake Reservation, and a co-founder of the Community Land Trust of New Castle. In addition to her non-profit work and commitment to the environment and conservation issues, Lori has a strong background in finance having worked as an investment manager for the past 30 years. She served most recently as Managing Director, Head of Value Strategies at Columbia Management Investment Advisors in New York City where she led a team responsible for the management of $17 billion in assets. She is a Westchester native and lives in Katonah with her husband, William Kuebler.

John Baker Land Conservation Projects Manager

John Baker

Land Conservation Projects Manager | 914.234.6992 ext 25

John joins WLT after a 25-year career at Westchester County Parks, most recently as Director of Conservation.  In this role, he oversaw all aspects of the Conservation Division, including management of the natural and cultural resources of the County’s 17,000 acre park system. His professional experience includes natural resource identification and stewardship, complex land project management, urban and suburban land use planning, environmental regulatory compliance, financial management, and the cultivation of a broad network of relationships - government, business, non-profits, friends groups - throughout Westchester County and the region. 

Grace Buck Assistant Development Director

Grace Buck

Community Engagement & Events Manager | 914.234.6992 ext 23

Grace joined Westchester Land Trust in 2003. As the Community Engagement & Events Manager, she is responsible for managing our annual fundraising and friend-raising events, overseeing our volunteer program, as well as assisting with our program activities. Before joining WLT, Grace worked as the Assistant Director of Donor Relations at New York Medical College, in Valhalla, and as an Educational Assistant in the Office of Institutional Advancement at Three Rivers Community College, Norwich, Connecticut. Grace graduated from Eastern Connecticut State University. She lives in New Fairfield, Connecticut.

Tate Bushell Director of Stewardship

Tate Bushell

Director of Stewardship | 914.234.6992 ext 10

Tate joined Westchester Land Trust’s stewardship team in early 2014 bringing with him a wealth of conservation experience in a diverse array of locations around the United States. Most recently, he was the Land Steward & Educator for the Pound Ridge Land Conservancy where he monitored PRLC preserves and worked to raise community awareness about local ecology and sustainable living. Tate holds an MS in Ecology from the University of Vermont’s Field Naturalist Program and a BS in Biology from Ramapo College of New Jersey. He is an avid gardener, a Certified Wilderness First Responder, and a self-described “amateur taxidermist.”

Betty Sue Hanson Office Manager

Betty Sue Hanson

Office Manager | 914.234.6992 ext 21

Betty Sue joined Westchester Land Trust in 2006. She runs the office on a day-to-day basis and was responsible for overseeing the renovations at our new headquarters, Sugar Hill Farm. A former resident of the Adirondack Mountains, she has an AAS degree from North County Community College, in Saranac Lake, in environmental science, and studied environmental science for an additional year at the state college in Plattsburgh. More recently, Betty Sue spent 13 years in sales and marketing for a pharmaceutical company. She also worked as the office manager for Stonewater Sanctuary Holistic Center and for the Putnam/Northern Westchester Women’s Resource Center.

Shaun McCoshum Preserve Manager & Educator

Shaun McCoshum

Preserve Manager & Educator | 914.234.6992 ext 27

Shaun is responsible for the care and enhancement of WLT’s 29 nature preserves and implements educational programming and outreach throughout Westchester's diverse communities.  He holds a PhD in Zoology from Oklahoma State University, where his research focused on pollinators and native bee communities and a Masters in Botany from Miami University (OH). In addition to his academic work, Shaun spent two years with the Catalina Island Conservancy (CA) helping to halt the spread of invasive plants and restoring habitat for endemic and endangered organisms.  A native of the West Coast, Shaun credits his Northern California roots as the source of his passion for the natural world. 

Michelle Pleim Development Associate

Michelle Pleim

Development Associate | 914.234.6992 ext 22

Michelle provides administrative support to the WLT’s Development Team managing the department’s solicitations and appeals, DonorPerfect database, data entry, gift processing, reporting, and gift acknowledgement and serves as an ambassador and coordinator at WLT meetings, programs, and events. Prior to joining WLT, Michelle was Program Manager at the Long Island Pine Barrens Society working to protect land on Long Island. She interned with the both the National Audubon Society and Long Island National Wildlife Refuge Complex and has volunteered with Friends of Wertheim National Wildlife Refuge. Michelle holds a degree in Environmental Studies from SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry (ESF).

Maria Slippen, Communications and Special Projects Manager

Maria Slippen

Communications & Special Projects Manager | 914.234.6992 ext 15

Maria is responsible for setting the direction and executing Westchester Land Trust’s communications and marketing; coordinating special conservation projects; and managing the grant program. She is also the New York coordinator of the Hudson to Housatonic (H2H) Conservation Initiative, a regional landowner engagement initiative funded by the United States Forest Service. She has professional experience in all facets of communications and public relations in both large and small firms as well as in-house. Her community engagement has included service as Village Trustee of Croton on Hudson, as a Board Member of the Jane E. Lytle/Croton Arboretum, and on both the Cortlandt Master Plan and Master Plan Implementation Committees. She is a graduate of Fairfield University with a BA in English.

Mary Walsh Land Steward

Mary Walsh

Land Steward | 914.234.6992 ext 14

Mary is responsible for the monitoring and assisting with the management of Westchester Land Trust Preserves. This includes inspections, assisting with outreach to property owners of WLT Conservation Easements, and maintaining physical and electronic records documenting site conditions. She has a BS in Geology with a concentration in Environmental Geoscience from the State University of New York at New Paltz. Her undergrad research focused in Dendrochronology (dating white oaks from North Eastern New York to better understand the past climate of the area). Most recently worked as the Entertainment Coordinator and Science Educator for Mad Science where she shared her love of science with children throughout southwestern Connecticut. A Hudson Valley native, she grew up exploring the local natural landscapes and is excited to be working to protect these lands.

Kara Whelan Vice President

Kara Hartigan Whelan

Vice President | 914.234.6992 ext 12

Kara works closely with landowners and conservation partners on projects spanning Westchester and Putnam counties. She is co-coordinator of the Hudson to Housatonic (H2H) Conservation Initiative, a regional landowner engagement initiative funded by the United States Forest Service. Before joining WLT in 2012, Kara served as the Director of Community Outreach for the Greenwich Land Trust. She has worked for the United States Environmental Protection Agency (Region 1), City Parks Foundation, and The Trustees of Reservations. Kara holds a MS in Natural Resource Policy from the University of Michigan and a BS in Environmental Geoscience and Education from Boston College. Her graduate research focused on Working Forest Conservation Easements and was published in the Land Trust Alliance’s journal, The Exchange.