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. 

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.”

Kat Deely Outreach Coordinator

Kat Deely

Outreach Coordinator | 914.234.6992 ext 15

Kat joins WLT’s Team as the Outreach Coordinator, overseeing Conservation Programs as well as acting as the NY State Coordinator for the Hudson to Housatonic (H2H) Regional Conservation Partnership.
She began her work in conservation with the Student Conservation Association (SCA) traveling the country leading young people and volunteers of all ages in hands-on stewardship projects. She holds an MS in Natural Resources from the Field Naturalist and Ecological Planning Program at the University of Vermont. Her Masters focused on an investigation of the natural communities found at Merck Forest and Farmland Center in Rupert, VT. She currently serves as Secretary of the Board of Trustees for Merck Forest, an educational non-profit organization dedicated to demonstrating sustainable use of forest and farmland. In recent years Kat has been working on Community Conservation for Kestrel Land Trust in Amherst, MA. Her projects focused mostly on land protection -creating new public conservation lands and enhancing existing state and federal protected lands - as well as deep programming projects to strengthen the relationship between people and nature.

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.

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).

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 with regional and local leaders to build support and capacity for conservation projects that promote local agriculture and land preservation as methods for strengthening community resilience and wellness. She directs WLT's community programs, communications and development initiatives. Kara serves as co-coordinator of the Hudson to Housatonic Regional Conservation Partnership (H2HRCP.ORG) an interstate collaboration of CT & NY conservation groups working to advance regional priorities. Kara holds a master's in natural resource policy from the University of Michigan and a bachelor's in environmental geoscience from Boston College. Her graduate research focused on Working Forest Conservation Easements and was published in the Land Trust Alliance’s journal, The Exchange. Before joining WLT, Kara served as the Director of Community Outreach for the Greenwich Land Trust. She has worked for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (Region 1), City Parks Foundation, and The Trustees of Reservations.