The PTNY Team

PTNY staff

Robin Dropkin, Executive Director[email protected]

Robin was previously the organization’s Conservation Director. She knew early on that the environment was the field she wanted to work in, and she pursued both an undergraduate and graduate degree in environmental studies. Her first job was with the Vermont Department of Forests and Parks, then Mass State Parks, followed by work for a Berkshire County, Mass Land Trust. She is deeply committed to environmental issues and land use. Most of her “fun” activities involve the outdoors: hiking, bicycling, cross country skiing, and gardening.

The Parks Team

Will Cote, Program Director[email protected]

A native of the Capital Region, Will Coté has a passion for exploring all of the natural beauty of the region and enjoys work that enhances the livability of our communities. Will has over 15 years’ experience in non-profit program management ranging from at-risk youth programming and food equity initiatives, to active transportation policy and green space development. Will enjoys traveling, having visited over 20 countries and numerous national parks around the world. He also enjoys spending time with his children, family and friends, cooking and watching movies. Will received his undergraduate degree in Secondary Education from the State University of New York at Oneonta and his Master’s Degree in History from the University at Albany. He is also a graduate of the Rensselaer County Regional Chamber of Commerce’s Leadership Institute.

Shaina Hogan, Program Coordinator[email protected]

After receiving her B.A. in Sustainability and International Development from the University of Michigan, Shaina moved to Utah to work outdoors as a wilderness therapy guide serving at-risk youth. Since college, she has spent extensive time exploring trails in the U.S. and abroad, further cultivating her love of natural spaces and desire to work on environmental issues. When she arrived in Schenectady over 3 years ago, she was enamored by the abundance of green space in the region and is now excited to join the Parks & Trails NY team to help protect and advocate for these spaces. Shaina has prior background in administrative work, event planning and facilitation, environmental policy, and communications. In her free time, Shaina loves to ride her bike, write poetry, explore new places, and enjoy live music.

Maria Gigliello, Arthur Savage Intern[email protected]

Maria has always had a love for New York’s outdoor spaces having grown up in the Capital Region with easy access to many parks, trails and other outdoor recreation spots. This passion for the outdoors has set her on a lifelong mission of taking care of the natural places she loves. She received her B.A. in Environmental Studies from Siena College and is working toward her M.S. in Environmental Education at Antioch University New England. Maria brings prior experience from her work in outdoor recreation, environmental education and communications to her role as the Arthur V. Savage intern. She has previously held positions at The Wild Center, the Albany Pine Bush Preserve and the Adirondack Mountain Club. In her free time, you can find Maria volunteering as a summit steward on Mt. Monadnock, whipping up some kind of baked good in the kitchen or planning her next backcountry adventure.

The Trails Team

Dylan Carey, Project Director[email protected]

Dylan moved back to his native Capital Region in 2018 after having spent the previous five years living in Brooklyn, NY. A graduate of SUNY Albany in 2010 with a B.A. in Political Science and of the Pratt Institute in 2016 with a M.S. in City and Regional Planning, Dylan previously worked for New York City’s Office of Management and Budget, the Pratt Center for Community Development, and the Office of Congressman Paul Tonko. Dylan is an avid cyclist and loves being able to explore and discover the history tied to the many trails around the state. He also is an enthusiastic baseball, basketball and soccer fan, with a lifelong commitment to his beloved New York Mets and Syracuse Orange.

Rachel Carter, Program Associate[email protected]

Rachel primarily grew up in Vermont, and later lived in the Catskills before settling in the Capital Region. Between these three locations, her love of the outdoors grew through walking, hiking, and cycling. She holds a B.S. in Psychology from Russell Sage College. In her last two roles before PTNY, Rachel was the Administrative Coordinator for the Darrin Fresh Water Institute, and the Deputy City Clerk of the City of Troy. In those roles she developed a heightened awareness around environmental concerns, transportation issues, and the importance of access to green spaces. Additionally, Rachel has prior experience in communications, graphic design, and public health. When she’s not going for a walk, Rachel enjoys spending time with her two cats, reading, rock climbing, and playing music.

Rebecca Murray, Project Coordinator[email protected]

Born and raised on Long Island, and residing in the Hudson Valley for 6 years, Rebecca made her way north to Schenectady, NY. She graduated with honors from the State University of New York at New Paltz with a BA in International Relations and Political Science where she developed an interest in political theory and public policy. Prior to joining PTNY, Rebecca was a Research Assistant at Pattern for Progress and an Environmental Program Associate at Scenic Hudson, helping her realize her passion for the outdoors and sustainability. Living in the Catskills only strengthened her appreciation of nature and commitment as an outdoor enthusiast. In her free time, she likes to read, hike with her dog, cook, and play board games.

Erica Schneider, Project Associate[email protected]

Originally from Virginia, Erica attended the College of William and Mary where she received a B.A. in Linguistics. While there, she discovered a love for cycling on the country roads and multi-use trails and developed a passion for expanding access to these green spaces. In 2018, she moved to northern Spain to teach English, exploring and learning from sustainable cities across the north and cross-country trails like the Camino de Santiago. She has prior experience in event planning and trail infrastructure research. She is new to the Capital Region, but is already loving the chance to explore the state’s incredible system of parks and trails on foot and by bike. When not working or exploring, she loves to play Ultimate Frisbee and cook for her roommates.

The Operations Team

Jonathan Duda, Grants Coordinator[email protected]

Jonathan brings 10+ year's worth of experience with non-profit organizations ranging from outdoor education centers to New York State historic sites. Formerly the Marketing Manager, Instructor and Event Coordinator at the Ashokan Center in Olivebridge, NY He is the founder of Let’s Drum, a travelling music program. He is the former Executive Director of the Grant Cottage State Historic Site in Saratoga, NY. He possesses a lifelong passion for the outdoors as a road and mountain biker, hiker and curious explorer, and thus a constant patron of our open spaces.

Frances Gotcsik, Senior Consultant[email protected]

Fran, Director of Programs and Policy, has worked with non-profits, local governments, and community groups for more than 30 years. She began her trails work in 1991 when she became the Local Coordinator for the newly launched 90-mile Genesee Valley Greenway in western New York. In 1993, Fran helped form the non-profit Friends of the Genesee Valley Greenway to work in partnership with the NYS Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation, NYS Department of Environmental Conservation, five counties, and 17 towns on the development and promotion of the Greenway trail. In 1996, she became the organization’s Executive Director and served in that capacity until joining Parks & Trails New York in 2003. Fran has also served as an environmental communications consultant and a local elected official. Outside of PTNY, Fran enjoys historic architecture, gardening, jogging, cycling and cross country skiing. She received a B.S. from Cornell University, an M.S. from the University of Rochester, and an M.B.A. from Rochester Institute of Technology.

Linden Horvath, Director of Development[email protected]

Linden grew up adventuring in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountain Range and has been committed to preserving and protecting public green space ever since. From living and working overseas to attaining her Masters in Sustainable International Development from the Heller School for Social Policy and Management at Brandeis, Linden has more than 5 years working in land use, advocacy, and policy. Previously the Development Coordinator at Capital Roots and the Grants and Program Development Manager at the AI Center of Excellence, she is excited to bring her experience creating community around shared causes to Parks & Trails New York. Linden loves the access to green space the Capital Region and New York State provide. When she’s not busy volunteering she can be found hiking with friends, enjoying dinner parties, or reading with her cat Eleanor.

Margaret McGivern, Director of Administrative Services[email protected]

Margaret has worked in the non-profit sector for more than 25 years and enjoys being a part of an organization with a mission to make a change for the better. As director of administrative services, Margaret oversees many of the functioning aspects of the organization including finances, human resources, and information systems. In addition, Margaret maintains the organizations website and oversees the membership program. She received a B.S. in Advertising from Syracuse University and an A.A.S. in Business Administration from Hudson Valley Community College. In her free time, Margaret enjoys being a mom, being involved in church activities as well as volunteering in the community, and spending time in the great outdoors enjoying nature and all it has to offer.