Kirk Mantay serves GTA as its Executive Director and Principal Ecologist in Elkridge, Maryland. Kirk is a certified Professional Wetland Scientist who has been restoring and preserving fish and wildlife habitat in Maryland, Virginia, Delaware and New Jersey since 1997. GTA’s strategy, staff, operations, and board governance are supported by Kirk’s efforts and he leads the organization in its key practice areas of large scale coastal resiliency, federal agency support, long term land stewardship, and consulting on wetland, stream, shoreline, and reef/shellfish restoration efforts. Kirk is most excited about the protection and enhancement of pre-Columbian ecosystems, including mangrove systems, coastal plain bogs, and bald cypress swamps. He has previously led habitat restoration programs for the Arundel Rivers Federation, Chesapeake Bay Trust, Ducks Unlimited, and wetland and stream mitigation consultants. Kirk serves as a Board Member for several state and national-level conservation organizations, and as a coach and commissioner for St. Pius X Boys Soccer in Towson, where he lives with his wife and son, in between outdoor adventures.
Jeff is a certified Professional Wetland Scientist (PWS), and Certified Professional in Stormwater Quality (CPSWQ) with experience in applied river morphology, wetland restoration, and natural resource conservation. Jeff had a successful career in banking and finance, but obtained an advanced degree in Environmental Science and Biology and joined the ecological restoration industry about 10 years ago. Jeff has since established himself as a talented and well-respected field biologist in the mid-Atlantic region. Jeff is actively engaged with multiple nonprofit watershed groups, serves on the Board of Directors for the Maryland Water Monitoring Council, and several professional associations. His knowledge and experience in environmental site assessment, permit processes and standards, and tools and techniques of ecological restoration, combined with previous experience in the banking industry, enables Jeff to be a substantial contributor to GreenTrust’s mission of building strategic partnerships with public and private entities to identify, acquire, restore and conserve environmentally degraded sites and corridors that result in enhanced ecological functions and habitat values at a large scale.
Halle Van der Gaag
Director of Development
Halle Van der Gaag serves as Green Trust Alliance’s Director of Development. Halle has over 20 years of experience working in the environmental not-for profit sector, with a focus on water quality, storm water management, green infrastructure, public policy and advocacy in the Mid-Atlantic region. Halle directs and supports strategic fundraising activities to advance mission critical restoration/protection projects and build organizational capacity. Halle is the former Executive Director of Blue Water Baltimore and was a leader in the launch and development of the organization created through a merger of five watershed organizations and its subsequent growth. Most recently, Halle has held leadership positions with the National Wildlife Federation and the National Parks Conservation Association focused on increasing federal level appropriations for targeted river restoration activities, accelerated infrastructure repair, and advancing high level state collaboration in the Delaware River Watershed. Halle is passionate about on-the ground project implementation and bringing diverse stakeholders and partners together to leverage resources that protect and restore critical habitat and advance strategies for a more resilient environment that protect people and our planet for future generations.
A somewhat recent empty nester, Halle is looking forward to spending more time on the water and exploring our great natural treasures.
Rick has over forty years of water resources engineering, research and management experience in both the public and private sectors. His technical expertise includes water quality assessments, water quality modeling, watershed restoration and management, active and passive wastewater treatment system design and applications and hydrological analysis. Current interests are in market-based mechanisms for restoring impaired ecosystems. During his career he chaired numerous state and national policy, advocacy and research committees and was the recipient of a number of awards and recognitions. Additional non-profit involvement includes Sewickley Creek Watershed Association, Pheasants Forever, Ruffed Grouse Society, Westmoreland Conservation District and Hempfield Township Planning Commission. Rick earned a BA in biology from Otterbein College, an MS in ecology from Indiana University of Pennsylvania and a ME in civil engineering (environmental) from the University of Virginia.
Rachel Dawson joined the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation in 2014, where she manages a nascent $15 million fund for water quality and habitat restoration projects in the Delaware River watershed. She is responsible for program development and implementation, partner and collaborator coordination, and regional investment strategy and planning—and under her leadership, the program has experienced a greater than 500% growth in the last two years. Prior to joining NFWF, Ms. Dawson was the legislative representative for the water restoration team at the National Wildlife Federation where she advocated on behalf of national and regional clean water laws, policies and programs that are critical for large-scale ecosystem restoration across the country.
Ms. Dawson was also a policy analyst at the Northeast Midwest Institute, focusing on issues in the watersheds of the northeast and mid-Atlantic, particularly the Chesapeake Bay and Delaware River Basin. She worked closely with watershed-based Congressional task forces to address water quality issues on Capitol Hill and promote improved information-sharing, ecosystem restoration planning and stakeholder collaboration across the region. Ms. Dawson has also been a Conservation Policy Specialist for Ducks Unlimited where she worked on Clean Water Act and the Farm Bill policy initiatives. Prior to coming to Washington, Ms. Dawson worked in DU’s mid-Atlantic field office where she assisted in delivering on-the-ground wetland and ecosystem restoration efforts.
Ms. Dawson espouses a conservation ethic hatched in the marshes of the Chesapeake Bay watershed—she has spent many years hunting and fishing on Maryland’s Eastern Shore and across the Delmarva Peninsula where she was born and raised. She is a dedicated outdoor mentor, volunteer leader and hunter education instructor. She currently serves on the boards of the Coastal Conservation Association and the Green Trust Alliance. She received her Master’s degree in Environmental and Natural Resources Policy from the George Washington University and her Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Planning from the University of Miami.
Kristy Fleischmann Groncki is a Senior Manager of Strategic Planning at Baltimore Gas and Electric (BGE) with over a decade of experience with innovative programs including Energy Efficiency, Smart Grid data analytics and Utility of the Future programs. In her current role, Kristy is responsible for transportation electrification projects and initiatives at BGE to support Maryland’s emission reductions goals. Kristy leads BGE’s EVsmart program which provides rebates to residential and multi-unit dwellings for the purchase and installation of electric vehicle charging infrastructure as well as providing innovative rate structure to promote electric vehicle adoption. Kristy is leading the efforts to install a network of BGE-owned public charging infrastructure. Kristy also is leading projects to electrify ride-hail vehicles and school buses in the Baltimore area. Kristy earned a BA in Mathematics from Notre Dame of Maryland University and an MBA from Johns Hopkins University.
Dr. Douglas Frederick
Dr. Frederick is a Professor in the Department of Forestry and Environmental Resources at North Carolina State University. He has a B.S. and M.S. from West Virginia University, and a Ph.D. from University of Idaho. His research interests include hardwood silviculture and ecology; restoration ecology; mitigation; wetlands; biomass, nutrient, and energy distribution in hardwood forests of the South; species selection and silvicultural systems for plantation hardwoods in the Southeast.
Dr. Albert Rubin
Dr. Albert Robert Rubin is an Emeritus Professor in the Biological and Agricultural Engineering Department at North Carolina State University and is currently a Senior Environmental Consultant and principal with his firm, A. R. Rubin and Associates. From 1999 through 2005 he was a visiting scientist with the USEPA in Washington, D.C., where he assisted with development of the onsite and decentralized wastewater management program. For that effort, the USEPA awarded a Bronze Medal to Dr. Rubin and the decentralized project. From 2005 through 2009 he was employed as a senior technical consultant with a private firm and in 2009 he formed a consulting firm. In 2013 he was appointed to the USEPA Infrastructure Committee for Nutrient Recovery from Wastewater and Environmental Management Commission for the State of North Carolina. In 2018 he assisted in development of Natural Systems for Wastewater Treatment, in WEF Design Manual for Wastewater Systems; WEF, Alexandria, VA, 2018. Throughout his career he has been involved in the development of guidelines, rules, and technologies that benefit the water, wastewater, and solid waste management industry in recovery of products for beneficial use. In 2012 he assisted in development of NSF Standard 350 for non-potable water reuse and that Standard is in building codes to promote wise water management. He has remained active in teaching and research to address a variety of water, wastewater, stormwater and wastewater residuals/solid waste management.
Max Williamson, Esq.
Mr. Williamson, a Washington DC environmental attorney, joined the GTA Board in March, 2019. Max has been recognized by Chambers and Super Lawyers as an outstanding lawyer in environmental law and climate change policy. He is a past co-chair of the D.C. Bar Environment, Energy and Natural Resources Section. Max holds B.A. from Yale University and received his J.D. magna cum laude and Masters degree summa cum laude from Vermont Law School specializing in environmental law and policy.
We're accepting nominations for our board for 2024!