Sophie Ehrhardt
Wildlands Partnership Coordinator

Sophie coordinates the Wildlands Partnership program of Northeast Wilderness Trust, while pursuing a Masters Degree in Environmental Law and Policy at Vermont Law School. She has previously interned with Vermont Natural Resources Council and Vermont Conservation Voters. Her desire to be involved with environmental policy at a local level and to spend as much time as possible mucking around outdoors are leading her towards work with conservation land trusts.  Her passions for wilderness and wildlife, on top of her hope to play a role addressing the challenges of climate change, make Northeast Wilderness Trust a natural fit. Sophie has a Bachelor’s degree in Classics from St. John’s College and a prior career as an educator.


Joseph Falconeiri
Southern New England Land Steward

After receiving a BS in Education from Montana State University and then spending 15 years in finance in Boston, Joe decided to trade in his suit and tie for his true passion, conservation and natural science.  Since then he has served as a Ranger and Naturalist Interpreter with Waquoit Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve while also lending to the Southeastern Massachusetts Pine Barrens Alliance.  He continues to pursue his mission to help people, institutions, and organizations become more keenly aware and connected to the social, economic, and environmental values that wilderness and open space bring into their lives.

Lillian HowellLillian Howell
Wildlands Partnership Intern

Lillie was born and raised in Nashville, TN and then went on to receive a BA in Environment and Sustainability from Sewanee: The University of the South. After college, she completed an AmeriCorps term at Asheville GreenWorks, a non-profit in Asheville, NC that focuses on improving the community’s urban environment. After finding her way to an internship at the Land Trust for Tennessee, Lillie decided to leave the South to pursue her passion for land conservation in Vermont– She is currently earning a master’s in Environmental Law and Policy from Vermont Law School and an MS in Natural Resources from UVM. Lillie is looking forward to assisting the NEWT team and learning about the beautiful ecosystems and communities of the Northeast.


Jon Leibowitz
Executive Director

Jon Leibowitz has worked in the private land conservation field since graduating from Vermont Law School in 2011 with a Juris Doctor and Masters in Environmental Law and Policy.  Before joining Northeast Wilderness Trust, Jon was the Executive Director of Montezuma Land Conservancy, where he worked to conserve farms, ranches, and landscapes of pinion/juniper, ponderosa, and sage on the edge of the Colorado Plateau, in Cortez, Colorado.  Jon serves on the Rewilding Leadership Council, the Steering Committee of Wildlands & Woodlands, the Board of Vermont Parks Forever and is a co-owner of WildEdge Brewing Collective.  He lives on the outskirts of Montpelier, Vermont, where he enjoys gardening, wandering the woods behind his house, and maintaining a questionable obsession with house plants.


Cathleen Maine
Deputy Director

Cathleen joined Northeast Wilderness Trust in 2015 with two decades of nonprofit experience. She received her BA from Hawaii Loa College, now part of the Hawaii Pacific University system, and attended the School for International Training’s Master’s Program in Intercultural Management. She worked for almost a decade in Washington, DC on women’s health issues before relocating to Vermont with her family. Prior to that she spent seven years studying and teaching in Hokkaido, Japan. Her experience with public health has connected her to the mission of the Wilderness Trust. In her free time she enjoys living in Montpelier, reading, exploring, and cooking with her family.


Shelby Perry
Stewardship Director

Shelby received her master’s degree from the University of Vermont’s field naturalist program, and holds a bachelors in environmental engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. A Vermont native, she has also lived and worked in the Adirondacks, California, the Caribbean, Wyoming, and West Africa, where she served a term in the US Peace Corps.  In her free time Shelby enjoys hiking far away from trails, swimming in mountain streams, and identifying mysterious plants, fungi, and slime molds.


Sophi Veltrop
Outreach Coordinator

Sophi comes to Northeast Wilderness Trust with a background in land conservation, communications, and outdoor and environmental education. She received her B.S. in Environmental Science in 2013, and has since worked at the Vermont Land Trust, Yestermorrow Design/Build School, and Earthwalk Vermont, where she now serves on the Board of Directors. Sophi is committed to helping create a world where all species have the chance to survive, thrive, and evolve. Outside of the work week, she can be found roaming forests and rivers, tending an ever-expanding garden, and cultivating community and creative practice.

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