Board of Directors
Charlie Sumner, President
Born and raised in Waltham, MA, Charles attended undergraduate school at Suffolk University and graduate school at Northeastern University. He served as the Chief Administrative Officer for the towns of Acton, MA and Littleton, MA from 1980 to 1986. Since 1986 he served as the Town Administrator for the Town of Brewster, and will be retiring this coming fall of 2015. He resides in Brewster with his wife Cynthia Johansen where they raised three children.
During his service in Brewster he has been actively involved in improving many of the environmental regulatory controls, the land acquisition program as well as a significant number of environmental efforts aimed at protecting Brewster’s natural resources. Of special note he has worked cooperatively with a number of Federal and State agencies, as well as APCC, to undertake two salt marsh restoration projects in Stony Brook Valley and Freeman’s Pond.
Currently he is volunteering in the following areas: Massachusetts Municipal Association’s Fiscal Policy Committee; Barnstable County’s County Administrator Selection Committee; Brewster Ladies Library Building Committee; Cape Cod Regional Technical High School Building Committee; Open Cape Corporation Board of Directors; Cape Cod Mosquito Control District Board of Directors; Pleasant Bay Community Boating Association; Brewster Herring Run Volunteer
Pat Hughes, Vice President
Elected to the APCC Board in 2016, Pat recently retired as the Director of the Marine Policy Program at the Center for Coastal Studies in Provincetown, where she collaborated with the Center’s scientists and others to bring unbiased science to public policy discussions, including coastal water quality, state and regional ocean planning initiatives and coastal change. Pat previously worked for the Cape Cod Commission, focusing on coastal water quality issues. Her work the Massachusetts Coastal Zone Management Program included fisheries management and guiding the state’s efforts to protect the offshore fishery from oil and gas exploration on Georges Bank.
Pat and her husband, Hal Minis, live in Brewster where she served two terms as a Brewster selectperson; a term on the Planning Board and the Land Acquisition Committee. Pat previously served on the APCC board from 1982 to 1984.
Robert Ciolek, Treasurer
Born in Newburyport, Robert J. Ciolek, now retired, had a long career in the military, law, government, and with non-profit organizations.
Bob earned his undergraduate degree from Rutgers University and his law degree from Boston University. He served in the U. S. Army with a tour in Vietnam. After leaving the service and graduating from law school he practiced law in Boston. Subsequently, Bob was Deputy State Auditor for the Commonwealth, Assistant to the Mayor of Cleveland, Budget Director for the City of Boston, Executive Director the Boston Water and Sewer Commission, Chief Operating Officer for the City of Boston, Executive Director of the Massachusetts Health and Educational Facilities Authority (HEFA). Finally, he was Executive Director for two non-profit organizations and a consultant to the Cape Cod Water Protection Collaborative.
In addition, for ten years he served on the Board of Directors of the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority and chaired its Finance Committee. While at HEFA he founded and was President of PowerOptions, Inc., the largest energy buying consortium in New England. Locally, he is a member of the Finance Committee for the Town of Barnstable.
Bob and his wife, Mary Kearney, are residents of West Hyannisport, MA.
Jack Looney, Clerk
Jack is an environmental attorney with more than thirty years of litigation experience. As an Assistant Attorney General for the State of Connecticut, Jack enforced state and federal environmental protection laws on behalf of the citizens of Connecticut. As an attorney at Connecticut Fund for the Environment/Save the Sound in New Haven, Jack continued litigating environmental enforcement actions using the citizen suit provisions of the federal Clean Water Act and Clean Air Act. Jack is a graduate of Boston College and Western New England University School of Law. Jack and his family vacationed on Cape Cod for years and finally relocated to the Cape Cod in 2018. Jack and his wife Kathy live in Mashpee.
Elected to the Board of Directors in 2019. John has been involved with conservation and environmental issues for most of his adult life. He taught environmental history and studies at the University of Louisville before his retirement. Presently he is teaching environmental studies at Suffolk University. He and his family have owned a home on Cape Cod for almost 40 years and have been an active supporter of APCC. Currently he is a volunteer for the Park Service, giving lectures and leading nature walks. John has also been a member of the Wellfleet Board of Health and is presently a member of the Wellfleet Conservation Commission.
Margo L. Fenn
Margo Fenn is an environmental consultant, currently working with the Friends of Herring River, the National Park Service and other local, state and federal agencies to oversee the largest salt marsh restoration project in New England.
Margo is the former Executive Director of the Cape Cod Commission, the Cape’s regional land use planning and regulatory agency. She was Chief Planner/Deputy Director of the Commission from 1990 to 1999 and Executive Director from 1999 to 2007.
She served as a member of the Cape Cod Transit Task Force and the Cape Cod Business Roundtable and was a member of the Board of Directors of the Housing Land Trust for Cape Cod. She is also a member of the Town of Harwich Real Estate and Open Space Committee.
Prior to joining the Commission staff in 1990, she served in other planning positions in Chatham, Massachusetts, St. Lawrence County, New York and Teton County, Wyoming.
She has a B.A. in History from Pitzer College, Claremont, California and an M.A. in Environmental Planning from the School of Architecture and Urban Planning at UCLA. She and her husband Dan Hamilton live in Harwich.
Elected to the Board in 2016. Since moving to Chatham permanently in 2004, DeeDee considers herself a “professional volunteer.” She served for 7 years on the Chatham Conservation Commission, the last 4 as Chair, and is currently a member of Chatham’s Planning Board. She is President of Friends of Trees, serves on the Board of Friends of Chatham Waterways, and until recently was Treasurer of Wild Care for 6 years. The motivating force behind each of these commitments has been the need to protect the environment that makes Cape Cod a special place.
DeeDee’s professional career has included positions in both the for-profit and non-profit spheres where she has held executive roles in software development, pension plan management, and large-scale fundraising event management. She retired in 2004 as a database consultant working with non-profit organizations. Career opportunities have taken her to Manhattan, Denver, Chicago, and Cambridge before retiring to Chatham.
DeeDee holds an MBA in marketing and project management, a CLU designation, and a bachelor’s degree in English and Philosophy from St Lawrence University.
Elected to the Board of Directors in 2013. Thom is a Principal of Second Nature Gardenworks, a Landscape Design firm, and holds a Massachusetts Construction Supervisor License. Thom graduated from the Community Preservation Institute at the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth and also has a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from the New Jersey Institute of Technology and has pursued graduate studies at Boston Architectural College toward a Masters of Architecture.
A longstanding volunteer with the town of Dennis, Thom has been: Chairman, Mahoney Property Building Committee, Chairman of the Dennis Port Revitalization Committee, served as liaison to the town’s Comprehensive Wastewater Management Task Force and was DRC Treasurer 2012-2013. Thom continues as a member of the town’s Road Safety Task Force.
Thom has been a naturalist for the Web of Life and Cape Outdoor Discovery as well as Senior Residence Instructor for DYS Project LEAP. He also currently holds a position as life skills counselor to brain injured Adults with Community Support Associates. As an Eventide Arts Board member, Thom has been an actor and has worked in set design and construction.
Thom is a PADI Certified Advanced Open Water SCUBA Diver and his environmental experience includes being trained for the Whale Stranding Network. His life has been shaped by having survived cancer twice. He lives in Dennis Port with his wife Shannon Goheen.
Elected to the Board of Directors in 2020. Steve spent 20 years as a Senior Partner and business consultant with Accenture, leaving in 2002 to volunteer with non-profit organizations to help maximize their social impact. He is a Trustee at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and has served in numerous volunteer strategy roles at other Boston healthcare organizations including Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston Medical Center, and the Joslin Diabetes Center.
A graduate of Brown University, Steve is the founder of the EDI Institute, a non-profit that promotes healing and resilience for patients and caregivers through imagery created on mobile devices. Steve is an avid photographer and has published two books containing imagery of Cape Cod, with all profits donated to APCC and EDI. Steve is the owner of EXPRESSIONS Gallery in Chatham, and is a frequent speaker on the topic of self-expression through imagery.
Steve and his wife Paula reside in Brewster. Their two grown children, David and Katie, live and work in the Boston area.
Cheryl has had a long career in the life sciences industry working in operational and executive management roles. For the past ten years she has been an independent consultant and advisor to investors, inventors, academics and start-up companies. She specializes in business development, business management and strategic marketing. She has a passion for science, education, and the environment, and has been instrumental in creating STEM programs in K-12 schools.
Twenty years as a summer resident of Chatham have engendered a love and respect for the coastal environment. She and her family recently became full-time residents in Chatham.
Elysse Magnotto-Cleary joined the APCC board in May 2018. As Director of Community Engagement with Cape Air / Nantucket Airlines (Jan. 2017-present), Elysse helps to connect Cape Air to the communities it serves though corporate philanthropy and partnerships. Prior to working at Cape Air, Elysse held various roles working with the Cape & Islands Legislative Delegation. Most recently, Elysse worked as Chief of Staff for Senator Dan Wolf from 2012 through 2016. As Chief of Staff, Elysse served as the primary liaison for the Senator and staff with executive agencies, legislative offices, district leaders, and town officials to advance policy and regulatory matters. She has experience working with the Attorney General’s office to draft regulations, along with drafting state-wide legislation and amendments for a $39 billion annual state budget.
Originally from western Pennsylvania, Elysse received her bachelor of arts degree in international relations from Boston University and a master of arts degree in conflict resolution with a concentration in organizational conflict and mediation from the McCormack School of Public Policy at UMass Boston. Elysse is a recipient of the “Donald Paulson Award for Service to the Field” from the McCormack School in recognition of her ability to incorporate the principles and skills of conflict resolution in her work in state government. Elysse lives in Cambridge, MA with her husband two sons, and was appointed to the Cambridge Conservation Commission in early 2018.
Elected to the Board in 2014. A life-long summer resident, she commutes between Cambridge and her Barnstable home on land once farmed by her great grandparents and still farmed by Tim Friary of Cape Cod Organics.
Blue is retired from a long career in marketing and public relations, promoting public understanding of the field sciences, environmental conservation, and natural history. After almost three decades as head of media relations and volunteer recruitment at Earthwatch Institute, she spent the last dozen years as Director of Public Affairs for the Harvard Museums of Science & Culture, and its flagship, Harvard Museum of Natural History, where she was instrumental in doubling the museum’s attendance to more than 315,000 visitors annually. A graduate of Harvard, she currently a member of the Harvard Institute for Learning in Retirement and has served as an appointed Director of the Harvard Alumni Association, as well as a member of the WGBH Community Advisory Board. Blue and her husband John Hurwitch, former Commodore of the Barnstable Yacht Club and national racing champion, now sail a Marshall 18 catboat.
Elected to the Board of Directors in 2013. A life long summer resident, she is now enjoying the Cape year round, on property that includes the “3-Towns Cranberry Bog” in Brewster, Harwich and Orleans. She has a BA in Geography with a specialization in Cartography and a Ed.M. with specialization in Educational Media and Technology. She began her professional career as a Cartographic Researcher at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design and served as University Cartographer at Boston University. She has taught cartography at Boston University and Bridgewater State University.
She and husband Herb Heidt, dba MapWorks, have designed a number of open space maps and trail guides for both Cape and off-Cape communities. They also have produced several town open space plans and helped produce the 1990 APCC Cape Cod Critical Habitat Atlas. They were both active with environmental groups in Norwell, MA and Eliza served on the Board of the Norwell Chamber of Commerce. On Cape, she was on the board of the Friends of Pleasant Bay, serving as FOPB vice president, membership chair and database coordinator. When not designing/producing maps, Eliza and Herb enjoy sailing on Pleasant Bay in a circa 1900 Charles H. Crosby Catboat.
Stephen F. Mealy
Elected to the Board in 2019, Stephen graduated from Worcester Polytechnic Institute in 1975 with a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering. Stephen’s career started at a U.S. Naval research laboratory outside Washington DC, but he returned to Cape Cod in 1979 and has continually resided in Sagamore Beach, Bourne.
Much of Stephen’s professional career has been in manufacturing and project management. He has worked for several oceanographic companies including Benthos, Neil Brown Instruments, and the Marquest Group. While at Marquest he worked with Dr. Robert Ballard and supported the Jason Project. He later went on as Technical Manager for Sapphire Engineering, an IDEX company specializing in ultra-hard materials.
Stephen’s volunteer work has included serving on the town of Bourne’s Board of Selectmen, Finance Committee, Planning Board, Wastewater Advisory Committee, Shore and Harbor Committee and Capital Outlay Committee. He currently serves as Bourne’s Representative to the Cape Cod Commission.
Elected to the board in 2021, Wendy Northcross is the Chief Executive Officer of the Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce/CVB, a 1230 member organization that is also designated by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts as the regional tourism council and the regional economic development organization for Cape Cod.
Northcross is co-founder and director of the John F. Kennedy Hyannis Museum. She holds seats on the boards of the U.S. Travel Association’s Destinations Council, The Cooperative Bank of Cape Cod, the Cape Cod Climate Collaborative, the Workforce Development Board, and Barnstable’s Affordable Housing & Growth Trust. She has served in leadership roles in numerous professional and community organizations at the regional, state and national level.
Northcross holds the CCE (certified chamber executive) designation from the Association of Chamber Executives and completed a Ford Foundation Fellowship for Regional Sustainable Development. In February 2020, Northcross was listed as one of Cape Cod’s visionaries by Cape Cod Life magazine and was named in the 2020 class of Commonwealth Heroines of Massachusetts. She lives in West Barnstable with her husband, Van.
Kris Ramsay and his wife Anna moved to Cape Cod in 2008, where he served as the Administrator of the Dennis and Orleans Conservation Trust’s through 2011. He became the first full time Director of the Orleans Conservation Trust (OCT) in 2011, and oversaw all aspects of the organization, including land acquisitions, land management planning, fundraising, and educational programs. Kris now serves as the General Manager of Pretty Picky Properties and a Project Manager with Monomoy Real Estate and Construction.
Kris Ramsay grew up in Maine, spending much of his childhood in the northern portion of the state camping, fishing, and hiking. He attended Colby-Sawyer College, earning his undergraduate degree in environmental studies. At Colby-Sawyer he was the recipient of a Sawyer Fellowship Award and the Environmental Studies Baccalaureate Award for demonstrating the highest degree of dedication and excellence in his field of study.
Kris lives in Brewster with his wife Anna and daughter Ruby.
Bob was elected to the Board of Directors in 2012. He retired as the Executive Director of the Cape Cod Symphony Orchestra in 2005. Post college he served in the Navy, was a sponsoring editor for McGraw-Hill, a commercial banker with Bank of Boston and Mellon, and Director of Business Development for TPI, a philanthropy consulting firm. His board activities include President of the RFK Children’s Action Corps, Boston Historical Society, USS Constitution Museum, Orleans Historical Society, New England Center for Arts and Technology in Boston, Namequoit Sailing Association in Orleans, and Cape Cod Symphony Orchestra. He has served on the nominating committee of Friends of Pleasant Bay and is active with the Orleans Community Partnership.
Bob graduated from Williams College, earned an MBA from Columbia University and studied Spanish at Cape Cod Community College. He and his wife Abby live in Orleans where she is co-chair of Life Time Learning, a program of the Friends of Snow Library. They have two married sons and four grandchildren who live in the Boston area.
Raised on the Cape, Taryn graduated from Franklin & Marshall College in PA. She is an accomplished banking professional, focused on regulatory risk management; she has achieved her Certified Regulatory Compliance Manager (CRCM) designation, and also her FINRA Series 7 and 63. She started her career with Goldman Sachs in New York City, and has worked in financial services in Boston and now on the Cape.
When not working or enjoying the beach, she is involved with a number of Cape-based organizations; a former Board member of the Cape Cod Young Professionals, she currently volunteers with the Cape Cod Foundation and various animal rescue groups. She lives in Dennis.