- Who We Are
- What We Do
The Trustees are the governing authority of the Foundation. They meet quarterly to set and monitor the Foundation’s governance policies, including its Ends and operating guidelines. These define the ultimate measures of organizational success and the parameters within which the Executive Director manages the organization.
Tom is a Professor in the Department of City and Regional Planning at the University of Pennsylvania where he teaches land use planning, growth management, land preservation and environmental planning. Tom holds a BA in Economics from Harvard University, a Master’s in Agricultural Economics from the University of Newcastle, UK, and a PhD in Agricultural Economics from Oregon State University. In 2002, Tom was a Fulbright Senior Scholar at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia. Tom has taught at Kansas State University, Iowa State University and the University at Albany-SUNY. He is a native of Burlington, VT and now lives in Lancaster, PA where from 1989 to 1998 he managed the county’s nationally-recognized farmland preservation program. Tom often serves as a consultant to state and local governments and land trusts, and he is a Senior Contributing Editor of Farmland Preservation Report. Tom is the author or co-author of several books, including Holding Our Ground: Protecting America’s Farms and Farmland (Island Press, 1997), When City and Country Collide: Managing Growth in the Metropolitan Fringe (Island Press, 1999), The Small Town Planning Handbook (APA Planners Press, 2007), and The Environmental Planning Handbook for Sustainable Communities and Regions (APA Planners Press, 2003).
Jared Duval is the author of Next Generation Democracy: What the Open Source Revolution Means for Power, Politics, and Change, published by Bloomsbury. He is currently a Fellow with the New York based think tank Demos, where he is helping to build a first-of-its-kind fellowship program for young authors. A tenth-generation Vermonter, Jared led a successful campaign during high school to save the Great Hollow Wetlands in the Upper Connecticut River Valley from a major construction project, for which he received the David Brower Youth Award in 2001. He was also the youngest member of Howard Dean's policy team during the 2004 Presidential election and has done international public health work with "Straight Talk St. Mary's," a student run, HIV/AIDS awareness and prevention program that he co-founded while teaching economics in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. From 2005 to 2007 Jared served as National Director of the Sierra Student Coalition (SSC), the national student chapter of the Sierra Club and the largest student environmental organization in America. During this time he helped build the Energy Action Coalition and the Campus Climate Challenge campaign, serving as the effort’s co-chair for two years. Jared currently also serves on the national Board of Directors for the Sierra Club and the World Future Council. A recipient of the Morris K. Udall and Harry S. Truman scholarships, he graduated Summa Cum Laude from Wheaton College in Massachusetts in 2005.
Susan Kirkpatrick served as the executive director of the Colorado Department of Local Affairs (DOLA) for the state of Colorado from 2007 to 2011 under Governor Bill Ritter. During her tenure with the agency, she championed regional cooperation and strategic partnerships among state agencies to improve the lives of Coloradans. Between 2007 and 2010, DOLA provided more than $504 million in financial assistance to communities throughout the state, which supported more than 39,000 jobs. Every state dollar invested by DOLA leveraged an average of $6 locally. Susan served as mayor of Fort Collins from 1990 to 1993 and was a member of the Fort Collins City Council from 1986 to 1990. Her employment in post-secondary education has included working as a lecturer in political science at Colorado State University and as an assistant professor at the University of Northern Colorado. She also served as vice president and executive director of the National Audubon Society’s Colorado office, as the Executive Director of the Aims Community College Foundation, and a founding member and chair of Great Outdoors Colorado. She received her BA in Political Science from the University of Michigan, an Ed.M. from Harvard University and a Ph.D. in Political Science from Colorado State University.
Dr. Carolyn J. Lukensmeyer is the first Executive Director of the National Institute for Civil Discourse at the University of Arizona. She is the Founder and former President of AmericaSpeaks, an organization dedicated to countering the deep partisan divide in Washington and the growing disconnection between citizens and government. Carolyn’s vision is to develop new democratic practices that strengthen citizen voice in public decision-making. Under her leadership, AmericaSpeaks has earned a national reputation as a leader in the field of deliberative democracy and democratic renewal. Using innovative deliberative tools such as the 21st Century Town Meeting®, AmericaSpeaks has engaged more than 145,000 people in governance in all 50 states and around the world. Prior to founding AmericaSpeaks, Carolyn served as Consultant to the White House Chief of Staff from November 1993 through June 1994. She also served as the Deputy Project Director for Management of the National Performance Review (NPR), Vice President Al Gore's reinventing government task force. From 1986 to 1991, Carolyn served as Chief of Staff to Governor Richard F. Celeste of Ohio—the first woman to serve in this capacity and, at the time of her appointment, the only Chief of Staff recruited from the professional management field. She also led her own successful organizational development and management consulting firm for 14 years, working with public and private sector organizations on four continents. Carolyn earned a PhD in Organizational Behavior from Case Western Reserve University and completed postgraduate training at the internationally-known Gestalt Institute of Cleveland. She is the 2009 recipient of the Straus Innovator Award, an honor highlighting practices that make a positive and tangible contribution to the health of global civil society. An avid traveler and outdoors adventurer, Carolyn has led a rafting expedition down the Colorado River, tracked panda bears in the remote Sichuan Province of China, and trekked in major mountain ranges all over the world. She currently lives in Washington, D.C.
Ed McMahon is an attorney, community planner, lecturer and author; he is currently Senior Resident Fellow at the Urban Land Institute in Washington, D.C., where he holds the Charles Fraser Chair on Sustainable Development. Before joining the Urban Land Institute in 2004, Ed spent 14 years as the Vice President and Director of Land Use Planning for The Conservation Fund in Arlington, Virginia. He is also the co-founder and former President of Scenic America, a national non-profit organization devoted to protecting America’s scenic landscapes. Before that, he taught law and public policy at Georgetown University Law Center for nine years and served in the U.S. Army at home and overseas. He is the author of 15 publications and over 150 articles, including: Ten Principles for Smart Growth on the Suburban Fringe (ULI, 2004); Green Infrastructure: Connecting Landscapes and Communities (Island Press, 2006); Land Conservation Financing (Island Press, 2003); Better Models for Commercial Development (Conservation Fund, 2004); and Balancing Nature and Commerce in Gateway Communities (Island Press, 1997). He also writes regularly for Urban Land Magazine, Planning Commissioners Journal and other periodicals. His latest work, Conservation Communities, was released in August 2010. Over the past 20 years, Ed has drafted numerous local land use plans and ordinances. He has organized successful efforts to acquire and protect urban parkland, wilderness areas and other conservation properties. Ed has an M.A. in Urban Studies from the University of Alabama and a J.D. from Georgetown University Law School.
Lyman is Proprietor, along with his three sons, Cabot, Gardner and Eliot, of The Vermont Country Store, a retailer selling through two stores, nationally distributed catalogues and the internet. The business is located in Vermont, employs over 600 people and actively supports local communities with contributions and employee-led volunteer programs. Lyman established the Foundation in 1995 to help the citizens of rural America better define and shape the future of their communities. The Foundation is funded with profits from The Vermont Country Store. Lyman became interested in land use issues through serving on the Planning Commission of his hometown of Weston, Vermont and recognized the need for more comprehensive tools and processes to help community leaders and the citizens more easily make sense of defining and shaping the long-term growth of their communities. Lyman graduated from Middlebury College in 1963 where he became an anti-billboard activist because of a sudden proliferation of monstrous red billboards along Route 7 advertising a shack that sold sea shells. The shock and outrage among Vermonters over those signs led to Vermont banning all off-premise signs in 1968. Lyman now serves on the boards of Scenic America in Washington, DC and The Community Agriculture Alliance in Steamboat Springs, Colorado.
Tony is a preservation activist, writer, teacher, historian and grantsmaker. Since l993 Tony has been the Executive Director of the Ittleson Foundation, which funds in the fields of the environment, AIDS and mental health. Prior to that he served as the Chief Program Officer at the J. M. Kaplan Fund and worked at the Municipal Art Society. He is an Adjunct Assistant Professor of Historic Preservation in the Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation. He holds a Master of Urban Planning from the University of Illinois, is a graduate of Kenyon College and was a Historic Deerfield Summer Fellow. Tony is actively involved with a wide array of preservation and conservation organizations. Currently, he serves as Chair of the Drayton Hall Site Council. He has served as Chair of the Preservation League of New York State, is an Advisor Emeritus to the National Trust for Historic Preservation, is former Chair of Partners for Sacred Places, is Chairman Emeritus of the Historic Districts Council of New York City and is the founder and Chair of the New York Preservation Archive Project. Tony is the author of Preserving New York: Winning the Right to Protect a City's Landmarks (Routledge, 2007).
Noel’s 40-year active participation in land use planning reaches back to his appointment in 1965 as Environmental Commissioner of Passaic Township in New Jersey. With a grant from the Ford Foundation, he originated and led an inventory and study of the Township's natural resources. As a precursor to the development of CommunityViz, he produced a slide show that demonstrated the likely visual and financial impacts of alternative development scenarios. Foreseeing the surge of development to come, he joined with three others to form a local land trust. In 1971 he left his position as Director of Strategic Planning at Allied Chemical Corp. to become an Assistant Commissioner of Education in New York where he served as Director of the State Museum and Science Service. Upon relocating to Weston, VT, Noel was appointed President of the local historical society where he served a two-year term. During this period, he helped produce a set of 20 computer-based GIS data layers for the Planning Commission of Weston. This was selected by the state as a model for local land use planning. His intimate connection with the land led him to join two other residents to form the Weston Land Conservation Trust in 1983. In that role, he led an effort to conserve 1500 acres of forest land in the Town of Weston. In 1986, he joined the Board of the Vermont Land Trust and served in that capacity for six years, the last two as Chair. In 1994, Lyman Orton asked Noel to develop a proposal for a new non-profit organization, suggesting a program focused on land use in rural communities. In 1995, Noel joined with him to establish the Orton Family Foundation and served as its first President & CEO as well as a founding Trustee. During his tenure, Noel oversaw the initial research and development of CommunityViz software, the publication of Hands on the Land and the creation of several other successful programs since transferred to other organizations.
Noel died June 13, 2011 and leaves his work at the Orton Family Foundation as part of his legacy.
Tony, an independent author, lecturer and consultant about restoring America’s cities and landscapes, became a staff writer at The New Yorker in 1963, and since 1994 has been a Visiting Scholar at New York University, first at the Taub Urban Research Center, and now at the Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service. In 2002 he also became a Fellow of the CUNY Institute for Urban Systems (CIUS). He is the author of 13 books, most recently In Motion: The Experience of Travel (Knopf, 2010), H2O: Highlands to Ocean (Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, 2005) and The View from Alger’s Window: A Son’s Memoir (a New York Times Notable Book; Knopf, 1999). Other books include the award-winning The Experience of Place (Random House, 1991); All Aboard with E. M. Frimbo (Kodansha Amer, Inc., 1997), a classic American travel book republished; and A Region at Risk: The Third Regional Plan for the New York-New Jersey-Connecticut Metropolitan Area(Island Press, 1996), which received front-page coverage from The New York Times. Tony’s next book, From Place to Place, about making transportation as enjoyable as the rest of life, has received underwriting grants from four foundations and the National Endowment for the Arts. He was a Guggenheim Fellow in 1994, and is now a Contributing Editor to Preservation magazine as well as a Fellow of the New York Institute for the Humanities. His work has appeared in The New York Times, Newsweek, Gourmet, The Atlantic and Travel & Leisure. A graduate of Harvard College, Tony is a director of The Village Alliance and is on the advisory board of Scenic America, Inc. and of the East Coast Greenway Alliance. He is listed in Who’s Who in America. Tony lives in New York City with his wife, the novelist Lois Metzger, and their son, Jacob.