American Friends is governed by a talented board of directors representing both Canada and the United States.

John Ross

President
John W. Peirce

John W. Peirce

Vice President

John is a retired geophysicist who grew up in eastern Massachusetts, where his father started two land trust organizations that together have protected some 40,000 acres over the last fifty years.  John is a graduate of Dartmouth College and earned a Ph.D. in Oceanography from the M.I.T.-W.H.O.I. Joint Program in Oceanography. He taught geology and geophysics at Dalhousie University in Halifax, N.S. for two years.

When John and his wife Nancy lived in Calgary he was heavily involved in the creation of Nose Hill Park, the largest municipal park in Canada. They now live on Gabriola Island B.C. in a 22-sided, geothermally-heated house. In retirement, John operates a market garden on their property featuring numerous shared-land projects and designs rainwater-harvesting systems.

John is Past President of the Gabriola Land and Trails Trust (GaLTT), and he played a major part in negotiating the Robinson Woods covenant for the American Friends/GaLTT partnership. This was American Friends’ first BC conservation easement. His many other community roles include Treasurer of the Gabriola Island Chamber of Commerce, the Chamber’s representative to the community-led Village Vision planning effort, and President of the Nanaimo CarShare Cooperative. In addition to serving on American Friends’ board, John is a member of the Corporation (essentially an extended Board of Trustees) of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Massachusetts.

Hally Swift

Hally Swift

Co-treasurer

Hally Swift, MBA, is Director of Finance for the Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture in Seattle, Washington, where she oversees a complex $7 million budget composed of state, earned income, grant and gift funds.  She has worked with staff and consultants to implement institutional and departmental dashboards tied to the museum’s strategic goals.

Hally has 20 years of experience in nonprofit finance, accounting, and management including executive staff positions at the Burke, The Mountaineers Books (a nonprofit publisher), and King County Emergency Medical Services; as well as volunteer positions as a board officer of Washington Trails Association, Publishers Association of the West and a backcountry plant monitor for Washington Rare Plant Care and Conservation Program.  As time allows she spends time on her family’s American-owned Canadian land.

Gary Goodwin

Gary Goodwin

Secretary

Executive Corporate Secretary and Counsel at Ducks Unlimited Canada, based at DUC’s headquarters in Manitoba.

Allyn Abbot

Director

Paul Doscher

Director

Michael J. Hart

Director

Michael J. Hart is a Principal of LandVest, Inc., and is a real estate consultant specializing in the valuation of significant land-based assets, including institutional timberland, urban and suburban development land, coastal resort land, remote natural amenity land and residential estate property. He is experienced in federal estate and gift tax valuation, feasibility and highest and best use analysis, and the valuation of conservation easements. He has worked for government agencies, non-governmental organizations, conservation non-profits and private landowners.

Mr. Hart joined LandVest’s Real Estate Consulting Group in 1990 and currently sits on the firm’s Board of Directors. Mr. Hart is responsible for appraisal production and internal appraisal review and oversight at LandVest, and engages in a broad spectrum of real estate advisory, consulting and brokerage activity.

Mr. Hart’s practice has involved assignments for significant property located throughout the United States, in Canada, the Caribbean and in Latin America. He appraised the largest conservation easement in the U.S. (by land area), which involved the 755,000+ acre easement on the Pingree heirs’ land in Maine.

Gail Kruk

Director
Sandy McCoy

Sandy McCoy

Director

Sandy and his family have been part of the Georgian Bay ON community of American landowners for many decades. His experience working to protect his family‘s property there led to his general interest in cross border conservation. Sandy is a consultant to nonprofit organizations in the Berkeley CA area, assisting them with strategic planning, fundraising and communications. Most recently Sandy led a complete update of the California Native Plant Society’s strategic plan. In addition to his professional support for nonprofits, Sandy has served on several Bay Area boards, including the Berkeley Symphony Orchestra and as the chair of the board of the California Institute for Biodiversity.

Dave Secord

Director

Dave Secord lives on Salt Spring Island, BC, where he operates a small consultancy, Barnacle Strategies. An intertidal ecologist by training, he has divided his career between academia and foundation philanthropy. At Tides Canada Foundation, he founded and led a strategic grantmaking team focused on environmental and social solutions in several regions of Canada. Before that, he oversaw conservation granting in Alaska and BC for the Wilburforce Foundation. He has been active in philanthropic affinity groups including the Arctic Funders Collaborative, Canadian Environmental Grantmakers’ Network, and Consultative Group on Biological Diversity. As a full-time professor for 12 years, he guided diverse environmental research and educational partnerships. He has been a Fellow of the International Canadian Studies Institute and the Aldo Leopold Leadership Program, and retains faculty appointments at Simon Fraser University and the University of Washington.

Henry Tepper

Director

Henry Tepper has been a conservation leader in both the United States and abroad for twenty five years. He has been directly involved in the protection of almost one million acres in the US and Latin America. From 2013 to 2015, Henry served as the President of Massachusetts Audubon in Lincoln, Massachusetts. Previously Henry was Chief Conservation Officer and a Partner at Patagonia Sur, LLC, working to acquire and protect ecologically significant properties in Chilean Patagonia. In the past he was Vice President of State Programs for the National Audubon Society, and spent thirteen years at The Nature Conservancy (TNC), serving as State Director of TNC’s New Hampshire program and then in New York State.

Henry was a member of the Land Trust Alliance’s National Leadership Council, served on the Land Trust Accreditation Commission, and is currently a member of the Steering Committee of the International Land Conservation Network.

Henry holds a B.A. from the University of Michigan and an M.A. and Admission to Doctoral Candidacy from Cornell University. He lives in Lincoln, MA, outside Boston, and is married to Jane Henoch, a nurse practitioner. They have two college-age children, Katherine and Miles.

Jake Tibbles

Director
Sandra Tassel

Sandra Tassel

Program Coordinator

Sandra Tassel is the President of Look at the Land Inc, a conservation consulting firm that works with non-profit and governmental entities involved in saving land. Tassel is the author of The Conservation Program Handbook published by Island Press. The purpose of the handbook is to assist local governments and conservation advocates involved in starting new land acquisition programs. Tassel consults with communities around the country to help them establish or improve their conservation programs.

In addition, she is a frequent contributor to national publications related to land conservation, including writing the chapters on both local governments and partnerships for The Conservation Easement Handbook, published by the Land Trust Alliance and the Trust for Public Land (TPL). Tassel regularly leads trainings related to land protection for organizations such as American Planning Association and the Land Trust Alliance. Prior to becoming a consultant, Tassel was the founder and director of the TPL’s office in Colorado where she did all conservation transactions in the state and helped lead some of the region’s first successful conservation finance measures.

During the years that she lived in Colorado she helped found the Colorado Coalition of Land Trusts and served on the board and on the executive committee for many years.

Konrad Liegel

Konrad Liegel

Legal Advisor
1463 E. Republican Street, #190 (mailing address)
Seattle, WA 98112-4517
206.491.2200 (phone/cell)
206.913.2794 (fax)
konrad@konradjliegel.com