In March of 2020, the Nature Connection Network transitioned from a Board-led to a Shared Leadership governance model.
With support from our friends at the Good Work Institute, we designed work circles around the various functions of the organization – BIPOC, Membership, Finance, Fundraising, Staffing, Governance, Direction of Our Work and Programming, in addition to the central or “Hub” Circle, whose purpose and accountabilities include optimizing the autonomy of the various working circles and oversight of the creation of new circles.
Inaugural members of the Hub included Amy Hyatt, David Brownstein, Lisa Donahue, Maggie Gotterer, Sam Stegeman, Sangoma Oludoye, Simon Abramson and Trevanna Grenfell. All volunteered their time at monthly meetings (with the exception of Simon and Sangoma, both compensated NCN staff members) as the Network grew and evolved, anticipating and responding to the myriad opportunities and challenges of our movement.
In March 2022, David and Sam stepped down from the Hub to focus on their respective schools, and allow opportunity for others to serve. We are grateful for their leadership and contributions for the past two years!
Our Current NCN “Hub” Members:
Amy Hyatt ✉️
Amy has been working with Vermont Wilderness School for 20+ years now with a focus on inviting and guiding people of all ages into relationship and attunement to their local natural cycles and Life Sheds. But she doesn’t limit that community development to local but to also encourage people to understand how they are nested in larger ecosystems that we can affect to support Life…including healing the patterns of colonization, exploitation and extraction.
Lisa Donahue ✉️
A mother and grandmother, Lisa was born and raised on Ohlone and Tongva land (California) She has worked and raised her family in various bio-regions in what is now called the United States, the United Kingdom and Canada, awakening her curiosity and appreciation for the intersection of nature and culture. Since leaving corporate positions with Apple, Time Warner, and DK Publishing, she has worked extensively in volunteer leadership positions with the Society of St. Vincent de Paul as well as local and regional environmental organizations. When volunteering at her children’s school near Lake Ontario, she was introduced to the work of Richard Louv, author of Last Child in the Woods, and developed a keen awareness and appreciation of the benefits of deep nature connection for all ages. Since 2015, Lisa has served on the Board of the Guelph Outdoor School. Lisa now lives on the land of the Cheyenne, Ute and Arapaho nations (Boulder, Colorado), where she is grateful for the inspiration and protection of the Flatirons.
Maggie Gotterer ✉️
Maggie brings 12 years of nonprofit management experience to her role on the NCN Hub, including previous work as an independent nonprofit consultant and her current role as Executive Director of Two Coyotes Wilderness School. She also serves on the boards of Green Village Initiative and Bridgeport Generation Now, nonprofits that strive for food justice and a healthy democracy in the city where she lives. Her love for the outdoors was cultivated from an early age growing up in Connecticut and spending summers on an island in Maine. She and her husband met as outdoor adventure guides at Georgetown University, and are now raising their young family in Bridgeport, CT. Email: email@example.com
Sangoma Oludoye ✉️
Sacred Activist, is a wife, mother, and grandmother. A traditional Yoruba priestess, Afin chief and member of the Egbe Moremi, National African Women’s Society in the Kingdom of Oyotunji African Village, located in Sheldon SC.. North America’s oldest, authentic African community, Sangoma met Oyotunji’s founder and Father of the Cultural Restoration movement in 1969 at the age of 12. A Sangoma speaks of a tribe of healers and diviners with indigenous gifts of ancestral medicine from South Africa. Sangoma graduated from Clark University, Worcester, Mass in 1977 with a BA in Theatre Arts, After a 20 year career in broadcast journalism , television, radio and cable…life presented the opportunity to explore shamanism, women’s history, movement, pan-Africanism and Wise woman Traditions. Sangoma has taught at numerous summer camps and Earthskills gatherings, including as Director and primary instructor for 180 “at risk” youth between 9-14 in the Camp Champion, summer program in Thomson, Ga. Sangoma has more than 30 years in her priesthood, female rites of passage programs, women’s wisdom councils and weekend empowerment retreats. An artist, facilitator, and cultural preservationist, we are honored to have Sangoma’s leadership.
Simon Abramson ✉️
Growing up Jewish in an anti-semetic community where the forests were sacrificed for mcmansions and office buildings, Simon’s been on a life-long mission to rekindle our connection to the mystery and magic of life. Whether through his role as a psychotherapist or as the Interim Director of the Nature Connection Network, Simon is committed to helping us to open our hearts; creating a safer and more vibrant world for all. He draws from his training in meditation, yoga, Jewish spirituality, men’s work, Joanna Macy’s Work That Reconnects, and nature connection to foster a felt-sense of sameness across differences. Simon has been a key steward of the Nature Connection Network since its inception in 2017. He has served as Co-Director, Staff Member, and as Interim Director, working to transition the network into shared leadership.
Trevanna Frost Grenfell ✉️
Trevanna lives and works in Penobscot Territory in the north woods of Maine, where she grew up alternately poking around in the forest and holed up in bed reading books. These days, she still does both of those things, but spends most of her time helping to run The Wildwood Path, a school for adults who want to develop deep nature connection as an avenue for social change. Trevanna is honored to be continually wrestling with big questions and challenges around how to live, work, and learn in integrity and for the sake of liberation. If you’re interested in developing living systems thinking capacity through direct relationship and profound awareness with the living world, get in touch!