Tom Abendroth, MDPresident
Tom was elected to the Board in 2017 after being a supporting member of the Conservancy for many years. As current President and chair of the Administration Committee, Tom’s focus is on ensuring the long-term future of Manada Conservancy.
Tom’s professional work combines his medical training with providing information technology and analytical expertise as Chief of Medical Informatics at Penn State Health and Chief Medical Officer at Prescient Medicine. His hobbies include outdoor activities and creating beverages and desserts to share with family and friends.
Anthea joined our Board of Directors in early 2020, having previously served on our Outreach Committee as well as several joint planning groups with Manada Conservancy. Anthea has significant social work experience and served as the Parks and Recreation Director at East Hanover Township, managing the site plan project for that township’s open space and Greenway plan, as well as grant-writing, overseeing programming, budgeting, and community outreach. She is currently the Director of Dauphin County Parks and Recreation.
Anthea enjoys working on projects that raise awareness about health benefits of outdoor recreation, advocating for local land preservation and stewardship, and spending time with others hiking, biking, kayaking, and traveling.
Greg has been a Board member since 2003 and currently serves as Board Secretary. As a retired geologist, Greg shares his expertise on the Land Protection Committee by assisting with new project evaluations and the monitoring Manada Conservancy’s owned properties. His main interests within the Conservancy are land protection and restoration.
With BA and MS degrees in geology, he worked as a Hydrogeologist/Project Manager for 40 years for several environmental and engineering consulting companies that included technical, managerial, and supervisory tasks. Greg’s interests include canoeing, bird-watching, hiking, and church activities.
Kyle has provided strategic accounting and business expertise to the Board and to the Administration & Finance Committee during his four-year tenure. He is a CPA and works for the Hershey Trust Company as Director of Financial Reporting, Planning & Analysis. He graduated from Moravian College with a Bachelors in Accounting and a minor in Business Management. Kyle also has a Masters of Finance from Pennsylvania State University.
Kyle has a special appreciation for the Swatara Creek and our Swatara Greenway Stewardship program, and he enjoys kayaking and canoeing its waters. Other interests include hiking and road biking.
Bobbie chairs our Education Committee and assists with planning several free programs each year for the local community related to environmental and conservation issues. She is also co-chair of the Native Plant Committee.
Bobbie spent 22 years teaching biology and life science in the Palmyra Area School District before retiring. Her hobbies include helping at the Grantville Food Pantry, travel, and genealogy.
Moira joined Manada Conservancy’s Board of Directors in October 2022. She has served on the Communications and Development Committee for several years. She is passionate about preserving the inspirational beauty of our natural lands and habitat to balance Dauphin County’s growth.
An internationally recognized design leader, writer, educator and speaker, she advanced and led design at some of the world’s most iconic (and beloved) brands – The Hershey Company, The Coca-Cola Company, PepsiCo, method products, and Hallmark Cards.
She holds an enduring belief in design’s (and nature’s) power to engage hearts and minds.
Jennifer Fetter is a conservation professional and environmental educator, currently serving as the Water Resources Program Leader at Penn State Extension. Her personal and professional lives overlap significantly, as she deeply enjoys extending her knowledge of natural systems to others.
In her free time, Jennifer can be found in her gardens, walking her dog, or simply standing in the sun outside her East Hanover Township home. Before living in Dauphin County, she crisscrossed Pennsylvania from Philadelphia to Erie but never lived outside the state. Jennifer graduated from Villanova University, earning her BS and MS in Biology there.
Anita has held a number of roles with the Conservancy. Most recently, she has served as our Interim Executive Director. She’s been particularly focused on strategic planning, from her efforts as Program Coordinator on our 2017-2021 strategic plan, to leading us through our Strategic Conservation Plan update in 2019, to her Board member work on our current strategic plan.
Prior to her family’s move to Hershey, Anita was a senior policy analyst for NOAA’s Coral Reef Conservation Program. Additional non-profit experience comes from her time starting a biodiversity program at the Massachusetts Association of Conservation Commissions. She has an MS in Zoology from the University of Hawaii and is currently working on an MS in Emergency Management. She enjoys watching her 3 kids play sports, going hiking and paddleboarding, volunteering with Scouts, and documenting all of the above with her camera.
Hilary Peery Vesell
Hilary joined the Manada Conservancy’s Board of Directors in December 2021, having already served on our Outreach/Fundraising and Preservation Committees for several years. She is passionate about preserving our natural world for the many benefits to both people and wildlife.
Hilary has a BA in psychology and MA in clinical psychology both from Columbia University. She received her law degree from the University of Miami, School of Law. Hilary is a trial attorney focusing on family law matters and civil litigation. She is in private practice in Hershey, where she was born and raised. In her free time, Hilary enjoys reading, horseback riding, and otherwise spending time outdoors in nature.
Richard Zaino, MD
Rich is one of the original incorporators of Manada Conservancy and has been a Board member since its inception. He serves on the Preservation, Finance, and Administration Committees.
Rich is retired from his position as Professor of Pathology at Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center. He is a medical author and educator and is active in a number of medical societies. He has also presented community talks focusing on the natural history of some small things within central Pennsylvania, and he serves as an unofficial photographer for many Manada Conservancy events. He enjoys bird-watching, natural history, hiking, archeology, and photography.
One of our original incorporators, Sally has held many positions with Manada Conservancy over the years, including Board Secretary, President, and Executive Director. She is Chair of the Communications & Development Committee and the Land Protection Committee. Sally’s specific interests include land preservation, wildlife habitat connectivity, strategic conservation planning, and working with partner organizations to strengthen success. She is also active on the WeConservePA Policy Committee and the Horse-Shoe Trail Conservancy Board.
Sally is also a published poet and editor for an online and print poetry journal. With her husband, Rich, she can often be found birdwatching and hiking on local trails or kayaking on the Swatara Creek.
Manada Conservancy Emeritus Board is comprised of former Board members who have served at least six years on our Board of Directors.
Ken and Anna Staver
Will Dingman, Executive Director
Will became part of the Manada Conservancy team in September 2022. He has worked in the natural resources field for over 30 years, most recently as Land Management Supervisor with the PA Game Commission. As Executive Director for the Conservancy, he is responsible for operational oversight, personnel, development, and advancing the strategic goals of the Conservancy.
Will and his wife, Gretchen, raise goats and cattle as a hobby in Schuylkill County. They enjoy kayaking and other outdoor pursuits that are enhanced by the protection of our natural and agricultural lands.
Jennifer Dunlap, Land Protection Director
Formerly our Executive Director, Jen returns to Manada Conservancy as Land Protection Director. She brings a wealth of knowledge about our projects and partnerships, and is thrilled to be directing her attention to land protection in this new role.
In Jen's words: "As Land Protection Director, I am fortunate to be able to focus my time on working to protect the creeks and woodlands I grew up with. I am grateful to have had these spaces to explore throughout my life and want future generations to have them too."
In her free time, Jen enjoys kayaking the Swatara Creek with her husband and spending as much time as possible outdoors introducing their toddler to nature.
Mark Vibbert, Stewardship Director
Mark joined Manada Conservancy in 2017 as Stewardship Director. He is responsible for managing properties, monitoring conservation easements, and working with volunteers on Swatara Greenway projects. He has a BS in Wildlife Conservation Biology from the University of Delaware and an extensive background in African conservation and eco-tourism in Uganda and Tanzania, as well as past land trust experience.
In 2008, Mark helped to found The New Nature Foundation, working with local people in Uganda and Vietnam to preserve forest habitat. His hobbies include photography, writing, hiking, hunting, and crossword puzzles.
Christine Silvis, Finance Manager
Chris joined the Manada Conservancy staff in 2013. As Finance Manager, she keeps records in good order, pays bills, and assists with budget and accounting work. She first learned about Manada Conservancy through the Native Plant Sale and has been slowly transforming her yard into a suburban oasis for wildlife. Now that her children are older, Chris is able to engage her passion for environmental education and preservation.
Chris has a BS in biology from Allegheny College and a MS in molecular physiology from Penn State College of Medicine. She is involved with the Friends of the Hershey Public Library, where she once worked in the Children’s Department. Besides taking care of a busy household, Chris’ hobbies include camping, hiking, bird watching and travel.
Karen Haldeman, Office Manager
Karen joined the Manada Conservancy team as Office Manager in 2017. In this role, she provides administrative support, manages donor and volunteer records, and assists with programs and events. Editing our newsletter and other publications allows her to use her degree in English. Karen especially enjoys interacting with the Conservancy’s friends and members.
In addition to being active at her church, Karen and her husband, Tim, maintain a large garden with vegetables to share and preserve. Along with their daughter, son-in-law, and young grandsons, they enjoy hiking local trails and kayaking on the Swatara Creek. Karen also enjoys baking, poetry, tending her native pollinator garden, watching the coals of a campfire, and looking at the night sky.