Re-Skill-ience Workshop Series

G.A.L.A. hosts hands-on homesteading and bushcraft workshops about everything from beekeeping to fermenting foods to grafting and beyond! Learn more here.

Start a Study Circle

Every year G.A.L.A. helps communities in NH organize Study Circles – small groups of people coming together to learn about topics of sustainability in a fashion similar to a book club.  Learn more.

Sustain-A-Raisers and You!

Sustain-A-Raisers are volunteer-led installations of raised garden beds, rain barrels, compost bins, cold frames, and clotheslines! Inquire about hosting or volunteering for a Raiser today!

Meet G.A.L.A.

Staff

Josh Arnold, Executive Director

Josh Arnold is a uniquely determined, entrepreneurial young man with a steadfast passion for sustainable community building.  Right in his backyard in Silver Lake, NH – that’s where Josh first developed a love for nature, for community, and outdoor creativity.  Everyday as a boy was filled with adventures in the pine grove, balancing acts on the railroad tracks, acrobats off the rope swing, or escapes down by the beaver pond.After college where he studied “Global Sustainability”, Josh spent several years trying on various “hats” – recycling manager at some of the largest music festivals in the United States, youth delegate for the UN Commission on Sustainable Development, and various town committee roles related to energy conservation, agriculture, and historic preservation.

In 2006 he founded Global Awareness Local Action (G.A.L.A.) with the support from a wide network if friends, family, and colleagues. Josh currently resides in former Ossipee Mt. Grange Hall, more widely known as “Three Pork Hill”.  Together, he and his fiancé Molly Messenger are revitalizing the space based into a local foods coop, venue for arts, education, and advocacy, and green-job incubator.

Josh is a Youth Action Net Fellow, Whole Communities Fellow, Graduate of the Marlboro College Nonprofit Management Certificate Program, Granite State College Nonprofit Boot Camp, Advisory Board Member of the Graduation Pledge, Member of the New England Grassroots Environmental Fund (NEGEF) Grant-Making Committee, Certified in Permaculture Design, Carsey Fellow through NH Listens, enrolled in the Leadership NH class of 2017, and is a Commissioner for the Ossipee Corner Fire Dept.

Lily Morgan Volunteer & Event Coordinator

Lily was raised in the “Christmas” City (Bethlehem, PA) as a Quaker and an athlete, both of which have been significant components of her identity. While acquiring her degree at University of Vermont in the Rubenstein School for Environment and Natural Resources, she traveled abroad to Scotland to study conservation methods in the Scottish Highlands and to Zanzibar, Tanzania to study Swahili, natural resource management, and marine ecology. Living with families in Zanzibar for 6 months was an expansive and awakening experience. She returned to the United States with a passion for change and understanding – both of her community (global and local), and the journey of her own personal healing.

After graduating with an Environmental Studies degree, Lily cycled across the country with two of her friends to simply explore, learn, and meet people. Faith was restored for her regarding communities in the United States and her interest in healing and human relationships continued. Much of the beginning of Lily’s “career” was jumpy, like most. She nannied, was a barista, did some farming, worked with a few conservation organizations and land trusts, and was a Teacher/Naturalist at Tin Mountain Conservation Center. The desire to work more closely with people started shifting her path.

She now lives with her husband in Tamworth, NH. Her favorite things to do include walking her pup in the woods, identifying trees, and tracking animals in the snow, but really she wants humans to be deeply engrained in her work. Having GALA in her sphere is a great way to continue on this journey and she feels very passionate about GALA’s mission. She hopes to be creative enough to bring her Yoga Teacher Training experience and Hakomi therapy background to her work in some way. Above all else, she wants to help people care for themselves.

Cheryl Walenty Bookkeeper Accountant Extraordinaire  

CherylWalenty_profile

Cheryl grew up in Salisbury, MA on a 30 acre “hobby” farm. Her dad was an engineer and owned his own business in Newburyport and mom was a stay-at-home mom. Cheryl thanks her mother for her love of nature, digging in the dirt and growing things and her father for working so hard to give their family such an opportunity to grow up the way they did. Cheryl has two children, her son Matthew who is 27 and daughter Dallas who is 18.  She has been a single mother for most of their lives, and now is a grandmother or “Babcia” (the polish term for grandmother) of three!  Cheryl earned her Associates Degree as a Paralegal “too many years ago to remember” and her BS in Accounting & Finance is a work in progress.  Cheryl  has been working in Finance/Accounting/Project Management for the past 27 years for both non-profits and for profit organizations and runs her own business as well.  When Cheryl is not working she enjoys reading, taking photographs, music (live and otherwise), being out on the water in her kayak, working in the garden and spending time with friends and family.  Cheryl is excited to join the small team of G.A.L.A. staff!

Board of Directors

board mtg 6

Ivette Babylon, Treasurer

Ivette_Babylon_profileSince moving to Wolfeboro 10 years ago with her husband, Mike, Ivette has been working and volunteering with organizations such as Assistance Canine Training Services, the Lakes Region Humane Society and the Women’s Business Enterprise Counsel in Boston. Ivette has a BS degree from the University of Florida and a Masters in Professional Accounting from The University of Texas and has her own consulting business offering financial consulting services.  With 30 years of work experience in finance and accounting, Ivette recently joined the GALA board as its Treasurer.

Ivette enjoys gardening and has practiced sustainable living in her own household for over 20 years, composting food waste, collecting rainwater and conserving energy.  Ivette is committed to helping develop educational programs and activities that generate community involvement and excitement over simple and sustainable living.  When not working, Ivette can be found in her garden, sailing, horseback riding, cycling or with her dogs, Misty, DeeDee and Camden (currently in training as a service dog).

Morgen Belluscio

Morgen BelluscioA native of New Hampshire, Morgen was raised in Wakefield on the Salmon Falls river.  A love for things that grow began at a very young age, gardening with her mother and playing down at the waters edge alongside the looming Joe-pie Weed and fiery cardinal flower. An interest in sustainable practices was also sparked at an early age. Composting, preserving food and conserving water and heat were woven into everyday.  With roots in small town New England Morgen has a strong belief that community plays an important role in her life.  She is drawn to coffee shops where people from all walks of life intersect, gather, discuss, hang posters, chat aimlessly, laugh and learn new things.  Morgen now lives in Ossipee with her best friend and husband Tom and their dog Boone.  She works at the Tamworth Lyceum in downtown Tamworth. She loves puppies and kittens and long walks in the woods!

Shawn Papp

Shawn Papp_profileShawn Papp grew up in Virginia and graduated from Virginia Tech in 1996 with a B.S. degree in Crop and Soil Environmental Sciences. Even upon entering college, Shawn was skeptical about the sustainability and safety of the chemicals used in his field of interest. Shawn remembers sitting in an environmental science class being told that using pesticides was the only way to feed the world’s population and that contradicting information could be dismissed because people generally didn’t understand the science behind the breakdown of the chemicals into non-harmful forms. Shawn kept a critical lens as he studied everything from plant pathology to soils and environmental science. Upon graduation, Shawn came out into the world with a clear understanding of how to meet the demands of an ever increasing food supply and how to manage and maintain hundreds of acres of bug and weed-free, pristine turf.

Shawn quickly put this knowledge to use as a Golf Course Superintendent. In this position, Shawn witnessed first-hand that Mother Nature could be manipulated very easily with the proper chemical or fertilizer. “Success” was achieved.

After relocating to New Hampshire, Shawn married and had a beautiful daughter named Olivia. At this point, Shawn began a new career in landscaping and continued with chemical use. After building a house and having a lawn of his own, doubt about the safety of these pesticides began creeping into his mind once again. Shawn credits Olivia as the driving force behind this reevaluation of his landscaping practices. Starting his own organic landscaping company, Natural Landscapes and Lawncare, Shawn has disproved the myth that you need to use chemicals to have a nice lawn. Today, Shawn has more peace of mind than ever before by knowing that his daughter is not being exposed to pesticides used unnecessarily for vanity.

Susan Fuller, Secretary

Susan Fuller Profile w:bike copyWith roots in Buffalo, NY and Berkeley, CA, Susan is a city girl who found her grounding in the granite mountains, mixed forests and sparkling waters of NH where her family spent a month each summer at the family camp on the shores of Lake Winnipesaukee during her formative years. It was here that she gained intimate experience with the environment with lots of camping, hiking and swimming.

As a teenager Susan lived in the turmoil of the 60’s in progressive Berkeley, CA. She learned about social justice and community development from her parents’ activities in the civil rights and anti war movements.   She remembers the first Earth Day and passage of the Clean Air and Water Acts. She believes GALA opens up the possibilities for individuals, by working together, to take action on behalf of the Earth and her future generations.

Susan has a BS degree in Exercise Physiology from California State University at Sacramento. After moving full time to NH in 1986, she earned an MEd in Environmental Education from Plymouth State College (now University). With a varied career trajectory she self identifies as an educator, having plied her trade in a health enhancement center, the Squam Lake Natural Science Center, churches, schools, a start up YMCA, and most recently at the Wolfeboro Public Library.

Susan is a new GALA Board member and enjoys her role as secretary on the board. She also sits on the Wolfeboro Energy Committee, the Kingswood Theater Boosters and is active at All Saints’ Church, Wolfeboro.  She has two grown sons and recently downsized from her family home to a one bedroom apartment in downtown Wolfeboro.

Matt Trahan

MAtt Trahan

Matt grew grew up all over New Hampshire but always found himself coming
back to Ossipee. His current roots have him living a stone’s throw from the Three Pork Hill, the former Ossipee Mtn Grange Hall, and G.A.L.A.., right in little ‘ol Water Village!

Always in search of a new experience, Matt was never really satisfied with College. He went from a Sports Management degree to Finance and Economics and eventually just gave up and did his own thing. In 2009 he co-founded Sap House Meadery along with his cousin. Together they make and sell meads, or honey wines, in Center Ossipee with locally sourced ingredients and a lot of fun. While it started as an extreme hobby, it has evolved into a bustling and growing business. Being from Ossipee, their over-arching goal of the business is to be a catalyst to attract more businesses and growth in their hometown. Their products are available in seven states and folks come from far and wide to tour the Meadery and enjoy a tasting.

While always cognizant of the importance of buying local and fostering your community, it was not until Matt started Sap House that he was able to feel the tangible effects of those philosophies. Working directly with farmers, other local businesses and the local government presented many opportunities and challenges. Those opportunities and challenges are what have drawn Matt to G.A.L.A. as they work to discover and apply creative means to make the world a better and more sustainable place. Matt is also on the Board of the North Conway Farmer’s Market and the Ossipee Budget Committee. (He’s crazy.)

Jessica Ramsay 

Jessica Ramsay

Jessica Ramsay doesn’t like to write bios. Thank you, Josh, for not posting a truffle shuffle photo as punishment. It is especially difficult when surrounded by such incredible and inspiring people.

It is very trendy, this idea of coming back to our community: buying locally grown/harvested, organic foods and products. Good! It should be more than that! Let’s move beyond the trend and ingrain this mindset into everything that we do. Our computers are made in China with parts that are mined in Africa. The coffee we drink while reading the news (or scrolling on Facebook), likely came from another hemisphere. Whether we think about it or not, this world is interconnected and interdependent. Community building is about making connections of a personal level.

It’s easy to become isolated in our global world when we can go to the grocery store and buy anything we need at that moment without regard for how much it cost the world to get it to us (here and now at half off the regular price for the next 2 days). People forget that they need each other to thrive. As a teacher, musician, and business woman (artist, dork, etc.), Jessica is connected to a wide range of community members.  It’s wonderful to see how G.A.L.A.’s work brings these groups together.

Our world connections are impossible to ignore and important to understand. What G.A.L.A. does in our community can bring those connections to our attention: teach us to remember and relearn how to work together locally and nurture a food source, energy source, social support network to sustain our community for generations. That is why Jessica joined GALA’s Board of Directors. Plus: it’s fun!

Now the other facts:

Jessica works at an elementary school and loves being surrounded by kindergartners all day. She never thought she would like this until she signed up and that was 4 years ago. Anyway, this is fact number one. Fact number two: She sings in the Carolyn Ramsay Band. She loves it. She loves the friends that she’s made through music and it makes her so happy to see people having fun and enjoying the music as much as she does.

A few more facts: She manages Stay Tuned: a humble and exciting little boutique in Wolfeboro, New Hampshire. Stay Tuned prides itself on offering clothing, jewelry and other gift items that have been purchased through fair trade practices. The owners travel to Bali, Thailand, and India to buy from the local people, many of whom they have been working with for 25 years.  While the store does not provide exclusively fair trade merchandise, we are working to increase its percentage. Plug alert: We have some great new organic cotton lines for women and men that are manufactured in upstate New York and Pennsylvania. We also carry Global Awareness, Local Action T-shirts. All the dollars go to G.A.L.A..

Molly Messenger

Molly Messenger

Molly is a community organizer, facilitator and youth worker with a passion for social justice and sustainability. She has a deep commitment to creating inclusive spaces for everyone’s unique skills and perspectives to lend in the creative process of public engagement and action towards a more just, fair and sustainable community.

Molly graduated from University of New Hampshire with a B.A. in Anthropology & International Affairs. During college, she spent a semester with School of International Training in Kenya, and lived a year thereafter in a rural village of northern Tanzania where she worked to establish the Imbaseni Free Library Community Center and became fluent in Swahili.

After graduating, Molly managed an ethnographic studying looking at refugee well being in NH, during which she re-established a refugee and immigrant advocacy group focusing on naturalization and family reunification. This led her to working as Youth Organizer with American Friends Service Committee- NH, and counseling youth with Appalachian Mt. Teen Project thereafter under the direction of Dr. Donna San Anotonio, who sits on the GALA board of advisory!

In 2012, after an incredible adventure cycling down the west coast, Molly returned to Ossipee and joined her partner Josh in the revitalization efforts of the former Ossipee Mt. Grange Hall into a community center for arts, education & advocacy.  Currently Molly is a Community Outreach Coordinator with Pittsfield Listens and a Facilitator with NH Listens.  We are grateful to have Molly’s energy and experience in non-profit development as chair of the G.A.L.A Development Committee.

Ryan O’Connor

Ryan O’Connor landed in New Hampshire about five years ago and is currently working for the Department of Natural Resources. He lives in Tamworth, NH and galavanted his way up the seacoast from Maryland. He worked at sea for a number of years and learned much from friendships forged throughout the world. His passions pull him outdoors to the mountains.

He is excited to share and grow stronger communities and understanding for the world around us.

 

  • His favorite plant is the Galangal
  • Favorite Greek goddess is Galatea
  • Favorite outfit is the Galabia
  • Favorite dream Galactic space travel
  • Favorite animal Galago
  • Favorite dish Galantine

Amy Gullicksen

 

Amy has lived life and farmed sustainably and with intention in both Maine and New Hampshire for 20+ years.

Volunteerism and building community have been a huge part of daily life, whether it be at her kid’s small school, with Ossipee Towns for Sustainability, through G.A.L.A., at herbal symposiums, solar festivals, music festivals or local children’s theater company productions.

Growing and preparing local foods has been a passion since she spent time in her grandparent’s gardens, orchards and kitchens, as a kid. It continues to excite her as Permaculture and other sustainable methods make it possible to grow more and more diverse foods in the northeast.

 

Download the New G.A.L.A. Board Member Referral Form.

Volunteer Committee Members

Michael Haeger, Program Committee

For the last twenty years Michael and his wife Karen have enjoyed gardening, raising chickens and composting with worms in an effort to lead a more self- sufficient way of life. Michael believes that a life of creative thrift can be both an exciting challenge and a way for communities to better provide for themselves.

Although carpentry has been a consistent vocation, he has also worked for the Governor Wentworth school system as a classroom aid. He has worked with Boy Scouts and continues to share his interest in early American culture with upper elementary grades.  Michael and Karen, and their son Brendon, became most active with G.A.L.A. during the recent Earth Week celebration. They are also currently enrolled in the study circle titled, “Menu for the Future”, where they participate in a weekly dialog about sustainable food systems.

Scott Travis

Scott is a physical therapist working at Speare Memorial Hospital in Plymouth. Taking the usual career path to physical therapy, Scott spent 4+ years in the Air Force learning avionics.  He was stationed in California (Travis Air Force Base…of course!) and England. After completing his tour with the Air Force, Scott worked as an electronics technician for a multi-national company and spent the next few years traveling around the world.  Discovering that he enjoyed working on complex systems he decided it was time to work on complex systems that can talk back and so, went to college in Nashville, TN for his physical therapy degree. Scott spent 10 years at Huggins Hospital working both outpatient at Back Bay Rehab and inpatient at the hospital. In the Spring of 2011, he accepted the position at Speare Memorial where he also works both inpatient and outpatient and it gave him a beautiful ride in the country twice a day on his motorcycle – as long as there’s no ice on the roads. When he’s not working as a physical therapist, Scott is a rider coach with Harley-Davidson teaching people how to ride a motorcycle. And yes, he even has his wife riding her own motorcycle! Scott is also a home brewer of beer and an overall tasty beer enthusiast! Scott enjoys cooking and enjoys using organic ingredients, local produce and meat, and herbs from his kitchen garden. When he’s not working, riding, brewing or cooking, he is usually building, refinishing, or designing something. Scott is pleased to be able to share his skills with GALA and believes in the mission of expanding sustainability and making it accessible to everyone and having fun doing it! Scott lives in Wolfeboro with his wife, Mariann. Their boys Ben and Dylan are in their early 20’s and off exploring life.

Carol Holyoake, Funding & Development Committee
  Carol has been active in the Wolfeboro area community for over 15 years working and volunteering with organizations such as the Wolfeboro Area  Chamber of Commerce, New Hampshire Division of Travel & Tourism, First Night Wolfeboro, and Great Waters Music Festival. Carol’s nomadic lifestyle since the age of one has enabled her to observe and experience first-hand the impacts that building sustainable community can have on individuals, families and groups of people who live, work and play together. Settling for extended periods of time in Australia, Asia, Europe and North America, Carol came to the realization that people and communities are, or can be, more connected by similarities than they are separated by differences. And, that the barriers blocking sustainable community often revolve around cross-cultural mis-perceptions; a lack of knowledge and information, and access to compassionate mentors whose wisdom can shift the differences and grow community through example rather than enforcement, and impart learning experiences that enable us to inhabit the Earth in joyful and responsible ways.

Carol’s curiosity to learn what makes individuals, communities and cultures tick, along with a desire to preserve what surrounds and nourishes her own life – the beauty of nature; people who care about passing-it-on; the history and sense of place in architecture; an abundance of artistic culture; year-round recreation; and access to fresh, local produce have given her a Jill-of-all trades (mistress of none!) resumé.  It includes publishing books on nature and fine art; escorting tour groups; developing cultural and environment tourism programs; organizing conferences on sustainable building practices; facilitating cross-cultural training, working in an art gallery and learning framing techniques; teaching yoga, and managing non-profit organizations.

Volunteer at Large

Jessica Cole

Jessica Cole Volunteer of the MonthJessica moved to Ossipee after graduating from Unity College in Maine where she studied Environmental Education. Soon, Jess accepted a position at a local pre-school where she kick-started an organic gardening program, and spent two years digging in dirt, taking children on nature walks, sharing her passion for plants and insects and the like, knowing full well she was planting seeds for the future. She lives and works on her family owned trout hatchery, Sumner Brook Fish Farm on Rt. 16 in Ossipee, with her husband Jesse Prunier. Jessica’s passion for local healing herbs and herbal medicine led her to open Sumner Brook Herbals. She practices from her shop located at the fish farm, and delights in sharing local healing herbs with her community.  Jessica has been an avid G.A.L.A. volunteer for the last 3 years helping with everything from contra dances, to solar raisers, seed swaps, clothing swaps, Farm to Table Feast, First Night Fundraiser, and more.  Jess is excited to deepen her involvement with G.A.L.A. by accepting her board nomination and becoming involved with the strategic planning, governance, and financial stewardship of the organization.

Karen Haeger

 Karen is a second generation Wolfeboro native with a deep interest in the future of our community. After graduating from Kingswood she worked at First New Hampshire Bank only to be invited into the formation of Community Bank and Trust Company. At Community, she managed the loan servicing and processing department for 17 years. After assisting in the merger with Ocean Bank, Karen left the banking world to pursue other interests and spend more time with her two children, Nicole and Brendan. The family expanded their gardens and began to raise chickens. Karen’s passion for working with animals was fulfilled through working with Assistance Canine Training Services (A.C.T.S.), raising and training service dogs. She continues this work by sitting on their Board of Directors. In the winter, you will find Karen skating at Pop Whalen with the She Wolves as a defensive back. With both their children in college now, Karen and her husband Michael, continue to expand their involvement in the community. Karen now manages the local farmer’s market and is one of the newest members of G.A.L.A.’s Board of Directors.  Karen is excited about bringing her knowledge and experience with accounting and managing money to G.A.L.A.’s board and development team.

Lynn Clarke

lynncaterpillar

Lynn Clarke has been a G.A.L.A fan for years as an Ossipee town board member and Green Mountain Conservation Group (GMCG) VISTA and will be finishing her year of service with us!

Her affinity for the environment came at very young age, growing up in a single parent household in Boston, MA, with three other siblings, summering with relatives in  Vermont. Some of her fondest childhood memories included being mesmerized by the abundance of life found in a small pond she visited, catching critters to bring home in her socks and singing to a very attentive audience of Holstein cows. The intimate relationship when playing outdoors kindled a flame for curiosity and a sense of purpose that still continues to grow today.

Lynn’s first environmental steward project was with the girls scout at age 8 cleaning the Charles River. Since then, she became a NH certified educator with a passion for connecting students to their natural surroundings, providing them opportunities to recognize their interconnection with all life. In addition to teaching in both the regular and special educational settings, Lynn co-chaired a recycling club, led teams of volunteers to built gardens, vermi-composted and led after school enrichment programs as an Audubon CoSeed volunteer, NH Fish & Game Wildlife Steward/ Docent and GMCG Water Literacy Coordinator. She has also written grants and coordinated community projects and events for World Environment Day, America Recycles Day, World Water Day and Get Wild at Sumner Brook.

What empowers Lynn the most is co-creating the best possible future for children and the planet. She welcomes the opportunity to join us and get her GALA on right away. Whether it was enchanting her students by raising tadpoles in the classroom, sharing the magical ecosystems of vernal pools or gathering almost 500 school and community members for a drum circle in celebration of World Environment Day, Lynn has always enjoyed celebrating our natural world with others leading them to preserve, protect and enjoy.

Jonathan Gregory

Jonathan is a Social and Environmental Entrepreneur with a reputation in Central New Hampshire for advancing the progress of Triple Bottom Line economics in our local communities. Jonathan is involved in the development and management of numerous awareness projects, small businesses, non-profits, and committees that work to improve the current condition of our Food, Energy, Transportation, and Financial systems. Jonathan graduated from the UNH Whittemore School of Business and Economics in 2007 and has since taken Concord, NH as his adopted stomping grounds with a purchase of a home located downtown. His work with the downtown community and entire city has helped create a movement that seeks to identify and nurture common good solutions to our most important economic and cultural problems. For more info about Jonathan’s consulting practices go to www.aldenproject.com.  Jonathan is working closely with G.A.L.A.’s staff and board to develop the Sustain-A-Raiser program into a replicable model that eventually be shared with communities across the country through open-source technology.

Barbara Laverick –

Barbara Laverick was the first to receive G.A.L.A.’s “Volunteer of the Year” recognition – and yes, it was Barbara’s steadfast commitment to sustainable community building that prompted G.A.L.A. to create the award in the first place!
Barbara is the on-the-ground, go-to, volunteer at the 2009 Wolfeboro Area Farmers’ Market (WAFM). Barbara helps with everything from building positive relations with Clark Park abutters, to weekly market setup, to creating a WAFM newsletter that included weekly market updates and a market trivia crossword puzzle.
Barbara’s involvement with G.A.L.A. goes well beyond helping with the farmers’ market. Barbara and her husband, Chuck, have been loyal “G.A.L.A. Gleaners” for the last two years harvesting hundreds of pounds of fresh produce for distribution to Wolfeboro’s All Saints Life Ministries Food Pantry. In addition, Barbara is always willing to help with G.A.L.A. fundraising and promotion initiatives.
And G.A.L.A. is just the beginning – Barbara serves in many community leadership roles involving the Wolfeboro Energy Committee, Wolfeboro Pathways Committee, the Pork Hill Farm CSA Program, the Northeast Organic Farming Association’s Winter Conference, among others. Many people will also recognize Barbara’s name from her frequent Granite State News Dig It! column contributions.

Barbara has lived in NH for the last 30 years; last 15 being in Wolfeboro. She grew up in Washington DC, lived in Idaho for awhile while she served as a Vista Volunteer, and was Teacher in the coal country of Georgia, West Virginia, and Tennessee.

Emily Richey 

Emily Richey comes from Duluth, Minnesota, and is in her second year serving as an Americorps VISTA at G.A.L.A. Emily grew up in a household of environmental educators, gardeners, and outdoor adventurers, exploring the Northwoods through canoe trips, hiking trails, ski hills and digging in the dirt.

In May 2012, Emily graduated from Hamline University in St. Paul, MN. There she studied Environmental Studies concentrated in Political Science, and created a flexible major titled Globalization and Development. Emily’s most influential experience while in college was the semester she spent in Australia studying sustainability and environmental action. While ‘Down Under’, Emily conducted research regarding the role of globalization and globalized systems within the Transition Town Movement and community resiliency building.

Emily was very involved at her university, founding and serving as president of the Hamline University Outdoor Recreation Club, and helping to create the first ever Health and Sustainability Week. Other great learning experiences were her participation in the International Model United Nations Conferences in 2010 and 2012, as well as interning with Global Classrooms, teaching middle and high schoolers Model United Nations curriculum. Wolf Ridge Environmental Learning Center in Finland, Minnesota was her home for five summers, serving as a camp counselor, trip leader, and most recently as the assistant director of the summer youth program. Additionally, Emily is a member of the Carroll County Slow Food Board and has completed a through hike of the Superior Hiking Trail in Minnesota with her sister, Grace. Emily is tremendously excited to be serving with G.A.L.A., learning about sustainability initiatives, community organizing, and exploring the outdoors of New England.

Willie Swaffield – Special Ops
Willie Swaffield is Wolfeboro, NH native. He is a unique year-round resident who is able to find “enjoyment and employment” in every New England season. Willie enjoys anything that involves the outdoors, but his two real passions remain alpine skiing and water-skiing. During his high school experience at Burke Mtn. Academy, Willie went on a ski-trip to South America and Mt. Hood in Oregon. Willie also stays busy outdoors keeping up with his landscaping and plowing business throughout the year. Perhaps one of the reasons he has stuck around Wolfeboro because he deeply values family and the environment. He is also grateful for his circle of friends in the area. One of those friends happens to be Josh Arnold, G.A.L.A.’s founding director.
Willie has spent countless hours volunteering with G.A.L.A and working with Josh. His truck has become especially handy in helping with odd-jobs like picking up and delivering compost to the food pantry garden, furnishing G.A.L.A.’s office at the Grange Hall, and helping deliver grease for bio-diesel production. Being a regular on-call volunteer has given Willie the G.A.L.A. “Special Ops Coordinator” title.

Willie is also an entrepreneur. He is currently developing a business plan for his own juice company! And as Willie always says, “Think Snow!”

Jessamy Wood

 Jessamy has lived in NH all her life, spending her youth mucking stalls and working on a vegetable farm when she was not at school or playing the clarinet in the school band. While attending junior high she decided her dream was to restore old houses after being inspired by the sight of the dilapidated Wentworth Hotel in Newcastle, NH.
Jessamy has worked as a preservation carpenter at Strawbery Banke Museum, The National Park Service where she worked on many national treasures including making repairs to the torch on the Statue of Liberty, and restored timber frame barns and other old structures. After three trips to the ER in as many weeks she decided that perhaps a less risky form of employment might be a good long-term plan and returned to school to study her other passion, nutrition.
Since graduating from UNH in 1997 with a BS in Nutritional Sciences she has owned and operated an appliance repair company with her husband and is currently working in the nutrition field doing in-home assessments and feeding guidance for chronically ill children as well as other community based nutrition education. She still enjoys mucking stalls and occasionally takes a ride on her horse in the woods for a break. Jessamy is the mother of an environmentally aware, critically thinking daughter, Samantha. Today, Jessamy lives in Wolfeboro with her husband, daughter, hens and other pets.

Jessamy is excited to work with G.A.L.A. in making her hometown a more sustainable place to live. She is especially excited to bring her passion and experience with preservation to G.A.L.A.’s Ossipee Mt. Grange Revitalization Project. Similarly, Jessamy’s current profession in nutrition contributes significantly to G.A.L.A.’s efforts by making sure people pay attention to their “personal sustainability.”

Brittany Boles

Brittany’s involvement with G.A.L.A began in June of 2011 when she came to New Hampshire from St. Croix, US Virgin Islands, on a path aimed at heightening consciousness.  She believes that “consciousness”  is not limited to spirituality;  it is also social and environmental.  G.A.L.A.’s aim of building strong, sustainable communities speaks to increasing the connectedness between people and the earth; it is that connection that intrigues and excites her.Brittany spent the last three years living on St. Croix, where she realized the true scope of people’s global impact on the environment as she witnessed the delicate coral reef ecosystem deteriorate due to pollution and warming Caribbean waters.  Garbage in the streets and on the beaches inspired her to orchestrate garbage walks and participate in local sustainability projects.

She began her education about organic farming, water conservation, and truly “green,” sustainable living while working with ArtFarm LLC, a sustainable family farm.  Admiring the comfort and connectedness with nature exhibited on a day-to-day basis on the farm, she renewed her dedication to enviro-activism.

A student of the world, Brittany studies yoga, meditation, fire dancing (as a performance art), natural medicine, communication, psychology, the Indian language of Hindi, economics, group process, business management, and many other subjects in a unique manner:  rather than enroll in traditional classes, she experiences lessons by seeking mentors in each subject she wishes to learn and completing independent research projects.  It is in this unusual way that she has come to partner with G.A.L.A..

Brittany wants to continue her education with G.A.L.A., focusing not only on sustainability but also on the workings of a nonprofit organization.  She plans to found an organization of her own after she spends time living and learning in Southern India next fall.

Consciousness is an awakening, and Brittany hopes to participate as a catalyst in the universal awakening that is sustainability.  Her partnership with G.A.L.A. equips her to do so.

Pat Jones

Pat Jones is a G.A.L.A. rock star. Pat started volunteering with G.A.L.A. in 2007 by helping setup G.A.L.A.’s documentary screenings at the Wolfeboro Public Library. Meanwhile, Pat was one of twelve participants in G.A.L.A.’s first study circle titled “Choices for Sustainable Living,” hosted at the Kingswood Youth Center that same year. But Pat wanted to do more than participate; she wanted to organize, and that’s exactly what she began to do, and continues to do, today. The last few study circles have been entirely organized and facilitated by Pat. In addition, Pat initiated and continues to manage G.A.L.A.’s annual Compost Bin & Rainwater Barrel Sale.
More on Pat – Pat’s love of gardening and the outdoors began early as she grew up in a small NH town on a farm where products included firewood, chickens and eggs, strawberries, and sweet corn for sale, in addition to a large family garden. Time outdoors was spent with her brothers and sister climbing trees, building forts in the woods, and constructing dams on the small streams in the nearby woods.
Growing up in a home without television, Pat became an avid reader. This love of books influenced her education and career choices; she is a graduate of UNH with an education degree and of URI with a degree in Library and Information Services. After many years of public library work, she now works as a librarian in the local school system. School schedules have allowed her to spend summers working as a historical interpreter at Strawbery Banke Museum, a volunteer at Odiorne Point Science Center, and a naturalist for the Appalachian Mountain Club.
Pat has traveled extensively in the US, Canada, and Europe. Many of her travels have been hiking/mountaineering trips. She has climbed several of the Rocky Mountain’s 14,000 foot peaks, camped on a glacier in the Cascades, and backpacked in southern Spain. She has also combined travel with service projects such as trail work in Arizona and Habitat for Humanity builds in Alaska and Poland. A favorite trip was an archaeology and conservation project in Utah that she participated in with her grandson.

Board of Advisors

Paul Amadio

Paul is the Director of Business Development and Technology Solutions Group at the Amcomm Company where he heads up the company’s strategic plan, business operations, recruitment marketing and technology division for 140 employees in 30 stores in New England.

President of Cardenio Consulting, Paul works with non-profit and businesses across the country offering counsel in strategic planning, coaching, organizational team-building, philanthropy, marketing and social media. He has also presented nationally and internationally on marketing, philanthropy and sustainability.

He has spent more than twenty-five years in education as teacher, Head of School, Director of Institutional Advancement and External Affairs and Chair of the performing arts in independent and public education. Paul was a founding partner of the consulting firm Independent Thinking.

In addition, Paul has extensive experience as a professional stage actor and director, and was a founding member of the band, The Dharma Bums. He has served on many non-profit boards, most recently the Ojai Playwrights Festival.

His most recent endeavor is I-Ride Transport, partnering with Tom Bryant, to bring a socially conscious transportation service to the NH Lakes Region, headquartered in Wolfeboro.

Paul, his wife Donita and family are committed to creating a sustainable planet and are honored to be part of the G.A.L.A. mission.

Monique Coppola

Monique is originally from Massachusetts where she obtained a degree in Theatre from a small liberal arts college in Franklin. She has worked in various capacities in film, television and theatre in Boston, Los Angeles and New York and has leant her voice to hundreds of national and regional commercials and projects for radio, Education Companies, TV and the internet.

Monique has lived in Wolfeboro since 2003 and has received awards from The New Hampshire Association of Broadcasters for her work as a reporter, newscaster and talk show host. She has covered a wide range of topics in New Hampshire and interviewed a myriad of notables such as Doris Kearns Goodwin, Robert Kennedy Jr., and President Bill Clinton. Monique currently works as a broadcast journalist for Public News Service and covers a variety of progressive issues for New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Maine.

Dana Frasz

In 2001, at age 17, Dana Frasz took an unforgettable four month trip to South East Asia.  Returning to the United States, she was deeply disturbed by the paradox of excessive waste and consumption existing alongside widespread hunger within both local and global society.  While at Sarah Lawrence College she coordinated 12 businesses, recruited and managed 45 volunteers and had created a new system and mindset around food waste in and around campus.  In 2006 Dana was honored by the International Youth Foundation as one of twenty exceptional social entrepreneurs from around the world for her waste reduction, hunger alleviation and food recovery work.  From 2008-2010 Dana was a Project Manager at Ashoka’s Changemakers, planning, managing and executing competitions aimed at expanding and supporting social innovation worldwide.

In 2011, after an incredible 4 month journey through South America, Dana moved to Oakland, CA to launch her own organization – Food Shift.  Food Shift is an Earth Island Institute sponsored project dedicated to building a more just and sustainable food system that curbs waste, empowers communities, respects the environment and nourishes all.  Dana is an active committee member of the Social Enterprise Alliance, a Next Generation Ambassador for the Social Venture Network, a StartingBloc Fellow and a member of the California Food and Justice Coalition.  Dana has spent the last decade developing and supporting initiatives that are good for people and good for the planet.   She is a true leader, committed in action and motivated by her love for people and the earth, and is excited to share her experience as a community organizer to help G.A.L.A. thrive in it’s mission to build a sustainable community building model.

Tom Roberts
Tom began his public accounting career in 1979. Tom joined Leone, McDonnell & Roberts, Professional Association in 1987 and currently works in the firm’s Wolfeboro and North Conway offices. In his role as President and Managing Partner, he guides the firm’s strategy and day-to-day operations, working toward the overall growth and sustainability of the firm. Tom specializes in providing reliable consulting and tax planning services for private, family-owned businesses. He is also heavily involved with the firm’s nonprofit organization practice.
Tom was inspired to pursue a career in the accounting field due to his interest and natural abilities in problem solving. Today he attributes his success to his strong people skills and the lasting relationships he builds with his clients.

Born and raised in Chicago, Tom currently resides “off the grid” in Wolfeboro with his wife, Rita, and their two children. Outside the office, Tom’s hobbies include coaching youth sports, skiing, hiking and fishing.

Donna San Antonio
Two experiences move me more than anything else: one is being in a natural place with others that have a sense of curiosity and wonder. The other is being part of collective efforts to fight for economic and social justice. G.A.L.A. ties these two passions together.
My work has included community education and organizing, middle school teaching, experiential and outdoor education, nonprofit development and administration, research, and graduate school teaching and advising. For nine years in the 70s and 80s, I thrived in my work as a teacher in alternative and mainstream classrooms.
In the mid-80s, I left teaching to start the Appalachian Mountain Teen Project (AMTP) so that I might be able to mentor struggling students and play a more influential role in schools. As the Executive Director (1987-now), I develop strong cross-sector partnerships and implement innovative experiential programs to benefit the most vulnerable students and the most under-resourced schools. For fifteen summers I led wilderness adventure trips and experiential civic education trips with students for up to 30 days in length throughout the United States.
In 2001, I earned a doctorate in Administration, Planning, and Social Policy from the Harvard Graduate School of Education and was then hired as a Lecturer on Education in the Risk and Prevention Program where I taught from 2002-2008. My work continues to bridge research and practice and I actively consult, teach, and design and evaluate programs around urgent issues facing communities and families.
I grew up in the mill city of Lawrence, Massachusetts in a neighborhood of second and third generation immigrant families of many creeds and colors. From this experience I learned to value building community among diverse people and the possibilities that lie at the intersections – the places where each person is able to bring all that they know and all that they are with confidence and with openness. Over and over again I am struck by the fact that this simple condition – a sense of place and purpose – is absent from the lives of most people. G.A.L.A. provides possibilities for this understanding through its thoughtfully planned and facilitated projects.
I love walking in the woods, canoeing, cross country skiing, opera, huskies, social justice activism, and learning about my southern Italian ancestry (a heritage I share with Josh!).

GALA is a vibrant, smart, innovative organization. I am inspired by the work being done by Josh and the G.A.L.A. community. I am glad to play a small role in supporting the growth and development of G.A.L.A.’s grassroots, visionary efforts to sustain local lifestyles, agriculture, history, social networks, and traditions.