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 wife Molly Messenger are revitalizing the space 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, Leadership NH class of 2017 alum, and a Commissioner for the Ossipee Corner Fire Dept.
Board of Directors
Ivette Babylon, Treasurer
Since 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 is the GALA board 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).
Martha and her husband and moved to the Lakes region in the summer of 1996. They first lived in Ossipee, before joining the Brewster Academy community. Together they explored the northern outdoors, canoed in the Smith River Canoe Race, learned to snowshoe, bought 4 wheel drive vehicles, enjoyed all the beauty of the woods and in the process sighted bear, deer, moose, bobcats and even coyotes!
After marrying in 1997, they joined a church and relocated to Wolfeboro where they love living in the woods on North Line Road. There they have raised their 2 children, Michael and Carolyn, and share their home with 3 dogs Coby, Zoe, and Brownie.
Martha works as a Realtor with The Dow Group of Keller Williams Lakes and Mountains in Wolfeboro and shares her love of NH’s Lakes Region and knowledge of the local towns and communities with people settling in the area. She has been involved with The Wolfeboro Children’s Center, The Nick – WARA, and joined the Board at G.A.L.A. in 2016.
Shawn 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.
Jeannie Clark, Secretary
Jeannie grew up in Henniker, NH (the only one on earth!) and believes in being outside, playfulness, and that community is about taking care of each other. She attended Colby-Sawyer College in New London, NH where she explored her love of the environment, the written word, and traveling. She accomplished her dream of visiting East Africa during her senior year, where she studied wildlife and community management for a semester in Tanzania and Kenya. She graduated with her BS in Environmental Science and a thirst to make the world around her a better place. After graduating, Jeannie worked on farms, did odd jobs, gardened, and enjoyed the lakes and mountains of her beloved home state.
The urge to travel again brought her to San Diego, where she interned with a social justice nonprofit. Jeannie traveled throughout the western states presenting educational programs to middle and high schools, places of worship, and colleges and universities. It was a wild ride, and taught her the importance of standing up for what you believe in. After some rest and reflection (and more farm work), Jeannie ventured out west again with the intention of exploring national parks and planting herself wherever she landed. After several months of calling a tent home, sharing trails with new friends, and gaining a true sense of America, Jeannie landed in Central Oregon. Planting herself in Bend, Jeannie spent her time working for outdoor gear companies, volunteering with environmental groups, and enjoying constant adventures to hot springs, rocky coastal cliffs, crater lakes, and other lava rock explorations. She found a community of friends and roommates that she still considers family to this day.
Jeannie found herself being called home to NH about a year later when she found an AmeriCorps opportunity in Wolfeboro to work with youth and outdoor leadership programming. Wolfeboro has since become home, and Jeannie now spends her time slinging coffee and crepes at Seven Suns, volunteering in the community, and serving as Secretary for the G.A.L.A. Board of Directors. Jeannie believes if she were a bird she would be a duck or a wood thrush and is happiest at home with friends and family tucking into good food. She recently married her favorite person and daydreams of running a permaculture homestead with gardens and chickens.
Matt Trahan, President
Matt grew up all over New Hampshire but always found himself coming back to Ossipee. 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.)
Molly Messenger, Vice President
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 Antonio, 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.
Dave has had a lifelong commitment to peace and the importance of living an ethical and sustainable life. Being a father of two daughters and a Papa to two amazing granddaughters has only strengthened that commitment. Born and raised in Manchester, NH his early years were spent surrounded by a large extended family and enjoying Boy Scouting. Through Scouting, he learned the rewards of being connected to nature and how to set goals and achieve them. He eventually reached the rank of Eagle Scout, an accomplishment of which he is still proud.
During Dave’s high school years, the Vietnam war was raging, and he developed an awareness of the need to live in harmony and balance with Mother Earth. These events drew him to become active in local “Peace” movements, organizing protests and helping boys who were morally opposed to war. In 1970, he was a presenter at the first NH Earth Day Conference at Keene State College, expounding the dangers of chemical and biological warfare.
After high school, Dave enrolled at UNH, earning a degree in Psychology. While in college, he had his first formal introduction to Art and greatly enjoyed studying form and shape and creating with his hands. By the time he received his bachelor’s degree, Dave had also earned a minor in 3-dimensional art and changed career paths.
With the awareness that he loved to work with his hands, coupled with the practicality of having a marketable skill, Dave embarked on a career in carpentry. He married his high school sweetheart -Diane – and together they began raising a family while he grew his contracting business into a successful Design-Build firm. He spent 4 decades helping his customers realize their dreams by creating spaces that met their needs and blended with the surroundings. While balancing the roles of husband, father, and business owner, Dave found time to serve on the board of the Greater Manchester Childcare Association and be a member of the Derryfield School Grounds and Building Committee.
In 2001 Dave began summering in the community of Wolfeboro, and in 2003 he and Diane bought a small cottage on the shore of Crescent Lake. They fell in love with the town. In 2019, they decided to sell their Manchester home, become full-time Wolfeboro residents, and begin an experiment of living sustainably in a 600 sq. ft home. Having retired from his business, Dave is focused on becoming an active member of Wolfeboro. He is excited and grateful to be able to help GALA in its endeavor to bring the Makerspace to Wolfeboro.
Nancy arrived in Wolfeboro from Groton, Massachusetts in 2015 with her husband, Craig Gemmell, and two teenaged boys. For almost 30 years, Nancy has taught English at the high school level (with brief stints at the undergraduate and middle school levels), and she currently works at Brewster Academy. As a student, teacher, and administrator, Nancy has been involved in the independent school world for most of her life. Both she and her husband were drawn to Brewster Academy, in part, because of its unique relationship to the town of Wolfeboro. She believes that living in small communities—be it at a residential school or a small town (or BOTH!)—has the capacity to draw out the best in individuals by inspiring concern for others, respectfulness, and collaboration. Her work as an educator has developed in her a sincere interest in public/private partnerships, and she is enthusiastic about all of the opportunities alive in Wolfeboro and its surrounding area.
Nancy considers herself a “citizen of New England,” having lived and gone to school in Connecticut, owning a home in Vermont, and spending the summers on Cape Cod with her extended family. Along with the fabulous hiking and skiing opportunities in New Hampshire, she also loves the excitement of living in the “first in the nation” state. Nancy has served on a number of school and community boards in the New England area.
Nancy’s dream day is a couple of hours of tennis, some yoga, quiet time with a newspaper or novel, poking around in the garden, and a fabulous meal with loved ones and new friends.
Jim is an attorney and partner at the law firm of Walker & Varney P.C. in Wolfeboro, N.H. Jim and his wife, Nicole Csiszer, moved to the Lakes Region after they graduated from Vermont Law School, one of the perennially ranked top environmental law schools in the country, in 2008. He is a general practitioner and focuses his law practice on Civil Litigation, DUI/DWI Defense, Criminal Defense, Family Law, Land Use, Real Estate, and Probate Law. Jim graduated from the University of New Hampshire, Durham, magna cum laude, with a B.S. in Environmental Conservation – Environmental Affairs.
Jim is a former community organizer and is passionate about the environment, sustainability, conservation, social justice, community development, the Boston Celtics, movies, reading, music, and spending time with his friends and family. Jim and Nicole live in Brookfield, NH and enjoy hiking around New England and their home, which is located near hundreds of acres conserved and managed by Moose Mountain Regional Greenways, a conservation group that Nicole serves on as Chair of its Board of Directors. They have two cats and would love to adopt a dog someday.
In addition to G.A.L.A., Jim serves on the Board of Directors for the Wolfeboro Area Recreation Association (which manages the Nick), Carroll County Bar Association (Vice President, former Secretary), and was elected to two terms on the New Hampshire Bar Association’s Board of Governors. He is also a former Board Member of the Appalachian Mountain Teen Project and a 2015 graduate of the New Hampshire Bar Association’s Leadership Academy.