Board of Directors

Steve Baker

Steve became involved with River-Lab in 2010.  Since that time, he has been guiding trips, serving as a model leader and guide trainer.  Steve is a long-time resident of Fairfield.  He and his wife Kelly are both graduates of Fairfield Public Schools (and soon to be - the two daughters will graduate as well). Steve has served as PTA president of Roger Sherman Elementary School and Roger Ludlowe Middle School.  He currently serves as PTA president of Fairfield Ludlowe High School.

steve@mrwc-fairfield.org

 

Charlene Brauns-Schindler

Charlene is a Mill River Wetland Committee superstar. Not only has she been an active part of the Fairfield community since 1989 – participating in and leading church, school, and business groups – but also she has served the Mill River Wetland Committee in every capacity. She has performed every job within the organization including: a Guide for over 25 years for the River-Lab Program, Scheduler, Captain, multiple terms as River-Lab Director, and multiple terms as MRWC Board President. She is cheered on by her husband Edmund, their five sons, and her two grandchildren.

charlene@mrwc-fairfield.org

 

Kiersten Chou

Kiersten is a science educator and curriculum specialist with a focus on climate and sustainability.  The daughter of Fairfield natives (though no relation to the famous Jennings of Fairfield!). Kiersten grew up in Shelton, but spent many hours out on the sound with her late grandfather, an avid fisherman and former Southport Harbormaster.  Her family returned "home" to Fairfield during her college years. After a young adulthood spanning from California to New York City, Kiersten and her husband moved to Fairfield in 2013 to raise their son, a soon-to-be Kindergartener at Holland Hill School! She is also a member of the Sustainable Fairfield Task Force and a co-organizer of the Fairfield/Southport CSA.

kiersten@mrwc-fairfield.org

 

Mary Hogue

Mary is a dedicated environmentalist who has qualified as a Master Gardener, Master Naturalist, Master Composter, CT NOFA Organic Landcare Professional and Climate Reality Leader. This explains, no doubt, her masterful effort for many years working on MRWC’s former fundraising event, Garden Expo.  She is co-chair of the Connecticut League of Conservation Voters, co-president of Fairfielders Protecting Land and Neighborhoods (FairPLAN), chair of the Fairfield Forestry committee and a member of the Sustainable Fairfield Task Force.  She was recognized as Fairfielder of the Year in 2018 due to her extensive work related to sustainability and the stewardship of the environment.

advocacy@mrwc-fairfield.org

 

Reini Knorr 

Reini assists international and domestic transferees relocating to Fairfield County, having herself relocated from Siegen, Germany by way of Chicago and London. Reini has served as a Guide, Model Leader, School Captain, Curriculum Team Member, and general hand-on-deck. In addition to her involvement in the Fairfield Schools PTAs, Fairfield Cares Community Coalition, and her local parish, Reini and her husband Michael keep busy raising their four children and providing a loving home for their numerous pets.

socialmedia@mrwc-fairfield.org

 

Nicole Nuttall

Nicole was born and raised in Oklahoma. Moving to NYC to pursue photography and then on to Fairfield CT, she always looked toward the beauty of the natural world. So, of course she was drawn to River-Lab! Nicole began as a Guide in 2011, then serving as a school Captain and Study-Trip Co-Director. Now she blends her love of nature and science into her role as River-Lab Advisor. Her two children (now in high school) and her husband, Paul, encourage her continued efforts on behalf of MRWC.

advisor@mrwc-fairfield.org

 

Kate O’Mahony

Kate has been deeply committed to River-Lab since 2008 having guided students and adults for over 50 trips as Guide, Model Leader, Captain and Trainer every grade level. She also served on the board of her children's grade school as well as on various committees. Her love of being outside whenever possible makes Kate an enthusiastic gardener as well as River-Lab volunteer.  A native Fairfielder, she and her husband, Steve love raising their four children in this town.

kate@mrwc-fairfield.org

 

Mindy Powlishen

Since becoming a resident of Fairfield in 1991, Mindy has enjoyed the natural spaces around Fairfield, as well as other areas in CT, NH and NY with her family and dogs.  A graduate of the University of Connecticut, she previously served as Room Parent and Treasurer for Our Lady of the Assumption Home School Association and is currently employed at a local women-owned small business. Mindy has been a parent volunteer for River-Lab but this is Mindy’s first official role with Mill River Wetland Committee.  She is excited to be part of this devoted team.

treasurer@mrwc-fairfield.org

 

Christina Rescsanski

Christina has made many contributions to River-Lab, including Program Advisor, Model Leader and Guide. She was born in the distant Isar watershed of Munich, Germany but now she’s adopted Fairfield’s Mill River watershed as her own. Christina works as a physical therapist, massage therapist, and personal trainer, and lives in Fairfield with her husband Peter and their two daughters, Jessica and Sarah.

christina@mrwc-fairfield.org

 

Carrie Rullo

Carrie began guiding in 2010 at Osborn Hill Elementary. Always happiest outdoors, she immediately immersed herself in the River-Lab Program and shortly became the 5th Grade Co-Director and Scheduler. Carrie was elected to the Board in March of 2017 and became Vice President in 2018. In addition to MRWC, she is an active volunteer with Junior Achievement and within the Fairfield Schools PTAs. She and her husband, Steve, live in Fairfield with their three children.

vicepresident@mrwc-fairfield.org

 

Lynn Shavinsky

In addition to serving MRWC both as a River-Lab Guide, Director, and Advisor and currently as MRWC Board President, she has used her professional experience as a trainer for a software company to help MRWC and the River-Lab Program utilize more current technology for training, outreach and communication. She, her husband John, and their boys have lived in Fairfield since 2000.

president@mrwc-fairfield.org

 

Subha Sunder

Subha is a molecular biologist who has spent many years in research. She also worked as a patent scientist for a bioinformatics company. She has always been passionate about science and found her connection in a different lab setting - the River-Lab. She started guiding in 2008, later moving up to Captain and then to Co-Director. She and her husband, Sankar, live in Fairfield with their son and daughter.

website@mrwc-fairfield.org

 

Mike Widmer

Mike has lived in Fairfield for 25 years and in that time has taken a strong interest in environmental and open space causes.   Since 2013, Mike has served as Chair of the Fairfield Land Acquisition Commission and he has also volunteered for CT Audubon and Aspetuck Land Trust.   Mike and his family live on a small farm with a Mill River tributary running through their property.

mike@mrwc-fairfield.org

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Joy Shaw

As the founder of the Mill River Wetland Committee and author, leader, and illustrator of the River-Lab Program, Joy has been the mainstay of this organization for many years. She continues to share her Perry’s Mill home on the Mill River with MRWC for its main office and various functions. She offers her help as needed, with editing, advising on trail learning activities, and especially regarding issues related to the health and/or protection of the river.