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EPT Board Announces New Board Members, New Initiatives
March 2007 (Manchester, VT)…Three new board members and a hit list of new initiatives mark the broadened goals of the Equinox Preservation Trust (EPT) board of directors. The EPT board is charged with overseeing the activities and policies on more than 900 acres of preserved lands on Mt. Equinox. The land is owned by the Equinox Resort and Spa. Development rights to the land are held by the Vermont Land Trust and Nature Conservancy of Vermont.
Kathe Dillmann, Tim Madden and Geoff Woodward were named to the board by its current board members Dr. Rich Heilemann, chairman; treasurer Joe Charbonneau, Dave Curtis and Gary Thulander. All live and work in the Manchester area.
The EPT board held a strategic planning session in late January to define goals for future activities, establishing a three- to five-year timeline for accomplishing new or expanded programs. Those goals include more comprehensive communication with the community, defining the goals and oversight of educational programming, creating broader community involvement in preservation and educational activities, and maintaining or creating policies to assure effective stewardship of the Preserve lands.
“The EPT board looks forward to rolling out new initiatives that will be beneficial to both preserving the lands and assuring public involvement in that effort,” commented EPT chairman Heilemann.
Heilemann pointed out that among the first activities will be better signage and informational kiosks at both entrances to the Preserve (off West Union Street and Equinox Pond Road in Manchester), and improved parking at the West Union Street Red Gate entrance. The trail map is also being re-drawn to reflect the expanded Preserve acreage and trail system.
When a public initiative added 64 acres to the pre-existing 850 acres of preserved mountain lands last summer, the EPT adopted a new recreation management plan to guide its land management efforts. The plan spells out the numerous unique ecological features on Mount Equinox, including its special topography, watershed contributions and important natural communities of rare or unusual plants and wildlife.
The management plan points out that “because of the unusual and sensitive nature of the land, there are many potential threats to its ecological features,” and includes detailed guidelines for mitigating any potentially disruptive activity on these lands.
As described in its mission statement, the Equinox Preservation Trust was formed “to encourage responsible land use and the protection of our natural and cultural history by providing the opportunity to interact with the environment through education research and environmentally sensitive recreation.”
EPT Board Members – March 2007
Rich Heilemann, EPT chairman and five-year board member, moved to Manchester in 1974 with his wife Martha. He has a son, Adam, and daughter-in-law Elaine, living in Boston. Rich has practiced dentistry in Manchester for the past 33 years and is a visiting faculty member of the Pankey Institute for Advanced Dental Studies in Key Biscayne, Fla. He was chairman of the Manchester Conservation Committee during acquisition of the Manchester Town Green and has always enjoyed the natural environments that the Manchester area provides.
Joe Charbonneau, Manchester native, has worked with the golf industry for the past 30 years and is currently employed in sales. Working for The Equinox for 24 years, he developed a real love for the Equinox Preservation Trust land. His long association with the land is helpful in directing the EPT board’s stewardship of the 900+ acres within the Equinox Preservation Trust. Joe emphasizes the value of a continuing close association between the community and the mountain parcel. Joe has served on the EPT board for five years and is its current treasurer.
Dave Curtis is chair of the science department at Burr & Burton and coaches the school’s cross country running teams there, including the current state champion girls’ team. A Boston area native, he moved to Vermont with his wife Georgina, daughters Morgan and Kristina, in 1989. He has long used the Equinox Preserve lands and trail network both for classroom research and as a training site for the school’s runners. Dave has been on the EPT board for three years.
Kathe Dillmann, Manchester, has been involved in mountain resort marketing and public relations for 30 years, and has had her own marketing communications company, KADI Communications, since 1994. A Manchester native, she began hiking the trails on Mt. Equinox as a pre-schooler. She is a strong supporter of educational programs that imbue in people the value of protecting unique environmental corridors such as in exist in abundance on Mt. Equinox.
Tim Madden, the Director of Golf & Grounds for the Equinox Resort & Spa, has been involved in the golf course and landscape industry for 32 years. A native of Boston, Tim moved with his family, wife Debbie and children Tim and Michaela, to Vermont in 1989 and to Manchester in 2002. He is an “avid hiker and half-hearted runner,” thus well-suited for enjoying the Equinox Preservation Trust lands.
Gary Thulander moved to Manchester six years ago with wife Mary and children Shannon and Michael to assume the position of general manager of the Equinox Resort and Spa.. He has served on the EPT board since then, two of them as president. Gary’s resort management position and skills enhance the partnership between the resort and the lands of the Equinox Preservation Trust, which are an integral part of the resort experience for guests and the community.
Geoffrey Woodward moved to Manchester from California in 2000 with his wife and two daughters, and set up shop here for Taft Design + Associates, run by Geoff and his wife Doris, who have over 50 years of combined experience in resort, entertainment, museum and retail design projects. With an understanding of education and program development, he brings a wealth of knowledge to the EPT board and looks forward to expanding the visions and preservation of the Equinox lands that the community enjoys.