Photo by Noah Shatzer

Leadership Committee

The Leadership Committee is a 14-seat board that operates to provide strategic direction and oversight of the South Mountain Partnership. The Leadership Committee was convened in 2011 to ensure direct partner engagement in the Partnership’s work; the Committee represents the diversity of partners and interest areas of the broader South Mountain Partnership, and also reflects the region’s geography.

The Leadership Committee convenes on a monthly basis, providing direction and support to the Partnership staff. The Leadership Committee is currently comprised of the following individuals:

Bryan Van Sweden - State Co-Lead

Community Preservation Coordinator
PA Historical & Museum Commission

Bryan Van Sweden has worked in the PA Historical and Museum Commission's Bureau for Historic Preservation for over 20 years. He currently provides technical assistance to communities in the Susquehanna Region and coordinates the Bureau's efforts with regional and local planning initiatives. Prior to serving in this position, Bryan managed the Commission's Keystone Historic Preservation Grant Program, and he has made presentations and led walking tours on local architecture in more than 20 communities throughout the state. Bryan holds a master’s degree in Historic Preservation from the University of Vermont.

Roy Brubaker – State Co-Lead

District Forester – Michaux State Forest
DCNR-Bureau of Forestry

Roy is the district forester of for the Bureau of Forestry’s District 1, encompassing the more than 85,000 acres of Michaux State Forest in the South Mountain region of Adams, Cumberland and Franklin Counties. As district forester, Roy oversees management and operations of the Michaux State Forest. Prior to moving to the Michaux, Roy worked out of the Bureau of Forestry’s central office in Harrisburg as part of the Planning and Ecological Services Section, focusing on state-wide forest management policy and planning issues. Roy additional owns and operates a grass-based livestock farm in southern Juniata County.

Peter Hoagland - Federal Lead

Pennsylvania State Forester

Peter Hoagland is the State Forester for the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in Pennsylvania. He has worked as the Pennsylvania NRCS State Forester since October of 2015. He has also worked in several federal government positions throughout the country including a Forester position with the NRCS in Redlands, California; Forester and Wildland Firefighter positions with the United States Department of Interior Bureau of Land Management (BLM) in Taos, New Mexico; and various conservation related positions with the USDA US Forest Service in both Virginia and Alaska. Peter has a passion for forestry and natural resources conservation work with a focus on fostering collaborative partnerships to better leverage resources in order to improve natural resource related concerns. Peter studied Forestry and Natural Resources Management, and holds a BS from Virginia Tech and a Graduate Certificate in Natural Resources also from Virginia Tech. In 2014 he was honored with the Society of American Forester’s Southwestern Field Forester of the Year award for his work incorporating collaborative efforts towards federal lands management. In his current position he focuses on providing forestry related guidance and leadership to NRCS staff and partners throughout Pennsylvania who assist non-industrial private forestland owners and operators with conservation technical and financial assistance through Farm Bill programs. These programs include the Environmental Quality incentives Program (EQIP), the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP), the Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP), the Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP), and special initiatives that include the Joint Chiefs’ Landscape Restoration Partnership, and the Working Lands for Wildlife Initiative.

Dr. Claire Jantz – University Lead

Professor, Geography & Earth Science
Shippensburg University

Dr. Jantz came to Shippensbsurg University’s Department of Geography-Earth Science in 2005, just after completing a PhD in Geography at the University of Maryland. Her research interests include ecological effects of land use change (and landscape change in general), land use change modeling, spatial analysis and GIS, and urban geography. Currently, she is the lead investigator for the Delaware River Basin Project and the Director of the Center for Land Use and Sustainability. She is an active researcher, and her primary area of focus has been on the use of maps derived from remote sensing, GIS analysis, and urban modeling to track and forecast urban growth. Much of this work has a regional focus in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed and the Delaware River Basin, which has given her the opportunity to collaborate with hydrologists, water resource scientists and managers who are involved in watershed planning and restoration efforts. She currently leads a project to develop a land use mapping and modeling system for the Delaware River Basin. Recently she has expanded her research interests to Latin America, investigating nitrate mining in the Atacama Desert of northern Chile and Aymara village abandonment and wetland change in the Andes of northern Chile with Dr. Paul Marr. She has also collaborated with anthropologist Dr. Richard Jantz (father) on the ecogeography of Native Americans. Finally, as a hobbyist beekeeper, she participates in HoneyBeeNet, a NASA project that uses data about honeybee activity as an ecological indicator of climate change. Learn more about Dr. Claire Jantz on her wordpress page.

George Pomeroy - University University Alternate

Professor, Geography-Earth Science Department
Shippensburg University

George is a Professor in the Geography and Earth Science Department at Shippensburg University, where his teaching and research interests relate to community and regional planning and urban geography. George also serves as the Director of the University’s Center for Land Use. The Center serves a five-county region and undertakes research and offers technical assistance and outreach initiatives to facilitate sound land use and community planning for local municipalities and other stakeholders. George is active on the Regional Development and Planning Specialty Group, a study group within the Association of American Geographers.

Sarah Kipp - Non-Profit Lead

Land Conservation Coordinator, Adams County Land Conservancy

Sarah is the Land Conservation Coordinator at the Land Conservancy of Adams County.  She joined the Land Conservancy in 2009 after completing her master’s degree in City and Regional Planning at the University of Pennsylvania, where she focused on land use and environmental planning and received a certificate in land preservation.  Sarah has served on the board of the Watershed Alliance of Adams County, as a member of the Gettysburg Borough Planning Commission, and on Main Street Gettysburg’s Baltimore Street committee.  She is still on her quest to bicycle every road in Adams County.

Business Co-Lead - currently vacant

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Business Co-Lead – currently vacant

Interested in this position? Contact us via the 'Get Involved' tab.

Rob Thaeler – Adams County Lead

Principal Planner
Adams County Office of Planning and Development

Rob holds the position of Principal Planner with the Adams County Office of Planning and Development, Adams County, Pennsylvania. He has conducted community planning, comprehensive planning, current planning, and related planning functions for Adams County for the past 21 years. Rob’s professional interests include environmental and landscape conservation, land use policy development and implementation, public recreation provision, spatial analysis, and community and economic development. His personal interests include camping, hiking, travel, sailing, and kayaking. Rob holds a Masters of City and Regional Planning degree from the Ohio State University and a Bachelor of Science degree in Geography (Planning and Applied) from the Pennsylvania State University.

Adams County Alternate - currently vacant

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Stephanie Williams – Cumberland County Lead

Greenway & Open Space Coordinator
Cumberland County Planning Department

Stephanie Williams is the Greenway and Open Space Coordinator for the Cumberland County Planning Department. She has worked for Cumberland County for 15 years and has a degree from Penn State University in Environmental Resource Management. Ms. Williams is responsible for developing and implementing countywide programs designed to promote farmland preservation, natural resource protection, parks and greenways and development of more livable communities.

Cumberland County Alternate

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Janet Pollard – Franklin County Lead

Executive Director
Franklin County Visitors Bureau

Janet is the Executive Director of the Franklin County Visitors Bureau, a position she has held since 2007. Prior to joining FCVB, Janet worked for the Greater Chambersburg Chamber of Commerce for ten years, and has been a freelance writer for over thirty-five years. Working as a freelancer has afforded her the opportunity to research and learn about a variety of topics of which local history is one. Since 2000, she authored two Arcadia Images of America Books—one on Chambersburg and one on Franklin County. Not a native of Franklin County, Janet has called Franklin County home since 1980 and has four children. The South Mountain Landscape is personally important to her because she lives less than five minutes from Caledonia State Park and was married at Kings Gap.

Patti Nitterhouse – Franklin County Alternate

Vice President
White Rock Inc.

Patrice Nitterhouse is Vice-President of White Rock Inc., developers of the Penn National Golf Course Community in Fayetteville, Pa. She received her BA from Flagler College in St. Augustine, Florida before pursuing a career in real estate sales and development. Patrice is a licensed RE Broker, certified parent educator, and a wellness advocate. Patrice lives with her husband and pets in Franklin County, at the foot of South Mountain, where she enjoys her passion for gardening, cooking and hiking.

Anne Walko – York County Lead

Senior Planner
York County Planning Commission

Anne Walko has been employed by the York County Planning Commission (YCPC) since 2003. As a staff member in the Long Range Planning Division, Anne’s primary focus is the York County Comprehensive Plan. She is the primary author of the York County Open Space and Greenways Plan and York County Housing and Community Development Plan and has contributed to the development and implementation of several other components. Anne represents the YCPC on a variety of issues related to land conservation, recreation and trails, including but not limited to the South Mountain Partnership and the PA Highlands Committee. She particularly enjoys working with municipalities in their planning endeavors as well providing educational outreach to local students. Anne is a member of the PA Chapter of the American Planning Association and serves on the York County Parks Advisory Board and the York County Envirothon Planning Committee. She received a BA from Dickinson College and a Master’s Degree from Temple University. Anne lives in Windsor Township, York County with her husband and daughter. In her spare time, she enjoys hiking, traveling, and cheering on her daughter’s soccer team.

Gwen Loose – York County Alternate

Executive Director
York County Rail Trail Authority

Gwen is the Executive Director of the York County Rail Trail Authority, an organization working to enrich York County communities and countryside through the development of a network of public trails.

Municipal Lead - currently vacant

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Member-at-Large – currently vacant

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