Welcome New Board Members!

The Branford Land Trust Board of Directors is pleased to announce the election of two officers and three Directors to the Board at the June, 2019 Annual Meeting. Lauren Brown was elected to a third two-year term as secretary, and Robert Olejarczyk was elected to a second two-year term as Treasurer. Two new directors elected for three-year terms are Bob Hull and Jen Payne. Steve Mentz will serve his second three-year term as director.

We sincerely thank retiring Directors Amos Barnes, and Matt Radulski for their service and hope they remain active members for years to come.

Officers (2019-2021)

Lauren Brown, Secretary
Motivated by a love of the outdoors and dismay at the rapid disappearance of open space, Lauren Brown first joined the Land Trust board in 1976.  She served as president from 1984-1988, and has continued to be involved. She and her husband, John Herzan, spearheaded the passage in 1987 of the state scenic roads legislation, which lends protection to beautiful byways such as Route 146, and with then Land Trust President Jeff Clark, she worked hard for the preservation of Beacon Hill.  She has written two botanical field guides and leads Land Trust wildflower walks.

Robert Olejarczyk, Treasurer
Robert holds a Bachelor of Science degree in accounting from Southern Connecticut State University and a Master’s degree in business administration from Quinnipiac University. Robert has been with the Land Trust for the past four years and he currently serves as treasurer. For the past 24 years he has been employed by the South Central Connecticut Regional Water Authority in New Haven where he currently serves as the rates, revenues and financial planning manager. He also serves as a director/treasurer of The Watershed Fund, a 501(c)(3) dedicated to acquiring watershed land and promoting environmental education. Formerly Robert has served as the treasurer of the CT Agricultural Experiment Station Associates, and as the administrative and policy council chair for the CT Section of the American Water Works Association. He has also served as Grand Knight for the Knights of Columbus (Eldorado Council #10) and was a member of the Greater New Haven Leadership Center, Class of 1999. Robert currently resides in Branford with his family. In his spare time he enjoys gardening and golfing.

Directors (2019-2021)

Bob Hull
Retiring after 41 years as library director in North Branford, Bob went to work on Land Trust trails and fields with Matt Reed and the gang in 2017. He also serves on our Property Management Committee. Bob has lived in Branford since 1976, and he and his wife Deb, a lifelong resident, raised three children here. Bob is an avid gardener and hiker, and has enjoyed getting to know many Land Trust properties for the first time.

Steve Mentz
An avid open-water swimmer as well as hiker and outdoorsman, Steve moved to Short Beach, Branford, in 2000, where he and his wife have raised their two now-teenaged children. His fascination with how humans relate to the natural spaces and environments that surround them also influences his professional work as a professor of English literature with a special focus on Shakespeare and the “environmental humanities.” He is particularly interested in how coastal communities such as Branford relate to their salt-water environs.

Jen Payne
Jen has been working with the Land Trust since 1995, when then-President Peter Borgemeister called on her to help write press releases. After one of his famous “windshield tours” of Land Trust properties, she was hooked.  Jen has worked behind the scenes ever since, including creating and maintaining the Land Trust website, designing various fundraising brochures and event flyers, and helping to coordinate publicity to BLT members and local media. Jen is the editor of the Land Trust’s newsletter, which she has had a hand in for more than 20 years, as writer, designer and committee member. She is the owner of Words by Jen, a graphic design and marketing company, and the author of several books about nature and the environment.



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Branford Land Trust
P.O. Box 254
Branford, CT 06405
(203) 483-5263


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