View of Mount Equinox in Vermont during the Fall
Mount Equinox View of Vermont's Mount Equinox during Fall. © Blake Gardener


The Nature Conservancy’s Board of Trustees Welcomes Five New Members

The Nature Conservancy in Vermont is honored to have five exemplary community members join its Board of Trustees, all of whom exhibit a passionate commitment to the vibrancy and health of Vermont’s natural landscape, economy, and its people.

“We are so fortunate to have such a dynamic and accomplished group of leaders joining our Board of Trustees. It’s critical that we have passionate ambassadors who are committed to turning the tide on unprecedented biodiversity loss and climate change,” said Heather Furman, TNC Vermont State Director. “They bring deep experience in policy, communications, and the social systems that need to be addressed in order for our work to have a lasting impact – our staff is excited to work closely with all of them!”

New Board Members include:

Harry Chen of Burlington

Harry Chen was until recently Senior Advisor, CDC Foundation, and was previously Executive Director of the Center for Health and Wellbeing at the University of Vermont. He served as Vermont’s Commissioner of Health from 2011-2017. In addition, Chen was a three-term Vermont State Legislator and served as Vice-Chair on the University of Vermont Board of Trustees. He spent 2017-18 in Uganda, where he co-led the country’s first Emergency Medicine Residency as a Peace Corps Volunteer for the Global Health Service Partnership. Chen worked as an Emergency Physician for over 25 years and is on the clinical faculty of the UVM College of Medicine. Chen enjoys hiking, biking, swimming, snowshoeing, and traveling. His impressive background and commitment to community and global public health will be a tremendous asset to the TNC Board.

Stephen Kiernan of Charlotte

 Stephen Kiernan is a novelist and author of six books that have been translated into many languages and developed for television and film. Previously he was an award-winning newspaper journalist. He also spent fifteen years as a national advocate for improving the care of the terminally ill toward the increased use of hospice, palliative care, and advance directives.

Kiernan is a lifelong outdoor enthusiast, enjoys playing music, composing for TV and films, and producing three albums of original songs.

Candace Page of Shelburne

Candace Page has had a long, storied journalistic career both as an editor and reporter for nearly 40 years. After stints at the Providence, R.I., Journal, and United Press International, she was a mainstay at the Burlington Free Press in her hometown. Among her jobs there: Statehouse bureau chief, columnist, editorial page editor, and managing editor. For nearly a decade in the early 2000’s, Page was the newspaper’s environmental reporter. The highlights of that assignment included a stint as a volunteer frog call surveyor for the USGS, tracking rattlesnakes in western Rutland County, pulling water chestnuts with the TNC, and documenting the challenges of phosphorus pollution in Lake Champlain. In semi-retirement, she is a consulting editor at Seven Days, the Burlington-based weekly. In addition, she has served on the board of the High Meadows Fund and Hildene, the Lincoln family home in Manchester, Vermont.

Rebecca Stanfield McCown of Woodstock

Rebecca Stanfield McCown is the Director of the National Park Service’s Stewardship Institute located at Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historic Park in Woodstock, Vermont. As Director of the Stewardship Institute, Rebecca manages programs that focus on enhancing cultural competency and diversity skills, leadership development, and evaluating and promoting practices that contribute to successful public land management. Stanfield McCown’s most recent work on integrating restorative practices and trauma awareness into National Park Service (NPS) employee support programs focus on improving the ability of NPS to address issues of workplace harassment and hostility, racial equity, and the interpretation of complex and painful histories across NPS sites.  An avid runner, Stanfield-McCown, is excited about bringing her professional expertise to help advance TNC’s goal of co-creating a thriving Vermont future for nature and people.

Fran Stoddard of Williston.

Fran Stoddard has been involved in education, public relations, media production, facilitation, and strategy development for over 30 years. Stoddard is passionate about stories that motivate change.  A national award-winning media producer, Fran is the current host of WCAX’s “Across the Fence,” who has also served as producer/host of programs on VT PBS and VPR and several webinar series. She was an adjunct associate professor of media communications and production at Champlain College. A passionate hiker and gardener, Stoddard is excited to share her years of storytelling experience to elevate the crucial issues of water quality, climate change, and biodiversity loss that TNC is working to solve at both a local and global scale.

Chen, Kiernan, Pace, Stanfield McCown, and Stoddard will join current Trustees: George Burrill, Annie Crawford, Linda McGinnis, John McInerney, Jed Murdoch, Win Smith, Beverley Wemple. 

The Nature Conservancy is a global conservation organization dedicated to conserving the lands and waters on which all life depends. Guided by science, we create innovative, on-the-ground solutions to our world’s toughest challenges so that nature and people can thrive together. We are tackling climate change, conserving lands, waters and oceans at an unprecedented scale, providing food and water sustainably and helping make cities more sustainable. Working in 76 countries and territories—37 by direct conservation impact and 39 through partners—we use a collaborative approach that engages local communities, governments, the private sector, and other partners. To learn more, visit or follow @nature_press on Twitter.