- Allison Rockefeller
- Simon Roosevelt
Board of Directors
- Betsy Mortensen, Co-Founder & President
- Harrison Goodale, Co-Founder & Vice President
- Ricky Hernandez, Chief Financial Officer
- Nicole Reese, Secretary
- Maggie Comstock
- Aubrey Gallegos
- Susan Cistone
- Samantha Duk
Board of Directors
Co-Founder of Sustain, President
Elizabeth "Betsy" Mortensen is an accomplished and passionate conservationist. Growing up in rural New England as the daughter of a music teacher and an avid outdoorsman, Sustain is a natural melding of two passions she has had all of her life.
Betsy earned an M.Phil. in Environment, Society and Development at Cambridge, where she did her thesis in collaboration with BirdLife International, focusing on the role of local conservation groups in biodiversity conservation. She holds a B.S. in Fish, Wildlife, and Conservation Biology from Colorado State University. Since 2013, she has been part of the American Conservation Projects (ACP) team, where she provides research and organizational support for Simon Roosevelt. ACP, founded by Mr. Roosevelt and Allison Rockefeller, supports multiple conservation projects including the Conservation Roundtable, National Audubon Society's Women in Conservation Program, and an initiative to educate new American citizens about our national parks and public lands.
Prior to co-founding Sustain, Betsy has conducted avian field studies for the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection. She also volunteered on chimpanzee surveys in Tanzania for the Ugalla Primate Project in partnership with the Nature Conservancy.
Co-Founder of Sustain, Vice President
Harrison Goodale is a professional bass player, composer and music educator who was raised on a small farm in rural Connecticut.
Harrison is a graduate of the University of Connecticut School of Music and the NEAG School of Education, holding a B.S. in Education and a B.A. in Music. While in college, he was Principle Bass of the University Symphony Orchestra and the University Chamber Orchestra for three years and participated in many primier ensembles including: The University Wind Ensemble, NOVA Musica Ensemble, Small Jazz Ensembles, Rosa Quintet. Notably in 2011, he performed with the UCONN Collegium Musicum on bass viola da gamba on a week tour in Quito, Equador performing on international television and for the Ecuadorian Congress.
After graduating, Harrison joined the folk-rock group Parsonsfield. The band has garnered international and national accolades in its four year existence. They have performed in established venues across the U.S. and Canada and have released two albums with the record label, Signature Sounds. Most recently, the group was chosen to write and perform music on stage for the new play, The Heart of Robin Hood. It has opened in Boston, Winnipeg, and Toronto to enthusiastic reviews and audiences. You might have also heard them in The Walking Dead!
Chief Financial Officer
Ricky Hernandez is in his third year at the Vanderbilt University Law School and currently resides in Nashville, TN. After attending high school at Kingswood Oxford in West Hartford, CT, Ricky obtained a degree in accounting from the University of Connecticut.
Music has always been a passion that Ricky has sought to foster. As an undergrad, he was President of Husky Records, a student-run record label on campus that looked to develop and assist student musicians. After graduating, he was recruited to be the general manager of the folk-rock band Poor Old Shine (currently known as Parsonsfield). To this day, Ricky is confident that working with the members of the band has been one of the best experiences of his life.
Prior to attending law school, Ricky was a Certified Public Accountant working in the Private Company Services division of PwC in Boston, MA. Although Ricky learned a lot working in public accounting, managing the band and working in the music industry inspired him to move to Nashville and attend Vanderbilt Law.
As a student at Vanderbilt, Ricky is currently President of the Entertainment and Sports Law Society, as well as the Event Coordinator for the Cork and Tap Legal Society. In the fall of 2015, he will serve as an intern to the Volunteer Lawyers and Professionals for the Arts where he will work to connect legal volunteers with artists who need legal services but might not be able to afford them. Furthermore, he will work at Vanderbilt's Intellectual Property and the Arts Clinic and serve on the Journal of Entertainment and Technology Law. Post graduation from Vanderbilt in May 2017, Ricky will pursue a career as an entertainment attorney.
After growing up near Washington, DC, Nicole Reese moved out to Colorado ten years ago to follow her dreams as an avid conservationist. With a M.S. in Conservation Leadership from Colorado State University, her thesis project focused on stakeholder engagement and collaborative conservation efforts to recover an endangered dolphin species in New Zealand.
With a B.S. in Wildlife Biology, Nicole has enjoyed hands-on experiences varying from prairie dogs to mountain lions, assisted in field experiments in rangeland ecology and global climate change, and communicated conservation issues to diverse audiences as an environmental educator. In 2016 Nicole became a trained facilitator through the International Association for Public Participation to support her passion for science and education as she delved into collaborative conservation, citizen science, and conservation communication.
Nicole enjoys hiking, backpacking, trail running, and stand up paddle boarding. She loves sharing her passion for nature with others, and hopes to inspire actions that make our world a brighter, greener place.
Nicole is also founder of the collaborative nonprofit Crowd Conservation.
Maggie Comstock is an environmental policy and sustainability professional based in Washington, D.C. Maggie works at Conservation International (CI) as the Senior Manager for Climate and Biodiversity Finance Policy. Maggie manages CI’s overall biodiversity policy engagement with particular focus to matters related to finance. She also leads the organization’s work on climate finance policy, working to create the policy frameworks and models needed to unlock additional funding for nature-based solutions to climate change.
Prior to joining CI, Maggie worked as a Policy Analyst at the U.S. Green Building Council focusing on international green building policy, sustainable cities and global market development. In 2013 and 2014, she served as a Regional Representative for North America to the United Nations Environment Programme, an elected civil society role. Additionally, she has extensive experience working on environmental and climate policy both domestically and abroad through her time working in the U.S. Senate, House of Representatives, UK Parliament, and Irish Parliament. Maggie holds a Master of Philosophy degree in Environment, Society and Development from the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom, researching international carbon markets and their implications for developing countries.
Aubrey lives in Brooklyn, NY where she is the Community Engagement & Education Manager at POV, the award-winning documentary series on PBS. Originally from the Pacific Northwest, Aubrey developed an early love of the outdoors and a drive to get involved in social and environmental issues. She graduated from Whitman College with a bachelor's degree in Rhetoric & Film Studies and her work now allows her to combine her passion for social issues with her belief in film's unique ability to serve as a platform for education, dialogue, and action. Along with her team, Aubrey develops national engagement campaigns for POV documentaries, produces film-specific discussion guides and lesson plans, and facilitates 600+ free screenings and discussions across the country every year. In total, Aubrey has been involved in campaigns for more than 70 documentaries. She has also facilitated events on Capitol Hill and served as a juror and panelist at a number of film festivals, including the Brooklyn Film Festival and Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival.
Prior to joining POV, Aubrey was an environmental educator aboard wooden sailing ships, including the Hudson River Sloop Clearwater, co-founded by folk-singer and political activist, Pete Seeger. She has also volunteered on organic farms around the world, in countries like Chile and Thailand. Aubrey is especially fired up about our food-system and bringing an end to factory farming by supporting farmers, pushing for policy change, and creating a culture of conscious consumerism. As the daughter of the executive director of a wolf sanctuary and the granddaughter of a rancher, Aubrey sees long-term, sustainable change as the result of building bridges and deepening our understanding of all sides of complex issues, rather than polarizing groups and preaching to the choir. Music is a big part of her life and you can usually find her playing her mandolin at bluegrass jams around the city.
Samantha Duk lives in Somerville, Massachusetts. She graduated from the University of Connecticut with a degree in Music (violin). While at UCONN she explored a variety of coursework, from early music to accounting, and her senior year had the opportunity to intern with the Metropolitan Opera in a variety of departments, including their development office. Following graduation she moved to the Boston area and is now a Development Associate in the Office of Individual Giving at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Growing up on a small farm in rural Connecticut inspired her early on to support local farmers and businesses and to lead a low carbon footprint lifestyle. Her claims to fame are playing a few early shows with Parsonsfield (under their prior name) and appearing in a widely televised UCONN commercial- otherwise she enjoys life in Somerville with her husband and cat, working to make her corner of the world a better place through inspiring generous giving and giving gratefully.
Allison Whipple Rockefeller is deeply committed to the communication of American heritage, history, and values, being especially interested in the role of nature and our natural resources in shaping American history and the American character. She is the Founder of National Audubon’s "Women In Conservation", a program building a nationwide community of women in the environment sharing knowledge, fostering relationships, building political influence, celebrating achievements and assisting girls and young women to explore the world of conservation. Allison is Founding Chair of the centerpiece of Audubon's Women in Conservation, its prestigious Rachel Carson Award, one of the most coveted national awards for American women working in the environment.
Simon Roosevelt is an avid hunter and conservationist whose interests have involved him in a wide variety of conservation and environmental projects in North America, South America and Africa. In the United States, he is the founder of the Conservation Roundtable, a periodic gathering of the heads of leading conservation organizations representing hunters and anglers, land trusts, and environmentalists, to discuss and take action on shared conservation issues. Previously, he organized the Catalyst Dinner, a conference in New York City bringing together world leaders in climate change policy and science with a group of the largest US hedge fund managers. He also was a co-founder of the Friends of the Elkhorn Ranch, a private initiative that successfully organized the purchase and transfer of the last remaining parcel of unprotected private land ranched by Theodore Roosevelt in the Badlands of North Dakota to the US Forest Service's Dakota Prairie Grasslands, where it remains in active grazing use. With colleague Allison Whipple Rockefeller, Simon began American Conservation Projects, to create and pursue ideas that advance the American values of history and landscape. Among their projects is an effort to add, for the first time, study information and a question about citizen ownership of US national parks and public lands on the U.S. Naturalization Test.
Simon is a a member of the Boone & Crockett Club, and the Camp Fire Club of America; he is a member of the President’s Advisory Council of the National Wildlife Federation; and he is a trustee of the Scenic Hudson Land Trust and Scenic Hudson, Inc. He also is Commissioner of the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation for the New York City Region.