Meet Our Team

Meet LGNC’s Board of Directors, staff, and volunteers.

LGNC Staff

The day-to-day operations of Lehigh Gap Nature Center are managed by co-directors, Chad Schwartz and Brian Birchak:

Chad Schwartz

Chad Schwartz

Director of Science and Education

Education: B.S. Environmental Science and Sustainability Studies, Muhlenberg College.

Chad Schwartz has spent his life studying and exploring the natural world, and enjoys sharing his passion with others through his work as an educator at LGNC. In his free time, Chad can often be found outdoors birding, hiking, and fishing, or at home painting PA Dutch hex signs and researching genealogy. He is also the Youth Coordinator of the Lehigh Valley Audubon Society. You can contact Chad at chad.schwartz@lgnc.org
Brian Birchak

Brian Birchak

Director of Communications

Education: AA Graphic Design; Kutztown University, Anthropology; Moravian College, Biology; Muhlenberg College, Biology
Brian Birchak is a life long outdoors enthusiast with a background in biology, education and graphic design.  He also has a background in web design and IT and it shows in his hobby of building computers. Brian has enjoyed being a part of LGNC for years and is thrilled to be a part of the education team. When he’s not out playing on the mountain with insects and plants you can find him relaxing with his banjo or playing with his computers. You can contact Brian at brian.birchak@lgnc.org

LGNC Board of Directors and Board of Advisors

Anita Collins, Ph.D.

Anita Collins, Ph.D.

President

Profession: Honey Bee geneticist, USDA (retired);
Prof. of Entomology, Penn State University

Diane Husic, Ph.D.

Diane Husic, Ph.D.

Vice President

Profession: Prof. of Biology; Dean, School of Natural and Health Sciences
Moravian College

Ron Kline, Ph.D.

Ron Kline, Ph.D.

Secretary

Profession: Psychologist
Director of Counseling Services
Moravian College

Robert E. Hoopes, P.E.

Robert E. Hoopes, P.E.

Treasurer

Profession: Management Corporate Services
PPL Corporation, Allentown, PA

George Beam, P.E.

George Beam, P.E.

Board Member

Profession: Electrical Engineer
PPL Corporation, Allentown, PA

Frederic “Fritz” H. Brock

Frederic “Fritz” H. Brock

Board Member

Profession: Director (retired)
Lehigh Valley Planning Commission

Barb Egerton

Barb Egerton

Board Member

Profession: Elementary Teacher (retired)
Northampton Area School District

Towlene Jackson

Towlene Jackson

Board Member

Profession: Owner and Founder, Kula Children’s Center

Marilyn Jordan, Ph.D.

Marilyn Jordan, Ph.D.

Board Member

Profession: Ecologist, The Nature Conservancy
of New York, (retired)

Jennifer Lansing, Ph.D.

Jennifer Lansing, Ph.D.

Board Member

Profession: Ecologist and Owner, Cardinal Directions, LLC

Janet Maurer

Janet Maurer

Board Member

Profession: Biology Teacher, Cumberland Valley School District (retired)

Cheryl Novak

Cheryl Novak

Board Member

Profession: Guidance Counsellor (retired)

Dan Kunkle

Board Member, Director Emeritus

Education and honors: B.S. Secondary Ed, Biology, Kutztown University; M.S. Biology, Kutztown University; Together Green Fellow (2010); Rider Pool Fellow (2015-16); honorary Doctorate awarded by Muhlenberg College (2016).

Dan Kunkle was a high school science teacher for nearly 30 years until leaving his position to dedicate his time to the creation of the Lehigh Gap Nature Center. Since 2002, Dan has worked tirelessly to restore the land at Lehigh Gap, educate children and adults about nature, and build a diverse community of support for conservation. Dan retired from his position as Executive Director at the end of 2019 and is currently serving as Director Emeritus on the LGNC Board of Directors.

Board of Advisors

Keith L. Bildstein, Ph.D.
Profession: Director of Conservation
Science, Hawk Mountain Sanctuary,
Kempton, PA

John Dickerson
Profession: Plant scientist

Holly A. Heintzelman, Esq.
Profession: Private attorney

Roland Kushner, Ph.D.
Profession: Professor of Business
Muhlenberg College,
Allentown, PA

Christian F. Martin IV
Profession: Chairman and CEO
Martin Guitar

Donald A. Molde, M.D.
Profession: Physician, Retired

Carl Oplinger, Ph.D.
Profession: Professor Emeritus of Biology
Muhlenberg College,
Allentown, PA

Dan Poresky
Profession: Founder/Owner (retired)
Dan’s Camera City

David Shaffer
Profession: co-CEO
Just Born Candy

Sue Tantsits
Profession: Co-owner Edge of the Woods
Native Plant Nursery

Maria Tranguch
Profession: Professional Planner, Arborist

Committees

Committees provide guidance and recommendations to the Board of Directors and are comprised of Board members and other LGNC members. The Executive Director and Board President are ex officio members of all committees.

Finance Committee

Nelson Markley, Chair
George Beam
Bob Hoopes
Ron Kline
Janet Maurer

Personnel Committee

Anita Collins, Chair
Fritz Brock
Bob Hoopes

Research Committee

Diane Husic, Chair
Anita Collins
Marilyn Jordan

Development Committee

Ed Newcomb, Chair
George Beam

Communications Committee

Donna Gasser
Dave Husic

Any member with skills in one of the above areas who wishes to serve on a committee should contact
the Executive Director (danlgnc@ptd.net) or President (frozenbeedoc@verizon.net).