Board of Directors

(Updated September 2021)


Donna Vogler, President - City of Oneonta

Donna Vogler, who joined the board in January 2003, is a professor of biology at SUNY Oneonta, teaching courses in ecology, plant ecology and wetland delineation. A resident of Oneonta, she is a former employee of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. She is an active member of the Oneonta Susquehanna Greenway committee and on the board of the Catskills Regional Invasive Species Partnership. Vogler was a valuable contributor to OCCA’s initiative to compile a natural resources survey for Otsego County and continues to monitor regionally for terrestrial invasive plants. Other interests she would like to pursue with the board include wetland protection as well as support of working farms and sustainable forestry.

John Gourlay, Vice President - City of Oneonta

John Gourlay joined the OCCA board in March of 2015. He grew up in Oneonta before heading off to Grinnell College in Iowa. He returned after graduation and worked for the Cooperstown Graduate Program in administration of the American Folk Culture program. Gourlay later went on to a publishing career with special interest magazines in New York City, including “Columbia Journalism Review,” “Foreign Affairs,” published by The Council on Foreign Relations, “The New Republic” and “The New York Review of Books.” Gourlay was with the National Audubon Society and “Audubon” magazine for nine years and the American Craft Council for five. He returned to Oneonta in 2014 after living in Columbia County where he was involved in historic preservation, affordable housing and a Brownfield Opportunities Area project in Philmont around the Village’s Summit Lake and 19th-century textile mills. Gourlay is engaged in local issues involving power lines and pipelines, water quality, invasive species, and farmland preservation.

James Hill, Treasurer - Town of Middlefield

Jim Hill, who resides in Middlefield, earned his BS in earth science from Stony Brook University and his MA in biology from SUNY Oneonta. He recently retired from the Richfield Springs School District where, for the first 25 years, he taught AP biology, Regents biology, and electives in human genetics and astronomy. He spent the last five years of his career as the district’s Technology Director. Hill has twice been named a recipient of Apple Inc’s “The Excellence in Teaching, Learning, and Technology” award. The Otsego Chamber of Commerce has also selected him twice for Scholar Recognition awards. Hill is also co-director of the Cooperstown Concert Series.

Trish Riddell Kent, Secretary - Town of Oneonta

Patricia Riddell Kent is an Oneonta native. She and her husband Steven are the donors of The Robert V. Riddell State Park.  Patricia inherited the land from her father.  It was her father’s philosophy that we are to be good stewards of the land entrusted to us, that inspired their decision to donate the land as a State Park.  Patricia and Steven were voted as OCCA’s Conservationists of the year in 2005, thus beginning their relationship with OCCA.  Patricia appreciated OCCA getting the word out about their new State Park through publicized walks and hikes, and she enjoyed getting word out about OCCA.

Patricia Riddell Kent has been an Oneonta Town Councilwoman since 2014.  She values OCCA’s input on environmental projects such as the Town’s Watershed Protection Overlay Document.  To date, Patricia has worked with Danny Lapin on 3 endeavors benefiting the Town. Patricia is a graduate of Hartwick College and she and Steven have been married 34 years.  They enjoy the outdoors with their beloved dogs. Patricia is also an avid lake swimmer, swimming the 9 mile length of Otsego Lake twice…in 2007 and 2009. Patricia’s passion lies in STEWARDSHIP.  She is grateful for her relationship and service with OCCA as a means for her to help make a difference in our community.


Keith A. Brunstad, Ph. D. - Town of Milford

Keith Brunstad is an assistant professor in the Earth and Atmospheric Sciences department of SUNY Oneonta. His areas of expertise are mineralogy, petrology and volcanology. He joined the OCCA Board in March of 2015.

Eva Davy - Town of Westford

Detail coming soon!

Sue Kenny - City of Oneonta

Susan Jean Kenny comes to the OCCA family with considerable experience managing a variety of human services and not for profit organizations throughout the country.  Most recently, she has served as the Executive Director of the Roxbury Arts Group, SUNY’s Educational Opportunity Programs’ Operations Coordinator and the Center Director of the Oneonta Job Corps Center.  She is a Social Worker with over 40 years of direct and administrative experience.  She has turned her attention to environmental conservation issues, in her words … “preserving all things beautiful and vital to life on earth.” 

Herbert J. Marx, MD - Village of Cooperstown

Herbert Marx has lived in the Village of Cooperstown since 1971 when he joined the medical staff at Bassett Medical Center as an attending physician and its first cardiologist. In addition to patient care, teaching, and research at Bassett, Dr. Marx has participated in community and professional activities. He is a Fellow of the American College of Cardiology (ACC), American Heart Association (AHA), and American College of Physicians and was elected to the ACC Board of Governors and as governor for Upstate New York and served as president of the AHA NY State Affiliate and its Central NY Chapter. He has chaired the Cooperstown Ecumenical (Church) Council since its formation in 1990, has served in many areas at his local church, and has been active in area CPR and Advanced Cardiac Life Support training. As a jogger, biker and participant in other outdoor recreational activities, he has appreciated and enjoyed our region’s natural resources. Dr. Marx has been a member of OCCA and a volunteer for many years and joined the Board in 2014 to help foster OCCA’s mission of protection and enhancement of the continued health and sustainability of our local environment. He has been active in OCCA’s recycling efforts and is a member of the Otsego County Solid Waste and Environmental Concerns Advisory Committee.

Kate O'Donnell - City of Oneonta

Detail coming soon!

Steve Zerby - Town of Westford

Steve Zerby has been a resident of Westford since moving here from the Philadelphia area in 1993. He lived and worked as a photo-journalist and art director in several larger urban areas before embracing his love of historic houses and starting his own business here in Otsego County. He owns Steve Zerby Design/Build LLC, a residential construction company specializing in restoring and renovating old houses. Steve feels that preserving our architectural history goes hand-in-hand with conservation. Energy efficiency and old houses are not mutually exclusive, and Steve has made it a mission to promote energy conservation and low-environmental impact materials and techniques to his practice. He has been civically active, having served as chairman of the Westford Planning Board and on the Westford Historical Society. After years spent living in more developed areas, he has chosen to live a simpler rural life, and is dedicated to preserving our natural landscape, our clean air and water, and our rural way of life. He is also active in the area-wide gas drilling discussion.

The OCCA Board of Directors is comprised of volunteers. If you are interested in joining our Board, please contact us for more information!  Email or call607-547-4488.

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7207 State Highway 80, PO Box 931 • Cooperstown, NY  13326
(607) 547-4488