The Wild Center’s mission is to ignite an enduring passion for the Adirondacks where people and nature can thrive together and offer an example for the world. Behind the work we do every day is a dedicated staff and knowledgeable and involved boards which add significantly to the knowledge base of the organization, and to its capacity to innovate and grow.

Senior Staff

  • Stephanie Ratcliffe - Executive Director

    As Executive Director, Stephanie is a leader in the world of science museums. She played the lead role in the creation of the Center’s exhibits and programs, including interior live exhibits and multimedia presentations. She was also responsible for the development of Wild Walk and creation of the Adirondack Climate Action Plan.

  • Hillarie Logan-Dechene - Deputy Director

    As The Wild Center’s Deputy Director, Hillarie brings a wealth of experience in non-profit management and capacity building. She is responsible for much of the daily operation of the museum as well as membership, development, and overseeing the programs, marketing and customer service teams.

  • Jen Kretser -  Director of Climate Initiatives

    As Director of Climate Initiatives, Jen leads the Center’s Youth Climate Program which works to engage with and empower youth around the world to take action on Climate Change. Under her direction, the Program has been recognized by the White House and the Environmental Protection Agency, and has taken part in the United Nations Climate Change Conference and the Climate Reality Project.

  • Robert Kronenberger - Director of Finance & Administration

    As Director of Finance & Administration, Bob is responsible for all of the financial operations of The Wild Center, including The Wild Supply Co. and Waterside Café. As a Certified Public Accountant and partner at Mahoney, Cohen & Company, P.C., Bob brings years of experience in both the non-profit and for-profit sectors.

  • Leah Valerio - Head Curator

    Leah is responsible for the living collection of native Adirondack animals at The Wild Center. As a New York State licensed falconer, Leah trains falcons to hunt and survive so they may be released and thrive in their native habitat.

  • Kerri Ziemann - Program Director

    Kerri provides vision and planning for the Center’s programs which are designed for visitors of all ages and experiences. She also provides oversight of Visual Thinking Strategies, an educational program which leverages discussion and inquiry to deepen curiosity and learning skills.

  • Nick Gunn - Marketing Director

    As Marketing Director, Nick brings nearly 10 years of non-profit experience.  He plans and executes the Center’s award-winning marketing, communications and public relations programs.

Board of Trustees

Karen K. Thomas, Chair
Linda Rosenstock, Vice Chair
Jack Ryder, Vice Chair
Joseph G. Beck, Treasurer
Virginia H. Valkenburgh, Secretary

Paul J. Alioto, Ed.D
Lee Bailey
Michael A. Bettmann, M.D.
Terry Birdsong
George Cigale
Larry Clifford
Kathleen Colson
David Kanietakeron Fadden
Ed Forbes
Charles S. Frenette
Richard F. Godin, Jr.
Robin Gosnell
Sally Hart
Nancy S. Howard
Michael A. Hunsinger
Nicole Hylton-Patterson
Ben Ireland
Elizabeth M. Lowe
Paul A. Maroun
Pamela G. Matt
Brooks H. Reynolds
Juan Rodriguez
Meadow Rutenbar
James A. Schoff
Charles O. Svenson
Joel H. Treisman

Emeritus Trustees

G. Thomas Aydelotte
Lynn S. Birdsong
Peter A. Kindler
Nancy K. Simpkins

Advisory Board

Martha F. Bullock, Chair
Allison S. Birdsong
Sarah R. Bogdanovitch
Tony R. Campbell
Emily Hunt Forbes
Lynn S. Fox
Robert J. Gillis
David R. Goodman
William O. Grabe
Phuong Ireland
David Jones
David M. McAlpin
John M. McHugh
George E. Pataki
Michael R. Phinney
Steven B. Potter
Mary Beth Reiss
Grant Reynolds
Stanley H. Rumbough, III
Carl B. E. Shedd
Anna Sommer
Sandra A. Strader
Peter B. Walker
Ross S. Whaley
George A. Whaling
David J. Youlen