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

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  • 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 Valerio 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 Ziemann 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.

  • Dave St. Onge - Facilities Manager

    Dave St. Onge is responsible for the development and maintenance of the 54,000 square foot museum and 115 acre campus, which has earned a Silver LEED Certification, the first such museum in New York. Dave was an integral part of the construction of Wild Walk, the Pines Play Area, and leads the Center’s Community Maple Program.

Board of Trustees

Nancy K. Simpkins, President
Jack Ryder, Vice President
Joseph G. Beck, Treasurer
Nancy S. Howard, Secretary
Paul J. Alioto
G. Thomas Aydelotte
Michael A. Bettmann
Terry Birdsong
George Cigale
Larry Clifford
Lynn S. Fox
Charles S. Frenette
Richard F. Godin, Jr.
Sally Hart
Michael A. Hunsinger
Thomas C. Jorling
Peter A. Kindler
Elizabeth M. Lowe
Richard P. Malloch
Paul A. Maroun
Pamela G. Matt
Brooks Reynolds
Linda M. Rosenstock
James A. Schoff
Sandra A. Strader
Charles O. Svenson
Karen K. Thomas
Joel H. Treisman
Virginia H. Valkenburgh

Emeritus Trustee

Lynn S. Birdsong

Advisory Board

Lee E. Bailey
Timothy L. Barnett
Frances G. Beinecke
Sarah R. Bogdanovitch
Martha F. Bullock
Tony R. Campbell
Robert J. Gillis
David R. Goodman
William O. Grabe
Barbara M. Grose
Gary G. Hartwick
William D. Hutchens
Claire R. Leonardi
David M. McAlpin
John M. McHugh
George E. Pataki
Steven B. Potter
Juan Rodriguez
Stanley H. Rumbough
Carl B. E. Shedd
Daniel F. Sullivan
Peter B. Walker
Ross S. Whaley
George A. Whaling
David J. Youlen