Staff

Management

Donna Dunn, Interim Executive Director
Sharon Shilling

A native New Englander, Donna’s work in and with nonprofits spans 30 years. She has experience working with nonprofits in times of transition and transformation. As a nonprofit staff member, she has worked in the areas of communications and membership. She served as executive director/CEO of four different organizations, all going through varying transitions. As a consultant in the nonprofit space, Donna has supported organizations through strategic planning, enhanced governance, organizational design and restructure, and program evaluation. She is passionate about nonprofit work and helping individuals and organizations achieve success.

Donna is a graduate of the University of Vermont with a bachelor’s degree in plant science and a master’s degree in agricultural and applied economics. Donna also has a Master of Science degree in not-for-profit management from the University of Maryland University College.

Outside of her professional life, Donna enjoys cross-country skiing, hiking, home renovations, and an almost-annual long-distance (180 - 200 miles) walk in the UK. She lives in Jackson, NH with her two rescue dogs Sadie and Tucker.

 

Brian Fitzgerald, Director of Science & Education
Brian Fitzgerald

Brian began his observatory career as a winter intern on the summit in early 2012 after attending the University of New Hampshire where he earned a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Conservation Studies. Following intervening seasons as a Backcountry Hut Naturalist and Education Assistant for the Appalachian Mountain Club, Brian returned to the Observatory as a full-time Observer and Educational Specialist on the summit where he performed daily weather observations and led weather station tours, distance learning programs and media interviews.

After nearly three winters on the summit, Brian headed south to work as the Chief Weather Observer at Blue Hill Observatory and Science Center just south of Boston while going to graduate school at night. In early 2016 Brian graduated from Boston University with a Master’s of Education with a focus in Science Education, and moved back to the Mount Washington Valley to serve as Mount Washington Observatory’s Director of Education in 2019 he took on the role of Director of Science and Education. When Brian’s not administering and teaching educational programs and summit adventures, you can find him hiking, mountaineering, trail running, skiing or staring at the clouds. He currently resides in North Conway along with his partner, Stephanie, and their son Cameron.

 

Brenda Sullivan, Director of Finance & Administration
Brenda Sullivan

With an Animal Science degree from the University of Maine, Brenda started her career as a veterinary hospital technician and office manager on the East End of Long Island, NY. After going back to school and completing her MBA, Brenda spent a number of years in central Connecticut as Finance Manager for Protein Sciences Corporation, where her responsibilities included the financial oversight of multi-million dollar government contracts and shareholder relations. In 2017 Brenda, her husband, two dogs and two cats moved to Madison, NH. After continuing to work for the same CT based company for over a year, she decided it was time to focus her attention on her new community by joining the team at MWOBS. With an MBA in Business and years of Finance experience, she now focuses on supporting The Observatory where needed.

Weather Observers

David DeCou, Weather Observer & Meteorologist
Adam Gill

Born in Memphis, Tennessee but raised in Grand Rapids, Michigan, David took an interest in the skies from a very young age. Fascinated in extreme and unusual weather, David spent his early years with his nose in books about tornadoes and hurricanes, and his face glued to the window during thunderstorms. His interest in the weather took him from Michigan to Indiana, where he completed his Bachelor’s in Meteorology at Valparaiso University in 2016, with a focus on operations and severe weather. With a desire for broader experiences and to live beyond the Midwest, he moved to Honolulu, Hawai’i in pursuit of a Master’s in Atmospheric Science from the University of Hawai’i at Manoa. In 2018 he earned his Master’s, studying upwind atmospheric conditions off the windward coast of O’ahu using kite-borne meteorological instruments. Although he fell in love with the tropical climate and the island culture, he decided that the weather was far too perfect. In November 2019 he moved to Antarctica as the Senior Meteorologist at the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station during the 2019-2020 Austral Summer season. There he supported South Pole aircraft and science operations through hourly observations, daily weather briefings, daily balloon launches, and daily, weekly, and monthly climatological reports. Although he’s fallen in love with the endless frozen landscape and wonderful people of South Pole, he decided that the weather wasn’t quite extreme enough, so he now heads to New Hampshire where he is excited to begin work as a Night Weather Observer on Mount Washington Summit. When he is not travelling in search of unique weather, locations and experiences, David finds enjoyment in performing and writing music both digitally and traditionally (piano, violin, ukulele). He also enjoys hiking, board games, video games, and has taken a recent interest in digital photography.

Ryan Knapp, Weather Observer & Meteorologist
Ryan Knapp

Originally from the Lake Tahoe region of California, Ryan was born into the alpine lifestyle. He came to the Observatory as a winter intern in 2005, and started as a Weather Observer in 2006.

Ryan’s interest in weather started as a child, when he would watch the morning weather report before going skiing. In high school, he enjoyed giving weather reports to fellow students and ski clubbers, and decided to pursue a career in meteorology. He graduated from San Jose State University in 2004 with a B.S. in Meteorology, and spent the first three years of his career as a weather observer for San Jose International Airport.

Ryan came to Mount Washington for the unique weather, and to explore and study the worst weather in the world. When he’s not watching the weather, he enjoys backpacking, ski boarding, aggressive inline skating, traveling, video games, and movies.

Tom Padham, Weather Observer & Education Specialist
Tom Padham

Tom started his Observatory career as a summer intern in 2011, and returned in 2013 to learn more about this unique and fascinating place. His internship provided real-world knowledge and experience to help him complete his senior year at Pennsylvania State University, where he graduated with a B.S. in Meteorology in 2012. Like many meteorologists, Tom discovered his passion for weather at an early age. Growing up in northwestern New Jersey, he was fascinated by the ever-changing weather—especially the extremes, like the blizzard of '96 and Hurricane Sandy.

An avid hiker, Tom is working to become a state high-pointer. He is thrilled to be returning to Mount Washington, and plans to make the most of the opportunity by expanding his knowledge of the weather and the mountain, while sharing that knowledge and passion with visitors.

Ian Bailey, Weather Observer & Education Specialist
Ian Bailey

Originally from Cleveland, Ohio, Ian has been a passionate weather enthusiast from a young age. After a large tree outside his childhood home was struck by lightning, he became fascinated with extreme weather and has strived to become a meteorologist ever since. Intense blizzards, major floods, and even several tornadoes have been major severe weather events for Ian to learn from. Upon completion of high school, he set his sights on higher education in meteorology.

He finished his first Bachelors degree in 2012 in Atmospheric Science, and his second Bachelors degree in 2016 in Journalism, both from The Ohio State University. In between these degrees, Ian was brought on as a summer intern for the Observatory in 2015. He fell in love with the Mountain and the Observatory, and was fascinated each and every day with the beautiful and extreme weather that graces the Mountain’s summit. When he left the Mountain at the end of the summer, he swore that someday, he would return to his home-away-from home.

Back in Ohio, he accepted a Graduate School offer at Ohio University in 2016, and worked as the Associate Director of Scalia Laboratory for Atmospheric Analysis. After 2 years of running the weather laboratory and tower, teaching meteorology classes, and completing his graduate work, he received his Masters degree in Geography with an Atmospheric Science focus in 2018. Shortly after his graduation, he accepted the offer to rejoin the Mount Washington Observatory team as a Weather Observer and Education Specialist. And he is very excited to be back, working at the home of the World’s Worst Weather; his brand new home.

Jay Broccolo, Weather Observer & Meteorologist 
Chloe BoehemJay was born and raised in Westerly, Rhode Island. Having grown up along the southern coastline of RI gave Jay the opportunity to experience all sorts of diverse and extreme weather from hurricanes to Nor’easters. Jay’s enthusiasm for the outdoors and the natural world only increased since childhood. His parents insisted that he spend as much time outdoors as possible. He joined the Boy Scouts and spent a weekend every month, regardless of the weather, learning useful outdoor skills, camping, and hiking all over New England. He became enamored with the White Mountains, but specifically Mt. Washington, its geology, and unique extreme weather.

Following graduation of high school and obtaining his Eagle Scout, Jay attended the University of Rhode Island. In the middle of his second year he took a semester off and lived in Boulder, Colorado where he had the opportunity to experience mountain weather and hiking the Flatirons. After returning home he continued and completed his B.S. degree in Geology and Geological Oceanography at URI. While at URI he also attended a Geology Field Camp operated by University at Buffalo, geologically mapping various regions Utah, Colorado and Wyoming.

With the completion of his Bachelors, Jay went on to work in the oilfield industries as a Mud logger on drill-ships in the Gulf of Mexico. After a couple years of working offshore and not feeling fulfilled with his career path, he interned at Mt. Rainier National Park where he was charged with observing and recording the weather on the mountain while conducting various research projects. Upon completion of the internship, Jay attended the University of Leeds in Leeds, England and completed an MRes in Climate and Atmospheric Science where he focused on factors that influence the development and intensification of extratropical cyclones over the Northeast United States.

With his intrigue in extreme weather events and his love for Mt. Washington, Jay is more than excited to be working here at the Mount Washington Observatory, home to the World’s Worst Weather. In his off time, Jay enjoys the outdoors, board and video games, reading, and learning to play the piano, just to name a few.
Anthony Grimes, Weather Observer & Research Specialist
AJ Grimes

Born and raised in Milford, Massachusetts, AJ has been interested in extreme weather of all sorts since childhood. From witnessing tornado outbreaks in Oklahoma to blizzard conditions in Colorado, he knew at a young age that weather was going to fascinate and engage him toward a career in meteorology.

AJ finished his Bachelors degree in Environmental Studies at the University of Central Florida in 2012. Upon completion he accepted a position at the Observatory as the summit museum attendant, working the summer seasons from 2012-2017. In 2018, AJ received his Masters degree in Environmental Studies with a focus in Atmospheric Science from the University of Massachusetts in Lowell. He is excited to return to the summit and continue his journey with the Observatory as a Weather Observer.

In his off time, AJ is a drummer and stays busy playing for several bands and projects. He has a passion for making desserts and is constantly looking for new and exciting recipes. He also enjoys snowboarding, archery, discovering new music and spending time with his cats.

Marty, Observatory Mascot
Marty

Marty is Mount Washington’s only permanent resident, holding court as the most recent in a long line of famous feline mascots.

Before coming to the Observatory, Marty lost his home to a fire and was taken in by the Animal Rescue League of New Hampshire North (formerly Conway Area Humane Society). In January of 2008, Marty won more than 8,000 votes in the first ever Observatory Mascot Primary and was donated to the Observatory by the Humane Society. He was quickly regarded as a good fit for the mountain because of his adventurous attitude and presumed Maine Coon Cat pedigree.

Marty enjoys romping around with the summit crew and exploring his massive home, the Mt. Washington State Park Sherman Adams Visitor Center. Off the clock, he enjoys stalking the water cooler, chasing bouncy balls, napping in odd positions, and being brushed.

Staff

Keith Garrett, Information Systems Admin
Keith Garrett

Keith brings over 20 years of experience in IT hardware, software and business networks. He has experience in working with municipalities, non-profits and individuals.

Prior to his work with the Observatory Keith was the owner of Wolfeboro Computer Solutions in the Wolfeboro and Lakes Region area. His services spanned all aspects of IT including repair and maintenance of a wide range of systems.

Keith and his partner Michelle enjoy identifying local plants and lepidoptera, as well trudging through swamps and bogs.

 

Krissy Fraser, Brand Manager
Krissy Fraser

A Massachusetts native, Krissy started her career as a Communications Project Manager at Fidelity Investments, Crosby Group. Eight years later, in 2006, she took a leap of faith and left the corporate world to relocate to the Mount Washington Valley.

Krissy has enjoyed working for ski resorts in positions ranging from sales and marketing, to public relations, and even ski instruction. A graduate of the University of Rhode Island, Krissy brings a wealth of experience and a well-rounded approach to her role as Brand Manager.

Krissy lives in Jackson, N.H. with her partner Fred and his two boys Alex and Ethan  where she spends her free time outdoors, skiing, biking, hiking, and gardening.

Eric Kelsey, Lead Research Scientist
Eric Kelsey

Raised in picturesque New Hampshire, Eric has always loved observing the constantly changing weather. As a young adult, he took his passion for extreme weather to tornado alley, where he chased severe thunderstorms and worked as a broadcast forecaster while earning his degree in atmospheric science at the University of Missouri—Columbia. After earning his master's degree in atmospheric science at the University at Albany, Eric merged his interest in weather, environmental stewardship and New England's unique climate by studying climate signals recorded in ice cores for his PhD at the University of New Hampshire.

Eric joined the Observatory staff in 2012 as a jointly-appointed Director of Research and Plymouth State University Research Assistant Professor in Atmospheric Science. He is excited to be working in the White Mountains, a place he has skied, hiked, bird watched, and camped his entire life.

Eric resides in Ashland, NH with his wife, Julie, and their daughters, Sophie, Madelyn and Tessa.

Rebecca Scholand, Summit Operations Manager
Marty Basch

Rebecca, originally a native of Long Island NY started her career with the Mount Washington Observatory in 2010 as a summer Intern. She quickly found a love and passion for the Observatory that drew her in for a second winter internship. Still feeling the draw of the summit, she continued on as temporary Outreach Coordinator, Museum Attendant, and Operations Assistant before a Weather Observer position became available. During her time as a Weather Observer she also acted as the Education Specialist and Shift Leader for her shift. In the spring of 2014 Rebecca left the Observatory in pursuit of expanding her background. After several years away working in the Outdoor and Hospitality Service Industry Rebecca has returned as the Summit Operations Manager. She is excited to be leading the summit staff and continuing to support our mission

From a personal standpoint Rebecca enjoys calling the Mount Washington Valley home. An outdoor enthusiast at heart, the area offers a plethora of activities while providing the perfect backdrop for her small family.

Marty Basch, Windswept Editor
Marty Basch

Marty joined the Observatory family with the fall 2007 edition of Windswept, Mount Washington Observatory’s quarterly member magazine.

When not editing Windswept, Marty writes about the outdoors, travel, and sports. He has a weekly syndicated outdoor adventure column and his work appears in local, regional, and national publications. Marty has written a few books and won several writing awards including a prestigious Society of American Travel Writers Lowell Thomas Gold Award and several North American Snowsports Journalists Association Harold Hirsch Awards. He has also worked in television and radio.

An avid cyclist, Marty has ridden from Maine to Alaska, Canada to Mexico, and in Arctic Scandinavia. He once competed in the bike race up Mount Washington, stopped to eat lunch and didn't finish last. Marty also skis, snowboards, hikes, and paddles. Marty has climbed the White Mountain Four Thousand Footers and is the author of "50 Best Hikes in New England" (Countryman Press).

Marty is a Boston University graduate and Explorers Club member. He lives on a Mount Washington Valley dirt road with his wife, Jan.

Samantha Brady, Retail Manager 
Samantha Brady

Samantha, originally a native of Boston, MA started her career with the Mount Washington Observatory in 2012 on the summit as retail museum attendant. After her first year being part of the summit staff decided she wanted to move up here and become a full time employee of the Observatory. She spent 4 years fulfilling the role as retail museum attendant for both the Extreme Mount Washington Museum as well as the Weather Discovery Center. She currently has taken on the role as  Retail Manager.

She is an avid hiker, skier, mountaineer, and outdoor enthusiast. When she’s not busy doing her own thing outside she volunteers her time for the Androscoggin Valley Search and Rescue Team. She also had worked with Backpacker Magazine for a 5 month period. During that time she would give presentations at outdoor retailers trying to educate and inspire others to get outside more and what the proper equipment would be to do so. After visiting all of the lower 48 states on that trip, Mount Washington Valley is where she calls home.

Will Broussard, Outreach Coordinator
Will Broussard

Will Broussard coordinates and leads programs on Mt. Washington’s natural, cultural, and scientific history. He has an undergraduate degree in biology from the University of Maine and a Master of Science degree in environmental studies from Antioch University New England in Keene, NH. Currently he sits on the board of Tin Mountain Conservation Center in Albany, where he serves as Programs Chair. Originally from midcoast Maine, his passions include hiking and bird watching. 

 

Dr. Peter Crane, Curator
Dr. Peter Crane

Peter oversees the Observatory's Gladys Brooks Memorial Library, which features books, maps, prints, photos, and other material relating to the Observatory, Mount Washington, and the White Mountains.

Peter has lived in the White Mountains for more than thirty years, and has worked for the U.S. Forest Service and Appalachian Mountain Club in resource management, public information, and educational roles. He began his Observatory career in 1988 as a weather observer, museum manager, and Summit Shift Leader. After three years of summit duty, he served for several years as Director of Programs before transitioning to his current position.

Peter did his undergraduate work at Harvard College, and earned his doctoral degree in Folklore and Folklife from the University of Pennsylvania. An avid year-round hiker, he is also a volunteer trail maintainer for the Appalachian Mountain Club, a member of Androscoggin Valley Search and Rescue (AVSAR), and serves on the board of the New Hampshire Outdoor Council.

Patti Capone, Museum Attendant
Dr. Peter Crane

Patti relocated to the White Mountains after enjoying some time living on Cape Cod. When the time came to move, it was back to New Hampshire with no hesitation. The Valley has always felt like a second home to Capone going back to when her Dad would load the family into the station wagon and drive north for leaf peeping or a ski trip. Seeing Mount Washington in all its glory from North Conway was always a highlight of the trip and definitely left a lasting impression. Patti has always had an interest in all things weather related and working in the Discovery Center is a good fit for her. So happy to be part of the team and working to promote the Observatory.

Linda & Hank Dresch, Volunteer Coordinators
Linda & Hank Dresch

Linda is the daughter of Mount Washington Observatory co-founder Robert S. Monahan, and enjoys continuing her father’s legacy as volunteer coordinator with her husband, Hank.

Married for more than 40 years, Linda and Hank have one daughter and two very active grandsons. During Hank's 30-year U.S. Coast Guard career they lived in several locations including Alaska and England. Linda’s diverse career has spanned positions with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in Alaska, and the Editorial Staff of the Wall Street Journal. Linda and Hank both also had "retirement jobs" in Portland, Maine, where they continue to volunteer at Merrill Auditorium. They have been very active volunteers wherever they have lived.

Linda and Hank now reside in Jackson, New Hampshire, where they keep very busy with year-round activities in the great outdoors.

Pete Gagne, Hardware Systems Specialist
Pete Gagne

Pete started his career as a microwave radio equipment technician for the Air National Guard, traveling the world to install and repair equipment. With a degree in Industrial Technology from the University of Southern Maine, he worked as a consultant in the optical disk field and then as a field engineer for Netflix before joining the Observatory staff in 2010.

Pete and his partner, Kathy, are avid hikers and winter sports enthusiasts. The Maine natives moved to Jackson, New Hampshire in 2009 to be closer to their favorite outdoor playground, and one year later Peter completed his goal of hiking all 48 four thousand footers.

Pete describes his role at the Observatory, which offers an ever-changing mix of field and office work, as "a dream come true."

Larry Martin, Museum Attendant
Larry Martin

A native of Wisconsin, Larry graduated from the University of Wisconsin, Eau Claire with a Bachelor of Science degree. After graduation Larry started a career in the computer software industry. Mainframe computer software became his specialty beginning in Eagan, MN then working in various locations throughout the country(as well as Japan). His final destination was Boston and after 17 years working as a contractor at the Mass DOR, Larry and his wife, Donna designed and built a house in Glen, NH. Larry has always had an interest in science and the outdoors. He is a skier, bicyclist, hiker and paddler. After moving to Glen, Larry became a weather enthusiast.

Steven Whitaker, Facilities Manager
Steve Whitaker

Starting at a young age Steven has always been captivated with mechanical components and their workings from rebuilding motors to heavy equipment repairs. You will find him up for the challenge with a unique ability of troubleshooting just about anything that is broken.  He is a graduate of both Diesel Technical Institute and Johnson & Wales University. 

He relocated to the White Mountains area 25 years ago from Providence, RI with growing up on the northerly beaches of Rhode Island. Having also lived in Japan, Florida, Maui and California he now calls New Hampshire home.

Soon after moving to the Mount Washington Valley he built his Glen log home that he resides in today. When he’s not tackling home or mechanical projects, Steven enjoys snowboarding and both summer and winter hiking. He has a love of the mountains and you will find him outdoors most of the time enjoying the area. The opportunity to work for Mount Washington Observatory and getting to revisit one of “the most interesting weather experiences ever”.

 

Stephanie Turnbull Fitzgerald, Membership & Database Coordinator
Stephanie Turnbull

Stephanie has been on a steady move north since receiving her Masters in Library and Information Science from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, NY. Originally from Massachusetts, she headed back to Boston after school to work for Harvard University’s Arnold Arboretum and the State Library of Massachusetts. After a few years, she knew she was done with city life and when the opportunity arrived to move to the Mount Washington Valley, she took it.

While Stephanie started working at the Observatory in the Summer of 2016 as a contract worker, it only took a few months before she was hooked and joined the valley staff full time. Between her background in organizing and curating information and her experience in various customer service roles, Membership and Database Coordinator seemed like a perfect fit. She currently resides in North Conway along with her husband, Brian, and their retired sled dog, Pearl.
Mary Anne Sledzinski, Finance/Administrative Assistant
Mary Anne Sledzinski

Mary Anne grew up in the Great North Woods of northern New Hampshire and has made her home in the Mount Washington Valley since 1988 where she lives with her husband John and a rescue dog named Shadow.

She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Business Management and has a passion for problem solving and helping people. She frequently volunteers for local nonprofits and serves as Secretary for the Board of Directors of Jen’s Friends Cancer Foundation.

Mary Anne is excited to be the Finance/Admin Assistant and Summit Volunteer Coordinator for the Observatory and enjoys assisting her coworkers and volunteers by providing support to accomplish the mission and goals of this historic and important scientific research institution. In her free time, Mary Anne enjoys cooking, spending time with friends and family, and taking in the scenic beauty of the mountains. “Be kind, stay positive and do good deeds.”

Interns

Caleb Buchler, Summit Intern
Ben Charles
Caleb graduated from Salisbury University in May 2019 after returning to school for his second bachelor’s degree in Geography focused in Atmospheric Science.  Caleb grew up in southern Delaware where he was an avid surfer who had a real passion for coastal storms.  He became fascinated by the ocean and atmosphere interaction during winter nor’easters travelling up the coast creating massive surf and dumping tons of snow.  Unlike most children, his favorite channel was the Weather Channel.  Caleb has had a desire since graduation to move to the northeast in order to experience the major snow events that are less common in his Mid-Atlantic home.  When he saw the opportunity for an internship at the “Home of the World’s Worst Weather”, he knew that he had come to the right place. 
Caleb earned his first degree in Spanish Studies from the University of Delaware in 2015 and went on to teach high school Spanish upon graduation. He then chose to spend a year travelling in Europe and Central America during which time he determined he still had a desire to pursue a future in weather forecasting. He subsequently returned to Salisbury University where he thrived among professors and peers who shared the same enthusiasm for severe weather as himself.
Eve Cinquino, Summit Intern
Laura Kee

Eve Cinquino was born and raised in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania and has always been interested in the natural world and the weather that shapes it. She recently graduated from Bates College in Lewiston, ME where she majored in physics. She was inspired to study extreme environments after studying abroad in Iceland during her junior year. She loves spending time in the cold, most recently spending her summer on a ski traverse of the Juneau Icefield. As a student with the Juneau Icefield Research Program she faced July blizzards, navigated around crevasses in whiteout conditions, and survived eight weeks without a shower. When she’s not skiing across glaciers, Eve enjoys rock climbing, horseback riding, and knitting. She is so excited to join the Observatory team and experience winter at ‘The Home of the World’s Worst Weather.’

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