Gary MacDonald, Chairman
Gary recently retired after a 40-year career in education. During that time he was involved in many aspects of school life – serving most recently as Superintendent of Schools in Fryeburg, Maine. He has served on many state and regional educational committees, and continues to be involved in a variety of educational work.
Gary, and his wife Karen, moved to the Mount Washington Valley over 40 years ago, planning on staying for a few years to ski and hike, and never left. They're now introducing their grandchildren to the unique, and special places in the area. Gary has served on a variety of committees that have supported local needs.
Along with hiking, Gary enjoys tennis, kayaking, spending time on Cape Cod, as well as sailing on the Maine coast. Having lived in the shadow of Mount Washington for all these years, and with an interest in weather and forecasting, he has always marveled at the work, as well as the history of MWOBS.
Robert C. Kirsch, Vice Chair
A graduate of Phillips Academy Andover, Rob earned his B.S. from Middlebury College, cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa in 1979 and a J.D., cum laude, from Cornell Law School in 1983. He is a partner in the law firm of Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP in Boston, where he leads the firm's environmental practice.
Rob’s professional accomplishments have been recognized nationally: He was named a Massachusetts Lawyer of the year in 2008; he is a Board Member of the Environmental Law Institute; and a Fellow of the American College of Environmental Lawyers.
Rob learned of the Observatory through hiking and climbing in the White Mountains with his father and brother in the 1960s. In January 1978 he interned at the Observatory, and worked as an observer when not attending college or law school between 1978 and 1981. He has been a trustee since 1985.
Rob is a past president of the board of trustees and serves on the Observatory's Executive and Governance committees.
Paul T. Fitzgerald, Secretary
Paul received his B.A. from St. Michael's College in 1972 and earned a law degree four years later in 1976. He is currently a director of the law firm of Wescott, Dyer, Fitzgerald & Nichols in Laconia, NH.
In addition to his law practice, Paul has been active in a number of community organizations and has served as both the Mayor of Laconia and Chairman of the Laconia Police Commission. Paul first became involved with the Observatory as an extension of being an avid hiker when he walked into the summit facility out of curiosity after climbing the mountain back in 1980. After serving on the summit operations committee for several years he was elected a trustee in 1985 and has been active on the executive committee and long-range planning committees. Paul is a past president of the Board of Trustees and currently serves on the Observatory's Governance Committee.
Paul lives in Laconia, NH, with this wife, Cheryl Ann Fitzgerald. They have two grown sons.
Howie Wemyss, Immediate Past Chair
Howie was born in Cambridge, MA and raised in Biddeford, ME, where he graduated from Biddeford High School. After several years at Colorado State University, he spent two years in the Army, mostly in Germany, before returning to New England and settling in the Mt. Washington Valley in 1971.
Howie was employed by the Mt. Washington Auto Road as a stage driver in the late 70s, while working on the ski patrol at Wildcat Mountain in the winter. He later worked for the Merrimack Valley YMCA at their Bear Island facilities on Lake Winnipesaukee. In 1987, he took over as general manager of the Auto Road upon the retirement of Doug Philbrook and in 1995 began managing the Great Glen Trails Outdoor Center as well. He was elected to the Mount Washington Observatory Board of Trustees in 2005.
Howie and his wife, Sue, spend their summers in Green's Grant, NH, and move north to Randolph, NH for the winter. Howie has a daughter, Cory, who is a licensed Massage Therapist in the Conway area. Howie and Sue enjoy cross country skiing, trail running, and mountain biking.
Drew Landry, Treasurer
Drew is a tax principal with John G. Burk and Company, CPAs, P.C., where his primary duties include tax compliance and representation for closely-held businesses and estates. He also renders forensic accounting services for a wide variety of clients, and has assisted state and federal authorities in the prosecution of complex financial crimes. From 1974 to 1984, Drew was a revenue agent with the Internal Revenue Service.
Drew has bachelor's and master's degrees from Bentley College in Waltham, MA, and is an associate member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the American Bar Association. He is admitted to the bar of the United States Tax Court.
Drew currently serves as a trustee for the Mayhew Program for Boys and treasurer for the Rivermead Retirement Community, The Connecticut Valley Estate Planning Council, and The Keene Academy Foundation. He also serves on the Board of Overseers of the Dartmouth Hitchcock Hospital and the Cheshire Medical Center. Drew resides in Keene, NH with his wife, Carol. They have two grown children.
Ed’s interest in weather began as a child growing up on a farm in southern New Hampshire where his father was the local NWS Coop Observer. His interest intensified during pilot training in the 1970s, and inspired him to serve as a backup observer for local weather icon Briggs Bunker for many years. Ed became the local NWS Coop Observer about 2002 when Briggs decided to winter in Florida. At the time he also took over Brigg’s role on the WMWV Morning Weather Show which provides the “rating of the day” to residents of the Mount Washington Valley. In October 2015 Ed turned the role of Coop Observer back to the Mount Washington Observatory through the establishment of NCON3 the new weather station at the WDC in North Conway.
Ed served as interim executive director, vice president and president of the Obs from January 2015 to September 2016. Previously, he served on the Board of Trustees and has returned to the Board following his time on staff. Ed also served on the Board of the Appalachian Mountain Club and is a member of the Nature Conservancy and Tin Mountain Conservation Center. He received a B.S. in Civil Engineering from the University of New Hampshire and an MBA from Plymouth State University. Ed is the retired president of H.E.B. Engineers, Inc. a consulting engineering firm which he started in 1974.
Ed is an avid cyclist, gardener, fly-fisherman and outdoor photographer, and has climbed and hiked all over the U.S., Europe and New Zealand. He resides in North Conway with his wife Kathy. They have two daughters and four granddaughters.
Alexandra T. Breed
Alexandra received her undergraduate degree at Vassar College, graduating Cum Laude in 1970 with a degree in American History. She then went on to Boston University Law School and received her JD in 1974 and LL.M. in Tax in 1999.
Alexandra is a Director of McLane, Graf, Raulerson & Middleton, PA, the largest law firm in NH, where she concentrates in estate planning, trust and estate administration, conservation easements, and real estate trusts for family properties.
Alexandra has been active in numerous civic and professional organizations for many years, including The Nature Conservancy in New Hampshire, Squam Lakes Natural Science Center, and the Appalachian Mountain Club. She has served as Chairman of the Mount Washington Observatory Development Committee and Governance Committee, and currently serves on the Development Committee, Search Committee and Executive Committee.
Alexandra and her husband, Douglas Hill, live in Gilford, NH. They have two grown children, both of whom are educators and coaches.
Erica currently serves
as Vice President of Institutional Advancement at Westfield State University
and Executive Director of the Westfield State Foundation. Previously, she
oversaw the marketing, resource development, institutional research and
advancement efforts at Holyoke Community College in Holyoke, MA where she has
helped grow their foundation four-fold during her tenure.
Erica received her BA
from Miami University, her MBA from the University of Massachusetts and her
doctorate in higher education management from Northeastern University.. She has
also taken part in Harvard University's summer program for educational
leadership.. She is involved in a number of regional boards in Massachusetts
and serves as an on-air pledge talent for the local public broadcasting
Erica and her husband,
Christopher Millette, divide their time between Longmeadow, MA and beautiful
Lake Sunapee, NH. They have four children between them.
John F. Gorman
Growing up in the Berkshires, with the Appalachian Trail literally traversing his back yard, John seemed destined to be a hiker. As a member of the AMC, his love of four season backpacking led him to the White Mountains and the Presidential Range. In 1979 and 1980 he worked on the summit of Mount Washington as a union carpenter during the construction of the Sherman Adams Building. So began his association with the Obs.
During the 1980s, John assisted Obs staff in an attempt to mitigate the water leaking into the summit building. A member of the Observatory's Facilities Committee since 2012, he recently spearheaded the renovations of the Obs summit bunk rooms. He is a former board member of the Friends of Tuckerman Ravine and a current board member of the Friends of the Mount Washington Avalanche Center.
John attended Northeastern University where he studied civil engineering and political science, disciplines that led to a career that included both politics and construction. As a Boston based political operative he has worked on campaigns all over the country, including stints as an advance man for the Clinton White House, the Kennedys, John Kerry and the DNC. Since 1978 his construction industry career has evolved from carpenter to contractor to project manager to permitting consultant. His company, Permit Strategies, specializes in resolving building permit and zoning issues in the City of Boston.
John and his wife Katie live in Boston. His four grown sons and his grandchildren are all avid hikers and big fans of the Observatory.
Brad L. J. Griswold
Brad was introduced to the Observatory through its first Seek the Peak event in 2001, and has continued his involvement in the organization through the years.
A graduate of Messiah College and the College of Financial Planning, Brad founded Concannon Wealth Management in 1994 and continues today as the managing partner, focusing on developing and implementing a cohesive strategy by which his client's assets are managed and their long-term financial goals addressed.
Currently Brad serves on a number of boards in various capacities. He resides in Lancaster, NH with his wife Valerie and their two children, enjoying an unobstructed view of the Presidentials and the Observatory.
Jack worked at the Observatory from 1952 to 1953, and has been a trustee since 1957. He serves on the Executive and Governance Committees and held the position of secretary for more than five decades.
Jack received his A.B. from Lafayette College in 1950 and his J.D. from Boston University School of Law in 1956. He is president of the law firm of McLane, Graf, Raulerson & Middleton, and has been active in numerous civic, professional, and bar association activities for many years.
Jack lives in Freedom, NH and has three grown children.
Peter graduated from the University of New Hampshire in 1981 and has worked in commercial construction ever since. He is currently the president of Martini Northern General Contractors and Construction Managers in Portsmouth, NH.
During summer breaks from college, Peter worked on various construction projects in the Mount Washington Valley area, including the construction of the Sherman Adams Building at Mount Washington State Park in 1979 and 1980.
An avid skier, Peter spent more than twenty years supporting youth ski racing as a coach and board member of the Attitash Alpine Education Foundation. He lives in Portsmouth, NH with his wife, Meg, and their two children, Abby and Ben.
In addition to sitting on the Observatory's Facilities Committee, Peter also serves on the board of Plan NH as treasurer and as president of Friends of UNH Skiing.
An Observatory trustee since 1995, Marsha is chair of the Education Committee and leads an EduTrip each winter.
Marsha received a B.A. from Dartmouth College in 1980 and a Masters of Education from the University of New Hampshire in 1985. She taught middle school Earth science for many years and served as the science department chair at the Derryfield School in Manchester, New Hampshire. Currently, Marsha runs the "InSHAPE" program at the Riverbend Community Mental Health Center in Concord, New Hampshire, a physical health and wellness program supporting mental health and recovery from mental illness. She also teaches yoga and on winter weekends teaches skiing at Wildcat Mountain.
Marsha lives in Chichester, NH, and has two children who are new out of college. A retired sea captain who skippered charter sailboats in the Virgin Islands in the 1980s, Marsha loves to ski, hike, bike, garden, and travel with her family.
Mary is an Assistant Professor of Geography at the University of New Hampshire and has been the New Hampshire State Climatologist since 2008.
Originally from Michigan, Mary received a B.A. in Geological Sciences from Albion College before earning an M.S. in Geography and a Ph.D. in Climatology from the University of Delaware. After a year teaching in the Department of Geography and Earth Sciences at Shippensburg University in central Pennsylvania, she accepted a faculty position in the Department of Geography at the University of New Hampshire.
As a UNH faculty member, Mary teaches courses on weather, climate, natural hazards, and land surface processes. Her research interests include climate system science with a focus on climate modeling and cryospheric processes. She also serves as the New Hampshire State Climatologist, providing the public with information on weather and climate though research, education, and outreach. She is the point of contact for the two NOAA Climate Reference Network (CRN) stations located in southern New Hampshire, co-coordinator of the NH Community Collaborative Rain, Hail and Snow (CoCoRaHS) network, and is also an NWS cooperative observer for Durham, NH.
Mary and her husband, Dan, live in Dover, NH and enjoy a variety of outdoor activities with their two dogs.
Brian C. Underwood
Brian is the principal of a real estate counseling and appraisal firm that performs assignments throughout the northeastern United States. The firm specializes in complex property types and provides real estate counseling services primarily to property owners and law firms. He has been admitted as an expert witness in Superior and Federal Courts. He has been awarded the CRE designation from the Counselors of Real Estate and is one of only four CREs in New Hampshire. Mr. Underwood also served as Chairman of the New Hampshire Real Estate Appraiser Board.
Brian became interested in the weather as a pilot, and decided to serve as a summit volunteer for the Observatory in the winter of 1993. Since then, he has assisted the Observatory in a number of ways and was elected to the Board of Trustees in 1994. Brian was instrumental in the success of the Observatory's volunteer program, and has served as board treasurer, vice president, and is currently chairman of the Finance Committee. He is a resident of Rye, NH.
Albert W. Wheeler
Al received his B.S. in Meteorology from the State University of New York, Oswego, in 1975, and retired from the National Weather Service in 2010 after a thirty-three year career. He served as the Meteorologist in Charge of the Portland/Gray Forecast Office for twenty years, where he led the National Weather Service modernization efforts in Maine and New Hampshire. He also worked closely with the Observatory to ensure that weather observations from the summit were collected and distributed to a wide variety of customers.
Prior to his assignment at Portland/Gray, Al served as the Deputy Meteorologist in Charge of the Cleveland, OH Forecast Office, and as a lead forecaster at the Philadelphia, PA and Bismarck, ND forecast offices. Before joining the National Weather Service, he worked as a forecaster for a private meteorological practice serving offshore oil clients in New Orleans, LA.
Al and Patricia Wheeler live in Cumberland Center, ME, and spend their summers at David Pond in Fayette, ME. They have three grown children; a son, Ryan, and twin daughters, Emily and Claire.
Charles W. Burnham
Charlie retired in 1996 after thirty years of teaching and research in the Dept. of Earth and Planetary Sciences at Harvard University. He earned an S.B. in Business & Engineering Administration in 1954 and a Ph.D. in Mineralogy & Petrology in 1961 from M.I.T.
Charlie became acquainted with the Observatory on his first ascent of Mount Washington in 1944. He joined the Board of Trustees in 1981, was a member of the Executive Committee from 1983 to 1994, and also served as vice president. He became a life trustee in 1996.
Charlie and his wife, Mary Sue, live in Durango, Colorado. They have two grown sons and six grandchildren.
Brian K. Fowler
Brian has a degree in Geology and is a retired consulting engineering geologist. He is currently involved in research on the late-glacial geology of northern New England and southeastern Quebec and has published more than twenty professional papers, including the only scientific treatise on the collapse of the Old Man of The Mountain. He and Betsy are active mountaineers and members of the American Alpine Club, and Brian is a co-founder of the Mountain Rescue Service.
Brian was introduced to the Observatory during seven summers working for the AMC Hut System, especially the two he spent as "croo" and then hutmaster at Lakes of The Clouds. He joined as a member in 1964, a trustee in 1972, and served as board president from 1981 to 1996. He has made significant financial contributions to summit improvement projects, and his leadership and tireless efforts helped provide the foundation upon which the Observatory is thriving today.
Guy is one of the North Country's most respected modern pioneers and North Country historians, but he says the "high point" of his career began February 15, 1961, when he became a Mount Washington Observatory weather observer. He was promoted to chief observer in 1963 and appointed to the director's post in 1971. He joined the Board of Trustees in 1978.
Since retiring as executive director in 1996, Guy has continued to serve the Observatory in a variety of important roles; he has advised the organization as a consultant, and also served as managing editor of Windswept. Guy became a life trustee in 2002 and continues to contribute to the success of the Observatory, while also volunteering for other local charitable causes.
Philip (Phil) T. Gravink
Phil received his B.S. from Cornell University in 1957. He retired in 1999 as president and chief operating officer of Attitash Bear Peak for American Skiing Company after thirty-six years as an executive of ski resorts.
Phil came to know the Observatory through his longstanding work in the ski industry and his role as a North Country businessman. He became a trustee in 1996 and served as Interim Executive Director for six months in 2006.
Phil and his wife, Shirley, live in Jackson, New Hampshire. They raised three children and have five grandchildren. During 2000, Phil and Shirley went on a year-long, world-wide bicycle tour.
Christopher R. Hawkins
A graduate of the University of New Hampshire-Thompson School and Johnson State College, Chris began his career with the New Hampshire DOT Materials and Research Bureau. Work took him to Mt. Washington inspecting soils for the Sherman Adams Building construction and other summit construction. A detour to managing the AMC Construction crew found him directing the Tip Top House renovation in the 1980’s.
Chris’ association with the Observatory started in 1971 as a hut boy at Lakes of the Clouds, when he became an Obs member. Later he joined the Facilities committee, and subsequently appointed a Trustee. Chris has also served on the Coos County Conservation District for 25 years.
Now retired, Chris splits his time between Randolph, NH, Barnet, VT and piloting his VW bus to places unknown.
Kenneth A. Jones
Ken is a retired managing partner of Wilson/Reilly Associates, a technical sales firm in Nashua, NH, following a long career in industrial management. He earned an engineering degree from Penn State and an MBA from Syracuse University.
Active in many outdoor activities, Ken has always been keenly interested in weather. His introduction to the Observatory in the early 1980s kindled a love of Mount Washington and its unique climate. He has been a member of the Mount Washington Observatory Science Committee since 1995, and is a past president of the Board of Trustees. He serves on other non-profit boards as well.
He lives in Amherst, NH, with his wife, Suzanne. They have two grown children, as well as several grandchildren, who visit them often at Lake Winnisquam.
Gail graduated from Merrimack College in 1972 with a B.S. in chemistry and received an M.S. in organic chemistry from Southern Connecticut University. She is the Senior Director of Business Development for St. Teresa Medical Inc., prior to which she worked for twenty years in R&D, sales, marketing, manufacturing, quality, and business development for Pfizer and Dupont Pharmaceuticals.
Always a lover of the outdoors, Gail's interests include sea kayaking, skiing, swimming, snorkeling, bicycling, and hiking. She has hiked in Peru, Alaska, Western Canada, Nepal, and Switzerland, but especially loves the White Mountains.
Gail lives on a mountaintop in Stoneham, Maine, and volunteers as an Advanced EMT for Fryeburg Rescue Association, Fryeburg, Maine. She has served on the Observatory board since 2005.
A retired Program Coordinator for the University of New Hampshire College for Lifelong Learning (now Granite State College), Gail worked in the North Country of New Hampshire from 1980 to 2004. She is a University of Michigan graduate with a B.S. in nursing.
Gail served on the Memorial Hospital board of trustees (past president) from 1974 to 1996, the YMCA Camp Nellie Huckins board from 1984 to 1995, the New Hampshire Distance Learning Commission from 1994 to 2003, the New Hampshire State Board of Education from 1995 to 2005, and was a member and chairman of the New Hampshire Juvenile Parole Board from 1995 to 2006. She is also a former board member of the Bartlett School Board, the New Hampshire Farm Museum, the Northern NH Charitable Foundation, and the Mt. Washington Valley School to Career Partnership.
Gail presently serves as a board member on the Goldberg Foundation, Tillotson Foundation, Walker Foundation, New Hampshire Electric Cooperative Foundation, and the Visiting Nurses of Northern Carroll County. She has served on the Mt. Washington Valley Economic Council since 1991, is secretary of the New Hampshire Electric Cooperative, and is also a member of the Mountain Top Music Advisory Committee. Gail represents New Hampshire on the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association Board in Arlington, VA and serves on both the Administrative Committee and as chairman of the CEO Evaluation Committee for that organization. Gail is active in the Town of Bartlett, New Hampshire, where she resides, serving as chairman of The Lower Bartlett Water Commission ZBA and chairman of the Supervisors of the Bartlett Voter Checklist.
Gail is a Credentialed Cooperative Director and is taking courses towards the Credentialed Leadership Director degree for the National Rural Electric Association directors. Her hobbies include fly fishing, ornithology, golf, hiking, skiing, and traveling.
Leslie joined the Observatory Board of Trustees in 2003 and now serves as treasurer.
Leslie graduated from Wellesley College in 1966 and received her M.B.A. from the University of New Hampshire in 1983. In the early days of PCs, she started a consulting business in Maine that helped computerize the accounting functions of for-profit businesses and not-for-profit organizations. This often involved custom programming to get the client's data into a format that could be imported into accounting software. She has also been self-employed as a publisher of hiking cards, owner of restaurants in Kennebunkport, ME, and owner of a company that resold natural gas to a West Virginia utility. She has extensive experience in computing, programming, and accounting.
Leslie enjoys being outside in the Mount Washington Valley, and stays very active skiing, hiking, playing tennis, biking, and golfing. She lives in Jackson, NH with her husband, Warren.
Ken served in the U.S. Air Force for four years and then earned an A.S. in Computer Science from Northeastern University and a B.S. in Business Management from Boston University. Now retired, he worked as a contributor and in management roles in high-tech companies throughout the Boston area.
Ken worked on the Appalachian Mountain Club trail crew in 1954 and 1955, and then as a hutsman at Lakes of the Clouds in 1958. He developed an abiding love for New Hampshire's White Mountains, and joined as an Observatory member that summer. He has been a member ever since, and joined the Board of Trustees in 1977.
Ken edited the Observatory's News Bulletin (now Windswept) for three years and has served on the Executive, Membership (Chair for ten years), Long Range Planning, and Science and Engineering committees. Ken is also a life member of the AMC.
Ken and his wife, Marilyn, reside in Melrose, MA. They have a grown daughter, Patricia.
Bryant F. Tolles, Jr.
Bryant has held a variety of leadership positions at distinguished museums and institutions since the early 1970s. He served as the director of the Museum Studies Program at the University of Delaware from 1984 to 2006, and is a Professor Emeritus of History and Art History. He has also written books on New Hampshire architecture including The Grand Resort Hotels of the White Mountains and Summer Cottages in the White Mountains.
A visitor to the White Mountains since the late 1940s, Bryant was introduced to the Observatory in the mid-1970s by Brad Washburn. He joined the Board of Trustees in 1976, and helped enhance the Observatory's educational programs and former summit museum. He was elected a life trustee in 2003.
Bryant and his wife, Carolyn, live in Concord, NH and have a second home on Squam Lake in Sandwich, NH.
Mark Van Baalen
Mark earned an A.B. in astronomy in 1966 and a Ph.D. in geology in 1995, both from Harvard. He is now a lecturer on Earth and Planetary Sciences at Harvard.
Mark has been an Observatory member since 1966, and a trustee since 1984. He was a member of the Executive Committee for fifteen years and has also served on the Long Range Planning Committee and chaired the Nominating Committee, Personnel Committee and Science Advisory Committee. Mark was the program chair for the successful 75th Anniversary Symposium for Air and Climate in 2007, and has been a regular EduTrip leader since the inception of that program.
Mark and his wife, Louisa, reside in Harvard, MA and have one grown daughter. Mark is a member of the American Alpine Club and a life member of the Harvard Mountaineering Club. He is also a sailor and a commercial pilot.