Board of Trustees

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John Coston


John Coston is a journalist with more than three decades of experience as a reporter and editor at regional, state and national newspapers in the United States, including more than 30 years as a news editor at The Wall Street Journal. He is the author of two nonfiction books. He has served as a trustee for the Norfolk Country Club in Norfolk, Ct., and for Grace Church School and the Downtown United Soccer Club, both in New York City. John is a frequent traveler to national forests and wilderness regions across the U.S. He also has completed the Coverts Cooperator program sponsored by the University of Connecticut Cooperative Extension at Storrs, CT.

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Heather Thomson

Vice Chair

Heather Thomson has spent her career in the medical industry and is currently in Medical Affairs at Alder Biopharmaceuticals. She graduated from Williams College and has an MBA from UConn and an MS from Tufts. An avid outdoorswoman, Heather’s first introduction to Great Mountain Forest was on cross-country skis. She lives in Norfolk and has chaired various town and church committees as well as served on the boards of several foundations.

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Marie Civco


Marie Civco is an insurance professional with over three decades of experience in the insurance industry. She began her career working for a local independent insurance agency. In 2017 she retired from QBE, a global insurance company, as a commercial lines underwriter. During her carreer with QBE she earned many professional designations including Commercial Property Casualty Underwriter (CPCU), Certified Insurance Counselor (CIC), Certified Risk Manager (CRM), Associate Underwriter (AU), and Certified Data Manager (CDM). She is a graduate of the University of Connecticut. Marie has lived in Norfolk since 1975. She has chaired and/or served on numerous town and church committees including The Norfolk Land Trust, Norfolk Community Association, restoration of the Battell Chapel stained glass windows, and the Church of Christ steeple repair.

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Susan MacEachron


Susan MacEachron recently retired from her position of Chief Financial Officer of Trinity Church Wall Street, an Episcopal parish that has been a part of New York City since 1697. Prior to joining Trinity in 2010, Susan was a Managing Director at JPMorgan Chase and the CFO for the Marketing & Communications Department and Treasurer of the JPMorgan Chase Foundation. She has a B.A. from Brandeis University and a J.D. from Boston University School of Law. She is Chair of the Board of Directors of Concert Artists Guild, an organization devoted to nurturing the careers of young classical musicians, and is the Treasurer and Subscription Manager for Norfolk Now. She joined the Great Mountain Forest board in 2013.

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Anne C. Childs

Founding member

Anne Childs, a graduate of Colorado College and Rhode Island School of Design, lives with her husband, Chip Collins, in Massachusetts. Anne has served on the boards of The Student Conservation Association, The Farm School, and High Spirit Community Farm, all organizations working to connect individuals to the land. Anne is the youngest child of Edward and Elisabeth Childs, and a founding member of the Great Mountain Forest board.

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Edward Calder Childs

Founding member
Photo of Catherine Gevers

Catherine Gevers


Catherine Gevers, a graduate of Bryn Mawr College, has been in artists’ management since 1971 and has represented a wide variety of individuals and orchestras worldwide. She was the first music administrator of Carnegie Hall and subsequently became coordinator of the Carnegie Hall Centennial Season of 1990-91. She is a consultant to Yo-Yo Ma and a board member of the Silk Road Project. She was also professional development consultant to soprano Renee Fleming. Catherine volunteered at Great Mountain Forest for many years and joined the board in 2013.

Photo of Starling W. Childs II

Starling W. Childs II

Founding member

Starling Childs II graduated from Yale College with a BS in geology and from the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, where he received a Master’s in Forest Science. He is a consulting forester and co-founder of EECOS (Ecological and Environmental Consulting Services). In addition to his consulting forestry work, Star is also teaching an advanced level course in environmental science at the Salisbury School. He currently serves on the boards of Connecticut Forest and Parks Association, Berkshire-Litchfield Environmental Council, and Northern Woodlands Magazine. Through his work he has sought to strike a balance between sustainable management of natural resources and preserving the natural environment.

Photo of Elisabeth Childs Gill

Elisabeth Childs Gill

Founding member

Elisabeth Childs Gill is the eldest child of Ted and Elisabeth Childs. She has served on the boards of the Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation, Indian Mountain School, and is currently a board member of the Norfolk Library and the Jane Coffin Childs Memorial Fund for Medical Research. She resides in Norfolk, CT and she is a founding member of the Great Mountain Forest Board of Trustees.

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Bart Jones


Bart Jones is actively involved in conservation in the Northwest Corner of Connecticut as board member and President of Cornwall Conservation Trust, Inc., board member and Secretary of the Housatonic Valley Association, Inc. and Town of Cornwall alternate on the Housatonic River Commission. He retired from a 40 year practice of corporate and finance law in New York City most recently as Chief Legal Officer of the Church Pension Fund. He has served on a number of other boards in the past including the Cornwall Foundation, the Cornwall Free Library, Grace Church School in New York and the Williams Club of New York. He earned a BA in Economics at Williams College and a JD at Vanderbilt University School of Law.

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Jeremy Koch


Jeremy Koch spent most of his professional career at Time Incorporated, where he held senior management positions at Fortune and People magazines and was President of the company’s corporate consumer marketing division. Jeremy was for many years a trustee of Learning Leaders, a NYC based education nonprofit, serving five terms as the organization’s Chairman. He is currently on the board of The Clemente Course in the Humanities. Now retired, Jeremy works part-time as a volunteer financial coach with recovering addicts and is an avid musician and woodworker. Jeremy has a BA from Bennington College and an MBA from Columbia University.

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David K. Leff


David K. Leff is an award winning essayist, Pushcart Prize nominated poet and former Deputy Commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection. He is the author of six nonfiction books, three volumes of poetry and two novels in verse. His 2016 travel adventure, Canoeing Maine’s Legendary Allagash: Thoreau, Romance and Survival of the Wild won a silver medal in the Nautilus Book Awards for memoir and a silver medal in the Independent Publisher Book Awards for regional nonfiction. Recently published, The Breach: Voices Haunting a New England Mill Town is a novel in verse whose story of betrayal and redemption is told in the voices of common objects, from a milling machine on the factory floor to the church steeple clock. In 2016-2017 the National Park Service appointed him poet-in-residence for the New England National Scenic Trail (NET). David’s journals, correspondence, and other papers are archived at the University of Massachusetts Libraries in Amherst. His work is available at

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Dr. Eliza Little


Eliza graduated from McGill University in 2005 with a Bachelors of Science and Yale’s School of Forestry and Environmental Science (FES) in 2011 with a Masters in Environmental Science. She completed her PhD in 2017 at Columbia University on the influence of climate and socioecological factors on invasive mosquito vectors in the northeastern US. She now works at the Center for Vector Biology & Zoonotic Diseases at the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station as a post doc with funding from the CDC Northeast Regional Center for Excellence in Vector-Borne Diseases. She currently works on tick related research from spatiotemporal patterns of ticks and tick-associated diseases to assessing residential tick management strategies.

Eliza lives in Norfolk and has spent much time in beautiful Great Mountain Forest mostly hiking and cross-country skiing.

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John Perkins


John Perkins is Co-Head of the US Real Estate Investment Banking Group at RBC Capital Markets in New York. John has over 20 years of real estate banking experience and joined RBC in 2011. Prior to RBC, John served as Senior Managing Director and Co-Head of Real Estate Investment Banking in the Americas for CBRE Capital Advisors and as a Managing Director in Real Estate Investment Banking at J.P. Morgan. John has worked extensively with US, Canadian and UK based real estate clients on M&A and advisory assignments, in addition to leading numerous significant public and private capital raising transactions. John has a Bachelor of Science in Architecture from The Pennsylvania State University, a Master of Architecture from Yale University and a Master of Science in Real Estate Finance from MIT.