Wendy matusovich, executive Director
Wendy grew up in Connecticut surrounded by farms and forests. Much to her mother’s dismay she spent as much time as she could playing in the mud. She learned first hand the value of spending time in nature and now is grateful for the privilege to work on bringing urban children out to the land. Wendy worked at a national nonprofit for over 18 years before joining Farrington Nature Linc. She has a B.A. from Brown University and a Masters in Counseling Psychology from Lesley University.
sarah kacevich, program director
Sarah gets her love of nature from growing up around the woods and oceans of Massachusetts. She comes to Farrington from Strong Women, Strong Girls, a Boston-based youth development organization. She has taught art, yoga, and English with youth; has volunteered with farms in Chile and in Newton, Mass.; and leads hikes with Wilderness Heals, an initiative that supports the Elizabeth Stone House in Boston. She has a B.A. in Human Rights Studies with a minor in Hispanic Studies from Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut. At Farrington, she is excited to combine her experience with youth development and nonprofit management with her passion for the outdoors.
WILL PARRA, EXPLORE STAFF
Will grew up spending his time in the woods of Massachusetts. This early love for nature extended into a career as a river guide, working in Maine and Oregon for a handful of seasons before developing into an interest for outdoor education. He has moved back home after finishing an undergraduate degree in International Affairs from Lewis & Clark College and wrapping up the season guiding. With a volunteer background working with youth in the Portland area he is looking forward to continuing this experience, reaching out to young people and getting them outside!
Valerie Basnight, Events manager
Val grew up in sunny Southern California where she fell in love with the peace living near water brought. But having grown up listening to stories of changing seasons, she moved to Boston for college where, like her mother, she fell in love with the way the leaves changed colors. She didn't stray too far from her roots, however, settling on the South Shore, close to the water, just now with a touch more nature. Val graduated from Simmons College in 2006 where she studied Psychology and Gender & Culture Studies. She's spent the last 15 years working with nonprofit organizations and small businesses fundraising, producing events, and helping to develop their businesses & brands. Val is so excited to work with Farrington Nature, combining the three things she loves most - a rustic space, a good cause, and an event with a purpose.
KAYLA COLE, Explore staff
Originally from Southern Illinois, I grew up visiting the National Parks and climbing mountains with my family on vacations. After graduating from Southern Illinois University with a Bachelor’s degree in Forestry, I developed a passion for Environmental Education and guided paddling excursions, lead nature walks and built trails with SIU’s Touch of Nature Environmental Center. I’ve been a camp counselor, a Girl Scout program leader, and a certified lifeguard. I enjoy hiking, rock climbing, swimming and paddleboarding. I have a pet snake named Cinder who loves to meet new people!
Maria Cervantes Gonzalez, Social Media Manager
Maria feels most closely connected with nature when she imagines her summers spent on the beaches of her birthplace, Manzanillo, Mexico. Growing up in New Hampshire, Maria fondly remembers autumn drives with her mom and brother, filled with the vibrant colored leaves of the changing season. Maria graduated from Simmons College in 2016 with a BA in Communications and a BS in Business Management, where she enjoyed many springtime walks along the Charles River and through the blooming Victory Gardens of The Fenway. Maria is excited to share what Farrington has to offer on social media and inspire the online community to experience the real thing for themselves!
CHRIS MOLLICA, EXPLORE STAFF
Chris became interested in the healing power of nature after being introduced to E.O Wilson’s concept of Biophilia. He completed internships in Long Beach, California, where he worked with the Cambodian community in exploring the benefits of plants and gardening on mental health and wellness. He also spent time at the National Research Center – Institute of Agro-Environmental and Forest Biology in Italy and at the Harvard Program in Refugee Trauma. Chris graduated from Northeastern University with a B.S. in biology and is currently studying to receive his doctorate in psychology at William James College in Newton, Massachusetts. Having grown up in Lincoln, Chris has encountered much of the plants and animals living in this area and is excited to learn more about the wildlife in his backyard through his work with Farrington Nature Linc.
Uche Amaechi, MBA EdM
Uche Amaechi, MBA a EdD is the Extended Learning Time Coordinator at the Fletcher Maynard Academy where he works on school leadership. Uche also works with graduate students studying leadership, organizational behavior, and social entrepreneurship. He specializes in organizational behavior, social entrepreneurship and educational technologies. B.A Harvard College; MBA University of Phoenix; EdM & EdD Harvard Graduate School of Education.
Real Estate Project Manager at Just-A-Start, a community development corporation in Cambridge, MA. B.A. in Political Science at the University of Akron, J.D. Duke University, M.A. in Historic Preservation from Savannah College of Art and Design.
Founding Principal and former President of Davis Square Architects, Somerville, MA and its predecessor Mostue & Associates Architects, Inc. Partner in The Casali Group, Inc., Construction Project Management. Former member of Lincoln Town Offices Design Committee and Lincoln-Sudbury Regional High School Building Committee. Eagle Scout. B.A. Harvard College, M.A. Harvard Graduate School of Design, Certificate in Art, University of Oslo, Norway.
Senior Actuarial Manager at Blue Cross Blue Shield of MA. A.B. Physics at Harvard College; Fellow of the Society of Actuaries.
Thomas A. Shively
Retired Vice President, Eaton Vance Management. Resident of Wayland MA. A.B. Economics at Kenyon College; M.B.A. Finance at University of Chicago Graduate School of Business.
Susan Hands Taylor
Community volunteer and former newspaper journalist. Trustee of Lincoln (MA) Public Library, chair First Parish Church Lincoln Outreach/Social Concerns Committee, long-time Girl Scout leader. Former Assistant City Editor at Boston Herald. B.A. Mount Holyoke College, M.S. Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.
Daniel Michaud Weinstock
Organizational development consultant, facilitator, and coach that works with mission-driven organizations and systems to enhance leadership and advance mission clarity and impact. He has over 20 years of experience working with staff, management, boards, funders, families, and children in nonprofit organizations, schools and school districts, and public agencies. He has been a teacher, initiated and managed programs, and serves on the Board of Trustees of various nonprofit organizations. He is the proud father of two children. B.A. New York University, Gallatin School.
Loyalty at Wayfair. Previously, Daniel worked in a variety of industries including manufacturing, sports management in India and a start-up. Daniel has a passion for sports and the outdoors. B.A. Economics at University of Chicago; M.B.A. Harvard Business School.
Committee Only Members
After attending Lincoln schools in the 1960s and Belmont Hill in the 1970s, Dan earned a BSc at Harvard and a PhD in engineering from Brown. He has worked as an investment strategist for over 25 years, and continues to indulge his lifelong enjoyment of spending time outdoors.
Founding Principal of Mix Design and Development, an architecture and development firm in Somerville, MA. Previously Project Architect at Safdie Architects, HKT Architects, and Elkus Manfedi. Adjunct Professor at Roger Williams University, Bristol, RI. Skier, maker, soccer and baseball coach, husband, and father of two. M.Arch from Harvard Graduate School of Design, A.B. in Physics from Harvard College.
With a professional background in nonprofit management and corporate social responsibility, Amanda is dedicated to making the outdoors accessible to all. She has had the privilege to hike globally and knows the unifying power the outdoors can have across cultures. Currently Amanda is raising her twin toddler daughters and getting them outside as much as possible. M.B.A. Boston University.
Our Teen Staff
2018 Summer Youth Staff
Abby, Chris, Maya, Jazmin, Vilmari, Naisha, Momo, Ludgie, Maddie, Sarah, Tiffany, Julio, Daniel