John van Heusen Halsey, Chairman of the Board
John v.H. Halsey is founder and President of the Peconic Land Trust, a nonprofit land conservation organization serving Long Island. The Trust’s professional staff identifies and implements alternatives to development that result in the perpetual protection of working farms and natural lands on Long Island. Since it was founded in 1983, the Trust has completed more than 400 projects. In partnership with landowners, communities, municipalities, and like-minded organizations, the Trust has protected over 10,000 acres. In addition to NALT, Mr. Halsey serves on the boards of Nassau Land Trust, South Fork Land Foundation, and the Southampton Youth Association. He is former Chair of the Land Trust Alliance/New York Advisory Board, and board member emeritus of the Long Island Community Foundation. Mr. Halsey earned a B.A. from Dartmouth College and a M.S.W. from the University of California, Berkeley.
Stephen Thor Johnson, President
Stephen is the second President of North American Land Trust, succeeding Andrew Johnson (no relation). He has a long career in conservation as a scientist, state government official, land trust executive, real estate development professional and as a consultant. He founded Sage Advisors in 2010, a professional services firm specializing in land planning, design and management of complex conservation transactions, conservation easement stewardship, organizational development, finance, fundraising, and public policy. Stephen previously served as executive director for two regional land trusts that he served for over 15 years (Sudbury Valley Trustees, MA and Gallatin Valley Land Trust, MT). He has also worked in commercial real estate where he was responsible for managing permitting and financing for complex real estate transactions. Stephen began his career with the Commonwealth of MA holding posts in the Department of Fisheries and Wildlife in land conservation planning, and the Executive Office of Environmental Affairs as Director of Land Policy. He administered the Massachusetts Open Space Bond Programs, Land and Water Conservation Funds, and the Division of Conservation Services.
Stephen earned a BA from Dartmouth College in Biology and Environmental Studies, and a Master of City Planning from MIT with a concentration in environmental policy. He is an active volunteer and serves as Vice Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Conway School of Landscape Design. Prior to moving to Pennsylvania, he served on the Lincoln (MA) Conservation Commission, and the Lincoln Ridge Conservation Trust.
When he is not working on conservation projects, he likes to bicycle, fly fish, cross country ski and canoe.
J. Paul Haldeman, Vice President and Treasurer
Mr. Haldeman served as the Business Manager of Conservation Advisors and the North American Land Trust from 1994 until 2004. In October 2004, Mr. Haldeman was appointed Vice President of North American Land Trust and presently serves as treasurer. In addition, he serves as board member and treasurer of the Chadds Ford Historical Society, board member and treasurer of the Brandywine Valley Hemophilia Foundation and serves as Chairman of the Pocopson Township Open Space Advisory Committee.
E. Blair McCaslin
Mr. McCaslin was a member of the Town of Southampton Planning Board for 23 years. He has been on the board of the Peconic Land Trust since 1991 and currently serves as board chairman emeritus. Mr. McCaslin spent thirty-one years as a Vice President of Chase Manhattan Bank serving for three years as CEO of Chase Manhattan Bank of Long Island. For ten years he was a faculty member at the American Institute of Banking in New York City.
John D. Snook
Mr. Snook serves as Senior Advisor on the staff of the Brandywine Conservancy’s Environmental Management Center and has extensive experience in working with local governments, landowners and developers in preserving open space through innovative site planning and design efforts. Mr. Snook makes frequent presentations to a broad range of audiences interested in community planning issues and also serves on occasion as an adjunct professor of land use planning at West Chester University, PA.
R. Lee Stephens Jr.
Lee Stephens started his firm in June 2012 to focus on helping Virginians to conserve their land and realize tax benefits. With an associate, a paralegal, and a legal assistant, Lee Stephens Law, PLC represents land trusts as well as landowners. Lee was a shareholder with Spotts Fain and an associate with Williams Mullen. Real property law, tax, administrative law, estate planning, and civil litigation are his practice areas. He serves as General Counsel to Northern Neck Land Conservancy, was a Trustee of the Foundation for Virginia's Natural Resources, and is now on the general board of VirginiaFOREVER. Lee keeps a close eye on Virginia's land preservation tax credit program. A graduate of University of Virginia (1979), the U.S. Navy (1979-'84), and William and Mary (J.D. 1987), Lee was General Counsel and President of The Tides Inn from 1990-2001. www.conservationeasementlawyer.com
Mr. Witherspoon is managing director of Conservation Advisors of North Carolina, a consulting group in Brevard, North Carolina, which works with landowners in the evaluation and implementation of conservation strategies. Mr. Witherspoon’s work with North American Land Trust began in 1997 during his management of Richland Ridge, an innovative conservation-based community, which has become a model for similar projects in the region, and whose success resulted from a partnership between a conservation investor group and North American Land Trust. Mr. Witherspoon’s expertise ranges from conservation easements and their tax benefits to planning and ownership issues.
Andrew L. Johnson, Vice President
Mr. Johnson, Founding President of North American Land Trust, has a diversity of conservation and nonprofit management experience. Before forming Conservation Advisors in 1988 and establishing North American Land Trust in 1992, he was President and Executive Director of Natural Lands Trust in Media, PA, recognized as one of the largest and most innovative conservation organizations in the country. Mr. Johnson previously served as Executive Director of the Brandywine Conservancy and its Brandywine River Museum during the formative period. Mr. Johnson is a graduate of Grinnell College and received his M.F.S. from Yale University.
George Asimos, Jr., Esquire, Secretary
A partner with the firm of Saul, Ewing LLP; Mr. Asimos has practiced real estate and land use law for 25 years. He has represented North American Land Trust since its founding. Mr. Asimos has drafted or supervised the drafting of most of North American Land Trust’s more than 300 conservation easements. He is a regular presenter at seminars and conferences on the subject of conservation easements and conservation planning in the context of development.
Jamie McVickar, Assistant Secretary and Assistant Treasurer
Mr. McVickar was hired as the Controller for North American Land Trust in April 2002, and has been the assistant secretary since September of 2002. He has over 30 years of experience in small business management. In 1982, Mr. McVickar bicycled close to 5000 miles across the United States to raise money for a home for developmentally disabled children. He also served as statistician on the Philadelphia Flyers broadcasts for more than 20 years.
Steve Carter, Assistant Secretary
Mr. Carter was hired as the Stewardship Coordinator for North American Land Trust in June 2001, and has been the assistant secretary since September of 2010. He has over 15 years of experience in land trust administration and management. Mr. Carter is an active volunteer and long standing committee member for Kennett Township, and fosters rescue dogs in his free time.