Karen Zimmer, President. Karen has lived and worked on small farms in Rhode Island and Ohio and has hiked the Trust’s trails since she moved to Connecticut in 1988. She is a retired registered nurse, having specialized in mental health and addiction settings. Karen has experience as secretary to the board of the CT chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness.


Paul Pribula, Vice-President. Paul is a retired IT project manager who became an avid hiker, backpacker and peak bagger after transplanting to Connecticut from the south side of Chicago in the mid-seventies. He has been working to repay the Trust for much outdoor joy through training and working as a Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and GPS practitioner and Wilderness First Responder. Paul brings organizational and communications skills and experience from his former career, and land conservation experience from his past work with the Willington Conservation Commission as member and chair. Paul lives in Willington with his wife, Laurel, 2 Newfoundlands and a Portuguese Water Dog.



Nancy Silander, Secretary. Nancy has been a member of the Trust since moving to Mansfield in the late 1970s. She says that the Trust has been an important part of her life here – whether helping as a steward, enjoying the trails, or volunteering for other Trust activities. Since her retirement from her teaching position at E. O. Smith High School in 2011, she has been a Trustee. Nancy works with Paul Stern on the quarterly newsletter and is a member of the Atwood Farm committee. She is also an elected member of the Region 19 Board of Education, a docent at the Benton Museum, and on the board of the Edwin O. Smith Foundation.


Gail Bruhn photo

Gail Bruhn, Treasurer. Gail is a retired investment professional who sits on the Advisory Council of the Hartford CFA Society. She has used her financial skills to help a number of non-profits, including the EO Smith Foundation and the CT Horticultural Society. A Delawarean by origin, Gail lives in Storrs with her husband Tom, who is retired from the University of Connecticut. They were the original tenants of the Wilbur Cross house, following Joshua’s Trust’s purchase of the Gurleyville Gristmill. Trails along the Fenton River remain favorites of their three sons when they visit with their families.


Incoming Executive Director Michael Hveem

Michael Hveem, Executive Director. Mike has been a member of Joshua’s Trust since 2001, even though he lived in the Stamford area until moving to Vernon in early 2013. He is long familiar with the Trust, beginning as an undergraduate at UConn (where he earned a BA in History with honors), continuing as he lived and worked in Stamford and made frequent trips to visit family in Brooklyn. For nearly 3 years, Mike was the Executive Director of The Avon, a non-profit historic film theater in Stamford. Prior to taking that position, he worked for 12 years as a senior analyst for Royce and Associates, a mutual fund company also in Stamford. He earned an Executive MBA from UConn, as well as a Master’s degree in Library Science from SCSU, and is a licensed attorney with a JD from Boston University School of Law. He now looks forward to growing the Trust and making it even stronger as it moves into its next 50 years.



Joyce Fountain, Finance Administrator. Joyce was born and raised in Connecticut’s Quiet Corner; Joyce’s passion for land conservation developed as she spent her childhood exploring the woodland trails of New England. Her love of all things botanical fueled her to achieve multiple degrees in Environmental Archaeology, completing her MS in Environmental Archaeology and Paleoeconomy from The University of Sheffield in 2016. In 2017 she joined the Joshua’s Trust team serving as our part-time bookkeeper as she now pursues her Masters in Accounting.


Andy Woodcock, Volunteer Coordinator. Andy has worked as a newspaper reporter, community organizer, legislative aide and press advisor. He lived in five of the six New England states before settling in Willimantic 30 years ago. He believes, “Conservation is a call to regenerate our souls.”