Anne Siebecker, Karen Ahmed, Jon Berry, Ann Darling, Karen Zelinski. Not pictured: Tom Strube
BOARD OF TRUSTEES
The Highlands Nature Friends, Inc. is the 501(c)3 non-profit membership organization that owns and operates The New Weis Center
Jon Berry - President
Jon is a retired special education teacher raising his family in Ringwood, NJ. He spent summers in Ringwood starting in the early 1950’s, moving there full time in 1987. His children attended Weis programs and day camps. Jon feels very connected to the property, and through many conversations over the years with old-timers, he also feels a connection to its fascinating history, which goes back to the 1800's when it was a farm (the farm building still stands and was used as the 'Nature House'). Jon is a Trustee of the Highlands Natural Pool and serves on the Ringwood Environmental Commission. While serving as the Commission Chair in 2007, he initiated electronics recycling which continues today.
Karin Adamietz Ahmed - Vice President
Karin is descended from a family of European immigrants who were members of the Nature Friends and moved to Ringwood in the 1940's. She is a retired IT professional and paralegal. Her hobbies include hiking, gardening, and foraging for mushrooms and other wild edibles. Karin grew up next door to the Weis property and is excited for the opportunity to bring The New Weis Center back to life, with environmental education, local history, art, music, and recreation programs that serve the local community. Her current areas of focus include researching the history of the property, grant writing and organizing the new "Music at Midvale" open mic series. She is also working on a "mini-museum" and archive at Weis, to chronicle its history since it was founded as Camp Midvale almost 100 years ago.
Ann is a retired early childhood teacher, after teaching for 36 years in West Milford, NJ. She is a former ASTEC Teacher of the Year, a Dodge Fellow for the Liberty Science Center and Partner in Education designer, and currently volunteers at the Highlands Family Success Center. She also created and ran the popular Enchanted Evening tours at Ringwood Manor for many years. Ann feels a deep connection to the Weis property, where she enjoyed doing programs with her classes, such as maple sugaring. She is excited to help create new programs at the Center, and hopes to bring families together through personal connections and programs focused on the history, culture and arts of the area.
Anne Siebecker - Secretary
Anne is a Ringwood, NJ resident with a deep appreciation for the region's rich history, natural beauty and abundant wildlife. She has a background in corporate marketing, communications and project management, earned a certificate in Green Technologies and Sustainability from Bergen Community College, and was certified as a Rutgers Environmental Steward in 2016. Anne is the recipient of the 2017 New Jersey Governor's Jefferson Award for public service in Environmental Stewardship, and received a Certificate of Appreciation from the 2018 Russ Berrie Making a Difference Awards! She is also a LEED Green Associate, a Green Advantage Certified Practitioner, an experienced local hiking guide, and is First Aid and CPR certified. In addition to her work with Weis, she serves as an Environmental Commissioner and a Trustee for the Ringwood Library. Anne is the Director of Marketing, Programs & Partnership Development for Weis, and enjoys engaging with the community and people of all ages who come to the Center.
Karen is a Ringwood, NJ resident, who was introduced to Weis when her two sons attended nature camp there before the closing in 2014. Karen is a veterinarian and nature enthusiast. She enjoys gardening, cooking, hiking, biking and kayaking. Karen has great appreciation for the beauty of Ringwood and she feels Weis is a tremendous asset to the community. Karen hopes to make The New Weis Center a place for nature to be preserved and outdoor education and art to be available to all who visit the area.
Tom Strube has lived in the Ringwood, NJ area all his life. He and his family participated in many Weis events over the years, such as the Easter egg hunt, carving pumpkins, making root beer and maple sugaring. Tom loves the outdoors and enjoys hiking the trails of Norvin Green State Forest. He has been involved with the Boy Scouts for many years, and is currently a leader and merit badge counselor for Troop 132 in Wanaque. Tom is trained in CPR & First Aid, and recently completed his Wilderness First Aid certification. Tom is excited to help with restoring the buildings and property so they can be used to expand Weis programs and offerings, and wants to help create fun and educational programs for visitors to The New Weis Center.