Our Team

Contact Clearwater:
724 Wolcott Ave
Beacon, NY 12508
Phone: 845-265-8080
Fax: 845-831-2821
Email: office@clearwater.org

Interim Executive Director
Dave Conover
dave@clearwater.org
845-265-8080 x7104

Administration
Contact the Administration department for all issues related to the purchasing of merchandise, accounts payable, and general information.

Amy Bonder, Director of Administration and HR
amy@clearwater.org
845-265-8080 x7100

Michelle Acosta, Consulting Controller
michelle@clearwater.org
845-265-8080 x7123

Erin Macchiaroli, Administration & Communications Coordinator
erin@clearwater.org
845-265-8080 x7101

Captain
Contact the Captain for all information related to the Sloop’s functioning, as well as for information on being employed as a crewmember or apprentice.

Captain Aleythea Dolstad
aleythea@clearwater.org
845-265-8080 x7163

Development
Contact the Development department for all information regarding supporting Clearwater’s mission through sponsorships, planned giving, memberships, and corporate partnerships.

Ann Mellor, Manager of Membership and Sloop Club Relations
ann@clearwater.org
845-265-8080 x7119

Diane Oktay, Interim Director of Development
diane@clearwater.org
845-265-8080 x7118

Education
Contact the Education department for all information regarding our educational programs, volunteering on the sloops as an educator, and booking sails on the Clearwater or Mystic Whaler.

Maija Niemisto, Education Director
maija@clearwater.org
845-265-8080 x7115

Eli Schloss, Tideline Discovery Program Director
eli@clearwater.org
845-265-8080 x7106

Kelley Howard, Sail Program Manager & Communications Coordinator
kelley@clearwater.org
845-265-8080 x7107

Samantha Epstein, Invasive Species Program Coordinator
epstein@clearwater.org
845-265-8080 x7114

Environmental Action & Green Cities
Contact our Environmental Action department for all information regarding Clearwater’s environmental advocacy, the Hudson River Watershed Alliance and environmental issues affecting the Hudson River, Hudson Valley, and New York State.

Manna Jo Greene, Environmental Action Director
mannajo@clearwater.org
845-265-8080 x7113

Festival
Linda Richards – Volunteer Coordinator
volcoord@clearwater.org
845-265-8080 x7160

Cortney Schwam, Festival Assistant
festassist@clearwater.org
845-265-8080 x7112


Alphabetical List

Michelle Acosta, Consulting Controller
michelle@clearwater.org
845-265-8080 x7123

Amy Bonder, Director of Administration and HR
amy@clearwater.org
845-265-8080 x7100

Dave Conover, Interim Executive Director
dave@clearwater.org
845-265-8080 x7104

Captain Aleythea Dolstad
aleythea@clearwater.org
845-265-8080 x7163

Samantha Epstein, Invasive Species Program Coordinator
epstein@clearwater.org
845-265-8080 x7114

Manna Jo Greene, Environmental Action Director
mannajo@clearwater.org
845-265-8080 x7113

Kelley Howard, Sail Program Manager & Communications Coordinator
kelley@clearwater.org
845-265-8080 x7107

Erin Macchiaroli, Administration & Communications Coordinator
erin@clearwater.org
845-265-8080 x7101

Ann Mellor, Manager of Membership and Sloop Club Relations
ann@clearwater.org
845-265-8080 x7119

Maija Niemisto, Education Director
maija@clearwater.org
845-265-8080 x7115

Diane Oktay, Interim Director of Development
diane@clearwater.org
845-265-8080 x7118

Linda Richards – Volunteer Coordinator
volcoord@clearwater.org
845-265-8080 x7160

Eli Schloss, Tideline Discovery Program Director
eli@clearwater.org
845-265-8080 x7106

Cortney Schwam, Festival Assistant
festassist@clearwater.org
845-265-8080 x7112

Interim Executive Director
Dave Conover Dave Conover
845-265-8080 x7104
Dave Conover first joined Clearwater in 1991 as an onboard educator and has worked off and on for the organization in various roles, including Navigator editor, grant officer and even storyteller at the Clearwater Festival. He received a BS in forest biology from SUNY ESF and an MS in environmental studies with a teaching certification from Antioch University New England. Dave has experience working on American shad research in the Connecticut River, water treatment for the NYC DEP, and environmental education at the Ashokan Center. He has also traveled to Russia and Syria as part of citizen exchange programs and visited Greenland as part of a climate change awareness project. Dave is currently an adjuct instructor for Marist College, teaching environmental issues. Dave returned to Clearwater in 2007 as education director after serving as a high school teacher for the Dutchess Academy of Environmental Studies.
Administration
Amy Bonder Amy Bonder, Director of Administration and HR
845-265-8080 x7100
Amy spent her childhood on both coasts – living in the lush green state of Washington and the suburbs of northern NJ. Amy found Clearwater in the fall of 1996 after finishing college (and putting in many ski days) in Burlington, VT. After 2 years as Clearwater’s Development Assistant, she moved into the position of Office Manager and in 2007 moved into the role of Director of Administration and HR. There you can find her holding together all operational aspects of the organization including administration, accounting, human resources, systems management and attempting to keep the kitchen clean. When not in the office, you can find Amy skiing, camping, boating, hiking the AT and spending time with her husband Scott and lil ones; Noah and Paige.
Michelle Acosta Michelle Acosta, Consulting Controller
845-265-8080 x7123
Michelle began working at Clearwater in August 2016. As Controller, Michelle maintains the financial records of the organization handling the accounting, as well as preparation of the budgets for both the Board of Directors and grant proposals. Prior to joining Clearwater, Michelle was the Controller and Business Manager at St. Aloysius School in Harlem. She has served the nonprofit community in various financial roles over 10 years. Michelle has a Bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice from John Jay College of Criminal Justice and is currently pursuing a second Bachelor’s in Accounting from Hunter College. A lover of travelling and world cultures, Michelle is fluent in Spanish, speaks conversational French and Italian and is looking forward to continuing the study and learning of additional languages. She has resided in Beacon, NY for the last 15 years and loves the Hudson Valley.
Erin Macchiaroli Erin Macchiaroli, Administration & Communications Coordinator
845-265-8080 x7101
Erin hails from Queens, NY. After serving 4 years in the Air Force, Erin received a BA in Sociology from SUNY New Paltz, then a MA in Writing from the National University of Ireland, Galway. Erin is a renaissance woman of sorts and is willing to try her hand at almost anything. Erin joined Clearwater in 2014 and wears the communications, administration and merchandising hats. She lives in Newburgh with her husband Robert.
Captain
Aleythea DolstadCaptain Aleythea Dolstad
(845) 265-8080, x7163
If a home flag is to be flown for Aleythea, it is the flag of Cascadia. Having grown up on an island, being surround by water seems not only natural but unavoidable. Aleythea’s first sailing experience was on the schooner Ruben de Cloux at eight days old, their toddler years were spent on the longboats Porpoise and Discovery’s Launch. The summer after middle school they began sailing on the schooner Adventuress, first as a participant, and eventually spending multiple seasons both sailing and yard. Having dedicated a majority of their time on the waters of the Salish Sea working with environmental education and environmental and social justice, coming to the fine and splendid sloop Clearwater just made sense. Aleythea is happy to be working in a place where the folk tradition of making voices heard, strong in the face of injustice, and sailing a tall ship successfully meld together. Enjoys climbing stuff, playing hot dice, a well done Hudson River gybe, cilantro, bonfires, making a cozy nest, and tea with milk and honey. Shipboard titles have included but are not limited to; volunteer, deckhand, educator, rigger, spare part, bosun, first mate, trouble, winter coordinator, watch officer, and captain.
Development
Ann Mellor Ann Mellor, Manager of Membership and Sloop Club Relations
845-265-8080 x7119
Ann Mellor started working at Clearwater as Development Assistant / Membership Associate in April 2009. Previously, Ann served as Membership Associate / Administrative Assistant at the Hastings Center in Garrison, NY for 7 years. She is married and lives in Beacon, NY with her husband Michael Mellor. They came to the Hudson Valley in 1984 from Rochester, NY. Ann and her husband raised their two wonderful daughters in Beacon; one daughter, Mary Joe, is married and serves in the U.S. Navy, and the other daughter, Christine, served in the Air Force and is now to be married and living in Rochester NY. In her free time, Ann loves to cook, read, travel, listen to music and watch movies.
Diane Oktay Diane Oktay, Interim Director of Development
845-265-8080 x7118
Diane von Roesgen Oktay brings over 20 years of experience in fundraising and program delivery. She has written successful proposals for foundation, corporate and government grants ranging from $2,000 to $1.3 million. Her experience includes work with non-rofits in the field of education, environment, out-of-school programs and museums. Diane started her career as a counselor and program manager. She holds a BA from Cornell University, and an MEd in counseling and an MBA in non-profit management, both from Boston University.
Environmental Action & Green Cities
Manna Jo Greene Manna Jo Greene, Environmental Action Director
845-265-8080 x7113
Manna Jo Greene, Clearwater’s Environmental Action Director since 2000, was formerly the Recycling Coordinator/Educator for the Ulster County Resource Recovery Agency for more than 10 years and a registered Critical Care Nurse for 22 years. She holds an AAS in Nursing, a BA in biology (pre-med) from SUNY/New Paltz, and completed course work toward a Masters in Environmental Sciences at Bard College. A lifelong environmental professional and community activist, Manna avidly supports collaborative land use planning and problem solving. Working to promote sustainable agriculture and green building and landscaping practices, she teaches communities how to integrate environmental preservation, economic prosperity (based on quality of life indicators), and social equity using effective communication. Manna also serves as Ulster County Legislator from District 19, Towns of Rosendale and Marbletown.
Education
Maija Niemisto Maija Niemisto, Education Director
845-265-8080 x7115
Maija grew up in a family of musicians in Northfield, Minnesota. She pursued B.A. in environmental studies at the Universty of Wisconsin-Madison and the American University of Beiruit in Lebanon. After her studies, she bought a small sailboat and set out on a adventure to explore the eastern seaboard which eventually lead her to Clearwater. Beginning in 2008, Maija served aboard the sloop as a member of the education staff and cultivated a great love for the river while sailing, singing, and teaching with students. In 2014, she left Clearwater to pursue an M.S. in marine sciences at Stony Brook University and deepened her knowledge of the Hudson River Estuary through research on estuarine fish and zooplankton using a biological acoustic system hosted aboard the sloop. She returned as Education Director for Clearwater in 2016. Maija has two young children who are currently accumulating sea-time on the sloop and are known to ask such questions as “mama, is the Hudson saltwater or freshwater?”
Eli Schloss Eli Schloss, Tideline Discovery Director
845-265-8080 x7106
Eli grew up in Indianapolis, Indiana. He spent his childhood sailing small boats on the lakes and reservoirs there. In 1994, after graduating from New York University with a BA in Art History, he began working in shipboard education. He crewed on Soundwaters, and HMS Bounty, was the first mate on the Lettie G. Howard, and spent time on various boats in Baltimore Harbor as part of Living Classrooms Foundation. With Living Classrooms, he ran the Customized Job Training department. He has worked at Clearwater since 2005. When not on the river, he enjoys cooking, soccer and hiking with his family and dogs.
Kelley Howard Kelley Howard, Sail Program Manager & Communications Coordinator
845-265-8080 x7107
Kelley grew up in the Hudson River Valley and has always been in love with its rich history. She is also familiar with maritime culture, local history and has been involved with archaeological work in the region. Her background includes working at several museums, including Historic Hudson Valley, and the National Maritime Historical Society. Kelley is an active member with a number of conservation/preservation groups. She earned a BA in Anthropology with a focus in Archaeology, and has a graduate certificate in museum collections conservation. Kelley loves her pets, the beach, being on the water and can usually be found outdoors snowboarding, camping, hiking, rafting, mountain biking, or rescuing less than willing animals.
Samantha Epstein Samantha Epstein, Invasive Species Program Coordinator
845-265-8080 x7114
Samantha joined Clearwater in April 2015 as the Invasive Species Program Coordinator. Raised in the Lower Hudson Valley and always a nature enthusiast, Samantha obtained her BS in Environmental Science from Ithaca College. Since graduating, she has worked to eliminate aquatic invasive species through her efforts with many organizations including the Cayuga Lake Watershed Hydrilla Task Force, The Nature Conservancy, and the Lower Hudson Partnership for Regional Invasive Species Management (PRISM). Some of her past work has included aquatic invasive species surveying, water quality testing, and public education and outreach. Samantha feels at home on the water, and can likely be found boating somewhere along the Hudson River.
Festival
Linda Richards Linda Richards – Volunteer Coordinator
845-265-8080 x7160
Linda Richards is no stranger to Clearwater – she started as a Sloop Singer, then directed the Tideline Program, and rode the waves as Education Director, Power of Song Director, Music Director, Volunteer Coordinator and Events Coordinator. She is now returning to the post of Festival Volunteer Coordinator for Revival 2017. Linda is the CEO of her own music company, S.L.Y.M.I. (Sing Like You Mean It!) and sings for and with children of all ages throughout the Hudson Valley and beyond. A former NYS public school teacher and director of many nature and arts camps, she currently teaches music at the Manitou School in Cold Spring.
Cortney Schwam Cortney Schwam, Festival Assistant
845-265-8080 x7112
Cortney joined Clearwater in December 2016 as the Festival Assistant. Hailing from the great state of New Jersey, she has a varied background in both entertainment and farming. Cortney moved to the Hudson Valley in April 2016 and is never leaving. In addition to Clearwater, Cortney is also a sale representative for Hudson Valley Harvest, a farmer, and an aspiring herbalist. In her spare time she enjoys cooking, hunting for vintage clothes, seeing live music, and hiking with her husband and dog child.