Mike Porter, President, Margaretville
Mike is a retired teacher from Margaretville Central School. He taught Earth Science, Environmental Science, Science Research in the High School, Driver Education and several elementary and junior high courses over his 33-year career. In 1988 he was selected as the New York State Conservation Teacher of the Year by the New York State Board of Soil and Water Districts. A life-long resident of Delaware County, Mike is an avid birder and has studied the changes in the avian community over the years.
As a small woodlot landowner, he has learned to manage his property to better enhance wildlife, timber quality and maple syrup production. Mike has been an active volunteer Fireman for nearly 45 years and was an Executive officer for most of that time. He was a member of the Town of Middletown Zoning Board of Appeals and, later, a Planning Board member and Chair. Besides birding, Mike gardens, makes Maple syrup, cuts his own firewood and does woodworking. Currently, he is harvesting trees from his property and preparing his own lumber via a bandsaw mill on the property.
Robert Bishop II, Vice President, DeLancey
Steve Miller, Vice President & Treasurer, Margaretville
Steve Miller was born in Union Grove, Delaware county and moved to a family farm in Margaretville at an early age when New York City’s Pepacton reservoir filled the valley. After a career as a heavy construction Civil Engineer and Construction Manager working in many places and projects in the northeast, he and his wife moved back to the house and farm he grew up on. His maple syrup operation and tending chickens fills much of his time, as does spending as much time as possible in the woods doing timber stand improvement and cutting wood for the syrup operation and for heating the house.
Having been a long time member, serving on the CFA board of directors is something Steve enjoys, as well as being part of an organization that helps other members and landowners understand and enjoy what they have.
Steve Finch, Secretary, Halcottsville
Steve began his professional career, just out of high school, at family business Hubbell Brothers, Inc., and continued at family owned Brookside Hardware, Ltd., where he became a manager and partner. Steve has been a volunteer first responder in the Halcottsville Fire Department (HFD) since he was fourteen.
After retiring from full time employment at the end of 2019, Steve continues to manage projects for MTC and he continues to be an active volunteer in the community. Steve is the president of the Halcottsville Fire Department and a Fire Commissioner for the Middletown-Hardenburgh Fire District. Steve recently joined the board of directors for the M*Ark Project, and in his hometown, he recently created the Halcottsville Community Association, to bring residents together. Steve is also Vice President of the Halcottsville Cemetery Association. In his free time, Steve loves to spend time outdoors gardening and landscaping around the home and property he shares with his wife, Sara. Together, they also both enjoy golfing and skiing in and around the Catskill Mountains.
Norman Maender, Margaretville
Norm Maender grew up on a dairy farm near Margaretville, N.Y. at the upper end of Huckleberry Brook. He developed an appreciation of all aspects of the outdoors, especially the forested acres and the wildlife. He first interfaced with the CFA in 1985 to complete a woods walk of the original property and obtain a better understanding of managing the forestland for timber quality and the enhancement of wildlife. He has since been a long time member and was elected to the Board of Directors in 2017. He currently owns one half of the original farm property.
Norm initially served as an Officer in the U.S. Merchant Marine over a three year period with a USCG License, 3rd Assistant Engineer. He subsequently completed his obligation as a Commissioned Officer in the USNR in parallel with working in the U.S. Naval Nuclear Program with the responsibility of servicing the various nuclear reactors on the Prototypes, Submarines, and Surface Ships. He retired from Lockheed Martin as a Manager in the Reactor Servicing Organization at the Knolls Atomic Power Laboratory in Schenectady N.Y.
He is also a member of the New York Forest Owners Association, The American Chestnut Foundation, and the American Tree Farm System.
Eleanor DiPalma, Delhi
Eleanor, daughter of immigrant farmers, learned the magic of the forest at an early age. She worked in her family’s business as a landscaper and book keeper where she developed self–motivation, physical stamina, creativity and unique visual skills. This experience has positively shaped her life skills. Dr DiPalma earned a PhD from New York University in dance movement psychotherapy and she is recognized internationally in her field.
Eleanor has completed an array of projects on her own land. These projects include: a riparian buffer restoration; eradication of invasive species; tree planting of more than a thousand seedlings; tree pruning; timber stand improvements; and early successional habitat management to create a place for wildlife to thrive.
Lenore Ostrowsky, Big Indian
Lenore joined the Catskill Forest Association in August 2016 and has learned a great deal from CFA’s programs and staff.
In 1921 her grandparents bought seventy acres of densely forested, mountainside property on both sides of McKenley Hollow Road in Oliverea, NY from a retiring minister and his wife whose only son had been killed during WWI. It has been in the family ever since, first as a landscape for her grandfather to paint while teaching at the Art Students’ League in New York City and then as a place to host actors and design stage sets for upcoming seasons of Maury Schwartz’s Yiddish Art Theater plays.
Lenore is a lawyer with the U.S. Department of Education in Washington DC. She has spent part of every summer here since she was born.