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[updated 1-25-17]

About Us - Board of Directors

Jim Pierce, President — Coburn / Haines Township

Life is what happens while dreaming. Raised in Gener-ica Chicago, dreams of becoming a Shrimp Farmer led to a BS degree in Microbiology and a Farmer’s Daughter, then to a five-year honeymoon/internship on Prawn Farms in Hawaii. In 1988 dreams led us to Wisconsin where we homesteaded a Trout Farm, began an accidental career with the Organic Valley Dairy Cooperative and raised two daughters. The last four years transitioned to International Organic Program Manager for an Organic Certification Agency, Trout Farmers retired and, since August 2011, happy residents of Penns Valley. Music, dancing, kids, dogs, gardening, silent sports and assimilating into this beautiful community fill the aquaculture vacuum.

Greg Williams, Vice-President — Spring Mills / Gregg Township

Greg moved to the Penns Valley area in 1990 with his wife Mary Kay, where they purchased what is now the Cooke Tavern. Together they restored the historic tavern which was in need of major repairs and currently operate it as a Bed & Breakfast. Greg worked in private industry for 15 years after graduating from Penn State University with a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering. In 2001 Greg left engineering to pursue his entrepreneurial passion of owning his own business. He now operates Cooke Tavern Soups, a business that produces and sells all natural gourmet dried soup mixes. He and his wife also have restored a large portion of their property into a wetlands reserve named Muddy Paws Marsh. They open the property for local groups and individuals to enjoy and provide environmental education. He has served on the Gregg Township Sewer Authority Board for the past 10 years and is a proud member of the Penns Valley Conservation Association.

Ray Girouard, Treasurer — Coburn / Penn Township

Ray is originally form the greater Boston Massachusetts area where he raised his four (now grown) children. He began his non-profit work in 2009 when he joined the State of Maine as the Director of Accounting for the Department of Health and Human Services. Ray has a BS in Economics and Accounting and an Masters degree in Business Management. As an avid outdoors person, it was an honor to be asked to join such an impactful community organization. Ray relocated to Penns Valley in March of 2016 to join his fiance' in Coburn. He currently works as the Corporate Controller for Scott's Landscaping in Centre Hall.

Kat Alden, Secretary — Spring Mills / Gregg Township

Kat Alden has been a member of PVCA since its inception. She feels passionate about PVCA's mission to protect the Valley's unique environment through education, preservation and restoration. As a certified teacher she has shared her love of nature in and out of the classroom, also founding and developing outdoor programs through One World Environmental Center in Spring Mills. As a land owner, committed to preservation she put her property in an easement with ClearWater Conservancy. As a Master Gardener with the pollinator program, she participates in habitat restoration. An avid hiker, she loves exploring local trails and forests and hopes to contribute to their protection.

Martha Hoffman — Millheim Boro

Martha Hoffman grew up in Rochester, New York and moved to Penns Valley after completing her undergraduate degree at Swarthmore. She opened the IngleBean Coffee House - a staple in downtown Millheim - and owned and operated it from 2011 to 2015. She has also been instrumental in the Millheim Business Community,which serves to promote the healthy economic and cultural development of the valley region. She now lives in Millheim Borough with her husband and cats.

Tommy Frank — Millheim Boro

Tommy Frank grew up in Philadelphia, where he spent several years as an active member in a Trout Unlimited, learning about stream monitoring and habitat improvement. After graduating from Tyler School of Art, he moved with his wife, Tracy, to Bellefonte. In 2015 they brought their family out to Penns Valley, settling in Millheim. Tommy is an avid fly fisherman and forager, and eager to contribute to PVCA with his existing knowledge of limestone valley ecosystems and willingness to volunteer.

Kurt Grotz — Aaronsburg / Haines Township

Kurt Grotz graduated Cheyney State University (the Oldest Historically Black College in the USA) with a degree in Mass Media Communications. He has used his skills in multimedia communication in his career as a community activist, special events coordinator and photo-journalist. Kurt has worked with many types of Environmental, Social Change and Civic organizations including Pennsylvania Resources Council, Campaign for Nuclear Weapons Freeze, Media Rugby Club, Philadelphia Folk Festival, Project Vote, Media Fellow and Rotary International. Since moving to Penns Valley four years ago he has become involved with WSOV Radio, Millheim Business Community, Aaronsburg Civic Association and the Salem Lutheran Church. He currently helps small businesses with Social Media Outreach and is working to create a Rural Peace Center based on the Tolerance Tennent’s set forth by the “Aaronsburg Story.“ The idea is to develop the idea of “Civil Sustainability” as a part of “Sustainable Living.”

Lexie Orr — Woodward / Haines Township

Lexie Orr moved to Central Pennsylvania in 2006 to attend Bucknell University, fell in love with the area and never left. She has a BS in Biology, MS in Ecology and a strong background in writing, sustainable agriculture, freshwater ecology and education. She is extremely passionate about protecting and restoring natural resources and currently works at ClearWater Conservancy. Outside of work, she is either hiking with her dog, trail running, gardening or fly fishing.

Eli Ward —Millheim Boro

Eli Ward is a foreign-born local who appreciates and understands the value of our natural resources. “I do not personally hunt or fish; more of a hiker, camper, floater; but our "mountains" and streams provide pleasure to countless aficionados and a welcome economic boost to our business community, providing opportunities for inspired entrepreneurs and grizzled veterans of finance both. I was honored and surprised when informed I was added to the list of possible board members of the PVCA and appreciate the opportunity to lend a more direct hand assisting the future of not only the PVCA itself, but the future of our ecosystem, community, and general well-being”.

Tess Weigand — Laurelton / Union Co.

Tess Weigand relocated to the valley a few years ago and is an avid flyfisher and hiker. PVCA's mission is critical to our shared natural resources and community and Tess desires to focus her energy in aiding this mission. She is the creator of Happy Valley Hop Yard, which provides Central PA craft breweries with sustainably produced hops and the co-founder of Commonwealth Hops. Tess has a degree in Agronomy from Penn State and is employed by Pennsylvania Certified Organic.











A watershed is... that area of land, a bounded hydrologic system, within which all living things are inextricably linked by their common water course and where, as humans settled, simple logic demanded that they become part of a community."
                                                                                                      — John Wesley Powell

Please join us in becoming a steward of the Penns Creek watershed ... Communities worth preserving.