OCCA Names New Executive Director
Darla M. Youngs joined the Otsego County Conservation Association staff as administrative director in October of 2008, coming to the organization from Otsego 2000, where she was associate director. Among the talents Youngs brings to the table are bookkeeping and management experience, public relations, graphic design and journalism expertise, and strong organizational skills. Youngs grew up in Pine Woods and graduated from Morrisville-Eaton Central School. After earning her associate's degree in journalism from SUNY-Morrisville, where she graduated first in her class, Youngs relocated to Long Island to begin her journalism career as editor of a Pennysaver chain. Over the next 10 years, her on-the-job training – which she says was invaluable – led her to positions as managing editor and editorial design director of two prominent weekly newspaper chains. In 1994, Youngs left her post as head of the production division of Richner Publications, where she directed a staff of 30+, to return to central New York so that she could raise her two sons closer to home, where they could enjoy farmland, rolling hills and forests as they grew up, as she had. At that time, she became production director of "The Freeman's Journal," the third oldest weekly newspaper in the nation. She continued with the Journal through a change of ownership, and was promoted to general manager by Otsego Templeton Publishing Co., Inc., then the parent company. She held this position from 2001-2006. During this time, her work was 100 percent "hands-on," including graphic design, proofreading and editing, accounts receivable and payable, circulation, distribution, and sales. Over the years, Youngs has been recognized by the New York Press Association, including first place awards in the categories of circulation promotion and best advertising idea: multi-advertiser page. In 2006, Youngs left the paper to pursue a career that would allow her to spend more time with her family. She was hired by Otsego 2000, another local environmental nonprofit organization. In 2007, she was promoted to associate director there. While at Otsego 2000, Youngs administered the Cooperstown Farmers' Market. Other duties included bookkeeping, writing of the newsletter and e-bulletins, press liaison, database management, and event planning. Youngs has served as secretary of the Otsego County Water Quality Coordinating Committee since January of 2007. She is a member of the Earth Festival Steering Committee as well as the Otsego Lake Festival Executive Committee. She would like to see OCCA continue and expand its environmental initiatives with local schools. Youngs and her two sons – Morrison and John Darcy – live in Hartwick.
OCCA Welcomes Environmental Planner
Peter Manning is a seasoned planning professional with a wealth of practical planning experience and expertise. He holds a bachelor of arts in geography from SUNY-New Paltz and a master of landscape architecture from Cornell University. Manning has conducted training programs, developed statewide land use curriculums for rural planning boards, and provided technical assistance to hundreds of municipal officials on a wide range of land use, environmental, and local government topics. He has a strong knowledge of state statutes and land use practices, and a deference for home rule, and is committed to working with municipal officials to meet challenges and identify and pursue opportunities.
OCCA Welcomes Sauerwald to New Position
Travis Sauerwald credits both of his grandfathers for his lifelong love of the outdoors. His childhood was filled with summers of fishing, hiking and camping throughout the mid-Atlantic region. Motivated by his desire to share an appreciation of conservation and the environment he achieved the rank of Eagle Scout in his hometown of Aberdeen, MD. Sauerwald went on to complete a year of service with the Maryland Conservation Corps, an AmeriCorps program. He served as Team Leader for the Elk Neck State Park/ Elk Neck State Forest MCC crew in Northeast, MD. After a career in retail management with W.L. Gore & Associates (Gore-Tex fabric) and Eastern Mountain Sports, he set out to pursue his ambition of being a park ranger. He was employed with the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control in several different positions which eventually led to his role as assistant park superintendent. Sauerwald moved to Cooperstown in November of 2009 when his fiancé, Julie, accepted her dream job at the National Baseball Hall of Fame. He has used his time here to focus on his education, completing an associate's degree in criminal justice in addition to attending the Conservation Law Enforcement Training Program at the University of Massachusetts. He expects to complete a bachelor's in science, math and technology with a concentration in environmental studies this year. Future education plans include a master's in resource management. Sauerwald is a volunteer firefighter and EMT with the Cooperstown Fire Department.
SPECIAL PROJECTS MANAGER
For nearly 10 years, Martha Clarvoe has served as a full-time volunteer for the Otsego County Conservation Association. Her role has evolved to include program development, representing OCCA at many public meetings, volunteer coordination, and serving as a voice both for OCCA and for environmental concerns in general. Also a member of the OCCA Board of Directors, Clarvoe is the current president. Click here to read her bio information.
In 2009 , Clarvoe was nominated for the national “Women of Worth” award, sponsored by L’Oreal Paris. To learn more about Clarvoe’s contributions to the environment and OCCA, please click here to read excerpts from the nomination form.