Our Team

2018 Old-Growth Forest Network Staff and Board, from left to right: Vanessa Goold, Will Cook, Melissa Micriotti, Susan Ives, Holiday Phelan-Johnson, Lea Sloan, Joan Maloof, Melissa Abdo, Susan Barnett, Lisa Marie Ghezzi, Richard Marion.

2018 Old-Growth Forest Network Staff and Board, from left to right: Vanessa Goold, Will Cook, Melissa Micriotti, Susan Ives, Holiday Phelan-Johnson, Lea Sloan, Joan Maloof, Melissa Abdo, Susan Barnett, Lisa Marie Ghezzi, Richard Marion.



Staff Members


Joan maloof, ph.d.

Executive Director: Joan is Professor Emeritus at Salisbury University, and founded the Old-Growth Forest Network to preserve, protect and promote the country's few remaining stands of old-growth forest. She spends her time lecturing, writing, visiting forests, assisting private landowners, and supporting local groups trying to protect community forests from development. Click to view Joan's Biography and her Curriculum Vitae. She is the author of Teaching the TreesAmong the AncientsNature's Temples, and most recently The Living Forest. Please contact OGFN's Administrative Assistant, Susan Barnett, if you would like to invite Dr. Maloof to give a talk or lecture about old-growth forests or one of her books.

Email: joan@oldgrowthforest.net


susan barnett

Administrative Assistant: Susan fell in love with forests at a young age when she lived across from Robin’s Woods in Riverside, PA. She was thrilled to be able to move in across from the Great North Woods of Greenbelt, MD in 1987. Yet soon after she was saddened to see the plans for a large development which would clear cut all 235 acres of forest. She volunteered with the Committee to Save the Green Belt which convinced the city of Greenbelt to purchase the land and place it under protection through the forest preserve ordinance – creating the Greenbelt Forest Preserve in 2003. This experience led Susan to start the Beaverdam Creek Watershed Watch Group, and also to begin the Celebrate the Greenbelt Forest Preserve group to encourage local residents to build their own personal relationship and sense of ownership towards protecting the forest.

Email: susan@oldgrowthforest.net


melissa micriotti

Finance Manager: Melissa is responsible for management of the organization's operating budgets, accounts payable and receivable, payroll, human resources management, and grant reporting. She also oversees the overall accounting practices at OGFN. Melissa has expertise in non-profit management, and the consulting firm she founded and directs provides guidance to several non-profit organizations. Melissa has over 18 years of direct experience in business operations and financial management.  She is delighted to bring her professional experience and warm humor to OGFN, helping the organization to grow in a steady manner.

Vanessa Goold

Vanessa grew up in the forests of Vermont, where she learned to love trees and the wildlife they support. Now a resident of Maryland’s Eastern Shore, she appreciates the abundant flora and fauna of the Chesapeake Bay region. Vanessa has a Master’s degree in Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning. She helps to coordinate operations and fundraising for the Old-Growth Forest Network.

Email: vanessa@oldgrowthforest.net

Board Members


Lisa Marie Ghezzi

President: Lisa was a partner in a satellite communications consulting firm, that culminated in her work with the team to launch XM Satellite Radio, where she continued through the merger with Sirius. Her professional expertise is in developing economically viable businesses, with an emphasis on strategy and finance. She has led volunteer efforts volunteer organizations to improve the health of the Chesapeake Bay and wildlife including Mid-Shore Riverkeepers (now ShoreRivers), Talbot County Master Gardener's Bay-Wise program, Wye River Beekeepers and Maryland's Diamondback Terrapin Working Group.


Holiday Phelan-Johnson

Vice President: Holiday was raised among the redwood trees of California. She is the director of the award-winning full-length documentary The Last Stand: Ancient Redwoods and the Bottom Line. In addition to Holiday's film work she is the mother of two, a yoga teacher, and an active philanthropist and an advisor on numerous environmental boards.


William L. Cook, DSc.

Treasurer: Will retired from a career in aerospace engineering and has been involved in environmental activities ever since. These activities include serving on the board of Adkins Arboretum and the Town of Easton Tree Board. On a personal level, he has been growing a native tree forest on his Eastern Shore property. Will is a founding board member and has served as Treasurer of the Old-Growth Forest Network since its inception in 2012.


Eleanor (Lea) Sloan

Secretary: Lea, a lifelong defender of trees and forests, met Joan Maloof soon after receiving a review copy of her first book, Teaching the Trees. Lea was then VP of Communications and Marketing at American Forests, and editor of American Forests magazine, which subsequently ran a profile on Joan in its Earthkeepers section. Lea has been a board member since 2014 and continues to promote awareness of the important work of the OGFN through her expertise as a communications strategist.


Susan Ives

Susan is an experienced nonprofit communications and fundraising strategist. She previously served as Vice President at the Trust for Public Land, worked with media and trained activists at the national Sierra Club, and spearheaded the creation of the Massachusetts Environmental Trust. Susan Ives is a founding Board member, and continues to provide invaluable strategic messaging and fundraising support to the Old-Growth Forest Network, from her home in Mill Valley, California.


Richard Marion

Richard, a veteran of the financial and commercial real estate industry, leveraged his professional savvy to spearhead the protection of one of Atlanta’s community forests from imminent development. He brings his commitment to integrity and advocacy to the Old-Growth Forest Network by providing guidance to other communities that are working to preserve forests in diverse areas around the U.S.

Past Presidents

Mike Pretl (2013-2017)