Staff

Staff 2018-03-20T13:12:28+00:00

Joe Stout

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Joseph A. Stout, Executive Director

Joseph A. Stout, Executive Director of Westchester Parks Foundation, Inc. has made countless contributions in the field of parks, recreation and conservation in various local communities throughout his 35-year career. With WPF since October of 2010 as its first paid Executive Director, Joe has overseen more than $8 million in grants and donations invested in the County Park system as WPF has become focused on engaging the public and advocating for the park system.

A lifelong Westchester resident, Joe lives in Harrison with wife Mary Ellen and the family bulldog Hugo where he is a volunteer with the Harrison Volunteer Fire Department and serves on the Town Council/Board of Trustees. His daughter Kerriann is on the faculty at Vermont Law School.  He loves to walk for health in all the county parks, spend time on the beaches of Cape Cod, make homemade pizza and is an avid college basketball fan.

Prior to retiring in 2010, Joe was Commissioner of the Westchester County Department of Parks, Recreation and Conservation, and under his direction, Westchester County Parks became the first County in New York to be nationally accredited by the National Recreation and Parks Association (NRPA).

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Christine La Porta, Deputy Executive Director

Christine joined Westchester Parks Foundation in 2013 after more than 10 years in operations and project management in the financial, government, and not-for-profit sectors. Christine oversees the day-to-day operations of WPF and provides leadership for all departments, programs and events.

A native of Westchester, Christine received a BA from Stonehill College and MPA from NYU’s Wagner School of Public Service, and is a firm believer in the important role of Westchester’s outdoor spaces as vital to the health and well-being of everyone that lives and works here.

Christine previously served as Board Member and Treasurer of the Bronxville Beautification Council, and was named one of the 2017 “40 Under 40 Rising Stars” by the Business Council of Westchester. Christine lives in Armonk with her husband and two children, and will often be found walking, running, or biking in her favorite Westchester County Parks.

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Marissa Madonia, Development Director

Marissa joined Westchester Parks Foundation in January of 2017 to oversee the organization’s major gifts and annual giving program, as well as plan and execute new opportunities for donors to support Westchester parks and programs through philanthropy and volunteerism. Trust us, there is a park for everyone!

Marissa has always felt that it’s important to be an advocate for causes that affect her community and has made a career in the non-profit sector creating innovative campaigns, and partnering with individuals, companies and outreach programs to encourage communities to get involved. When not spending time strolling, picnicking or people watching in one of Westchester’s amazing parks, you can find her posting photos of her beautiful daughter on all of her social media pages!

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Sara Cavanaugh, Volunteer Coordinator

Sara joined Westchester Parks Foundation in January 2015 as their Volunteer Coordinator. She grew up in Hastings-on-Hudson and regularly visited many of the County Parks as a child. Prior to WPF, Sara worked at as a naturalist at Taconic Outdoor Education Center located in Fahnestock State Park.

Sara hopes to inspire people to help beautify and enhance County Parks. She believes that parks are important because they provide a safe, fun, and beautiful outlet for people of all ages. Her favorite WPF event is “Pitch in for Parks”, where hundreds of community members participate in a County Park-wide clean up in celebration of Earth Day.

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Linda Fleischer, Finance & Events Coordinator

Linda joined Westchester Parks Foundation in 2011 and supports the organization in guiding our financial systems, providing administrative support, and deep involvement in WPF’s signature events and programs, as well as community communications.

A native of Westchester County, childhood experiences such as fishing and ice skating at Tibbetts Brook Park, swimming at Sprain Ridge Pool, and Playland excursions were the catalyst in sparking a passion for the outdoors which was later shared with her husband, two children and two dogs.  Today, Linda continues her passion for the great outdoor experience by spending time on the county trails with her family.

Being a part of WPF’s sustainability platform for Westchester’s parks system, creating programs that engage the community, and protecting the environment for future generations, are things that she is honored to be a part of.

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Eric Harvey, Fundraising & Business Operations

Eric joined Westchester Parks Foundation in May 2016. Eric is responsible for development of membership drives and outreach strategies to grow WPF’s membership base. He also assists with general fundraising, sponsorships, year-end giving, major gifts, capital campaigns, gala and special events, donor research, and gift acknowledgements.

Eric has lived in Westchester his entire life, growing up in Larchmont, living for a few years in New Rochelle as a newlywed and settling with his family in Rye. Eric is married and has three children, 2 sons and a daughter, as well as Boxer named Roxy.

Eric worked his way through high school and college at Rye Playland. He started as a ticket taker, Kiddyland operator, Ride Operator, and eventually ride manager of the Derby Racer and Ticket Manager for the park. He also worked many winters as a Skate Guard at the Ice Casino. He met his wife while working one night at Playland on the Derby Racer.

Eric has an MBA and an International Business Certificate from Iona College, BA in Political Studies from Adelphi University and over 20 years of business experience.

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Anthony Santostasi, Web & Graphic Designer

Anthony joined Westchester Parks Foundation in June of 2016 as their Web & Graphic Designer. He supports the organization by assisting in the design and creation of all print and promotional materials. Anthony grew up in Westchester, and currently lives in nearby Tarrytown. He often spends time with friends at the Kensico Dam in Valhalla, and attends the cultural festivals there during the summer.

Anthony received his BA in Digital Media Production from Mercy College at their White Plains campus. He has 15 years of experience in the graphic design and digital media field, both as a full-time employee and freelancer. When Anthony is not designing, you can find him volunteering at Paws Crossed Animal Rescue in Elmsford on the weekend.

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Elyssa Martinez, Program & Recruitment Coordinator

Elyssa joined Westchester Parks Foundation in November 2017 as the Program and Recruitment Coordinator. Elyssa coordinates all of the on-site logistics for WPF’s programs, in addition to assisting Camp Morty with all aspects of staff and camper recruitment. Before joining the Westchester Parks Foundation, she worked for the Westchester County Parks department for three years as an Assistant Event Coordinator at the Westchester County Center in White Plains. This is where her passion for Westchester County-owned parks grew.

She currently resides in Rye, and grew up in Fairfield County, Connecticut. Elyssa loves to spend her time going on adventures with her two Shiba Inu’s Keo, and Loki at any of Westchester’s county parks and trails. She takes daily walks at Playland beach, and is always ready for a great hike. Elyssa hopes to see the world and do more traveling in the future.

“Our task must be to free ourselves by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature and its beauty.” ~ Albert Einstein

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Dustin Hunter, Director, Camp Morty

Dustin oversees the management of WPF’s summer camp for underprivileged youth, Camp Morty. Dustin joined Camp Morty in 2009 as their waterfront director and served as boys camp director and assistant director before assuming the camp director role in August of 2013. Dustin has a wealth of experience working with children and young adults, and is passionate about the fact that all children deserve a summer camp experience despite the nature of their current living situation. Dustin graduated from Saint Michael’s College in Vermont with a degree in Elementary Education and Theatre, and since has worked extensively in college admissions.

The rest of the Camp Morty directing team and their bios can be found here.