The PTNY Team

 Photo of Parks & Trails New York Staff Members

Paul Steely White (he/him), Executive Director[email protected]

In 2018, Paul had the honor of driving the ceremonial last car allowed on NYC’s Central Park’s loop drive. Car-Free Central Park was one of the many successful public space, bicycling, greenway and pedestrian safety campaigns of Transportation Alternatives, an organization that became a model for effective public interest advocacy during Paul’s 14-year tenure as executive director.

Paul has a bachelor's degree in biology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and master’s degree in environmental studies from the University of Montana. He spends his Saturdays and Sundays brick oven baking, bicycling, and hiking the parks and trails of the Hudson River Valley with his wife Zoe and their three rascally children. Paul joined PTNY in March 2023, succeeding the legendary Robin Dropkin.


Will Cote (he/him), Senior Director of Public Lands | [email protected]

Will’s roots are in New York’s Capital Region, where he grew up with an appreciation for the many benefits and wonders of the outdoors. He loves experiencing nature first-hand and seeks out adventure, having traveled to more than 25 countries and hiked mountains on three continents. Since joining PTNY in 2020, he has endeavored to build grassroots communities for our public lands that will lead to greater appreciation and stewardship of New York’s natural environment. Will has over 20 years in nonprofit management and pedagogy, with a Masters in Education from SUNY Albany. When he is not spending time with his family and two young children, Will can be found cooking, reading, or geeking out over the latest Marvel release.

Dylan Carey (he/him), Director of Policy and Planning | [email protected]

Dylan joined PTNY in 2018, returning to his native Capital Region after five years spent in Brooklyn. A cyclist, hiker, and railroad history buff, he loves exploring historic rail corridors around the state, envisioning a future where they can be enjoyed as new greenway trails. Dylan has a background in politics and government, having worked for Congressman Paul Tonko and for New York City’s Office of Management and Budget, and has a Master’s Degree in City and Regional Planning from Brooklyn’s Pratt Institute. He lives in Albany with his dog, Marty, and cat, Freya, and is a long-suffering New York Mets and Brooklyn Nets fan.

Shaina Hogan (she/her), Senior Manager for Grants and Programs | [email protected]

Shaina, a Metro Detroit native, joined PTNY in 2020 with a desire to help ensure our public lands are protected, welcoming, and accessible for all in perpetuity. As a former wilderness guide with a dual-degree in Environmental Science and International Relations, Shaina is passionate about connecting people to natural spaces and transformative experiences with the goal of improving individuals’ and communities’ well-being and quality of life across the state. She brings experience in program management, communications, event planning, and advocacy + policy. Shaina loves a good adventure: be it the woods down the street or a city across the globe, you can catch her exploring via foot, roller blades, bicycle, or kayak… with ample breaks to just lay in the grass, enjoy a good meal with her family, or dance to some live music.

Jonathan Duda (he/him), Grants Manager [email protected]

Jonathan is a proud Albany native and current resident. His hopeful career abroad, spawned by his Bachelor’s Degree in International Business from the University of Buffalo, shifted significantly when he was offered the opportunity to teach outdoor education in the Catskills. This welcomed immersion into nature, living history, and non-profit management laid the foundation for his career focus. Introduced to PTNY’s remarkable work with Friends groups while serving as Executive Director of the Grant Cottage State Historic Site, he joined the team in 2014. As a mountain biker/road cyclist, hiker/urban explorer, drummer/percussionist, and founder of the Let’s Drum traveling music program, Jonathan’s days rarely lack an engaging array of sights and sounds.

Rebecca Murray (she/her), Project Manager | [email protected]

Rebecca was born and raised on the north shore of Long Island, losing her accent as she made her way north to the Capital District. She joined PTNY in 2019 ready to get back to the world of environmental advocacy and grassroots campaign planning. With a Bachelor's Degree in International Relations and Political Science from SUNY New Paltz, Rebecca has experience in nonprofit administration, stewardship engagement, and event planning. A dedicated yogi and amateur baker, she spends much of her free time taking her dog for walks along local sections of the Erie Canalway Trail with her husband and son.

Erica Schneider (she/her), Policy and Planning Coordinator | [email protected]

Originally from northern Virginia, Erica has been with PTNY since 2020 and has fallen in love with New York’s incredible network of public lands. She is passionate about the transformative community impact of expanding access to parks and greenway trails. Erica is an avid trail user herself, with experiences like biking across the United States and hiking Spain’s Camino de Santiago informing her advocacy for New York’s growing network of trails and green spaces. She brings experience in community organizing, communications, and program management, and is further honing her skills in community planning through a masters in Urban and Regional Planning at SUNY Albany.

Sydney Robinson (she/her), Arthur V. Savage Intern | [email protected]

Sydney is from Buffalo, New York and currently lives in Albany pursuing her bachelors in Environmental Science & Urban Studies and Planning the University at Albany. In her free time, she enjoys traveling to experience new cultures, baking new deserts, and trying out new local restaurants. Sydney joined PTNY in September 2023 looking to get involved in community outreach, learn more about state parks and historic sites across NYS, and strengthen her conservation literacy and research skills. She brings prior experience utilizing GIS software, engaging with volunteers and community members on planning decisions, and working in social media and marketing communications. Sydney is extremely excited to be brought onto PTNY to work on a variety of projects.

 Development, Communications and Marketing 

Linden Horvath (she/her), Senior Director of Development, Communications and Marketing[email protected]

Linden hails from Appalachian Ohio and grew up loving rambles in the woods. She joined PTNY in 2020 looking to create more equitable access to the benefits of public green space for all New Yorkers. With a Masters in Sustainable International Development from the Heller School at Brandeis, Linden has experience in rights-based community work, organizing, development, policy, and grant writing (to name a few). An avid reader, walker, and nature lover, she can be found meandering in sunshine or cuddling with her cat and a good book.

Ian Kerr-Mace (he/him), Development Coordinator | [email protected]

Ian grew up exploring the woods, playing in the dirt, and biking the gravel roads of Rensselaer County. After his educational journey took him to Western New York and downstate, he saw a need to expand equity and safety across New York’s green spaces and joined PTNY in 2022. Ian brings an enthusiasm for data-driven analysis and operations management to the table, in addition to past experiences in the performing arts and historic preservation. An avid musician, he can be heard on numerous recordings and seen at venues across the Capital Region and beyond.

Tara Quackenbush (she/they), Bike Tours Specialist/Events Manager[email protected]

Tara grew up in the Tug Hill Plateau region of northern NY. She earned a Masters in Environmental Science from SUNY ESF with a focus on Environmental Communication and Participatory Processes, and a Certificate of Advanced Study in Environmental Conflict Resolution from Syracuse University’s Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs. Tara has experience gathering stakeholders to develop networks of verdant spaces for food production in the Capital Region. She joined PTNY in 2023 to continue to strengthen sense of place and wellbeing in collaboration with communities. Tara is a parent, partner, wildcrafter, and an herbalist focused on fostering relationships and regular interaction with our plant kin in the Capital District bioregion. Her ultimate focus is to deepen our connections to each other, and the ecosystems we share.


Andrea Shaye (she/her), Office Manager[email protected]

Andrea was born and raised in the Capital Region. She is passionate about environmental stewardship and hopes to connect others to the same serenity she experiences in natural spaces. Andrea brings 15+ years of social sector experience to PTNY and holds an MBA in Nonprofit Management from the Heller School for Social Policy and Management. Andrea loves digging around in her native plant gardens and challenging her husband and two kids in pinball.