Carla Castillo, Executive Director. Ms. Castillo joined HVRC in August 2016. As Executive Director, Ms. Castillo implements the US Department of Commerce Economic Development Administration Partnership Planning Assistance Program and CARES Economic Resilience Project. She also oversees staff implementation of NYS Department of Environmental Conservation’s 604(b) Water Quality Planning Program and Climate Leadership Support Services Program as well as the NYSERDA CEC Program. Ms. Castillo and her team have been instrumental in bringing over $4 million to date in match-free CEC Program grants to participating member counties and local governments. Previously in Philadelphia, Ms. Castillo led the transformative sustainability and neighborhood revitalization efforts of NKCDC. With Recyclebank, Ms. Castillo inspired city-wide residents to recycle more through Philadelphia Recycling Rewards. At the Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority and the Reinvestment Fund, she stabilized distressed neighborhoods through the development of 550+ homes as an affordable housing lender and technical assistance provider to community development corporations. Also at the Reinvestment Fund, Ms. Castillo worked with internationally-based microfinance CEOs to advance the micro-finance industry.
Ms. Castillo received a master’s degree in City & Regional Planning and a Master of Science in International Development & Appropriate Technology from the University of Pennsylvania. She received a bachelor’s degree in Latin American Studies from UCLA. Ms. Castillo serves on the boards of the Hudson River Valley Greenway Communities Council, the Hudson River Estuary Management Advisory Committee, and is an appointed member of the Orange County Climate Smart Communities Task Force. Ms. Castillo volunteers in the Town of Cornwall, chairing the Cornwall Conservation Advisory Council. She has worked with select Cornwall Central School District schools to implement school-based recycling programs and completed her tenure as an appointed member to the Town’s Comprehensive Plan Committee.
PROGRAM: US Department of Commerce Economic Development Administration
Eleanor Peck, Mid-Hudson Clean Energy Communities Program Manager. Ms. Peck joined HVRC in May 2021. Ms. Peck works on the NYSERDA Clean Energy Communities Program, providing support as a Clean Energy Communities Coordinator to communities working to reduce energy usage and greenhouse gas emissions through the implementation of cost-saving clean energy projects. Previously, Ms. Peck was the Climate Smart Coordinator in the City of Beacon, helping the City achieve NYS Climate Smart Communities Program Silver Certification. She has also worked for the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies in Millbrook, fundraising for the Institute's ecological science, as well as the Wildlife Conservation Society, fundraising for the Bronx Zoo and conservation projects around the globe.
Ms. Peck received a master's degree in International Affairs from the New School for Social Research in New York City and her bachelor's degree from Roosevelt University in Chicago. She continues to volunteer in the City of Beacon as a member of the City’s Conservation Advisory Committee.
PROGRAMS: NYSERDA Clean Energy Communities and NYS Climate Smart Communities
Mary Lambert, Climate Action Planning Institute Coordinator. Ms. Lambert joined HVRC in July 2022. As Coordinator of the Climate Action Planning Institute, Mary provides support for local communities’ greenhouse gas inventories and climate action plans in Westchester and Duchess counties. Ms. Lambert previously served as the Co-Chair of the Hastings-on-Hudson Climate Smart Communities (CSC) Task and as a member of the Hastings Conservation Commission and the Zero Waste Advisory Task Force. She has also served as the Executive Director of the Weeden Foundation, specializing in biodiversity preservation, and as a project coordinator for Conservation International. In addition, Ms. Lambert has worked for over 20 years in technology and media, holding senior management roles at Google, Opera Software, and at Volta Charging, the country’s most utilized electric vehicle (EV) charging network. She was the Founder of an award-winning green e-marketplace, and most recently, ran her own marketing consulting business, Closed Loop Consultants, working to drive marketing and sales for cloud-based energy management solutions organizations.
Ms. Lambert received her master’s degree in business administration from Columbia University and her bachelor’s degree in American Studies from Yale University. She serves on the Hastings-on-Hudson Board of Trustees and as the Trustee Liaison for the Hastings-on-Hudson Conservation Commission and CSC Task Force.
PROGRAM: NYS DEC Climate Action Planning Institute
Melanie Patapis, Climate Smart Communities Coordinator. Ms. Patapis joined HVRC in July 2022. Ms. Patapis works on the NYS DEC Climate Smart Communities Coordinator Program, providing technical assistance and guidance as a Climate Smart Communities Coordinator to local governments completing greenhouse gas emissions inventories and climate action planning. Previously, she was the Sustainability Coordinator at Greenburgh Nature Center, providing support for all sustainability programming and initiatives.
Ms. Patapis received her master's degree in Environmental Education at Bard College's Center for Environmental Policy and her bachelor's degree in Environmental Studies from Tulane University.
PROGRAM: NYS DEC Climate Smart Communities
Lauren Bunce, Water Resources Coordinator. Ms. Bunce joined HVRC in March 2023. She works as HVRC’s Water Resources Coordinator. She previously held the role of Environmental Scientist at GZA GeoEnvironmental in southern Connecticut, where her responsibilities included conducting environmental site investigations and groundwater sampling at sites across the state. Lauren’s interest in hydrogeology began during an internship she held at the New York City Department of Environmental Protection. There, she wrote a report summarizing groundwater resources in the Hudson Valley counties through which NYC aqueducts run, with the purpose of identifying potential areas for water resource development. Following the internship, she traveled to Madagascar for a month-long program where she researched water quality degradation in nearby rivers caused by gold mining in the area.
Ms. Bunce received her master's degree in geology from Binghamton University. There, she conducted research and published a thesis on spring inflow into Great Salt Lake and its geochemical impact on the composition of the lake. She received her bachelor's degree in Geology from Stoneybrook University.
Program: NYS DEC 604b: Water quality and water availability
Liz Sun, Clean Energy Communities Coordinator. Ms. Sun joined HVRC in March 2023. She works on the NYSERDA Clean Energy Communities Program, providing support as a Clean Energy Communities Coordinator to communities working to reduce energy usage and greenhouse gas emissions through the implementation of cost-saving clean energy projects. She previously was a Legislative Fellow for Citizens’ Climate Lobby, providing technical and research support to promote sustainable environmental policies.
Ms. Sun received her master’s degree in Public Health with a certificate in Environmental Health Policy from Columbia University and her bachelor’s degree in Biology and Public Health from The George Washington University.
PROGRAM: NYSERDA: Clean Energy Communities