“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” —Margaret Mead

MICHAEL R EDELSTEIN, PH.D.

President Emeritus, Co-Founder
Michael R. Edelstein co-founded Orange Environment, Inc. in 1982 and served as its President until 2019. Under his direction, OEI became a major force for protecting the region from environmental hazards while promoting sustainable communities. Edelstein is an Environmental Psychologist (Ph.D., Social Psychology, SUNY Buffalo, 1975).

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TERRA MEIERDIERCK, M.A.T.

Co-President
Terra Meierdierck, MAT, is the Outreach Program Manager for the Center for Building Knowledge at the New Jersey Institute of Technology.  At the Center, Terra worked with a team to develop the Certificate of Proficiency in Benchmarking: a national benchmarking training and credentialing program, as part of the USDOE’s Consortium for Building Energy Innovation (CBEI)…

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MAUREEN GAFFNEY

Co-President
Maureen Gaffney has been a resident of Orange County since 1987. She graduated from Ramapo College with a degree in Environmental Studies and subsequently joined Orange Environment Inc. Maureen worked at the Consolidated Edison Co of NY where her career spanned many responsibilities in the field of Environment, Health & Safety. 

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TOBY SCHACK

Vice-President
Toby Schack is a 42-year resident of Orange County and has been actively involved in civic activities since she moved here.  Beginning as a member of the Southern Orange County branch of the League of Women Voters, she ran many candidate’s forums and debates and did research on local water issues. She is also a certified Science teacher and taught Chemistry and Biology, as well as other science subjects, for over 29 years, 25 of those at Peekskill High School.

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MARY ALTOBELLI

Board Member
Mary Altobelli expresses herself with bold colors, her main medium is oil painting and she has an infinity for the woodcut block printing process. She has been a resident of Chester, New York for over thirty-seven years and lives along the black dirt, which is a source of inspiration and a subject in her artistic work. Mary infuses her subjects with a sense of empathy and joy that she expresses through the creative process. Mary is an artist/activist…

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MAXIMO BLAKE

Board Member
Maximo Blake has been founding and/or managing non-profit organizations in New York, New Jersey, Florida, and New Mexico that have worked toward the development of more sustainable living environments for thirty-five years. These organizations have focused on steering high-risk youth away from crime and toward legitimate entrepreneurial economic self-sufficiency. These organizations have participated in the renovation of…

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Dr. Joseph Grizzanti

Board Member
Dr. Joseph Grizzanti (aka “Doc”) co-owns and founded Warwick Valley Winery in 1994. He was already a prominent physician in the fields of pulmonology and immunology when he decided to pursue wine as a hobby and activity to do with his family. He is a consulting rosarian, and he remains passionate about apples, trees, farm-to-table food, horticulture and the environment.

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PETER LAI

Board Member
Peter Lai has been a board member of Orange Environment Inc (OE) since 2000. Peter is a permaculture expert and President of TQM Associates which offers management consulting services and wholesale orchids. He has travelled to Spain, Sweden, Mexico, Japan, China, Hawaii and Haiti to learn Permaculture practices.

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