Renata von Tscharner, Founder & President

Founder of the Conservancy in 2000, Renata has more than 35 years of experience in non-profit leadership, project and fiscal management, marketing, and organizational development. She trained as an architect and urban designer in Switzerland, and her professional life has focused on planning and improving public spaces. Among her many accomplishments, Renata has worked on the Covent Garden Market in London, co-authored several books, and taught at various colleges in the United States. Renata enjoys playing tennis and bicycling along the river.



Email:     Phone: 617.300.8174

SJ Port, Director of Development and Communications

An avid park explorer and advocate, SJ comes to the Conservancy with a decade of communications and public policy experience. Prior to joining the Conservancy, SJ served in Gov. Deval Patrick’s administration for seven years, leaving to assist then State Rep. Martin Walsh in his successful bid to be Mayor of Boston. It was as Press Secretary for the Department of Conservation and Recreation where she learned of the Charles River Conservancy and its mission. Although these days she spends more time traversing Jamaica Plain with her husband and dog, for the better part of the last decade SJ’s nights and weekends were spent working on political campaigns.


Contact SJ with press inquiries, questions about the Lynch Family Skatepark, the Anderson Bridge Underpass Project, or if you are looking to sponsor one of the Conservancy’s programs.

Email:               Phone: 617.300.8172


Vanessa Nason, Project Manager

Vanessa joined the Conservancy in February 2016 after several years living away from the Boston area and she is happy to be back, working to improve the parklands along the River that she has spent countless hours walking, running, and relaxing beside. She enjoyed several years working at a Cambridge architecture firm but is excited for the opportunity to impact the natural resources of this urban area. In her spare time, Vanessa volunteers with a nonprofit that provides free technology to seriously ill children and loves swimming, hiking and reading.



Contact Vanessa with questions about the Swim Park Project.

Email:               Phone: 617.300.8162


Sasha Vallieres, Volunteer Program Manager

CRC Headshots-Sasha V copyAs an environmentalist and nature lover, Sasha believes that stewardship of the land comes through enjoyment of the outdoors and public parklands.  Sasha worked for the Trustees of Reservations during summers in college and after graduating from the Indiana University of Pennsylvania interned with the Student Conservation Association and the National Park Service.  After moving to Boston she worked in the Development Department of the YMCA of Greater Boston, where she learned about non-profit management and fundraising.  In her free time Sasha enjoys gardening, hiking, and swimming.


Contact Sasha if you are interested in scheduling a corporate volunteer event or attending the next open volunteer        day. Please note that group volunteer days are typically scheduled one month in advance.

Email:               Phone: 617.300.8173


Ilana Cedarbaum, Operations and Development Assistant

Ilana started at the Conservancy in June 2017 after graduating from Brandeis University. She completed multiple internships in the development departments of local non-profits. during these internships, she cultivated an interest in non-profit management and is excited to bring this passion to help improve the parklands she loves to spend time in. In her free time, you can find Ilana practicing circus acrobatics at locations around Massachusetts (including parks), hiking, and exploring new restaurants.



Contact Ilana if you have questions about a recent donation.

Email:         Phone: 617.300.8174


Neil Bhambhani, Communications and Events Assistant

Neil is a co-op form Northeastern University. He is a fourth year student pursuing a degree in political science, with minors in environmental studies, computer science, and religious studies. Neil has previously worked at the Massachusetts Office at the Attorney General as an assistant investigator, as is a Resident Assistant at Northeastern. As a promoter of mental and spiritual well-being, Neil is a meditation leader as part of Northeastern’s mindfulness program and is training for certification in yoga teaching. As an outdoor enthusiast, Neil can be found hiking and backpacking all over the New England region as well as enjoying the beautiful parks here in Boston.