Staff

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: rvt@thecharles.org     Phone: 617.300.8174

 

 

Laura Jasinski, Incoming Executive Director

Laura Jasinski is an urban planner with ten years of experience in development and activation of urban open space and community engagement. Most recently she served as the Associate Director of the Boston Waterfront Initiative for The Trustees of Reservations, an effort to build world-class, resilient open space on the Boston Harbor. Previously, she served as the Director of Programs and Planning for the Rose Kennedy Greenway Conservancy where she managed several capital improvements and installations. Ms. Jasinski holds a BA in Architectural Studies and an MA in Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning from Tufts University. Her graduate work focused on universal design and best practices in creating inclusive public spaces. A former co-captain of the Tufts women’s basketball team and long-time athlete, Ms. Jasinski has trained for several half marathons and the 2016 Boston marathon along the Charles River. She looks forward to the day when she and her fellow swimmers from the Cambridge Masters program can practice at the Swim Park.

 

Email: ljasinski@thecharles.org     Phone: 617.300.8175

 

 

Vanessa Nason, Project Manager

Vanessa enjoys being part of an organization working to improve the Charles River, which she has spent countless hours walking, running, and relaxing beside. Since joining the Conservancy, she can include cycling in that list! After starting on the operations and development side, Vanessa has appreciated adding project management and applying her passion for swimming to the Charles. She didn’t need much convincing on the idea of urban river swimming, but her first jump in during City Splash 2016 made her a convert, and she looks forward to the time when swimming has a home in the Charles again. Vanessa has a graduate degree from Georgetown University. Her prior experience includes administration at an architecture firm and program coordination at an urban planning foundation. In her spare time, Vanessa volunteers with a nonprofit that provides free technology to seriously ill children.

 

Contact Vanessa with questions about the Swim Park Project.

Email: vnason@thecharles.org     Phone: 617.300.8162

 

 

Sasha Vallieres, Volunteer Program Manager

CRC Headshots-Sasha V copySasha currently manages 2,000 annual volunteers and the Conservancy’s horticultural and conservation activities. Sasha has over ten years of experience in the non-profit sector, where she has worked in resource management, taught environmental education and natural history, performed trail maintenance, and organized volunteer events for small groups to events with several hundred. Sasha has previously worked for YMCA of Greater Boston, National Parks Service, Trustees of Reservations, and interned with the Student Conservation Association. When not working in the Charles River parklands, Sasha enjoys gardening, reading, movies, and hiking.

 

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: svallieres@thecharles.org     Phone: 617.300.8173

 

 

Ilana Cedarbaum, Operations and Development Assistant

Ilana started at the Conservancy after graduating from Brandeis University, excited to help improve the parklands she loves to spend time in. Bringing a passion for non-profit management and development, she works with the rest of the development team to reach and track fundraising goals and provides internal operational support to keep the organization running! Her work includes donation processing and tracking, major event planning, internal coordination with committees and consultants, and other administrative and operational support. In her free time, you can find Ilana practicing circus acrobatics at locations around Massachusetts (including in the parks!), hiking, and exploring new restaurants.

 

Contact Ilana if you have questions about a recent donation.

Email: icedarbaum@thecharles.org     Phone: 617.300.8174

 

 

Lucy Salwen, Special Projects and Communications Assistant

Lucy graduated from Wesleyan University with a double major in Mathematics and Art and a Certificate in Environmental Studies. She interned with several environmental organizations, including the Environmental League of Massachusetts and was a leader in environmental groups during college. At the Charles River Conservancy she is writing and designing the monthly e-newsletter, creating maps, and helping with advocacy and event planning. She loves biking and nature and is thrilled to be applying her skills and experience to improving urban green space and connecting people with the natural elements of our city.

 

Contact Lucy if you have questions about advocacy.

Email: lsalwen@thecharles.org     Phone: 617.300.8171