The Board of Trustees of Earthplace, The Nature Discovery Center has announced the appointment of Tony McDowell as Executive Director of Earthplace, effective October 14, 2013.

Tony’s most recent position was Vice President, Sales and Marketing of Finch Paper where he led the strategy for the successful turnaround of this 143-year-old company.  Prior to that, Tony was Vice President, Marketing and Business Development of StoraEnso, the North American arm of a Finnish-based forest products company.  In both of these companies, sustainable development was a key component of success. 

Throughout his business career, Tony has been active in nonprofit organizations.  He was a founding board member of Stepping Stones Museum for Children and served as Board President of The Child Guidance Center of Southern CT.  He has served on the boards of Northeast Community Church, the American Institute of Graphic Arts, and on the advisory board of Builders Beyond Borders.  He has also participated in multiple humanitarian missions in Haiti and Swaziland.

Tony is a Norwalk native and Westport resident of many years.  His personal interests in hiking, sailing, and environmental sustainability, combined with his years of experience as a high level executive with expertise in marketing and strategy make him the Board of Trustees’ unanimous choice to lead Earthplace.

“Tony’s collaborative and results-oriented style, plus his combination of solid, relevant business experience, his expertise in marketing and strategy development, his demonstrated knowledge of nonprofits, and his personal interest in and commitment to environmental education and the natural world make him an ideal leader for Earthplace,” said Julia Mally, President of the Board of Trustees of Earthplace.  “His energy and enthusiasm are infectious and have been demonstrated throughout his career by his professional and volunteer accomplishments.”

“I am thrilled to have been selected as their new leader,” says Tony.  “Earthplace programs and staff are highly regarded and the land, nursery school and Harbor Watch programs are great assets for Westport and the surrounding towns. I look forward to teaming up with members of the Earthplace family and local communities to enhance this vital resource.” 

The national search and executive transition process for Earthplace was led by Third Sector New England, Executive Transition Consultant Donna Zalichin and Interim Leader Consultant Marie Dalton-Meyer.  Third Sector New England is a nonprofit organization providing consulting and management resources to help nonprofits better meet their mission and deepen their community impact.



Name Title         Email Extension
Nikki Cantatore Harbor Watch Quality Assurance Officer 110
Josh Cooper Harbor Watch Coastal Ecology Technician 120
Sara Cronquist Manager, Community Engagement 101
Sarah Ferrante Development and Marketing Manager 109
Peter Fraboni Harbor Watch Associate Director & Facilities Manager 110
Richard Harris Harbor Watch Director 121 
Anna Henry Director of Administration and Finance 108 
Laurie Linton Associate Director 114 
Tony McDowell Executive Director 102 
Becky Newman Senior Naturalist & Camp Director 107 
Joan Richardson Publicity Coordinator  
Veronica Swain Naturalist Educator 105
Faith Taylor  Member & Donor Stewardship Associate 109
Shannon Wheeler  Animal Care Technician  122
Nursery School Teachers