People

Management Team

Katherine Hollins, Program Director

Katherine Hollins is the Program Director for the Sustaining Family Forests Initiative. She facilitates Tools for Engaging Landowners Effectively workshops throughout the U.S. along with the SFFI team, tracks the team’s progress, provides ongoing assistance to participants, and ensures SFFI continues to support natural resource professionals through the development of new tools, resources, and activities. Katherine has a background in science communications, managing multi-partner collaborative efforts focused on non-native species, and conducting on-the-ground management of nature preserves. She has an MS in Natural Resources and the Environment from the University of Michigan, and a BA in Psychology from the University of Virginia.

Purnima Chawla, Targeted Marketing Consultant

Dr. Purnima Chawla is the Founder and Director of the Center for Nonprofit Strategies. She is a recognized expert in developing and implementing strategies that help nonprofit organizations achieve their goals. She has provided marketing, programmatic, and management counsel to a wide variety of nonprofit organizations including educational institutions, advocacy organizations, health and human services organizations, foundations, and coalitions. Her other clients include government agencies like the National Institutes of Health, the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, USAID, NASA, and the CDC, and socially responsible corporations like Johnson & Johnson.

Cassidy Dellorto-Blackwell, Program Specialist

Cassidy Dellorto-Blackwell is the Sustaining Family Forests Initiative’s Program Specialist. She works with the TELE and Women Owning Woodlands projects developing practical resources, conducting research, and providing logistical and organizational support. Cassidy has a Master of Science degree in Natural Resources and Environment from the University of Michigan where she studied environmental psychology and conservation ecology. Her interests lie in understanding how individuals perceive and define their relationships to place and environment and how that personal context contributes to conservation behavior.

Ravi Singh, Project Consultant

Ravi Singh, co-founder of the Center for Nonprofit Strategies, has over two decades of professional experience as a researcher, evaluator, and strategist. His career includes positions at leading research firms like Roper ASW, leading public relations firms such as Weber Shandwick, and nonprofit organizations like the Sesame Workshop and the Foundation for Accountability (FACCT).

Brett Butler, Research Director

Brett Butler has worked for the USDA Forest Service since 1998. In 2000, he joined the Forest Inventory and Analysis program at the Northern Research Station where he co-directs the family Forest Research Center and coordinates the National Woodland Owner Survey.

Ben Walter, Program Coordinator

Ben is the Sustaining Family Forests Initiative’s Program Coordinator. He works closely with the entire team to assist with financial management, communications, and travel.

Before coming to SFFI, Ben worked in the Business Office at the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in sociology from Clark University.

Student Research Assistants

Abigail Chan, Research Assistant

Abigail Chan is the Sustaining Family Forests Initiative Research Assistant for the Women Owning Woodlands program. She works to assist in efforts to develop resources in collaboration with SFFI’s partners for the network of professionals pursuing work around women landowners. Abigail is a first-year Master of Environmental Management candidate at the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies (F&ES) where she is pursuing the Ecosystems, Land Conservation, and Management specialization. Her focus at F&ES is examining how best to engage stakeholders in private land management and understanding the effect private management plans have on public lands in the United States. She also holds a B.S. in Environmental Science and B.A. in Environmental Thought and Practice from the University of Virginia.

Melanie Jones, Research Assistant

Melanie Jones is a Research Assistant for the Sustaining Family Forests Initiative. She assists with data management and is creating an Access database to improve SFFI’s monitoring and evaluation efforts. She also interviews Tools for Engaging Landowners Effectively (TELE) workshop attendees to write case studies about the meaningful impact TELE has had on their conservation efforts.   

Melanie is a second-year Master of Environmental Science candidate at the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies. Her research focuses on the status and potential future of ecotourism in post-crisis Cuba and Puerto Rico. She received a Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Studies, GIS, and Conservation Biology from the University of Arizona. Her other academic interests include Small Island Developing States, conservation, tourism, and resiliency.