Laurie Bachman, Executive Director
610.527.5234 ext. 109
Laurie’s favorite childhood memories are playing in the stream and woods near her suburban home, exploring the rocky shores of Maine, and hiking the Laurel Path in Eaglesmere. Pennsylvania. Her love of the outdoors partnered with a passion for education led her to Riverbend in 2005.
With a BS in Human Resources from the University of Delaware, her work with not-for-profits is a second career. At Riverbend she has loved the opportunity to lead an organization that is making the world a better place. She lived in Radnor for most of life, raising her adult son and daughter there, and recently relocated to Philadelphia where she enjoys regular visits to the Schuylkill River Trail and nearby parks.
Lisa Ver Hage Hancock, Director of Development
610.527.5234 ext. 111
Lisa joined Riverbend in 2015 as our Director of Development. Prior to this she served as Development Director of the Chester County Fund for Women and Girls. Her non-profit career in conservation and environmental education began with service on the Board of the Valley Forge Audubon Society followed by nine years directing membership and communications for Montgomery County Lands Trust, now merged with Natural Lands Trust. Growing up fishing the creeks, hiking the dunes and sailing the lakes of Michigan, led to her life-long love of the outdoors. This in turn drives her desire to raise the essential funding resources needed to steward and protect our natural world. She has holds a bachelor’s degree from Calvin College, a PA teaching certification from Immaculata University, and an MLA degree from the University of Pennsylvania. With her two children now grown, she enjoys hiking, kayaking, travel and volunteering for local non-profit organizations.
Erin McCool, Director of Education and Strategic Initiatives
610.527.5234 ext. 112
Erin McCool joined Riverbend in 2016 after spending more than 13 years at the Philadelphia Zoo in the Conservation Education Department. She was born and raised in New Jersey, where she spent a great deal of time at the Jersey shore and exploring nature, including the Pine Barrens, mountains and beaches. She credits her parents who were both teachers with instilling her love for the environment and a sense of responsibility to work with future generations to protect wildlife. Erin graduated with her B.S. in Biology from Salisbury State University, and she has a Graduate Certificate in Environmental Communications from Duke University. She is currently pursuing a Master’s Degree in Environmental Education and Advocacy at University of Pennsylvania. There is no typical day at Riverbend for Erin. She enjoys that her daily tasks could range from managing a large team of educators, working with live animal ambassadors and collaborating with educators and community leaders to connect people with the natural world. When Erin is not working at Riverbend, she spends her time with her husband and two young children. She loves to travel and as an avid runner, always on the lookout for new and fun running spots on her travels.
Lorna Atkinson, Habitat Management Coordinator
610.527.5234 ext. 110
Lorna grew up in England where as a child she loved nothing better than reading about nature and spending time in local woodlands.
Her love of nature led her to pursue a BSc. in Rural Environmental Management at Writtle Agricultural College. After graduation, Lorna worked in London at a government funded agency dedicated to reducing CO2 emissions through public education and the promotion of energy efficiency.
After having left the workforce to start a family, Lorna moved with her family to the United States in 2007. Seeking a connection to her new local area and out of a desire to return to her environmental roots, Lorna applied to become a habitat volunteer at Riverbend. Following a very enjoyable two years as a volunteer, Lorna became a per diem Environmental Educator. Her three children all attend Radnor schools and the whole family recently became US citizens.
Lorna is so happy to have now joined the team as the Habitat Management Coordinator at Riverbend, allowing her to help care for the land she has grown to love and which means so much to so many.
Allison Cȏté-Donovan, Manager of School, Scout and Outreach Programs
610.527.5234 ext. 108
Allison studied at the Temple University Graduate School of Education, where she obtained her teaching certification, K-6. Her education career began at the Friends School Haverford, and continued at the School District of Philadelphia, where she taught for 7 years. Allison’s experience also includes managing exhibit spaces and live animal care at the Academy of Natural Sciences. Most recently, Allison served as the Associate Director of Community Learning at the Please Touch Museum, where she designed, managed and trained staff on multiple outreach programs as well as an in-house teen mentoring / college access program.
Allison served as a per-diem staff member at Riverbend during the 2008-2009 season, and is delighted to return as the Manager of School, Scout, and Outreach programs.
Hadley Kunz, Camp Manager
610.527.5234 ext. 106
Camp and nature have always been a big part of Hadley’s life. She grew up in Narberth and cultivated a love of the outdoors while running around her neighborhood and spending long weekends exploring the Poconos.
Hadley spent her summers in the Pine Barrens of New Jersey at a sleepover camp first as a camper, then as a counselor. After graduating from West Virginia University with a degree in Journalism, she moved to Hawaii to pursue adventure. During her stay she worked at a year-round YMCA camp climbing from a Volunteer, to Program Instructor, and then as the School Programs Director where she supervised a staff of 10-20 and hosted over 100 schools annually.
Hadley is currently earning her Masters Degree in Education with an emphasis on Child Development and looks forward to practicing what she learns while working with the children at Riverbend.
Senior Marketing Specialist
610.527.5234 ext. 104
Lisa first fell in love with nature while growing up among the pines of Medford Lakes, NJ. She has fond memories of camping, hiking and fishing with her father.
Those memories of nature led her to join the Riverbend team in 2011 as the Development and Communications Associate. She is thrilled to be a part of the Riverbend family where she can put her MS in Arts Administration and experience in the field of communications to work, along with her love for the outdoors. When Lisa is not at work she enjoys spending time camping, painting and traveling with her husband, daughter and dog.
Community Engagement Coordinator
610.527.5234 ext. 113
Growing up in West Chester, PA, Tara's favorite childhood memories were climbing trees, building stick forts and catching fireflies. It is the quiet simplicity of nature in its purest form that drives her to bring the Riverbend experience to community and visitors of all ages.
Tara joined the Riverbend family in 2016, as the Community Engagement Coordinator. After planning many local fundraising events, she wanted to promote the mission of Riverbend, which is to bring children closer to nature. Whether planning a borough festival , a public program, or a creative cook-out at Riverbend, Tara promises fun and engaging activities for all ages. Tara received her BS in Interior Design from Drexel University, and has been a Gladwyne resident for almost 20 years. When she is not spending time with her husband and three children, she enjoys trail walks, scuba diving and skiing.