Andrew Loza, Executive Director
Andy Loza has served since 2000 as executive director of the Pennsylvania Land Trust Association where he leads public policy efforts, develops technical guidance, and implements technical assistance and education programs. His initiatives include development of ConservationTools.org and its collection of model legal documents and technical guides. His work is informed by seven years as a land trust executive director and leading land use planning, environmental, conservation, economic development, and trail initiatives for county government. He holds degrees from the University of Pittsburgh and Lehigh University.
In his spare time, Andy enjoys gardening, reading, and defying the aging process in the gym. Among his top passions are eating and music. He’s the proud father of two teenagers. He bicycles to work because he can and it’s good for the planet, his wallet, and his physical and mental health.
Nicole Faraguna, Director of Outreach & Education
Nicole Faraguna has served as Director of Outreach and Education for the Pennsylvania Land Trust Association since March 2005. Much of her work is facilitating the various outreach and education efforts for the organization including building relationships with members, donors, legislators and other key stakeholders; organizing educational opportunities, including the annual Pennsylvania Land Conservation Conference; managing the content of the organization’s various websites; serving as editor of the ConserveLand newsletter and serving the needs of PALTA’s membership. She also is the staff liaison for the Get Outdoors PA initiative and the EAC Network.
Nicole previously served as Director of Communications for the Pennsylvania State Association of Boroughs and Editor of the Borough News Magazine. She was instrumental in co-founding the Brush Valley Preservation Association in her own community and dedicating her efforts to preserving 2,000 acres. She also volunteers with various organizations within in her community.
She enjoys hiking Pennsylvania’s wild places with her husband and pup; playing in the garden; reading, cooking and traveling.
Nate Lotze, Communications Specialist
Nate Lotze joined PALTA in 2016. He writes and edits communication materials and resources at ConservationTools.org; manages PALTA’s social media presence; curates website content; and spearheads projects to better tell the story of conservation. Before moving to Harrisburg, he managed an organic vegetable farm in North Carolina and organized support for climate action in Ohio. He graduated from Kenyon College, where he majored in English and was captain of the baseball team.
Nate’s passion for land conservation can be traced back to childhood summers spent on a third-generation family tree farm in Wisconsin. These days he enjoys the great outdoors by riding his bike and sleeping in tents whenever possible. He also likes books made of paper, world travel, and the Oxford comma.
Carol Grayshaw, Office and Project Administrator
Carol Grayshaw is a recent transplant to the Harrisburg area from outside of Philadelphia PA, she has been with the Pennsylvania Land Trust Association as Office and Project Administrator since April of 2016. Her primary duties include handling the organizations daily administrative tasks, as well as assisting PALTA members, providing program and education support, and researching special projects. Prior to her work with PALTA, she spent 6 years as the Children’s Educational Program Coordinator for the Wayne Art Center, a non-profit community art center on Philadelphia’s Main Line. She holds a Bachelors of Fine Arts degree in fine metals from The State University of New York at New Paltz.
The majority of her spare time is spent with her husband and four year old son, exploring the area and enjoying the ample parks and green spaces available. Other interests include making jewelry, reading, gardening and volunteering at her local library.
Josh VanBrakle, GIS Specialist
Josh joined PALTA in January, 2018. One of Josh’s many tasks is to establish a statewide GIS database of privately conserved lands and develop a system for keeping it current (while minimizing any administrative burdens for land trusts). Before joining PALTA, Josh worked as the research and evaluation forester at the Watershed Agricultural Council, a land trust in upstate New York, where he managed the forest stewardship website MyWoodlot.
When he isn’t working, Josh enjoys writing. He is the author of five books, including two for landowners on managing their woods and enhancing wildlife habitat. He also enjoys hiking, kayaking, and taking nature photos with his wife and daughter.