Staff listed in order of hiring date.
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 and 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.
Carol Grayshaw | Office and Project Administrator
Carol Grayshaw has been with the Pennsylvania Land Trust Association as 0ffice and project administrator since April 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 six years as the children’s educational program coordinator for the Wayne Art Center, a nonprofit community art center on Philadelphia’s Main Line. She holds a BFA 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 two sons, 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.
Nate Lotze | Communications Specialist
Nate Lotze joined the Pennsylvania Land Trust Association in 2016. He writes and edits communication materials and resources at ConservationTools.org, manages PALTA’s online presence, 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 change action in Ohio. He graduated from Kenyon College, where he majored in English and was captain of the baseball team.
When he’s not working to protect public lands, he enjoys them by biking, hiking, and sleeping outside whenever possible. Ask him about the Oxford comma.
Josh VanBrakle | GIS Specialist
Josh joined the Pennsylvania Land Trust Association 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.
Sara Painter | Director of Outreach and Development
Sara joined the Pennsylvania Land Trust Association staff in May 2019. Her roles include outreach to Pennsylvania conservation organizations, developing community partnerships, managing donor relations, and grantwriting. She is a senior fellow of the Environmental Leadership Program and a leader for The Climate Reality Project. She graduated from West Chester University and studied writing at the University of Iowa.
Prior to joining PALTA, Sara served as director of marketing and development for French & Pickering Creeks Conservation Trust, where she led fundraising activities for land conservation in northern Chester County. Sara has also worked for the Los Angeles Stage Alliance and The Colony Theatre Company in Burbank, California.
Sara is very active in the arts scene in Media, Pennsylvania and is president of the Media Arts Council Board of Directors. Sara enjoys boating, swimming, playing the drums, and Seinfeld trivia. Her love for land preservation came from spending summers on her grandparents’ corn farm in rural Ohio. Sara is also a proud member of the Screen Actors Guild and the Dramatists Guild. You may have seen her in the film Mr. & Mrs. Smith or in Pennsylvania Lottery commercials with Gus the Groundhog.