As the organization’s first Executive Director, Susan began working with Tall Pines in the Spring of 2008. Susan brings a wealth of experience in real estate, land use and legal background to help further the mission of Tall Pines.

Susan is also a leader in land protection statewide, having served on the board of directors for Gathering Waters, Wisconsin’s Association of Land Trusts and as co-chair of its Land Trust Council. She is also a steering committee member of the National Agricultural Land Network (NALN) of the American Farmland Trust, actively advocating for farmland preservation initiatives throughout the Country. Susan is a 2015 graduate of the Land Trust Alliance’s Leadership Training, holds a Master’s Degree in Land Use Planning from The School of Architecture and Urban Planning, UW-Milwaukee and is a licensed Real Estate Broker and certified paralegal.

Susan and her husband own two farms, one on Washington Island and the other in Windsor, Connecticut. They are active with the Door County Land Trust and Windsor Land Trust, respectively. Susan is a serious cycling enthusiast and enjoys kayaking, sailing and Nordic skiing in her free time.


Susan Buchanan

Executive Director

What is your favorite place to visit in Wisconsin?

Washington Island

What is your favorite hobby NOT related to land conservation?

Playing the banjo!

What is your favorite trail to hike in/around Lake Country?

Scuppernong (in the southern Kettle)

Beth Hoefer-Jezo joined Tall Pines in October 2013. A graduate of Carroll College with majors in English-Writing and Communication-Public Relations, she worked for the Waukesha Business Improvement District as Special Events Coordinator for several years. Beth then transitioned into a 13-year marketing career in the private sector. Beth’s background reflects more than 25 years of experience in copywriting for both consumer and business audiences, as well as 20 years of volunteer service in community leadership positions that have included chairing both the city of Waukesha Landmarks Commission and the Waukesha Public Art Committee. She is the current treasurer of the Waukesha Preservation Alliance.

Beth has a lifelong interest in, and has been an advocate for, historic preservation. She believes it is an ideal complement to the protection of our valuable land and water resources.


Beth Hoefer-Jezo

Development Manager

What is your favorite place to visit in Wisconsin?

It’s a tie between Spring Green and New Glarus/Monroe.

What is your favorite hobby NOT related to land conservation?

College basketball (watching, not playing!)

What do you love most about Wisconsin?

The change of seasons, its wealth of beautiful, diverse terrain and its friendly, generous people.

Chris manages TPC’s existing easement portfolio and coordinates new easement and fee simple acquisitions. Prior to joining TPC, Chris worked as an independent legal consultant specializing in Clean Water Act permitting and agricultural law and policy. His clients included a federal environmental commission, state policy makers, community organizations and small farms across the country. Chris and his brother co-founded Three Brothers Farm in the Town of Oconomowoc in 2012, which has evolved into a pasture-based regenerative farm serving the local food market.

He is passionate about connecting communities with family farms, creating opportunities for new farmers to access land and using agriculture to regenerate our soil, heal our waterways and steward our collective wellbeing. Chris earned a Juris Doctorate and a Master of Environmental Law and Policy from Vermont Law School, where he studied agricultural and freshwater law and policy. He is a Certified Farm Succession Coordinator and is working towards a Certificate in Holistic Management.

Chris Gutschenritter

Land Protection Manager

What is your favorite place to visit in Wisconsin?

All the incredible farms of the Driftless Region.

What is your favorite hobby NOT related to land conservation?

Camping and cooking with my daughter, especially if they can happen at the same time!

What do you love most about Wisconsin?

The rolling hills dotted with small agricultural town culture. And the freshwater, I definitely love the water.

Tom has spent his entire career working in Water Pollution Control. For the past 43 years he has been involved in research and development, and industrial and municipal plant operations and management. He holds a Certificate in Water and Wastewater Utility Management from Michigan State University and has been a Licensed Wastewater Treatment Plant Operator in the State of Wisconsin since 1982.

He retired from the City of Oconomowoc in 2018 and now works part time for Tall Pines Conservancy, managing the Oconomowoc Watershed Protection Program (OWPP). He is also still involved in plant operations when needed in a relief operator capacity.

Tom is also a Conservator, restoring ID Plates for the vintage farm tractor community across the US and Canada. In his spare time, Tom continues to canoe and fish the rivers and lakes of the state, plays percussion in a praise band and drives his own vintage tractors in parades.



Tom Steinbach

Manager of Oconomowoc Watershed Protection Program

Darrell’s primary role is outreach to farmers, identifying projects and connecting farmers to funding sources for conservation efforts. He may be seen trudging through fields with a farmer, loading a helicopter hopper with cover crop seed or pouring over maps to outline a future project.

Prior to his work in the watershed, Darrell worked for Purple Cow Organics, a company based in southern Wisconsin that provides organic compost and soil amendments for farmers and retail markets. Darrell owned a Milwaukee-based natural landscape company for 10 years, and is passionate about being on the leading edge of a watershed water quality initiative. 



Darrell Smith

Oconomowoc Watershed Protection Program Ag Project Coordinator

P.O. Box 65
W330 N4465 Lakeland Dr. (Hwy. C)
Nashotah, WI 53058

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