Advisors & Consultants

Cheryl King Fischer photo

Cheryl King Fischer
Founding Director
For the past three decades, Cheryl has been an active member of the New England Environmental Community. She first worked in state government as a water resources planner and public participation coordinator. When the land trust community was setting its roots, Cheryl helped form the Lake Champlain Islands Trust, serving as a volunteer board member and then as its chair. In 1983, Cheryl began a ten-year affiliation with the Vermont Land Trust, where she headed its Northern Vermont Program. During that time, she negotiated easement purchases and coordinated donations of conservation restrictions on forty properties involving just over 10,000 acres of northern Vermont farm and forestlands.

In 1993 Cheryl founded KingFischer Conservation, a consulting business designed to help local groups carry out land conservation projects in their home communities. 1996 brought the challenge to organize a brand new organization – The New England Grassroots Environment Fund. With a vision statement, a Fund Coordinator’s job description and two years of committed funding, Cheryl worked with the Grassroots Fund collaboration to create the current organization.

Cheryl holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Biology from Hollins College in Hollins, Virginia, a Master of Science degree in Resource Economics from the University of Vermont, and a master’s level Certificate in Medical Technology from St. Francis Hospital in Hartford, Connecticut. Cheryl has been staff to or served on the boards of a broad range of non-profit, school and community-based organizations. She is married to Monty Fischer, another life-long conservationist, and they reside in Manomet, MA.


Bill Burtis
Chief Story Teller
Bill Burtis started as a cub reporter with the Syracuse Post Standard in the fall of 1970 and he’s been making a living as a writer and editor ever since.

After a few years in newspapers and earning an MFA in poetry at the University of Iowa, Bill spent 15 years as a college and university writer and editor, first at Hobart and William Smith Colleges and then at the University of New Hampshire, where he was managing editor, editor of the alumni newsletter, and senior university editor. 

In 1987, he created his own communications company, producing environmental and safety documentaries and newsletters, until he was recruited as senior manager for community affairs and media relations for Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center, in 1990.  After weathering the first “health care crisis” there, Bill went on to participate as an owner/manager at The Community Education Workshop and Atlantic Media Productions.

In 2000, he was appointed Communications Coordinator at the New Hampshire Governor’s Office of Energy and Planning.  When Governor Jeanne Shaheen left office, Bill became communications manager at the non-profit climate-action group Clean Air-Clean Planet.

Throughout his career, Bill has seen the value in, and enjoyed supporting the efforts of, grassroots community organizations, and particularly local environmental efforts like those funded by the New England Grassroots Environment Fund.

Most recently, Bill has enjoyed work for a few well chosen clients as Chief Creative Officer at Hook Island Communications.  He is also a published poet and photographer; the father of three young adults, he lives in Stratham, New Hampshire and Readfield, Maine.


Amanda Silver
RootSkills Workshop Trainer
As a trainer, coach and consultant, Amanda Silver has over 15 years of experience in developing the effectiveness of non-profit and social change organizations. Drawing on mindfulness, emotional-intelligence and strength-based approaches, Amanda is passionate about creating the conditions that allow individuals, teams and organizations to thrive.  She specializes in transformative leadership development, strategic planning, and facilitation for a wide range of mission-driven organizations.

Amanda is a Senior Training Consultant at Dartmouth College and a founding member of the consulting team at the Center for New Leadership of Marlboro College. She is a graduate of the Art of Transformative Consulting master class developed by Robert Gass, and holds an M.S. in Positive Organizational Development and a Certificate in Coaching for Emotional Intelligence from the Weatherhead School of Management at Case Western Reserve University. She serves on the Boards of the Institute of Jewish Spirituality, the New England Grassroots Environment Fund, and Cover Home Repair.


Stacey Smith
Public Relations Advisor & RootSkills Workshop Trainer
Stacey Smith has over 30 years of consulting experience with an extensive range of clients from Fortune 100 multinational operations to small not-for-profits.  She specializes in assisting organizations build more strategic & solid relationships based on trust with key stakeholder groups that ultimately affect the organization’s bottom line.

Stacey’s specialty areas include: * Research with expertise in problem analysis, methodology design, instrument development and behavioral action planning, * Communication, relationship & culture audits, * Building constituency relations programs, * Group facilitation, problem solving  & training, * Public relations, outreach and marketing strategies, * Strategic planning, * Issue management and crisis response.

A counselor with Jackson Jackson & Wagner since 1981, Stacey has counseled senior management in corporations, schools, universities, hospitals and more on how to build positive long-term relationships with stakeholders. 

Simultaneously, she was co-founder and senior research counsel at  Dudley Research, 1984 – 2002 where she designed, administered and analyzed research studies for a wide range of clients.

As a co-author of the 8th Edition of Public Relations Practices, Managerial Case Studies and Problems, (Prentice Hall),  she has worked to keep the vision of the original authors, Alan Center and Patrick Jackson, front and center for pr students around the world.  She is currently working on the 8th edition.  She was a contributing editor and writer for pr reporter from 1981-2002.

Stacey is also co-author with Robert "Pritch" Pritchard, U. Oklahoma of The Public Relations Firm, Business Expert Press, a guide for managers and practitioners in identifying and hiring a quality public relations firm.

A public speaker as well as teacher, she has presented before numerous organizations including the Public Relations Society of America’s national conferences, National School Public Relations Association’s conferences & “Power Hour” presentations,  and taught as adjunct faculty at Antioch University New England,  New England College in Henniker, N.H. and the University of New Hampshire.

After growing up in southern Florida, she graduated from the University of Tennessee with a B.S. in Communications.  She earned her graduate degree in Management from Antioch/New England Graduate School.

She is an accredited Fellow in the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA), a member of American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR).