Meet the Board

Board of Directors

Stephen Hiltner (president)

Prior to moving to Princeton in 2003, Steve founded and led the Ellerbe Creek Watershed Association (ECWA) in Durham, NC. With degrees in botany and water quality, Steve has served Princeton in multiple capacities. During his years as the first resource manager for the Friends of Princeton Open Space, he conducted plant inventories and led workdays and nature walks at many of Princeton's parks and nature preserves. He was a longtime member of the Princeton Environmental Commission, spearheading a new Environmental Resource Inventory for the town, and served as chair of the Princeton Shade Tree Commission. As a member of the board for Princeton's Mountain Lakes House, he helped increase energy efficiency and solve runoff issues.

Steve has led the effort to save and rehabilitate the Veblen House and Cottage since discovering them during a walk through Herrontown Woods in 2006. A professional jazz musician and amateur actor in the McCarter-based Onstage ensemble, he maintains various blogs on nature, sustainability and climate change, including more than 1000 posts at He is inspired by the broad and deep legacy Oswald Veblen left in Princeton, American academia, and the world. Much of his research about Veblen House and the extraordinary people who have lived there over the past century is published at He has received various awards, including the 2013 Governor's Jefferson Award for his environmental advocacy.

Pallavi Nuka (vice president) became involved with FOHW when her Girl Scout troop began participating in workdays at the preserve. She is associate director of the Center for Public Policy & Finance at Princeton University with a professional background in international development and environmental policy. An advocate of smart and inclusive growth, she is interested in municipal and regional issues related to land use, sustainability, and planning. She believes in making the outdoors accessible to all in the community. She is happy to be bringing enthusiasm as well as operational know-how to the board.

Ahmed Azmy (treasurer)

A graduate of Univ. of Pennsylvania and Princeton University, Ahmed is a prominent architect in Princeton. Before forming Azmy Architects LLC, Ahmed was the principal architect at HACBM Architects, Engineers and Planners, and CUH2A. Ahmed is also a leader in the Rotary at district and local levels. He brings to the project a passion for rehabilitating Veblen House, and a hands-on approach that complements his expertise in design and planning.

Margaret Spencer (secretary) returned to the area after graduating from Princeton University, discovered Herrontown Woods, and became involved with FOHW through workdays. She works for FOHVOS, an open space nonprofit in Hopewell, and manages countrywide tours for a visual artist.

Inge Regan (left in photo) is an ER doctor originally trained in family practice. Inge grew up close to the land, on a farm in Pennsylvania, and brings her networking skills and commitment to community to the Veblen project. Apropos to Veblen House, she has assisted with home renovation projects and a construction project at Princeton's Farmview Fields.

Peter Thompson brings technical know-how to the FOHW board. A native of Princeton, he worked for 42 years for the Princeton Public Schools. As Manager of Information Technology, he guided and led the major technological initiatives in the schools for decades.

Keena Lipsitz discovered Herrontown Woods during the pandemic in 2020, and soon became a regular volunteer at the preserve's botanical garden. A professor of political science, she and her family have helped bring many new volunteers to Sunday morning workdays.

Sally Tazelaar 

Since 2013, Sally has worked with husband and fellow founding member, Kurt Tazelaar on weekends and during the summer to clear and mark trails in Herrontown Woods and Autumn Hill Reservation--more than 200 total acres. Along with Steve Hiltner, Kurt and Sally formed the core of what became FOHW. Sally works as an art teacher for East Windsor Regional Schools. A volunteer director/producer at Princeton Community Television, Sally has also collaborated with her husband on documentary videos, and maintains the FriendsOfHerrontownWoods facebook page. Sally and Kurt are now emeritus members of the FOHW board.