Local Watershed Association Adds Four New Experts to Board of Directors

Special to the Times

The Mystic River Watershed Association (MyRWA) is pleased to announce the addition of Ryan Dings, Monica Ghosh Driggers, Helen Quach, and Kelly Ryan to its Board of Directors on October 24, 2023, bringing expertise in climate technology, environmental law, public health, and finance.

Ryan Dings (he/him) serves as the founding chief executive officer of ClimateHaven, a community of climate technology companies and the passionate people that support them. Rooted in New Haven, CT, ClimateHaven provides incubation, targeted programming, and valuable networks to climatetech entrepreneurs working to build and scale the technologies we need to decarbonize the planet. In addition to his role at ClimateHaven, Ryan is a venture partner for Connecticut Innovations’ $100M ClimateTech Fund, which is designed to invest capital and strategic support in early-stage companies whose technologies will address the many challenges presented by climate change. Prior to these roles, Ryan served as the Chief Operating Officer & General Counsel of Greentown Labs, North America’s largest climatetech incubator with locations in Somerville, MA and Houston, TX. Prior to joining Greentown Labs, Ryan served as the Chief Operating Officer & General Counsel of Sunwealth, where he helped launch the Solar Impact Fund, which invested in the development and long-term ownership of commercial solar projects throughout the United States. Ryan also served on the executive team of venture-backed prefab home builder Blu Homes and has advised numerous early-stage clean tech and building tech companies over the past 15 years. Before launching into clean technology, Ryan started his career practicing commercial real estate law in Charlotte, North Carolina. Ryan holds graduate degrees in law from Wake Forest University School of Law and in design from Harvard University Graduate School of Design, and a Bachelor of Arts from UNC-Chapel Hill. Ryan currently lives in the Greater Boston area with his wife, Kate Rigby, and their two daughters.

“The Mystic River is such an incredible resource for our region and provides a vital connection to the natural world for so many communities. The benefits of a vibrant Mystic River cannot be understated, and the watershed’s role will only grow in importance as we navigate the challenges presented by climate change. I’m honored and excited to join the MyRWA board and commit my time and energy to making the Mystic as healthy and accessible for our communities today and generations to come.”

Monica Ghosh Driggers (she/her) is a resident of Winchester. She studied environmental law and began her career examining water rights and forestry issues in the Intermountain West. She went on to spend 30 years working closely with policy makers to change state and federal court processes, specializing in evaluating systems that work with marginalized communities. She has conducted long-term studies on topics ranging from domestic violence to parole to the rights of disabled persons. Having never lost her commitment to the environment, she volunteered for many years with MyRWA’s Policy Committee. She is now a Senior Program Director at the Massachusetts Rivers Alliance, helping that organization expand all of the work it does to protect rivers. In her free time Monica walks her dogs along local riverways and tries to become a better watercolor painter.

“Several years ago I moved to an area close to Upper Mystic Lake and noticed the Bald Eagles flying overhead. This beautiful welcome to my new neighborhood inspired me to learn more about the habitat of eagles and the other wonderful wildlife that we have here. That’s when I discovered how much MyRWA does to protect the ecosystem supported by the Mystic River. I decided to do my part by joining the Policy Committee and MyRWA has been a great part of my life ever since. MyRWA gives me the opportunity to do something for my community while teaching me new things about the places and the people that surround me.”

Helen Quach (she/her) was born and raised in Boston, and is now a resident of Wakefield. Her professional background is in the field of non-profit and public healthcare, and she is currently working as Executive Assistant to the Dean at the Office of Faculty Affairs at the Harvard School of Public Health. Helen has always been passionate about advocating and volunteering, and in the past has dedicated her time to the Department of Youth Services and Chinese Progressive Association. Now she spends most of her time helping with all things dragon boat related from the Boston Dragon Boat Festival to running her team, Living Root Dragon Boat, now based in the Rivergreen Park in Everett. Helen favorites include distance running, paddling, hiking, and walking miles upon miles with her senior beagle.

“I became involved with the Mystic River Watershed Association (MyRWA) a couple of years ago, after volunteering at the annual Mystic River Herring and Paddle, plus running and paddling the race almost every year since 2015. I felt inspired by all the hard work that the MyRWA does to keep our waterways clean and accessible to underrepresented communities, and learned about the programs that they provide to enrich the lives of the communities, educational programs for youth, and overall, fostering a healthy and vibrant environment for the watershed. Just from reading their newsletter, you know MyRWA does a lot! As a board member, I hope I can contribute to spread awareness of MyRWA’s mission, and represent the organization well in any capacity.”

Kelly Ryan (she/her), CPA is a Vice President at JPMorgan. She has over 15 years working in various aspects of the fund services industry. She has recently received a Certificate in ESG Investing from the CFA Institute. Kelly holds a B.A. from College of the Holy Cross, where her deep commitment to serving others was ingrained. She is a resident of Boston and can often be found strolling around the Harbor.

“The Mystic River is part of my family history, and I am honored to be able to assist MyRWA in continuing its unbelievably powerful work for the watershed and all its residents as a board member.”

 At the Mystic River Watershed Association annual meeting, Charles Holley, Maricia Manong, John Reinhardt, and Britney Satterlee were also re-elected to second-terms on the Board of Directors. The board, which is now 17 members strong, is charged with organizational oversight, leadership in strategic planning and connecting to the wider community. MyRWA is led by professional staff and also organizes thousands of volunteers working together on a project-by-projectbasis.

The Mystic River Watershed Association works to improve the lives of the more than 600,000 residents of Mystic River communities through its efforts to protect and restore water quality, natural habitat and open space throughout the 76 square mile watershed. The Mystic River watershed is comprised of 21 communities: Arlington, Belmont, Boston (Charlestown & East Boston), Burlington, Cambridge, Chelsea, Everett, Lexington, Malden, Medford, Melrose, Reading, Revere, Somerville, Stoneham, Wakefield, Watertown, Wilmington, Winchester, Winthrop, Woburn. For more information see www.MysticRiver.org.

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