our people

Stephen Searl

Executive Director

Stephen Searl has been Executive Director of Sylvester Manor for over 5 years and has over 20 years of experience in nonprofit management, board governance, fundraising, historic preservation, land conservation, program development and community outreach.

A native of the North Fork, Stephen grew up working in his family’s business, Wickham’s Fruit Farm. Stephen graduated from Cornell University’s School of Agriculture and Life Sciences and received a Master of Science degree from the University of Vermont in Natural Resource Planning. He has held positions at various farms and conservation organizations on Long Island over the years, including Peconic Land Trust (Southampton) and the North Shore Land Alliance (Oyster Bay). While at Peconic Land Trust he worked closely with Eben Ostby and Bennett Konesni, family descendants of Sylvester Manor, to form the existing non-profit, start the farm and preserve the property. He also has a private consulting business where he works with numerous land owners on conservation, land-use planning, agriculture, and real estate throughout the East End of Long Island.

Stephen currently lives in Mattituck, New York with his wife, Elizabeth Casey, the co-founder of the Peconic Community School, and their three sons.