North Central Regional Office

Penn State University
206 Forest Resources Lab
University Park, PA 16802-4704
Phone: 814-863-7192



Sara Fitzsimmons, Director of Restoration, Regional Science Coordinator - North Central Region, and Regional Science Coordinator Supervisor

Steve Hoy, Orchard Manager

Jean Najjar, Administrative Assistant PA-TACF


Sara Fitzsimmons began working with TACF as a Duke University Stanback Intern in the summer of 2000. She was hired full-time in 2003 to work as the organization’s first Regional Science Coordinator. Sara supervises all of TACF’s Regional Science Coordinators and also serves as a Regional Science Coordinator covering PA, NY, IN, OH, DE, and NJ. Born and raised in southern West Virginia, Sara obtained a BS in Biology from Drew University in Madison, NJ and an MS in Forest Ecology and Resource Management from Duke University’s Nicholas School of the Environment.
Steve Hoy joined PA-TACF as orchard manager in March of 2014. He is a Pennsylvania native who earned his Associates Degree in Forest Technology from PennState Mont Alto in 2003. After completing his education he spent six years in Colorado, first as a member of a fuels/initial attack crew; and then as a senior firefighter with the Roosevelt Hotshots IHC. Steve also spent one season, with the Midewin Hotshots based in Wilmington, IL. Currently, he lives in Central PA with his wife and daughter on their homestead.
Jean Najjar was hired as the PA-TACF Chapter Administrator in October of 2014. She manages the day to day operations of the chapter, such as office finances, member correspondence and coordination, answering phones and other general secretarial duties. Jean has a BS in Plant Science and an MLA from the University of Colorado. Originally from Philadelphia, she now lives in State College with her husband and three daughters. In her spare time she loves to garden; and as president of the Pennsylvania Native Plant Society (PNPS), she is an advocate of the use of native plants in the landscape.