The Highfield Hall Staff

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Peter Franklin
Executive Director
Tel: 508-495-1878 ext. 301

Peter has been assisting organizations with their finances and operations throughout his career.  He obtained his CPA working at Price Waterhouse and has held various senior financial positions at Digital Equipment Corporation and Pfizer, Inc.  He later managed Quantum Corporation’s worldwide marketing and disk drive development.  Most recently he founded a manufacturing technology company and authored three U.S. patents.  His most recent venture is FalmouthGetsOut.com, a website with all the latest events and attractions in Falmouth.  He enjoys sailing, tennis, platform tennis, and walking his dogs.

Deb dePunte
Director of Visitor Experience
Tel: 508-495-1878 ext. 315

Deb brings a successful career in sales and marketing within the hospitality industry. She has held director level positions with Sodexho and the Holiday Inn, and recently managed upscale events for customers at the Willowbend Country Club. In addition, she brings general management experience from work with her family real estate business. Growing up in Falmouth, she has a commitment to Highfield Hall & Gardens that began as child walking the grounds and exploring Beebe Woods.

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Jennifer Nemec
Director of Museum Operations
Tel: 508-495-1878 ext. 303

Jennifer has worked at Highfield Hall since 2011 managing visitor services and operations. As of 2017, she is focusing on programs and exhibitions utilizing her experience to continue the growth and popularity of what Highfield has to offer. Jennifer has a degree in graphic design and loves the visual arts, going to museums and enjoying the outdoors, she currently lives in Plymouth with her two sons and husband, Bill.

Janet Morgenstern Passani
Director of Marketing
Tel: 508-495-1878 ext. 304

Janet brings over 20 years of experience leading marketing programs for growing startups and established international brands. She founded Jute Marketing specializing in brand development, marketing communications, and outreach for mission-driven organizations and healthy, natural lifestyle brands. Janet also founded BostonEco, an online networking community to further sustainable, eco-initiatives in Boston and beyond. As a natural foodie and healthy living enthusiast, you can find her searching for her next favorite find at the farmers’ market, enjoying the beach and finding inspiration from nature. Janet holds an MBA from Babson College.

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Lisa Walker
Development Director
Tel: 508-495-1878 ext. 311

Lisa has over twenty years of experience in fundraising and non-profit management.  She began her career at the Brookline Arts Center then travelled west to USC, UCLA, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, The Nature Conservancy, and eventually headed home to the Cape with the Woods Hole Research Center. Lisa lives in East Sandwich with her (mad!) scientist husband, teenage daughter, and two crazy dogs.

Bob Ripley Director of Finance at Highfield Hall

Bob Ripley
Director of Finance
Tel: 508-495-1878 ext. 308

Bob has over thirty years of banking and wealth management experience, holding executive level positions at Merchants Trust Company, State Street Bank, Martha’s Vineyard Savings Bank, and Shawmut Bank. In 1991 he founded Trust Tax Services Of America and grew it into the countries second largest provider of trust tax and compliance services and software. In 2003 SunGard acquired the company and merged it into their trust tax services division, naming Bob president of the division. With a strong connection to non-profits, he currently serves as the Chair of the Falmouth Public Library Support Fund, Chair of The Bentley University 1917 Legacy Society, and a Trustee of the Massachusetts Historical Society. Bob and his wife Sue live in East Falmouth and enjoy traveling and new adventures.

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Keri Girts
Development Assistant
Tel: 508-495-1878 ext. 310

Robert Wyatt

Robert Wyatt
Director of Music


Robert Wyatt is a Steinway Artist who has performed throughout the United States and internationally in concert and recital, on NPR and on public television. A Smithsonian lecturer for twenty-five years, Wyatt is one of the nation’s foremost Gershwin scholars with a book, The George Gershwin Reader, published by Oxford University Press in 2004. He has been the Director of Music at Highfield Hall since 2007.

Visit Robert’s website: robert-wyatt.com

Terry-Soares

Terry Soares
Landscape Director


Terry joined our team in the winter of 2015 and is the owner of Soares Flower Garden Nursery with her husband Reg Soares in Falmouth. She brings decades of experience and beauty to Highfield Hall & Gardens. You’ll see Terry out on our grounds every Tuesday morning working with our garden volunteers.

Visit Terry’s website: soaresflowergardennursery.com

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Gail Blakely
Culinary Director


Gail Blakely has been teaching cooking and writing about food for almost 30 years.  She is best known as the longtime food writer for The Enterprise newspapers, where her column, Gourmets and Good Eaters, is published weekly.  Gail is an artisan bread baker who is passionate about sharing her knowledge regarding all things culinary with others.

Click here to read Gail’s column, Gourmets and Good Eaters

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Sally Byrne
House Manager

Sally started here as the volunteer manager who helps us schedule and organize our 200+ volunteers, she is now a house manager. She earned her MBA degree at Simmons College and undergraduate at Northeastern.  Most of her career was in the Leadership and Organizational Development field where she served as New England Regional Director for the American Management Association and National Account Manager for Linkage Incorporated.

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Marilyn Prindle
House Manager

Marilyn graduated from Vermont College and attended University of Hartford. She taught school in Connecticut and Massachusetts. Owned Harbor Casuals for several years at Kingman Marina. Enjoys working at Highfield Hall and attending the best parties in town.

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Jean Wentzell
House Manager

Jean is a graduate of Boston University and Cambridge College. She formerly served as Vice President of Cambridge Savings Bank, a group sales manager for Hastings-Tapley Insurance Agency and a special education teacher for the Marblehead Public Schools.

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