The Highfield Hall Staff

Nancy Porter
Interim Executive Director
Tel: 508-495-1878 ext. 301

Nancy is a recent retiree who worked for Verizon for nearly 40 years in a variety of capacities, most recently as a systems analyst supervising teams of staff who managed major business accounts. She is a member of the First Congregational Church in Falmouth where she has served many roles.

Deb dePunte
Director of Community Engagement
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.

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

Since joining the Highfield staff in 2011, Jennifer has worked to improve the visitor experience through the coordination of vibrant programming intended to engage visitors of all ages. She has made significant improvements to the management of Visitor Services, with increased rates of visitation every year. She is passionate about providing an accessible and enriching experience for every visitor who comes through Highfield’s doors, whether their interest lies in art, music, nature, or culinary pursuits. She is currently dedicating her experience and energy towards planning and executing Highfield’s art exhibitions and is excited about the Hall’s future exhibition prospects. Jennifer has a degree in graphic design and loves the visual arts, going to other museums, and enjoying the outdoors. She 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.

LisaWalkerIconLisa Walker
Director of Development
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.

staff_blakelyGail 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

Terry-SoaresTerry 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:

Robert WyattRobert Wyatt
Music Director

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:

SallyByrneIcon1Sally 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.

Staff_MarilynMarilyn 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.


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.