About Us

About A Frog House:

 Today, the problem of global climate change can be taken for granted, but change can seem inaccessible to the individual. A Frog House makes huge alterations palpable for the greater Rochester community through, you guessed it, frogs! 

The challenges to and survival patterns of frogs and toads, exploring topics like frogs’ place in the food chain; the impact of pollution and chemicals; and what we can do to help are extremely relevant to all of life.  

But it’s not all serious at A Frog House; we are also dedicated to learning through play at our charming house on the Erie Canal, making A Frog House a nature destination for the whole family and an easy way to get kids involved in nature.

Mission Statement:

A Frog House is a center for ecological education and local government advocacy which offers workshops and events for all ages to learn about the crucial role of frogs in the environment.

We believe every small collective action for the tiny frog can bring  big results for our world.

Values: 

In agreement with Rochester People’s Climate Coalition, we support respect, inclusion, nonpartisanship, collaboration, science, and is committed to social, racial, environmental, and intergenerational justice.

Founder

Margot Fass

A Frog House founder, Margot Fass, is an activist, artist, author, educator, presenter and psychiatrist.

Endangered species, especially frogs, are her passion. Her deep awareness and celebration of the cycles of life, the planet, and its organisms, are reflected in writings about wetland adventures in south and central American countries; her whimsical illustrated children’s book, Froggy Family’s First Frolic; and in her many paintings of frogs seen regionally.

Euphoric for frogs, Margot and her infectious enthusiasm touch children and adults through presentations in schools and organizations, and in every opportunity for public presence. Her lively frog clothes, hat to socks, belie her sophisticated activism, and she works with local politicians and governments in the protection of wetlands and prevention of destructive development. In just a year under her leadership, A Frog House has engaged hundreds of regional supporters to help implement significant protection of our regional environment.

She hopes her work will bring joy, healing and raise consciousness about the preciousness of each unique life.

https://mlfassmd.com/
https://frog-artist.com/
https://www.facebook.com/AFrogHouse
https://www.facebook.com/frogbooks/

Advisors

Robert Corby

Robert Corby is a graduate of the Syracuse University School of Architecture and has served as the mayor of Pittsford for the last twenty-seven years. During his tenure as mayor he has used his professional experience in architecture, historic preservation, and planning to revive the village’s historic waterfront mill district, integrate preservation into the village’s planning policies, and enhance the village’s public realm. He has also functioned on the Executive Board of the New York Conference of Mayors for the last fifteen years. The successful results of Corby’s leadership have garnered numerous awards for the Village. In 2014, the City Mayors Foundation of London named Corby a “Mayor of the Month.”

Bill Smith

As Pittsford Town Supervisor since 2013, and previously as town councilman, Bill Smith has advocated for strong community environmental policies. He helped implement Pittsford’s Greenprint Plan, preserving farmland; and led the designation of the town as a New York State Clean Energy Community. He also established a town solar energy program. If it weren’t for his commitment to the regional wetland ecology, dedication to our mission, and cordial good humor, we’d have to call him William.

Board Members

Pearl Brunt 

Pearl Brunt, a welcome new resident hailing from England, has a track record of helping small/medium sized businesses define innovative solutions and maximize ROI (Return on Investments). With years of experience as a Management Consultant focusing on consulting services for international businesses, her credentials include a BA in Political Science, an MA in International Relations and Diplomacy, and an MBA in International Business. She also taught an MBA course at a French university in Paris.  

A Frog House definitely can benefit from her professional advice on entering new markets, change and people management, and product positioning and branding. She also brings expertise in strategic planning, innovative ideas creation, and C-level problem-solving to drive efficiency and profitability. Besides, we love her intelligence, honesty, and resilience. 

Sandra Frankel

The Honorable Sandra Frankel’s credentials include serving as Brighton, New York Town Supervisor from 1992 through 2011. As Supervisor, in partnership with the community, she led the effort to create a town-wide park system. She enlisted the Genesee Land Trust to help negotiate the acquisition of Corbett’s Glen property for a nature park. She negotiated the acquisition of open space in the heart of town for the Brickyard Trail at the Sandra L. Frankel Nature Park, rich with flora, fauna, and history.  These are just two of the eight Brighton public parks and trails on more than 500 acres, proposed, developed, and/or nurtured during her tenure.  She understands that the one of the best ways to protect wildlife, preserve nature, and contribute to the mental and physical health of the community is to create public parks for active and passive recreation and to preserve sensitive environmental areas. Sandra’s interest in the arts (she is an excellent photographer), the environment, and progressive ideas makes her perfect to lend her name as a member of the Board of A Frog House.  She also serves on several community boards and has been the recipient of numerous awards and recognitions. You can still see her keynote speech at our Save the Frogs Day Nature Symposium, which illustrates her commitment to our mission.

 https://afroghouse.org/a-great-leap/, Part III – Government and Sustainability videos.

Bonnie Garner

Bonnie has too many credentials to do more than list! B.S. degree from Lock Haven University, M.S. from Syracuse University, M.S in Administration from Brockport U, taught at Brighton and Pittsford School Districts, retired as Assistant Superintendent of Technology in 2017 after more than 20 years at Fairport BOCES #1, was integral in installing the Challenger Learning Center at RMSC and also subsequently the BUBL Lab at the RMSC.

Recently widowed, Bonnie will continue to enjoy the many church, arts and theater programs that she and Jack supported. Thank you and bless you, dear Jack, for bringing not only your own talents, but Bonnie’s as well, to Rochester in 1970. You are both treasures.

Lindsay Graham

Lindsay Graham is founder and owner of Car Pal National Car Buying Service. Car Pal saves considerable money for clients who want new or used car purchases (and new car leases). Lindsay is known for her sharp mind, loving soul and witty engagement with her community. Lindsay offers both the land and building for her mother Margot’s newest project, A Frog House.

Occasionally Lindsay opens the doors to her own home on the property, and AFH visitors must guard against stepping on her tiny Maltese pup, Busby. (Busby barks ferociously when people arrive, and then hides, safe inside Lindsay’s roomy jacket, for the duration). Lindsay is a superb matchmaker, bringing social and political change makers, engaged people, and surprising resources to A Frog House. It couldn’t happen without her.

Nannette Nocon 

Nannette is a strong believer in the personal freedom that financial certainty brings.  She’s made it her mission … to help clients meet their financial goals so they can get back to the things that make them happy and fulfilled … She’s earned recognition for her 37-year-long financial advisor career, having received her firm’s Hall of Fame Award and has been in the Chairman’s Advisory Council for several years.  She was also named 2017 The ATHENA Leadership Award recipient.

She currently serves on the board of directors for the George Eastman Museum and WXXI and honorary board at Geva Theatre Center. A graduate of Cornell University, Nannette enjoys live theater, films and visual art. During her free time she travels and cooks. She is also an author, having published several children’s books.

 

Belen Patiño 

Belen is a recent graduate from RIT with a bachelor’s degree in Law and an MS in Business Management. Belen is a bilingual volunteer from Ecuador who is passionate about animals, the environment, and an eco-friendlier world. She is a happy person that loves the sense of community and advocacy for great causes. She helps with the transformation of the wildlife habitat at A Frog House and also plans and organizes some of our must fun events!

 

Staff

­­Bonnie Abrams 

After retiring, Bonnie Abrams performed frog songs at the first Froggy Birthday Party. It was this magical place that coaxed Bonnie out of retirement to become the Event Manager at A Frog House.

Bonnie is perfectly prepared for this task. Upon graduating from SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, with a BS in Biology. she worked there as an environmental biologist for three years. 

Changing careers, she enjoyed winemaking with Constellation Brands for 27 years. Bonnie volunteered at the Center for Holocaust Awareness and Information (CHAI) of the Jewish Federation of Rochester, performing original songs about her parents’ Holocaust experiences.

She took over the Directorship of CHAI in 2007 until her retirement in 2020,  planning community events and teaching young people to become changemakers.  What more could we ask for? 

­­Katherine Denison

Katherine Denison is a wildlife advocate, book designer, and social activist. Katherine designed Margot’s first book, Froggy Family’s First Frolic, and enlisted again for both skills and interests, Katherine is an essential right hand as A Frog House designer of promotional materials, writer, and planner.

Katherine’s ardor for environmental survival compelled her to walk with rangers in the rugged terrain of Tanzania and Kenya to better understand the possibilities and desperate challenges in standing against extinction. First focused on the larger companions on the planet—elephants, rhinos, gorillas, bears, and wolves—now Katherine, seeing the chain of loss from the tiniest to the huge, brings zeal to stopping the extinction of amphibian life and aiding the survival of the essential, delightful, and dangerously diminished creatures we serve at A Frog House.

Matthew Fass

Matthew Fass has built all of Margot’s web sites, keeps her extensive digital portfolio online, and maintains Margot’s current presence on afroghouse.org.

Matthew lives in Kingston, NY and works at as a digital asset manager at Scenic Hudson  and is the lead programmer for Thinking Partners in Red Hook, NY.

Matthew is an accomplished accordionist, specializing in (but certainly not limited to) Balkan music. He and his lively groups keep audiences on their feet and on their toes, dancing to this joyous, humorous and heart-rending music.

When we’re lucky enough to nab him on a visit home, he plays for A Frog House events, charming both adults and youngsters. Likely you’ve guessed, Margot and Martin Fass are Matthew’s parents.