CONTACT HIGHLANDS MANSION & GARDENS
The Highlands Mansion & Gardens
7001 Sheaff Lane
Fort Washington, PA 19034
Dana Dorsey, Director
Event rental inquiries and photo permits
For general inquiries and further information, please contact us:
MEET THE BOARD MEMBERS
JOHANNA WALTERS, President
Johanna Walters serves as our Board President and she has been a member of the Board since 2014. She is an advocate for historical preservation, land conservation, and education. Johanna has had a strong connection with The Highlands for most of her life as she rode her horse here as a young girl. She and her husband, Brian Sweeney, are Lower Gwynedd residents and live on a farm with three horses, three dogs, and two cats.
ED SHINN, Vice President
Edmond R. Shinn is a construction and maritime attorney with offices in Pennsylvania, New York and New Jersey. He represents the companies that are shaping today’s cities and skyline, and credits his time spent working alongside his father in the family's roofing business with developing his tireless work ethic and desire to champion for the trades. Since 2018, Edmond has been named a “Rising Star” attorney by Super Lawyer Magazine, which is awarded to the top 2.5% of attorneys under 40.
A product of Germantown Academy and then Malvern Prep, Edmond graduated from Penn State as a Dean’s List student with a B.S. in Economics, and played on the DII ice hockey team, each year making a trip to Nationals. At Villanova Law School, Edmond proved an excellent writer and was selected as a staff writer on Villanova’s Sports and Entertainment Law Journal.
Edmond is a lifelong resident of Fort Washington. Together with his beautiful wife, Lauren, they built a home alongside the Wissahickon for their daughters, Harper, Emersyn and Teagan, who adore the creek, the woods and the gardens at the Highlands, which led to him supporting the Highland’s preservation project. Edmond enjoys playing squash, walking a field with his bird dog, Hamilton, and fishing in Cape May aboard his family’s 26’ Regulator, the “Untethered”.
DANA DORSEY, Director
Eight years ago, Dana Dorsey arrived at The Highlands to take on the position of caretaker along with her husband and young son. Her love of this beautiful estate grew quickly as did her knowledge of its history. Over the years, she began giving the historical tours of the mansion, helping to organize fundraising events, and booking rentals. Since then, her family has grown by another son and a dog. Dana is now thrilled to have the opportunity to share her passion for The Highlands as the director. She takes the role seriously with care for the oversight of all historical matters as well as the fun side in meeting new people as they create their own memories here.
JOSE RAMOS, Treasurer
BILL THOMPSON, Secretary
Suzanne Bush has been a member of the Board for five years. She has been engaged with open space issues for more than 20 years, and also serves on the Board of Directors of Wissahickon Trails. Passionate about animals and their compassionate care, she also is President of the Board of Women’s Animal Center, America’s First Animal ShelterTM. She and her husband,Guy have lived in Gwynedd Valley for 30 years. They have two dogs, a cat and a horse. And they also raise bees, busy critters that produce the most delicious organic honey.
Having served 23 years on the Wissahickon Valley Watershed Association Board and almost 18 years on the Highlands Historical Society Board it's fair to say Open Space and Historical preservation are very important to me.
I guess it all began when my husband Ed and I bought his family's business which started in the 1930's with horse and wagon. We have replaced the horses with tractors and the business now includes our daughter and occasionally our 9 year old grand-daughter. We have also enjoyed restoring portions of the family home which was built in 1786.
Our family first became involved with the Highlands through Fox Hunting. Samuel Morris, father of Anthony Morris who built the Highlands, was one of the founding members of the first fox Hunting club in America. Our family was thrilled to help continue this tradition by taking horses and hounds through the property and supporting the annual Hunt Breakfast fund raiser.
The Roosevelt family, the last occupants of the Highlands, had bird dogs and would hunt doves and pheasants in the area. Several years ago we introduced a Working Dog Demo fund raiser at the Highlands. Our Labrador Retrievers demonstrated the skills that are needed to hunt game as the Roosevelt dogs would have done many years ago.
Our family's latest historical project is rebuilding and restoring a 200 year old log cabin on a remote forest lot in upstate PA. It is a place where our grand-daughter can not only "Visit The Forest" but have the opportunity to grow up in one much like her mother did.
It's our wish that other families will have the opportunity to enjoy the Highlands for its history and open space, it has certainly been a gift to the our family.
Born in Philadelphia on August 14, 1945. Moved to Lower Gwynedd, Montgomery County in 1958 where I attended Junior and Senior High School. Attended Moravian College for two years. Moved to Center City while attending Philadelphia College of Art (now University of The
Arts) Graduated with a BFA in Graphic Design in 1970. Worked in the marketing and communications field for roughly 25 years. Started as a designer in smaller studios, then worked as head designer for Kraft Printing / Communication Planners, followed by 10 years at Shimer vonCantz Agency as associate creative director, the on to partner of Tyndall, Russell, Castille Marketing Design Firm. Moving on to a new field, joined with two partners in forming an antiques and home furnishing business which I became sole owner. Retired in 2011.
Paul has more than 42 years of professional experience and has in-depth experience working with nonprofit entities. He has extensive experience developing audit plans and reviewing all work performed by staff. This work includes the performance of internal control reviews to assure the effectiveness and efficiency of operations, reliability of financial reporting and compliance with applicable laws and regulations. In addition, Paul spent over 18 years in senior financial and operational management positions with a number of privately- held companies involved in the real estate development and operations, energy services and broker/dealer industries in the Delaware Valley Region. The depth and breadth of Paul’s experience in both governance and senior management roles makes him uniquely capable of adding value to his client relationships.
I have lived in Gwynedd Valley for over 37 years and have been an active member of the community in multiple capacities. I was a long-time board member of the Wissahickon Valley Watershed Association (now Wissahickon Trails) and now serve on the emeritus board. Additionally, I have served as a minority judge of elections for our local precinct, volunteered at community after school programs, and am currently working with Mana on Main Street.
I have previously worked on and chaired the Highlands Craft Show and hope to help revitalize it going forward. The Highlands is a local treasure and I aspire to facilitate more direct connections with the community.
John joined Toll Brothers, Inc. in 2018 and oversees the Asset Management, Property Management and Brand Experience within Toll Brothers Apartment Living. With $5.2 billion in total development costs, Toll has 4,897 units stabilized or in lease-up and 9,615 units in development. Toll Brothers Apartment Living, built on the successes of Toll Brothers and the City Living division of Toll, specializes in luxury high-rise and high-density urban and suburban infill projects. Toll provides itself in exceptional customer service with a focus on innovation and hospitality. Toll has raised over $10 billion in corporate and joint venture financing over the past 6 years. John is a member of the executive committee and investment committee.
John received a bachelor’s degree from Philadelphia University. He has been involved with several nonprofit organizations that focus on education, family and homelessness, including Roman Catholic High School, Friends in Action, Our Brother’s Place and the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. John is married, has five children and lives in Fort Washington, PA.