Staff


EvanArnoldEvan Arnold

Development Assistant, 608-208-1133

As Development Assistant, Evan provides administrative and fundraising support to the development department, including researching, tracking, creating reports for fundraising activities, and creating written content for the organization’s development communications. He joined the organization in 2015.

Favorite place in Wisconsin: Whitefish Dunes State Park
Interests: Photography, gardening, and drawing

I’m a conservation voter because enjoying Wisconsin’s beautiful natural places is a right we all share.

 


Kate Beaton

Western WI Organizer, 715-257-4275

As the Western Wisconsin Organizer, Kate works with volunteers, activists, and partner organizations in the community to draw attention to important conservation issues in and around Western Wisconsin. She joined the organization in 2017.

Favorite place in Wisconsin: The Ice Age Trail near New Auburn
Interests: Hiking/backpacking, camping, gardening, yoga, crafting, live local music, local comedy shows, microbreweries, and walking my dog Elsie

I’m a conservation voter because climate change is scary. Every day we don’t act is another day climate change continues to worsen.

 

Ryan Billingham

Communications Director, 608-208-1129

As Communications Director, Ryan works closely with our Executive Director and staff to manage and plan communications strategies. Ryan leads our day-to-day external and internal communications activities and programs. More specifically, though, he strive to connect with people. Ryan joined the staff in 2016.

Favorite place in Wisconsin: Anywhere on the Lower Wisconsin State Riverway
Interests: I am a news junkie who loves reading, writing, exploring Wisconsin by foot and bike, fishing the lesser known ponds and streams, bowling, gardening, brewing beer, and being thoroughly taken advantage of by my spoiled collies Gus and Macallan.

I’m a conservation voter because future generations of Wisconsinites are depending on me.

 

Natalie ByrneNatalie Byrne

Operations Director, 608-208-1137

As Operations Director, Natalie is the glue of Wisconsin League of Conservation Voters Institute. She oversees human resources, internal systems, bookkeeping, and financial management and planning. Natalie also designs and produces printed and digital membership communications and educational materials and manages the website. Natalie acts as a resource and problem solver for staff, and strives to improve operational systems to make fulfilling the organization’s mission just a little easier. She started as a Development intern in 2009 and joined the staff in 2010.

Favorite place in Wisconsin: The Nicolet Forest and the lakes hidden within
Interests: Hiking, jogging, conservation biology, food systems, design, Wisconsin sports

I’m a conservation voter because I want to ensure that the places I grew to love as a kid and appreciate as an adult are still around for generations to come. The only way to do that is to educate voters and encourage legislators to protect Wisconsin’s precious natural resources.

 

Matt DannenbergMatt Dannenberg

Field Director, 608-208-1132

As Field Director, Matt leads our team of field organizers to expand the voice of conservation voters throughout Wisconsin. Matt spends each day recruiting new conservation voters, developing leaders, and engaging activists on top conservation issues. As the first point of contact in our regional rapid response network, Matt makes sure that when policy news breaks, citizens are instantly informed and engaged. Matt also oversees the Native Vote program and Madison-based volunteer and internship programs. Matt joined the organization in 2010.

Favorite place in Wisconsin: Mouth of the Bad River at Lake Superior
Interests: Fishing, biking, weightlifting, camping, hunting, cribbage, bowling

I’m a conservation voter because natural resources are currently on loan to all of us. It is imperative that we all work together to pass on a quality, safe investment to our youth. It’s not only smart, it’s the right thing to do.

 


Susan Gartell

Community Outreach and Development Manager, 414-921-0084

Susan joins the team as Community Outreach and Development Manager. Working primarily out of the Milwaukee office, she works with donors, board members, and the community to raise awareness and support for the important issues the organization advocates. Susan joined the organization in 2017.

Favorite place in Wisconsin: Somewhere secret in beautiful northern Wisconsin
Interests: Traveling, hiking, fishing, photography, and hanging out with my kitty, Grace

I’m a conservation voter because the health of the natural world must be cared for if its beauty and gifts are to be enjoyed for generations.

 

Jennifer GiegerichJennifer Giegerich

Legislative Director, 608-208-1130

As the Legislative Director, Jennifer leads the work inside the Capitol to pass and defend pro-conservation policy, no matter the political make-up of the legislature or the Governor’s office. Jennifer builds long-term relationships with legislators and staff, tracks all conservation legislation and budget matters, and helps craft winning issue campaigns. Jennifer also oversees the Conservation Priority setting process which works with more than 100 conservation-related organizations to advance a shared legislative agenda. Jennifer has been with the organization since 2007.

Favorite place in Wisconsin: Along the Wisconsin River by Prairie du Sac
Interests: Camping, running, keeping up on the Packers and Brewers, and playing with my nieces Ali and Emma and nephew James.

I’m a conservation voter because I grew up playing outside and enjoying Wisconsin. I want to make sure that my family and all future generations of Wisconsin’s kids have that same experience.

 

Staush GruszynskiStaush Gruszynski

Northeast Director, 920-429-9008

Staush is a northern Wisconsin outdoorsman through and through. He joined Wisconsin League of Conservation Voters Institute in 2010 as the Northeast Organizer, where his responsibilities include working with our fantastic activists and members in the 28 legislative districts of Northeast Wisconsin. Through education, mobilization, and action, Staush is organizing Northeastern Wisconsin to protect its precious natural resources. Because we know you are wondering – “Staush” rhymes with “Josh.”

Favorite place in Wisconsin: Anywhere outdoors in Wisconsin that is as far away from concrete as possible
Interests: Whitetail hunting in the fall, ice fishing in the winter, fishing openers in the spring, and camping and hiking in the summer

I’m a conservation voter because Wisconsin has the most beautiful natural resources in the country and is also home to the best hunting and fishing. I want to make sure that future generations will have the same outdoor experiences that I was lucky enough to enjoy as a child, and now as an adult.

 

Seth Hoffmeister

Northeast WI Organizer, 920-249-7400

Seth’s first volunteer experience with Wisconsin League of Conservation Voters was in 2008. In 2016, he joined the staff as Northeast Organizer. Seth works with volunteers, activists, and partner organizations in the community to draw attention to important conservation issues in and around Northeast Wisconsin.

Favorite place in Wisconsin: The shores of Lower Long Lake and Lake Holcombe in Chippewa County
Interests: Hiking, biking, canoeing, fishing, camping, playing the mandolin and guitar, cooking and grilling, reading, seeing live music, and the Green Bay Packers

I’m a conservation voter because we’re on the brink of causing irreversible and devastating damage to our natural environment, and if we wish to pass on a healthy and habitable planet to future generations tomorrow, we need to act to protect it today.

 

Kerry SchumannKerry Schumann

Executive Director, 608-208-1123

Kerry took the reins at Wisconsin League of Conservation Voters Institute in 2004 and rapidly moved the organization from a two person start-up to the political force it is today. Kerry developed much of the vision and strategy for the organization’s locally-based citizen organizing program, which is considered one of the strongest citizen engagement programs in the country. As Executive Director, Kerry’s focus is developing top-notch staff, building an effective Board of Directors, working directly with our supporters, and helping the entire team stay focused on the mission and vision of the organization.

Favorite place in Wisconsin: Page Creek Marsh near Montello
Interests: Gardening, reading, traveling, introducing my daughter to amazing places in this country and beyond

I’m a conservation voter because I worry about the world my daughter will inherit – the mix of chemicals and pollutants she’s exposed to every day, the loss of natural places for her to explore. I’m a conservation voter because I want – expect – better than that for my daughter.

 

Stephanie Minisinookwe Thompson

First Nations Organizer, 715-892-4465

 

Boozhoo! Minisinookwe indishinakaz. Stephanie Thompson indizhinikaaz zhaaganaashiimong. Waaswagoning indoonjiba. Makwa indoodem. Nibaaba Brian Thompson. Nimaamaa Jenifer Thompson (Plasky).

Hello! My name is Minisinookwe. My name is Stephanie Thompson in English. I am from the Lac du Flambeau Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians. I am bear clan. My father is Brian Thompson. My mother is Jenifer Thompson (Plasky).

I come from a long line of what is now called conservationists. My family and my culture have raised me to understand the interconnected fate of us with the world. As a young girl I learned to harvest berries with my great grandmother, visiting berry patches which my family has visited for centuries. I learned from my father how to harvest fish and the importance of restocking from our tribal fish hatchery, which has been named after my great grandfather William Poupart.

As an adult, I visit those same places with my children. However, things have changed. Some of the places I once visited to berry pick are now highly damaged, having been a site chosen for logging. Some places I once fished can no longer be trusted to feed my family due to high levels of mercury. The effects we have and our disconnection from our environment will hopefully be a learning curve which we can act upon quickly. With this in my heart, I live in a way with thoughtful action, purposeful decisions, and advocacy for the environment.

I am a conservation voter because protecting the environment is a core value of my culture, my family, my blood and I will honor my ancestors and my grandchildren by protecting it.

 

Angela West BlankAngela West Blank

Director of Strategic Development, 608-208-1131

As Director of Strategic Development, Angela makes sure we have the support needed to effectively protect Wisconsin’s air, water, and land. She oversees a comprehensive fundraising plan and strategy, including: major donor cultivation, membership recruitment and retention, board and staff fundraising and training, direct mail appeals, e-fundraising, special events, and planned giving. Angela has been with the organization since 2007.

Favorite place in Wisconsin: The wooded path and natural wildlife area of Tiedeman’s Pond in Middleton
Interests: Geography, foreign language, hiking, walking my dog, writing, travel

I’m a conservation voter because our families have a right to breathe clean air, drink clean water, and enjoy Wisconsin’s beautiful natural spaces.