Staff

  • Deborah Karasov

    Executive Director

    dkarasov@greatrivergreening.org
    651.272.3990
    Deborah is senior officer for Great River Greening, with oversight for all program and fundraising activities. She holds a M.L.A. in Landscape Architecture, Harvard University, and a Ph.D. in Geography, University of Minnesota.

  • Steve Huckett

    Conservation Programs Director

    shuckett@greatrivergreening.org
    651-272-3994
    Steve Huckett is a broadly trained scientist, with experience in agricultural and livestock production practices, soil and water conservation, and natural resource preservation. His jobs have included environmental consulting, seed maize production, and Preserve Manager for The Nature Conservancy in Arizona. His passion is integrating watershed management and ecological restoration with human needs and perspectives. When not at work, Steve enjoys outdoor activities including hiking, camping, fly-fishing, and photography.

  • Kirsten Gulbro

    Development Director

    kgulbro@greatrivergreening.org
    651.272.3987
    Kirsten is responsible for fundraising, including working with individuals, corporations and foundations to solicit donations in support of our mission. With the help of others, she also manages GRG’s two special fundraising events – the Gala and the Business Forum. She holds a BA in Sociology from Augsburg College; Master of Public and Nonprofit Administration from Metro State (MPNA).

  • Todd Rexine

    Director of Operations

    trexine@greatrivergreening.org
    651-272-3992
    Todd oversees and coordinates much of Great River Greening’s staff, ensuring that the volunteer program and conservation program meet the agency’s mission and goals, and that procedures and protocols are followed.  He is also a project manager and designer on studies focused on sustainable landscape design, alternative stormwater design, shoreline restoration, river and stream bank restoration. He holds a M.L.A., University of Minnesota

  • Wiley Buck

    Restoration Ecologist  | Program Manager

    wbuck@greatrivergreening.org
    651.272.3981
    Wiley oversees restoration activities across some of Great River Greening’s hallmark projects including Pilot Knob Hill and Fish Creek. He oversees GRG’s Minnesota Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund grants as part of the Metro Conservation Corridors partnership. He also leads the prescribed burn program and prescribed grazing implementation, and manages research projects. Wiley holds a M.S., Conservation Biology, University of Minnesota.

  • Karen Galles

    Seven Mile Creek Watershed Coordinator

    kgalles@greatrivergreening.org
    507.931.2550
    Karen’s work is based out of the Nicollet County Soil and Water Conservation District offices in St. Peter, MN. She coordinates Great River Greening’s effort in the Seven Mile Creek Watershed to work with farmers in the area to incorporate conservation practices that improve downstream water quality into their farm management. Karen also convenes the The Seven Mile Creek Watershed Partnership, a diverse group of stakeholders concerned with water quality. She holds an M.S. Ecology (Soil and Crop Science), Colorado State University; B.A. Biology, St. Olaf College.

  • Katie Brom

    Volunteer Events Manager

    volunteer@greatrivergreening.org
    651-272-3989
    Katie manages and coordinates the volunteer events at Greening, including the Volunteer Supervisor and Field Learning for Teens programs. She holds a B.S. in biology from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, minoring in environmental studies.

  • Lexie Peterson

    Development Assistant

    lpeterson@greatrivergreening.org | 651.272.3986
    Lexie assists in the planning and execution of major annual fundraising events, manages the donor database, corresponds with donors, works in social media, and conducts prospecting. She also supports the volunteer events.

  • Bill Smith

    Director of Finance & Administration

    wsmith@greatrivergreening.org
    651.272.3995
    Bill is responsible for the organization’s financial and administrative operations, including budget planning; financial management; accounting and reporting; government grant and contract management; human resources, and information technology. He holds a B.S.B.A., Accounting, University of Minnesota

  • Lisa Strauss

    Grant Administration Assistant

    lstrauss@greatrivergreening.org
    651.272.3980
    Lisa is assists the Grant Manager, Directors of Finance, Conservation Program Managers, and Operations in meeting Greening’s grant-related information management needs. She works closely with projects funded by grants, including the MN Outdoor Heritage Fund and MN Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund. She holds a B.A. in  Environmental Studies, Middlebury College, VT, and in  Forest and Natural Resource Management, MPS, School of Environmental Science and Forestry, SUNY-Syracuse.

  • Mary Anne Welch

    Communications Manager

    mwelch@greatrivergreening.org
    651-272-3999
    Mary Anne is responsible for brand management, content for print and online venues, and media relations. She holds a B .A. in Journalism, University of Minnesota.

  • Julia Bulbulian Wells

    Financial Operations & HR Manager

    jwells@greatrivergreening.org
    651-272-3984
    Julia works on accounting, database management, IT, human resources, and office management for Great River Greening. She holds a B.A. in Economics & Psychology, University of Minnesota; and Master of Nonprofit Management, Hamline University.

  • Sean Wickhem

    Project Manager

    swickhem@greatrivergreening.org | 651.272.3983
    Sean is responsible for site Assessment, overseeing installation and maintenance of functioning natural systems, and partnership development. He holds a B.A. in History, UW Madison and certificates in Integrated Liberal Studies, UW Madison, and Permaculture Design Certification, The Permaculture Project.