• Deborah Karasov

    Executive Director
    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
    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
    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
    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
    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
    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.

  • Anja Hogan

    Field Coordinator
    Anja manages the Great River Greening field crew on restoration projects, coordinates management at volunteer events, and ensures safety for all. Education: B.S. in Environmental Science, Southwest Minnesota State University in Marshall, MN, and continued education in wildfire training and timber cruising.

  • Katie McCann

    Volunteer & Outreach Manager
    Katie manages and coordinate the volunteer events at Greening, including the Volunteer Supervisor and Field Learning for Teens programs. She holds a B.S. in biology, University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, minoring in environmental studies.

  • Kelsey Simpkins

    Development Assistant | 651.272.3986
    Kelsey 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 as photographer. She holds a B.A., Art and Environmental Studies, Luther College.

  • Bill Smith

    Director of Finance & Administration
    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
    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.

  • Steve Thomforde

    Restoration Ecologist | Project Manager | 651.272.3982
    Steve is responsible for preliminary site assessments, fostering partnerships, assisting with development and design, supervising installation, and cultivating long-term relationships for each project. He holds a Master of Science in Restoration Ecology, University of Wisconsin, Madison

  • Mary Anne Welch

    Communications Manager
    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
    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 | 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.