Advisory Councils

In addition to our Board of Directors, ELPC created several volunteer advisory councils beginning in 2008 to access expertise, obtain guidance and expand our networks where specific capacity or knowledge was needed. ELPC senior program staff and Board members meet with these advisors twice yearly to strategize and infuse up-to-date, on-the-ground thinking into ELPC’s strategic decisionmaking.

Iowa Advisory Council

ELPC’s Iowa Advisory Council members bring strategic wisdom, stature and connections to the state’s policymakers, business leaders, educational leaders and other influentials.

Laurie Belin

is an activist focused on preserving working farms and natural resources. She has particular interest in transportation policy that encourages alternatives to a car-dependent lifestyle. Ms. Belin serves on the Board of Directors of 1000 Friends of Iowa and the Iowa Environmental Council. She lives in Windsor Heights, where she grew up.

Liz Garst

is manager of a commercial farm and director of family-owned banks. Prior to this, she worked at the World Bank and served as business manager of the Garst Seed Company. Ms. Garst is also an oral historian who speaks of her family’s deep roots in the farming community in Coon Rapids. She serves on the Board of Directors of the Whiterock Conservancy and serves as an adviser for the Iowa Nature Conservancy.

Larry Grimstad

is former President and CEO of Decorah Bank and Trust Company. He developed Decorah Solar Field, LLC, which is a solar array used by Luther College, and Blowhard, LLC, a wind energy company. Mr. Grimstad serves on the Board of Directors of the Winnesheik Energy District and Seed Savers Exchange and is a member of the Decorah Downtown Betterment Association. He lives in Decorah.

Charlotte Hubbell

is an independent writer and editor and has been a lifelong activist for education and the environment around the globe. She and her husband Fred founded the Fred and Charlotte Hubbell Foundation. Ms. Hubbell has served on the Iowa Environmental Protection Commission, overseeing the environmental protection activities of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources. She lives with her family in Des Moines.

Fred Hubbell

is a retired member of the Executive Board of ING Group of The Netherlands and former Chairman and CEO of Equitable of Iowa. He and his wife Charlotte founded the Fred and Charlotte Hubbell Foundation. Mr. Hubbell has served as the Interim Director of the Iowa Department of Economic Development, as Chairmen of the Iowa Power Fund Board, and on the Board of Directors of the Community Foundation of Greater Des Moines. He lives in Des Moines, where he was born and raised.

Sally Pederson

is a consultant and Director of the Northwest Area Foundation. She served as Lieutenant Governor of Iowa during 1999–2007 and is a past Chair of the Iowa Democratic Party. Ms. Pederson is the Founder and Chair of the Advisory Board for REACH: Realizing Education and Career Hopes at the University of Iowa and Co-Chair of Justice Not Politics and serves on the advisory board of the Harkin Institute for Public Policy at Drake University and the Iowa Coalition Against Domestic Violence. She was inducted into the Iowa Women’s Hall of Fame in 2005.

Rob Sand

is an attorney and dedicated conservationist. Mr. Sand has researched Iowa farmers' views on conservation issues and has been involved in prairie and wetland restorations since his youth. He has persuaded Iowans from a variety of backgrounds to build solar installations. He lives in Des Moines and grew up in Decorah.

Barry Shear

is the President of Eagle Point Solar in Dubuque, Iowa. He was a business turnaround specialist for 17 years and was CEO and part owner of Help At Home, Inc., a large homecare provider which offers alternatives to nursing home placement. Barry is a founding Board member and Treasurer of the Iowa Solar Energy Trade Association.

Thomas Urban

served as Mayor of Des Moines, Iowa, from 1968 to 1972 and is former Chairman and CEO of Pioneer Hi-Bred International. Mr. Urban holds an M.B.A. from the Harvard Graduate School and was Visiting Professor at Harvard University in the Graduate School of Business. An avid gardener, he also has served as chairman of the National Tropical Botanical Garden and is a board member of the Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden.

Michigan Advisory Council

ELPC’s Michigan Advisory Council members bring strategic wisdom, stature and connections to the state’s policymakers, business leaders, educational leaders and other influentials.

Gary R. Rentrop (Chair)

is the founding Partner of the Rentrop & Morrison law firm in Bloomfield Hills, focusing on municipal, land use and zoning, historic preservation and estate planning law. Gary has extensive litigation and transactional law expertise on land use planning and real estate preservation/conservation issues. He serves on the Board of Trustees of the Americana Foundation and on the Litigation Approval Committee of the Environmental Law & Policy Center. He also served as the President of the Emmet County Lakeshore Association, among other civic engagements, and lives near Harbor Springs.

Lauren Bigelow

is CEO of the Growth Capital Network, based in Ann Arbor, which creates innovative technology programs for foundations and economic development agencies. Lauren was the North American Commercial Director for New Energy Finance, a leading provider of clean energy data and research, and Managing Director of the Cleantech Group where she oversaw investment and entrepreneur pipelines. She serves on NWF’s Great Lakes Leaders Council, Erb Institute Advisory Board, Zell Lurie Fund and Belle Capital Michigan, and is board chair of the Energy Innovation Business Council and Institute for Energy Innovation.

George Covington

is an experienced land use and transactional attorney, and the founder and an officer of the Les Cheneaux Foundation, which conducts conservation, restoration and community development activities in the Upper Peninsula. George has extensive legal expertise on land use issues, including conservation easements. He serves on the Illinois Nature Preserves Commission and on the boards of the Lake Forest Open Lands Association and The Wetlands Initiative. He has served on the boards of The Nature Conservancy (Illinois Chapter), Corlands, Chicago Academy of Science, Little Traverse Conservancy and Openlands.

James Dearing

is Professor and Chair of the Department of Communication at Michigan State University. Jim specializes in the diffusion of innovations, and the use of diffusion principles to disseminate and effectively implement and sustain worthy innovations. He was Senior Scientist at Kaiser Permanente, and Principal Investigator for a National Cancer Institute Center of Excellence in Cancer Communication Research. He has directed research projects sponsored by the EPA, NSF, NCI and foundations. He directs the community engagement core for MSU’s Superfund Research Center, funded by the National Institute for Environmental Health Research.

Kiff Hamp

is a Policy and Advocacy Manager at After School Matters which offers 1,200 out of school time programs to over 15,000 Chicago teens. He previously practiced real estate law with the Miller, Canfield, Paddock, and Stone firm in Ann Arbor. Kiff graduated from the University of Michigan Law School and the Gerald Ford School of Public Policy in 2014 and has a background in policy work and politics. He is strong supporter of the Great Lakes region and preservation of its natural resources. Kiff serves on the Board of Trustees of The Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, and Greenhills School in Ann Arbor.

George Heartwell

is the former Mayor of Grand Rapids who focused on making the city much more sustainable. He currently works part-time as community sustainability director at Grand Valley State University. Before serving as Mayor, George was a City Commissioner and served as President and CEO of Pilgrim Manor Retirement Community. He was previously a Director of the Community Leadership Institute at Aquinas College and a minister at Heartside Ministry in Grand Rapids.

Addison Igleheart

is an attorney and real estate developer who lives in Bloomfield Hills and Leland. Add is a committed philanthropist supporting habitat and wildlife preservation and restoration, as well as arts organizations throughout Michigan. He and his wife Debby are engaged with historic preservation activities and have recently put a historic preservation easement on their beautiful 1848 farm house and outbuildings, as well as the land, in Bloomfield Hills.

Debby Igleheart

is a trustee and former President of the Michigan Nature Association. She is a retired librarian and is a member of the Oakland (County) Audubon Society, the Leelanau Conservancy and several other environmental groups. Debby and her husband Addison have recently put a historic preservation easement on their beautiful 1848 farm house and outbuildings, as well as the land, in Bloomfield Hills.

Thomas S. Porter

is an entrepreneur and investor experienced in founding and funding early stage companies. Tom divides his time between Great Lakes environmental issues through his family’s foundation and entrepreneurial ventures through his advisory firm Trillium Ventures. As a venture philanthropist, Tom applies his business experience to support big ideas that can make a difference for the environment in the short term. He co-founded the Michigan Climate Action Network and the Council of Michigan Foundation’s Green & Blue Network, and serves on the University of Michigan’s National Advisory Board for Tech Transfer. Tom founded EDF Ventures and was Executive-in-Residence at the Zell Lurie Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies.

Lorna Puttkammer Straus

is a Professor Emerita in organismal biology and anatomy at the University of Chicago. Lorna served as Assistant Dean and Dean for Students (1967—1982), as Dean of Admissions and as a University Marshal. Lorna's family has come to Mackinac Island since 1891, and she now lives there full time. She is a strong supporter of natural spaces and historic preservation. Lorna serves on the Board of Trustees and is Chair of the Health and Medical Board of Advisors of the Mackinac Island Community Foundation.

Tracey Shafroth

lives and works in Douglas, MI and Evanston, IL as a philanthropic advisor to family foundations. Her current philanthropy work focuses on food waste, food systems, climate change and criminal justice reform. She serves as a strategic advisor to the Vital Lands program at the Grand Victoria Foundation, a fellow in the Field Museum’s Science Action Center and a volunteer for Freshwater Futures. Tracey has served for a decade as a board member and advisor to the Saugatuck Dunes Coastal Alliance, working to preserve and protect the lower Kalamazoo River and Saugatuck Dunes coastal region.

Gary Stewart

served as General Manager of Governmental & Public Affairs and in other senior regulatory, legislative and public affairs positions for BP America before moving home to Harbor Springs. Gary worked closely with BP's solar, wind and biofuels businesses and has extensive energy and communications experience. He was previously director of state government affairs for Detroit Edison in the 1980s and worked on the Michigan Senate staff and for the Michigan Manufacturers Association. Gary is currently instructing and coaching communication knowledge and skills.

Bob Zabors

is the Founder and CEO of Enovation Partners, which consults with energy and infrastructure firms on strategy, operational improvement, renewable energy, sustainability, smart grid and technology commercialization. Bob has over 25 years of experience working with utilities, suppliers, private equity and government. He lives in Harbor Springs and in Winnetka, Illinois. Prior to Enovation, he founded and led the energy practice of Bridge Strategy Group, and was a consultant with Booz & Co, Renaissance Worldwide and CSC Planmetrics.

Ex-Officio: Knute Nadelhoffer (ELPC Board of Directors and ELPC Science Advisory Council)

is a Professor in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Michigan and is Director of the University of Michigan Biological Station in Pellston where he coordinates programs of research, training and outreach in environmental sciences. Knute has published more than 100 journal articles and book chapters on ecosystem ecology, global climate change and terrestrial biogeochemistry, and he is a leader bringing together Midwest scientists to advocate strong policy actions for climate change solutions. He was previously a Senior Scientist at the Ecosystems Center of the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, MA and a Program Director for the National Science Foundation’s Ecosystem Studies Program.

Next Generation Advisory Council

ELPC’s Next Generation Advisory Council of early- to mid-career professionals acts as ELPC ambassadors and supporters. Members are interested in sustainability and renewable energy development and in gaining access to substantive professional and networking opportunities. ELPC’s Next Gen Advisory Council meets quarterly for strategic policy briefings, networking receptions and fundraising events. The Council members are:

Colleen Smith (Co-Chair)

is Legislative Director of the Illinois Environmental Council. Smith was recently a Government Affairs associate at Stricklin & Associates, focusing on state policy. She worked previously as Chief of Staff for State Representative Ann Williams, Women's Outreach Coordinator for Quinn for Illinois, and as Clean Water Advocate for the Sierra Club of Illinois. She is pursuing her Masters of Environmental Law and Policy from Vermont Law School, B.A. in Environmental Studies from University of Colorado- Boulder, 2012.

Tomas de'Medici (Co-Chair)

is the founder of The Chicago Sustainability Series and a consultant with a focus on tech and green clients. He co-leads the Community and Economic Development group of the Chicago Community Trust's Young Leaders Fund.

Derek Eder

is a web developer in Chicago. He is best known as the owner of DataMade, an open government and open data consulting company and as co-founder of Open City, a collective that makes civic apps with open data. He is the organizer for the Open Gov Hack Night, a weekly event for building civic technology with open data. B.S., Computer Engineering, Washington University - St. Louis, 2005.

Gina Chen

is currently pursuing her J.D. at Northwestern University and is a summer associate at DLA Piper, LLP. Previously, she assisted with organization development for the Chengdu Urban Rivers Association, a non-profit non-governmental organization that protects rivers and the environment, and promotes sustainable rural and urban development. She also served as the Director of U.S. Operations and the VP of Growth & Development at Education In Sight. J.D., Doctor of Law, Northwestern University School of Law, anticipated 2017; B.A., Political Science, Yale University, 2011.

Amy Ewaldt

is the Owner / Director of Cortland Preschool and Tutoring, where she developed the Lucy Flower Children's Garden Club. The school actively works with the West Bucktown community to grow, share, repurpose, support, and renew, from gardening events to clothing swaps, recycling projects to Cortland scholarships, composting to early conservation education. M.A., Teaching, Columbia College, 2007.

Jack Godshall

is Vice President of Corporate Development at Invenergy LLC. Prior to joining Invenergy in 2010, Jack served as Entitlement Manager at Street-Works Development and a Project Manager at Stadtmauer Bailkin Economic Development Group. M.B.A., Entrepreneurship, Finance, and Accounting, University of Chicago Booth School of Business, 2015. B.A., Political Science, Chinese, Kenyon College, 2006.

Carey Goldblatt

previously worked as the Service Area Manager of Environmental Health and Safety for Kaiser Foundation Hospitals and as a Staff Scientist and Environmental Health and Safety Specialist at ATC Associates, Inc. She was a board member of the Parkways Foundation Young Professionals Organization and has worked with the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum in the Education department. She was a Business Marketing Intern at ELPC while attending graduate school. M.B.A., University of Chicago Booth School of Business, 2002. B.S., Environmental Science, Brown University, 1997.

Drew Gravitt

works in Energy Business Development for the Schneider Electric Buildings Business, where works with clients to upgrade aging facility equipment, lower utility bills, meet renewable energy goals, and improve building and employee performance. He worked previously as a Territory Manager at EFCO, Corp. and in sales, project management and marketing for Ryland Homes. B.S., Marketing & Management, Drake University, 2006.

Erik Gullickson

is a Financial Advisor at Raymond James Financial Services, Inc. Previously, he served as a Financial Advisor at Edward Jones Investments. B.A., Aurora University, 2007.

Garrett Johnson

is the Coordinator of Policy and Advocacy at Shedd Aquarium. He develops and implements conservation efforts around the aquarium’s policy interests, encouraging advocates to take action on issues such as plastic pollution, shark conservation, and sustainable seafood. M.P.A, Public Affairs, La Follette School, 2017; B.A., Evolutionary Biology, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2014.

Nick Poplawski

is a Program Analyst at the Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation, which works to improve energy efficiency, advance the development and use of renewable energy resources, and protect natural areas and wildlife habitat in communities all across Illinois. Georgetown University, 2008.

Kelsey Ryan

is a Coordinator of Communications and Public Relations at Shedd Aquarium where she champions communications efforts surrounding the aquarium's sustainability and conservation initiatives, sharing stories about energy efficient technologies, water conservation, applied research programs and conservation advocacy platforms. B.A., Journalism, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2015.

Corey Schires

is the Founder and Lead Developer at Scholastica, a start-up that allows academics to create, manage, and publish peer-reviewed journals online. Corey brings a wealth of knowledge regarding best strategies for information sharing. M.A., History, University of Chicago, 2007. B.A., History and Politics, West Virginia University, 2004.

Jeff Smith

is Principal of Energy & Utilities at West Monroe Partners, working to deliver and manage smart energy solutions and grid assessments for the greater Chicago area. Previously, Jeff worked as a project developer for Recycled Energy Development and a field technician for Clean Air Engineering. M.P.A., Environmental Science and Policy, Columbia University, 2007. B.S., Civil/Environmental Engineering, Tufts University, 2006.

Science Advisory Council

The Environmental Law & Policy Center’s Science Advisory Council engages leading Midwest scientists in ELPC’s public policy formulation and strategies. The Council broadens ELPC’s knowledge and relationship capacities in order to help better shape and advance our environmental protection, clean energy development and natural resource preservation agenda.

ELPC’s senior program staff and board meet with the members of the Science Advisory Council twice each year to strategize and infuse up-to-date scientific thinking into ELPC’s key strategic legal, eco-business and policy decision-making process.

ELPC created the Science Advisory Council in order to access expertise of top-rate scientists, obtain their guidance and scientific thinking, and expand our networks to reach out to other scientists and graduate students who can help us on a pro bono basis for projects where their specific knowledge is needed.  The members of the ELPC Science Advisory Council are stellar:

Professor Donald M. Waller (Chair)

is the John T. Curtis Professor of Botany and Chair of the department of Botany and the Biological Aspects of Conservation major at the University of Wisconsin – Madison. His research focuses on threats to plant and animal diversity in forests in the Great Lakes region including habitat fragmentation, overabundant deer, climate change, and invasive species. He co-authored Wild Forests: Conservation Biology and Public Policy (1994) and co-edited The Vanishing Present: Shifts in Wisconsin’s lands, waters, and wildlife (2008). Professor Waller is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and served as an Associate Editor for Oecologia and Ecology Letters, Editor-in-Chief of Evolution, and President, Society for the Study of Evolution.

Don's bio
Professor Joel Blum

is a John D. MacArthur Professor and the Arthur F. Thurnau Professor of Earth and Environmental Sciences at the University of Michigan. He is a biogeochemist who specializes in studies of toxic metals in the environment. He has developed innovative techniques that enhance understanding of the behavior of mercury, lead and arsenic in the ecosystems. Much of Professor Blum's research focuses on how atmospheric pollutants influence the structure and function of ecosystems, and on the general application of trace element and isotope geochemistry across the environmental sciences. He has worked on forest conservation at the Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest and on the effects of climate change in Arctic regions. He is Co-Editor-in-Chief of Elementa, Science of the Anthropocene. He earned his Ph.D in Geochemistry from the California Institute of Technology.

Joel's bio
Professor Tony L. Goldberg

is Vilas Distinguished Achievement Professor at University of Wisconsin-Madison, Professor of Epidemiology in the School of Veterinary Medicine, and Associate Director for Research of the Global Health Institute. Dr. Goldberg's research is at the interface of health and conservation, focusing on the ecology, epidemiology and evolution of emerging infectious diseases. His research combines laboratory and field studies to understand how disease-causing agents are transmitted among hosts, across complex landscapes, and over time. The overarching goal is to improve the health and well-being of animals and people while conserving our shared rapidly changing ecosystems.

Tony's bio
Marilu Hastings

is a science policy specialist who is the Environment Program Director for the Cynthia and George Mitchell Foundation. Ms. Hastings is currently focused on developing and implementing the Foundation's funding strategies to support clean energy, water policy and sustainability in Texas. She was previously Director, Office of Science, Technology & Policy Integration at the Houston Area Research Center (HARC). She has a Master of Business Administration and a Master of Public Affairs from the University of Texas at Austin.

Marilu's bio
Professor Jessica Hellmann

is the Director of the Institute on the Environment at the University of Minnesota. As director, she provides overall strategic leadership for the Institute, an internationally recognized organization working to solve grand environmental challenges. Professor Hellmann is also the Russell M. and Elizabeth M. Bennett Chair in Excellence in the Department of Ecology, Evolution and Behavior in the College of Biological Sciences. She co-authored several climate assessment and adaptation planning efforts, including the biodiversity and ecosystem portions of the Chicago Climate Action Plan and the 2014 National Climate Assessment.

Jessica's bio
Professor Knute Nadelhoffer (Past Chair)

is a Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Michigan and serves as the Director of the University of Michigan Biological Station at Pellston. He was previously a Senior Scientist at the Marine Biological Laboratory (Woods Hole, MA) and Program Director at the National Science Foundation’s Ecosystem Studies Program. Professor Nadelhoffer's fields of study are ecosystem ecology, terrestrial biogeochemistry and global change impacts on ecosystems.

Knute's bio
Professor Jonathan Patz (M.D., M.P.H)

is a Professor of Environmental Studies and Population Health Sciences and Director of the Global Health Institute of the University of Wisconsin. He is also an Affiliate Scientist of the National Center for Atmospheric Research. Professor Patz co-chaired the health sector expert panel of the U.S. National Assessment on Climate Variability and Change, and served as a Lead Author for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

Jonathan's bio
Professor Barbara Peckarsky

is a Professor Emeritus of Entomology and Stream Ecology at Cornell University and an Honorary Fellow in the Department of Zoology and Adjunct Professor of Entomology at the University of Wisconsin. She is a Senior Researcher at the Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory. Her research focuses on the consequences of extreme hydrologic events associated with climate change on organisms in sensitive high-altitude stream ecosystems. Professor Peckarsky authored a textbook on the Freshwater Macroinvertebrates of Northeastern North America and served as Editor of Ecology (1997-2000), which is the publication of the Ecological Society of America.

Barbara's bio
Professor Mark Ratner

is a Professor and former Chair of the Department of Chemistry at Northwestern University. Professor Ratner is the Founding Co-Director of the Institute for Sustainability and Energy at Northwestern (ISEN). He is a materials chemist, whose work focuses on the interplay between molecular structure and molecular properties, ranging from nonadiabatic intramolecular behavior to aspects of molecular devices, including photovoltaics, conductive polymers, molecular transport junctions and molecular switches. He is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and a member of the National Academy and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Mark's bio
Professor Nicholas Reo

is an Assistant Professor of Native American Studies and Environmental Studies at Dartmouth College and an enrolled member of the Sault St. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians. He researches the ecological, social and political dimensions of ecosystem management, subsistence harvests and tribal guardianship of culturally significant resources. Professor Reo focuses on traditional ecological knowledge, ecosystem stewardship, and socio-ecological adaptations’ contributions to sustainability in the context of rapid environmental change.

Nicholas's bio
Professor Nancy Tuchman

is Founding Director of the Institute of Environmental Sustainability and a Professor of Biology at Loyola University Chicago. Her research focuses on human impacts on Great Lakes coastal wetland ecosystem structure and function. Her work in designing and implementing the new Institute aims to educate students about the Earth’s limited natural resources with the goal of encouraging sustainable practices and behavior, and developing sustainable policy.

Nancy's bio
Professor Donald Wuebbles

is the Harry E. Preble Professor of Atmospheric Science at the University of Illinois in the School of Earth, Society, and Environment. He was a Coordinating Lead Author for the 2013 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) assessment of climate change, a leader in the 2014 U.S. National Climate Assessment, and an author in the 2014 joint U.S. National Academy of Sciences and UK Royal Society report on climate change. He shares in the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize for his work with IPCC. He also is a Fellow of three professional societies: the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the American Geophysical Union (AGU), and the American Meteorological Society (AMS). He received the AMS Cleveland Abbe Award in February 2014 for his contributions to science and society.

Don's bio

South Dakota Advisory Council

ELPC’s South Dakota Advisory Council members bring strategic wisdom, stature and connections to the state’s policymakers, business leaders, educational leaders and other influentials.

Dr. David Chicoine

is the President of South Dakota State University, the state’s largest university, and is a tenured faculty member in the Department of Economics. He previously served as the Vice President for Technology and Economic Development and the Vice President for Academic Affairs at the University of Illinois. He was a member of the Illinois Governor’s Council of Economic Advisors and served on the Board of the Illinois State Treasurer’s Technology Development Fund. David graduated from South Dakota State University with a B.S. in agribusiness, received his M.S. in agricultural economics from the University of Delaware, an M.A. in economics from Western Illinois University, and his Ph.D. in agricultural economics at the University of Illinois.

Van Fishback

is the President of Fishback Financial Corporation, based in Brookings, which is South Dakota’s largest privately held financial holding company with five subsidiary banks and various other assets. The banks finance wind power, agricultural development and other activities in South Dakota and Minnesota, among other business activities. Van joined his family’s banking organization after receiving his B.A. in Economics and attending the Graduate School of Business at Stanford University, and receiving his law degree from the University of Minnesota Law School. He is involved with numerous professional and civic organizations and boards in Brookings and across South Dakota including the South Dakota State University Foundation, Vision Brookings and Prairie Repertory Theater.

Christine Hamilton

owns and operates Christiansen Land and Cattle, Ltd., a large diversified farming and ranching business in south central South Dakota. She has established a non-profit family foundation to participate in projects that address how to improve rural communities and co-founded PrairieGold Ventures and South Dakota Ag Producer Ventures, which are dedicated to South Dakota development. Christine has a MBA in Entrepreneurship from the University of Arizona. She is a member of the South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks Commission, and serves on the Board of Directors of the South Dakota State Foundation, South Dakota State Art Museum, Northern Great Plains Initiative for Rural Development, the South Dakota Chamber of Commerce and Home Federal Bank.

Robert C. Oliver

is the President of Augustana College in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. He previously served as Chair of the Department of Business Administration and as Associate Professor. Prior to 2004, Rob was President of Norwest Bank (Southeast District) and responsible for 27 banking locations in southeast South Dakota and southwest Minnesota. His community activities include service on: the Avera McKennan Hospital Board of Trustees (Chair); Augustana College Board of Regents (former Chair); Sioux Empire United Way (past Chair); and Volunteers of America. Rob has an M.B.A. and B.S. in Economics from the University of South Dakota.

Catherine V. Piersol

is the principal partner of the Piersol Law Firm in Sioux Falls. She specializes in family law, employment law and overall civil litigation. Cathy served for many years on the Board of Directors of the Bush Foundation and on bar association boards and committees. Her extensive civic activities also include: University of South Dakota Foundation Executive Board and Board of Trustees; Great Plains Zoo Board of Directors; South Dakota Hall of Fame Board of Directors; Sioux Empire Arts Council (President); Kennedy Center Committee for the Performing Arts; and Children’s Home Society of South Dakota. Cathy received her J.D. from the University of South Dakota and has been practicing law since 1985.

Ex-Officio: Scott Heidepriem (ELPC Board of Directors)

is a Founder and Partner at Heidepriem, Purtell & Siegel, LLP, a law firm focused on litigation, trial and appeals based in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. He is board certified by the National Board of Trial Advocacy as a certified civil trial advocate. Mr. Heidepriem previously served as a Democratic member of the South Dakota Senate from 2007 to 2011, representing the 13th District, and he was the Senate Minority Leader. He was a Republican member of the South Dakota House in 1988 before switching parties in 2003. He is a past president of South Dakota Trial Lawyers Association and has been listed in The Best Lawyers in America in the civil litigation field.

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