Staff & Board

Staff & Board

Jill Ryan, Executive Director  Jill Ryan received her bachelor’s degree in biology from Grand Valley State University in Michigan, her master’s degree in zoology from the University of Maine, and her law degree from Case Western Reserve University in Ohio. She has a background in nonprofit management and capacity building, environmental toxicology, and human services, and has taught environmental law and legal research. Jill has held positions with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Chautauqua Area Girl Scout Council, was the Great Lakes Aquatic Habitat Network and Fund Director for over seven years and is now the Executive Director of Freshwater Future. Jill and her family live in Petoskey, Michigan where they enjoy kayaking, fishing, biking, hiking, swimming, skiing and camping.


Cheryl Kallio, Associate Director Cheryl Kallio is Associate Director for Freshwater Future and is a lead for the organization’s policy work, administers the Great Lakes Healing Our Waters implementation grant making program, and provides consulting to environmental groups on how to strategically work their advocacy issues. Previous to her work with Freshwater Future Cheryl was the Water Conservation Manager for the Alliance for the Great Lakes and served as an adviser to the eight Great Lakes governors and premiers of Ontario and Quebec in the development of the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River Basin Water Resources Compact and Agreement.  She received her bachelor’s degree in Fisheries and Wildlife Management from Michigan State University.


Ann Baughman, Associate Director  Ann begawork for Freshwater Future in the fall of 2006. Ann manages our climate program–helping communities build resilience to the impacts of climate change.  In addition, Ann works on diversifying funding sources for the organization.  Prior to working at Freshwater Future, she served as a Watershed Protection Director and National Park Service Ranger.  Ann has a bachelors of science in natural resources from the University of Michigan. Ann works out of the Petoskey office.


Becca TurnerBecca Nelson, Grants & Data Specialist  Becca started with Freshwater Future in June in 2012. Previous to Freshwater Future, she worked as a naturalist educator and spent a summer working on dune restoration with The Nature Conservancy. Becca received a bachelor’s degree in environmental studies from the University of Michigan.  As a Petoskey native, Becca is happy to be working in the Petoskey office, supporting her team members.


AprilWApril Weppler, Program Manager In her 12 years as a conservation professional, April Weppler has had a variety of work experiences ranging from Stewardship Coordinator roles with the Wye Marsh Wildlife Centre and Ontario Nature, to a project manager in the Conservation Lands department of the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority. She also served two terms on the board of the Ontario Land Trust Alliance, where she held the positions of Secretary, Vice-Chair, Chair, and past-Chair. April holds an Honours Bachelor of Science from University of Guelph, specializing in Wildlife Biology. April lives with her family in Guelph, Ontario where they enjoy hiking, paddling, and generally exploring the outdoors.


NancyGoucher Square headshotNancy Goucher, Manager, Partnerships  Nancy brings significant experience and skills bringing together multiple stakeholders and creating effective networks to Freshwater Future. For the last 2.5 years, she has worked with Environmental Defence, leading the Great Lakes program to educate citizens and governments about the need for stronger rules to protect and restore the Great Lakes. Listed as one of Tides Canada’s Top 10 Visionaries in 2010, Nancy is also the founder of Blue Drinks Toronto, a social network of over 250 people engaged in meaningful dialogue and collaboration on water issues. She is the author of numerous academic journal articles, book chapters, conference proceedings, and regularly publishes opinion editorials, blogs, and magazine articles. Prior to Environmental Defence, Nancy worked as the Program Manager for the Forum for Leadership on Water (FLOW). Nancy has a Masters of Environmental Studies Degree in Planning from the University of Waterloo.


Tony Maas, Manager, Strategies  A big picture thinker, policy influencer and team builder, Tony Maas has been working to protect the health of Canada’s fresh water for over 15 years. Through his independent consultancy, he has worked with not-for-profits, philanthropic foundations and research institutes in Canada and the United States on strategy, program development and public policy issues. Prior to starting his business, Tony spent six years as national Freshwater Program Director with WWF-Canada.Tony is a founding member of the Forum for Leadership on Water (FLOW) and currently chairs the Steering Committee of the Canadian Freshwater Alliance and the External Advisory Board of the Water Institute at the University of Waterloo and. He lives in Kitchener, Ontario and holds a Master of Environmental Studies from the University of Waterloo. 


Hilliard Hampton, Associate Director of Urban Partnerships All his life, Hilliard Hampton has been a hands on problem solver and hands on leader. A four-time elected Mayor, police officer, small business owner, education leader – all of these experiences are what Hilliard brings to his role at Freshwater Future as our Associated Director of Urban Partnerships. Hilliard values the role of community and diverse perspectives in developing solutions, and excels at listening to and integrating others’ perspectives while also maintaining the broader picture to reach a successful conclusion.


Megan Feeley, Communications & Marketing Director Megan manages communications for Freshwater Future, helping us to craft messages that move people to action. She comes to us with over five years of experience in the for-profit marketing world after having taught high school Social Studies for nearly a decade. Megan is a lifelong lover of watery places who enjoys hiking, swimming, and paddling. She’s actively engaged in grassroots politics in her town of Petoskey and serves on the Board of Directors for the Charlevoix Area Humane Society.


Mitch Barrows, Policy Associate Mitch tracks water policy changes in the 8 Great Lakes states and Ontario, manages a policy blog, and connects local community efforts to meaningful opportunities for policy change. Before joining Freshwater Future, he organized for the Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal campaign and worked on the issue of water affordability in Detroit, MI. Mitch received a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Studies and Anthropology from Yale University. He enjoys reading history books, staying active in local Michigan politics, and hiking with his black Labrador retriever Juno.


Latia Leonard, Urban Program Associate Latia works on urban water issues in the Detroit and Flint metro areas. She has a passion for helping others, and her work on affordability and infrastructure is an extension of ten years of community service and anti-poverty work. A graduate of Michigan State University, Latia recently completed a year as a VISTA volunteer with AmeriCorps, and now brings her communications expertise to Freshwater Future.


Freshwater Future Board

Chris GrubbChristopher Grubb, Chair
Great Lakes Citizen,    




Holly Hughes, Vice-Chair
Great Lakes Citizen




2016_karen-reinbold_0262_webKaren Reinbold, Treasurer





Tracey Cooke
Invasive Species Centre





Melanie Welch





Adam Parker
Board Secretary





Trent Stark






Stay Informed

Connect With us


© 2018 Freshwater Future. All Rights Reserved.

Images courtesy of Steven Huyser-Honig,
West Grand Boulevard Collaborative, & Yellow Dog Watershed Preserve.