Deb Ryun, Executive Director
Deb Ryun has been the Executive Director of the Conservancy since October 2009. She has 25 years of experience with management and coordination of multi-stakeholder initiatives; watershed-level planning; and implementation of on-the-ground projects to protect land and water. Deb provides overall leadership and management of the Wild Rivers Conservancy. She is the public face of the Conservancy and represents the organization before various audiences. During the open water season, Deb spends much of her free time enjoying all that the Namekagon and St. Croix Rivers offer.
Email: dryun (at) wildriversconservancy.org
Alex Bouthilet, Seed Farm Manager
Alex gained a passion for native plants in 2012 after reading Aldo Leopold’s “A Sand County Almanac” and began volunteering with conservation organizations including the Wisconsin DNR, the US Fish and Wildlife Service, The Prairie Enthusiasts, and Standing Cedars Community Land Conservancy. After three years of volunteer work, the USFWS brought him on as an employee to assist with managing the local ecotype seed and plant program. Alex works to harvest and clean seed of native plant species to be used on public land restoration projects throughout the district. He helps with the design, preparation, and planting of prairie, wetland, and oak savanna species and enjoys providing educational opportunities to on the many benefits of native plant species.
Email: abouthilet (at) wildriversconservancy.org
Bethany Cox, Director of Development
Bethany Cox is the Director of Development at the Wild Rivers Conservancy. She has been with the Conservancy since September of 2019, and brings with her years of entrepreneurial and nonprofit experience. Bethany is looking to creatively engage more of the community to not only support the Namekagon and St. Croix rivers but also to bring more individuals and families to the rivers to experience the natural beauty this national park provides. Bethany grew up experiencing the lakes and rivers in Wisconsin from a canoe and is looking forward to exploring the Namekagon and St. Croix rivers with her own family.
Email: bcox (at) wildriversconservancy.org
Cassie Hargrave, Invasive Species Field Technician
Cassie grew up in North Branch, Minnesota, and joined the Conservancy in 2024. She has made countless trips to the St. Croix River since she was a kid and has always admired its beauty. Cassie is passionate about preserving the unique ecosystems of the riverway and hopes to bring her field experience to the team to help combat Aquatic Invasive Species. Her experience comes from working with Conservation Corps Minnesota & Iowa on water trails, as well as an interpreter with the National Park Service. In her free time, you can find Cassie hiking, camping, working on her jeep with her husband Tyler, or playing with her puppy and two cats.
Email: chargrave (at) wildriversconservancy.org
Jennifer Hutchins Farrell, Business Manager
Jennifer joined the Wild Rivers Conservancy team in 2023. She has a B.S. in Sociology from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls. Jennifer brings with her decades of professional experience having worked in nonprofit, city and state government, as well as bank management. In addition, she is an Army Veteran having served as a military police officer. She has a passion for learning and advocacy. One of her newest hobbies is paddleboarding on the river. Jennifer resides in the Saint Croix Valley with her husband, TJ, pup Charlie & four cats.
Email: jhfarrell (at) wildriversconservancy.org
Hanna Mierow, Development Associate
Hanna grew up in Osceola, WI, and joined the Conservancy team in November of 2021. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin - Green Bay in 2017 with a degree in Public Administration and Political Science and a minor in Environmental Policy and Planning. During her free time, she enjoys hiking, camping, kayaking, and spending time outside with family and friends. Hanna is looking forward to applying her experience and knowledge to this position and learning more about the St. Croix River.
Email: hmierow (at) wildriversconservancy.org
Alexis Monti, Climate Resiliency Specialist
Alexis is joining the Conservancy after recently receiving her B.S. degrees in Environmental Science and Natural Resources Conservation from the University of Massachusetts - Amherst. She has spent the past few years pursuing her interest in climate adaptation through a wide variety of roles and just recently finished working for the National Park Service. In her spare time, Alexis enjoys identifying plants, hiking, volunteering, and attending any trivia and bingo events she can find.
Email: amonti (at) wildriversconservancy.org
Katrina Schlicker, Environmental Education Coordinator
Katrina grew up in Michigan spending her summers camping and recreating outdoors. She graduated from Michigan State University with a B.S. in Zoology and a passion for the conservation of animals. For the next few years, she traveled across the country teaching at camps and Environmental Learning Centers. Katrina is excited to continue educating youth with the Rivers Are Alive program and spend more time on the river!
Email: kschlicker (at) wildriversconservancy.org
Tanner Stofferahn, Communications & Marketing Coordinator
Tanner joined the Wild Rivers Conservancy team in 2023. He brings with him a diverse marketing and creative background, from e-commerce to outdoor industry start-ups. Tanner graduated from UW Stevens Point with a BFA in design. Since graduation he has always sought to bring together his career and passion for the outdoors. On summer weekends, Tanner enjoys working as a fly fishing guide, helping others create positive outdoor experiences. Tanner also loves hiking and exploring state parks with his wife Valarie, and their dog Lucy.
Email: tstofferahn (at) wildriversconservancy.org
Sierra Stukenholtz, Volunteer Coordinator
Sierra joined the team in 2023 after serving as Community Volunteer Ambassador for St. Croix National Scenic Riverway where she helped build the Riverway Volunteers program from the ground up. As Volunteer Coordinator, Sierra looks forward to connecting people to the Riverway and providing more opportunities for people to come together to give back. Originally from Iowa, Sierra received her B. S. in Animal Ecology from Iowa State University in 2018, and spent the next several years working in the animal care field with a focus on avian species. In her free time, you can find her with animals, in nature, or playing board games with family.
Email: sstukenholtz (at) wildriversconservancy.org
Wendy Tremblay, Community Engagement Manager
Wendy grew up in Stillwater and attended UW-River Falls for her B.S. in Elementary Education. Before starting as the Community Engagement Coordinator with the Wild Rivers Conservancy in May of 2021, Wendy worked in the environmental education field for over 12 years as a naturalist, teacher, and program coordinator. When not at work, you can find Wendy in her backyard native garden, on a hiking trail, or exploring the beauty of the St. Croix Valley with her two sons often by her side. Wendy is looking forward to helping guide our outdoor and education programs, supporting interns, and growing our volunteer community.
Email: wtremblay (at) wildriversconservancy.org
Marc White, Natural Resources Manager
Marc White is the Natural Resources Manager at the Wild Rivers Conservancy. Marc has been with the Conservancy since February of 2024 and brings years of leadership experience in conservation planning, grant writing, and project management. Marc is dedicated to working collaboratively with Wild River Conservancy’s partners and stakeholders to advance shared conservation goals and minimize lifetime project costs. “It’s my goal to help our partners achieve their conservation goals and to make beautiful places where people can build relationships with the natural world and share their love of wild things.” Marc has extensive experience working with partners and stakeholders to restore wildlife habitat and conserve species of greatest conservation need including Lake Sturgeon, Swamp Metalmark Butterfly, Rusty Patched Bumble Bee, Blanding’s Turtle, and Forster’s Tern. Marc has developed and managed projects to restore ephemeral ponds, oak savannas, prairies, forests, and hardwood swamps as well as bluff, ravine, and riparian habitat.
Email: mwhite (at) wildriversconservancy.org
Claire Volk, Seasonal Outdoor Educator
Claire joined the Wild Rivers Conservancy team in 2024. She just graduated from the University of Minnesota with a B.S. in Environmental Sciences, Policy and Management. As a Certified Interpretive Guide, her previous experiences include working with the Student Conservation Association as a Park Guide Intern and creating environmental education curriculum best practices with MN GreenStep Schools. Claire cares deeply about improving access to the Riverway and teaching people about the great outdoors. She is passionate about getting people outside! In her free time you can find her hanging out with her roommates, hiking, reading, or climbing.
Email: cvolk (at) wildriversconservancy.org
October Yates, Outdoor Program Support, Seasonal
October grew up on a small island in Western Washington’s Puget Sound. He was an active Boy Scout and went to just about every boating/outdoor summer camp a kid could go too. Attending college at the base of the North Cascades and Salish Sea turned him into the ethical sportsman and environmentalist he is today. He now lives in Star Prairie, WI on a small hobby farm with his wife, Zoe, and is always chasing the next adventure.
Email: Oyates (at) wildriversconservancy.org
Maria Young, Invasive Species Coordinator
Maria recently graduated from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls with a B.S. in field biology and a minor in conservation. Before joining Wild Rivers Conservancy full-time in July 2021, Maria worked as the conservancy’s forest stewardship intern. In her free time, Maria enjoys spending time outside hiking, swimming, and kayaking with friends and family. Maria works to accomplish Wild Rivers Conservancy’s mission of inspiring stewardship to protect the St. Croix and Namekagon rivers by working with staff, partners, and volunteers to combat invasive species.
Email: myoung (at) wildriversconservancy.org