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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)

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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)

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Amy Carrier, Outdoor Educator

Amy grew up in St. Croix Falls, WI, and went on to graduate from the University of Rivers Falls with a B.A. in marketing communications and the Southwest Institute of Healing Arts with a diploma in Mind-Body Wellness. Amy has focused her career on marketing and education through experiences working across the globe, including leading wellness and mindfulness outings for women in the St. Croix Valley. She joined the Conservancy in April 2022 as an outdoor educator and is looking forward to guiding paddles and hikes, as well as supporting our Rivers Are Alive curriculum.
Email: acarrier (at)

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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)

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Jennifer Lutz, Operations Manager

Jenn started with the Wild Rivers Conservancy in May of 2021 as the Business Manager. Before starting with the Conservancy, Jenn supported a variety of businesses from managing a private practice medical office to overseeing a thriving e-commerce business as the operations manager. She enjoys a hands-on approach to management which has contributed to the cultivation of a diverse administrative skill set. Her business experience has been valuable in the completion of her BBA in Management from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. An Osceola resident, Jenn is active in her community and enjoys spending time with her family exploring all of the parks, trails, and waterways this area has to offer.
Email: jlutz (at)

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Hanna Mierow, Administrative and Member Support

Hanna grew up in Osceola, WI and joined the Conservancy team in November of 2021. She graduated from 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 and Namekagon Rivers.
Email: hmierow (at)

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Katie Sickmann, Natural Resources Manager

Katie Sickmann graduated from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls in 2018 with a B.S. in Biology and Field Biology. Prior to accepting the Invasive Species Coordinator position with the Conservancy, she worked with the Prior Lake- Spring Lake Watershed District. There she gained experience with water quality monitoring, invasive species management, education and outreach, and maintaining BMPs and restoration sites. Katie has spent many summers at her family’s cabin just outside of Spooner, WI, and loves to kayak the Namekagon whenever she can get the chance. She works closely with government agencies and other stakeholders such as outfitters, marinas, and bait shops, and those engaged in preventing and controlling the spread of invasive species.
Email: ksickmann (at)

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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)

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Kate Wright, Marketing and Events

Kate grew up on the St. Croix River and enjoys our watershed year-round by skiing, paddling, and hiking with her dogs. She studied Business Law and Environmental Studies at the University of St. Thomas, earning her B.A. Kate joined the Conservancy team in March of 2017 focusing on donor relations and database management. Since then, her duties have expanded to include our marketing, visual design, and event management. Kate serves on the Board of Directors for the Deer Lake Improvement Association as the chair of the environmental committee focusing her efforts on AIS strategic planning and supervising the Clean Boats Clean Water internship program.
Email: kwright (at)

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Maria Young, Invasive Species Technician

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)