All Board members are elected to a three year term. There is a limit of three consecutive three-year terms with a one-year required break. Officers are nominated and elected annually. Current members include:
Communications Strategist, Minnesota Pollution Control Agency
Risikat Adesaogun is a Communications Strategist working for the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, the state agency responsible for protecting the environment and human health. Risikat’s current work involves coaching private and public officials on how best to communicate complex issues to general audiences and promoting social and environmental justice through research and targeted outreach. She liaises with representatives from local, state, and national media outlets and conducts demographic research of residents living in areas of concern for environmental justice initiatives. Risikat holds a Masters in Strategic Communication Management from Concordia University-St. Paul and a Bachelor of Arts in Interdisciplinary Anthropology from the University of Northern Colorado.
Steve Anseth, Treasurer
Partner, CPA, Abdo, Eick & Meyers, LLP
Steven Anseth is a Certified Public Accountant and shareholder with the Minneapolis accounting firm Abdo, Eick & Meyers, LLP. He works primarily in the nonprofit sector assisting nonprofit organizations with their Form 990 filing requirement, financial statement audits, board trainings, internal controls, and other consulting work. Prior to working in public accounting, Steven’s work experience included nearly 15 years in various finance roles at a large international nonprofit organization. He is a graduate of the University of Minnesota, with a B.S. degree. As a certified public accountant, he is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Minnesota Society of Certified Public Accountants. Steven is a member of the Financial Statement Review Task Force at the MNCPA Society. He also is active in the Twin Cities Nonprofit Financial Group and has served on the Board of Directors for various nonprofit organizations.
Don Arnosti, President
Conservation Program Director, Izaak Walton League, Minnesota Division
Don Arnosti was one of the founding members of Minnesota Environmental Fund’s Board back in the early 1990’s while Executive Director of Audubon Minnesota. After more than 15 years away from the Board, he is returning to participate in the next phase of growth of Minnesota Environmental Fund. Don has worked as an environmental advocate, program director and executive director for several Minnesota Environmental Fund organizations over the past twenty-five years, including Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy, Clean Water Action, and Audubon Minnesota. He also loves to canoe, fish, read and travel to foreign countries.
Human Resources Consultant
Richard “Dick” Brainerd brings deep experience in human resources and nonprofit leadership. A former human resources educator and executive at both public and nonprofit agencies, Dick continues to consult in human resources. Growing up in rural southwestern Wisconsin, he graduated from the University of Wisconsin in business and economics and from the Center for Creative Leadership in Greensboro, NC. His volunteer affiliations include: trustee of the Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota chapter of the Nature Conservancy; board member of the Parks & Trails Council of Minnesota; board member of Conservation Minnesota; board member and past president of the League of Minnesota Cities; board member of the Century College Foundation; former trustee of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities Foundation; board member of the American Red Cross-Minnesota Region; past chair and member of the board of the North Central Blood Services Region, American Red Cross; and past president of the International Public Management Association for Human Resources. He has served on the city council of the City of Mahtomedi since 2004. He’s an avid cyclist, birder, hiker, cross-country skier (North Shore) and golfer. He enjoys traveling and spending time with his wife Mary and their grown children, Andrew and Mary Angela, and their families – especially their new grand-daughter Mary Madison.
Development and Volunteer Coordinator, Wilderness Inquiry
Born in Minnesota, Hannah Frawley grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area ‒ a playground for the outdoor enthusiast – and graduated from California State University in Chico. Hannah brings experience in event coordination, marketing, communications and fundraising with The Marine Mammal Center in the San Francisco Bay area and SynMedia Marketing Group. As Development and Volunteer Coordinator at Wilderness Inquiry, Hannah works with over 400 volunteers to create meaningful experiences for participants in the outdoors, while also providing the WI donor community opportunities to see their mission in action. She is passionate about her connection to the community and loves exploring the Twin Cities’ natural and urban environments. Hannah enjoys hiking, biking, running, reading long novels, baking pies, collecting vinyl records, and Lego (master building/ creation). She is thrilled to make a measurable difference by connecting people from all walks of life to nature.
Katie Galloway until recently served as the Earth Fund Director for Aveda, where she oversaw charitable giving programs, supported environmental sustainability initiatives, and became very familiar with Audubon Minnesota’s programs. She holds a BA in Biology and Environmental Studies from Gustavus Adolphus College and a Master’s degree in Natural Science and Environmental Education from Hamline University. Katie enjoys spending time with her two daughters and looks forward to introducing them to gardening and exploring Minnesota’s great outdoors.
Managing Director and COO, Institute on the Environment, Univ. of MN
At the Institute on the Environment, Lewis E. Gilbert is responsible for inspiring collaboration among existing programs and creating new endeavors that advance the Institute’s mission, while overseeing the operational aspects of the institute’s facilitator role across the whole of the University of Minnesota. Gilbert’s career as an academic entrepreneur has focused on the design, implementation and management of complex interdisciplinary activities in large research universities. Gilbert has taught regularly in the MPA program at Columbia and in the Business School at the University of Wisconsin; his courses and lectures focus on the human role in the evolution of Earth and on the inherent complexity of natural and human systems. Gilbert listens to and collects music from off the beaten path, and enjoys cooking.
Christina Hausman, Past President
Executive Director, Voyageurs National Park Association
Christina Hausman has been the executive director of Voyageurs National Park Association since July 2013. At VNPA, she engages advocates, philanthropists, volunteers and the next generation of stewards on behalf of Minnesota’s national park. She has over 8 years experience working in development and communications in the nonprofit industry and has previously worked for The Nature Conservancy and the Hennepin Health Foundation. She earned her B.A. in government relations and biology from Augustana College. On her time off you can find her taking photos, attempting new recipes, enjoying live music, or traveling to North Carolina to visit family.
State Director, Sierra Club North Star Chapter
Margaret is privileged to have served as State Director of the Sierra Club North Star Chapter since 2008. She has over 10 years of experience as a grassroots community organizer, a degree in Sociology and Political Science from the University of Missouri and has studied nonprofit management and administration. Her passion is involving citizens to advance science-based environmental policies, and is inspired each day by the knowledge, leadership and vision of Sierra Club’s volunteer leaders. At home she enjoys time with family, music, and hiking.
Rylee Main, Vice President
Minnesota Conservation Federation
Rylee Main serves as the Executive Director of the Lake Pepin Legacy Alliance. Her primary goals for the organization include achieving a habitat and water quality restoration project in Lake Pepin that is supportive of both science-based objectives and community values, and enhancing the capacity of local communities upstream from Lake Pepin to reduce sediment and nutrient loads. Rylee graduated from the University of Minnesota’s Humphrey School of Public Affairs with a Master’s degree in Public Policy, focused on Science, Technology and Environmental Policy, and has completed environmental policy and community engagement projects with the Lower Minnesota River Watershed District, the Freshwater Society, and the Environmental Law and Policy Center. For Minnesota Conservation Federation, Rylee serves as treasurer and primary representative to the Minnesota Environmental Fund.
Administrative Assistant, The Trust for Public Land
Liane Olson supports The Trust for Public Land’s Minnesota Office in achieving its “Land for People” mission – planning events, coordinating community engagement, and representing the Trust for Public Land with the Minnesota Environmental Fund. A native Minnesotan, Liane earned a magna cum laude degree in sociology from Cornell College, and first assisted The Trust for Public Land with an urban “rails to trails” project – the 606 – in Chicago. She is an aspiring sustainable urban planner, and is looking to attend graduate school for her Master’s in the upcoming years. During her free time, Liane enjoys walking and biking around the city, paddle boarding on the Chain of Lakes, and attending community events. She is also a mixed media artist and musician whose work is inspired primarily by nature and her memories from exploring the outdoors as a child.
AIA, LEED AP BD+C, Alliiance
Amber Sausen is an architect and sustainability advocate with Alliiance, a Minneapolis architecture firm. She holds a Master of Architecture degree and BAs in architecture and spanish from the University of Minnesota. Amber grew up in east central Minnesota, and she maintains a strong connection with its natural landscape and Scandinavian heritage as a birder and bicyclist enjoying the many parks and trails of the region. Amber is an avid sketcher and water colorist, (almost) year-round cyclist, and enthusiastic traveler.
Senior Vice President Brand Services, Bluestem Brands
Aurora Toth, Senior Vice President Brand Services at Bluestem Brands, develops customer-centric marketing strategies, and serves as a thought leader to drive the marketing strategy and positioning of new brands that Bluestem Brands acquires. She leads brand marketing, digital marketing, market research, PR, partnerships and programs. Toth brings more than 30 years of branding and marketing experience to Bluestem Brands, encompassing several corporate leadership roles as well as consultant work on customer insight and marketing strategies for startup companies and agency clients. Toth served as vice president Brand Marketing at Carlson, vice president of Marketing for Christopher & Banks Corp, vice president of Corporate Development/Innovation, and vice president of Marketing at The Musicland Group/Best Buy. She has worked in brand marketing roles at Supervalu, Inc., the Toro Company and Procter & Gamble. Toth holds a Masters in Business Administration from the Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota and a Bachelor of Arts from Miami University in Ohio.
Managing Consultant, IBM
Greta Wallgren has focused on product, financial and customer analytics in her corporate retail career, now at IBM. She brings a strong background in data analytics and financial metrics and years of experience leading and directing teams. Greta holds a Bachelor’s degree in Business from Gustavus Adolphus College and has taken continuing executive education courses at the University of St. Thomas and the University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Management. Greta enjoys cooking, golfing, traveling and spending time outdoors with her kids. Passionate about clean water and waste reduction, she discovered the Minnesota Environmental Fund when researching environmental choices for workplace giving.
CEO, Weidman Consulting
Bob Weidman is the CEO of Weidman Consulting, a full-service fundraising consulting company specializing in foundation, corporate and major donor cultivation and high-end fundraising that provides fundraising expertise, technical innovation and services designed to help nonprofit organizations raise more money. Weidman has more than 20 years of experience raising money for nonprofit organizations, including as Director of Development for the BlueGreen Alliance and as Chief Operating Officer of Aaron Consulting Company. Bob has also worked managing information systems for the California Appellate Project in San Francisco and the Spangenberg Group in Boston. Bob has served on the boards of several nonprofit organizations, and is currently serving as the Treasurer of the Board of Heartland Democracy in St. Paul.
Interested in joining?
If you’re interested in joining the MEF Board of Directors or one of its committees, please read on for more information: