Staff & Volunteer LeadershiP

Who We Are
 
Dave Zentner

Dave Zentner

Project Director

David Zentner spent his childhood along the Mississippi River and has an avid interest in farmland conservation. A retired insurance and financial planner living in Duluth, Minnesota, Dave has served as the Izaak Walton League chapter, state, and national president and chair of the national executive board. Honorary doctorates from the University of Minnesota and Northland College, the IWL’s 54 Founders Award, and Outdoor Life magazine’s Conservationist of the Year award recognize his conservation work.

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Christine Curry

Christine Curry

Iowa UMRI Event/Outreach Coordinator

A passionate advocate for animals, nature, people, art, and the environment, Christine Curry is a committed project and product developer. With a 25-year record of exceeding expectations, she is a creative problem solver. Christine’s numerous successes include establishing internationally recognized marine and sustainable agriculture programs and organizations. She builds authentic relationships, develops viable networks, coordinates strong partnerships, leads effective teams, and achieves goals.

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Mike Delaney

Mike Delaney

Iowa UMRI Coordinator

As a boy, Mike Delaney developed his affinity for the outdoors through weekends and summers exploring an Indiana lake. Mike earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in sociology, served in the Peace Corps, taught at Des Moines Area Community College, and taught environmental sociology online for 10 years after retirement. On 60 acres on the Raccoon River, he and his wife planted prairie, improved the woodland, and became river advocates. He helped created the Raccoon River Watershed Association.

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Barb Hanson

Barb Hanson

MN UMRI Administrative Liaison

Barb Hanson has lived and worked in the Minnesota River Valley for most of her life. For 32 years, she worked at the women’s correctional facility in Shakopee, Minnesota, and retired as associate warden of administration. Barb has served on the boards of directors for the Friends of the Minnesota Valley and the Minnesota Valley chapter and state division of the Izaak Walton League.

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Keira Kellogg

Keira Kellogg

MN River Data Coordinator

Keira Kellogg, an ecology graduate from Minnesota State University—Mankato, worked for Bruce Potter’s study of novel invasive species of soybean gall midge. As UMRI data coordinator, she organizes county documents on agricultural drainage projects. When not elbow-deep in files, Keira drives a school bus for the city of Mankato, Minnesota, and muddles her way through the ins and outs of amateur urban farming. Keira is married and has two children, a cat, and two quail.

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David Minge

David Minge

UMRI MN River Coordinator

Living close to and enjoying the Minnesota River and its tributaries, David Minge has a long and strong involvement with the river. He canoes, skates, skis, swims, bikes, and camps. For decades, David has volunteered and worked on river issues as a county lawyer and in public office. He has served as a member of CURE, the Friends of the Minnesota Valley, the Izaak Walton League, and related organizations.

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Ted Suss

Ted Suss

UMRI Steering Committee Chairperson

Ted Suss spent most of his career as a school administrator including as a school superintendent for 12 years. He served in the Minnesota legislature and was executive director of the Minnesota State Board of Education. Born and raised on a farm in southern Minnesota, Ted is a hobby farmer raising cattle, hogs, and goats. He was president of the Minnesota division and the Minnesota Valley chapter of the IWLA.

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Caroline van Schaik

Caroline van Schaik

UMRI Driftless Area Coordinator

Caroline van Schaik lives in the Driftless region of southeast Minnesota where she and her family rotationally graze sheep on pastures managed in equal parts for livestock, soil, water, and grassland bird health. With 20-plus years of organizing and educating around farmer and landowner issues in the region, she is helping to shed light on the upland management side of river health, using the UMRI values of community and collaboration.

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A Word

From Our Director

“The Izaak Walton League strategic plan… is to make conservation a way of life for every citizen. We (have) failed, in spite of our heroes, in spite of the Clean Water Act, the Clean Air Act, the Endangered Species Act. We have not reached every day citizens. We have done the reverse in many ways. All of our success in the ’80s, in some ways, has made us a little arrogant, too piped into big government, too piped into top-down. I think I’m right that we start with our neighbors. We don’t start with the U.N. We don’t start with U.S. Senate. If all politics are local, then we go back to the old ways — from pre- and post-World War II. We go to the PTA. We talk to our neighbors and try to understand them.”

– Z