Staff

 

MCEA is supported by an experienced and seasoned staff knowledgeable on the issues that impact Minnesota's environment.

      

Scott Strand, Executive Director

Scott was appointed Executive Director in December 2009, following years of assisting MCEA pro bono with several legal issues.  

Scott was a 17-year veteran at the Minnesota Attorney General’s office where he worked on a broad range of natural resources, agriculture, labor and Indian Law issues.  He left in 1999 to join the law firm of Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi, where he was a general litigation partner before setting up his own litigation and government relations practice in 2006. He was born in Ada, Minnesota and grew up on a farm where his family raised sugar beets, feed grains, and some cattle and hogs. 

He earned an A.B. degree from Harvard University and his law degree at the University of California, Berkeley. He currently lives in St. Paul with his wife, Pamela Sulmer and sons Michael and Elliot. Email Scott (sstrand@mncenter.org), or call him at (651) 287-4865.

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Kiley Bastian, Development and Communications Associate

Kiley joined MCEA in September 2013 as the Development and Communications Associate. She is a recent graduate of the University of Minnesota with a degree in Environmental Sciences, Policy and Management, emphasizing in Policy, Planning, Law and Society. She also has experience with Institute on the Environment, Great River Greening, Clean Energy Resource Teams and the Alaska Wilderness League. She brings experience in communications, event planning and social media marketing.  Email Kiley (kbastian@mncenter.org) or call her at (651) 287-4870.

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    Jill Bathke, Natural Resource Scientist

Jill Bathke joined MCEA in October 2013 as the Natural Resource Scientist. Prior to her employment at MCEA, Jill worked as a biologist at the St. Paul District Army Corps of Engineers. During her time at the Corps, she managed the environmental review of several iron ore mine expansions and large scale wetland and stream mitigation projects under Section 404 of the Clean Water Act. Jill has a graduate certificate in Stream Restoration, Science and Engineering from the University of Minnesota, where she also earned her B.S. 

Jill lives in the Longfellow area of Minneapolis with her husband Nick and their one-of-a-kind Italian Greyhound-Goldendoodle mutt, Fiona. Feel free to email Jill (jbathke@mncenter.org) or call her at (651)287-4872 if you would like to discuss natural resources related topics or concerns, backpacking trail recommendations or the best Minnesota brewed IPAs.
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    Leigh Currie, Staff Attorney

Leigh joined MCEA in February 2014 as staff attorney working primarily in the area of energy law. Leigh graduated with honors from William Mitchell College of Law in 2006. Since then, Leigh has spent time clerking for the honorable Jill Flaskamp Halbrooks at the Minnesota Court of Appeals and in private practice with a focus on environmental law. Leigh also has a B.S. in Environmental Science from Tufts University and an M.S. in Conservation Biology from the University of Minnesota. Prior to her legal career, Leigh led wilderness trips to the Boundary Waters, Montana, Wyoming, Alaska and the Canadian Arctic and continues to enjoy the outdoors with her family.

Leigh is the mother of two and lives in St. Anthony Park with her husband, Peter.  Email Leigh (lcurrie@mncenter.org) or call her at (651)287-4873.

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Jim Erkel, Land Use and Transportation Director

Jim helped to establish and directs MCEA’s Land Use and Transportation Program. Before coming to MCEA, he served as the Director of Land Protection for the Minnesota Chapter of The Nature Conservancy. Prior to that, he was a senior attorney practicing energy and environmental law for a natural-resource-based corporation in Los Angeles, California.  Jim's professional affiliations include the American Bar Association, the Minnesota State Bar Association, the Urban Land Institute, and the American Planning Association. He also helped to establish and served on the Boards of Directors of the Minnesota Land Trust and Envision Minnesota and served on the Board of Directors of the Land Stewardship Project.  Jim earned his J.D. from Loyola Law School, Los Angeles, and his B.A. from UCLA.

At MCEA, he works on issues of growth management, particularly with the environmental effects of Minnesota's settlement patterns and the interaction between land use and transportation. Email Jim (jerkel@mncenter.org) or call him at (651) 287-4862.
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Beth Goodpaster, Clean Energy Program Director

Beth joined MCEA in February 2003. An attorney by background, Beth was previously in private practice with Leonard, Street and Deinard, primarily representing natural gas and electric energy suppliers. She also represented local government units and environmental nonprofits in energy matters when she practiced at the law firm of O’Neill, Grills & O’Neill.

Before she obtained her law degree, Beth worked with the Environmental Law and Policy Center of the Midwest and the Minnesota Public Interest Research Group. Beth earned her J.D. from the University of Minnesota Law School, and her B.A. in English, magna cum laude, from Macalester College. Email Beth (bgoodpaster@mncenter.org) or call her at (651) 287-4880.

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Kathryn Hoffman, Staff Attorney

Kathryn joined MCEA in December 2010 as staff attorney and works to support energy and mining issues. A 2006 graduate of the University of Minnesota Law School, Kathryn comes to MCEA with a background in complex litigation and nonprofit advocacy work. Kathryn brings a passion for how science, technology and law come together to make a strong advocate for environmental protection on behalf of MCEA. In addition to her J.D., Kathryn holds a Masters in Public Policy with a concentration in science, technology and the environment from the Hubert H. Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs.  Kathryn is an adjunct professor of law at the University of Minnesota law school, where she teaches legal writing and oral advocacy. Email Kathryn (khoffman@mncenter.org) or call her at (651) 287-4863.

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Joan Johnson, Finance Director

Joan joined MCEA in May 2011 as our Finance Director. She brings a diverse set of business and nonprofit financial leadership skills to the organizations with experience in public accounting, banking, insurance, information techonology services and community health services. At MCEA her responsibilities include financial management and operations, accounting, budget, audit and financial reporting.

Joan is a CPA (license inactive) and has a B.A. degree in Accounting from Southwest Minnesota State University. She earned her M.B.A. from the University of Minnesota Carlson School of Management. Joan and her husband, Stuart, live in the Macalaster Groveland neighborhood of St. Paul. Joan volunteers as a board member with Open Cities Health Center in St. Paul and enjoys the opportunity to use her background to support community and environmental health programs. Email Joan (jjohnson@mncenter.org) or call her at (651) 287-4867.

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Karen Moss, Office Manager

Karen joined MCEA in April 2011 with more than 16 years of experience providing office management and administrative support in nonprofit organizations. She is responsible for administrative support to the staff and the Board of Directors, accounting and bookkeeping, human resource functions, office operations and information technology. Karen brings to MCEA a high level of organization and energy. She graduated Phi Theta Kappa from Inver Hills Community College with a major in Human Resource Management. Email Karen (kmoss@mncenter.org) or call her at (651) 287-4860.

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  Leah Murphy, Legal Secretary

Leah joined MCEA in November of 2012. Leah graduated with high honors from the Minnesota School of Business with a bachelor's degree in Paralegal Studies. Leah has a passion for the environment and a desire to ensure our earth remains beautiful and sustainable for future generations to come. Leah brings to MCEA a high level of competence, enthusiasm, and compassion. She lives in Chaska with her husband, Tim.

Email Leah (lmurphy@mncenter.org) or call her at (651) 287-4868.
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Kevin Reuther, Legal Director

Kevin joined MCEA's staff in October 2005 and became legal director in July 2008. Kevin has spent his legal career as a public interest advocate. Before joining MCEA he was an attorney with the Legal Aid Society of Minneapolis where he worked on housing discrminiation, public benefits for low income and disabled people, and predatory lending litigation. His work experience includes a year as a Hennepin County Public Defender and clerking for Judge Harriet Lansing on the Minnesota Court of Appeals. Kevin received his J.D. degree magna cum laude from Harvard Law School, has a Masters in Political Science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Concordia College, Moorhead, MN. He has served as adjunct faculty at William Mitchell College of Law and currently teaches an environmental law class at the University of Minnesota.

Kevin lives in Minneapolis with his partner, Gerry Tyrrell, and their kids, Dylan and Ada, and dog, Udo. Email Kevin (kreuther@mncenter.org) or call him at (651) 287-4861.

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Annie Sarver-Bodoh, Development Director

Annie is a longtime development officer in the Twin Cities with more than twenty years of fundraising experience.  Her areas of expertise include donor cultivation, corporate and foundation giving, special event management, and strategic planning.  Additionally, Annie has a long background in marketing communications including the development of brand architecture, key messaging, print and electronic communications.  She earned her B.A. from the University of Notre Dame. Email Annie (asarver@mncenter.org) or call her at (651) 287-4871.

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Michael Schmidt, Water Quality Program Associate

Mike is an attorney who has participated in several major evaluations of environmental programs while at MCEA. He has authored comments on wastewater permits and water cleanup plans, helped write MCEA's petition to correct the state's Clean Water Act program, and assisted in defending state laws that protect clean water. Mike attended the University of Minnesota Law School, where he graduated cum laude. He interned at the U.S. Department of Justice Environment and Natural Resources Division in the Environmental Enforcement Section. Mike earned his undergraduate degree in political science at the University of Iowa, graduating with honors. Email Michael (mschmidt@mncenter.org) or call him at (651) 287-4866.

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Kris Sigford, Water Quality Program Director

Kris is MCEA’s senior policy advocate with over 30 years of experience working on natural resource issues. Kris directs a comprehensive program aimed at improving water quality through full implementation of federal and state water quality law, adequate funding of water quality improvements, and innovative approaches to control agricultural sources of sediment and nutrients to freshwater systems and the Gulf of Mexico.  

Prior to joining MCEA, she was development manager for the Freedom From Hunger Foundation in Tucson, Arizona, and a lobbyist for the Sierra Club Northstar (Minnesota) Chapter. Kris earned her B.A. in English and Music, graduating magna cum laude from Boston University.
 
Kris lives in Minneapolis with her husband, Ray, and flatcoated retriever, Finn. Email Kris (ksigford@mncenter.org) or call her at (651) 287-4864.
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Kody Thurnau, GIS Specialist

Kody joined MCEA in July of 2012 as the GIS Specialist. He received his Masters in Geographic Information Science from the University of Minnesota and a B.A. in Geography from the University of Minnesota – Duluth.

Prior to joining MCEA, Kody worked in transportation planning for the Metropolitan Interstate Council in Duluth, MN. He also worked for the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency in its Superfund Division working on projects such as U.S. Steel Superfund Site in Duluth, MN and the St. Louis River Area of Concern. Kody has also sat on the Minnesota Statewide Geospatial Advisory Council and served as the coordinator for the Northern Minnesota GIS Users Group.

He lives in St. Paul with his girlfriend and two year-old Vizsla, Oz. Email Kody (kthurnau@mncenter.org) or call him at (651) 287-4883.

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Allison Wolf, Legislative Director

Allison Wolf joined MCEA as Legislative Director in October 2005.   On behalf of MCEA, Allison played a key role in passage of the constitutional Clean Water, Land, and Legacy Amendment.  Other legislative achievements include Environmental Health Tracking and Biomonitoring, legislation to address High Potential Greenhouse Gases, state ratification of the Great Lakes Compact, and the Clean Water Accountability Act.  She served as Minnesota Senate Counsel from 1983 to 1994, providing legal and drafting services on a wide variety of matters under the jurisdiction of the Committees on Judiciary, Crime Prevention, Transportation, Governmental Operations, and Energy and Housing.  Allison has also worked for The Nature Conservancy, where she secured the largest state investment in Wildlife Management Areas in state history.  As a legislative assistant in the U.S. Senate in Washington, D.C.,  she worked on transportation  and clean air issues.  

Allison is a native of Northfield, MN, and earned her B.A. in American Studies at Carleton College and her J.D. at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri. Allison lives in Minneapolis with her two children, Claire and Eliot, and her husband, Jerry. Email Allison (awolf@mncenter.org) or call her at (651) 287-4882.

 

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