Tom Skramstad, Excelsior, MN, Chair
Mr. Skramstad joined the Freshwater Society board in 2006. He has held executive positions with a number of Twin Cities firms, including Target, Deluxe and Apogee. He has been active in the Citizen’s Lake Monitoring Program for 15 years, has served as chair of the Lake Minnetonka Conservation District’s board and is a former special deputy with the Hennepin County Water Patrol. He also has served as a director of the City of Shorewood’s Planning Commission, as board member of Lutheran Social Services’ Advisory Committee, as president of the Blake School Alumni Association and as vice chair of Hearthstone of Minnesota, a program for troubled youth.
Stuart E. Grubb, PG, Stillwater, MN, Vice Chair
Mr. Grubb, a hydrogeologist, is an environmental consultant. He works with clients in mining, brownfield redevelopment, watershed management and the water supply industry. His work has ranged from advising on large road construction projects with agencies such as the Metropolitan Airports Commission and the Minnesota Department of Transportation to evaluating storm water and surface water infiltration rates for residential and commercial projects. He is a past president of the Minnesota Ground Water Association, serves on the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency’s Environmental Innovations Advisory Council and has been a member of the Freshwater Society board since 2006.
Barbara Luikens, M.D., Long Lake, MN, Secretary
Dr. Luikens, a member of the Freshwater Society board since 2003, is a radiologist at Park Nicollet Clinic. She earned a medical degree from the University of Minnesota in 1984. Before becoming a physician, she worked as an interpretive naturalist at the Minnesota Zoo and was coordinator and development director for the American Heart Association. She is a member of a number of environmental organizations, including: the Nature Conservancy, the Sierra Club, the Audubon Society, the Smithsonian Museum, the Minnesota Zoo, the Science Museum of Minnesota, the University of Minnesota’s Raptor Center and the Three Rivers Park District.
Rick Bateson, Shorewood, MN, Treasurer
Mr. Bateson joined the Freshwater Society in 2009. He owns a construction consulting business, and previously was an executive of Best Buy Inc. and Musicland Group Inc. From 1979 to 1993, he operated Bateson Builders, a Minnetonka construction and development company. He is a trustee for Wolf Ridge Environmental Learning Center and is a building committee adviser for Open Arms of Minnesota and the Boys and Girls Clubs Twin Cities. His interests include bicycling, telemark skiing, hunting, fishing, golfing and woodworking.
Todd Bolin, Deephaven, MN
Mr.Bolin leads Bolin Marketing, a firm founded by his father. His title in the company is president and chief operating officer, but he says that if he chose his own title it would come from a list that includes: “Keeper of the Flame, head cheerleader, point guard, change agent, Plotter of Meaningful Courses.” If he wrote an autobiography he would want to title it “Building on Success.” He has been chairman of the board of governors for the Twin Cities chapter of the American Association of Advertising Agencies and was recognized as one of “40 under 40” emerging business leaders by CityBusiness magazine in 1998. He has been a board member of the Midwest chapter of the Children’s Miracle Network, and he has served on the Freshwater Society board since 2002.
Blyth Berg Brookman, Excelsior, MN
Ms. Brookman, a member of the Freshwater Society board since 2002, is a financial advisor at a major brokerage firm. Raising her family on the shores of Lake Minnetonka increased her interest in water quality, the environment and environmental education. She has been active in efforts by the St. Martins By-the-Lake Episcopal Church to assist needy people around the world.
Richard S. Caldecott, Ph.D., Stillwater, MN, Emeritus Director
Dr. Caldecott, a University of Minnesota professor emeritus, helped organize the Freshwater Society and has been a member or emeritus member of its board since 1969. He helped found the university’s College of Biological Sciences and served as its dean from 1965 to 1984. He earned a doctorate in Genetics at the University of Washington, and he has served as a member, officer, delegate or consultant to a host of organizations, including: the International Atomic Energy Agency, the first Atoms for Peace Conference, the Argonne University Association, the Biotechnology Feasibility Study Group, Partnership for Sustainability and the Carnelian-Marine-St.Croix Watershed board.
Robert Elde, Ph.D., Edina, MN, Emeritus Director
Dr. Elde has been dean of the University of Minnesota’s College of Biological Sciences since 1995, and he is a professor of neuroscience. He earned a doctorate in anatomy at the University of Minnesota, and he received an honorary Doctor of Medicine degree from the Karolinska Institute in Sweden. As dean, he created “Biodale,” a suite of advanced research services available to local companies, faculty and students; led the establishment of University Enterprise Laboratories, a privately funded start-up program for biotech companies; created programs to enhance undergraduate education; and worked to recruit and retain K-12 science teachers in outstate Minnesota. He has been a member of the Freshwater Society board since 2003.
Richard G. Gray, Sr., D.Sc., Plymouth, MN
Mr. Gray had a concern – an algal bloom that afflicted Lake Minnetonka in the 1960s – that became an idea – the establishment of a freshwater biological institute – that grew into a lifelong passion – the protection and conservation of all types of water resources. He was the guiding force behind a group of concerned citizens who traveled throughout Minnesota to raise awareness about threats to water and the environment. The group, which eventually became the Freshwater Society, raised $4 million in gifts, built the Freshwater Biological Institute and donated it to the University of Minnesota. In his professional career, Mr. Gray was chief executive officer of the IDS Mutual Fund Group and founder of Zero-Max Industries. He has written a regular column – “Passwords” – in the Freshwater Society newsletter for four decades. In addition to the Freshwater Society, he has served a number of other environmental organizations, including: the Center for the Great Lakes, Wolf Ridge Environmental Learning Center, the University of Minnesota Arboretum, Hennepin County Parks Foundation and the Lamont Doherty Geophysical Laboratory at Columbia University.
JoEllen Hurr, Long Lake, MN, Emeritus Director
Ms. Hurr has been a member of the Freshwater Society board since 1989. She is a former elementary school teacher who has committed her time and energy to public service, wise land use and the environment. She served on the Orono City Council from 1979 to 1984, and was planning and zoning administrator for Medina and the City of Minnetonka Beach. She has been a member or officer of a number of groups, including the Metropolitan Waste Control Commission, the Lake Minnetonka Conservation District and the citizens advisory committee of the North Shore Management Board. She served on the steering committee that helped establish the Lake Superior Coastal Program in 1999, was the first elected chair of the council that manages the program and remains a member of the council. The Coastal Program is a collaboration between the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Two governors appointed her to the Legislative Commission on Minnesota Resources.
David Knoblauch, Hopkins, MN
Mr. Knoblauch joined the Freshwater Board in 2009. He has been a teacher, a high school and college coach, a developer, a construction owner’s representative and a property manager. He believes freshwater is the linchpin to all conservation/environmental initiatives. He also believes education, participation and raising awareness will help sustain, renew and protect our freshwater resources for future generations. He is a member of the Friends of the Boundary Waters, the Boundary Waters Foundation, Wolf Ridge Environmental Learning Center, Deep Portage Environmental Learning Center, the International Wolf Center, Three Rivers Park District, and the National Parks Foundation. He is currently serving as a board member of the Cathedral Grove Fund at The Nature Conservancy, and the Encampment River Area Conservation Fund at the Minnesota Land Trust.
Jim Manolis, Ph.D., Minneapolis, MN
Dr. Manolis, a conservation scientist at the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, joined the Freshwater Board in 2011. He is project manager for the DNR’s Climate and Renewable Energy Steering Team, helping the agency plan for the impact of climate change on natural resources. He co-chairs the Manitou Forest Landscape collaborative in northeastern Minnesota and is a technical advisor to DNR’s Forest Resources Issues Team. He earned a doctorate in conservation biology at the University of Minnesota and has published research on avian biology, forest modeling and conservation leadership. He chairs a leadership development task force for the international Society for Conservation Biology. His hobbies include canoeing, hiking and cross-country skiing.
Lili Tod McMillan, Orono, MN
Ms. McMillan, the mayor of Orono and a former member of Orono’s City Council, planning commission and park commission, joined the Freshwater Society Board in 2010. As City Council member, she helped win funding for Big Island Park in Lake Minnetonka and initiated an organics recycling program for citizens interested in reducing waste. She is a former director and secretary of the Lake Minnetonka Conservation District, representing Orono in decisions relating to the management of recreational, commercial and riparian uses of the lake. She is a lifelong amateur ornithologist committed to preserving freshwater habitat for birds. She earned a degree in organizational behavior and management from Brown University.
Darby Nelson, Ph.D., Champlin, MN
Dr. Nelson, a retired biology and environmental science professor, joined the Freshwater Society board in 2011. He has been a leader in many Minnesota environmental groups, including: The Nature Conservancy, Conservation Minnesota and the Friends of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. He served in the Minnesota House of Representatives form 1983 through 1988. He also was one of the original members of the Lessard-Sams Outdoor Heritage Council, which recommends to the Legislature and the governor how proceeds from the Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment should be spent. He earned a doctorate in zoology/aquatic ecology from the University of Minnesota and taught at Anoka-Ramsey Community College from 1966 to 2001. His book, For Love of Lakes, was published in 2011 by Michigan State University Press. He is an avid wilderness kayak and canoe traveler, cross-country ski racer and gardener.
Corrine D. Ricard, Wayzata, MN
Ms. Ricard is vice president for business development for the Mosaic Company, a Plymouth-based firm that is the world’s largest producer of concentrated phosphate and potash, major agricultural fertilizers. From 2004 to 2007, she was the firm’s vice president of supply chain and risk management. Before the formation of Mosaic in 2004, she was vice president of supply chain and risk managment for Cargill Inc. She joined Cargill in 1984 after earning a degree in finance from the University of Minnesota. She earned a master’s of business administration degree at the University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Management in 1996. Her hobbies include skiing and horseback riding.
Lisa Whalen, Minnetrista, MN
Ms. Whalen, appointed to the Freshwater Society Board in August 2011, owned and operated her own interior design business for 22 years. She served on the Minnetrista City Council for 12 years, represented Minnetrista on the Pioneer-Sarah Creek Watershed Commission for 12 years, and was chair of the commission for 10 of those years. She is the immediate past chair of the Lake Minnetonka Conservation District and serves on a number of the district’s advisory committees. In 2011, she served on the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources’ statewide Aquatic Invasive Species Prevention Task Force. She also is a member of the Hennepin County Surface Water Governance Task Force.She is an active member in her church and her lake association up north. She recently completed a three-year term on the association’s board.