Michelle Stockness, Executive Director, she/her/hers
Michelle has 20 years of local, regional and national leadership experience solving complex problems in water quality and water supply. Prior to joining Freshwater, she was a vice president at Barr Engineering where she guided public and private clients through regulatory and environmental water issues across sectors including drinking water, wastewater and stormwater. As a civil engineer, Michelle has a deep understanding of water systems, and leads cross-sector initiatives including the Minnesota Infrastructure Alliance and the Minnesota Water Workforce pilot. She is also board vice president of the American Water Works Association (AWWA), a world-wide professional organization dedicated to safe drinking water. And as a champion of equity, diversity and inclusion, she is head of the Minnesota AWWA’s DEI committee. Michelle lives in Minneapolis with her husband and three daughters.
Don Davies, Finance Director, he/him/his
Don joined Freshwater in February 2020 as finance director. He is a CPA, and started his career in public accounting followed by 38 years in executive financial positions in community banking organizations. He actively volunteered in a variety of nonprofit organizations over that time. Don lives on lake property in Isanti County, which his family has enjoyed for over 90 years. He is a founding board member of the lake’s Improvement District, which has been working for the past six years to protect, preserve, and improve the quality of the lake.
Chyann Erickson, Program Coordinator, she/her/hers
Chyann joined the Freshwater team in July 2021 to work part-time as the office administrative assistant. With a bachelor’s degree in environmental studies and several years of experience in water quality, she was thrilled to continue her career at Freshwater. She is also pursuing a master’s degree in natural science and environmental education at Hamline University to become an effective educator on environmental issues. When she isn’t in the office, Chyann can be found adventuring in local natural areas, playing with her two cats, or reading a good book.
Alyssa Fabia, Tribal Outreach and Research Associate
Alyssa grew up in Northern Virginia and moved to the Twin Cities where she completed her undergraduate degree in Anthropology at Hamline University. During that time, Alyssa studied abroad in both England and Turkey, and developed a keen interest in organizational structures, labor force movements, and the power of recognized authority. Alyssa's past work in publishing, event organizing, and nonprofits has covered logistics, customer and client relations, human resources, operations, finances, and other creative problem solving. As part of Freshwater's Groundwater Governance team, Alyssa will help develop strategies to engage tribal governments in sustainable management of groundwater resources.
Lila Franklin, Program Coordinator, she/her/hers
Lila joined Freshwater in December 2019 as a program intern. She graduated from St. Olaf College in May 2019 with a degree in environmental studies, and is currently attending graduate school at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota in pursuit of a master’s degree in urban and regional planning. She is primarily interested in environmental planning, and how our built environment can work to weave in elements of the natural. In her free time, Lila enjoys exploring Minnesota’s regional and state parks and sewing and knitting her own garments.
Carrie Jennings, Research and Policy Director, she/her/hers
Carrie joined Freshwater in 2016. She has been a field geologist for 24 years, 22 of those with the Minnesota Geological Survey and two with the DNR, Division of Lands and Minerals. Carrie is Adjunct Graduate Faculty at the U of M and was the science reports lead for the County Geologic Atlas program at the DNR. She applies her understanding of glacial geology and landscape evolution to shape policy and technical approaches for managing surface water and groundwater, avoiding hazards, and using resources wisely. Carrie and her husband live on a 120-acre farm which is primarily in a permanent conservation easement through the Dakota County Farmland and Natural Areas Program. Livestock is limited to a dozen chickens, a dog and a couple of cats. She has twice been elected town board supervisor and served on the planning commission for Eureka Township.
Sinthya Juviani, Marketing and Development Associate, she/her/hers
Sinthya joined Freshwater in August 2023. She grew up in Indonesia for 17 years before going to Wales to attend United World College. She then relocated to Minnesota, where she graduated from St. Olaf College with a bachelor's degree in psychology in 2023. During her undergraduate studies, she studied abroad in Copenhagen and became interested in the relationship between psychology and marketing. She gained experience in marketing, teaching and research from her international opportunities. She enjoys cooking and going for walks in her spare time.
Eileen Kirby, Policy and Research Coordinator
A recent Humphrey School graduate, Eileen joined Freshwater in January of 2021 as a part-time contractor after working on the Banking Groundwater policy subgroup in her former position with the University of Minnesota’s Water Resources Center. Now as full-time staff, Eileen's work focuses on Freshwater's comparative study of groundwater governance in the Great Lakes. She also helps Freshwater continue considering policy approaches that address the climate-water nexus and looking for grant opportunities.
Kris Meyer, Senior Programs Manager, she/her/hers
Kris joined the team in January 2018, bringing a communications and education perspective to Freshwater’s work. A trained and practiced facilitator as well as a skilled science communicator, Kris enjoys distilling complex technical information into plain language. Educated as an environmental journalist, Kris has experience as a freelance writer, classroom teacher, and tutor. Her favorite fieldwork experience was flying around the state in a float plane, gathering lake water samples for the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency. A family cabin in Ottertail County, a sailboat on Lake Superior, and frequent canoe treks into the Boundary Waters keep her well immersed in Minnesota’s waters.
Chris O'Brien, Communications and Marketing Coordinator, he/him/his
Chris joined the Freshwater team in 2023, bringing a strong background in conservation and water resources communications. Through positions at the Minnesota DNR, Ramsey-Washington Metro Watershed District, and Emmons & Olivier Resources, he has collaborated with wide range of scientists and engineers to help tell the stories of their work. An avid fly fisherman, Chris serves on the board of Twin Cities Trout Unlimited where he advocates for clean, healthy streams in Minnesota and western Wisconsin.
John Roterman, Tribal State Liaison, he/him/his
John is an Ojibwe-Anishinaabe of the Fond du Lac reservation in Minnesota. He graduated from Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College with an associate degree in American Indian Studies in 2020, a bachelor’s degree in Tribal Administration and Governance from the University Minnesota-Duluth in 2022, and is currently pursuing a master’s degree in Tribal Resources Environmental Stewardship. As part of Freshwater's Groundwater Governance team, John will help to amplify the Native perspective and voice as we collaboratively seek solutions to our many pressing groundwater access and protection concerns.
Tera Scovill, Office Manager, she/her/hers
Tera joined Freshwater in April 2019. She has a bachelor’s degree in environmental studies and worked as an interpretive naturalist. She has a background in project coordination, administrative support, sales, program development, and customer service in a variety of industries. Tera has now circled back to her passion around environmental stewardship. As a Minnesota Master Naturalist and a Minnesota Water Steward, she enjoys sharing experiences with others that inspire a sense of wonder, enthusiasm, and respect for nature, nurturing a desire to care for our earth and its inhabitants. You may also find her bird watching, gardening, or dancing
Alex Van Loh, Programs Manager, he/him/his
Alex joined Freshwater in September 2015 as a Minnesota GreenCorps member working with the Minnesota Water Stewards Program. In fall 2016 he became staff and expanded his work to include supporting all programs, with a specific focus on education and engagement. He has a degree in biology from the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John’s University. Before coming to Freshwater, he lived in Germany, teaching English through the Fulbright Program. Outside the office Alex enjoys making music, running, sampling craft brews, and all things comedy.