Meet the newly elected members of our Board of Directors!

Posted & filed under National News.

Dear Wild Ones Members,

We are proud to announce the results of our recent board of director’s election: all seven of the candidates received over 51% of votes cast by membership and will be seated on the board for 4-year terms starting on January 1st, 2023.

All of these individuals bring a passion for our mission, a wealth of valuable experiences and a variety of knowledge that will help move the critical work of our organization forward.

Thank you for taking part in this election and for your continued support of Wild Ones.

Rita Ulrich
Secretary, Board of Directors
Wild Ones Natural Landscapers, Ltd.

Newly Elected Board Members

Carl Bahneman, Wild Ones Menomonee River Area (Wisconsin) Chapter

Give an overview of your educational and professional background.

I have recently retired from 30+ years in the financial services industry. During the pandemic, I returned to school to get a Masters Certificate in nonprofit administration which I hope to bring to my role on the Board of Wild Ones.

Share any other information about yourself for members to get to know you.

I have a half-acre native prairie that brings me much happiness and continues to educate and challenge me all the time. I also am a Board member on the ALS Association of Wisconsin.

What is your vision for Wild Ones future?

I am so excited to get started helping Wild Ones continue to grow and spread knowledge and raise awareness of the beauty, joy and benefits that native plants can bring to our world.

Ken Foster, Wild Ones Partner at Large

Give an overview of your educational and professional background.

I am a professor at Concordia College (Minnesota), where I serve as Director of Community Engagement and chair the President’s Sustainability Council. I also lead the collaborative community group Resilient Moorhead.

Share any other information about yourself for members to get to know you.

I’ve lived in 4 states and 4 countries, and I love exploring the diversity of nature and human communities, wherever I go. I enjoy facilitating collaborative ventures and working with youth. And I really love birds!

What is your vision for Wild Ones future?

That Wild Ones would continue to grow as a grassroots movement, spreading the joy of native landscaping throughout communities. That Wild Ones would attract more members of the younger generations and people from diverse backgrounds.

Lisa McNeil, Wild Ones Menomonee River Area (Wisconsin) Chapter

Give an overview of your educational and professional background.

With a graduate degree in organizational development, I have used my experience helping organizations and nonprofits grow and realize their potential.

Share any other information about yourself for members to get to know you.

A wife, mom, and grandmother who uses her love of the outdoors to recharge, inspire, and educate. Life unfolds in chapters and I am loving this chapter, eager to see what is coming.

What is your vision for Wild Ones future?

I would like to see Wild Ones create mutually beneficial collaborations to bring awareness and change on a municipal level.

Carolyn Miller, Wild Ones Red Cedar (Michigan) Chapter

Give an overview of your educational and professional background.

I hold a BS in botany/plant pathology from Michigan State University (MSU) and I’m currently the Plant Recorder for MSU. I am also working on my master’s degree (biology) at Miami University (OH).

Share any other information about yourself for members to get to know you.

I had the opportunity to live and work in Hawaii for 5 years. This experience opened my eyes to the peril of native plants and birds on the Hawaiian Islands.

What is your vision for Wild Ones future?

To continually promote the appreciation, diversity, and importance about native plants. It is through education that we can all create and preserve native landscapes.

Dave Neu, Wild Ones Lake-to-Prairie (Illinois) Chapter

Give an overview of your educational and professional background.

BS in Wildlife Management, Biology, and Resource Management from UWSP. I have worked in natural resources for over 35 years in government, nonprofit, and businesses. I currently own a native landscape consulting business.

Share any other information about yourself for members to get to know you.

Everywhere I’ve lived, I’ve utilized native plants in the home landscape. On a larger scale, I’ve planned, restored, and managed thousands of acres of native habitats. I also have expertise in partnerships and program management.

What is your vision for Wild Ones future?

We need to build upon the strong base of individuals and expand to corporate campuses and other larger properties. I’d like to work on increasing corporate sponsorships and project funding.

Leah Pollack, Wild Ones Partner at Large

Give an overview of your educational and professional background.

I am a Partner in McKinsey & Company’s Public and Social Sector practice in the Washington, DC office. Since joining McKinsey, I have worked with a diverse set of clients on a range of topics from strategic planning to change management. I received a joint MBA/MPP degree from Wharton and the Harvard Kennedy School and my BA from Stanford. A career highlight was having the opportunity to be a Fulbright Fellow in Thailand.

Share any other information about yourself for members to get to know you.

I would be thrilled to serve on the Wild Ones Board and bring my experience to help Wild Ones more effectively deliver on its mission. I am a passionate “plant mom” and novice gardener. After recently taking my first landscape design course, I discovered the value of landscaping with native plants. I am excited to be a member of Wild Ones and would be honored to serve on the board and deepen my connection to a national community with similar values and interests.

What is your vision for Wild Ones future?

I envision a future where Wild Ones has chapters in all 50 states (plus DC and territories), grown and diversified its membership base, established partnerships with key organizations, clarified the relationship between national and chapters, identified new sources of revenue, and increased digital and social media engagement. In this future, Wild Ones will be more effective at delivering on its mission: to promote environmentally sound landscaping practices to preserve biodiversity.

Pam Todd, Wild Ones West Cook (Illinois) Chapter

Give an overview of your educational and professional background.

B.S. Psychology, Purdue University and graduate work in Educational Psychology, Northwestern University. In the early part of my career, I was a children’s book author. For the last 15 years I have worked in rare diseases.

Share any other information about yourself for members to get to know you.

We have spent the last two years lovingly restoring my husband’s family’s centennial farm and are excited to now begin restoring the woods, wetlands, and farmland.

What is your vision for Wild Ones future?

Wild Ones will continue strong growth geographically and at the membership level as they spread the message that we can all impact biodiversity and sustainability in our own landscapes.

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