PROFESSIONALS WHO CARE.
Brad Jensen, Executive Director, ext. 18
Brad, who grew up in the thumb area of Michigan, joined Huron Pines in 2001 as the Watershed Coordinator and in 2003 became the Executive Director. After spending several years on the east coast and in Hawaii working in environmental education, Brad found his niche in northern Michigan. He oversees the Huron Pines staff, works closely with our Board of Directors and is responsible for overseeing projects, administration and fundraising. He earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Conservation from Northern Michigan University and holds a Master’s in Education from Minnesota State University. Brad lives in Alden with his wife where he enjoys kayaking and being outdoors.
Lisha Ramsdell, Associate Director, ext. 29
Lisha, a native of Otsego County, joined Huron Pines in 2004. She earned her Bachelor of Science Degree in Conservation from Northern Michigan University and went on to the University of Illinois in Springfield to focus on Environmental Policy. Lisha is responsible for building new program initiatives, developing projects and providing guidance and direction to the project managers. Lisha resides in Gaylord, is an avid bird hunter and also enjoys camping and kayaking.
John Bailey, Watershed Project Manager, ext. 19
John Bailey was born and raised in Emmet County Michigan. He is a veteran of Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan, where he was deployed as an infantryman. After returning stateside he completed his tenure at Central Michigan University with a Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Policy and Political Science. Immediately after graduation he traveled and worked on Alaska’s Kenai Peninsula where his focus was enhancing and facilitating sustainable salmon fisheries. He has always held a strong connection to the outdoors and is proud to say that his family’s legacy has been in protecting and enhancing Michigan’s natural resources. He is an avid outdoorsman, fisherman and hunter.
Abigail Ertel, Community Program Lead, ext. 14
Abby, who was born and raised in New Brunswick, Canada, joined Huron Pines in 2010 as the Watershed Project Manager and now leads our Kirtland’s Warbler Initiative. Prior to coming to Michigan, she lived in North Carolina working for the North Carolina Coastal Federation. After relocating to Michigan in 2006 she served as a Huron Pines AmeriCorps member through HeadWaters Land Conservancy. She earned her Master’s in Geography from Ohio University and also holds a Certificate in Conservation Biology. Abby resides in Grayling with her husband and two children, and she can often be found in the kitchen cooking or outside distance running.
John Frye, Habitat Project Manager, ext. 17
Growing up in rural northeast Michigan, John has spent his entire life immersed in Michigan’s natural resources. Nearly all of his family members have worked either as farmers or in the woods industry, and all of them have been avid outdoorsman. John has the rare privilege to say that he is the son of a logger and a farmer’s daughter. By joining Huron Pines, John is excited for the opportunity to share his life experiences and environmental ethics with an organization that shares those same values. His goal is to develop long-lasting relationships with landowners, helping to develop and protect their lands. When not in the office, you can find him sharing time with his wife gardening, biking, hiking with their dogs, or camping.
Susan La Vanture, Accountant, ext. 22
Susan, born and raised on a farm in northern Michigan, joined Huron Pines in 2003 where she oversees the financial affairs. Susan studied accounting and computer programming at Northwestern Michigan College. Most of her career was spent in application programming, system technology and data and telephone system design, during which time she discovered her love for the details and numbers of accounting. Susan resides in Grayling on the Manistee River with her husband and has two grown children and two young grandchildren. In her spare time she enjoys reading, especially history and classics, and relaxes by painting in acrylic and water colors.
Josh Leisen, Watershed Project Manager, ext. 16
Josh grew up exploring the natural wonders of the Driftless Area near his hometown of Red Wing, MN. Climbing limestone bluffs and fishing its multitude of rivers—from the barge-traveled Mississippi River and its warmwater tributaries to coldwater trout streams—instilled in him a deep appreciation for and desire to protect our natural resources. Josh achieved his bachelor’s degree in geography from the University of Minnesota-Duluth before earning his master’s in geography from the University of South Carolina. Josh joined the Huron Pines staff in 2013 after serving as a Watershed Technician through the Huron Pines AmeriCorps program. In his current role as a Watershed Project Manager, Josh coordinates many of our river restoration projects, particularly throughout the Northern Saginaw Bay area. He has also been involved with a variety of other Huron Pines wildlife habitat and community engagement projects. An avid multi-species angler, Josh has caught well over 350 species of fish on hook and line—from five continents, three oceans and many states across the country. Josh now resides in Gaylord, MI.
Jennifer Muladore, Ecologist, ext. 31
Jennifer, who grew up in the Battle Creek area, joined Huron Pines in 2007. She coordinates the Northeast Michigan Cooperative Weed Management Area and manages projects to protect and promote Northeast Michigan’s unique natural communities and rare species. Jennifer earned her Bachelor of Science Degree in Biology and English and her Master’s in Conservation Biology from the University of Michigan. Jennifer resides in Charlevoix with her husband and two young children where she enjoys the outdoors, especially gardening, camping and hiking.
Jill Scarzo, Program Assistant, ext. 21
Jill, originally from Chelsea, Michigan, joined Huron Pines in 1997. With her experience at Huron Pines, she will often be the person you talk to when you call us, connecting you to the right person or program. Jill spent all of her childhood summers in northern Michigan and finally settled in Grayling. “The smell of the pine trees and the soft sand between your toes is something I’ve always loved. It doesn’t get any better when you can work for an organization that helps preserve the experience.” With a Bachelor of Music Degree from the University of Michigan, Jill believes that learning to get it exactly right, not just close, is a skill you can apply to anything and enjoys utilizing those detail skills on her work at Huron Pines. She resides in Grayling with her husband.
Kristin Wing, Community Engagement Coordinator, ext. 10
Kristin grew up in mid-Michigan where she spent much of her childhood exploring the forests around her home, fostering a love of the outdoors. She joined Huron Pines in 2016 where she served as a Huron Pines AmeriCorps member before becoming a staff member. Kristin graduated from the University of Michigan with a dual degree in Program in the Environment and Spanish. She currently resides in Grayling on the Manistee River where she enjoys fly fishing, kayaking and reading in her hammock.
Jennie Zoll, Program Manager, ext. 30
Jennie, who grew up in Fowlerville, Michigan, joined Huron Pines in 2013 as the AmeriCorps Coordinator. She earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education with a Science Minor. She then returned to Fowlerville to teach elementary school for 11 years. She earned her Masters in Education from Marygrove College. After recently relocating to Mancelona, Michigan, she was ready for a new career using her love of nature! Being an outdoor enthusiast she is often found on a lake, river or trail. She enjoys all outdoor activities especially snowmobiling in the winter. She enjoys the northern Michigan life with her husband Mike and their dog.