Northeast Board of Directors
Diane Booth of Grand Marais Term 2014 - 2019
Diane Booth has worked and lived in Cook County for the past 25 years. Cook County Community Center / Extension Director, she takes care of the Cook County Community Center where the Extension office is located. Previous positions held include owner of Lutsen Gardens, Cook County Community Education Director, Birch Grove pre-school teacher. Co-founder of the Northwoods Food project, she continues to be passionate about raising local food sustainably and teaching kids where their food 'comes from'. "A major emphasis is on empowering people to have more control over their own lives by envisioning where they want to be and helping them develop the skills and confidence they need to reach their goals.
Jim DeVries of Britt Term 2015-2020
Jim has worked for 25 years as a naturalist / instructor for the Laurentian Environmental Center in Britt MN. In this role he has had the privilege of sharing his passion for the outdoors with over 125,000 students from around Minnesota. He is also an active member of the Iron Range Partnership for Sustainability board, where his passion for youth has led him to start initiatives such as the Green Inventors Contest, the Community Sustainability Initiative and most recently take on the role of the NE MN Coordinator for the Youth Energy Summit. In 2014 Jim was recognized as the Teacher/Citizen of the year from the Mounds View Teachers Association, one of the greatest honors of his career.
Dan Erkkila of Grand Rapids Term 2015-2020
Dan Erkkila is a native of St. Paul, MN and has been at the University of Minnesota since 1991. Hired as a tourism specialist with the University’s North Central Research & Outreach Center (NCROC) in Grand Rapids, he served as a staff member of the Tourism Center and served as both associate director and director. He received his degrees from the University of Minnesota, including a Ph.D. in 1991 in natural resource economics. Dan worked in private business in Wisconsin as a natural resource consultant, as well as in the public sector, including United States Department of Agriculture - Forest Service positions as an operations research analyst at the forest level and policy analyst in Washington, DC. In 2004 he was appointed to serve as head of the North Central Research and Outreach Center overseeing research programs in beef cow/calf, forestry, horticulture, commercial wild rice, agronomy and tourism. In 2013 he stepped down from that post to return to his tourism research and Extension work where he also continues to serve as the regional director of the Grand Rapids Extension Regional Office.
Cheryl Erickson of Duluth Term 2011 - 2016
Cheryl Erickson has worked over 20 years as a consultant providing professional and technical services including planning, project coordination, community outreach and public information for various NE MN projects including the DNR North Shore Harbors Program and the North Shore Forest Collaborative. Other current projects include interpretation planning for the Superior National Forest Scenic Byway and Board membership on the North Shore Scenic Drive Council. Past work includes other resource management, regional planning, tourism and community development projects. Erickson has a BA from Metropolitan State University in Communication.
Wayne Dupuis of Fond du Lac Term 2014 - 2019
Wayne Dupuis is a Fond du lac Band member and has been employed by the tribe for the past 25 years in a variety of positions. Beginning as a construction worker building homes for tribal members. While attending college, as a non-traditional student, working in the initial gaming operations of the tribe. He is past commissioner on the Fond du Luth gaming operations. Former Housing Director for Fond du Lac, completing policies, procedures for operations and construction of 75 homes in four years, 23 of these homes were designed to meet energy star ratings and renovation of 225 rental units. He is past Director of Human Resource Division developing policies and procedures for the hiring, training, compensation for the Bands' 2000 employees. Currently working as the Environmental Program Manager managing programs involved with air quality, water quality, solid waste, wetlands, land records, brownsfield, energy development. Wayne is currently the chairperson of the Reservation's school board. He has worked with numerous teams to develop land acquisition strategy, strategic planning, economic development, constitutional reform. Wayne has a M. A. in Management from the College of St. Scholastica.
Doug Franchot of International Falls Term 2015-2020
Doug has recently retired after a 30 year career in executive search and management consulting during which he founded two separate successful firms. Prior to that, he had a successful corporate career in marketing, sales, and general management starting with General Mills in product management and followed by nearly five years as Executive Vice President and President of Shedd-Brown, Inc., a privately-held marketing specialties firm.
Over the past several years, Doug has been most active with Voyageurs National Park Association, where he has served several terms as Chair and is the current Immediate Past Chair, and Heart of the Continent Partnership, of which he is a founding member and former Steering Committee Chair. This work has involved him with many communities and organizations throughout northeastern Minnesota and northwestern Ontario and led directly to his relocating to the area in 2014.
Doug has served on several corporate and non-profit boards including the board of a publicly traded telemarketing firm as well as the boards of Voyageurs National Park Association, Voyageur Outward Bound School, Outward Bound USA, Expeditionary Learning Outward Bound, Minnesota Environmental Fund, and Management Assistance Project (MAP) for Nonprofits. He served on the City Council of Orono, Minnesota and on the Lake Minnetonka Communications Commission, which he chaired.
Doug has an undergraduate degree from Yale University and an MBA from the Harvard Business School. He spent five years as a naval officer in the submarine service during the Vietnam era and is an avid sailor and outdoorsman.
Katie Frerker of Duluth Term 2015-2020
Katie Frerker is the Ecologist for the Superior National Forest, based in the Duluth Supervisor’s office. Katie recently moved to Duluth from a two year position with the Forest Service in San Juan, Puerto Rico where she worked at the International Institute of Tropical Forestry managing education and outreach programs to help convey the technical knowledge being generated by the Institute to the public. This position required extensive collaboration with partners both in Puerto Rico as well as the broader Caribbean, including the US Virgin Islands. In addition to the skills she acquired in the tropics, Katie is very familiar with the resources and communities of Northeastern Minnesota. Born and raised in the state, Katie earned her B.S in Urban and Community Forestry from the University of Minnesota, and her M.S in botany with emphasis on Ecology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She has worked with the North Shore Collaborative on Forest Service restoration projects and has lived and worked in International Falls and Grand Marais, MN on a variety of vegetation management projects. She brings her knowledge and ability related to ecology, climate science, project management and collaborative communication to the Board.
Mindy Granley of Duluth Term 2010 - 2015
Mindy Granley is the Sustainability Coordinator at the University of Minnesota - Duluth. Her responsibilities include, coordinating activities, communicating progress, and assess the changes UMD is making to be more sustainable. Mindy enjoys planning for future changes on campus that will reduce our carbon emissions, connecting UMD students with projects that help reduce waste and save energy on campus, learning about sustainable changes her UMD colleagues have made, and finding ways to tell their stories to the campus. She has a Masters degree from University of Minnesota.
Wayne Johnson of Palisade Term 2011 - 2016
Wayne Johnson is a graduate of the U of M St. Paul campus with a BS in Forest Resources Development. He is presently on the Board of Governors for Palisade Energy Park, a waste to bio-fuels company, and a member of the design engineering team. He is Treasurer for the Minnesota Deer Hunters Association, member of the Lake Superior Marine Museum Association and Life member in the Itasca Art Association. Areas of interest include sustainable resource management.
Ardy Nurmi-Wilberg, of Virginia (Vice Chair) Term 2011 - 2016
Ardy is a self employed organizational consultant and proud lifelong Iron Range resident of Virginia, MN. She is a former YMCA program director, and started her own successful consulting business in 2005. She is a 2009 Labo Award nominee for Micro-Entrepreneur of the Year from the Center for Economic Development at UMD. She has coordinated a variety of successful community projects and events including; the Range University Study, fund raising events for the Mesabi Family YMCA, Executive Director of Club Mesabi, Inc., and Tour Director of the Great River Energy Mesabi Trail Tour. Ardy is passionate about sustainability and the balance between the three elements of community, economy and environment. Related projects include; coordinating the creation of the Virginia Sustainability Task Force - a group dedicated to educating the residents, businesses and city government of Virginia, MN about energy efficiency and sustainability, Event Director of Iron Range Earth Fest - a one day celebration of local traditions and practical resources for sustainable living (held every April in Mountain Iron), and Executive Director of the Iron Range Partnership for Sustainability (IRPS) - a 501c3 nonprofit corporation whose mission is to stimulate conversation and action for a sustainable future on the Iron Range of NE Minnesota.
Christopher Reed of Nickerson Term 2014 - 2019
Christopher Reed is currently the owner, consultant, janitor and secretary for Reed Energy Inc based in Nickerson, MN. During his tenure with Reed Energy he developed renewable energy programs for Minnesota Power and other regional utilities and worked
on various renewable and energy conservation programs for the Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa. Prior to forming Reed Energy Inc, Chris was the Director of Energy Services and Marketing for Moorhead Public Service the electric and water utility
in Moorhead, MN. During his 13 years at Moorhead, Reed designed and implemented numerous programs to increase the energy efficiency of Moorhead. Additionally Chris was the principal person involved in the Capture The Wind program that brought two
750 kW wind turbines to Moorhead, providing 100% renewable electricity to over 900 customers in the late 1990's.
Mr. Reed has received professional recognition in energy conservation, wind energy, and solar energy. He is the recipient of the Energy Innovator Award from the American Public Power Association, the Environmental Initiative Award from the Minnesota
Environmental Initiative Association, the Energy Savers Award of Excellence from the State of Minnesota Energy Division, and the Award for Energy Innovation from the U.S. Department of Energy. He has served on the Windustry Board of Directors and is a former President of the Minnesota Council of Local Energy Officials.
Reed and his wife, Barbara, live in the woods by Nickerson MN. Their farmstead is powered by solar and wind for electricity and wood for heating, domestic hot water and cooking maple syrup. At their farmstead the Reeds experiment with non-fossil fueled season extension which is part of their mission of growing food for themselves, their six children and 5 grandchildren.
David Wilsey of Minneapolis Term 2010 - 2015
Dave is the program coordinator for the University of Minnesota's master of development practice (MDP) professional degree program and a lecturer and member of the graduate faculty at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs. The MDP program focuses on sustainable development practices across a variety of academic disciplines. Previously, Dave was an Associate Extension Professor with U of M Extension and was affiliated with the Forestry and Small Farms teams. Dave worked closely with Minnesota's Anishinaabe (Ojibwe) communities, most notably with Fond du Lac Band, developing Tribal College Extension programs. Dave's expertise is in farm/forest livelihoods, market-based conservation, and community-based development. Once a business analyst with Target, for much of the past decade Dave worked in Latin America as a researcher, consultant, and, with his wife, as Peace Corps volunteers in Ecuador's sustainable agriculture and small business program. Dave earned his doctorate from the University of Florida for his work in Mexico on forest livelihoods and value chains. He has a master's in conservation biology from the University of Minnesota and a bachelor's in business from Wisconsin-Madison.
In 1999, Dave was one the partnership's first research assistants, working on the Hiawatha Fund project in southeast Minnesota. He currently oversees a MDP student team working in the same region on sustainable ecotourism models.