CHICAGO (June 10, 2022) – Audubon Great Lakes, a regional office of National Audubon Society, celebrates the newest additions to its Great Lakes Advisory Board: Jon W. Allan of University of Michigan, Erin Giese of University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, Stephanie Goodrid Lawson, Executive Director of the McKinney Family Foundation, Alexis Hermiz, the Diversity and Inclusion Officer for Michigan Department of Natural Resources; and Antonio R. Lopez Ph.D., the Director of the Chicago Frontlines Funding Initiative.
“I am honored to welcome the tremendous mix of experience, skills, resources and incredible track records of proven leadership these five individuals are adding to our board,” said Hall Healy Jr., Audubon Great Lakes Board Chairman. “They are eager to play an important role in helping Audubon Great Lakes realize its strategic vision and bring new perspectives to the overall composition of the board and reflect our commitment to our mission.”
“As Audubon Great Lakes continues to grow and expand its reach, tackling the toughest conservation issues across the region during a pivotal time where climate change threatens birds and the places they need, I am truly excited to welcome the addition of these new advisory board members,” said Michelle Parker, Vice President and Executive Director of Audubon Great Lakes. “This dynamic group of leaders collectively bring decades of knowledge and expertise that will provide valuable insight and contributions to expand our impact and advocacy solutions for birds and people.”
Jon W. Allan is the U.S. Co-chair of the International Joint Commission’s Great Lakes Water Quality Board and a member of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Science Advisory Board. Jon also chairs MSU’s Institute for Water Research Advisory Board and Cranbrook Institute of Science’s Freshwater Forum. Currently with School for Environment and Sustainability at the University of Michigan, Jon focuses on sustainability across Michigan and the Great Lakes region as it’s related to the intersection of ecological, economic, social and cultural value. He seeks to understand and influence the rate at which the region is adopting and implementing the principles of a sustainable and just society. Jon’s research on wetlands, stream ecology, and water policy has been published in Canada and the U.S. Prior to University of Michigan, Jon was the President and Founder of the Jon W. Allan Group, served as the Director of the Michigan Office of the Great Lakes, was an executive with Consumers Energy for two decades. He chaired the Great Lakes Commission Board and the Executive Committee of the Great Lakes - St. Lawrence Governors and Premiers organization. Throughout his career, he has contributed his expertise in a range of roles with the State of Michigan, including the Groundwater Conservation Advisory Council, the Michigan Climate Action Council, and the Environmental Advisory Council for Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, and the Blue-Ribbon Panel on Parks. Jon also served as an advisor during the Great Lakes Compact negotiations and co-chaired Michigan’s Advisory Council, tasked with the state's strategy and implementation of the Great Lakes Compact.
Erin Giese, since 2011, has worked at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay’s Cofrin Center for Biodiversity on bird and wildlife-related projects throughout the Great Lakes region. She is currently president of the Northeastern Wisconsin Audubon Society and adviser to the Green Bay Audubon Student Conservation Chapter at UW-Green Bay, which was the first Audubon student chapter in the country. Erin also serves as a National Audubon Society board member, representing the Great Lakes and Upper Mississippi region. Erin is passionate about family, birds, nature, wildlife, conservation, and world travel. She is also striving to bring equity, diversity, and inclusion to the forefront of all aspects of her life.
Stephanie Goodrid Lawson is the Executive Director of the McKinney Family Foundation (MFF), where she leads grant programs focused on sustainability, climate solutions, environmental justice, capacity building, environmental education and strengthening democracy. Through strategic partnerships, MFF advocates for environmental justice, seeks to conserve natural resources, and empower Indiana communities to live in a healthier, more prosperous, and more sustainable manner. Stephanie also holds board positions at the Indiana University (IU) Environmental Resilience Institute, the American Pianists Association, and the Indiana Philanthropy Alliance Public Policy Committee. Stephanie is also adjunct faculty at the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy. Prior to MFF, Stephanie worked in advancement for Eskenazi Health Foundation and Indiana University. Stephanie dedicated her early career to human rights and global public health, working with the Center for the Prevention of Genocide in Washington, DC, and the International Federation of the Red Cross Red Crescent in Geneva, Switzerland.
Alexis Hermiz currently serves as the Michigan Department of Natural Resources Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer. She coordinates efforts towards improving diversity within the DNR’s user base and work force and serves as an internal resource for department leadership on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. Through this role, she develops strategies to educate employees on the governor’s executive directives on nondiscrimination and other applicable rules regulations and directives and receives complaints about any noncompliance related to them. Alexis also serves as the Department Liaison for the Michigan Women’s Commission, Civil Service Commission and Department of Civil Rights on matters involving equity and inclusion.
Dr. Antonio R. Lopez is currently Director of the Chicago Frontlines Funding Initiative, an intermediary fund that supports grassroots Environmental Justice organizations to build their capacity and impact. Prior to this role, Antonio served as the Executive Director of the Little Village Environmental Justice Organization, and on the leadership teams of the Midwest EJ Network and the Building Equity for Environmental Justice Network. A specialist in racial equity assessment and evaluation, Antonio also works with foundation, university, and non-profit leaders to address institutional racism and work in solidarity with grassroots communities of color.
To see a full list of the Audubon Great Lakes Advisory Board, visit here.
The National Audubon Society protects birds and the places they need, today and tomorrow. Audubon works throughout the Americas using science, advocacy, education, and on-the-ground conservation. State programs, nature centers, chapters, and partners give Audubon an unparalleled wingspan that reaches millions of people each year to inform, inspire, and unite diverse communities in conservation action. A nonprofit conservation organization since 1905, Audubon believes in a world in which people and wildlife thrive.
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