The Friends Team

At its core, Friends of Illinois Nature Preserves is all about people. We are a small team of Friends of Illinois Nature Preserves include all people that love, support, and care for Illinois Nature Preserves. We expect our team of staff will always be vastly smaller than our network of Friends volunteer organizers and stewards.

If you are looking to get involved with the Friends, to start a new local stewardship chapter, or need support for your stewardship work, please contact us!


This is the group that does most of the day-to-day work of the Friends. Anyone who wants to help is invited to make an offer and coordinate through anyone in this group. Connect with us via email at

  • Katherine Accettura
  • Michael Campbell
  • Tori Cunningham
  • Christos Economou
  • Matt Evans
  • Monica Gajdel
  • Chris Hanley
  • Rebeccah Hartz
  • Mark Kluge
  • Athena Knisley
  • Eriko Kojima
  • Emma Leavens
  • Linda Masters
  • Will Overbeck
  • Stephanie Place
  • Adam Rux
  • Jess Sladek

Friends Board

Our Friends board establishes our strategic direction, oversees the finances, raises funds, and communicates about and advocates for Friends. If you’d be interested in serving please contact Amy ( or 779-212-2785 for information.

  • Matt Evans, President
  • Fran Harty, Treasurer
  • Stephen Packard, Secretary
  • Jim Herkert
  • Eriko Kojima
  • Kevin Rohling
  • Jack Shouba


Organization names listed are for identification only and do not imply organizational endorsement. 

  • Jerry Adelmann – president, Openlands 
  • Jill Allread – former chair, Illinois Nature Preserves Commission 
  • Brian Anderson – former Illinois Nature Preserves staff director
  • Chris Benda – consultant on botany 
  • Bernie Buchholz – Middle Rock Conservation Partners
  • Colleen Callahan – director, Illinois Department of Natural Resources
  • Angelo Capparella – Illinois State University & ParkLands Foundation
  • Floyd Catchpole – Forest Preserve District of Will County
  • George Covington – chair, Illinois Nature Preserves Commission 
  • Benjamin Cox – executive director, Friends of the Forest Preserves
  • Donnie Dann – former chair, Illinois Nature Preserves Commission
  • Pen DauBach – commissioner, Illinois Nature Preserves Commission
  • Abigail Derby Lewis – commissioner, Illinois Nature Preserves Commission 
  • Harry Drucker – former commissioner, Illinois Nature Preserves Commission
  • Trevor Edmonson – Friends of Langham Island
  • Henry Eilers – steward, Scholl Creek Barrens
  • Matt Evans – Chicago Botanic Garden
  • David Eubanks –Ecologist, Eubanks Environmental
  • Ben Haberthur – Director of Natural Resources, Forest Preserve District of Kane County.
  • Ted Haffner – conservationist
  • Fran Harty – The Nature Conservancy 
  • Randy Heidorn – former Illinois Nature Preserves staff director
  • Jim Herkert – director, Illinois Audubon Society
  • Michael Jeffords – Illinois Natural History Survey
  • Bill Kleiman – Nachusa Grasslands – The Nature Conservancy 
  • John McCabe – Director of Natural Resources, Cook County Forest Preserves
  • Bill McClain – former staff biologist and current Commissioner
  • Stephen Packard – former staff, Illinois Nature Preserves Commission
  • Wendy Paulson – conservationist
  • Arthur Melville Pearson – biographer of George Fell
  • Susan Post – Illinois Natural History Survey
  • Lauren Rosenthal – former Chair, Illinois Nature Preserves Commission
  • cassi saari – President, Northeast Chapter of the Illinois Native Plant Society
  • John Schwegman – consultant on botany for southern Illinois
  • Greg Spyreas – Illinois Natural History Survey
  • John Taft – Illinois Natural History Survey 
  • Karen Witter – former Illinois Nature Preserves staff director


Amy Doll

In her role as Friends Director, Amy leads our organization and builds collaborations throughout the state of Illinois to provide support for the Illinois Nature Preserve System.

Katie Kucera
Administrative Manager

Katie Kucera supports the administrative operations of the friends network, as well as coordinating resources for stewardship workdays and more!

Jonathan Sabath
Field Representative

Jonathan facilitates volunteer community stewardship and builds partnerships for increased care and stewardship of Nature Preserves in northeast Illinois.

Hannah Walchak
Field Representative

Hannah facilitates volunteer community stewardship and builds partnerships for increased care and stewardship of Nature Preserves in northeast Illinois.