Board & Staff

Board of Directors:

The Geneva Lake Conservancy Board of Directors is comprised of persons who have a deep love for the natural and cultural history of Wisconsin’s southern lakes region. All are full or part-time residents, with a variety of backgrounds including government, education, business, professional, marketing, farming and real estate. Board members share a passion for the long-term protection of Walworth County’s land and water resources.

  • Kevin M. Brunner, Chairman
  • Elizabeth J. Aldred
  • Mark Bromley
  • John D. Cobb
  • Mary Constable
  • Steve Diamond
  • Kristen Freytag
  • Patrick Gallagher
  • Katherine J. Holland
  • Dennis E. Jordan
  • Thomas W. Nickols, Jr.
  • Donald J. Parker, Jr.
  • Susan Steele
  • Chris Todd


 GLC Staff:

Karen Yancey – Executive Director
Karen Yancey joined the Geneva Lake Conservancy as executive director in 2016. She has more than 25 years of experience serving on the boards and staff of Wisconsin and Illinois land trusts.

Karen has extensive experience in developing and implementing strategic plans for local and state land trust organizations. She has helped lead the protection of more than a 1,000 acres of land in Wisconsin and Illinois through conservation easements, land purchases and land donations. She has also led a variety of membership and communications programs aimed at increasing the “conservation culture” of a region. Her current and past positions include serving on the board of directors of the Door County Land Trust and Citizens for Conservation in Barrington, as well as serving as executive director of the Barrington Area Conservation Trust from 2010-2014.

Karen earned her bachelor’s degree from Duke University and has a master’s degree from Northwestern University.

Janet Happ – Assistant Executive Director
Janet Happ joined the staff of the GLC in March 2012 and is delighted to be working for an organization that is instrumental in protecting the Geneva Lake area. Janet attended Bowling Green State University, Bowling Green, OH and graduated with majors in English and Economics and a MA in Economics. A life-time resident of the Geneva Lakes area, Janet is proud to be a part of the Conservancy!

Maddie Olivieri – Community Outreach Manager
Maddie Olivieri joined the Conservancy in early February 2021. She graduated from the University of Vermont in 2019 with a degree in Environmental Policy & Development, and minored in Spanish. Growing up, Maddie and her family spent every summer on a small lake in Walworth County where she fell in love with the wide-open spaces, fresh air, and pristine lakes.

She brings experience in community outreach and grassroots organizing to the team, and she is looking forward to working with volunteers and homeowners through our Conservation@Home program.  Environmental education is one of her passions, and she is excited to help deepen the Conservancy’s roots in the community and promote the conservation of our county’s land and water ways.

Kiera Theys – Land Protection Manager
Kiera is a 2019 Graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, majoring in Environmental Science. Originally serving as the summer intern for the Conservancy in 2018, she is responsible for annually monitoring the Conservancy’s conservation easement and owned properties, and is involved in land protection efforts. Kiera  assists with community outreach, special events, and managing the Helen Rohner Children’s Fishing Park. Kiera helps residents around the Geneva Lake area apply for grants awarded by the DNR’s Healthy Lakes Program. She enjoys being outside hiking, fishing, and hanging down by the lake on her pier.

Jodi Karow – Accountant
Jodi Karow joined the staff at Geneva lake Conservancy as Bookkeeper in the spring of 2019.  She brings with her over 20 years of bookkeeping experience as well as experience in fundraising and event planning.  She is happy to be a part of the GLC team!

Ava Beyers – Intern