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 Aschliman
- Mark Bromley
- John D. Cobb
- Mary Constable
- Steve Diamond
- Kristen Freytag
- Patrick Gallagher
- Katherine J. Holland
- Bruce Johnson
- Cindy Milojevic
- Thomas W. Nickols, Jr.
- Donald J. Parker, Jr.
- Susan Steele
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!
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!
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.
Tai Thompson – Community Outreach and Fundraising Manager
Tai Thompson has an Environmental Science degree from UW-Whitewater. She has accomplished a year of undergraduate research on the Bacopa species, volunteered with the Rock River Coalition conducting water monitoring, participated in Citizens Climate Lobby, and was Chair of the Sustainable Janesville Committee. As a Janesville native, her summers included taking day trips to Lake Geneva where she fell in love with the area. Tai is excited to work as the new Community Outreach and Fundraising Manager where she will be heading the Conservation@Home program, assisting in event planning, and handling community outreach. In her free time, she enjoys hiking, running, reading, and cuddling her kitty, Roman.
Savannah Thomas – Land Protection Specialist
Michael Zawicki – Land Protection Specialist
Michael Zawicki is a recent 2023 graduate from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. During his time at Whitewater, he majored in Environmental Science and Resource Management while using Environmental Writing as a main emphasis. Michael was also the President of the Whitewater fishing team for two consecutive years. During that time, Michael and his teammates competed at the collegiate level all over the country including states like Virginia, Tennessee, Arkansas and Michigan. His passion for the outdoors led him to the conservancy where he is eager to give back to the community, assist with community outreach, manage the Helen Rohner Children’s Fishing Park, help out with land protection projects and much more. Michael is originally from Muskego WI and still resides there but has many different connections with the Lake Geneva area and he looks forward to seeing and meeting everyone this summer!
Jaiden Lauer – Summer Intern