Our Staff

Jennifer Vieth – Executive Director
Jessie Eckroad – Outreach Program Coordinator, Animal Care Coordinator, Interpretive Naturalist
Erika Jensen – Development Coordinator
Mayme Johnson – Program Director, Summer Camp Director, Intern Coordinator
Marty Lynch – (651) 480-0572 – Maintenance Foreman
Alan Maloney – Interpretive Naturalist, Rental Coordinator, Volunteer Coordinator
John McPherson – Horticulturist
Clare Neenan – Natural Resources Specialist
Linda Polglase– Administrative Assistant


CNC has trained hundreds of interns over the past 35 years in the fields of Environmental Education, Horticulture, Natural Resources, and Communications.

COMING SOON: Stay tuned to this page as we profile current and past CNC interns.

Are you a college student or recent graduate looking to gain hands-on experience to assist you in your future career? Apply to be a CNC intern!


Volunteers are critically important to helping Carpenter Nature Center fulfill our mission. Some volunteer weekly, while others support our special events, which occur several times a year. Whether you are looking for some professional experience, like to be outdoors, want to share your knowledge with children, or just want to stay busy, CNC can provide a rewarding volunteer experience.

Learn more about being a volunteer at CNC

Board of Directors

Carpenter Nature Center is governed by a volunteer Board of Directors, all of whom actively support our mission and goals.

Board of Directors

President                      Troy Weathers, Hastings, MN.

Troy joined the Board in 2012, participating on several CNC committees and currently serving as President. He is a 30-year career banker and is employed as Market President of Frandsen Bank & Trust in Hastings, MN. Troy is an active member of the Hastings Area Rotary Club and the Hastings Area Chamber of Commerce where he was honored in 2013 as Volunteer of the Year.

Vice President             Abra Hovgaard, Red Wing.

Abra joined CNC’s Board in 2016 and serves as the board’s Vice President and is a member of the Development Committee. Her love of nature was inspired by her grandfather and her college education in Forestry. Since 2005 she has worked as a financial planner for Edward Jones Investments in Hastings. She enjoys hiking, biking, and cross-country skiing.

Treasurer                     James Freund, Hudson, WI.

Jim has been on the CNC Board since 2008, and serves as chair of its Finance Committee. He retired from 3M as finance director of the Consumer & Office Business. He worked at 3M for 35 years and is a Certified Management Accountant. Jim is also a member of the Town of Troy Park Board, Hudson, WI and is a neighbor to CNC’s Wisconsin Campus.

Secretary                     Curt Mages, Hastings, MN.

Curt Mages joined the CNC Board in 2010 and serves as Secretary. Curt also serves on CNC’s Personnel and Endowment Committees. He is the former co-owner and president of NYCO, Inc., a construction company located in Inver Grove Heights. Curt enjoys many outdoor activities and believes everyone should have the opportunity to enjoy the great outdoors.

Past President            Tim Power, Afton, MN.

Tim has been a member of CNC’s board since 2001 and is Past President. He was an employee and then co-owner of Law’s Nursery in Denmark Township. Tim has been active in the Minnesota Nursery and Landscape Association for almost 40 years, serving on committees and their Board of Directors while at Law’s, and as a government affairs consultant and employee at MNLA from 2010 until his retirement in June 2016.

Member                       J. Daniel Baasen, Wayzata, MN.

During his more than 20 years on the CNC Board, Dan started the annual Autumn in the Valley Gala and has served as Vice-President and President. In addition, he has chaired the Finance and Development Committees and led multiple searches for the investment manager to supervise the CNC endowment fund. He is a senior executive with Northland Securities. Dan is a St. Croix Society Donor and a major sponsor for events including the Apple Blossom Races and Autumn in the Valley.

Member                       Vickie Batroot, Stillwater, MN.

Vickie joined the CNC Board in 2009 and has served in numerous leadership positions, most recently as President. Vickie has also been a board member for the Youth Service Bureau and her church. In 2015, she retired after more than 35 years with 3M. She believes CNC plays a key role in inspiring people of all ages to appreciate, understand and care for our environment.

Member                       Laurie Bauer, Inver Grove Heights, MN.

Laurie joined CNC’s Board in 2012. With more than 20 years of marketing and communications experience, Laurie brings her expertise as chair of the Development Committee, as well as supporting the annual events such as Masters of the Sky and the Autumn in the Valley Gala. She has served on the boards of the South St. Paul Education Foundation and the Andersen Corporate Foundation.

Member                       Jay Griggs, Hudson, WI.

A board member since 1995, Jay has held all CNC offices and served on all but one of its committees. He currently chairs the Endowment and Wisconsin Building Committees. Now retired, the former owner/publisher of the Hudson, River Falls and Ellsworth newspapers sold out in 1995 to run for the Wisconsin State Senate. After losing a tough election, he started a second career in aviation, owning the fuel business at the New Richmond Airport, doing aerial photography, managing the Amery Airport and working for 10 years as a corporate pilot for several local companies.

Member                       Gary Griswold, Hudson, WI.

Gary has served on CNC’s Board since 2003. He has lived on the St. Croix River near Carpenter Nature Center’s Wisconsin campus for nearly 40 years. Gary worked as an attorney and/or in management for 3M from 1972 to 2008.

Member                       Don Kern, Prescott, WI.

Don joined CNC’s Board in 2001. Don is a long-term employee of Flint Hills Resources, where he works with several nature organizations to find a balance between the industrial property use and setting aside critical natural areas. Don was instrumental in the Trailside Lodge project, volunteering countless hours to relocate and renovate the building, which was donated by Flint Hills Resources.

Member                       Rob McKim, Stillwater, MN.

Rob joined CNC’s Board in 2017. He has worked for The Nature Conservancy (TNC) since 1989 in many capacities, and is the current Vice President and Division Director for the Great Plains Region. Before working for TNC, Rob was a legislative aide for energy, agriculture and the environment for U.S. Senator Roth (R-Del), and Director of Abbotts Mill Nature Center.

Member                       Denny McNamara, Hastings, MN.

Denny joined CNC’s Board in 2009. He recently retired as the District 54B State Representative. Denny has been active in the Hastings community for many years, serving as chair of the Chamber of Commerce, chair of RiverTown Days, a member of the Hastings Natural Resources and Recreation Commission, and as President of the Minnesota Nursery and Landscape Association.

Member                       Steve Messick, Hastings, MN.

Steve has been a member of CNC’s Board since 2004. He recently retired as the Publisher/Director of RiverTown Multimedia after a 40-year career in newspapers. Steve has served on every committee and as Board President and has contributed many woodworking projects that benefit CNC.

Member                       Colleen Moran, Lake Elmo, MN.

Colleen has served on CNC’s Board since 2012 and participates on the Development Committee. She is a Landscape Designer and Horticulturalist. Colleen created the natural landscape plan for the new CNC River Bluff pavilion and the entrance gardens using her eye for color, a sense of scale and space, a feel for form and texture, and a unique understanding of materials and construction.

Member                       Sarah Neitz, Cottage Grove, MN.

Sarah joined CNC’s Board in 2013 leading the Program Committee. She has been a teacher for 18 years, currently at Oltman Middle School, where she also serves as the AVID coordinator. She has been honored as Teacher of the Year. Sarah is co-head coach for Girls Varsity Soccer for Park High School. She is working to enhance connections between schools and the nature center.

Member                       Scott Northard, Hastings, MN.

Scott joined CNC’s board in 2016 serving on the Development Committee. He lives in Hastings, and works as Xcel Energy’s Site Vice President at the Prairie Island Nuclear Generating Plant. As a member of the Hastings Rotary Club, Scott volunteered in rebuilding CNC’s three-tiered Ravine Overlook Deck, which is used to access the ravine floor and observe wildlife at treetop level. He recently hosted an Xcel Energy Day of Service at CNC.

Member                       Paul Russo, Hudson, WI.

Paul joined CNC’s Board in 2015 and serves on the Wisconsin Committee, which is working to bring the WI plans to fruition. Paul retired after 34 years at 3M. With 20 years in 3M Health Care and 14 in 3M International, Paul’s last assignment was Vice President of 3M Europe.

Member                       John Tinucci, Woodbury, MN.

John has served on the CNC Board since 2005 providing leadership to the Autumn in the Valley Gala, as well as other events and committees. He has been a restauranteur his entire career, 27 years at his family business, Tinucci’s Restaurant and Catering in Newport, and the past six years with his daughter Elizabeth building The Colossal Café with four locations. John is a past board member of the SE Area YMCA and the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation and North Country Bowhunters, a branch of Safari Club International.

Member                       Jim Weglewski, Woodbury, MN.

Jim joined the CNC Board in 2016 from Andersen Corporation, where he currently serves as Vice President of Lean Sigma and Quality systems. He has a background in engineering, and has previously held roles leading Corporate Facilities and Corporate Sustainability. He is leveraging these experiences to provide support of the CNC Facilities Committee. Jim is an avid lover of nature, and is passionate about nature photography. You can follow his photography posts on Instagram at @quark_track.

Honorary Board

Gordon Bailey Jr

Larry Fussell

Vance Grannis Jr.

Martin Kellogg

Bob Setzer

Daryl Standafer

Tom Thomsen

Wendy Wustenberg