Conservation Resource Alliance
Call 231-946-6817

CRA Staff

Amy Beyer, Director

  amy@rivercare.org

Amy recalls gaining her way into Michigan Technological University's engineering school by writing an essay on her personal passion for camping. Five years later she was heading to northern California with Masters and Bachelors degrees in chemical and environmental engineering, anxious to learn of all the best hidden spots between the Pacific Ocean and the Great Lakes. In her career she has migrated consistently toward business management and development, first in the consulting engineering world, and later at CRA, where she has been the Director since 1992. Amy's true passions circle around outdoor sports like fishing, skiing, biking and tennis, and a lifelong love of books, travel, and especially things that still need to be discovered. She sees CRA as a great scene for her, where the "problems" revolve around world class waters and landscapes, and where people from all walks of life pitch in to solve them. Amy lives in Suttons Bay with husband, Chuck, their two children, and a hunting dog.

Kira Davis, Program Director

  kira@rivercare.org

Kira is a native of Northern Michigan growing up in Petoskey. Her cultural knowledge has taught her that it is our responsibility to care for the earth with our waterways being a top priority. She received her BS in Environmental Issues and Applications from Michigan State University. She has dedicated her career to protecting and sustaining our waters and continues to do so in her role at CRA. Outside of work, you can find Kira spending time with her family in the waters or forests of Northern Michigan. Kira enjoys swimming, boating, water skiing, kayaking, cross country skiing and hiking.
 

Matt Thomas, Development Coordinator

  matt@rivercare.org

Over forty five years of living in northern Michigan has allowed Matt to see the changes to our landscapes and waterways. His lifelong love and respect for the natural world, nurtured through hunting, fishing, and many other outdoor recreations, drew him to CRA in 1999. Matt works to build relationships that benefit both the resources and the people. He is a self proclaimed Traverse City "townie" who enjoys all that the area has to offer. You are likely to see him cruising by on one of his many bikes or heading for his favorite lake, with his fishing boat or kayak in tow, to try to hook the big one.

 

Casey Ressl, Annual Gifts Coordinator

  casey@rivercare.org

Casey grew up in Traverse City exploring the exceptional rivers and lakes of Northern Michigan. She then earned a BS from the University of Michigan in History and Environmental Science and was able to study abroad in Melbourne, Australia for a year. She traveled back to Northern Michigan as an AmeriCorps member and now resides in Traverse City with her husband and daughters where she enjoys spending time on the water and in the garden. She values the role nonprofits play in making this area so remarkable and is excited to be part of such a high-impact team.

 

Kimberly Balke, Biologist

  kim@rivercare.org

Kimberly attended both Wayne State and Michigan State Universities and has a BS in Fisheries and Wildlife. She has lived in northern Michigan for 20 years with family ties to the area several generations back. Summer trips to family farms in Bear Lake and Arcadia strengthened the desire to make Northern Michigan her home someday. Kimberly loves the beaches along Sleeping Bear Dunes Lakeshore and enjoys hiking, kayaking, cross-country skiing, and gardening. She appreciates the new learning opportunities in taking care of our creeks and rivers at CRA, and every year offers exciting challenges! 

 

Chris Pierce, Biologist

  chris@rivercare.org

Spending his summers growing up at the family cabin on Saginaw Bay, Chris became absorbed in the amazing wonders the woods and water presented him. His travels have carried him through 49 states and after playing in the mountains, oceans, and rivers of the West, he found his way back home in Michigan. Chris earned a BS in Fisheries and Wildlife Management from Michigan State University with a focus on fisheries and watershed management. He now greatly enjoys getting his son and daughter, Riley and Macy, into the great outdoors to see where their experiments and travels take them. If he is not spending his spare time at the cabin, you might be able to find him with his family seeking the peace and solitude found in the woods and waters of Northern Michigan.

 

Nate Winkler, Biologist

  nate@rivercare.org

Nate Winkler's lifelong connection to the rivers and woods of northern lower Michigan inspired the pursuit of a BS in Fisheries and Wildlife Management which he obtained from Lake Superior State University. Working for CRA fulfills his sense of obligation to serve the resources that nurtured him as a child. In addition, it allows him to make a living performing relevant and important work in conservation with equally committed and enthusiastic co-workers. Next to spending time with his children, Max and Brook, Nate's interests include trout fishing, canoe-racing and deer hunting.

 

Paul Kogelschatz, Watershed Coordinator

  paul@rivercare.org

Paul studied Environmental Conservation & Communication at Northern Michigan University in Marquette, MI. Among the many topics he studied, Paul took a great interest in issues concerning the Great Lakes watershed. After graduation, Paul served as a Huron Pines AmeriCorps member with HeadWaters Land Conservancy and his roots in the nonprofit sector grew from there. In his free time, Paul enjoys playing guitar, kayaking, hiking, creating and telling stories through videos and supporting his local community through volunteerism.

 

Bethany Bucklew, Administrative/Development Assistant

  bethany@rivercare.org

Bethany grew up in St. Joseph, Michigan, spending much of her time along the beaches of Lake Michigan and enjoying nature throughout the state. Her appreciation for the outdoors began at a young age camping with her family in northern Michigan and also while traveling on family vacations camping throughout the country. She eventually moved to Grand Rapids, Michigan to attend Grand Valley State University earning a BA in Advertising & Public Relations, spending a summer term in Rome, Italy. She lived in Grand Rapids for nearly 11 years following her education. Bethany then was married in an outdoor camping/adventure-themed wedding to her husband and relocated to Traverse City where she now proudly calls home. In her free time she enjoys playing piano, crafting, camping, hiking, fishing and taking walks with her husband and dogs, Hazel and Molly.
 

Sue Antaya, Accounting

  sue@rivercare.org

While Sue is not technically a "native", she does consider Traverse City to be her home after having lived here for thirty years. Spending her high school years living in the old AuSauble Hotel in Frederic, Michigan fostered Sue's love of the history of northern Michigan. She currently fills her spare time spending time with her granddaughter. "I love that the work we do at CRA is helping to make rivers what they once were."

 

Diane VanderVeen, Contracted Chief Financial Officer

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Conservation Resource Alliance

Bayview Professional Centre
10850 Traverse Highway, Suite 1180
Traverse City, MI 49684
231-946-6817 info@rivercare.org