Board and Staff Biographies
Having grown up in the endless rolling corn and bean fields of the southwestern Iowa Loess Hills, Susan’s unexplained fascination with wild places (she’s convinced it was Tarzan movies) led her across Iowa to the banks of the Mississippi River and eventually to the more subtle landscapes of the Sugar River Valley of southern Wisconsin and Green County. With an undergraduate degree in Botany from UW-Madison and nearly twenty years of experience as an ecologist with Applied Ecological Services, she has enjoyed endless hours in the field on this continent and abroad studying ecosystems and working with landowners to solve ecosystem health problems. Susan is inspired and fascinated by people who have a strong connection with nature and the land. Since her involvement as a founding board member of LSRWA, she has met a steady stream of people who articulate in the most compelling way their love for the places they care about. As she puts it, “I work for them.”
Patrick Cardiff-Vice President
Pat received a B.S. in Agriculture with a major in Food Science from UW-Madison in 1980 and an M.B.A. from East Tennessee State in 1990. He has been employed in the cheese industry for the past 33 years. He is currently employed as Director of Manufacturing Process Innovation with Grande Cheese Company. He has been with Grande since 1991 and currently serves on the Grande Social Responsibility team representing the environmental sustainability aspects of the company. Prior to Grande, Pat worked for Kraft, Bongrain S.A., and Dairyland Products. He is a past board advisor for the Wisconsin Sustainable Business Council. In his spare time, he enjoys exploring our State and National Parks, and photographing the wonders of nature.
Mindy grew up near the Cherokee Marsh in Madison, Wisconsin, and her early education projects and experiences have inspired a continued dedication for enviromental work. Mindy is involved in contributing to and supporting educational outreach in the LSRWA organization, and has enjoyed participating in the Citizen Science projects. She continues to develop a progressive work ethic on behalf of the many enviromental issues facing our local watershed, in addition to acquiring an ecosystem approach through her involvement in the Bluff Chapter of Prairie Enthusiasts.
Meredith Tripp-Treasurer, Decatur Lake Mill Race Association liaison
Meredith was born in North Carolina where she received her undergraduate education in Pharmacy. From there she ventured to Madison, WI where she attended UW for six years and earned her doctorate in Pharmaceutical Organic Chemistry. After spending 29 years in the Chicago area working and raising two children, she and her husband retired to a wooded area in rural Brodhead where native wildflowers abound and the River runs. Canoeing, walking/hiking and camping have been lifelong joys. She has been involved with the Lower Sugar River Watershed Association since its inaugural meeting in 2011. As a citizen scientist, she performed many watershed assessments throughout the area and learned first-hand the value of good land stewardship and how the quality of our water so much depends on the landowners and the decisions they make. The health of the Lower Sugar River watershed is a concern of hers and as a board member, she has directed her energies to its improvement.
Aaron received a B.S. in Land Reclamation in 1996 from UW-Platteville. He has been employed by Applied Ecological Services since graduation and over the past 18 years has been involved with hundreds of ecological restoration projects throughout the U.S. Aaron is especially interested in working on solving erosion and invasive species problems. He has been active as a volunteer citizen scientist collecting data on several streams in the Lower Sugar River watershed. He is a licensed aquatic and terrestrial pesticide applicator and has been part of the team who is working on the eradication of Japanese Water Celery along a small drainage way that is connected to the Sugar River in Brodhead, WI. Aaron enjoys spending time with family, home and auto repair, raising chickens, fishing, gardening, camping, and canoeing.
Ed has been a lifelong resident of Green County. He received a B.S. degree in Agriculture from UW Platteville. He has been involved in conservation farming his entire life and his farm serves as an example of the type of practices required to keep soil on the land and out of the waterways.
DeeAnna, her husband and children have lived in Brodhead since 2000. She graduated with a M.B.A. in Finance and a B.S. in Accounting. She operates Northern Lights Accounting Services, Inc. in Brodhead. After meeting with Susan Lehnhardt, President of LSRWA in 2014 and discussing the organization's purpose and goals, DeeAnna wanted to join the effort as she lives on the Sugar River. Living on the river makes her more aware of how critical it is to be a part of keeping our water clean. In her spare time she likes to attend auctions, tend to her flower prairie, sell on EBay, read and crochet.
Peg Sheafer is co-owner of Sandhill Family Farms, a diversified, direct-market farm operation. Her year-around farm business supplies more than 600 Chicago-area families with weekly deliveries of fresh produce, eggs, meat and dairy products. Peg is dedicated to creating partnerships among farmers that encourage environmental stewardship and strengthed the economic viability of the traditional family farm business model. Peg and her family live on their farm in Brodhead, in beautiful Avon Towhship where they are working on restoring part of their farm to oak savanna and prairie.
Robert J. Sampson
Bob has been around creeks his entire life. He grew up on a farm in Dodge County, Wisconsin. He received his B.S. degree in Biology from UW-Eau Claire and his Waste Water degree from Moraine Park Technical College in Fond du Lac, WI. Bob has worked for Grande Cheese Company for the past thirty-three years a
nd currently, he manages the waste water treatment plant for their Juda facility. Bob is no stranger to LSRWA. As a citizen scientist he enjoyed performing assessments of our watershed's creeks and is committed to finding ways toreduce phosphorus levels throughout the Lower Sugar River Watershed. Prior to employment at Grande he worked as a pre-school teacher, an organic gardening instructor and a manager of an agricultural program at a living history ranch in Colorado Springs, CO. Bob still enjoys organic gardening, rock collecting, photographing the beauty of our watershed and spending time with his family.
Raised in Monroe, WI, Lindsay returned to the area in 2012 after working and attending college in northern California where she earned her degree in Anthropology and Rangeland Resource Science from Humboldt State University. She has cultivated a broad background in natural and cultural resources management, including educational and outreach programs and fieldwork in stream monitoring, archaeology, and land restoration and stewardship. Her love of the outdoors and wild places has compelled her to work toward the appreciation, protection, and cooperative management of the land and our shared resources. Lindsay is currently the Outreach and Education Coordinator at the Jo Daviess Conservation Foundation in northwest Illinois, and enjoys traveling, hiking, paddling, and a number of artistic endeavors.