John Myers has been executive director of Indian Creek Nature Center in Cedar Rapids, Iowa since May 2013. Working with the organization’s board of directors, John leads the strategic planning and growth of the organization ensuring that its vision to create champions of nature is achieved. John believes that Indian Creek Nature Center can and should be a leader in the outdoor field by championing new and innovative initiatives that make substantive change.
Amanda Vincent is a Cedar Rapids native and has enjoyed Nature Center trails, events and programs over the years. Amanda has spent the last several years working for various non-profits in Iowa. She received a degree in Psychology from the University of Northern Iowa and is also a graduate of the Iowa Master Gardener program. Amanda has always had a passion for the outdoors and has an appreciation for all living things. She enjoys hiking, camping, rock hunting, and gardening in her free time.
Jean Wiedenheft started as a volunteer at the Nature Center, helping with scout workshops and spreading wood chips on the trails. She’s been a full-time employee since 2001, sharing her enthusiasm for nature with volunteers and visitors. She enjoys horseback riding, beekeeping and walking in the woods.
Sydney Foster is an Iowa native, originally from Waterloo. She graduated from the University of Iowa with a BS in environmental sciences and a minor in biology. She is very passionate about protecting Iowa’s natural resources and loves working with the tallgrass prairie ecosystem. She feels at home managing the Etzel Sugar Grove Farm, and is excited to help lead Iowa towards a more sustainable and regenerative agricultural future. In her free time, she loves crocheting, birding, camping and exploring the outdoors.
Gabe Anderson spent several summers volunteering and working at the Nature Center before getting the Trail Builder position in 2021. Prior to moving to Iowa, he lived in Illinois, Arizona, and Virginia. He graduated from George Mason University with a major in Biology and a minor in Marine and Estuarine Sciences. At the Nature Center, Gabe maintains the existing trails and grounds, and works on opening new sections of trail for people to enjoy. When not working on outdoor projects, he likes drawing and learning languages. Currently he is working on Japanese and Swahili.
Abigail Barten is an Iowa native, with an appreciation for all things outdoors. She graduated from Iowa State University with a BS in Animal Ecology and a minor in Forestry. During summers in college and after graduation, she spent her time working in Northern Minnesota and Wisconsin. There, she solidified her desire to help take care of the natural land and to share this experience with others. She’s excited to have the opportunity to connect with volunteers while working on projects for the ICNC trail areas. In her free time, Abigail loves to go camping, canoeing, hiking with her dog, making pottery, and taking care of her garden and quail.
Kelli Kennon-Lane is an Iowa native, raised in northeast Iowa and living in Linn County for almost 20 years. She lives with her husband and son in a very small log home in the woods — a dream they manifested several years ago.
Kelli’s professional background is in public education. She received her undergraduate degree from Wartburg College and her graduate degree from Coe College. Kelli has extensive training in social-emotional learning, curriculum design and implementation, and building the capacity and autonomy of teams.
Andria Cossolotto, a graduate of the University of Northern Iowa, came to Indian Creek Nature Center having previously been a naturalist in western Iowa. At ICNC, Andria leads school field trips and camps, helping to instill the love of nature in future generations. In her spare time, Andria works to help improve pollinator habitats and enjoys getting outdoors with her husband and two children whenever possible.
Emily Roediger is originally from Rochester, Minnesota. She graduated from Gustavus Adolphus College with majors in Biology and Environmental Studies and minors in Geology and Music, and has an environmental education graduate certificate from Hamline University. She has over 4 years of experience with multiple environmental education organizations, and is excited to be at Indian Creek! Emily enjoys being outside whether she’s hiking and exploring new places, camping, playing tennis, bike riding, or even just sitting!
Nicole Upchurch began her path as an educator in 2001 in Idaho. She has experience instructing K-6 Spanish, Songwriting/Ukulele and Outdoor Education. After moving to Iowa with her family, she found her way into nature-based Early Childhood Education in 2009 while working with Taproot & Prairie Green School. She is a graduate of the Iowa Master Naturalist program. In addition, Nicole is a singer/songwriter, performing regularly with Awful Purdies and The Feralings. She lives in Tiffin with her husband, Benj and their three children Harper, Béla and Waelyn. Together they enjoy spending time outdoors with their Australian shepherd dog, Copper.
Morgan Bryant graduated from the University of Iowa with a degree in Therapeutic Recreation. She worked as a Recreation Specialist at UnityPoint St. Luke’s hospital in the youth behavioral health unit and as the Program Director of the Parent Education Consortium at Iowa State Extension and Outreach Linn County. She is passionate about supporting families in building healthy foundations for their children and will continue that work as the Assistant Teacher at Creekside Forest School. In her free time, Morgan enjoys reading historical fiction, spending time with family, practicing yoga, gardening, and going on walks in the mountains or woods.
Marcy Fratzke is an Iowa native with more than a decade of experience working in education. She received a degree in French from Iowa State University and spent the first part of her career teaching and traveling with high school aged students. In 2020 she made the transition to working with preschool aged children and found her passion in developing young minds.
Marcy is married with three daughters and enjoys party planning, traveling, and trying new things. She enjoys being a tourist in her own state and discovering all of the amazing things to see and do close to home.
Rachel Bailey was born and raised in Cedar Rapids where she received an English degree from Mount Mercy University. Rachel has been visiting ICNC since she was a child and has been on staff since 2016. She is always eager to connect with visitors and has a passion for helping groups experience what our area has to offer!
In her spare time, she enjoys quality time with her two daughters, husband and dogs. As a family, they love traveling near and far to explore state/county/national parks. Gardening, baking and canning are among her current hobbies.
Betsy Bostian is passionate about all things nature and has been working at the Nature Center since 2019. Betsy is looking forward to sharing her outdoor knowledge with the students of Fresh Air After School. In her free time she enjoys gardening, canning, fermenting, and changing her lawn into a native landscape. Betsy is an Iowa native and received her B.A. from Loras College.
Hanna was born and raised in Des Moines before going to Coe College, here in Cedar Rapids, where she graduated with degrees in Biology and Environmental Science and a minor in Anthropology! During her senior year at Coe, she volunteered at the Nature Center as a Teacher Naturalist. Following graduation, Hanna officially moved to Cedar Rapids and wanted to take on a more consistent role at Indian Creek! During her free time she loves adventuring with her fiancé and their dog, Kane. She also coaches high school softball in the summers!
DEVELOPMENT & MARKETING
Sarah Halbrook joined the staff of the Indian Creek Nature Center after her service as an ICNC board member. Her service to the organization as a volunteer led to a desire to work daily toward the mission of creating Champions of Nature. She identifies as an environmentalist from the earliest of ages– recalling organizing her middle school classmates to petition for recycling in their school lunch program and being enchanted while working the land in her school’s outdoor classrooms in 6-12 grade.
Laura McGrath was born and raised in Cedar Rapids, IA. After attending Luther College, she returned to work at two local museums. Her passion for preserving history, both natural and cultural, brought her to ICNC in 2022. She is excited to have the opportunity to connect with ICNC members and donors to find a shared love of nature. You will often find Laura with her husband and daughter at the park, exploring a local trail, or planning their next road trip.
Katie Giorgio is a Cedar Rapids native who has spent her career working in the nonprofit world — at another nature center, an art museum, and a community foundation — and as a freelance writer for a variety of newspapers, magazines, websites, and organizations. She has always loved storytelling, so it makes sense that she got degrees in Magazine Journalism and English/Writing from Drake University. In the last two decades, she’s written about nearly every topic you can think of. When not sitting at a laptop, she’s spending time raising two teenagers, taking her two dogs on long walks, working in the garden, exploring new places, and reading.
A native of southern New Jersey, Nancy moved with her family to Cedar Rapids in 1970 – three years before the Nature Center was launched. She joined the Nature Center staff in 2000 as Development Assistant, and in 2022 transitioned to a new, part-time role as Special Projects and Grants Coordinator. She says the best part of her job is working with and getting to know so many great people. In her free time Nancy enjoys exploring nature on foot, time with family and friends, reading, traveling, puzzles, volunteering, music (singing, playing the piano, attending concerts…) and dark chocolate (not necessarily in that order).
As a kid, Eric found a love of the outdoors during family camping and canoeing trips. This love grew as Eric earned his Mass Communication degree at Winona State University, a college tucked between bluffs, lakes and the Mississippi River. Since arriving in Cedar Rapids in 2011, Eric has worked in television production and as a copywriter as well as founded his own non-profit organization. Meanwhile, his love for the outdoors kept growing as hiking and kayaking with his wife became their favorite hobbies. When Eric is not chasing his two children around he enjoys running, reading, playing Ultimate Frisbee and getting his family on the water, on a trail or to a campground.
Dana Wood grew up in Center Point, Iowa. After graduating from University of Northern Iowa with a degree in Fashion Merchandising and a minor in Business, she spent several years working as a seamstress. A career change made her Administrative Assistant at Global Crossing where she stayed until becoming Office Manager at Indian Creek Nature Center in 2002. Dana enjoys sewing, swimming, kayaking, camping, gardening, and spending time with family.
Sarah Botkin grew up on a farm in central Illinois raising sheep. She received her B.A. from Monmouth College and her Masters from Kansas State University. After spending 18 years in Student Affairs in the Higher Education setting, Sarah joined Indian Creek Nature Center in August 2018. She enjoys traveling, bike riding and reading a good book.
A Cedar Rapids native, David Lammers has been volunteering at the Indian Creek Nature Center ever since his high school internship in 2001. He graduated from Upper Iowa University in 2007 with a degree in conservation. Outside of the Nature Center, he stays busy with the Five Seasons Ski Team and the Eastern Iowa Circus.
Growing up in southeast Iowa on the Mississippi River, spending summers traveling on the family houseboat, Michelle Basler discovered her love of nature early. While attending the University of Iowa in the early ’90’s she found another passion in local radio and that career path moved her to Cedar Rapids where she and her husband Bill, are happily adventuring with their 6 kids and two dogs. Michelle loves trail running, boating, water skiing, and bird watching.
An Iowa native, Renee spent their childhood between Iowa and Northwest Arkansas. Spending summers in rural Marion county, they grew a deep love and appreciation for the endless wonders of nature. Renee comes to the nature center after 16 years of being The Nature Nanny for many families in the corridor area. In their free time you can find Renee creek stomping with kid friends, nature journaling, and taking care of their ever growing houseplant collection.
Jen Rowray is an Iowa native, born in Cedar Rapids and raised in rural Solon. She attended NMSU (Truman State) in Kirksville Missouri where she earned a BA in English but her love of country living led her to purchase her home and 6 acres of land in Benton County in 1999. When she is not working her full time job with a dog boarding facility she is doing side gigs from mowing to making Kettle corn, and of course, GSA at Indian Creek. In her down time she writes, maintains an active social media, cares for her horses, cats and dogs (and tries to avoid being spit on by her snarky Llama, Snowball) and her land. She has 4 grown children and one 16 year old daughter who keeps her very aware she is not as cool as she thinks she is.
David Hayes | President
President, Coe College
Jen Welton | Past President
Vice President, Treasury Management, Cedar Rapids Bank & Trust
Mayuri Farlinger | Secretary
Vice-President, Customer & Community Engagement, Alliant Energy
John Hall | Treasurer
Executive Vice President & Chief Lending Officer, Cedar Rapids Bank & Trust
Steve Dummermuth Jr.
President of Real Estate, IGD Industries
Account Executive, TEKsystems
Vice President, Private Banking, Collins Community Credit Union
Founder/CEO, Ecocare Supply, Ecocare Hemp, The Compost Ninja
McClure Engineering and Co-owner, Sustainable Landscape Solutions
Vice President of Finance, Frontier Co-op
Partner, Grit Capital
Green Team Coordinator, Cedar Rapids School District
Simmons Perrine Moyer Bergman PLC, Associate Attorney
Dr. Todd Olson
President, Mount Mercy University
Owner & Business Manager, Lion Bridge Brewing Company
Partner, Carson Wealth Management
EVP/Chief Banking Officer, Bank Iowa
Energy Builder, The Restoration Project
Dr. Jana Marlett, MD
Vice President, Investments, Cedar Rapids Bank and Trust
President, Kings Material
President, Coe College