Our staff is small, but our reach is broad. The combined experience and vision of our staff, partnered with the exceptional hands-on efforts of our volunteers, make it possible to live out our mission.
Kristin received an AS in Landscape Horticulture from MATC; a BS in Botany from Concordia University; and a MS in Environmental Science from Concordia University.
Since 2007, as the director of the Mequon Nature Preserve, Kristin is living her dream – giving back to the community she grew up in and a career that she is passionate about. With Kristin’s leadership, MNP offers a series of educational programs to students K5-college and have helped over 10,000 low income children annually experience the outdoors and learn about nature ‘up close and personal’ – free of charge. It is rewarding to be able to go into work every day knowing that you are helping children who have never experienced the world without concrete learn about nature and all its wonders.
Kristin is married to Michael Gies and has two children, Gavin and Adia.
Director of Development
Mary holds a Master of Fine Arts from the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee and a Bachelor of Fine Art from the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design. She joined MNP in 2019 and passionately leads fundraising and development efforts.
Mary grew up on 200 acres of farmland in southeastern Wisconsin and has worked extensively in urban Milwaukee. MNP is the perfect place to bridge these two worlds.
Previously as a program officer for Bader Philanthropies, Mary expanded investments for youth in environmental education and green job readiness. MNP was one of her grantee partners! Prior to her work in philanthropy, Mary worked as a non-profit program director and a freelance artist. Many of her projects and collaborations were focused on ecology and environmental advocacy.
Mary and her husband, David Hofmann, live in Milwaukee and enjoy traveling and exploring with their grandson, Rowan.
Director of Restoration and Operations
Cory joined MNP as the Director of Restoration and Operation in 2017 but has been in the Green Industry for over 20 years. He graduated from MATC with a degree in Landscape Horticulture in 1998. Prior to his position at MNP he owned and operated Second Nature Landscape Company.
Cory has brought a wealth of knowledge and experience to MNP. He is a past president of the Wisconsin Arborist Association, an ISA Certified Arborist, and has served on a number of forestry-related committees over the past 20 years.
Cory enjoys family vacations to Colorado with his wife Andrea and two boys Caleb and Ryan.
Restoration and Development Technician
Amanda received a Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Science from Saint Louis University in May 2018. While at SLU, she was an active member of Alpha Phi Omega National Service Fraternity.
She was a summer intern at MNP in 2017 and 2018. She loves that she has the ability to have a job where she can work outside. She credits her love for the environment through the backpacking and canoeing trips throughout the country during her summers in high school. In her free time, she enjoys going to her family’s lake home in Lac du Flambeau and walking her dogs.
Restoration and Research Technician
Nick started out at MNP as an intern in the summer of 2017 between his junior and senior year of college. He graduated in May of 2018 from the University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point with a BS in Wildlife Management and Ecology. He was an active member in the UW-Stevens Point student chapter of The Wildlife Society and the Fire Crew where he participated in numerous research project.
His love for the land stemmed from his background in farming, and spending time in the outdoors with his family. He enjoys hunting and fishing in his free time along with playing with his and his fiancé’s dog, Kai. Nick looks forward to continuing his learning of land restoration and research techniques along with being a part of MNP’s bright future.
Restoration and Education Technician
Jamie graduated from the University of Wisconsin- Whitewater with a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Science. Through there in 2016 he collected data on Yellow Bellied Marmots at the Colorado Mountain Research Station in Nederland. In the summer of 2017 and 2018 he was an intern at MNP.
His love for the environment stems from trips up north with his father and grandfather. Jamie enjoys climbing mountains in Colorado every year and fishing with friends and family in the summer. He is grateful for the opportunity to work at MNP after growing up next door and frequenting it as a boy.
Tilia is the newest addition to the family at MNP. After her training, Tilia will become the first on-staff conservation dog in the state of Wisconsin and will also be a conservation ambassador, joining MNP staff on field trips at the preserve.