Leadership

Board of Directors

Elizabeth (Betsy) Schmiesing is Board Chair and a Shareholder in the Energy and Environmental Group at Winthrop & Weinstine in Minneapolis, MN. She regularly advises clients on transactions involving Brownfields and works collaboratively to get appropriate agency assurances in place.  She has successfully handled matters ranging from the collaborative to the contentious at the federal and state level, including matters before an array of regulatory agencies including the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, the Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources and the United States Environmental Protection Agency, and United States Army Corps of Engineers. Betsy has served as an adjunct professor of Environmental Law at both the University of St. Thomas and the University of Minnesota.

Eric Hesse is Immediate Past President of MN Brownfields, and a Principal Engineer at American Engineering Testing, Inc. practicing out of its Saint Paul, Minnesota office. Eric has over 30 years of experience in environmental consulting working on projects involving environmental due diligence, site investigation and cleanup, solid waste facility design and permitting, solid and hazardous waste management, storm water management, National Environmental Protection Act planning requirements, and general environmental compliance. Eric has previously served for 8 years on the City of Mendota Heights, Minnesota Planning Commission and 9 years as a board member of Great River Greening.

Kristin Prososki is Secretary of MN Brownfields, and is the Community Development Specialist at SEH. Previously, she was in Community Development for the City of Mankato, previously she was serving in the role of Housing and Economic Development Coordinator.  Prior to her work with the City of Mankato, Kristin was a Project Manager at the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development in the Office of Brownfields and Redevelopment and was the Associate Planner at the City of Mounds View.  Kristin holds a bachelor degree in Urban and Regional Studies from Minnesota State University, Mankato.

Charlie Vander Aarde is Chair of the Advisory Committee, and a Government Relations Specialist at Metro Cities, an organization that represents cities in the seven-county metropolitan area at the Legislature, Executive Branch and Metropolitan Council. Charlie’s areas of focus are housing, economic development, redevelopment and metropolitan government. He previously served as legislative staff in both the MN House and Senate. His prior work also includes directing citizen diplomacy efforts with the U.S. State Department in Seattle. Charlie grew up in Minnesota and is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He serves on the boards of Minnesota Brownfields, the Neighborhood STAR program for the City of St. Paul, and his local youth hockey association. He coaches baseball and hockey and resides in St. Paul with his family.

Mike Wardwell is Chair of the ReScape Committee, and a Development Associate and Property Manager with Hyde Development, a developer that specializes in brownfields. At Hyde, Mike is responsible for the redevelopment and management of industrial properties, which includes the management of entitlement, financing, construction, and post-construction management. Mike also serves as an Urban Land Institute Young Leaders Grow Committee Member, and has served as a member of the Fridley Energy Action Planning Team and NAIOP Developing Leader Social Committee. During the course of his career thus far, Mike has gained experience with the various stages of the redevelopment process in addition to real estate, legal and environmental knowledge.

 

Sherry VanDuyn is Treasurer of MN Brownfields, and is one of the founding members and the President of Landmark Environmental, LLC, a small women-owned environmental consulting firm specializing in brownfield and regulatory driven assessments, investigations, and cleanups.  She also serves as Membership Chair. Sherry has over 30 years of experience as a civil engineer and project manager overseeing investigation, design, and response actions for large property redevelopment and civil works projects.  She is the Small Business Liaison and a former Board Director for the Society of American Military Engineers Minneapolis St. Paul Post and was on the Executive Advisory Committee to the University of Minnesota Department of Civil, Environmental, & Geological Engineering (CEGE). She assists with the UM CEGE Senior Capstone class on the business of engineering and enjoys mentoring young environmental engineers and scientists. She also co-hosted the Certified Hazardous Material Managers environmental regulatory review course for the Alliance of Hazardous Materials Professionals for nine years.

Ava Langston-Kenney is a Project Manager for the Saint Paul Port Authority. Ava brings over 20 years of experience with environmental projects in both Minnesota and California. She has a broad understanding of public planning/redevelopment project issues and policies, as well as a clear grasp of how governmental departments interact with each other and other state and federal agencies. She knows her way around a Port, and has a successful track record of coordinating between various governmental entities to provide sustainable/cost effective solutions to the services, programs and policies integral to the projects she manages.

 

Richard Manser is the Director of Environmental Risk for Minnetonka-based The Opus Group where his responsibilities include integrating soil and groundwater characterization and remediation into their real estate development projects. Many of the projects, especially urban infill related projects, are considered brownfields. Prior to joining Opus, Richard held leadership roles in several environmental consulting companied based in both Minnesota and California. In addition to Minnesota Brownfields, other recent non-profit work includes the Minnehaha Creek Watershed District and the City of Edina Energy and Environment Commission. Richard has an MS in Hydrogeology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He lives with his family on Minnehaha Creek in Edina.

PAST EXECUTIVE DIRECTORS:

Natalie Brown
Severin Oman
Martha Faust

 


 

Past Board Members:

Jon Carlson- Braun Intertec
Deb DeLuca – Duluth Seaway Port Authority
Ken Haberman – Landmark Environmental
Steve Heurung – Stoel Rives
Paul Hyde – Hyde Development
Margaret Knowlton – Retired
Marcus Martin – Met Council
Wayne Nelson – retired
Mary Sands – Barr
Kristina Smitten – Hillcrest Development
Heidi Timm-Bijold – Project Navigation, LLC
Meredith Udoibok – DEED
Sara Peterson – Parkway Law, LLC

Advisory Committee

Minnesota Brownfields Advisory Committee is comprised of redevelopment professionals representing twelve different expertise areas. The Advisory Committee enhances our Board’s capacity, and ensures alignment with the current priorities of Minnesota’s diverse redevelopment community. The Advisory Committee provides feedback on research, and helps develop forums and other program activities.

Current Members:

  • Kevin Carroll – City of Minneapolis CPED
  • Keary Cragan – U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 5
  • Robert Devolve – Stinson Leonard Street
  • Mary Finch – Hennepin County Environmental Services
  • Jay Kunze – Bay West
  • Gary Krueger – Minnesota Pollution Control Agency
  • Rick Kubler – Lathrop GPM
  • Ava Langston-Kenney – St. Paul Port Authority
  • Dave Liverseed – Mortenson Construction
  • Kristin Lukes – Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development
  • Charlie Vander Aarde – Metro Cities
  • Cathy Villas-Horns – Minnesota Department of Agriculture
  • Elizabeth Schmiesieng - Winthrop & Weinstein, Chair Minnesota Brownfields Board of Directors
  • Amy Hadiaris - Minnesota Pollution Control Agency
  • Tigh Surdez - Bell Banks
  • John Berger - Minnesota Department of Transportation

Program Committee

Minnesota Brownfields Program Committee is comprised of public and private redevelopment professionals that provide input into educational program development for Minnesota Brownfields. The Program Committee is critical in advising on relevant topics in the redevelopment industry.

Current Members:

  • Richard Manser – The Opus Group
  • Jeff Sepesi – Environmental Law and Science PLLC
  • Chris Thompson – Braun Intertec
  • Cathy Undem – Dakota County Water Resources
  • Gail Cederburg - American Engineering Testing
  • Lucy McMartin - Winona Port Authority
  • Mike Wardwell - Hyde Development
  • Ryan Spencer - WSB Engineering
  • Jennifer Force - SEH
  • J. Schleper - Inventure Properties
  • Eric Blodgett - Barr

Membership Committee

Minnesota Brownfields Membership Committee is comprised of industry professionals who are dedicated to enhancing membership for the organization.

Current Members:

  • Heidi Timm-Bijold – Project Navigation
  • Richard Manser – The Opus Group
  • Jim Crowl – Carlson McCain
  • Adam Zobel – Stantec
  • Sherry VanDuyn – Landmark Environmental
  • Kristin Prososki - City of Mankato

ReScape Host Committee

Minnesota Brownfields Membership Committee is comprised of industry professionals who are dedicated to highlighting innovate brownfield redevelopment projects across the state of Minnesota by advising the organization of our annual ReScape Awards.

Current Members:

  • Mike Wardwell – Hyde Development
  • Lyndsey Brown – Stantec
  • Sara Collova – Frattalone
  • Bill Lazarz – Baywest
  • Ava Langston-Kenny – St. Paul Port Authority
  • Thomas Braun – Stoel Rives