CEO & Founder
Lisa Brush has been leading collaborative conservation initiatives in the environmental sector for over two decades. In her role as CEO and Founder of the award-winning Stewardship Network she has engaged thousands of professionals and volunteers in identifying community and conservation needs of the 21st century and determining strategic support The Network can provide.
She has been involved in all aspects of organizational management including foundation/agency relationships; grant based project funding; budget tracking; contract negotiation, implementation, accountability; and staff and board development. Lisa has facilitated strategic planning sessions, focus groups, citizen task forces, community visioning sessions, and public involvement and feedback meetings with groups ranging in size from four to four hundred. Lisa serves on numerous boards of directors, has a BA in Science in Society from Wesleyan University, an MS from University of Michigan’s School of Natural Resources and Environment, and is a graduate of Michigan State University’s Great Lakes Leadership Academy.
Spencer is responsible both for TSN’s comprehensive operational strategy and for aligning impact via the Network’s collaborative conservation model. In the role of COO, he is focused on the organization’s direction and the day-to-day administration of TSN’s business operations. Spencer is an experienced environmental scientist (SLU, B.S. 2009), conservation leader (GLLA, 2011), community analyst (EMU, M.S. 2013), and integrative anthropologist (UGA, 2018). He works with NGOs, federal, city, and municipal units of government, academic institutions, private businesses, landowners, and volunteers – locally, nationally, and across the globe. By deliberately integrating people, culture, and environment into a comprehensive strategy and an operational approach, his work results in more effective and efficient collaborations to benefit natural and human communities. Learn more about his professional background at LinkedIn. When not working, you can find him pursuing outdoor activities, working with his hands, writing at www.spencerkellum.net, or engaged in a variety of stewardship projects. Connect on Instagram to get a flavor for this side of life.
Rob joined the team in late 2017 after a few years of working with Lisa unofficially as a mentee and supporter of the Network. He earned his Bachelors of Science degree in Environmental Science with a concentration in Environmental Psychology from the University of Michigan’s Program in the Environment, where he was awarded outstanding student in his major in 2016. His interests in communications and the arts coupled with his sense of environmental responsibility have coalesced into his current roll with TSN, where he coordinates our website, email, and social media outreach, supports our 3C Coordinators, including facilitating the annual Coordinator Retreat.
Rachel joined the team in 2016 and she manages a number of TSN’s programs and grant projects. She earned a MS from the University of Michigan’s School of Natural Resources and Environment in Sustainable Systems, and a BS in Environmental Studies and Agriscience from Michigan State University. Rachel has worked on a diverse set of ecological and conservation projects, including neotropical bee habitat in Nicaragua, endangered mountain gorilla behavior in Uganda, and collaborative group function across North America. Rachel is passionate about biodiversity preservation, systems analysis, and hiking.
Melanie has a record of assisting vulnerable communities in various occupations throughout her 20-year career in Administration. In the early 2000’s, Melanie worked with Safehouse/the Domestic Violence Project Team, creating a survivor toolkit to better assist Washtenaw County domestic abuse survivors. At the University of Michigan, School of Natural Resources and Environment (SNRE), Melanie assisted the Business Office in collaborating with SNRE faculty to manage their non-sponsored grant awards, also assisting students in managing small student grants. Melanie played a key role at Resource Recycling Systems (RRS) as the Office Administrator and assisted in researching metrics for waste recovery solutions, organics management and corporate sustainability throughout the U.S. Melanie also played a key role in public sector proposal creation and management at RRS.
Melanie’s current role as Office Manager with Fair Food Network, allows her the opportunity to assist the Double Up Food Buck (DUFB) program, which matches EBT/Bridge Card or food stamp dollars spent on fruits and vegetables. The DUFB program ensures families in vulnerable communities have access to healthy foods, which means more business for local farmers and a boost for local economies. Melanie holds a bachelor’s degree in Literature from Eastern Michigan University, and you can often find her at the local library, perusing the non-fiction shelves. Melanie enjoys vacations with her family, playing tennis, practicing yoga, swimming laps, and bird watching. Melanie is also an avid cook, who feels most comfortable in the kitchen preparing meals.
Mark Shepard heads Restoration Agriculture Development andForest Agriculture Nursery, but is most widely known as the author of the award-winning book, Restoration Agriculture: Real-World Permaculture for Farmers. Restoration Agriculture is based off his experiences at New Forest Farm and represents his belief in the ability of sustainably grown perennial food crops to feed us into “our resource-compromised future”. Trained in mechanical engineering and ecology, Mark has combined these two passions to develop equipment and processes for the cultivation, harvesting and processing of forest-derived agricultural products. He is a certified permaculture designer and teaches agroforestry, permaculture, and his innovative systems of water management around the wor
With more than seventeen years’ experience as a professional facilitator, Dr. Dino Signore has worked with both for-profit and non-profit organizations and specializes in creating productive learning environments, through a unique strategic planning model, peer-to-peer roundtable protocols and a process consultation approach. He has facilitated several hundred sessions with community development leaders across multiple disciplines, non-profit strategic sessions, board development sessions, and peer-to-peer roundtable sessions for business owners and executive directors as well as numerous small business strategy and executive performance sessions.
Chris Theriot has more than 15 years working at the intersection of business, policy, and natural resources. He currently works with Resource Recycling Systems to advance corporate sustainability around materials management.
Previously, he worked at Ducks Unlimited and as a consultant to the United Nations Development Program. Theriot earned a MS from the School of Environment and Sustainability, University of Michigan and a MPP from the University of Chicago. He enjoys running, bicycling, fishing, and grouse hunting in the great state of Michigan.
IT / Web Administrator
Alok is a consultant and a full stack software engineer for a variety of web, interactive, and mobile projects. He is skilled in several development languages and tools, and experienced in designing and building interactive user experiences for internet, mobile and rich media systems. His specialties include Web Applications, eLearning Implementation, Rich Internet Applications, Mobile Web Applications, User Experience, Media, Collaboration, and Migration.
North River Creative
With over 18 years of graphic design experience, Sarah takes our pen and paper concepts and turns them into the final print pieces you may have seen in person. Her love for nature and the outdoors makes us one of her favorite clients to work for. Sarah graduated in 2002 from Kendall College of Art and Design in Grand Rapids, with a BA in Graphic Design. Her favorite projects to work on are magazines and brochures. When she’s not working on her graphic design skills, she enjoys traveling with her husband and dogs, going for hikes, and taking photos.
Steppe Solutions is a full-service event management agency. Since 2001 they have been providing the direction, focus, creativity, structure, and momentum needed to translate their client’s vision into reality. They produce multi-day conferences, academic symposia, high-profile galas, annual dinners, donor events, and large-scale meetings and celebrations. “We have had the pleasure of producing hundreds of exceptional events over the years, and welcome the opportunity to partner with you on your next event.“
Vicki has been doing accounting and taxes for as long as she can remember. She joined TSN’s team in 2014 to manage our finances. She helps us keep track of the fast moving pace of grants and contracts with dozens of partners. She makes sure our vendors and employees get paid on time and she accompanies us through our annual financial review and filing of state and federal documents. When she’s not working with us or all of her other clients, she enjoys spending time with her animals on the farm or on her boat on the chain of lakes.