Riverland Conservancy Staff
Jessica became the Executive Director of Riverland Conservancy in November 2017. Before joining Riverland, she worked for Wisconsin DNR, where she spent 7 years leading a crew engaged in restoration activities on State Natural Areas in southern Wisconsin. Prior to that, Jessica worked for Wisconsin DNR out of Menomonie, WI and the Conservation Corps of Minnesota and Iowa out of Rochester, MN and Ames, IA. Jessica has a strong background in land management and ecological restoration and a passion for land protection. She grew up along the Mississippi River in Lansing, IA and received a degree in Environmental Science from the University of Iowa. She has truly enjoyed getting to know and take care of Riverland Conservancy’s beautiful preserves.
Jessica lives in Madison, WI with her husband Nate and son Forest. In her free time she enjoys spending time outdoors hiking, canoeing, and camping, spending time with family and friends, live music, good food, and travel.
Board of Directors
Jen Stewart joined the Riverland Conservancy board in 2018. She has served as Treasurer and Vice President and is the current President. She holds undergraduate degrees in Mathematics and Biology and a Master’s degree in Conservation Planning. After two decades in the natural resource management field including several years for Alliant Energy managing the properties that are now Riverland Conservancy preserves, Jen is now a fundraising professional. She worked for many years at a nonprofit conservation organization and now serves at a small private college.
Brad Crary joined the Riverland Conservancy Board in 2019 bringing with him a passion for the outdoors. As a long time Ice Age Trail volunteer and employee with the Ice Age Trail Alliance, Brad brings a wide range of experiences in outdoor conservation and building relationships with volunteers and conservation groups in Wisconsin. Currently, Brad is employed as a Project Manager with Whole Trees Structures in Madison sourcing trees for a wide array of projects across the country. He has served as Secretary and Treasurer for the board and is currently the Vice President, serving in his second term.
Tom Hanson retired from Alliant Energy Corporation as Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer in 2016. He volunteers on the Boards of four non-profit organizations, including Riverland Conservancy. Tom has served on the Riverland Conservancy’s Board for over 15 years as the past President and Treasurer and is currently the Secretary. Tom is a nature and prairie enthusiast. Along with service to the boards, he enjoys traveling, spending time with his family, and restoring a prairie at his property in Richland County.
Toby Grabs is an avid outdoors person and feels more at home outside than in. Some of his passions are backpacking, paddling, and hiking. He has degrees in biology and environmental education and currently works as the director of operations for Holy Wisdom Monastery, a spiritual center in Middleton with a dedication to caring for the earth. He loves living in Sauk County because of amazing outdoor recreation opportunities, like paddling the Wisconsin River and hiking at Riverland Conservancy.
Attorney Johanna J. Allex is a partner in the Madison office of Stafford Rosenbaum LLP where she helps families and individuals to plan for and manage life’s expected and unexpected transitions. Johanna’s law practice covers all aspects of estate planning and estate administration, marital property law, business succession planning, and tax-exempt organization planning and operations. Johanna is a Certified Public Accountant and serves on the firm’s board of directors. When she is not working or volunteering, Johanna enjoys bicycling, hiking Wisconsin’s beautiful parks and other natural resource areas, knitting and quilting.
Nic Jelinski is an Associate Professor of soil science in the Department of Soil, Water and Climate at the University of Minnesota. His teaching responsibilities include Basic Soil Science, Field Study of Soils and Soil Judging. He has worked in soils and land management for state (Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources) and federal agencies (Department of Defense, National Park Service) as well as the private sector (Alliant Energy). Nic is an Iraq veteran and the former commander of a medical detachment in the U.S. Army Reserves. He received his B.S. and M.S. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and his Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota. Nic worked at the Merrimac Preserve as an intern which strongly influenced his professional and personal passion for conservation.
Serge Koenig has been a Sauk County natural resource professional for twenty-eight years. He has a Watershed Management degree and a Soils Minor from University of Wisconsin Stevens Point. Serge has been working with landowners and various organizations in Sauk County to sustain and improve its natural resources. He is a tireless advocate of managed rotational grazing as tool for regenerating our soils, water and human resources. In his free time, he loves spending time with his family gardening, traveling, hiking, camping, fishing, hunting and coaching.