Meet Our Board of Directors
Our Volunteer Board of Directors is the glue that keeps our chapter together. Volunteers are the heart and soul of the chapter and what we do. Any volunteer organization requires a core group of volunteers to keep it strong and effective. This chapter has an incredible core group that has built an outstanding legacy of action and accomplishment.
If you would like to know about opportunities to be on the board or help with the various committees that serve our chapter, please contact one of the board members listed below.
Chapter President, Banquet Chair
Tom grew up in Barrington, Illinois, a Chicago suburb. He was fortunate that his grandmother was a state park naturalist which gave him an early introduction to the outdoors.
Tom graduated in 1975 from the University of Minnesota with a B.S. in Forest Resource Management. He worked briefly for the WDNR and U.S. Forest Service and then proceeded to have a 35 year career in wholesale industrial building product sales.
Tom’s interest in wilderness canoeing got him interested in fly fishing which in turn got him involved with Kiap-TU-Wish.
Board Member/ Outing Chapter Treasurer
Gary spent his most memorable times as a kid in the outdoors with his father wading wet as they fished the Jump, Yellow and Fischer Rivers near his grandmothers farm in Taylor County. He attended the University of Wisconsin Stevens Point where he received a B.S. in Water Resources/Chemistry. He was introduced to trout fishing in the streams of the central sands west of Point.
He worked on his first stream improvement on the Little Plover River, which is currently ravaged by groundwater withdrawals. In 1985, he took a job as a chemist at the Minnesota Department of Agriculture analyzing groundwater for pesticide residues. Gary moved to River Falls and has been active with the chapter since 1989 serving in all officer positions including 5 years as President.
Gary is still at the Department of Agriculture where he is the Laboratory Director. He currently is serving as Chapter Treasurer.
Board Member, Grants
Tom’s boyhood home was on a 3 acre lot bordered by a lake and a creek in northern Minnesota. For a few years he taught math, physics, and chemistry in Tower-Soudan, where he was also scoutmaster.
He canoed and fished the boundary waters before it was designated a wilderness area. Most of his working career was spent in manufacturing, as a manufacturing engineer, quality engineer, and quality manager. Aproaching retirement, he took up fly fishing and joined TU.
Tom has been on the board since 2008 and has served as treasurer, vice president, and president.
Board Member, Newsletter/Grants
Maria is from the Iron Range of Minnesota, a place known more for its walleye than trout. After graduating with a degree in architecture, she spent a lot of years at a computer screen, enjoying the work but longing to be outside. On a vacation to Ireland she watched anglers fly fishing for salmon in the rocky Connemara landscape and was enthralled. She came home, bought what she needed to fish with a fly, and propped it all up in the corner of her living room.
Five or so years later, and with the help of some new-found angling friends, Maria took the rod out of its corner and caught her first brown trout on a cold winter day. She’s been fly fishing regularly ever since and joined Kiap-TU-Wish to support the resources that she enjoys fishing.
Board Member, Amery Liason
I grew up in a fishing and camping family spending a lot of time fishing with my dad. My dad and his friend encouraged me in pursuing fly fishing. This included fishing for trout in Wisconsin and the Rockies.
In college I enjoyed trout fishing in Branson, Missouri on the White River system. After college Wendy and I moved to Madison, Wisconsin where I took a fly tying class conducted by the local Trout Unlimited chapter. We eventually moved to rural Amery, Wisconsin where we discovered trout fishing on the Apple River catching my first brown trout on ultra-light spin tackle.
I became involved with Kiaptuwish after meeting members involved with addressing dam removal in Polk County. I am a life member of Trout Unlimited. I have attended the Joan Wulff School of Fly Fishing and regularly teach fly tying, fly fishing and fly casting through Amery Community Education.
Loren grew up in a small town in Wisconsin and graduated from UW Stout in Menomonie with a BS in Industrial Technology, Manufacturing Engineering. He spent most of his career in various engineering and sales positions.
In the winter months, Loren is an 8 year seasoned coach for the Spring Lake Park High School Nordic Ski Team. His interest in trout fishing started decades ago in the streams near Menomonie. In full circle, many of these streams are now getting a renovation by Clear Waters and Kiap-TU-Wish chapters of Trout Unlimited.
Board Member, Incoming Treasurer
Scott Wagner grew up in St. Paul, Minnesota, looking forward to his family’s vacation “up north” each year and trying to figure out how to the heck get out of the city the rest of the year.
After graduating from St. John’s University, traveling to Alaska, and doing a year of volunteer work, Scott finally settled down to a job in business banking, partly because he couldn’t defer his student loan payments any longer. Scott has worked in business banking for 30 years and during that time has served on a number of service club and non-profit boards.
Scott and his wife, Holly, live in western Wisconsin, where they raised their family and enjoy many outdoor pursuits.
Allison was raised in Hudson, Wisconsin. She started fly fishing with her father at the age of ten and honed her skills on the many small streams in the driftless area, where she fell in love with the natural beauty of the area.
Allison attended college in Duluth and holds a degree in English Literature from the University of Minnesota. She is employed by a Ford dealership where she is a service advisor.
Over the years, Allison has volunteered at Kiap-TU-Wish events and began serving on the board as the chapter’s secretary in 2012. She also assists with social media for the chapter and enjoys serving on the banquet committee.
Board Member, Volunteer Chair
I was born and raised in Monticello, MN in a house 3 blocks away from the Mississippi. I was a river rat at a very early age and usurped my father’s fly rod around age 10 to pursue panfish in the myriad surrounding lakes which I accessed with my bicycle.
It was while working in technical theater in the Twin Cities that a coworker told me about his annual summer fly fishing vacations to Montana that the two of us decided to explore trout fishing options in the metro area. A visit to Tom Helgeson’s now defunct Bright Waters Fly Shop in south Minneapolis steered the two of us over to western Wisconsin.
Frequent visits to these streams raised my awareness of Kiap-TU-Wish’s positive impact on the streams in and around River Falls which gave me motivation to join the chapter. I still enjoy time on the water fishing but also enjoy the time spent working on and coordinating the involvement of chapter members in stream restoration efforts.
Board Member, Trout In Classroom
Greg has been on the board for 3 years and in that time he has instrumental in starting our Trout in the Classroom programs. He grew up in Hudson, fishing the St. Croix and Willow Rivers.
He graduated from UW-River Falls and Northwestern University, majoring in organic chemistry and has worked at DiaSorin, an immunodiagnostic company in Stillwater, for 20 years.
Greg will pursue any species of fish, anywhere, with a fly rod, but still prefers to solve the complex riddle of matching hatches and conflicting currents, to catch one of our beautiful Driftless Area stream trout.
Board Member, Stream Monitoring
John was born and raised in Owatonna, MN. Thanks to his parents and older brothers he was able to enjoy hunting and fishing and learned to love and respect the out-of-doors. He earned a bachelor’s degree in business from the University of Montana in 1977.
Hudson, WI has been home for John and his wife Carrie for the past 32 years, where they had the pleasure of raising their two sons. They currently own and operate a sales agency from their home office. John spends as much time as possible exploring and fishing the many trout streams of Western and Northern Wisconsin. He also enjoys “giving back” to the sport he loves by doing volunteer work for Kiap-TU-Wish.