Board of Directors

Daniel Kielson is the founder and President of BYNC. Realizing that he could discover the wonders of nature in as small a space as his own backyard, Daniel created BYNC with the mission of connecting others with nature in their communities. Drawing on his experience in higher education, Daniel focuses on developing educational programs. The founder and president of a management consulting firm Visions Unlimited, Daniel has also served as a Vice President at Northeastern Illinois University and as a professor at Lake Forest Graduate School of Management. Daniel lives in Winnetka with his wife and two Siamese cats and holds an Ed.D.

 

Linn Carey, Vice President, focuses on presenting education programs for children and exploring new ways to get kids and adults outdoors. Especially interested in developing natural outdoor play spaces, she also works on creating volunteer opportunities in nature for students. Having previously served on boards of Glencoe PTA/PTO, Family Services of Glencoe and Boy Scout Troop 28, Linn was one of the founding members of BYNC. She brings a background in environmental science to BYNC’s education initiatives, and holds a BA in Geology from Lawrence University. Linn lives in Glencoe, where she appreciates the nearby music, theater, kayaking and cross-country skiing opportunities.

 

Heidi Kiesler, Treasurer and Secretary, is also actively involved with marketing and fundraising. A founding board member, Heidi continues to work to make BYNC an advocate for unstructured play and a facilitator for kids and adults to be outside. Heidi, a member of the Wisconsin Woodland Association, arrived at BYNC after serving as president of Glencoe Newcomers and Family Services of Glencoe. A former Girl Scouts leader, Heidi’s involvement with the group sparked BYNC’s interest in collaborating with Girl Scouts on outdoor programs. Heidi brings her experience as a Chicago Botanic Garden Environmental Awareness Program volunteer, and holds a BA in Economics from the University of Vermont. Heidi lives in Glencoe.

 

Katie Keller is the Technology Committee Chair for BYNC. Her focus is maintaining BackYardNatureCenter.org, and developing outreach and social media campaigns. She often helps members of the board with technology and database-related questions. Her role on the board goes beyond her title: Katie is also involved in staff recruitment and promotional marketing. Through Katie’s efforts, BYNC is now a member of The Nature Conservancy's Volunteer Stewardship Network (VSN). Senior Programmer with Discover Financial Services, Katie works to advance stewardship goals with BYNC and other local non-profits. Katie holds a BS in Computer Science from Northern Illinois University. She currently lives in Buffalo Grove.

Gary Morrissey is a Master Naturalist and former science teacher. As a board member, he is focused on developing and leading educational activities for BYNC, and has presented lessons for school field trips, camp programs, and after-school programs. Additionally, Gary is helping BYNC tailor its educational initiatives to the Next Generation Science Standards recently adopted by Illinois public schools. A retired Chicago Public School teacher, Gary currently works part-time as a Professional Development Provider for Delta Education and Carolina Biological Supply Company. Gary holds a BS Ed. From Chicago State University and MS Ed. from National-Louis University. Gary lives in Chicago.

 

John Levine is involved in both restoration and education initiatives for BYNC. His focus on the board is in the areas of marketing, resource development, and planning. A passionate advocate for nature, John has volunteered with such organizations as The Nature Conservancy, World Wildlife Fund, and Lincoln Park Zoo. He brings BYNC marketing and business management skills, having held leadership positions in the consumer products industry and founded a consulting practice in marketing and innovation. He also writes novels for children. John has a BA in Economics from the University of Michigan and an MBA in Marketing from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management. He lives in Northbrook.


Staff

Robert Keller is a part-time adminitstrative assistant with BYNC. Robert edits the newsletter and helps organizing the website. He is a graduate of Northern Illinois University with a BS in Geography and holds an undergraduate certificate in Geographical Information Systems. He also works as a natural resources management technician and works in dozens of preserves at all times of the year to promote restoration and conservation.