About Us

Board of Directors 2017


Geoffrey Bell - Board Chair, Education Committee

Associate Professor of Strategic Management, University of Minnesota Duluth - Management Studies


Kristi Heintz - Board Vice Chair, Education Committee 

Sustainability & Science Labs Coordinator, Lake Superior College 

Kristi was introduced to the Natural Step Framework as an Early Adopter trainee in 2013 with the Lake Superior College team where she is, and has been since 2011, the Sustainability and Science Labs Coordinator. Kristi holds an undergraduate degree in Biology with an emphasis in Environmental Science from North Dakota State University, earned a Certificate in Sustainability Leadership through Ithaca College in 2012, and is working toward a Masters degree in Sustainable Management through the University of Wisconsin. Kristi has been working with Sustainable Twin Ports since 2014, and is currently serving as Vice Chair.

In 2017, Kristi's Masters capstone project will lead STP through research and development of a sustainability initiatives reporting framework as well as implementation of a local directory of sustainable practices for the Twin Ports.

Kayla Dietzmann - Board Treasurer, Finance & Fundraising Committee

Project Manager Consultant, NORTHFORCE 

Kayla Dietzmann is the Project Manager Consultant for NORTHFORCE and Board Treasurer for Sustainable Twin Ports. She fell in love with the region while studying History and Anthropology at the University of Minnesota Duluth. With a lifelong affinity for the outdoors and after an extended visit to the Big Island of Hawaii where sustainable practices are the norm, she attended and volunteered at an STP event in 2014 and joined the board and became Treasurer in January of 2015. Dietzmann audited the 2015 cohort of the Natural Step Training conducted by Sustainable Twin Ports and was part of the re-visioning process that STP completed in 2016. Looking ahead, she would personally like to see an increase in business and household usage of solar in the Twin Ports. As for the organization, Dietzmann aims to focus on their current initiatives, specifically making the website sustainabletwinports.org a local resource for all community members. Kayla currently lives in Superior, Wisconsin with her husband, Dale, son, Dylan, and puppy, Addie. Aside from work and volunteering, she enjoys spending her time reading, fishing, and canoeing in the BWCA. 

Sarah Wilcox - Board Secretary, Education Committee Chair

Director of Education, Lake Superior Zoological Society

Early Adopter Alumna 2012 (Lake Superior Zoological Society Team)

Sarah went through the Sustainable Twin Ports Early Adopter program in 2012 with the Lake Superior Zoo team, where she's the Director of Education. Sarah has a master's degree in Environmental Education & Interpretation from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point and an undergraduate degree in Ecology & Evolutionary Biology from the University of Arizona. Sarah joined the STP Education Committee in 2013 and its Board of Directors in 2014. She currently serves as the organization's Secretary. Sarah has a special interest in designing informal sustainability education experiences in settings like museums and zoos. Visitors to zoos and museums can learn how their choices and actions impact the environment, whether it’s through exhibits, programs, or while browsing the gift shop. In 2017, she was selected as a Sustainability in Science Museums Fellow through the Arizona State University Walton Sustainability Solutions Initiatives and in partnership with the Arizona Science Center and California Academy of Sciences. 

Gary Olson - Metrics Committee

Retired-Formerly Energy Manager 

Gary has retired from a career as both a math educator and an energy analyst. He has always had a deep interest in renewable energy and energy efficiency. After graduating from the University of Hawaii with a B.Ed. in Math Education he started teaching high school math in schools around the Twin Cities and Duluth including both the Minneapolis and Duluth School districts. During this time he studied many areas of energy efficiency design including solar energy concepts as well as earth sheltered design and passive solar design principles. He became aware of the Natural Step shortly after it was being developed in Sweden and received training on its principles in the Minneapolis. These interests led Gary to the second part of his career as a Energy Efficiency Project Manager working for Energy Management Solutions and Energy Insight, Inc. He assisted public utilities with their energy efficiency programs doing hundreds of energy audits for all levels of commercial customers. During this time he received additional training from the Association of Energy Engineers (AEE) and was certified as a Certified Energy Manager (CEM), Certified Energy Auditor (CEA) as well as a Certified Sustainable Development Professional (CSDP). He continues to remain a retired member of AEE.  

Shawna Weaver -

Humane Education Manager, Animal Allies 
Instructor, The College of St. Scholastica

Shawna teaches at the College of St. Scholastica, including a course about environmental and social justice. She is the humane education manager at Animal Allies, where she integrates human, animal, and environmental wellbeing. Growing up in northern Wisconsin, Shawna developed a passion for Lake Superior. She is working on a project called the Great Lakes Headwaters Collective: a website that includes the stories of many of the area's leaders in sustainability. Shawna earned her P.H.D. in Sustainability Education from Prescott College in 2015. She learned about STP in 2014, and joined the board in January 2017.  

Jay Walker -

Director of Operations, Great Lakes Aquarium

Jay Walker is the Director of Operations at the Great Lakes Aquarium in Duluth Minnesota, and has over 20 years experience working in the public aquarium field. He received a B.S. in Fisheries from University of Wisconsin-Superior and an A.A.S in Aquaculture from Alexandria Technical College. Jay started working as the Curator of Great Lakes Aquarium in 1999. In 2007 he was promoted to Director of Operations which, along with animal care management, added a building operation focus as well. After performing an energy audit at the aquarium, Jay started an initiative to reduce the energy used by the aquarium. This initiative was achieved by learning about the various energy efficient equipment available and developing a 5-year infrastructure plan to reduce energy by implementing this technology. Jay had the opportunity to attend the Natural Step Program with Sustainable Twin Ports as a member of the Duluth Superior Eco Rotary. This training helped solidify his passion for sustainability and the importance it has to our businesses and community. Jay joined the board in January 2017 and looks forward to serving Sustainable Twin Ports, and helping to support its mission towards sustainability education for our community. 

Mindy Granley -

Director of Sustainability, University of MN Duluth

Michelle Ross -

Operations Assistant, Amsoil

Michelle Ross is an advocate for sustainability in business. This stemmed from her lifelong curiosity for the outdoors, and that led to her passion for clean air, soil and water. She grew up in a small western Duluth neighborhood with access to the Western Waterfront Trail along the St. Louis River. Growing up next to the St. Louis River she saw firsthand what impacts businesses have on the environment, and later learned the social and economic impacts of business, as well. Michelle achieved her B.S. in Sustainable Management from the University of Wisconsin-Superior in 2013. She was hired on as the Operations Assistant at AMSOIL INC. During the last few years she has been able to be part of an organization using sustainable practices in its daily operations which benefits their bottom-line. Michelle learned of Sustainable Twin Ports in 2013 when she was ready to put her new skills in sustainability into action wanting to help make the community a better place. Michelle became a member of the STP board in January, 2017. She is eager to help STP in its mission to help cultivate a community of practice among businesses, organizations and citizens where sustainability is the norm.