Board of Directors
Click here for the directors' full biographies.
Leverett Nelson (Chair)
Sharon Dunwoody (Vice Chair)
Robert Morrison (Treasurer)
Jeanette Leehr (Secretary)
Buddy Huffaker (President)
J. Drew Lanham
Estella B. Leopold
Joe Arington the Founder and Chairman of Shared Medical Services, a leading supplier of specialized imaging solutions. A native of Nebraska, Joe and his family lived in northern Minnesota before the expanding business brought them to Madison, Wisconsin. Joe’s love of the land inspired him to begin Arington Tree Farm, a 500-acre family adventure near Cambridge, WI. In addition to the Aldo Leopold Foundation, Joe is active with the American Forest Foundation, Seno Woodland Education Center, Wisconsin Woodland Owners Association, Wisconsin Tree Farm Committee and Walnut Council. Joe was named the 2009 Wisconsin Outstanding Tree Farmer of the Year and the 2013 North Central Region Outstanding Tree Farmer of the Year.
Holly D’Annunzio, CFA is founder of D’Annunzio Consulting Group, LLC which was established in 2007 and advises a select national group of clients regarding investments. She has over 30 years’ experience including financial and economic research, portfolio management, portfolio design, venture investing, and security analysis and contract negotiations.
Holly serves on several boards and advisory committees including Western Washington University, Automated Industries, yet2Ventures, Tacoma Angel Network, Gig Harbor Arbor Day Org, and the Arthur L. Foss Foundation. Holly’s interest in and concern for the environment was developed over time and began as a child after seeing tons of dead fish that washed ashore when the County poisoned Shadow Lake in King County, WA where she was raised. She lives in Gig Harbor, is married with one son, and supports the non‐profit community.
Sharon Dunwoody is Evjue-Bascom Professor Emerita in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her long association with the Gaylord Nelson Institute of Environmental Studies at the university has given her the opportunity to work with both students and faculty on a variety of environmental issues. As a scholar, she studies the ways in which individuals use messages to make judgments about science and environmental issues and has both written and co-edited a number of books, including Scientists and Journalists (Free Press, 1986) and Communicating Uncertainty (Earlbaum, 1999) as well as many book chapters and articles. She has served two stints as head of the section on General Interest in Science and Engineering of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and is past president of the Midwest Association for Public Opinion Research (MAPOR) and of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication. (AEJMC). She is a Fellow of AAAS, MAPOR, and the Society for Risk Analysis and is the recipient of the Paul J. Deutschmann Award for research excellence from AEJMC, as well as the Hilldale Award for “distinguished professional accomplishments” at UW-Madison.
Susan Flader is professor emerita at the University of Missouri-Columbia where she taught courses in U.S. Western and environmental history, world environmental history, and the history of Missouri. She has written extensively about Aldo Leopold. In addition to numerous articles she has authored or edited six books, among them Thinking Like a Mountain: Aldo Leopold and the Evolution of an Ecological Attitude Towards Deer, Wolves, and Forests (1974; 1994), The Great Lakes Forest: An Environmental and Social History (1983); The River of the Mother of God and Other Essays by Aldo Leopold with J.B. Callicott (1991); and Exploring Missouri's Legacy: State Parks and Historic Sites (1992). She is past president of the American Society for Environmental History and serves on many other professional and environmental boards and committees.
Wellington "Buddy" Huffaker, IV, joined the Aldo Leopold Foundation over fifteen years ago. As the President and Executive Director, his work ranges from giving talks to fundraising to reviewing financial statements, sometimes all in the same day. Buddy began his work with the organization as an intern in 1996. His academic background is in landscape architecture and plant ecology but more recently his professional development has focused on management and finance. He headed the $7.5 million campaign to construct and endow the Aldo Leopold Legacy Center and, most recently, served as Executive Producer for Green Fire, a documentary film about Aldo Leopold’s life and legacy. Buddy has also been recognized as an Executive Scholar in Not‐for‐Profit Management by Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management, has participated in the White House Conference on Cooperative Conservation, and was elected to represent the Northeast Region at the US Forest Service’s Centennial Congress. He has contributed to two books, a foreword with Nina Leopold Bradley in Aldo Leopold and the Ecological Conscience, and a chapter in The Farm as a Natural Habitat on assisting private landowners interested in implementing Leopold's 'Land Ethic.' He serves as a leading voice for the role of ethics in the relationships between humans and nature and has addressed audiences across North America on why and how society must develop an ecological conscience.
J. Drew Lanham is a Distinguished Alumni Professor and Certified Wildlife Biologist in the School of Agriculture, Forestry and Environmental Sciences at Clemson University in South Carolina. Drew is an avid birder and hunter and an advocate for all things wild in his home state. He is also a longtime fan of Aldo Leopold and writes about Leopold's influence on his thinking regularly in his blog, Wild and in Color.
Jeanette Leehr is currently based out of Minneapolis, has organized community dialogues and events around important community issues including food security and sustainability, produced arts and cultural television programs for public television, and has extensive experience working with not-for-profits in a variety of capacities. Jeanette founded the not-for-profit HarmoniAmerica Foundation, along with actor Edward James Olmos, to focus on issues of indigenous people in poverty. She currently serves as President for Via International an organization addressing community needs through nutrition, and ecology training, community leadership education, microcredit lending, and volunteerism programs. Jeanette has been involved with the Aldo Leopold Foundation for nearly a decade and her involvement increased greatly over the past year as she is devoting more time, energy, and attention to the Sauk County farm, not far from the Shack, that she inherited from her father nearly two decades ago.
Estella Leopold, youngest daughter of Aldo Leopold, is Emeritus Professor of Botany and past director of the Quaternary Research Center at the University of Washington. Dr. Leopold was elected to the National Academy of Sciences and the American Philosophical Society. Her research interests and publications focus on paleobotany, forest history, restoration ecology, and environmental quality. She studies fossil pollen and spores of the Cenozoic interval with an interest in plant biogeography. Currently she chairs a nonprofit group, Farming and the Environment in Washington state. Most recently, Dr. Leopold was awarded the prestigious Cosmos Prize for her life work in conservation.
Jed Meunier is a research scientist within the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources in collaboration with the University of Minnesota studying forest and fire ecology. He attributes the origins of his interest in fire ecology in part to his experiences helping conduct prescribed burns with the Aldo Leopold Foundation as an intern in 2000-2001. Jed has not lacked sources for inspiration however; his mentors and role models include his grandmother, Nina Leopold Bradley, and her siblings. Jed returned to Wisconsin with his wife and two daughters after having completed his dissertation at Colorado State University. His dissertation research was on fire ecology in northern Mexico aimed at guiding forest management and restoration in northern Mexico and the U.S. southwest, very much in line with what Aldo Leopold had himself promoted seven decades prior. Thus Jed's course, both personally and academically, is very much entwined with the mission and legacy of the Aldo Leopold Foundation.
Robert Morrison is the chairman of Community First Bank, based in Boscobol, Wisconsin. He began his career with Continental Bank in Chicago, including six years of management in Europe, and has been involved with financial services in Southwest Wisconsin through Community First Bank for the last twenty years. Bob has also been involved with the Chicago Economic Development Corporation, Conill Bank in Vienna, and Urban Gateways in Chicago. His interests include aviation, travel, skiing, and biking.
Leverett (Rett) Nelson currently teaches environmental law at Loyola University in Chicago, and is a past Adjunct Professor of Environmental Law at the DePaul University College of Law. He is a member of the Bar in both Colorado and Illinois, having obtained his law degree from the University of Colorado. He is also a supervising attorney with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Regional Counsel, Region 5 in Chicago. His office represents EPA in numerous civil and criminal enforcement matters under the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, Superfund, the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, and other legal authorities. Rett credits his step-father Luna Leopold (Aldo's second son) with his deep interest in environmental issues.
Karen Silseth grew up in northern Illinois with four brothers and daily outdoor adventures. Daily contact with the outdoors, along with the passionate conservation education of a high school physics teacher in the 1970s have led to a lifelong interest in conservation and ecology. Karen holds a B.S. from the University Wisconsin-Platteville in Business Management (1980). She is a citizen conservationist and entrepreneur involved with several small businesses/investments with her husband John. Based in the Milwaukee area, the family is well connected and involved with numerous charitable organizations. Karen volunteers in local schools, at her church (tutoring inner city children), and in other organizations such as Hope center, LSS clothing center, Women’s ministries, Luther Manor Senior Residences and is active in the Wisconsin Chapter of WPO. She also enjoys reading, biking, snowshoeing, walking, bridge and gardening. Karen joined the Aldo Leopold Foundation board to apply science to land use and cultivate respect for the earth and animals.
John Wright worked professionally in the area of water conservation and efficiency via a national web based information exchange program. In addition, he has been actively involved with numerous conservation issues and environmental organizations within Colorado for more years than he cares to admit. John has been involved with the Aldo Leopold Foundation for many years prior to his appointment to the Board.