The Nature Conservancy in Wisconsin Selects New Board Members, Officers

The Nature Conservancy welcomed four new members to its Wisconsin Board of Trustees. Trustees help guide the Conservancy’s work in conserving Wisconsin’s lands and waters.

Madison, WI | October 19, 2011

The Nature Conservancy of Wisconsin announced today that it has welcomed four new members to its Board of Trustees. In addition, four trustees have agreed to serve as officers. Trustees help guide the Conservancy’s work in conserving key lands and waters that are critical to Wisconsin.

“We have an incredible new group of trustees and officers who will provide insights and expertise for conserving Wisconsin’s natural resources for today and for future generations,” said Mary Jean Huston, Director of The Nature Conservancy in Wisconsin.

Three of the new board members are from Madison, and the fourth is from Milwaukee.

  • Peter Annin of Madison is a veteran journalist who has reported various issues for Newsweek. In November 2010, Annin was named managing director of the University of Notre Dame’s Environmental Change Initiative, a key branch of the University’s Strategic Research Investment program that targets the interrelated problems of invasive species, land use and climate change, focusing on their synergistic impacts on water resources.
  • David J. Mladenoff, also of Madison, is professor of forest ecology in the department of Forest and Wildlife Ecology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. His work has been directed at sustainable forest issues in northern Wisconsin, such as old-growth forest characteristics, developing and testing methods for reconstructing past forests and change, and ecological change and management of the Northwest Pine Barrens. A large part of his research is directed at modeling the effect of climate change and potential bio-energy use on Great Lakes forests including Wisconsin’s.
  • Dan Erdman has been a lifelong resident of Madison. His company, Erdman Enterprises, has been involved with residential and commercial development, most notably in the New Urbanism community of Middleton Hills. He also owns a small neighborhood cafe there, the Prairie Cafe & Bakery. He presently serves on the boards of the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art Foundation, Memorial Union Building Association on the University of Wisconsin campus and the Combat Blindness Foundation.
  • Milwaukee resident Paul Jones is the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of A. O. Smith Corporation of Milwaukee, a leading global supplier of water heaters and water filtration equipment for residential, commercial and industrial applications. Paul is a member of the Federal Signal Corporation Board of Directors, a member of the Business Roundtable and serves on the Board of Trustees of the Manufacturers’ Association for Productivity Improvement. He is a member of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors and the National Association of Manufacturers Board of Directors. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in engineering.

The Nature Conservancy in Wisconsin’s new officers are:

  • Debra A. Cervenka of Phillips, former marketing executive at Phillips Plastics, is board chair. Cervenka has also served as a trustee for the Big Sur Land Trust and currently serves on the board of trustees for Northland College.
  • Stevens Point resident Michael Dombeck is a vice chair of the board. Dombeck was the former chief of the USDA Forest Service in Washington, D.C. and currently serves as executive director of Smith Post Doctoral Research Fellowship in Conservation Biology at the Cedar Tree Foundation & Society for Conservation Biology.
  • Minocqua’s Trygve Solberg is a vice chair of the board. Solberg owns grocery stores in Minocqua, Eagle River, Rhinelander, Wausau and Stevens Point. He previously served as chair for the Wisconsin Natural Resource Board and Trees for Tomorrow.
  • Ursula Muehllehner of North Freedom is treasurer. Muehllehner is former chief financial officer of a medical imaging company. She has worked with landowners and neighbors in the Baraboo Hills to encourage the use of conservation easements and to remove invasive species. She is also a member of the Baraboo Optimist Club.

Photos of new trustees and board members can be downloaded here: Peter Annin, David J. Mladenoff, Dan Erdman, Paul Jones, Debra A. Cervenka, Michael Dombeck, Trygve Solberg and Ursula Muehllehner.

The Nature Conservancy is a leading conservation organization working around the world to protect ecologically important lands and waters for nature and people. The Conservancy and its more than 1 million members have protected nearly 120 million acres worldwide. Visit The Nature Conservancy on the Web at

Contact information

Gina Tedesco
(630) 803-6333 (mobile)

Chris Anderson
(612) 845-2744 (mobile)

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