Meet the Team
Friends of the Minnesota Valley Staff
Ted L. Suss is serving as Executive Director of Friends of the Minnesota Valley as a volunteer. He has held this position since December of 2013. Mr. Suss is President of the Minnesota Valley Chapter of the Izaak Walton League of America and for a time (2019-2020) was President of the Minnesota Izaak Walton League. He currently is a member of the Minnesota Regional Parks and Trails Commission, appointed by the Governor and was a member of the Governor Dayton's Pollinator Protection Committee. Mr. Suss is a retired School Superintendent, a former Minnesota Legislator, and is a part time farmer.
Tom Crawford joined Friends of the Minnesota Valley in April 2022 as the Program Coordinator for FMV's River Watch program. His love of the outdoors began as a young boy exploring the woods and waters of Princeton, MN. Since then Tom has held a variety of outdoor education roles across Minnesota, Wisconsin, South Dakota, and Colorado. He is also a dedicated volunteer of the Green Crew, a youth conservation organizations aimed at getting young people invested in the natural resources around them, and preparing young scientists and stewards for the challenges facing Minnesota's environment. He spends his recreational time paddling on the water, making music with his friends, and going hiking with his wife and two cats.
River Watch Southern Region Coordinator
Patti Braulick is a retired science teacher from Sleepy Eye who joined Friends of the Minnesota Valley in 2020 as a Regional Coordinator for schools in the southern Minnesota River Basin. It is her goal to aid teachers in providing an opportunity for students to experience and evaluate the current and changing status of our River Basin. She also hopes students can appreciate how important it is for them to take on leadership roles to make a positive impact on their environment. She grew up in a family that enjoyed and appreciated many of the area lakes and rivers. Patti and her husband, along with their four children and eight grandchildren, also enjoy time outdoors at the lake. Patti is a graduate of the University of Minnesota and received her second endorsement from Minnesota State University.
Board of Directors
Vice President -
Tim Lies has served as the President of Friends of the Minnesota Valley since 2008.
He currently lives in Belle Plaine, MN, which has a rich historical connection to the Minnesota River.
He has experience as a local elected official and has participated in several County wide initiatives around planning and land use issues.
Tim currently serves on the Boards of three other non-profits, at both the local and county levels.
His interest in the Friends began when they came to Belle Plaine to help with a prairie restoration project. The ethics of the organization are what attracted him at first, and are what have kept him here. "I serve with a wonderful group of knowledgeable, talented staff and Board members".
Board Member - Greg Genz
Born in St. Paul, Greg Genz has spent most of his life living in towns along the rivers of Southern Minnesota. Growing up along the rivers allowed him to get involved in activities on the water from an early age. After spending over 70% of his life working in the commercial side of the rivers of MN, from towboats and barges to bridge building and dredging. He has now spends his time consulting on marine projects, and working as a safety boat driver for Wilderness Inquiry’s Urban Wilderness Canoe Trips. His hope is that, in his lifetime, we can see a greater appreciation for what the Minnesota River can offer the residents of the Minnesota Valley, the State, the Region, and our Country.
Director Emeritus - Ed Crozier
Ed Crozier grew up on the prairies of Southwestern Minnesota and obtained a degree in wildlife management from South Dakota State University. After spending nearly 40 years with U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service as manager of national wildlife refuges throughout the Midwest, Ed worked with local citizens to establish the Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge. For his government service, he was awarded the two highest honors given to employees of the US Department of Interior. After retirement, Ed continued his conservation work by serving as Vice Chairman of the National Wildlife Refuge Association, was the founder and President of the Friends of Minnesota Valley, and served as the first president of the Minnesota Valley Trust, Inc. Interests include hunting, fishing, kayaking, snowshoeing, and enjoying daughters and grandchildren.
Treasurer - Barb Hanson
Barb Hanson has spent most of her life living and working in the Minnesota River Valley. She retired as Associate Warden of Administration having worked at the women's correctional facility in Shakopee, MN for thirty-two years. She has served as Treasurer on the Board of Directors for the Friends of the Minnesota Valley since 2014. She enjoys travelling and has been lucky enough to visit some amazing places, Brazil and Ireland being two of her favorites.
Board Member - Sever Peterson
Sever Peterson is part of the 4th generation of the Peterson family farming beside the Minnesota River in Eden Prairie. The family raises vegetables, pumpkins, corn and soybeans. The Family also operates a Fall Festival and a seasonal light show as part of the operation. Over the years Sever has served on the board of Hennepin County Soil and Water Conservation district. Also on the advisory board of University of Minnesota agricultural extension service.
Board Member - Kim Musser
Kimberly Musser serves as Associate Director of the Water Resources Center at Minnesota State University, Mankato. She is committed to enhancing the public’s understanding of and connection with water resources in the region. She enjoys the challenge of taking complex technical and scientific information and making it understandable to broader audiences to help inform planning and decision making. Kim enjoys camping, traveling, mountain biking, cooking, reading and plotting outdoor adventures with her teenage triplets.
Board Member - David Minge
David Minge joined the FMV board of directors in 2003 and has had a long history and involvement with the Minnesota River. An active member of the Friends of the Minnesota Valley, CURE, the Izaak Walton League and other organizations, he has spent decades living close to and enjoying the River and many of its
tributaries. Working on and around the River in both his career and as a volunteer & resident, David has developed a deep passion for water quality, and protection of our natural resources. In his free time he enjoys canoeing, skating, skiing, swimming, biking, and camping.
President - Eric Evenson-Marden
Eric Evenson is a well-respected natural resource professional whose career spans over three decades of surface water, groundwater, and land use management. He has received several awards for his efforts to protect natural resources and has spoken about water management at numerous state, national, and international water conferences. Mr. Evenson is a long time resident of the Minnesota River valley and has spent hundreds of hours hiking and exploring the trails along the Minnesota River near his home in Carver, Minnesota.
Board Member - Mary Strother
Bio to coming soon...
Board Member - Don Wendel
Don Wendel is a board member of the friends of the Minnesota valley. Don holds a BA degree in Chemistry and Biology from Concordia College, Moorhead Mn. with a teaching certificate-grades 7-12. From 1973-1984 Don taught science at Hector, Mn. schools. Don also continued his science education at Mankato State College and St Mary's college in Winona, Mn. In 1984 Don started his new career as an insurance and financial advisor and relocated to New Ulm,Mn. where he resides today with his wife of 45 years, Mick. In 1992 Don completed his Chartered Life Underwriter degree from the American College, Bryn MawrPennsylvania. In 2018 Don sold his financial services office andretired. In his free time he enjoys motorcycling, hunting, fishing ,traveling and growing wine grapes.
Secretary - Apollo Lammers
Bio to coming soon...
Board Member - Joseph Barisonzi
Joseph Barisonzi is an accomplished conservation volunteer who has garnered recognition for his contributions to the Izaak Walton League of America. In his role as the volunteer Executive Director of Youth Programming, Joseph co-founded the widely acclaimed Green Crew program, earning national acclaim. Furthermore, he holds the esteemed position of First Vice President within the Minnesota Division and is the dedicated representative of Hennepin County on the Lower Minnesota River Watershed Board.
In his professional capacity, Joseph specializes in collaborating with social enterprises to develop innovative alternative finance strategies. His expertise in this field is further complemented by his role as an adjunct faculty member in the prestigious Master of Leadership program at the Minnesota College of Art and Design.
Joseph's commitment to conservation is not limited to his professional life; he resides alongside the river and diligently tends to the Minnesota Valley Chapter of the IWLA, as the Caretaker.