Heartland Conservation Alliance is honored to have the leadership and expertise of our Steering Council. The Council represents our Alliance partners and provides guidance for implementing our work.
Each Council member serves a two-year term and represents a key Partner community including: Business, Education, Government, Higher education, Land trust, Nonprofit, Neighborhood/landowner, Public land manager and Water utility.
Council members support our work by:
Supporting staff and Board to fulfill our mission
Bringing ideas to the table
Connecting the larger group to resources
Broadening our networking opportunities
Using collective assets to implement plans and projects
Provide a sounding board, especially when issues may conflict
Provide direction and leadership
Ian was born and raised in Kansas, spending most of his youth lost in the woods, often on someone else's property. He graduated from K-State in 2014 with degrees in environmental science and geography. Ian has worked in the environmental field for ten years with several organizations including KDWPT, USDA, K-State Agronomy, USGS-Alaska Science Center, SynTech Research, KDHE and the City of Overland Park.
Ian currently works as the Water Quality Specialist Johnson County Stormwater Management Program, juggling water quality programs, education and project planning for the County. When he is not working or volunteering, Ian can be found tending several overgrown gardens, wrangling his two kids, or wandering the woods for morels and pawpaws.”
With over 20 years of diverse professional experience in interiors, architecture, and planning Christina coalesces interdisciplinary teams and works closely with the people of each unique community to build upon their assets, strategize transformational solutions, and fulfill their shared vision. She believes that planning provides a pathway to greater environmental quality, economic opportunity, and social equity. Christina practices this discipline with an open heart and mind, combining technical expertise with an adaptive community-centered engagement approach as Founder and Community Planner with Hoxie Collective.
Lara is the Sustainability Manager for the City of Kansas City, Missouri. She has spent the majority of her 20 years in the environmental field promoting the importance of public education and involvement to create meaningful change. An unapologetic environmental generalist, her career includes experience with consulting firms, government entities, and non-profits in subjects ranging from natural resource management to regulatory compliance. Her passions include public service, backpacking, rivers, and all things Kansas City.
Dr. Kevern is a Professor of Civil Engineering and Chair of the Department of Civil & Mechanical Engineering at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. He is an internationally recognized expert on pervious concrete, concrete durability, and non-traditional concrete applications. He received his Ph.D. from Iowa State University. Dr. Kevern has been named one of the top five most influential people in the concrete industry by Concrete Construction Magazine for his work with pervious concrete and is a Fellow of ACI. He chairs AKM50 Advanced Concrete Materials and Characterization Committee at the National Transportation Research Board and is secretary of ACI committee 522 on pervious concrete, and founding member of ASTM committee 09.49 on pervious concrete.
His current research topics include improving water quality using cement-based filters, improving concrete lifespan using hydrophobic coatings, internal curing concrete, techniques to reduce cost and improve performance of soil structures in sub-Saharan Africa, and eliminating joints in concrete pavements. He has authored over 125 journal articles, papers, and reports and has been an invited presenter over 180 times at US and international conferences.
Imani is a USGBC LEED Green Classroom Professional. With certification by NAAEE/MEEA as an Environmental Educator, Imani is also a member of ISTE, iNACOL (the Aspen Institute), and is a Sphero Lead Educator.
As CEO of SOTV, she leads the KC affiliates of Black Girls Code, Blacks in Cybersecurity, Sisters of the Skies, and Women in 3D Printing, an international additive manufacturing (3D printing) organization. SOTV sponsors an annual Earth Day celebration in Kansas City.
Imani is a supporter of GRID Alternatives for solar PV workforce development and is a member of the Green Home Institute.
Brian is the Deputy Director for Park Operations for Jackson County Parks + Rec. Jackson County’s award winning parks system is the third largest county parks system in the nation covering over 20,000 acres. With a background in landscape architecture, Brian oversees operations, planning and park development for our county’s 690,000 residents. Originally from Dallas, Texas, Brian has lived in the Kansas City area since 2001.
Drew has a devotion to enabling positive change in communities through planning sustainable transportation networks. He has over five years of experience in community and transportation planning, safety analysis, traffic operations, environmental documentation, and GIS modeling. His passion for sustainability, technology, wellness, and design have pushed him to develop data-driven planning tools and visualizations which help to uncover and communicate various needs and opportunities to decision makers. Drew develops plans, studies, evaluations, tools, inventories, and diagrams which can plainly communicate complex relationships between social, environmental, and economic assets in the built environment.
Drew is an active member of the American Planning Association and is president-elect of the local KC-APA board.
Stephen Van Rhein
Since 2003, Stephen has been a Community Conservationist at the MO Department of Conservation working with cities and counties in the Kansas City metropolitan area to incorporate conservation friendly practices as the area grows. He has served the Watershed Committee of the Ozarks addressing rural water quality issues and spent 2+ years in Cameroon as a Peace Corps aquaculture extensionist. He has a MS in Ecology from Illinois State Univ. and a BS in Microbiology from the University of Missouri.
Suzanne has been a school counselor working with youth in the Kansas City metro area since 2012. She is excited to promote environmental awareness and conservation through the Heartland Conservation Alliance.
Joe graduated from Iowa State University with a Master of Science degree in Sustainable Agriculture and Entomology. At ISU he developed a healthy obsession with native plants, native pollinators, and building a more resilient agroecosystem. An AmeriCorps VISTA position with BoysGrow brought him to KC while a position researching honey bees kept him here after his year of service. Joe is excited to get back to his roots and become more involved with the KC community and to help grow a sustainable KC.
Currently Joe is the Program Coordinator for the Heartland Tree Alliance with Bridging the Gap. In his free time, he can be found playing ultimate frisbee, camping, hiking, or floating a river.
Dr. Terri Woodburn
Terri is the Director for the Professional Science Master’s program in Environmental Assessment at the University of Kansas Edwards Campus in Overland Park. She has taught at the University of Kansas Edwards Campus since 2015 in this program. Her previous professional experience with Kansas Geological Survey and Missouri Department of Natural Resources and field research experience in fluvial and soil geomorphology has provided a foundation for her current course offerings that include experiential learning. Her current research focus is on soil health and soil carbon sequestration.