Meet the Hunt Hill Staff

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Nikki Janisin, Executive Director since October, 2014.   She recently moved to Haugen where she resides with her husband Dan and dog, Ruger. Before stepping into the ED position, she had served as the Program Directer since 2008 and is a graduate of UW-Eau Claire.

What does it mean to be the Executive Director of a nature center and sanctuary? Major responsibilities include:  guiding the short and long-term plans for Hunt Hill to fulfill the wishes of Frances Andrews (original donor of the property); working with the volunteer Board of Directors; keeping a good working relationship with the National Audubon Society; managing the financial and legal responsibilities of the organization; managing the staff; being the chief public relations person welcoming visitors; and speaking to groups.

What I enjoy about Hunt Hill:  Hunt Hill holds such a special place in my heart and I have especially enjoyed hearing the stories of others who have been positively impacted by their experience here.  I am inspired and motivated by our donor, Frances Andrews, who showed early insight to protection and education of the environment.  Hunt Hill is a beautiful place with wonderful staff, volunteers, members and visitors and I feel so lucky to be a part of it.


katie and fishKatie Connolly, Program Director since January 2015. Katie studied Wildlife Ecology and Biology as an undergraduate at UW-Stevens Point, and also has a Master of Science degree in Environmental Education from UW-Stevens Point. Katie enjoys spending time in the outdoors: horseback riding, camping, hiking, hunting, fishing, kayaking, and geocaching are some of her favorite activities. You can often see her hiking the Hunt Hill trails with her dog, Idgie.

What does it mean to be the Program Director of a nature center and sanctuary? Plan, promote, and schedule programs and rentals; hire and manage summer and school year educators; work collaboratively with area organizations; edit Hunt Hill publications; prepare grants and a lot more!

What I enjoy the most about Hunt Hill: Hunt Hill is not only an amazing property, it is an amazing community of members, volunteers, staff, and neighbors who share a passion for protecting our natural resources and educating others on the importance of conservation. I encourage everyone to come out and visit us, and experience this special place for yourself!


sallySally Bartz, Office Manager since March 2014: has 3 kids, 4 grandchildren and a Westie.  She lives in Shell Lake where she enjoys quilting, riding bike and snowshoeing.

What does it mean to be Office Manager at Hunt Hill?  Major responsibilities include: bookkeeping, office paperwork, greeting visitors, registration, maintaining email lists, tracking membership and much more.

What I enjoy the most: It’s such a beautiful setting for a job.  I enjoy meeting the Hunt Hill’s members and campers, and listening to the kids having fun outside.  I think it’s important for kids to learn to appreciate the outdoors.  I know I feel a sense of peace come over me when I’m out in the woods.  Its also a great bunch of people to work with.


jim14Jim Gruenhagen, Head Maintenence
Jim was born and raised in the Long Lake Area. He loves the outdoors and enjoys hunting, fishing and spending time on the area lakes boating and camping.

What does it mean to be the maintenance crew of a nature center and sanctuary? Major responsibilities include: all maintenance work, general cleaning, landscaping, and facilities improvements at Hunt Hill as assigned by the Executive Director and Board of Directors of the Friends of the Hunt Hill Audubon Sanctuary, Inc.

What I enjoy the most about Hunt Hill: I enjoy that it is so peaceful and stress-free. I enjoy all the conversations with people that visit here, all the fantastic volunteers and staff that I work with as well. It is a wonderful place to be each day and I am glad I have the opportunity to work here.  Its fun to see how much fun and how much people enjoy the programs offered here.  I’ve lived here all my life and I’m still amazed that I see something new and different in the north woods each day.


larry fun 2Larry Piskie, Assistant Maintenence, has been keeping Hunt Hill looking great since the spring of 2000. Native to Illinois, he fell in love with the area and now lives on Long Lake with his wife Colette, 9 months out of the year and then they ‘fly south’ for some much needed rest before he returns for the busy season.

What does it mean to be the maintenance crew of a nature center and sanctuary? Major responsibilities include: all maintenance work, general cleaning, landscaping, and facilities improvements at Hunt Hill as assigned by the Executive Director and Board of Directors of the Friends of the Hunt Hill Audubon Sanctuary, Inc.

What I enjoy about Hunt Hill: I welcome the opportunity to work in the outdoors with nature.  I enjoy talking with visitors about the special resources available at Hunt Hill and I am continually learning about wildlife and experiencing it firsthand. Being employed at Hunt Hill provides me with an opportunity to grow personally while having a hand in local land and wildlife preservation. I am an advocate for the Hunt Hill buildings, lands, flora and fauna. There is great enjoyment in the participation of a dedicated young organization as it continues to grow and reach out to more people right in our neighborhood.


Summer Staff for 2015 includes:

Head Cook:

 


Environmental Educators:


 

Former Staff:

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Summer Staff 2014: Seated L to R- Laura, Kelly, Nicole, Sara, Sally, Ruger, Nikki, Larry, John and Jim. Standing L to R- Janet, Nicole, Sage, Storme


 

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Summer Staff 2013: Seated L to R – Callie B, Elizabeth E, Storme N, Ruger, Nikki N, Elise M and Jan K. Standing in 2nd row – Larry P, John M and Jim G. Standing behind sign L to R – Nicole Z, Kim S, Carla C, Terry D and Sage D.


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Summer Staff 2012:  Seated L to R – Nikki Rukamp, Sage Dunham, Catie Kriplean, Ruger Nelson (camp dog), Nikki Nelson, Jan Killian and Sam Anderson. Standing L to R: Storme Nelson, Larry Piskie, John Hartman. Missing from photo: Cooks: Carla Cewe and Kim Stephanites


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Summer Staff 2011: L to R- Nikki Nelson, Ruger, Storme Nelson, Sydney Schieffer, Kelsey Clinton, Catie Kriplean, Karen Kress, Larry Piskie. Back Row: L to R- Sarah Santa Cruz, Colette Piskie, Nikki Rukamp.


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Summer Staff 2010: L to R – Travis VanBeek, Park Taylor, Kyle Green, PaHoua Lee, Nikki Rukamp, Nikki Nelson, Ruger, Storme Nelson, Karen Kress, Ava Gustafson, Ashley Enoch. Back Row L to R: Colette Piskie,  Larry Piskie.


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Summer Staff 2009: L to R – Elizabeth Shmikler, Kyle Green, Ruger, Nikki Nelson, Colette Piskie, Storme Nelson, Park Taylor, Kelly Winum, Ava Gustafson, Pahoua Lee, Karen Kress and Larry Piskie.


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Summer Staff 2008: L to R – Storme Nelson, Cody Myers, Bailey Woodruff, Colette Piskie, Larry Piskie, Jessica Pettersson, Nikki Nelson, Jillian Bjorklund, Karen Kress, Amber Mealman, Eric Severson