As the Government Affairs Director, Jennifer leads the work inside the Capitol to pass and defend pro-conservation policy, no matter the political make-up of the legislature or the governor’s office. Jennifer builds long-term relationships with legislators and staff, tracks all conservation legislation and budget matters, and helps craft winning issue campaigns. Jennifer also works with our field team to develop local campaigns that build the case for state-level policy. In addition, she works with our members, conservation partners, and government stakeholders to ensure that conservation policy is implemented at the federal, state, and local levels as necessary. Jennifer has been with the organization since 2007.
I grew up in Cottage Grove where I learned to love the outdoors. I rode my bike all over town, cross country skied in the cornfields by my house, and caught tadpoles and frogs down by the creek at Community Park.
Our town’s slogan was “Cottage Grove, Wisconsin: Someplace Special.” And while I do think we were special, I don’t think we were unique. In fact, what I love most about Wisconsin is the sense of community that everyone, no matter where in the state you live, seems to share. I got to appreciate that sense of community pretty early. When I was twelve, my father became very sick and spent several months in the hospital before dying. During those months, various families and neighbors took turns bringing dinner to the house every night and arranging to take my sister and me to our activities. I didn’t know the political leanings of the people that brought the casseroles and Jello salads or drove me to soccer games. It didn’t matter to them or to me. They were just doing what we do in Wisconsin, taking care of our neighbors.
In my role as Government Affairs Director, I love that I get to be the link between what is happening in the Capitol and the citizens around the state who care about our natural resources. I have been actively lobbying on conservation issues for 15 years, the first five in Georgia. I am most proud of my efforts to secure the passage of the Clean Energy Bill in 2006, reauthorization of the Stewardship Fund in 2007, adoption of the Great Lakes Compact in 2008, shepherding the Independent DNR Secretary Bill through both houses in 2010, and the defeat of the Open-Pit Mining bill in 2012.
- Drake University: Bachelors of Arts in political science; Bachelor of Arts in sociology
- American University: Washington semester program for international relations
- Recipient of Environmental Leadership Award in 2003 from the Georgia League of Conservation Voters for leading the lobbying efforts to defeat legislation that would have privatized the state’s water resources
- Served numerous community organizations including Wisconsin Women in Government and Bryn Mawr Presbyterian Church, as well as being a foster care mentor
- Graduate of the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources’ hunter safety course
- Participant in the Wisconsin Women’s Fly Fishing Clinic sponsored by Southern Wisconsin Trout Unlimited
- Recipient of Wisconsin State Chapter of Trout Unlimited’s Reel Partner Award in 2016
- Serves on the Policy Committee for the Wisconsin Breast Cancer Coalition
I enjoy camping, running, keeping up on the Packers and Brewers, and playing with my nieces Ali and Emma and nephew James.
I’m a conservation voter because I grew up playing outside and enjoying Wisconsin. I want to make sure that my family and all future generations of Wisconsin’s kids have that same experience.
Favorite place in Wisconsin: Along the Wisconsin River in Prairie du Sac