Staff & Board

Staff

Adrienne Cronebaugh, Executive Director

Adrienne moved to Coeur d’Alene in the Spring of 2010 to be closer to family and to explore its wide array of outdoor activities. She graduated from The Ohio State University with a B.A. in Political Science, during which she worked as an Aide in the Ohio Senate. She then launched and expanded the American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women campaign in both Tampa, FL and Cincinnati, OH. Adrienne brings with her a passion for making a difference, as well as a wealth of experience in the fields of fundraising, marketing, community education and volunteer coordination.

E-mail Adrienne: adrienne@kealliance.org

Mike Mihelich, Forest Watch Coordinator

Mike was born and raised in Coeur d’Alene. He has been a member of KEA for approximately 20 years and has been involved in monitoring and commenting on forest issues since 1990. Mike is currently a board member for the Coeur d’Alene Audubon Society (formerly the president). His hobbies include viewing areas on the Coeur d’Alene National Forest and the St. Joe National Forest.

E-mail Mike: mikej@my180.net

Jessica Johanson, Roots Local Food Share Coordinator

Jess moved to Coeur d’Alene six years ago after finishing her B.S. in Recreation, Park and Leisure Studies at the University of Minnesota. She was hired by the Outdoor Pursuits program at North Idaho College and was exposed to the many amazing features of the northwest! This area proved to be a great match for her love of the outdoors! Jess has a passion for working with groups to develop individuals and teams. She loves helping people build skills to face challenges and grow as individuals! Jess does an amazing job of connecting individuals within our community and providing nutritious food to those in need.

E-mail Jess: rootslfs@kealliance.org

Harry Birak, Intern

Harry recently graduated from the University of Idaho with his B.A in International Studies. At the University of Idaho, Harry had the privilege to work as a Head Delegate for the university’s “Model UN Delegation” and as well, played on the University of Idaho’s lacrosse team.
Harry considers himself a Coeur d’Alene native after having spent the majority of his life living here, that is after moving around quite a bit. During the summer, Harry fills his time with kayaking and hiking around the area. As for in the winter, Harry will most likely be found snowboarding up on Schweitzer Mountain.

E-mail Harry: harry@kealliance.org

Carol Muzik, Art of Nature Camp Director

Coeur d’Alene resident, Carol Muzik, is the award-winning author and illustrator of the children’s book Raising Lucy.  Her book, short film, and companion coloring book have brought the local Coeur d’Alene story of Lucy the Canada goose to life for children.  Raising Lucy is a true story of how the Muziks raised an orphaned baby goose to return to the wild.  Because of her experience with Lucy, Muzik donates 10% of her earnings to regional wild life rehabbers.

Carol is also an Artist in Residence with the Idaho Commission on the Arts, and taught creative writing in an afterschool program at Sorensen Elementary during the last school year.
She is currently ghostwriting a memoir, and developed Kootenai Environmental Alliance’s summer camp program called The Art of Nature.  Her focus through teaching is to connect children with their creativity in art and writing, from experiences in nature. Muzik says, “A partnership with nature teaches us to see inspiration everywhere, connecting us more deeply with the world around us.  I want to help kids get outside and translate that experience into a hands-on school art project.”

Board of Directors

Janet Torline, President

Janet and her husband, Greg, moved to the Coeur d’Alene area in 1973 in search of land on which to build a homestead. They found property on the east side of Coeur d’Alene Lake, pitched a tent, planted a big organic garden and began the realization of fulfilling their dream. After building a home, raising two sons, a herd of dairy goats, numerous chickens, bees, turkeys, rabbits and pigs, Janet found herself with an empty nest and a desire to get involved in local environmental issues. She has served on the Board for seven years and says, “I am proud to be part of Idaho’s oldest conservation organization with its grassroots, hands-on approach to raising environmental awareness. Kootenai Environmental Alliance is the “Little Engine That Could,” working with others to help promote conservation of the precious resources of our region– our forests, our watersheds, our fisheries, the wildlife and working landscapes. KEA is dedicated to working with communities to protect these resources. While the environmental challenges are never ending, our portfolio of accomplishments is quite impressive – great people doing great work.”

Janet also delights in putting on KEA’s annual fall fundraiser, Junk2Funk – a runway “eco-fashion” show with creations made from junk, trash and recycled materials.

E-mail Janet: jctorline@gmail.com

Jenny Taylor

Jenny has thirty years of experience as a professional wildlife biologist where she managed habitat for threatened, endangered, sensitive and other nongame species in southern Idaho and the Idaho Panhandle. Jenny holds an MBA in Nonprofit Management from the University of Portland and has dedicated much of her time to a variety of nonprofit organizations including: Habitat for Humanity of North Idaho, Coeur d’Alene Audubon Society, Columbia Land Trust, Leach Botanical Garden, Idaho Drug Free Youth and WREN. Jenny would like to serve on the KEA Board to share her knowledge and learn about environmental issues and solutions affecting our region while offering her expertise on wildlife and habitat topics.

E-mail Jenny: jenny7taylor@gmail.com

Doug Fagerness, Secretary

Doug is currently retired but spent much of his career serving as director of the North Idaho College Head Start.  He currently serves as a trustee on the Coeur d’Alene Public Library Board, the Inland Northwest Food Network Board, and as a rod building instructor with North Idaho Fly Casters.  He enjoys fly fishing, gardening, skiing, backpacking and cycling. Doug serves on the board of KEA because, “KEA is our best effort to ensure a healthy environment, today and tomorrow. I feel a need to contribute to that effort.”

E-mail Doug: dfagerness@frontier.com

Ed Buchler, Treasurer

Ed and his wife moved to north Idaho in 1993. He holds a Ph.D. in Zoology from the University of Montana and has held faculty positions at the Rockefeller University in New York and the University of Maryland. His primary area of research was echolocation systems in mammals. He later transitioned into stealth submarine research and development and is currently semi-retired.

He has been active in bat conservation efforts in the area for many years, assisting federal and state agencies and private conservation groups such as The Nature Conservancy. Efforts have included surveying abandoned mines to determine if they should be gated to eliminate disturbance, moving colonies from dwellings to nearby alternate roost sites, erecting bat houses at suitable locations and educating people about bats.

Ed is also currently President of the Coeur d’Alene chapter of the National Audubon Society and works actively with birds of prey as a federally licensed raptor rehabilitator. He and his wife are members of several conservation-based organizations.

E-mail Ed: eagleroost@roadrunner.com

Tiffany Heiss, Vice President

Tiffany is the Agency Director for Addus HealthCare in eastern Washington.  She has worked in the field of human services for over 20 years and loves helping others. She has lived in northern Idaho since 2009 after moving here from Arizona, but has lived in multiple different states.  Tiffany has always been interested in environmental topics and enjoys learning more about issues effecting the Inland Northwest while volunteering with KEA.  She is an active outdoorsman and loves to hike, fish, camp, ski, snowshoe, etc.  The inland northwest is her dream place to live and play. Tiffany is married and they are expecting their first child in March 2015.

E-mail Tiffany: tiffanyheiss@yahoo.com

Benjamin Mello

Ben was fortunate enough to grow up on a farm in Rhode Island where he was surrounded by nature and adventure, whether he was building forts, picking blueberries, pretending to be Lewis & Clark or taking naps in the fields.  He met his wife Melissa, a Coeur d’Alene native, when he was living in Juneau, Alaska.  After living in several places around the country, they settled in downtown Coeur d’Alene to raise their family.

He and his wife started the  Coeur d’Alene Glass Recycling Company in 2012 after learning that Kootenai County had ceased to recycle glass.  Ben values the amazing mountains, trees, bodies of water, and wildlife surrounding the Northwest.  Ben holds a degree in Environmental Science from the University of Cincinnati.  Ben has worked in the aviation field for over 17 years and is currently a consultant.

Ben enjoys hiking, biking, trail running and exploring natural areas throughout Kootenai County and Northern Idaho with his two young children and black lab, Cisco. He is currently learning how to ski.

E-mail Ben: bmello25@hotmail.com

Ryan Arnold

Ryan Arnold is a writer, advocate, and emerging business leader working in the confluence of sustainability, business, and technology. He is currently the building energy simulation analyst for MSI Engineers, an executive committee member for Cascadia Green Building Council Inland Branch, and an active director for Kootenai Environmental Alliance. In 2010 he received Ecover’s 30 Under 30 National Award for his work in energy efficiency for low-income families.

In his spare time Ryan is also involved with local economic organizations such as the Panhandle Area Council, Connect Northwest/Spokane Angel Alliance, Kootenai County Young Professionals, Spokane Work Development Council, Startup Spokane Weekend, and Coeur D’Alene’s Innovation Collective.

Ryan lives in Coeur d’Alene with his wife Jaime, and their two dogs Keno and Crouton. You can find him online at RyanSArnold.com

Rebecca Patano

Rebecca Patano is co-owner of DOMA Coffee Roasting Company, a longtime business supporter of Kootenai Environmental Alliance. Rebecca is experienced in responsible business practices, working closely within the Fair Trade movement for green coffee.  She has strong ties to the local community, expertise in design, marketing, and business operations. Rebecca has been a life long environmentalist and outdoor enthusiast and has served on the KEA Board of Directors since 2011.

E-mail Rebecca: rebecca@domacoffee.com

Tyler Wirik

Tyler was born and raised in the beautiful Wasatch Range of Northern Utah and spent his formative years backpacking, flyfishing, skiing the Greatest Snow on Earth, and enjoying the natural beauty of his home state.
Tyler earned a B.S. in Microbiology from Weber State University in Ogden, Utah, and worked in the fields of environmental chemistry and environmental regulation prior to attending law school. He earned his J.D. from the University of Nebraska – Lincoln (Go Big Red!)  and completed coursework for a certificate in environmental and natural resources law. While in law school, Tyler interned with the Nebraska Department of Natural Resources working on ground water issues and, through the University’s Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, completed graduate coursework in engineering and an internship working to reduce the waste stream of a radio equipment and circuit board manufacturer.
After law school, Tyler and his family returned to the West they so dearly loved (and missed) and settled in Coeur d’ Alene.  Tyler worked for large law firms for a number of years, and he “hung his shingle” in late 2009 opening a law office in Coeur d’ Alene.
Tyler and his wife, Angela, who is the product manager for a environmental software company, are the parents of three rowdy boys, all under the age of 10. They love living in the Inland Northwest and enjoy fly fishing, Nordic and downhill skiing, hiking, and cycling.

E-mail Tyler: tyler.wirick@wiricklaw.com