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. His hobbies include viewing areas on the Coeur d'Alene National Forest and the St. Joe National Forest.
E-mail Mike: email@example.com
Board of Directors
Dennis Brueggemann, President
Dennis Brueggemann recently retired from a lifelong career with the Special Olympics movement, which was his passion for more than 36 years. Dennis has a Master of Science Degree in Education from Syracuse University. He and his wife, Ann, joined the Peace Corps shortly after marriage and served in Brazil, where they helped to launch Special Olympics. After living overseas for 23 years, they have established permanent residence in Coeur d’Alene.
Dennis has been an advocate for protecting and restoring our environment his entire life. He has been an avid outdoorsman and has witnessed over the years the damage we have inflicted upon our environment around the globe. He very much believes in the educational programs that KEA offers our citizens and wants to be a contributor. Dennis is an avid runner and, together with Ann, enjoys hiking, swimming, canoeing, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing.
Russell Hersrud, Vice President
Russ Hersrud received Masters Degree in Science Teaching from the University of North Dakota. A longtime educator in the US and abroad. Russ, and his wife Jean moved to CDA from Tunisia in 1997. Russ has memberships in Sierra Club, Audubon Society and is on the Ped/Bike committee of the CDA Parks and Recreation Department. Russ enjoys tennis, hiking, reading and travel to parts known and unknown. Russ is currently an adjunct Instructor in the Biology Dept. of Gonzaga University.
Tiffany Heiss, Past President
Tiffany is the Agency Director for Addus HomeCare 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 and has lived in multiple different states. Tiffany has always been interested in environmental topics and enjoys learning more about issues affecting 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 and her husband Steve recently welcomed their first baby in March.
Rebecca Patano, Treasurer
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.
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.”
Janet and her husband, Greg, moved to the Coeur d' Alene area in 1972. They bought property, pitched a tent and began building their dream of a sustainable homestead and enjoying the great outdoors.
Janet joined the KEA Board of Directors in 2003 with the desire to help build a community around environmental activism. She has watched the organization grow at a steady, intentional pace and says, “Our programs and projects have expanded exponentially. Through the growth of our strong volunteer base, KEA is able to do more while still operating within our means. The satisfaction I have received and the wonderful people I have come to know through KEA have made the organization a centerpiece of my life.”
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 a past 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.
Jim and his wife Debbie moved from Alaska to Coeur d’Alene in 1977. They, along with their children Alan and Anna, have enjoyed countless hours camping, hiking, boating, and exploring North Idaho’s forests and waterways.
Jim retired from the City of Coeur d’Alene as Water Superintendent. In that position, he was able to work closely with KEA on water-related issues. He was a member of the committee that created the Management Plan for the Rathdrum Prairie Ground Water Management Area, (RP-GWAMA) and also the committee that created the Rathdrum Prairie Comprehensive Aquifer Management Plan (RP-CAMP), and most recently was a member of Kootenai County’s Aquifer Protection District Advisory Board.
As a KEA board member Jim embraces the opportunity to work on environmental issues.
Suzanne moved to Idaho with her husband, Mike, and their dog, Chiloquin in October 2015. She holds a Ph.D. in history and spent years teaching Environmental, Native American, Women's and African American history. She also was an activist with Sierra Club, Friends of Terrapin Creek, Coosa River Basin Initiative, the Chemical Weapons Working Group, the Nature Conservancy, and other groups in Alabama, Georgia, Pennsylvania, and Oregon. Hiking, cycling, bird-watching, and art keep her sane. Defending the environment has always been a top priority wherever she lives.
First and foremost I am a mother of three, two boys who live here in Hayden, parents of my four grandchildren. My daughter is a college professor living in the Netherlands. It is my love of North Idaho and its beauty and health that drives my desire to be part of the Kootenai Environmental Alliance. Taking the advice of a friend, I traveled before committing to any project after retiring from teaching. I had taught for 17 years and was very active in the state and local education associations. As president of the Coeur d’Alene Education Association, I negotiated contracts, recruited membership, lobbied legislators and training future leaders. Last year it was my pleasure to become involved in the KEA Waterkeeper program. KEA said they needed a boat and I have a pontoon. We conducted a dozen Waterkeeper educational/regulation tours. I also volunteered during several school activities. I am looking forward to becoming more involved.
Alycia T Moss
Alycia graduated magna cum laude from the University of Colorado at Denver in 1996, receiving her degree in History. Alycia earned her Juris Doctor from the University of Idaho, College of Law in 2005, the same year she was licensed to practice law in Idaho.
Before law school, Alycia lived and studied in Russia and was a small business owner. She spent a year studying at St. Petersburg State University and she built, operated, and managed a guest ranch in eastern Idaho. During law school she was the student government vice president, law clerk for the Ambassador for War Crimes Issues at the U.S. State Department, exchange student at Skope Law School in Macedonia, and a published student author in the Michigan State International Law Review. After law school, she served three and a half years as a law clerk to the Honorable Thomas W. Steptoe, Jr., circuit court judge, 23rd Judicial Circuit, Charles Town, West Virginia. Because of Charles Town's proximity to Washington, D.C., she advised the judge on major felony criminal cases and multi-million-dollar civil cases. After taking a break to have her daughters, she returned to work as an immigration attorney in 2012.