Michelle was born and raised in Michigan. She grew up in farm country where her love of all things nature began. Michele studied Biology/ Ecology at both the undergraduate and graduate levels and additionally holds a M.S in Nonprofit Management and Leadership. Michele’s career has focused on collaboratively working with stakeholders to advance scientific knowledge, education and stewardship of natural communities and water resources. Michele has over 20 years of nonprofit experience specializing in forging relationships with the community, all levels of government, higher learning institutions as well as corporations and foundations. She possesses an innate ability for developing relationships and building consensus around complex issues, key skills that are essential for accomplishing meaningful work.
As the Head of the Freshwater Forum at the Cranbrook Institute of Science she created a variety of Great Lakes education and advocacy tools including exhibitions, regional water resource awareness campaigns, environmental education festivals and most recently a mini documentary on why protecting the Great Lakes is vital to Michigan’s economy and future.
In 2022 Michele moved to Southwest Florida to join the policy team at the Conservancy of Southwest Florida. As water policy manager she provides primary leadership and technical expertise for the Conservancy on natural resources issues, including water resources policy and Everglades restoration. She advocates, lobbies, and acts as primary spokesperson and technical expert on water resources, and Western Everglades Restoration issues.
Michele has 2 sons Austin (29) and Dominic (20), and 2 cats Rusty and Lola. In her spare time, you can find Michele taking photos of nature, in a kayak, or on the beach with a book in her hand.