We have exciting news about staffing changes at Freshwater Society. Peggy Knapp, Director of Programs, has shifted to half-time effective January 1 to undertake special projects for the Society before retiring at the end of June 2017. She will remain as manager of our ongoing work examining the statewide Technical Service Area network. Leslie Yetka has been named the new Director of Programs and Director of Master Water Stewards effective January 1, and is already leading vigorous internal discussions about current and future programming offered by Freshwater Society and the Master Water Stewards Program.
Since 2009, Peggy has brilliantly led groundbreaking work preparing individuals and organizations to actively solve water problems in their communities. As she frequently asserts, “we have enough plans, we need more do.” She has successfully promoted Community Cleanups for Water Quality, and developed a Minnesota rendition of the Master Water Stewards Program. More than anything, she has consistently exhibited the daring collaborative skills one would expect from an alum of Dudley Riggs Improv Troupe, CNN, Newton’s Apple, and Hometime.
Leslie joined Freshwater Society six months ago from University of Minnesota Extension, after many years working in water resources management, education, and community engagement. Her fresh perspective on what we do has already generated new ideas, including ways to broaden the reach of the Master Water Stewards program. Her background and experience in municipal government and watershed management will serve us well as we formalize our services that involve public engagement and planning, including new initiatives in planning for community water resilience. With many years of experience working with the public, Leslie brings a decidedly practical approach to getting and keeping people involved. “Don’t ask people their opinion if you’re not going to use their input,” she advises those more inclined to conventional engagement efforts.