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Staff

The Blandford family is one of a kind!

Blandford Nature Center is more than just a beautiful place to visit. The expertise of our staff makes it a fun, lively, and active educational environment.

Our team is ready to help you explore everything from understanding ecosystems and farming to community gardening and wildlife preservation.


Jason Meyer • President/CEO 

jason@blandfordnaturecenter.org | 616-735-6240 ext. 120

Started at Blandford: August 2014

Education: MS, Environmental Education (Purdue University)
BS, Wildlife Managment (Purdue University)

Certificate in Fundraising Management (Indiana University)

Hobbies/Interests: serving on the ANCA board, spending time with family, and cooking

Favorite part about Blandford: knowing the work the amazing team does makes a difference

Jess Bitting • Executive Specialist

jess@blandfordnaturecenter.org | 616-735-6240 ext. 109

Started at Blandford: March 2018

Education: BA, International Studies (Seattle University)

Hobbies/Interests: fermentation, hiking/observing nature, sewing

Favorite part about Blandford: the dynamic and inspiring work environment

Jaime Dobson • Finance & HR Manager

jaime@blandfordnaturecenter.org | 616-735-6240 ext. 122

Started at Blandford: March 2017

Education: BA, Interpersonal Communications (Michigan State University)
Certificate in Wildlife Rehabilitation (International Wildlife Rehab Council)

Hobbies/Interests: camping/hiking with pets, live music, art glass creations

Favorite part about Blandford: working with an amazing group of talented, mission-driven staff

Jennifer Brown • Chief Operating Officer

jennifer@blandfordnaturecenter.org | 616-735-6240 ext. 108

Started at Blandford: June 2014

Education: MA, Outdoor Recreation (Aurora University)
BA, Natural Resources & Environment (University of Michigan)
Certificate in Nonprofit Management (University of Alaska-Fairbanks)

Hobbies/Interests: baking, running, traveling

Favorite part about Blandford: witnessing people enjoying nature on their own terms everyday

Julie Batty • Land Stewardship Manager

julie@blandfordnaturecenter.org | 616-735-6240 ext. 124

Started at Blandford: January 2017

Education: MS, Biology (Grand Valley State University)
BS, Wildlife Biology (University of Missouri)

Hobbies/Interests: visiting Lake Michigan, dancing, and telling people all about plants

Favorite part about Blandford: working with the amazing eco-steward volunteers

Art Goetsch • Maintenance Manager

art@blandfordnaturecenter.org | 616-735-6240 ext. 123

Started at Blandford: March 2018

Education: AS, Industrial Maintenance Technology (Grand Rapids Community College)

Hobbies/Interests: dogs, walking, water sports

Favorite part about Blandford: getting to see nature and wildlife daily

Dyon Dubero • Maintenance/Land Stewardship Technician

dyon@blandfordnaturecenter.org | 616-735-6240

Started at Blandford: October 2018

Education: BS, Natural Resource Management (Grand Valley State University)

Hobbies/Interests: fishing, video games, soccer

Favorite part about Blandford: working with a great group of staff and working outdoors

Chris Kemler • Maintenance Technician

chris@blandfordnaturecenter.org | 616-735-6240

Started at Blandford: February 2019

Education: AA, Theater (Pima Community College)
AA, General Studies (Pima Community College)

Hobbies/Interests: camping, playing in a band, playing games with family

Favorite part about Blandford: working outdoors daily and seeing the forest change seasonally

Antonio Bailey • Marketing & Communications Manager

antonio@blandfordnaturecenter.org | 616-735-6240 ext. 121
social@blandfordnaturecenter.org

Started at Blandford: August 2017

Education: MS, Communications (Grand Valley State University)
BA, Broadcasting and Marketing (Grand Valley State University)
AA, Sociology (Wayne County Community College)

Hobbies/Interests: craft beer, music, trying new restaurants

Favorite part about Blandford: naturally learning something new about nature and wildlife everyday

Lauren Shifferd • Development Coordinator

lauren@blandfordnaturecenter.org | 616-735-6240 ext. 107

Started at Blandford: January 2019

Education: BS, Public and Nonprofit Administration (Grand Valley State University)

Hobbies/Interests: snowmobiling, attending concerts, canoeing

Favorite part about Blandford: knowing the work that we do here is positively impacting the community

Sue Van Dame • Visitor Services Specialist

sue@blandfordnaturecenter.org | 616-735-6240 ext. 118

Started at Blandford: May 2014

Education: BS, Marketing/Advertising (Michigan State University)

Hobbies/Interests: cooking/eating, metalsmithing/jewelry making, animals

Favorite part about Blandford: introducing people to the solace of nature

Cameron Popa • Visitor Services Associate

cameron@blandfordnaturecenter.org | 616-735-6240 ext. 118

Started at Blandford: January 2019

Education: BA, English Language & Literature (Western Michigan University)

Hobbies/Interests: gardening, volunteering at Happy Cat Cafe, walking/hiking

Favorite part about Blandford: learning new things everyday and building relationships with incredible people

Kalie Pathuis • Visitor Services Associate/Seasonal Groundskeeper

kalie@blandfordnaturecenter.org | 616-735-6240 ext. 118

Started at Blandford: August 2017

Education: AA, Liberal Arts (Grand Rapids Community College)
Certificate in Holistic Health (Blue Heron Academy)

Hobbies/Interests: wildcrafting, fishing, hiking with family and pets

Favorite part about Blandford: working for an organization that connects community to nature

Amber Kilpatrick • Community Programs Manager

amber@blandfordnaturecenter.org | 616-735-6240 ext. 111

Started at Blandford: August 2018

Education: BBA, Marketing (Grand Valley State University)
E-RYT (Yoga Alliance)
Certificate in Wildlife Rehabilitation (International Wildlife Rehab Council)

Hobbies/Interests: singing, being outdoors, art/fashion

Favorite part about Blandford: office consisting of 264 acres of beauty and natural wonders

Diana Klein • Program Manager

diana@blandfordnaturecenter.org | 616-735-6240 ext. 102
registrar@blandfordnaturecenter.org

Started at Blandford: August 2017

Education: MA, Museology (University of Washington)
BA, Anthropology
(Grand Valley State University)

Hobbies/Interests: running, cooking, reading

Favorite part about Blandford: seeing the passion coworkers bring to their jobs everyday

Katie Clouse • Volunteer Manager

clousek@blandfordnaturecenter.org | 616-735-6240 ext. 104
volunteer@blandfordnaturecenter.org

Started at Blandford: February 2019

Education: BFA, Advertising Communications (International Academy of Design/Technology-Chicago)

Hobbies/Interests: hiking, camping, reading

Favorite part about Blandford: working in a beautiful environment with amazing, passionate people

Liz Visser • Farm Manager

liz@blandfordnaturecenter.org | 616-735-6240 ext. 125

Started at Blandford: April 2016

Education: BA, Art & Design (Grand Valley State University)

Hobbies/Interests: cooking, quilting, painting portraits

Favorite part about Blandford: contributing to the sustainability and local food movement in a hands-on way

Laura Johns • Farm Program Specialist

laura@blandfordnaturecenter.org | 616-735-6240

Started at Blandford: June 2016

Education: MA, Public History (Loyola University-Chicago)
BA, History and Political Science
(Albion College)

Hobbies/Interests: hiking, spending time with family, volunteering

Favorite part about Blandford: our focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion making nature accessible to all

Lori Lomoro • Wildlife Manager

lomoro@blandfordnaturecenter.org | 616-735-6240 ext. 101

Started at Blandford: May 2002

Education: BS, Wildlife Biology (Grand Valley State University)
Certificate in Wildlife Rehabilitation, Zoonoses, Reuniting Raptors, Wound Management (International Wildlife Rehab Council)

Hobbies/Interests: gardening, crafting, thrift shopping

Favorite part about Blandford: caring for wildlife in a beautiful setting

Sarah Chertos • Wildlife Education Specialist

sarah@blandfordnaturecenter.org | 616-735-6240 ext. 114

Started at Blandford: June 2014

Education: BS, Biology Natural Resources and Outdoor & Environmental Recreation (Central Michigan University)

Hobbies/Interests: swimming, birding, herping (searching for herptiles)

Favorite part about Blandford: daily opportunities to help the community fall in love with wildlife and nature

Kristin Tindall • Master Naturalist

katindall@blandfordnaturecenter.org | 616-735-6240 ext. 113

Started at Blandford: August 2004

Education: BS, Biology (Northland College)
Certificate in Permaculture Design (Occidental Arts & Ecology Center)

Hobbies/Interests: cooking/eating foraged foods, walking with dogs, birding

Favorite part about Blandford: sharing a sense of wonder and discovery with learners of all ages

Mary Rose Jones • Camp Administrator/Education Specialist

maryrose@blandfordnaturecenter.org | 616-735-6240

Started at Blandford: August 2017

Education: BAA, Outdoor Recreation/Environmental Education (Central Michigan University)

Hobbies/Interests: camping/birding, food, cuddling with cats

Favorite part about Blandford: the incredibly widespread knowledge and experience that’s shared everyday

Allyson Arndt • Environmental Educator

allyson@blandfordnaturecenter.org | 616-735-6240

Started at Blandford: September 2017

Education: MS, Natural Resources (University of Idaho)
BS, Biology
(Winthrop University)

Hobbies/Interests: photography, hiking, learning about native plants

Favorite part about Blandford: sharing a love of nature through interacting with schools from all over Grand Rapids

Mandy McIntyre • Environmental Educator

mandy@blandfordnaturecenter.org | 616-735-6240

Started at Blandford: September 2018

Education: MS, Curriculum & Instruction (University of Colorado-Denver)
BS, Zoology
(Michigan State University)

Hobbies/Interests: reading, running, trying new restaurants

Favorite part about Blandford: being outside with kids everyday and being a part of an amazing team of educators

Kaitie Janecke-Soltesz • Environmental Educator

janeckek@blandfordnaturecenter.org | 616-735-6240

Started at Blandford: September 2017

Education: BS, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology (University of Michigan)

Hobbies/Interests: circus performance, tabletop games, reading

Favorite part about Blandford: coming to a beautiful, natural space everyday and sharing it with new people

Heather Lewis • Environmental Educator

heather@blandfordnaturecenter.org | 616-735-6240

Started at Blandford: September 2017

Education: MS, Infectious Dieases Epidemiology (University of Oxford)
MPH, Health Behavior and Health Education (University of Michigan)
BA, Anthropology
(Harvard University)
Certificate in Montessori Early Childhood (New England Montessori Teacher Education Center)

Hobbies/Interests: reading, traveling, spending time with family and pets

Favorite part about Blandford: exploring outdoors with students from all over West Michigan


Want to work with us? See current opportunities below and apply today!