Gareth Blakesley, Lake Katherine's Operations Manager, served as a field supervisor for a restoration ecology firm before coming to Lake Katherine. Prior to his field experience, Gareth spent nearly four years employed as a Biology Laboratory Supervisor & Aquatic Invertebrate Specialist at the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum. Gareth received a Master's Degree in Tourism and Conservation from the University of Kent in Canterbury, England and a Bachelor's Degree in Zoology from the University of Wales in Aberystwyth, Wales.
Bridget Provost is Lake Katherine's Coordinator of Business Operations and a graduate of Moraine Valley Community College. Bridget worked in accounting for both a large construction company and the regional distribution center of Dunkin Donuts. Bridget also managed operations for an area McDonalds.
Marian Sinkus, Lake Katherine's Environmental Educator/Naturalist, has served as the program coordinator for Lake Katherine for over ten years. During her tenure, the number of schools participating in field trips doubled, and as a result three times as many students have experienced Lake Katherine. Marian also developed the field trip tour guide volunteer program and created a number of new programs, including a new "Little Explorers" program for preschoolers and their parents. Marian received a Bachelor's Degree in Biology from Governors State University.
Shamim Graff is Lake Katherine's Interpretive Educator. In this role she coordinates volunteer activities and develops educational displays. She has a Master of Arts in Zoology from Miami University, focused on community engagement in conservation, and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Aurora University. She is also a Certified Interpretive Guide and has experience in both oral and written interpretation.
Charlotte Ward is Lake Katherine's Marketing Coordinator; she has been with us since November of 2014. She has a BA in Journalism from the University of Teesside in Middlesbrough, England. Charlotte is also a ghostwriter and has previously worked for newspapers and magazines in London & Sydney.
In addition to the outstanding full-time professional staff at Lake Katherine, our committed part-time staff includes Business Aides Maggie Misch and Chantal Karge, Welcome Desk staff Therese Janus, Myra Zenke and Mary Law, Naturalists Brenda George and Barb Killelea, & Natural Resources Aides Dick Thomas and Jake Hynes. Our rental facilities are staffed by Joan Solle, Laura Shaw, Bridget Julian, Melanie Monroe and Laurie Drenth. Also assisting with our facility rentals and canoe/kayak rentals are Gus Diaz, Tyler Minogue and Matt Donahue.