Board of DirectorsMilwaukee Riverkeeper's Board of Directors is committed to ensuring the organization fulfills its mission to protect, improve and advocate local waters.
A native of Milwaukee, Eric Vogel is the founding partner of Vogel Design Group, Inc. The firm specializes in contemporary design and sustainable building techniques. He is also Chair of the 3D Design Department at the Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design. In his free time, Eric serves on several non-profit boards supporting the arts, architecture and the environment.
Board Vice President
Chris grew up in the rural farmland of southeast Minnesota where some of his fondest memories were enjoying the tranquility and life of local ponds and streams. He went to college at St. John’s University in Collegeville, MN, moved west to complete his Master’s degree in Counseling at the University of Denver, and returned to the Midwest to complete his Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology at Marquette. As a psychologist Chris has worked in higher education for the last two decades. He and his wife enjoy having the Milwaukee River in their backyard, often kayaking from their home in Glendale to downtown Milwaukee.
Lilith grew up in California where fly-fishing with her dad gave her a life-long appreciation for rivers. Since moving to Milwaukee in 2000, Lilith has been actively involved in Milwaukee’s non-profit community in many capacities – staff, board, and volunteer. She is now the executive director of the non-profit Harbor District, Inc., spearheading an effort to restore and redevelop Milwaukee’s working waterfront. She enjoys gardening, exploring the world with her two children, and playing ultimate frisbee with her husband. Lilith received a BA with honors from Pomona College and an MBA with honors from Georgetown University.
Mustafa Emir earned a PhD in Civil Engineering in Canada, after relocating from his native Istanbul to North America. Mustafa has worked extensively with municipalities (and other clients) to mitigate stormwater run-off impacts to our waterways. Mustafa has significant experience in both stormwater management and design.
Beth Handle grew up in Milwaukee and enjoys many of the outdoor activities our city and community offers. After spending many years on our rivers, she opened Milwaukee Kayak Company (MKC) in Spring ’13. MKC is located on the Milwaukee River Downtown Milwaukee and offers daily kayak, canoe and paddleboard rentals along with weekly tours, partnering with many local non-profit organizations including MKE Riverkeeper. Beth graduated from Cardinal Stritch University with a BA in Business. She enjoys spending time with her family and friends and supporting local businesses and organizations.
Demaris Kenwood teaches French at Whitefish Bay Middle School where she co-advises the Green Team. She previously worked with Milwaukee Riverkeeper on stormwater education, SWAN and other projects after being inspired by a talk she heard by Bobby Kennedy at UWM in 2006. Demaris graduated from Oberlin College and Teacher’s College, Columbia and has taught Social Studies and languages in China, Japan, New York, Ohio and Wisconsin. She has two daughters in college.
With the woods and water of the Pacific Northwest as a childhood playground, Patti has developed a view of the natural environment as a precious resource. A resource she and her family appreciate tremendously from their home along the Milwaukee River. Trained as an architect, she has spent her career exploring the human experience in the built environment and finds the intersection of indoor and outdoor spaces to be one of the most interesting juxtapositions in design. Patti is currently the Director of Retail Store Design at Trek Bicycle Company, following roles with Harley-Davidson Motor Company, and HGA Architects. She earned a Master’s degree in Architecture from the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee, following a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from Whitman College in Walla Walla, WA. In her free time, Patti enjoys bicycling, running, swimming and spending time outdoors with her family.
Mike Sauer is an IT Leader at BAIRD. He also serves as the Co-Chair for BAIRDS ECO associate resource group which focuses on fostering an environmentally friendly mindset and building awareness. Mike has a passion for all things water from sailing, to swimming and canoeing to the cleanliness and sustainability of our waterways. He and his family can often be found outside enjoying the entire natural splendor that is so abundant in Wisconsin.
Brian Spahn is a lawyer in the Milwaukee office of Godfrey & Kahn specializing in commercial litigation and internal investigations. Before returning to Wisconsin in 2010, Brian practiced law in Washington, D.C. for four years. Brian also has a significant background working in Wisconsin government and politics, including work for the Democratic Party of Wisconsin, Senators Kohl and Feingold, Governor Doyle and Milwaukee Mayor Barrett. A native of Shorewood, Wisconsin, Brian enjoys watching and playing sports, bike rides with his wife and two young children and listening to old and new music.