Home Membership/Donate Partner With Us Become a Member The Conservation Circle COL Endowment Business Members Honoraria & Memorials Preserving Land Preserving Land Why Preserve Land? How To Protect Your Land Partnership with The Pokagon Fund Glossary of Terms Protected Properties Map Our Preserves Grand Beach Marsh Jens Jensen Preserve Louis J. Sima Great Lakes Marsh Robinson Woods Burns Prairie Critter Haven Dayton Wet Prairie Eleanor O'Connor Wilson Woods Flynn Woods The Woods Turtle Creek Preserve The Merritt Family Preserve Chris Thompson Memorial Preserve Edward and Elizabeth Leonard Wildlife Preserve Ongoing Projects Chris Thompson Memorial Preserve Galien River Marsh Invasive Species Flynn Woods Recreational Improvements Visit Our Preserves Louis J. Sima Great Lakes Marsh Robinson Woods Grand Beach Marsh Jens Jensen Preserve Flynn Woods Turtle Creek Preserve The Merritt Family Preserve Chris Thompson Memorial Preserve Other COL Preserves... Stewardship Stewardship Caring for the Land Become a Land Steward Ongoing Projects Galien River Marsh Invasive Species News & Events Latest News and Photos News Media Clips Photo Galleries COL Video Library Publications Current Newsletter Archived Newsletters 2018 Annual Report 2017 Annual Report 2016 Annual Report Upcoming Events Events Calendar 10th Annual Barn Benefit About About About Chikaming Open Lands Milestones Current Audited Financial Statement Board of Directors Current COL Board of Directors Staff Current COL Staff Blog Contact

image of Ryan Postema, Executive Director

Ryan Postema, Executive Director

Ryan Postema is a Michigan native, born and raised in the Grand Rapids area. He attended Michigan State University and graduated in 2001 with a B.S. in Fisheries and Wildlife. Ryan began at Chikaming Open Lands in 2013 as a Land Protection Specialist, and was named Executive Director of the organization in 2016. Prior to joining Chikaming Open Lands, Ryan spent eight years working as a project manager for Cardno, an international environmental consulting firm, where he managed and implemented large-scale ecosystem restoration and native landscaping projects. Ryan's experience includes managing and implementing projects in wildlife habitat restoration, invasive species control, prescribed burning, and native landscaping.

In his free time, Ryan enjoys birding, botany and gardening. He also spends time at his family's 10 acres of woodland in Cannonsburg, MI doing invasive species control and landscaping.

Jennifer Thompson, Development and Marketing Managerjennifer-drackley-th.jpg#asset:227:url

Jen has retreated to Southwest Michigan after 22 years in Chicago, where she worked in development and communications for Loyola University Chicago, Loyola University Health System, Chicago Shakespeare Theater and Rush University Medical Center. She received her B.A. in Art History from Loyola University Chicago.

She discovered this corner of Michigan in the summer of 2011, when she rented a cottage on the weekends in Union Pier. Jen bought a home in the area in the summer of 2012, and hasn't looked back since. She enjoys cooking, travel, reading, running barrels on her horse Beau, and trekking the beautiful beaches, dunes and preserves in the area with her dog Scout.

image of Casey Struecker, Education and Outreach Coordinator

Casey Struecker, Education and Outreach Coordinator

Casey was born and raised in Iowa but transplanted to Chicago, where she worked for Park Ridge, Evanston Park Districts, and volunteered at Lincoln Park Zoo leading and writing various environmental education programs. She received her B.S. in Environmental Science at Simpson College in 2012 and has traveled around the country doing various conservation and restoration work. From grassland restoration work in the plains of northern Minnesota to trapping and researching coyotes in central Nevada, Casey has found her calling in land conservation and environmental education. 

Outside of work she enjoys traveling, camping, hiking, gardening, and her new adventures of worm composting. After visiting this southwestern corner of Michigan for the first time in 2016, she knew that Chikaming Open Lands was the perfect organization for her.