Board of Visitors
The Board of Visitors advises and assists the director of the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies in accomplishing the Institute's mission and vision. The board helps build relationships between the Nelson Institute, individuals and organizations; counsels on strategies and opportunities; and aids in obtaining financial, physical and human resources.
Darrell Bazzell (Madison, Wis.) has been serving as Vice Chancellor for Administration at the University of Wisconsin-Madison since January 2003. He serves as UW-Madison's chief financial officer and is responsible for overall supervision of a wide array of administrative and auxiliary functions. He also sponsored the university's Campus Strategic Sustainability
Initiative, which is aimed at enriching the culture of sustainability on the UW-Madison campus. Bazzell has an extensive background in environmental and natural resources matters. He was with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources from 1993 to 2003 and served as the agency's secretary from 2001 to 2003. Bazzell currently serves on the
board of the Gathering Waters Conservancy.
Lynn Broaddus (Wauwatosa, Wis.) is the director of the Environment Program for the Johnson Foundation at Wingspread in Racine, Wis. She is responsible for shaping the Foundation's environmental programming with an emphasis on the freshwater crisis facing the United States. Prior to her work at The Johnson Foundation Broaddus’ career includes leadership roles with Milwaukee Riverkeeper, The Nature Conservancy and NatureServe. Broaddus earned her B.A. from the University of Virginia, her Ph.D. from Duke University, and an M.B.A. from UW-Milwaukee. Broaddus also serves on the board of the River Network in Portland, Ore. She has two sons; one who is a graduate of UW-Madison and another who is currently an undergraduate focusing on environmental studies.
Sonnet Edmonds (Atlanta, Ga.) is the Vice Chair of the Nelson Institute Board of Visitors and serves as General Counsel to Enerecap Partners, an energy investment bank specializing in oil and gas assets. From 1998 until early 2011, Edmonds was a Vice President and Assistant General Counsel at Mirant Corp. (which was renamed GenOn Energy, Inc. as of December 2010). In that role, she was responsible for providing transactional, environmental, and other legal support to the company’s electric generating assets across the United States. Prior to Mirant, she was an attorney at law firms in Kansas City, Missouri, and Washington, D.C. She received her B.A.(1989) and J.D. (1993) from the UW-Madison and is involved with several energy and legal professional associations.
John Francis (Cape May, N.J.) is known the world over as the Planetwalker. In 1971, Francis witnessed an oil spill in San Francisco Bay. The effects of the spill compelled him to stop using motorized vehicles. Several months later, to end the arguments he found himself getting into about the power of one person's actions, he took a vow of silence.
His non-motorized lifestyle lasted 22 years and his silence 17. During that time, Francis walked across the United States, earning a B.A at Southern Oregon State College, an M.S. in environmental studies at the University of Montana and a Ph.D. in the Nelson Institute Land Resources program. After graduation Francis wrote oil spill regulations for the U.S. Coast Guard for a year, but was then drawn back to travel, sailing and walking through the Caribbean and the length of South America as a goodwill ambassador to the World's Grassroots Communities for the United Nations Environment Program.
He is currently back on the UW-Madison campus, serving as a visiting associate professor of environmental studies. He is also an education fellow at the National Geographic Society and the author of Planetwalker and The Ragged Edge of Silence: Finding Peace in a Noisy World.
Bruce Kahn (New York City), serves as director and senior investment analyst at Deutsche Asset Management, a leading climate change investor. In this role, Kahn conducts and publishes white papers on key industry, policy and strategic topics; advises investment managers on climate change-based strategies; educates clients; and develops new investment products across the asset management platform.
Kahn joined the company in 2008 with 20 years of experience in environmental research, most recently as it relates to investments. Prior to joining Deutsche Bank, he managed assets at CitiSmith Barney's Private Wealth Management Group in sustainability investments, including agribusiness and clean tech.
Kahn received a Ph.D. in Land Resources from the Nelson Institute. He served in the Peace Corps for four years as an agricultural extension agent in Cameroon and has subsequently worked on agribusiness projects across the globe.
James Knight (Madison, Wis.) is the President of Bradshaw-Knight Foundation, which supports organizations that unite the advancement of sustainable means of life on the planet with the maintenance of communities of human scale, social and economic justice, and ethical treatment of animals. He received his M.S. in Quaternary Studies at the University of Maine, Orono. Knight is involved in urban agriculture and films about environmental justice.
Carl Korfmacher (Evansville, Wis.) is the former president and CEO of Applied Ecological Services (AES), one of the world's leading ecological consulting firms. Korfmacher joined AES in 1995 and played a leadership role in many of the company's most complicated and successful projects. While at AES, he was instrumental in setting up The Earth Partners LP and served on its board of directors. This innovative partnership is dedicated to restoring ecological health on a large scale using financial and regulatory drivers as leverage. Throughout his career he has continued to focus on the intersection of science and design to resolve conflicts between humans and nature.
John Nelson (Madison, Wis.) is the Chair of the Nelson Institute Board of Visitors and is a member of the Development Team for Wisconsin Institutes of Discovery. He is a former member and chair of the College of Engineering Industrial Advisory Board. Nelson received his M.S. in Mechanical Engineering from UW-Madison. He is the former CEO of an engineering firm.
Tia Nelson (Madison, Wis.) was named executive secretary of the Board of Commissioners of Public Lands in October 2004. She oversees the management of approximately 78,000 acres of School Trust Lands located in northern Wisconsin, School Trust Funds valued at more than $925 million, The Trust Fund Loan Program and the Original Land Records Program. Previously she served as director of the Climate Change Initiative at The Nature Conservancy. She received the Environmental Protection Agency’s Climate Protection Award in 2000. Nelson is a graduate of UW-Madison, a conservationist and an environmental education advocate. She is the daughter of the late Senator Gaylord Nelson of Wisconsin.
Elizabeth C. Treacy (Chicago, Ill.) is president and chief strategist of Treacy Marketing Group. Her company, headquartered in Chicago, specializes in transformational business and brand strategies for companies at an inflection point. Industries served include manufacturing, health care, education, foodservice, hospitality/design, technology, financial and professional services and real estate. Treacy’s community outreach efforts include pro bono marketing and consulting for numerous local and national not for profits. In addition, Treacy is a trustee on the board of the Chicago Architecture Foundation, a member of the Auxiliary Board of the Art Institute of Chicago as well as a member of the Economic Club of Chicago and Commercial Real Estate Women. She also sits on the board of visitors of the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies at the UW-Madison. Treacy earned an MBA from the Thunderbird School of Global Management and a bachelor of arts in history from Colorado College. She is an avid traveler and has lived, worked and studied abroad.
Sal Troia (Madison, Wis.) has always enjoyed being outdoors in nature and is an avid cyclist and bicycle racer. He received a Bachelor of Business Administration with honors in accounting from UW-Madison and was a bank executive in the banking business for 28 years. Troia has been on many professional and business boards during his banking career and has served as president for a number of them. Since his retirement his interests have turned to the environment and the lakes. Troia is a member of the Bascom Hill Society and is on the Board of Directors of Friends of the UW Arboretum. He is also currently on the Yahara Lakes Association Board and has served as its president. He was also on the Wisconsin Association of Lakes Board for 11 years and served as its treasurer and a member of its executive committee. Troia is also a member of the Porchlight Inc. Board of Directors where he is on the Executive Committee and is chair of the Finance Committee. Porchlight provides solutions to homelessness in the Dane County area.
Gail Wurtzler (Englewood, Colo.) received a B.A. with Honors in political science and economics from the UW-Madison and a J.D. from the University of Chicago. She is an attorney whose practice focuses on environmental and toxic tort litigation. Wurtzler is also a member of the Bascom Hill Society and the Nelson Institute Board of Visitors.