The Minnesota Valley Trust is governed by a five-member board of directors nominated by the following participating organizations:

  • Friends of the Minnesota Valley
  • Minnesota Department of Natural Resources
  • Minnesota River Board
  • Minnesota Waterfowl Association
  • Audubon Minnesota, state office of the National Audubon Society

These five supporting organizations were directly involved in the creation of the Trust and are signatories to the agreement with the Metropolitan Airports Commission that provided the Trust's initial funding.

 DSC6531 Ed Crozier

Ed Crozier

Ed Crozier grew up on the prairies of Southwestern Minnesota and obtained a degree in wildlife management from South Dakota State University. He secured a position with the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) where he was employed for nearly 40 years as manager of national wildlife refuges throughout the Midwest. At the time of his retirement, he was supervisor of national wildlife refuges in Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin. Working with local citizens, Ed was instrumental in establishing the Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge, one of the nation’s first urban wildlife refuges. For his government service, he was awarded the two highest honors given to employees of the US Department of Interior and has an auditorium named in his honor at the Bloomington Visitor Center.

After retirement, Ed continued his conservation work by serving as Vice Chairman of the National Wildlife Refuge Association, an organization he helped establish. He was also the founder and President of the Friends of Minnesota Valley and served as the first president of the Minnesota Valley Trust, Inc. In 2006 he published a memoir – Dream Hunter that recounts his career and his outdoor pursuits. Interests include hunting, fishing, bird dogs, kayaking, snowshoeing, spending time at his lake cabin and enjoying daughters and grandchildren.

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Jim Ische

Jim Ische is a Carver County Commissioner and knows the county very well. Jim has lived on his family's  farm in rural Norwood his entire life and is a  graduate of Central High School class of 1970.  Jim has served as a Carver County Commissioner since  1996. Prior to being elected to the County Board,  Jim served on the Hancock Township Board for 13  years. In addition to representing area residents on  the County Board, he represents Carver County on a number of committees including the Metropolitan  Emergency Services Board Executive Committee, the Carver County Planning Commission, the Association of Minnesota Counties Board of Directors, the  Mosquito Control District and the Carver County Fair Board.

Please visit us at Minnesota River Board

 DSC6417 Lois Norrgard

Lois Norrgard

Lois Norrgard has been in environmental advocacy field for over 12 years. Her present position is with Alaska Wilderness League as the Upper Midwest  Field Office, grassroots organizing in the States of  Minnesota, Iowa, and North and South Dakota.  Previously, she worked as the regional Organizer for  American Lands Alliance, focusing on federal forest  protection, and lobbied for Audubon Minnesota  advocating at the state level for policies to  protect birds and other wildlife habitat.

She holds a number of positions on various boards  and committees for partner organizations focused on
conservation policy and land preservation in  Minnesota. Before moving to the environmental  field, Lois was one of five partners in a start-up  venture, Spectra Images Inc., a presentation  graphics service bureau in downtown Minneapolis. Her  education was in the arts and graphics field at the  campus now known as Minneapolis Community and Technical College (MCTC).

Please visit us at Audubon Minnesota, state office of the National Audubon Society.

 DSC6367 Cynthia Osmundson

Cynthia Osmundson

Cynthia Osmundson is the Central Region Wildlife Manager for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. She provides leadership and direction to DNR Wildlife staff and Programs in the Central Region to accomplish ecosystem-based management and protection of wildlife habitat on state Wildlife Management Areas.

Cynthia has also held positions with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and Minnesota Forest Resources Council. Inclusivity, both in the natural resource management profession and accessibility to outdoor opportunities, is of special interest to Cynthia. While a native to Minnesota, Cynthia earned a B.S. in Wildlife Biology from the University of Montana and a M.S. in Zoology and Physiology from the University of Wyoming. Cynthia has been a board member since 2013.

 DSC6343 John Wolf

John Wolf

John Wolf is a board member and past president of the Minnesota Waterfowl Association and has been an enthusiastic outdoorsman his entire life.  He is a retired captain of the Scott County Sheriff’s Office where he spent 28 years in law enforcement. Currently, John is active in several sportsman clubs and is an active member of the Scott Le Sueur Chapter Minnesota Wildlife Association, The National Wild Turkey Federation and Pheasants Forever organizations. He also is a member of the Le Sueur Chapter Planning and Zoning Board of Adjustment.   A Woodie Camp Instructor and Youth Firearms Safety Instructor, John is married with one son. 

Please join us at the Minnesota Waterfowl Association

 DSC6565 Paige Winebarger Appointed to the Minnesota Valley Lands, Inc. board of directors by the Trust board of directors.

Paige Winebarger

Paige is retired following a 33-year career in banking and law. She retired from Marquette Bancshares as Senior Vice President and General Counsel. Prior to joining Marquette, she served as Deputy Commissioner of Banks for the State of Minnesota. Before moving to Minnesota in 1981, she spent almost 13 years with the Federal Reserve System, including serving in the Legal Department at the Board of Governors in Washington, D. C.
She has served in leadership positions on numerous nonprofit boards including The Nature Conservancy, Freshwater Society, and Wildlife Rehabilitation Center.

She is currently a Citizen Member of the Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources, and has served on the Environmental Quality Board, the MPCA Board and the Minnesota Forest Resources Council.

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Executive Director

Deborah Loon has served as the executive director of the Minnesota Valley Trust almost since its inception in 2001. In that role, she provides administrative support to the board of directors, is the ongoing liaison with the USFWS and is the primary contact with all landowners and local communities. Deb also serves as the executive director of Minnesota Valley Lands, Inc., overseeing all management and restoration of the lands acquired by the Trust.

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