2016-2017 Board of Directors
The Open Space Council is fortunate to have a wonderful, dedicated board of professionals serving on the Board of Directors. The board meets 6 times per year; board members serve 3 year terms. We currently have 21 board members serving from 2016-2017. Read on to learn more about these dedicated individuals:
Lindsay is the Retail Sales Manager for REI St. Louis. She received her B.A. in English Literature from Knox College. She serves as a Board Member for AmeriCorps St. Louis and is a member of The OG: St. Louis Women’s Craft Beer Collective. Lindsay believes in maintaining and expanding open spaces that are available to the public. In her spare time she enjoys playing softball and ultimate frisbee as well as hiking, kayaking, camping, travel and reading. Lindsay joined the Open Space Council Board of Directors in 2016.
Davis “Tad” Biggs, Jr.
Tad has been a practicing attorney in St. Louis since 1976; he is now semi-retired. Tad is a graduate of Oberlin College and the University of Missouri in Columbia Law School. He has been a member of the Open Space Council and its board for nearly thirty years, and is a past secretary and president.
Joe is an architect and President of Trivers Associates and holds memberships in the American Institute of Architects and the US Green Building Council. Joe has been a volunteer with Operation Clean Stream for over 30 years. He loves the river and wants to help preserve this important resource. Joe has been a member of the Open Space Council Board of Directors since 2014.
Gerald has worked for over 18 years in parks and recreation municipal management. He has been the Director of Parks and Recreation for the City of Sunset Hills since 2003. Gerald is a member of the National Recreation and Parks Association, Sunset Hills Rotary Club, Sunset Hills/Crestwood Chamber of Commerce and is the Regional Director of the Missouri Parks and Recreation Association. He enjoys He enjoys coaching, playing golf, soccer, and other outdoor activities. Gerald has been a member of the Open Space Council Board of Directors since 2016.
Jerry is in his 52nd year of teaching Biological Sciences. Jerry received his BS & MS from University Of Missouri. Since then he has taken courses & workshops at many Universities and through numerous programs. Currently, Jerry teaches several courses at St.Louis Community College at Meramec. He has been on the Board of the St. Louis Audubon Society and is active with them on a regular basis. He has been volunteering at the Shaw Nature Reserve for at least 12 years and received recognition at an Appreciation Dinner at the Missouri Botanical Gardens in 2009. Jerry is currently serving on the Board of Directors for the Conservation Federation of Missouri. He has been on the board of the Open Space Council for over nine years and received their Director’s Award in 2008. Jerry has been active in Operation Clean Stream for about 32 years.
In his spare time, Jerry likes to bike & hike. He also does nature photography, sometimes while hunting or fishing. Jerry is passionate about interacting with nature and watching young people learn. Jerry has been married to his wife, Linda, for 41 years. They have 2 children and 4 grandkids.
Susan F. (Flicky) Christie – Secretary
Flicky is a retired World Language teacher, having taught 23 years in the Rockwood School District at the middle school level. She graduated from the University of Missouri at Columbia with a B.A. in French and Spanish. Her husband, Dan, is the owner and President of Metropolitan Forestry Services, Inc. She has worked in that business off and on for 30 years, triggering a love of trees and flowers. She is an enthusiastic gardener of flowers, vegetables and herbs, both at home and at their Lincoln County farm. Cooking and preserving the products from their gardens, raising chickens, antique hunting and traveling keep her busy. She also enjoys geo-caching, horseback riding and knitting. Flicky is also an ecstatic grandmother.
Kimberly Cuddeback – President
Kim is a self-employed small business owner running her own corporate food service & catering company, Extra Thyme. Extra Thyme became a certified Green Restaurant by the Green Restaurant Association in 2011. She received a Bachelor’s Degree in Landscape Architecture with a minor in Community Planning from Kansas State University. Kim is the co-founder and organizer of the Maryland Heights Residents for Responsible Growth (MHRRG), whose main goal is to stop massive commercial development in the Howard Bend Floodplain adjacent to Creve Coeur Park. Kim joined the OSC Board of Directors in June 2009 and became Board President in 2016.
Hal is currently the VP of Finance and CFO at the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center and has over 30 years of experience in accounting and financial management. Native of St Louis (Bridgeton), Missouri, Hal obtained a BS in Accounting at UMSL, has his CPA Certificate, and graduated from the Executive MBA Program at Washington University with honors in 1995. He is past president and currently on the Board of the St Louis Chapter of the Financial Executives International. Hal has two daughters and three stepsons and currently resides in University City with his wife Monique. He believes strongly in preserving the natural habitat in Missouri for the benefit and enjoyment of current and future generations.
Scott Emmelkamp -Vice President
Scott is a principal at Planning Design Studio, a St. Louis based landscape architecture firm with its office located in historic Laclede’s Landing. In his 20+ year career, he has provided design and project management services for numerous parks, greenways, theme parks, historic preservation and commercial projects both domestically and internationally. He is President of the St. Louis Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects, Treasurer of the Missouri Association of Landscape Architects and is President of the Fay Jones School of Architecture Professional Advisory Board. Scott graduated from the University of Arkansas with a degree in Landscape Architecture and a minor in Art. He is registered to practice landscape architecture in Missouri, Illinois, Kansas and Arkansas.
In 2000, Linda became actively engaged in preserving a historic quarry and vital wildlife habitat area from development in Kirkwood, MO. Through this successful endeavor she came to work with the Open Space Council and joined the board of directors in 2001. She has served as board secretary and currently as 2nd Vice President and Chair of the Advocacy Committee. She served 6 years on the City of Kirkwood Park Board, 4 as Vice President. Linda spent 25 years in senior management in the travel & incentive-motivation industry and retired in 2000.
Linda believes she is fortunate to have had the opportunity to spend considerable time growing up in close proximity to the Meramec River and Mark Twain National Forest. She would like to make these opportunities available for future generations through the preservation of open space and restoration of the Meramec River watershed. Linda is a kayaker, lifelong gardener and lover of all animals and their natural habitats.
After majoring in Political Science at Washington University, Marguerite spent 25 years in Washington D.C. where she worked as a lobbyist for wildlife issues for several national conservation organizations. In 1998, she became the first Fundraising Coordinator for The Friends of The National Zoo. While there, she helped coordinate their first major annual fund raiser: The National Zoofari. Marguerite moved back to St. Louis, her hometown, in 2000. Since returning to St. Louis, Marguerite conceived and co-chaired the first Forest Park BioBlitz with Valerie Vartanian, then of MOBOT, in 2004. In 2006, they turned the event over to the Academy of Science. Marguerite is currently a member of several boards and commissions, all related to wildlife and wildlife habitat conservation.
Jay is a Program Manager (Engineer) with MSD and previously served on the City of Eureka Parks and Recreation board. He is also an adjunct instructor in the SLU Civil Engineering program. Jay is passionate about water resources, conservation and pollution. He joined the OSC Board in 2014.
Bob is committed to conservation and the wise use of our natural resources. He has been involved for many years with outdoor and conservation organizations including the Open Space Council, Missouri Stream Team, and the St. Louis Canoe and Kayak Club. Bob received the OSC’s President’s Award in 2016 in recognition of his ongoing commitment to water conservation and restoration in the St. Louis area.
Patti is the Managing Director of Green Wish and President of Green Wish St. Louis, a non-profit which supports local green initiatives and educates the public about sustainability. She is a retired member of the United States Air Force and the National Guard and has a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Tennessee. Patti is passionate about the environment and supporting non-profits. She has been a member of the OSC Board since 2016.
Becky is a project ecologist at DJM Ecological Services and holds a Bachelor of Science in Conservation Biology. She believes strongly in working collaboratively to conserve our land. Becky has extensive field knowledge about Missouri’s natural communities, plants, and the drive to kill bush honeysuckle. Becky is committed to protecting and conserving our natural areas for future generations and sparking the same passion in the next generation of conservationists. She has been a member of the Open Space Council Board since 2014.
Steve is Director of Planning, East-West Gateway Coordinating Council. He is a native Missourian who recently returned to St. Louis. Steve has been involved with planning and resource issues for the last 15 years. He holds a Master’s degree in political science from the University of Missouri-Columbia and has worked as a policy and planning specialist and legislative liaison of Mo DNR. From 1997-2000, Steve served as Director of Environmental Resources for the Coachella Valley Association of Governments. Prior to that position, he served five years with the United States Department of Interior, Bureau of Land Management, as an Urban Interface Specialist. Concurrently, since 1993, he taught at the college of The Desert. Steve has been a member of the Open Space Council since 2001.
Gene is a retired executive from Konica/Minolta. He is an avid outdoor recreation enthusiast, including biking, canoeing, kayaking and hiking. Gene was an annual biker and fundraiser in the MS150. He has been an Operation Clean Stream volunteer for many years. Gene joined the board of directors in 2009.
Ron spent several years with city planning agencies locally and out of state before joining the architectural field and later retiring as partner and principal in charge of planning and design. He continues to work as an independent contractor with various architects, planners and corporations on commercial and civic projects locally and nationally. Community service includes several years as Chairman of the City of Kirkwood Planning and Zoning Commission and later as the first Chairman of the City’s Architectural Review Board. This service, along with participation in the City’s Facilities Task Force of 1991-92, helped to achieve renewal of downtown Kirkwood’s commercial district. Neighborhood service includes seven years as President of the Board of Lakewood Hills Homeowners Association and continued community involvement as a member of the Board of Trustees of The Friends of La Barque Creek. Ron joined the OSC Board of Directors in May of 2010.
Tom was born in St. Louis and grew up in Spanish Lake. He graduated from Rosary High School in 1978. He attended Florissant Valley Community College before transferring to the University of Missouri-Columbia, where he received his undergraduate degree in Fish and Wildlife Management in 1982. He later attended SIU– Edwardsville and has a Master’s of Science Degree in Environmental Studies. Tom has worked for St. Louis County Parks for over 25 years as a Park Supervisor, Program Services Manager, Park Operations Manager and as the Assistant Director for the past seven years. Tom took on the role of Acting Director from May 2012 until December 2014. During his career he has had the opportunity to work for Park agencies at the Municipal, County, State and Federal levels. Tom is a member of the Missouri Park and Recreation Association and has served on the Open Space Council Board since May 2008.
Libby is an artist and public manager, most recently working on the highly acclaimed and award-winning “Watershed Cairns” exhibit and workshops and the Alton, Illinois “Riverwork Project”. She holds a B.A. in Art from Webster University and an M.A. in Human Resources from Washington University. Libby’s work has been celebrated by the St. Louis Regional Arts Commission, Southwestern Illinois College, Lou Maps, Northwood University, Washington University, and has been showcased at the Missouri History Museum and on the NineNet Public Media’s programs Living St. Louis and Arts America. Libby is a member of the Missouri Coalition for the Environment, Art St. Louis and the St. Louis Art Museum. She believes in using art and employing artists to engage and inspire people about clean water restoration, protection and preservation. Libby joined the OSC Board of Directors in 2016.
Natalie J. Ruyle
Natalie graduated from the University of Illinois, Chicago Law School, J.D., 2010 and is now employed by Lewis, Rice & Fingershin in downtown St. Louis. Prior to attending law school, Natalie worked for an engineering consulting firm, where she was responsible for planning, designing, and managing construction of water and wastewater facilities. Clients also regularly sought her counsel on matters relating to funding. Before working as a consultant, Natalie worked for a design-build firm where she managed construction of financial facilities, hotels, and health care facilities. Some of her legal and corporate background includes Mandel Legal Aid Clinic Housing Initiative (September 2009-June 2010) and Summer Associate, Lewis, Rice & Fingersh, L.C. (2008, 2009); Project engineer, Heneghan & Associates, P.C. (2003-2007); Project engineer, HBE Corporation (2002-2003).
A professional engineer with 25 years’ engineering experience in both chemical process and equipment design. Scott graduated from the University of Missouri with a BS in Chemical Engineering. Scott is a Senior Engineer at BIS engineering, a full service Architectural, Engineering and Construction Management firm. He brings professional water treatment experience to The Open Space Council.
Elizabeth is a Community Program Manager with Great Rivers Greenway and currently serves on the Live Well Ferguson events board and Americorps St. Louis Junior board. She also holds membership in the St. Louis Chapter of the American Planning Association and serves on the East West Gateway Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee. Elizabeth is passionate about preserving and maintaining the region’s outdoor recreation resources for generations to come. Elizabeth joined the OSC Board in 2014.
Dennis Wilhelmi – Treasurer
Dennis is a Certified Public Accountant with 30 years of financial management experience. In 1997, Dennis started his own consulting business, Dennis D. Wilhelmi, Financial Management Consulting, providing “CFO Consulting” services to startup, emerging growth and troubled companies. Before starting his business, Dennis was Chief Financial Officer of The Glennon Company, St. Louis, Mo. for nine years. Before that, he spent four and a half years at DMB&B-St. Louis as Vice President-Financial Manager. Before his career in marketing communications, Dennis was a Senior Auditor with Deloitte & Touche. Dennis graduated from Missouri State University with a B.S. in Accounting and became a Certified Public Accountant in 1981. He is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and has been active in various other industry organizations.
Danielle J. Zemmel
A St. Louis native, Danielle has three main passions: traveling, spending time outdoors, and education. She received a BS in Biology from Truman State University, along with minors in Environmental Studies and Spanish. After graduation, she worked first as an intern with the Open Space Council and then as an Administrative Asst. and Program Coordinator. Afterwards, she spent a little over two years serving as a middle and high school science teacher in rural Liberia, West Africa with the U.S. Peace Corps. She currently is a member of the Liberian Association in Missouri. Danielle is pursuing a Masters in Middle School Education at University of Missouri-St. Louis and teaches middle school science. Through her position as a Board Member, she hopes to be able to expose students in her district to grow a connection with the environment and an ethic to care for it through OSC’s volunteer conservation programs. In her free time, Danielle enjoys spending time with her family, running or hiking through any of the beautiful parks in St. Louis, and traveling across the country to explore new open spaces. Danielle joined the Open Space Council Board in 2015.