Staff

Ann Agler — Office Manager

aagler@legacylandconservancy.org

Ann is a native of Northwest Indiana having grown up on the sandy beaches of Michigan City.  Both of her daughters were born in Milwaukee, WI, where they resided and where Ann received her bachelor’s degree in Business and Management from Alverno College.  Previous to joining Legacy Land Conservancy, Ann was the manager of the NEW Center and a long-time office manager with Zingerman’s Training.  Ann spends many weekends with her daughters and two grandchildren in Indiana.  She is a resident of Sunward Cohousing and is very interested in issues of sustainability and consciousness. 

Pam Bierzynski — Donor Stewardship & Communications Manager

pam@legacylandconservancy.org

Pam joined Legacy in November 2013. She is a life long Michigan resident. She has loved the outdoors since childhood, whether playing soccer, gardening, or camping with her family. Eventually, her deep appreciation for nature led her to Aquinas College, a school known for its beautiful forested campus. There she earned degrees in Geography and Sociology.  Pam lives in Plymouth with her husband Tim, daughters Jameson and Finley, and cat, Harley. When she’s not playing in the dirt, brewing beer, or daydreaming about riding motorcycles, Pam enjoys spending time outdoors experiencing nature through the lens of her camera.

Alice ElliottAlice Elliott — Easement Stewardship & Volunteer Coordinator

aelliott@legacylandconservancy.org

Alice grew up in southeast Michigan and is excited to continue connecting to and serving the lands that raised her. She received her M.S. from the University of Michigan, where she worked with a team to interview several dozen stakeholders across Maine and New Hampshire to assess the potential for an inter-agency collaborative in the Saco River Watershed. She has since worked as the Stiltgrass Coordinator for the Stiltgrass Working Group, a collaborative of local organizations (including Legacy!) working to fight the spread of invasive stiltgrass in Michigan. She is passionate about conservation not only as protection, but as collaboration between stakeholders. In her spare time, she works as a community activist, participating in activism around a variety of social and environmental issues. She can be found sitting in trees, staring at birds, or picking up rocks to find interesting things underneath.

Diana Kern — Executive Director

dkern@legacylandconservancy.org

Diana Kern has extensive executive leadership background and a passion for nonprofit management, fundraising, and governance. After 17 years of progressive leadership roles with McKinley, Diana left for the nonprofit world where she served for NEW (Nonprofit Enterprise at Work) as Vice President, and then for Eversight as an Executive Director and Vice President of Philanthropy. Diana joined Legacy Land Conservancy at the beginning of 2019 and brings a conservation lens.  Diana has lived in Michigan for over 50 years and has served on numerous nonprofit boards, committees and task forces, including joining an all-volunteer group of community leaders in 2013 to raise over $1.6 million to fund the build and opening of the Ann Arbor Skatepark.  Currently Diana serves as a board member for The Ark in Ann Arbor, Michigan and is a member of the Ann Arbor Host Lions Club. When not working on land conservation issues, she can be found bird watching, hiking, and listening to music.

Susan LaCroix — Land Protection Lead

slacroix@legacylandconservancy.org

Susan is returning to Michigan after working with land trusts in New York, Pennsylvania, and Washington State. Spending summers on Higgins Lake, she learned an appreciation and respect for the environment at an early age. She later earned an undergraduate degree in Environmental Policy and Political Science from the University of Michigan. Since then she gained stewardship and land protection experience from three conservancies. She is excited to apply what she learned around the country to conserving land in local watersheds as well as agricultural soils to help keep land affordable for next generation farmers. In her free time, Susan enjoys sailing, knitting, cooking with local produce and spending time with her family.

 

Allene Smith — Land Stewardship Coordinator

allene@legacylandconservancy.org

Raised on a llama farm in rural west Michigan, Allene comes to Legacy with a deeply-rooted appreciation for Michigan and its varied landscapes. After earning a BS in Plant Biology from Western Michigan University, she gained stewardship experience while working with The Nature Conservancy, MDNR, the Forest Service, and the Land Conservancy of West Michigan. In her free time, Allene pursues education in herbal medicine, nutrition, and the nature of human experience.

Erika Taylor — Finance and Operations Director

erika@legacylandconservancy.org

Erika moved to Michigan from the San Francisco bay area in 2001, where she worked in nonprofit management for 15 years. Erika has an undergraduate degree in Natural Resource Management from Cornell and an MBA in finance and accounting from Golden Gate University. Kayaking, mountain biking, disc golf, and gardening are her passions. She lives in Ann Arbor near the river with her family.

 

Shawn Zellers — Stewardship Crew Leader

crew@legacylandconservancy.org

Shawn Zellers has been working in land management, conservation and agriculture for over 20 years. Growing up fishing and hunting the Illinois River valley, Shawn developed a strong connection with the land including its historical and cultural uses, and also began to understand the widespread loss of habitat and biodiversity. Shawn has worked for land conservancies and in the private sector in Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota, California, and Michigan. He has led school groups, camps, and volunteers in education and the practice of stewardship, ecological restoration, and sustainable agriculture. “To interact with and understand the living systems around us is part of what it is to be human and living on the planet. We are not apart from it. For me, it is a constant source of intrigue and wonder.” When Shawn is not working, he is often wood carving, fishing, or wandering somewhere outside with his son.