Board of Directors
Michelle Cohen brings 12 years of experience heading other environmental entities to the role of Executive Director, first as the Brown County Solid Waste Management District Manager, and subsequently as the Executive Director for the Indiana Recycling Coalition (now dubbed Circular Indiana). She graduated magna cum laude from Wittenberg University, and then came to Bloomington where she earned a Master’s of Science degree in Environmental Science from the (O’Neill) School for Public and Environmental Affairs at Indiana University.
Michelle has lived in the area for over 25 years and enjoys spending time with her family and dog in the great outdoors.
Alex Crowley is Director of Economic & Sustainable Development with the City of Bloomington. His responsibilities are to cultivate a resilient community built on shared prosperity, economic opportunity, environmental stewardship, and a thriving arts and culture ecosystem. Before joining the City, Alex helped to run and launch small businesses in and around Bloomington. His professional background combines advertising and operations management in a variety of fields including telecommunications. He has held leadership positions at Ogilvy & Mather: New York, AT&T and Insight Communications. He served on the Board at Cardinal Stage Company. Alex is a native of New Haven, Connecticut, a graduate of Fordham College in New York, a composer, and the doting father of a sophomore Boilermaker, and two high schoolers.
Jane’s career in Venture Capital has spanned 5 decades beginning in Chicago with Allstate’s $250 million portfolio then moving to Silicon Valley to join USVP as a General Partner in its first three funds.
After retiring to Bloomington in the 1990’s she began investing as a Limited Partner in multiple Venture Funds and doing pro bono work. In 1999 she spun out IU’s first technology company, Wisdom Tools, and served as its CEO. In 2001 she joined Massachusetts based Village Ventures as a General Partner and cofounded an affiliate fund, Spring Mill Ventures, in 2004. Jane received her B.S. from IU’s Kelley School of Business. She received her CFA Charter in 1979. She is on multiple nonprofit boards and is an active angel investor in social impact investments.
Scott earned a Ph.D. in Animal Science from Iowa State in 1982 and spent his career in the school of Agriculture (Animal Science department) at Purdue (1984-2016) teaching physiology and nutrition, and conducting research on animal growth. Scott and his wife retired to Brown County in 2014 which has allowed them to spend a lot of time enjoying the outdoors. Scott has been active with Brown County Habitat for Humanity and as a member of the ad hoc Bicycle/Pedestrian Committee for Nashville.
Melissa Moran is The Nature Conservancy in Indiana’s Director of Community programs, leading the chapter’s Inspiring People for Nature Strategy. Prior to joining the Conservancy, she worked as an environmental engineering consultant for more than 20 years, assisting municipal and industrial clients with Safe Drinking Water Act compliance and water supply reliability. During her career, Melissa spent two years developing water supply and sanitation systems in Guatemala’s rural highlands. She is a Purdue University graduate and completed her master’s degree at the University of Texas at Austin in the Environmental & Water Resources Engineering program. Melissa enjoys woodland wildflower walks in Indiana forests, and is a member of the Indiana Native Plant Society, most recently working to help publish Wake Up, Woods.
Cheryl Munson (B.A. University of Arizona, 1965; M.A., University of Illinois, 1971) has served as an At-Large member of the Monroe County Council since 2013 and as a member of various boards and commissions for both government and non-profits. Previously she chaired the County Historic Preservation Board for many years and served 16 years in township government. Her professional work as an archaeologist and Research Scientist in the Department of Anthropology, Indiana University-Bloomington has focused on the late prehistoric and early historic cultures of southern Indiana and the Ohio Valley. She has directed numerous archaeological surveys and excavations (https://archaeo.sitehost.iu.edu), including several at Lake Monroe and 13 sites at Patoka Lake, and is the author or co-author of more than 100 scholarly publications. At home, Cheryl and her husband have a farm with a beautiful woods, fields, multiple gardens, and vast suite of animals over the years (livestock and pets). They are devoted grandparents to four girls and appreciate Lake Monroe especially for fishing and swimming. As a sideline, Cheryl raises Labrador Retrievers.
Dan Davis of Seymour is the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Community Foundation of Jackson County. His work in philanthropy is a second career having earlier spent 30 years as a newspaper reporter and editor. Dan is a graduate of Indiana University, majoring in English at IUPUI in Indianapolis. He and his wife, Karen, have two daughters. Beside his family, Dan is passionate about the St. Louis Cardinals, IU sports, as well as hiking in Hoosier woodlands and helping others through his philanthropic work with the Foundation.
Christian Freitag joined Conservation Law Center in 2019 as its second executive director, replacing founder and longtime director W. William Weeks III. For the previous 18 years, he served as executive director of Sycamore Land Trust, a nonprofit land conservation organization in Southern Indiana.
Freitag graduated from the Maurer School of Law in 1997 and clerked from 1997–1999 for former Indiana Chief Justice Randall T. Shepard. He received his PhD from IU’s O’Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs in 2010, where his research focused on the implementation of the National Environmental Policy Act on public agencies including the US Forest Service. The topic of his dissertation was “An Institutional Analysis of the National Environmental Policy Act in the United States Forest Service.”
With a strong desire to protect the very place she calls home, Cassie Hauswald has worked on conservation issues for the past two decades. Cassie is currently the Director of Freshwater Programs for the Same Shine Foundation. She previously served as The Nature Conservancy in Indiana’s freshwater ecologist, focusing on aquatic habitats with consideration for how rural land use impacts the health of our rivers and streams. Cassie welcomes the opportunity to be a part of an effort to connect conservation action with an improved Lake Monroe, a drinking water source for her and so many others.
Cassie holds a Bachelor’s degree from Butler University and a Masters of Biology from the University of Louisville where her research focused on the life history of elephant ear mussels in southern Indiana’s Blue River. In her free time, Cassie enjoys running and hiking with her husband and flat-coated retrievers, traveling, gardening, and enjoying the great outdoors.
Eric Spoonmore became the president & CEO of the Greater Bloomington Chamber of Commerce on December 1, 2021. Prior to joining the Chamber, he served for six years as the elected District 4 Representative on the Monroe County Council including two years as Council president. In addition to his service on the County Council, Eric has more than a decade of experience as an administrator at the Kelley School of Business. He received his bachelor’s and M.P.A. degrees from Indiana University Bloomington where he studied management & public administration.
Mike Chaveas is the Forest Supervisor of the Hoosier National Forest; responsible for the management and protection of 204,000 acres of multiple-use public land and resources, managed for the benefit of present and future generations of Americans and located in nine southern Indiana counties from the shores of Lake Monroe to the Ohio River. Mike previously worked in Oregon as a District Ranger on the Mount Hood National Forest, as a Deputy District Ranger on the Coconino National Forest in northern Arizona and for the U.S. Forest Service’s International Programs office, coordinating technical assistance in countries throughout Africa. Prior to joining the Forest Service, Mike served with the Peace Corps as a Wildlife Biologist in the Eastern High Atlas National Park in Morocco.
Mike holds a Bachelor of Science in Wildlife Science from Virginia Tech and Master’s degrees in Public Affairs and Environmental Science from Indiana University. He has been the Supervisor of the Hoosier National Forest since 2014.