Our People

Meet your land trust staff, board and media relations contacts.

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Cliff Chapman

President and CEO

As a child growing up in Indianapolis, Cliff sought out every patch of green in the city. “I used to ride my bike along Pleasant Run and spend hours in the creek–looking at interesting rocks, plants and animals.” As CILTI’s President and CEO, Cliff grew up to make his passion for nature his life’s work. He previously worked as an ecologist for the Indiana Department of Natural Resources, Division of Nature Preserves and The Nature Conservancy in Olympia, WA. He is the former president of the Natural Areas Association and the Indiana Land Protection Alliance. With his deep educational and professional history in the conservation field, Cliff keeps CILTI’s focus on good science and stewardship. He’s mindful that the natural places you love took thousands of years to evolve and could be destroyed in a single day, and that knowledge drives his dedication to their protection. When not with his young family or at CILTI, he enjoys hiking, birding and working on his golf game (with mixed results).

With CILTI Since Favorite Property Contact For
2008 Meltzer Woods Nature Conservation

Stacy Cachules

Chief Operating Officer

Stacy brings her passion for land protection into her work at CILTI. “Ever since I was a child, I’ve felt a connection to nature, and a wish to protect it,” she says. “Now that I have my own children, making sure we protect and care for what’s left is even more important to me.” Before joining the Land Trust, she worked at Seattle’s Cascade Land Conservancy, managing their robust volunteer program. Currently she serves as treasurer of the board for Indiana Wildlife Federation, and she is on the board of Indiana Land Protection Alliance. At CILTI Stacy has the critical task of tracking our budget, making sure we channel your donations for maximum efficiency. When her workday’s done, Stacy loves to spend time with her two young boys—and when not traveling, she’s likely planning the next travel adventure.

With CILTI Since Favorite Property Contact For
2011 Blossom Hollow Donations, Public Relations


David Barickman

Development Systems Manager

Born and raised in Central Illinois, David grew up across the street from Lake of the Woods Champaign County Forest Preserve. He spent many days as a child wandering around the river, forest and lakes there. He came to Indiana to study at Franklin College and most recently worked at Global Ministries, where he developed his deep love for partnering with donors to accomplish transformative work towards a nonprofit’s mission. Now he works behind the scenes as a key member of our fundraising team. When not working, David loves to be outdoors hiking, fly fishing, kayaking or woodworking.

With CILTI Since Favorite Property Contact For
2022 White River Bluffs Membership Information, Donations

Jamison Hutchins

Stewardship Director

Jamison leads our stewardship team in caring for the land that is so important to you. He comes to our team after eight years as Bicycle and Pedestrian Coordinator for the city of Indianapolis, where his work had a positive impact from both health and environmental perspectives. An Indiana native, he lived in the outdoor recreation hotspot of Missoula, MT for several years while going to college. His interest in land trust work began with recent family trips to northern Michigan, where he enjoyed hikes led by Leelanau Conservancy. With his bachelor’s in international relations and diplomacy and a master’s degree in nonprofit management, Jamison brings to CILTI not only a love of nature, but an ability to create meaningful partnerships that advance crucial work. He learned teamwork young while playing hockey, and currently plays in a rooftop hockey league. He is known for riding his bicycle everywhere, and has not had to rely on a car for his daily commute for the past 10 years.

With CILTI Since Favorite Property Contact For
2019 Blossom Hollow Nature Preserve Management

Ben Miller

Land Protection Coordinator

Ben is excited to have officially joined the CILTI team, after many years of collaboration in partner organizations. He spent ten years of his environmental career with the Indiana DNR: Division of Fish & Wildlife, first as a Fisheries Biologist and most recently leading the Healthy Rivers Initiative (one of the state’s largest land protection projects). His role with CILTI will focus on helping to coordinate the many moving parts of land transactions. Land protection is near and dear to Ben's heart. He also currently serves as Vice President of the Indiana Land Protection Alliance and President of Mud Creek Conservancy (MCC), an all-volunteer land trust. At MCC he led the organization to its first land acquisition and is now spearheading the development of Sargent Road Nature Park, soon to be open for Indianapolis area residents to enjoy. When Ben and his family are not soaking up nature at home in their urban woodland, they love exploring nature both locally and abroad. Rarely without a camera in hand, Ben especially enjoys sharing his favorite wildlife encounters and nature moments with others through his photography.

With CILTI Since Favorite Property Contact For
2023 Mossy Point Land Protection Projects

Shawndra Miller

Communications Manager

Shawndra’s earliest writing projects centered around the natural world, starting when a bird inspired to write her first “book” in elementary school. Now she is in charge of sharing our story and connecting you to our work. Through our print and online materials, she hopes to inspire your participation in protecting special places for future generations. She previously wrote for Farm Indiana, Acres USA, Edible Indy, and other media, focusing on sustainable agriculture and community resilience. An Indiana Master Naturalist, she serves as secretary of the board for Indiana Native Plant Society's central chapter. She considers her position at CILTI to be a dream job, allowing her to use her skills in service of a mission that’s dear to her heart. Outside of work she can often be found with her nose in a book and a cat on her lap, unless she’s at the yoga studio trying to twist herself into unusual shapes.

With CILTI Since Favorite Property Contact For
2018 Mossy Point Communications Inquiries

Stephanie Paine Crossin

Land Protection Director

Stephanie grew up spending part of each summer roaming the woods, beaches and sand dunes of Lake Michigan—an experience that gave her a lifelong love of the outdoors. Now she oversees all our land transactions, helping to safeguard Central Indiana’s remaining natural areas. She joined CILTI in 2019 after focusing on family and volunteer work for many years. Currently she serves on the Conservation committee of the Indianapolis Garden Club and is helping to establish Marion County’s Cooperative Invasive Species Management Area. Most of her leisure pursuits are connected to the natural world in some way—whether hiking national parks on vacation or combating invasive honeysuckle at home. Her favorite stress-reliever is her daily run on a nature trail; however, she’s been known to stop midstride to look at interesting birds.

With CILTI Since Favorite Property Contact For
2019 Meltzer Woods Land Protection Projects

Grace van Kan

White River Steward

Growing up primarily in Maryland, Grace van Kan roamed the woods, creeks and wetlands around the Chesapeake Bay watershed. From an early trout-raising project to a “gap year” spent restoring coral reefs in Thailand, her interest in aquatic conservation has only grown. Now she cares for several riverine nature preserves as CILTI’s White River Steward. After serving an AmeriCorps term with a land trust in the Sierra Nevadas, she knew she wanted to put her environmental studies degree to use in the conservation field. She enjoys seeing how her contributions improve an ecosystem for lasting impact, and her CILTI role represents exactly what she wanted to be when she grew up. In her off hours she can often be found fixing broken things around the house (or disassembling unbroken things to see how they work), and when she needs a meditative moment, she builds things out of Legos.

Grace’s position is funded by the Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust, and she focuses on our White River Watershed properties.

With CILTI Since Favorite Property Contact For
2020 Meltzer Woods Land Stewardship

Melissa Warth

Team Coordinator

A native of Granger, Indiana, Melissa brings a strong academic administrative background to her role at CILTI. She keeps the team organized and efficient, so we can focus on saving more nature for future generations. Her previous positions included stints at the University of Iowa Department of Physics and Astronomy and the Robert H. Lurie Cancer Center at Northwestern in Chicago. Since 2016 she has volunteered as a Court Appointed Special Advocate, representing children in foster care in Marion County. Melissa is an active tennis player, and recently competed at the national level with her over-40s tennis team. Along with her husband and three sons, she enjoys hiking at state parks and national parks. The family tries to take their English cream golden retriever, Rosie, along at every opportunity.

With CILTI Since Favorite Property Contact For
2023 General Office Inquiries

Phillip Weldy

Stewardship Specialist

Phillip enjoys nature’s wonders from an up-close-and-personal perspective as he works to restore the natural places you love. As an AmeriCorps member in Asheville, NC, he had his first full immersion in relatively undisturbed land while reconstructing wilderness trails in National Parks and National Forests. That transformative experience made him decide to use his Purdue environmental biology degree in the field. He came to his stewardship role at CILTI after undertaking invasive species control and trail maintenance for Little Traverse Conservancy in Harbor Springs, MI. When not wrestling invasive plants in the field, he stays in fighting shape by kneading bread dough for fresh-baked loaves.

With CILTI Since Favorite Property Contact For
2019 Blossom Hollow Land Stewardship

Traci Willis

Outreach Manager

Traci has always loved nature, channeling her passion into creating habitat for bees and butterflies (and taking stunning photographs of them). She coordinates our outreach efforts, building key partnerships with organizations. Part of her role involves matching dedicated volunteers with opportunities—whether that’s assisting our stewardship team in the field, serving on our board or working on special projects. She is also the face of CILTI at various outreach events. Leading her daughter’s Girl Scout troop and researching genealogical records to finally prove she’s royalty keep her busy in her off hours.

With CILTI Since Favorite Property Contact For
2016 Meltzer Woods Volunteer Opportunities, Events, Membership

Board of Directors

Thomas Betley

Board Chair

Tom Betley has worked at the IU School of Medicine for 20 years in Financial and Academic administration. He is currently the Associate Vice Chair for Budget and Finance at the Department of Medicine.

John Bacone


John Bacone received his Bachelor of Science degree from Eastern Illinois University with a double major in Botany and Zoology and a Master of Science degree in Forest Ecology from the University of Illinois. He was the first full-time professional naturalist at Turkey Run State Park. He then served as Central Illinois Regional Ecologist on the Illinois Natural Areas Inventory. He retired in 2019 after 40 years as the Director of the Division of Nature Preserves with Indiana DNR. 

Ryan Fuhrmann


Ryan C. Fuhrmann, CFA, is President and founder of Fuhrmann Capital LLC, an Indiana-based investment management firm focused on portfolio management. Ryan earned a bachelor’s degree in Finance from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1996 and a master’s degree in business from the University of Texas at Austin in 2002. He has taught finance at Butler University and served on the board of the Friends of Hamilton County Parks. He currently volunteers at the Eiteljorg Museum and with the Clark Hulings Foundation. Ryan’s interest in land conservation centers around a desire to help preserve natural habitats for wildlife and the subsequent benefits it brings to people and the environment.

Joe Hawkins

Immediate Past Chair

Joe Hawkins is the SVP & General Counsel of Ambrose Property Group, a national industrial and e-commerce real estate development firm. Joe began his interest in conservation after spending many days canoeing and sailing in the Great Lakes region and hiking trails all over Indiana and Virginia. Joe is avid cyclist, and he and his family enjoy adventures in Indiana’s natural areas by trail and waterway.

Rima Shahid

Vice Chair

Rima Shahid is executive director of the Indiana Democracy Collective/Indiana Progress. A native Hoosier of Pakistani descent, Rima previously served as executive director of the Muslim Alliance of Indiana, and prior to that, she lived for more than a decade in the Middle East, where she worked as a trade development officer at the Pakistan Embassy in Bahrain. Rima speaks four languages: English, Spanish, Urdu, and Hindi. Along with her husband and three children, she enjoys exploring Central Indiana’s beautiful nature preserves and parks.

Heather Bobich

Board Member

Heather Bobich works in environmental consulting and specializes in wetland, stream, and native habitat restoration. A wetland ecologist and landscape architect by education, she manages the Indiana office of Davey Resource Group and has a passion for landscaping with native plants. Heather lives in Carmel and enjoys exploring Indiana's parks and nature preserves with her family in her free time.

Joshua Christie

Board Member

Josh Christie is a partner in Ice Miller’s Business Group where he primarily focuses on mergers and acquisitions, corporate transactions, joint ventures, commercial agreements and general corporate matters. Josh earned his Bachelor of Arts in anthropology from Colby College in Waterville, Maine, in 2003, with a minor in philosophy, and his law degree from Indiana University Maurer School of Law in 2006. Josh lives in Indianapolis with his wife, Erica, and daughter, Alice, and spends his time away from the office exploring the woods around Central Indiana and watching Alice dance and act.

David Franklin

Board Member

David Franklin is the Chief Investment Officer at The National Bank of Indianapolis and manager of their investment division, Diamond Capital Management. In this capacity, he coordinates the investment philosophy, strategy, tactics, and implementations employed by the Bank in managing approximately $2 billion in assets. He is a lifelong nature enthusiast who grew up in southern Indiana, with many adventures camping and boating. A father of two boys, he has enjoyed raising them with the same passion for being outdoors and enjoying nature.

Douglas Gray

Board Member

Doug Gray is a nationally recognized birdwatcher. He was introduced to the world of birds by his grandfather while growing up on the family farm in near Clarksville, Tennessee. A longtime birding guide at major festivals across the country, Doug has served on the boards of the Amos Butler Audubon Society in Indiana and the Black Swamp Bird Observatory in Ohio. He previously spent over 10 years in active military service in the United States Army, and he retired in 2017 after almost 30 years working for Eli Lilly and Company, with most of those years in Parenteral Engineering. He is a graduate of Leadership Johnson County, where he led a team that won the Community Project of the Year Award from the Indiana Historical Society in 2021. Doug is also a pastor, a chaplain, President of the Johnson County Ministerial Association, and Lecturer of Religion at Franklin College.

Ellen Jacquart

Board Member

Ellen Jacquart was one of our organization’s founders. She spent her career managing natural areas in Indiana, working for the Department of Natural Resources, U.S. Forest Service, and The Nature Conservancy of Indiana before retiring in 2016. A major focus of her work was to address the threat of invasive plants to forests, prairies, and wetlands. When the Indiana Invasive Species Council created the Invasive Plant Advisory Committee in 2010, she led it until she retired in 2016. She now chairs Monroe County – Identify and Reduce Invasive Species (MC-IRIS), which works to reduce the impact of invasive plants in Monroe County. She was president of the Indiana Native Plant Society from 2018 to 2022. She is the winner of the 2022 Carl N. Becker Stewardship Award from the Natural Areas Association.

Kevin McKelvey

Board Member

Kevin McKelvey is a place-based writer, poet, designer and social practice artist. His poetry book, Dream Wilderness Poems, was published in 2018, and another book, Indiana Nocturnes, written with Curtis Crisler, will soon be published. He is at work on a novel and regularly completes workshops, art installations, and placemaking projects around Indiana. At University of Indianapolis, he serves as Professor in the English Department and as director of the university's Masters of Art in Social Practice Art program. McKelvey grew up on the edge of a corn field near Lebanon, Indiana, and attended DePauw University and Southern Illinois University Carbondale. Kevin believes in land trusts because they protect land forever, and he helped found Long-Term Ecological Reflections with ACRES and NICHES in Indiana. Land trusts can protect pristine natural areas that remain, and they can help return land to its natural state.

Daniel Pulliam

Board Member

Daniel Pulliam is a partner at Faegre Drinker. He is a dad, basketball coach and journalist whose pursuits range from legal writing to blogging to investigative reporting.

Stephen Simon

Board Member

Steve Simon is the founder of Simon Equity Partners, LLC and has been a managing member since January 2007. From February 1997 to December 2006, he served as president and chief executive officer of Melvin Simon & Associates, Inc., a privately-held real estate and investment company. Steve serves on the board of directors of the Pacers Basketball Corporation, Yes To, Inc. and Coalision, Inc. He is a director for the Herbert Simon Family Foundation and serves on the boards of two other nonprofits besides CILTI: Conscious Alliance and HeadCount. 

Andrew Stokely

Board Member

Andrew Stokely is a partner at Barrett & Stokely where he focuses on the maintenance, renovation and construction of multi-family communities. From a young age, the outdoors and nature have been a priority. Andrew is always looking for an excuse to explore nature and get in to the woods. He enjoys hiking, camping, riding his dirt bike as well as creating and maintaining trails. Equally enjoyable is the special time in early June when he is able to witness Cliff Chapman calling in warblers and other song birds in Central Indiana. Andrew resides in Indianapolis with his wife and three children.

Mary Beth Tuohy

Board Member

Indianapolis native Mary Beth Tuohy spent nearly 20 years with the US Environmental Protection Agency at the national, regional and state level in various municipalities, leading multiple programs. Currently she is owner/president of At Home Preferred, a boutique home health care company serving seniors on the northside of Indianapolis. Her volunteer work encompasses stints on several boards, a highlight being her nine years with CICOA, including serving as board chair. Mary Beth enjoys time outdoors hiking, cycling and walking her dogs, as well as planning family vacations with her husband and two teen daughters.

Karen Wade

Board Member

Before retiring in 2017, Karen Wade worked for Eli Lilly & Co. where she provided information systems quality assurance and computer systems validation for global manufacturing systems. Previously she was a configuration manager with Raytheon, Cummins, Gates Aerospace and Computer Sciences Corporation where she was awarded the Astronauts' Silver Snoopy Award for professional excellence. In retirement Karen volunteers for a number of environmental and equine pursuits including Indiana Master Naturalist Certification and Meadowstone Therapeutic Riding Center. Karen earned an undergraduate degree from Florida State University and an applied computer science certificate from Purdue University.

Dan Willis

Board Member

Dan Willis was born in Southeast Texas, near the Louisiana border, and his entire childhood was surrounded by the incredibly diverse natural world that exists there. Wild places shaped his worldview and gave him so much, and he sees serving the Central Indiana Land Trust mission as one way to repay that. He is an entrepreneur who has owned or run businesses in the restaurant, manufacturing, service, and technology industries. In 2006, he and his wife moved to Indianapolis. They plan to call it home for the rest of their lives.


Jen Schmits Thomas

Media Relations

An award-winning communicator and recognized leader in Central Indiana’s public relations community, Jen helps us tell our story in the media. She is the founder of JTPR, which she and her husband John Thomas own together. She is accredited in public relations (APR) from the Public Relations Society of America, and loves to camp and hike in perfect weather conditions.

With CILTI Since Favorite Property Contact For
2012 Oliver's Woods Media Inquiries

Shawndra Miller

Communications Manager

Shawndra’s earliest writing projects centered around the natural world, starting when a bird inspired to write her first “book” in elementary school. Now she is in charge of sharing our story and connecting you to our work. Through our print and online materials, she hopes to inspire your participation in protecting special places for future generations. She previously wrote for Farm Indiana, Acres USA, Edible Indy, and other media, focusing on sustainable agriculture and community resilience. An Indiana Master Naturalist, she serves as secretary of the board for Indiana Native Plant Society's central chapter. She considers her position at CILTI to be a dream job, allowing her to use her skills in service of a mission that’s dear to her heart. Outside of work she can often be found with her nose in a book and a cat on her lap, unless she’s at the yoga studio trying to twist herself into unusual shapes.

With CILTI Since Favorite Property Contact For
2018 Mossy Point Communications Inquiries