Penny Brown Huber began serving as the executive director for Prairie Rivers of Iowa in April 2011. She has worked with nonprofits most of her professional career from project development, to fundraising, to crafting and building several not-for-profits. She has extensive experience in strategic and business planning.
In 2008, Penny was named one of 80 women leaders in the country by the White House Project. She was also named in November 2005 as the Deb Dalziel Small Business Women Entrepreneur of the Year in Iowa.
She comes to Prairie Rivers with a Masters of Public Administration from Drake University and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Business Administration from St. Ambrose University. In her free time, she is a mother of three boys and she and her husband Gary own a small farm near Maxwell, Iowa.
Joshua Benda joined Prairie Rivers of Iowa in February of 2021 as a graphic designer. He is a 2019 graduate of the University of Northern Iowa with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Interactive Digital Studies with an emphasis in digital communication and professional writing. He has a passion for wedding videos and small businesses. Joshua enjoys writing, taking photos, and spending time with his family.
Lisa Cassady is our newest staff member joining in March 2021. When she’s not organizing our lastest events or assisting with development at Prairie Rivers, she runs her own business providing fresh produce, homemade baked goods, jam, and meals to Story County.
She grew up on a farm in St. Mary’s Iowa and spent many years doing agricultural communications. Lisa is active in her hometown of Nevada including spearheading a new Nevada Community Garden. In her free time, she loves baking, gardening, and trail running with her dog.
Dan Haug joined Prairie Rivers of Iowa in January 2017 as the watershed educator. He is passionate about involving community members in environmental problem solving and communicating science to the public. He worked previously at the Wisconsin DNR and holds an M.S. in Water Resources Management from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
He grew up in Ames, IA, where he became involved in prairie restoration and community-supported agriculture. In his free time, he enjoys spending time with family, playing music and exploring the outdoors through canoeing and cross-country skiing.
Daniel Huber joined Prairie Rivers of Iowa in June 2020 as a part-time technology assistant while continuing his education as part of the Iowa State University Class of 2024.
He finds his passions all around him, whether it’s building motorcycle engines, computers, or playing board games like chess.
Daniel grew up in Ames and in his free time, you’ll find him going to the gym, playing games, or spending time on his motorcycles.
Mike Kellner joined Prairie Rivers of Iowa in September 2018 as the public relations and marketing coordinator. Born and raised in Des Moines, IA, he earned a Bachelor of Arts in Communications from Grand View University.
He previously owned a photography studio, photo lab, picture frame shop, and gallery for 20 years. Mike’s also spent a great deal of time as a freelance journalist and photographer. During the 12 years before joining Praire Rivers of Iowa, he’s worked throughout Iowa and Missouri in advertising and marketing management in the publishing industry.
Mike’s passionate about the environment, outdoor recreation, and local tourism. He spends most of his free time remodeling the family’s 1924 craftsman home and working with wife Lynn in its pollinator and vegetable gardens. When he can find the time, he enjoys photography, fishing, camping, hiking, and most of all, spending time with his grandchildren.
Shellie Orngard has roots in Iowa’s natural, historical, and cultural heritage as deep as her immigrant ancestors who settled in Buena Vista County (German side) and Decorah (Norwegian side) in the 1880s. Like many people who grew up in Iowa, Shellie left the state to explore life on the East and West coasts before returning to the state.
With a B.A. in Journalism and an M.A. in English from Iowa State University, Shellie has worked as a writer, editor, and college instructor. For eight years, Shellie took a hiatus from working with words to be executive director of the Volunteer Center of Story County. During that time she partnered with Prairie Rivers of Iowa to establish school gardens at Kate Mitchell and Sawyer elementary schools in Ames.
Carman Rosburg has been an employee of Prairie Rivers of Iowa since 2005 and manages the office.
She has three grown children and shares a 35-acre small farm with her husband Tom near Colo. There you’ll probably find her in the garden and sharing the harvest with family and friends. When not at work, she and her husband enjoy most anything outdoors.
Don’t forget to ask her how you can volunteer to help with our many projects!
David Stein joined Prairie Rivers of Iowa in July 2019 as the watershed program coordinator. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science from Drake University and a Master of Science in Ecology from Iowa State University. He’s passionate regarding conservation issues in Iowa and loves teaching others about the unique ecosystems found in the state.
He’s previously worked as a researcher at both Iowa State and Tufts Universities, focusing mainly on prairie restoration and pollinator conservation in Iowa, Missouri and Central Maryland.
David’s originally from the Twin Cities area of Minnesota. In his free time, he enjoys spending time with his dog Teddy, hiking in local parks, finding new recipes to cook, gardening and exploring Des Moines with friends.