Who We Are

Trustees & Staff

TRUSTEES

  • Shelley Sahling‑Zart
    Shelley Sahling‑Zart

    Shelley Sahling‑Zart is a native of Wood River, Nebraska and has worked for Lincoln Electric System since 1988 and has served as LES Vice President & General Counsel since 2011. Prior to her current position, she served as vice president and assistant counsel. She is responsible for legal affairs, government relations, strategic planning, customer and corporate communications and records, and corporate policy analysis. She received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from Doane University and a law degree from the University of Nebraska‑Lincoln College of Law. Ms. Sahling‑Zart has directed the work of the Nebraska Power Association since 1988. She has been engaged at the national level through service on the American Public Power Association Board of Directors, the federal Surface Transportation Board’s Rail‑Shipper Transportation Advisory Council, and the Freight Rail Customer Alliance. She has also served on a number of church, civic and charitable boards in the Lincoln community.

  • Craig Thompson
    Craig Thompson

    Craig Thompson has established himself as a leader in conservation. He has served in such capacities as a founder of the Wyoming League of Conservation Voters and the Wyoming Environmental Education Association; as president of the Wyoming Wildlife Federation; and as Chair of the Board of Directors for the National Wildlife Federation, America’s largest conservation organization. As a researcher and writer, Mr. Thompson was named a National Science Foundation fellow in stressed stream analysis, and has been widely published on a variety of topics ranging from glacial melt-waters to arid-land streams. His work as Professor of Engineering and Earth Science at Western Wyoming Community College earned him the honor of Wyoming Professor of the Year (2015) from the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. Mr. Thompson graduated from Colorado College with a BA in chemistry and Stanford University with an MS in environmental engineering, and he is a licensed professional engineer.

  • Brad Korell
    Brad Korell

    Brad Korell brings distinguished background in business and community service. He had a 27-year career at National Bank of Commerce in Lincoln, Nebraska, serving the last ten years as president and CEO. After Wells Fargo Bank purchased NBC, Mr. Korell became regional market president. In 2004 Brad joined Olsson in Lincoln working first as CFO then in business development and community relations. In his community service career, Mr. Korell has served in board leadership positions for such organizations as the Lincoln Chamber of Commerce, St. Elizabeth Regional Medical Center and Nebraska Wesleyan University. Currently, he is active on the boards of Amfirst Bank, Nebraska Bank of Commerce, the University of Nebraska Foundation, NUtech Ventures LLC, CenterPointe and the Cooper Foundation. Having grown up in Culbertson, Nebraska, Mr. Korell received his Bachelor of Science from the University of Nebraska College of Business Administration and he is a graduate of the Stonier Graduate School of Banking at Rutgers University.

STAFF

  • Chuck Cooper | Chief Executive Officer
    Chuck Cooper | Chief Executive Officer

    Chuck Cooper is a lifelong Nebraskan, growing up in Hartington, Nebraska, working on farms in his youth and graduating from Wayne State College in Wayne, Nebraska. These experiences created a passion for Nebraska and the prairie that the Crane Trust works to protect and maintain. Chuck joined the Crane Trust as President/CEO in September 2010 after more than 16 years of successfully managing non-profits in Nebraska. Chuck feels it is vitally important that the Platte River and the habitat that it supports are protected for generations to come and works in concert with the Trust staff and area conservation groups to make that happen.

  • Brice Krohn | President
    Brice Krohn | President

    Originally from Treynor, Iowa, Brice now lives in Kearney, Nebraska, with his wife and four children. He obtained his Bachelor of Science Degree in Biology with an emphasis in wildlife management from the University of Nebraska at Kearney. Before joining the Crane Trust, Brice worked as a land manager in the Rainwater Basin for eleven years. He gained extensive knowledge and experience managing prescribed burns and wild land fires from working all risk management details in 22 states, including the B.P. oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. His field experience extends to heavy machinery used to improve and maintain a variety of habitats. As a steward of the land, Brice enjoys restoring and preserving a functioning prairie landscape so that his children and others can experience the pure beauty and importance of Mother Nature’s role in our lives.

  • Wendy Bailey | Director of Finance and Human Resources
    Wendy Bailey | Director of Finance and Human Resources

    Wendy Bailey lived in Southwest England for 36 years prior to moving to the US in 1999. She has worked in Business Administration since 1980, starting her career in the legal field in England. Wendy was educated in Great Britain and attended Secretarial College there. She majored in Psychology for her Associates Degree and Administration at University for her Bachelor’s Degree. She has been a Paralegal and legal advocate for people in need and diverse populations. Wendy joined the Crane Trust in 2011 and has worked in a financial, administration and operations management role since that time. She was appointed as a General Notary Public for the State of Nebraska in 2013. Her hobbies include travel, photography, and wildlife.

  • Andrew Caven, MNR | Director of Conservation Research
    Andrew Caven, MNR | Director of Conservation Research

    Andy’s work in the Central Platte River Valley has focused on understanding the response of ecosystems to managed and natural disturbances as well as the habitat ecology and natural history of species of conservation concern. He has authored scientific articles regarding a wide range of species including the Regal Fritillary, the Sandhill Crane, and native herpetofauna. Previous to coming to the CPRV, Andy worked in the Western and Southeastern United States conducting ecological research and advocating for conservation. He has worked for the U.S. National Park Service’s Inventory and Monitoring Program as well as the National Science Foundation’s Long Term Ecological Research program. Andy has a BS degree from North Dakota State University and Master’s degrees from the University of Georgia and Washington State University.

  • Timothy Smith | Director of Land Management
    Timothy Smith | Director of Land Management

    A native of Elm Creek, Nebraska, Tim spent 4 years in the Marine Corps before moving back home and pursuing a degree of Biology with an emphasis in wildlife management from the University of Nebraska at Kearney. Tim now lives in Grand Island, Nebraska, with his wife Casey and sons, Haydan and Sawyer. Before coming to the Crane Trust, Tim worked as a biological technician for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in Funk, Nebraska, and most recently spent the last 4 years as the Habitat Specialist for the Rainwater Basin Joint Venture located in Grand Island. While with the Joint Venture, he dedicated his time to wetland restoration projects on private lands, worked with private landowners to secure easements and other private lands programs along with helping public land managers with land management activities throughout 21 counties in central and eastern Nebraska. He joined the Trust staff in 2014 and looks forward to working with others to preserve and maintain our critical habitat along the big bend reach of the Platte River. As an avid outdoorsman, Tim believes that this is a great opportunity to give back to future generations by preserving and managing our unique and critical habitat along the Platte River.

  • Adam Driver | Facility Manager
    Adam Driver | Facility Manager

    Adam Driver is a lifelong Nebraskan. He is very passionate about the outdoors and enjoys everything Mother Nature has to offer. Adam’s passion for the outdoors began from hunting expeditions with his father at a very young age, which has grown tremendously over the years. While growing up in Minden, Nebraska, with his parents and three siblings, he continued to grow in his appreciation of the Platte River Valley. Adam attended Hastings College where he graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology and pole vaulted for the Track & Field team. His athletic background, as well as his love for the outdoors, will help Adam with future endeavors at the Crane Trust including; maintenance and hosting events of the new trail system, roles throughout the Nature and Visitor Center and land and science collaborations to strengthen the Trust’s mission. Adam hopes that his hard work and dedication will encourage everyone to get outside and enjoy what nature has to offer.

  • Jacob Salter | Bison Coordinator
    Jacob Salter | Bison Coordinator

    Jacob Salter grew up in Bismark, North Dakota, and later moved to Grand Island where he completed high school. Along with cattle and horses, his family had previously raised a handful of bison, which began his love for wildlife at an early age while exploring his grandparent’s ranch in North Dakota. Upon graduating high school, Jacob attended the University of Nebraska at Lincoln, where he obtained his Bachelor of Science degree with a major in Fisheries and Wildlife. The start of Jacob’s tenure began as an intern at the Crane Trust, but his position has led him to pursue a love of bison as he helps research the historical bison herd at the Trust.

  • Joshua Wiese | Habitat Ecologist
    Joshua Wiese | Habitat Ecologist

    Josh, who is about as local as they come, grew up and graduated high school in Shelton, Nebraska, only 20 miles from the Crane Trust property. Flowers are Josh’s favorite thing in the world, next to his children and family. Josh earned a Bachelor's degree in wildlife biology at the University of Nebraska, Kearney focusing his studies on plants, ecology, and phylogenetics. Since his internship in 2015 he has filled several roles at the Crane Trust, including herbarium scholar, science technician, and most recently as habitat ecologist. Josh is currently working on his Master's of Environmental Management degree through Western Colorado University as a part of his long-term commitment to the Crane Trust and to studying, restoring, and protecting habitat in the Platte River Valley that he calls home.

  • Jenna Malzahn | Jr. Wildlife Biologist
    Jenna Malzahn | Jr. Wildlife Biologist

    A new Nebraskan resident, Jenna is originally from Royal Oak, Michigan where she obtained a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Michigan in 2017. Her interest in wildlife stems from a childhood obsession with Animal Planet and a love of exploring the wilderness. Through her experience working at wildlife rehabilitation centers and sanctuaries, she has come to further appreciate the importance of preserving habitat and biodiversity. Jenna joined the Crane Trust as an intern in 2018, where her role within the science team has evolved to a Biological Science Technician and now a Jr. Wildlife Biologist. Her main focus is to assist with the ongoing long-term monitoring research and projects concentrating on wildlife habitat use, such as off-channel habitat activity patterns of river otters.

  • Bethany Ostrom | Biological Science Technician (Wildlife)
    Bethany Ostrom | Biological Science Technician (Wildlife)

    Bethany is a native Nebraskan. She attended high school in Grand Island and now lives in Minden with her husband. Throughout her life she has had a passion and curiosity about the wildlife and natural world around her. Following her passion, she attended the University of Nebraska- Lincoln and obtained a Bachelor of Science degree with a major in Fisheries and Wildlife and minors in Biology and Environmental Education. During college she worked at the Lincoln Children’s Zoo and with the Tern and Plover Conservation Partnership throughout Northeastern Nebraska. She started with the Crane Trust as an intern in spring 2019. She is now a biological science technician and working with wildlife collaboratively with the University of Nebraska- Kearney where she will soon start a Master’s program. Bethany looks forward to continuing her work with the Crane Trust and learning more ways in which she can help preserve our beautiful wildlife.

  • Hannah Sidel | Relationship Director
    Hannah Sidel | Relationship Director

    Hannah is an Elkhorn, NE native, who now lives in Malcolm with her husband Shelby and daughter Eleanor. She holds a degree in Fisheries and Wildlife and Environmental Studies from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Hannah has spent her career working in the nonprofit sector, working for 3 years in fundraising prior to joining the Crane Trust. Hannah’s goal is to ensure that our natural world is preserved for her daughter, and for many generations to come. She is able to achieve this goal through her work here at the Crane Trust by sharing her passion for the organization’s mission with others.

  • Sandy Douglas | Community Coordinator
    Sandy Douglas | Community Coordinator

    Sandy came to the Crane Trust with over 25 years in advertising, marketing, banking and sales experience, and has served in board positions for non-profit organizations such as Nebraska Educational Telecommunications (NET) and the American Marketing Association. Having moved to Omaha after graduation from the University of Michigan, she found a true home in Nebraska. The excitement of her first Crane experience years ago and her love of wild creatures and spaces has led her to the Crane Trust, where she employs her business and marketing experience to develop support for the Crane Trust and its vital mission.

  • Alyx Vogel | Administrative Assistant
    Alyx Vogel | Administrative Assistant

    Alyx Vogel has lived in Nebraska most of her life. She now resides in Grand Island with her husband and daughter. A graduate of the University of Nebraska at Kearney, Alyx majored in Wildlife Biology with a minor in Environmental Sciences. She has held various positions throughout Nebraska and South Dakota in the wildlife field, including internships during and after college at the Crane Trust. Alyx joined the Crane Trust in 2017 and enjoys sharing her knowledge with the numerous visitors at the Crane Trust Nature and Visitor Center.

  • Stu Dethloff | Maintenance Technician
    Stu Dethloff | Maintenance Technician

    Stu is a Grand Island native, growing up enjoying the Nebraska wildlife and outdoors. He is familiar with the community, scenery, and businesses of the area. After running a successful cleaning and handyman business for over 20 years, Stu wanted to find a job that helped him give back to the community. He has done just that as a maintenance technician for the Crane Trust, bringing with him a wide skillset to tackle the hard (and sometimes dirty) jobs that come up throughout the year.