Community & Partnerships Coordinator
Belinda has a passion for environmental justice and equity. She has over 30 years of experience in community organizing and uses her talents to build partnerships and engage communities. Belinda has a Master of Science in Management with an emphasis in Organizational Design and Development from Purdue University Global.
Conservation Stewardship Coordinator
Denisha handles all digital and print communications and other special events for the organization. She ensures that HeartLands’ and our community partners’ stories are shared. Denisha ensures that communication in the organization is amplified through multiple mediums, including the website, social media, news media, and partnerships. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Business/Arts Management from Christopher Newport University. Fun Fact: Denisha also speaks Korean!
Ed has been with HeartLands since the beginning. He is responsible for a variety of special projects, most notably the Mounds – America’s First Cities Project. As a former NRCS coordinator, Ed advises staff on natural resource issues and opportunities.
Land Conservation Program Manager
Eric manages HLC’s conservation program, including stewarding and monitoring conserved lands, invasive species removal programs, overseeing restoration projects, and working with conservation easements and regional conservation efforts. Eric previously worked for the Illinois Department of Natural Resources and nonprofit conservation organizations. He earned a Bachelor Degree from Lindenwood University.
Director of Finance and Administration
Jamie coordinates the organization’s financial activities. She is an experienced accountant, working in the private and public sectors for over 10 years. In addition to her Master of Accountancy degree, Jamie is a lover of plants and has a Master of Science Degree in Plant, Soil & Agricultural Systems from SIU Carbondale.
Jennifer Reiman | LEED Green Associate
Resilient Communities Program Manager
As the Resilient Communities Program Manager, Jenny combines her interest in creating sustainable communities with her technical skills in mapping and geospatial analysis. She uses Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to help community leaders understand their environment and develop solutions for bicycle and pedestrian systems, parks systems, and watersheds. Jenny is particularly attuned to the challenges of floodplain communities, rural areas, and sustainable food systems. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Studies and Regional Planning from the University of Kentucky.
Water Program Manager
As the Water Program Manager, John leads, plans, and manages a variety of water quality, quantity, and green infrastructure programs. He brings a wealth of experience gained in addressing non-point source water pollution through intensive monitoring, outreach, and education, and working on technological solutions. John earned a Master’s Degree in Public and Environmental Health from Tulane University.
Director of Development & Events
Kim is responsible for HeartLands’ events, membership program, corporate partnerships, and fundraising. She has a background in marketing and advertising and has served on numerous committees and boards throughout southwestern Illinois. Kim has Bachelor’s Degree from Mizzou.
Laura L. Lyon
Vice President of Program Strategy & Impact
Laura works with the CEO and board on the organization program strategy. Her decades of experience in community planning, urban design, conservation, and landscape and graphic design, as well as grant writing and branding, enable her to bring a multitude of perspectives to HeartLands. Laura also leads the Mounds – America’s First Cities, the effort to elevate and create the Cahokia Mounds Mississippian Culture National Historic Park. Laura has a Master of Architecture degree from Washington University St. Louis.
Mary Vandevord | AICP | LEED AP ND
President & CEO
Mary works with the board of directors, staff, community partners, and federal and state agencies to further the mission of HeartLands Conservancy. She brings 20 years of community planning experience together with the mission of conservation and healthy and thriving communities. Mary has a Master of Regional and City Planning degree from the Univ. of Oklahoma. She has as worked in multiple states and cities on land use and community development policy, watershed health, conservation, neighborhood vitality, trails, and public engagement.
Special Projects Coordinator
Mike coordinates and designs stormwater Best Management Practices, such as grassed waterways, wetlands, and sediment basins. He has worked on numerous facilities in Clinton County and Madison County and is a former NRCS employee with over 30 years of experience.
Steve is a wildlife biologist and retired after 23 years as a forest supervisor for the Shawnee National Forest. Steve works with HLC to protect the natural floodplains of the Middle Mississippi River and conduct asssessments of conservation areas.