FLOW Staff

Liz Kirkwood, Executive Director

Liz Kirkwood, Executive Director

Liz Kirkwood oversees FLOW’s policy, legal, technical and communications work. After working as an environmental lawyer in both the U.S. and overseas, she has returned to the nonprofit sector because she is mission-driven and passionate about protecting the Great Lakes. Read more here.

What connected you to the Great Lakes: The magic of the Great Lakes lured me to permanently move here after years of summering along the shores of Crystal Lake and Lake Michigan.  

Favorite place in Michigan: This is it. This whole region of northern lower Michigan is my favorite place. I just am angling for more time to explore and adventure with friends and family.

Fun fact: I still dream of being a photographer. I spent most of high school in a photo lab developing silver gelatin photographs.

Read more about Liz Kirkwood here: Liz Kirkwood, Executive Director of FLOW, is Our Great Lakes Guardian | MyNorth.com | Aug. 22, 2019. And listen here: Elizabeth Kirkwood on Fulfillament | Nov. 12, 2018.

Dave Dempsey, Senior Advisor

Dave Dempsey, Senior Advisor

Dave Dempsey has 35 years' experience in environmental policy. He served as environmental advisor to former Michigan Governor James Blanchard and as policy advisor on the staff of the International Joint Commission. He has also provided policy support to the Michigan Environmental Council and Clean Water Action. He has authored several books on the Great Lakes and water protection. Read more here.

Favorite Great Lakes activity: Watching sunrise from southern Lake Huron.

Favorite Great Lakes book: Freshwater: Women Writing on the Great Lakes, edited by Alison Swan.

Favorite Great Lakes fact: It takes 173 years for nature to replenish all the water in Lake Superior.

How Supporters Can Energize FLOW's Next 10 Years: Donate to the Olson-Dempsey Fund.

Diane Dupuis, Senior Advancement Advisor

Diane Dupuis, Senior Advancement Advisor

Diane Dupuis works to connect FLOW with resources that can help fuel the work of safeguarding the Great Lakes for all.  Read more here.

What connected you to the Great Lakes: I grew up breathing the scent of big fresh water, listening to Great Lakes freighters salute one another in passage, and playing on shores from Oscoda to Paradise and Ipperwash to Naubinway. Now I am happiest when I'm paddling, whether it's on Lake Dubonnet, along the Huron River, or among the Apostle Islands.

Favorite place in Michigan: Esch Beach, in all seasons.

Fun fact: To mark certain sentimental milestones, our family has made a point of swimming together in all five Great Lakes in deliberate succession.

Read more about Diane Dupuis: Make It Rain -- Diane Dupuis Is Here to Help Us Fund the Fight of the Great Lakes' Life | Nov. 16, 2019 | Northern Express.

Megan Kelto, Director of Public Engagement

Megan Kelto, Director of Public Engagement

Megan Kelto's mission as Director of Public Engagement is to tell the story of FLOW's important, innovative work and inspire people to take action in defense of the Great Lakes. Megan has worked and volunteered in mission-driven organizations for over fifteen years, and has deep experience in nonprofit communications, marketing, and digital content strategy. Read more.

What connected you to the Great Lakes: When I was a kid, my family had a boat and my grandparents lived on East Bay, so I grew up on the water. And many of the best moments of my life, like getting engaged, getting married, and camping trips, happened near the Great Lakes.

Favorite place in Michigan: The beach at Glen Haven is my happy place, and the journey is as magical as the destination. 

What's a fun fact about you: I am a dedicated player (and occasional host) of team trivia at a local brewery.

Read more about Megan Kelto here: Megan Kelto Joins FLOW as Director of Public Engagement | FLOW | June 14, 2023.

Stephanie Kimball, Operations Manager

Stephanie Kimball, Operations Manager

Stephanie brings a wealth of nonprofit administration experience, having served at Preserve Historic Sleeping Bear and The Father Fred Foundation. She also had the experience of living near the 2010 Enbridge oil spill in Marshall, near Kalamazoo, and has seen firsthand how these types of disasters impact communities and the environment. Read more.

What connected you to the Great Lakes:One of my favorite quotes is, “There is nothing sweeter, gentler, or softer than water. But water has the power to move mountains,” by Claire Bertschinger. I feel the same about the Great Lakes. I feel their spirit and their power when I am close to them. My favorite family vacation memories are of Ludington State Park, where I spent days exploring the dunes and beaches. I love everything about the Great Lakes- from the sound to the beautiful color to the feel of the breeze coming off the water.

Favorite place in Michigan: Any place with a view of the water is my happy place. My favorite places are the Maple Bay Natural Area, Sleeping Bear Dunes, the Walk of Art Sculpture Park in Elk Rapids, and the Detroit Waterfront. An especially favorite spot is the TART trail along 5 Mile Rd. when it opens to the bay. The view is breathtaking. I love to ride my bike along that section of the trail at sunset.

What's a fun fact about you: I am a huge fan of dance in any form and firmly believe that dance training should be accessible to all, regardless of social or economic status. I was co-founder and director of a dance team at Marshall Academy that focused on uniting the school's diverse students and serving at-risk students with a form of expression.

Carrie La Seur, Legal Director

Carrie La Seur, Legal Director

As FLOW’s Legal Director, Carrie develops and implements legal and policy strategies to maximize protection of public trust resources and uses. A graduate of Yale Law School, Carrie recently relocated to northern Michigan from Montana, where she practiced civil litigation, specializing in environmental and climate issues. From 2006-2012 served as Executive Director of Plains Justice, a legal nonprofit she co-founded, litigating against new fossil fuel infrastructure.

What attracted you to FLOW?:A few years ago, I had the privilege of interviewing David and Jodi Archambault, brother and sister leaders of the Dakota Access Pipeline protests at the Standing Rock Sioux reservation. Dave and I visited the Sacred Stone encampment site along the Cannonball River, where the family kayaks in the summer, near the place where the pipeline runs under the Missouri River – water essential to the tribe’s history and future survival. We talked about the spiritual importance of water and being good ancestors. Talking to FLOW staff reminded me of that conversation. I thought, “They get it.”

Your favorite fact about the Great Lakes: I’m blown away that there are shipwrecks in the Great Lakes that have never been recovered, and century old wrecks still being found. It makes me want to abandon everything and join a salvage crew – but without the sketchy submersibles.

Read more about Carrie La Seur here: FLOW welcomes Carrie La Seur as its new Legal Director | FLOW | November 16, 2023
Carrie La Seur's full bio

Jim Olson, Founder and Senior Legal Advisor

Jim Olson, Founder and Senior Legal Advisor

Jim Olson has nearly 50 years of experience as an environmental, water, and public interest law advocate and champion, dedicated to protecting waters and ecosystems in the Great Lakes Basin. Jim currently contributes to FLOW’s legal and policy work, including policy analyses, law review articles, comments, reports, and other publications. He also speaks on behalf of the organization through presentations, lectures, and panel discussions. Read more here.

What connected you to the Great Lakes: Polling a home-made raft with my brothers up and down the shore of the East Arm of Grand Traverse Bay. I was fortunate that my parents moved their family—two girls, three boys—to Traverse City, by the time I was 5 years old we lived on the Bay, so, we grew up in and on the bay, felt its cold and warm temperatures, sensed its sweetwater smell, moods, its seasons and cycles, seches’ that flooded the beach, tore out docks, flipped over moored boats, ice skating, fishing, watersports, dressing up like pirates and pushing each other off row boats into the water.

Favorite place in Michigan: There are so many places that are “favorites,” it’s hard to say—Michigan’s beauty is soft, gentle, rough, rugged, and diverse from the ends of both peninsulas to the other ends. A few places-- Cathead Point, Lake Michigan’s Dunes, and vistas from the worn down mountains, cliffs and beaches that rim Marquette and Lake Superior.

Favorite Great Lakes fact: The distance from the border of southeastern Michigan to Ironwood and Michigan's border with Wisconsin in the Upper Peninsula is almost 650 miles--an 11-hour drive! Perhaps, longer than any distance within any state in the lower forty-eight! With lots of shoreline, rivers, lakes, creeks, wetlands, wildlife, pastures, farms, hills, and ridges, Great Lakes shoreline all the way.

How Supporters Can Energize FLOW's Next 10 Years: Donate to the Olson-Dempsey Fund.

Kyle Plummer, Development Director

Kyle Plummer, Development Director

As FLOW Development Director, Kyle Plummer works to help FLOW build the capacity to achieve its mission, and connect with supporters.

Kyle and his family enjoy a variety of outdoor pursuits, and have deep ties to northern Michigan. Kyle has an MBA in nonprofit management from Brandeis University, and is an experienced corporate, foundation, and major gift fundraiser, as well as a team leader. Read more.

What connected you to the Great Lakes: The mission of the organization, the passion that FLOW staff bring to their work, the reputation FLOW has in the community and with family members in the area, and the opportunity to have a meaningful and lasting impact on such a precious resource like the Great Lakes. I appreciate the opportunity to focus my work in environmental protection, environmental stewardship, and climate resilience.

Favorite place in Michigan: North Manitou Island is such a beautiful place to backpack and camp. I’m looking forward to spending more time camping, hiking, and kayaking in the Manitou islands.

What's a fun fact about you: I love bluegrass music and I play a bit of guitar and can do some amateur flatpicking. I love to camp, hike, and spend time on the water kayaking. I’m looking forward to getting some chickens and getting a small veggie garden started up once in Michigan.

Read more about Kyle Plummer here: FLOW welcomes Kyle Plummer as its new Development Director | FLOW | July 11, 2023

Marshall Protetch, Public Engagement Manager

Marshall Protetch, Public Engagement Manager

Public Engagement Manager Marshall Protetch works to expand, educate, and engage FLOW's audiences through digital content, events, presentations, and support of FLOW's fundraising campaigns.

Marshall is a journalist by trade who enjoys capturing the stories that inspire humans to consider their relationship with the Great Lakes. He has worked nearly five years at three different newspapers across the Midwest, including the Traverse City Record-Eagle. Prior to joining FLOW, Marshall was a marketing specialist at SEEDS Ecology and Education Centers. He also served in the Peace Corps in Zambia, and will graduate in May 2024 with a Masters of Marketing degree.

What connects you to the Great Lakes: Water has always had a calming effect on me, and living near a river, pond, or a lake has always had a powerful and positive impact on my life in all ways — physical, emotional and mental. I didn’t grow up around the Great Lakes, but once I found them, I’ve always found my way back.

Favorite place in Michigan: While it’s one of Leelanau County’s best kept secrets, my favorite place in Michigan is Christmas Cove beach. My wife and I love the spot so much that we actually got married there in 2022.

What's a fun fact about you:Over the years, I’ve learned to play more than 6 different instruments, including playing trumpet for 8 years in a jazz band. Some of my favorite summer evenings are playing guitar in my backyard with my wife.

Stanley "Skip" Pruss, Senior Legal Advisor

Skip Pruss, Senior Legal Advisor

Skip Pruss is an energy expert with decades of experience in both the public and private sector. He is a former cabinet member and director of the Michigan Department of Energy, Labor, and Economic Growth, as well as the former chief energy officer for the State of Michigan, under former Gov. Jennifer Granholm, where he was responsible for designing and implementing Michigan’s clean energy economy diversification efforts. Earlier in his career, Skip served as Deputy Director of the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality. Skip also is a co-founder of 5 Lakes Energy LLC, a clean energy technology consultancy.

Carolan Sonderegger, Policy Director

Carolan Sonderegger, Policy Director

Policy Director Carolan Sonderegger leads our policy team in designing strategic policy interventions. Carolan works with coalition partners, stakeholders, and agency and elected officials to advance FLOW's mission to keep the Great Lakes healthy, public, and protected for all.

Carolan arrives at FLOW with a deep background in science and policy. With a degree in Biology from Grand Valley State University, Carolan previously served as an Aquatic Biologist and Environmental Coordinator for the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians; and was then promoted to Natural Resource Department Manager. Read more here.

What attracted you to FLOW? The most significant factor that attracted me to FLOW was its mission and vision. Access to clean and safe drinking water is an undeniable human right, and FLOW takes charge to ensure our lawmakers are held accountable for delivering on their promise to protect and preserve our waters. As the Policy Director, I will be able to give a voice to water and live up to my name, Giziibii Ogitchida’ikwe (River Chief Woman).

What connects you to the Great Lakes? As an Indigenous woman, water is part of my identity. The Great Lakes hold a special place in my heart as they serve as a connection to my ancestors and their legacy. This is the same water that flowed through their bodies and it is the same water that rained upon their heads, as it does mine. The water that I touch today will be the same water that future generations will touch. As long as we cherish and protect it, water will serve as a powerful link between our past and future, uniting us all in its precious embrace.

Favorite place in Michigan:My favorite place in this world is a little creek that runs on my parent's property deep in the woods. When I need to quiet the world around me, I go to this place where I can talk to my grandmother, listen to the water running across the rocks, and find peace within myself.

Read more about Carolan here: Carolan Sonderegger joins FLOW as new Policy Director | FLOW | February 6, 2024

Cassie Weck Wun, Legal Intern

Raised in rural Illinois, Cassie Weck Wun is a rising third-year law student at Detroit Mercy Law. Before law school, she lived and worked in an intentional community, Jerusalem Farm, in Kansas City, Missouri. Through her work in restorative justice, home repair, and urban gardening during those years, she gained a framework of “rights and responsibilities” and an appreciation for the importance of healthy homes, good food, and affordable water for all. That experience was a catalyst for her journey to law school to work for the common good in a different (or additional) way. Cassie’s favorite experience in law school so far was being part of a traveling expungement clinic in May 2023 called “Access to Justice.” Cassie lives with her husband Joseph in Detroit, where she enjoys reading fiction, gardening, and playing board games.

How does this internship and working with FLOW fit into your career aspirations? 

Though I’ve always known that if I went into the practice of law, it would be in the public interest/non-profit sector, I have now narrowed down a desire to practice environmental law with a special interest in protecting water. So, the internship fits my vocational goals perfectly.

What is your favorite fact about the Great Lakes? Lake Superior is the largest freshwater lake in the world. 

What'a fun fact about you? My favorite plants to grow are garlic and tomatoes; this year, I am trying out the Old German tomato variety and also attempting to grow tomatillos for the first time.


Jeffery Schatz, Legal Intern

Jeffrey is a rising 2L at Yale Law School, where he is co-president of the Yale Environmental Law Association and a member of the Climate, Animal, Food, and Environmental Law & Policy Lab. Before coming to law school, he completed a PhD in Logic & Philosophy of Science at the University of California at Irvine. As a native Midwesterner, growing up in the suburbs of Chicago and receiving his BA from Valparaiso University in Northwest Indiana, Jeffrey is thrilled to have the opportunity to get hands-on experience in environmental law in the region he considers home with FLOW.

How does this internship and working with FLOW fit into your career aspirations: I hope to practice environmental law throughout my legal career, so it is invaluable to be able to learn from the legal team here at FLOW this summer, supplementing the theoretical courses I have taken at Yale with a practical understanding of how environmental law works in practice. Additionally, as I try to figure out the best way to use my legal training, I am excited to learn more about how litigation and policy work can be used in concert to help advance environmental justice.

What is your favorite fact about the Great Lakes: Lou E. Loon, the mascot and Ambassador of Fun for the Great Lakes Loons baseball team, is a Lake Huron native, and regular participant in charitable endeavors throughout the Great Lakes region.

What'a fun fact about you: From 2020-2023, I lived in Bergen, Norway. While I miss swimming in the fjords, being able to take a dip in the Grand Traverse Bay after work is also pretty wonderful!