Tag: Renee Huckle Mittelstaedt

FLOW’s 2021 Annual Report

With Gratitude: Celebrating 10 Years of Keeping Water Public and Protected with You

This past year marked an extraordinary year for FLOW, as we celebrated a decade of keeping our water public and protected. In reflecting upon this past decade, we have much to be grateful for, even in these challenging times.  

First and foremost, we are thankful for you, who have made our work possible year after year. You have understood the urgent need to steward our water as a commons protected from one generation to the next. You have seen the need for us to establish a new healing relationship with water and to apply science and the rule of law as foundational principles for making informed policy decisions that protect human health and the entire water cycle. You stood with us to take on the threats of water privatization and commodification, oil pipelines in our waters, water insecurity, an affordability crisis, chemical contamination, crumbling infrastructure, and much more. 

Because of you, our movement continues to grow, forging potent alliances and partnerships with people, organizations, and governments across the Great Lakes Basin, including indigenous tribes, frontline groups, and business and community leaders. In the next decade, it will take all of us rowing together in the same direction to secure the kind of durable and lasting water policies needed for these globally unique and magnificent Great Lakes.

We give thanks to FLOW founder Jim Olson for his visionary legal thinking, leadership, and passion in founding a nonprofit wholly dedicated and committed to protecting water as a shared commons for all peoples from one generation to the next. His lifelong dedication to clean, safe, affordable, and public water has never faltered. Jim’s work continues to this day. We cannot begin to thank him enough. 

We give thanks to our current and past board members and advisors, who have been tremendously helpful in charting our visionary policy work and establishing our unique public interest voice across the Basin.

FLOW Executive Director Liz Kirkwood

We give thanks to our staff for lending exceptional talent and devotion to Great Lakes protection every day. Our staff brings heart and soul to this challenging and rewarding work, drawing on decades’ worth of law, policy, and communication experience to improve the future of all living creatures and communities in the Great Lakes. And our policy work is richer thanks to a decade of amazing interns, volunteers, visual artists, writers, performers, and filmmakers sharing their gifts.

We give thanks to our partners, allies, and friends who share our core values and goals, working to secure water for all, and who bring diverse and rich perspectives to solving complex issues. 

The next 10 years are critical, with urgent solutions needed to protect water and public health from the climate crisis. We want you to know that your unwavering support and commitment make all the difference. 

Board Chair Renee Huckle Mittelstaedt

We thank you for empowering our work for the last decade and for standing boldly with us in the next 10 years. Our pledge to you remains the same: We are committed to law, science, facts, and truth. We focus on empowerment for the common good and public interest. We speak for the water. We include all persons and succeed together.

Our warmest wishes to you,

Liz Kirkwood and Renee Huckle Mittelstaedt

Please watch this video below of Liz and Renee thanking FLOW supporters and unveiling our 2020-21 Annual Report:


New Officers Elected to FLOW Board of Directors

As we celebrate our 10th anniversary throughout 2021, we at FLOW are pleased to announce the election of new officers on our Board of Directors.

“I joined FLOW’s board because I was so inspired by the impactful work founder Jim Olson and Executive Director Liz Kirkwood have done through FLOW and wanted to do what I could to support the FLOW team,” — new Board chair Renee Huckle Mittelstaedt. 

Renee Huckle Mittelstaedt, former president and CEO of Huckle Media, LLC/Huckle Holdings Inc., has taken over as FLOW’s new Board Chair. She joined FLOW’s board in 2015 and previously served as treasurer.

“I joined FLOW’s board because I was so inspired by the impactful work founder Jim Olson and Executive Director Liz Kirkwood have done through FLOW and wanted to do what I could to support the FLOW team,” Mittelstaedt said. 

“Like so many others who love the Great Lakes and value clean water, I want to support an organization that creates lasting change. And I believe the way in which FLOW approaches its work—through law, sound science, and policy—is the most effective and sustainable way to protect these precious waters,” she continued.

Organizational consultant Sarah Naperala is FLOW’s new Vice Chair. Former Board Chair Mike Vickery, an Emeritus professor of Communication, Public Affairs, and Environmental Studies at Alma College, is now Board Treasurer. Lisa Wyatt Knowlton, an executive advisor and learning leader in leadership, management, and policy, is FLOW’s new Board Secretary.

“I am grateful to have a team of Board Officers who are accomplished professionals in management, leadership, and thought whom I can rely on as strategic partners committed to delivering on FLOW’s mission to ensure the Great Lakes are healthy, public, and protected for all,” said FLOW Executive Director Liz Kirkwood. “I believe 2022 will be a year of significant challenges and opportunities as we work with urgency to combat the climate crisis and protect the Great Lakes, groundwater, and drinking water for current and future generations.”

Click here to learn more about FLOW’s new Board officers and all the other valued volunteer members of the Board of Directors.