Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin welcomes two new board members

Photo for web

January 27, 2015

The Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin is thrilled to announce the addition of two new 2015 board members: David Adam, senior vice president of finance and head of corporate treasury for Johnson Financial Group, from Franklin; and Michael Williamson, executive director of the Wisconsin Investment Board, from Madison. That brings the total number of trustees to 19 this year, with expertise ranging from zoology, botany and ecology to finance, management and compliance.

“As the Foundation continues to grow, we’re looking forward to drawing on the unique and diverse skills our board members offer, including our two most recent additions,” said Ruth Oppedahl, executive director of the Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin. “With their help and support, we can more effectively help steward the state’s wild lands and wildlife, and connect Wisconsin residents to the beauty of the nature all around us.”

David Adam oversees Johnson Financial Group’s investments, funding and corporate insurance function and is a member of its Benefits Plan Committee. He is a certified public accountant and has served on the Foundation’s finance and endowment committees since 2009. Adam has a strong interest in wildlife conservation and enjoys hiking, biking, kayaking, bird watching and cross-country skiing. He said his favorite outdoor place in Wisconsin is the deck of his cottage in Whitewater, where he can watch the sun set over the lake. He hopes to use his financial background to help the Foundation be good stewards of the assets entrusted to its care as well as to grow in his understanding of management of State Natural Areas.

“The Foundation is the representative organization for State Natural Areas, which generally lack the level of state funding, fee-based revenue and visitor visibility found in the state park system,” Adam said. “The field trip system is an excellent way to achieve a level of awareness for these overlooked areas. The Foundation also provides a path for donors interested in establishing a legacy of their own to support our natural heritage.”

Michael Williamson was named the executive director of the State of Wisconsin Investment Board in 2012. He has served as deputy secretary for the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources, the director of the North Carolina Retirement System and deputy director of the District of Columbia Retirement Board. Williamson is a former University of Wisconsin-Madison administrator who enjoys cross-country skiing, hiking, biking and bird watching. His first love, however, is fly fishing for trout.

“I’ve been blessed to inherit the natural resources in the state because someone else had a vision to set those aside,” Williamson said. “It’s clear that we need to continue to build an environmental ethic in the generations that follow us and to preserve and set aside additional resources. The work that the Foundation does accomplishes that, both in terms of the sites and the species that live in those sites.”

The board’s officers this year are: Board Chair Diane Humphrey Lueck (from Friendship), director of Becoming an Outdoors Woman and professor at UW-Stevens Point; Board Vice Chair Martin Henert (from DeForest), retired executive assistant at the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection; and Board Secretary Kristine Krause (from Milwaukee), retired vice president of Environmental at Wisconsin Energy Corporation. Mark LaBarbera (from Hazel Green), CEO of ML&Associates and founder of the Outdoor Heritage Education Center, is the board’s new treasurer this year.

# # #

Left photo: David Adam (Courtesy of David Adam)

Right photo: Michael Williamson (Courtesy of Michael Williamson)

The Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin provides sustainable funding for Wisconsin’s most imperiled species and public lands, while helping citizens connect with our state’s unique natural places. Learn more at

Contact: Lindsay Renick Mayer
Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin
[email protected]
608-266-3138 (office)
608-842-6669 (cell)