Deb Ryun, Executive Director

Deb Ryun, has been the Executive Director of SCRA since October 2009. She has 25 years of experience with management and coordination of multi-stakeholder initiatives; watershed-level planning; and implementation of on-the-ground projects to protect land and water. Deb provides overall leadership for and management of the SCRA. She is the public face of the Association and represents the organization before various audiences. During the open water season, Deb spends much of her free time enjoying all that the Namekagon and St. Croix Rivers offer. Email:

Bethany Cox, Director of Development

Bethany Cox is the Director of Development at the St. Croix River Association. She has been with the St. Croix River association since September of 2019, and brings with her years of entrepreneurial and nonprofit experience. Bethany is looking to creatively engage more of the community to not only support the Namekagon and St. Croix rivers but also to bring more individuals and families to the rivers to experience the natural beauty this National Park provides. Bethany grew up experiencing the lakes and rivers in Wisconsin from a canoe and is looking forward to exploring the Namekagon and St. Croix rivers with her own family. Email:

Nichole Henger, Forestry Program Coordinator

Nichole grew up in Ohio and went to the University of Dayton for her B.S. in Environmental Biology.  She continued her education in NY and enrolled in a dual degree program with State University of New York-Environmental Science and Forestry and Syracuse University. There she obtained an M.S. in Forestry and Natural Resources Management and an MPA and also completed a thesis on Emerald Ash Borer state management plans. During her free time, she enjoys backpacking, canoeing and exploring new areas.  Email:

Emilee Martell, Program and Clerical Support

Emilee is a life-long river rat with a long family history on the lower St. Croix River, and loves summer kayaking and winter hiking. She earned B.A.s in English and Environmental Studies from St. Olaf College, and spent the year after graduation serving as a full-time volunteer at a community garden in Denver, Colorado. During college, Emilee participated in SCRA’s summer internship program as a park guide, and is excited to return as an AmeriCorps VISTA to engage with businesses in the watershed to improve engagement and stewardship. Email:

Sophia Patane, Communications Coordinator

Sophia graduated from Hamline University in St. Paul, Minnesota with an M.F.A. in Creative Writing in 2019, as well as a B.F.A. in Creative Writing and a B.A. in Psychology in 2016. Prior to joining SCRA in March 2020, she served as the Assistant Managing Editor and Communications Assistant for the Creative Writing Programs at Hamline University and completed an internship at Graywolf Press. Sophia is responsible for developing the communications and social media strategy for the St. Croix River Association, including managing the production of print materials and electronic communications. She grew up on the shores of a lake in northwest Iowa and hopes to magnify the myriad voices and stories that make the St. Croix River and its watershed a vital place to protect for future generations. Email:

Jane Rice, River Connections Guide

Jane graduated from the University of Iowa in 2019 with a degree in Journalism and Mass Communication and a Certificate in Sustainability. After graduation, Jane spent the summer interning at Canyon Field School in Grand Canyon National Park, teaching local kids and teens about the park’s natural wonders. Jane joined the St. Croix River Association in September 2019, as the River Connections Guide. In her position, she hopes to help new and diverse audiences discover the Riverway and explore the amazing recreation opportunities it has to offer. Email:

Iskra Rood, Admin and Program Support

Iskra graduated from the University of Bradford, UK with a M.A. in International Development Management and a B.A. in Communications from Bangkok University International College. Iskra joined SCRA in July of 2017, assisting with administrative duties and is also now overseeing SCRA’s communications efforts, website development, social media as well as event coordination and office management. Iskra is still new to the paddling game and she’s working her way through it. Email:

Katie Sickmann, Invasive Species Coordinator

Katie Sickmann recently graduated from the University of Wisconsin- River Falls with a B.S. in Biology and Field Biology. Prior to accepting the Invasive Species Program Coordinator position with SCRA she worked with the Prior Lake- Spring Lake Watershed District. There she gained experience with water quality monitoring, invasive species management, education and outreach, and maintaining BMPs and restoration sites. Katie has spent many summers at her family’s cabin just outside of Spooner, WI and loves to kayak the Namekagon whenever she can get the chance. She works closely with government agencies and other stakeholders such as outfitters, marinas and bait shops, and those engaged in preventing and controlling the spread of invasive species. Email:

Kate Wright, Marketing and Development Coordinator

Kate grew up on the St. Croix River and enjoys our watershed year round by skiing, paddling, and hiking with her dogs. She studied Business Law and Environmental Studies at the University of St. Thomas, earning her B.A. Kate joined the SCRA team in March of 2017 focusing on donor relations and database management. Since then, her duties have expanded to include our in house marketing, event management and supervising SCRA’s first AmeriCorps VISTA position. Kate serves on the Board of Directors for the Deer Lake Improvement Association focusing her efforts on the environmental commitee with AIS strategic planning and the Clean Boats Clean Water program. She is training to be a Wisconsin Mater Naturalist in 2020.  Email:

Monica Zachay, Land and Water Program Director

Monica Zachay is the Land and Water Program Director at the St. Croix River Association. She has been with the St. Croix River Association since 2012, working to develop the SCRA's Land and Water Program, which strives to protect and restore the water quality of the St. Croix, realizing its connection with land use. Monica holds a Bachelor of Science in Natural Resources from the University of Minnesota, and has extensive experience in multi-stakeholder project leadership, land restoration, and hydrological modeling of lakes and streams. She is currently working on her Master’s in Public Affairs from the University of Missouri – Columbia. Email: