Coordinating Team

The BREN Coordinating Team represents diverse stakeholder groups from resource development, agriculture, advocacy, recreation, universities, environmental consulting, flood control, among others.

The Coordinating Team is made up of 7 to 13 members, two of whom are appointed by the Board of Directors. The remaining members are elected directly by BREN membership. The Coordinating Team is delegated authority to act on behalf of the Boise River Enhancement Network. Elections are held annually and each CT member is elected to a 2-year term.

Welcome and welcome back to the 2019-2020 BREN Coordinating Team members:  Zachary Autin, Erv Ballou, Phil Bandy, Adam Bass, Tamsen Binggeli, Louisa Evers, Rob Tiedemann, Jim Nunley, Cassie Connolly, Jane Kreller, Mike Homza, and Maria Minicucci.

Jane Kreller
I serve as the Communications and Community Outreach Manager for SUEZ Water Idaho. In that capacity, I help with graphics, press relations, guide tours of the plant, and lead our social media efforts. I’m happy to lead events and don’t mind public speaking. I don’t have a scientific background, but I do have passion for our community and treating our resources with respect. Anything that helps protect and preserve the Boise River is good for the community and good for SUEZ Water Idaho. About 30% of our drinking water comes from the Boise River. In the summer, our Marden Water Treatment Plant processes 16 million gallons of surface water a day, directly from the Boise River. We are a zero discharge facility, meaning everything we take, we use, even the wastewater from cleaning our filters. Our plant was designed to process even the most muddy river water, but the Boise River is a wonderfully clear source that requires relatively little treatment. We want to keep our river healthy.

On a personal note, I’ve been in the area for 14 years. We have 3 small children, and I spend as much time outside as possible. I’m a distance runner. As a city girl from Dallas, seeing wildlife on the trails or the greenbelt never gets old. I appreciate the opportunity to serve!

Cassidy Connolly
Being born and raised in Boise, I have been around the Boise River for my entire life. I have always been passionate about learning more about the river and the ways that we can preserve this natural resource that our community is so fortunate to have. I recently graduated from Boise State University with a Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Studies and minors in Sustainability and Psychology. I took the opportunity to volunteer on the planning team for the 2019 Boise River Boogie. I have helped with outreach, social media marketing, and event preparation. Being a part of this event, I learned more about the Boise River Enhancement Network and volunteered at other BREN events. I want to increase my involvement with BREN. I am very passionate about the power of education, conservation efforts, and sustainable practices. I hope to have the opportunity to be more involved with the improvement and preservation of the Boise River while being a part of the Coordinating Team.

Jim Nunley
I reside in Meridian, Idaho. I’ve been involved with issues concerning the outdoors all my life. My earliest memories are from my father taking me and my brothers and sister into the mountains to enjoy the outdoors. My greatest pleasures to this day are to get outdoors and to enjoy the fact that we still have public lands and recreational opportunities that were preserved by our forefathers and mothers.  After 4 years in the U.S. Navy as a Meteorologist, I became a meat cutter which turned out to be my primary profession for the next 60 years.  When I moved to Idaho 27 years ago, I went to work for Micron and retired at age 65.  At one time or another, I’ve lived, hunted and fished and enjoyed the outdoors in almost every state in the West. I believe my life experience has given me a unique understanding of what the average person expects as a quality experience enjoying the outdoors.
I am a Past President of the Idaho Wildlife Federation where I worked as hard as possible to preserve the interest of Idahoans concerning the core values of what they enjoy in the outdoors. My goal is to do all I can to preserve our outdoors and I mean land and water for the future generations. I would love to be a member of BREN Coordinating Team.

Louisa Evers
I am a very recent member to BREN, but very interested in what the organization is trying to accomplish.  I have recently retired and moved to Nampa-Caldwell.  Prior to retirement I was the Science and Climate Change Coordinator for the Oregon-Washington State Office of BLM for 5 years and prior to that, I was the Interagency Fire Ecologist working for both Oregon-Washington BLM and Region 6 of the Forest Service.  I have considerable experience in disturbance ecology, writing environmental documents, and writing scientific papers for publication; and some experience in managing budgets and overseeing assistance agreements to accomplish research important to the agency(ies).  I have contacts with the USGS office in Boise and with several organizations interested in cooperation and collaboration in solving environment issues in the Great Basin (Great Basin Consortium) that might prove useful to BREN.

Rob Tiedemann
I am an ecologist and educator engaged with communities of scholars, practitioners, and neighbors working to improve the condition of the natural world and built communities we share. In brief, I have served as President or officer of several 501(c)(3) non-profit organizations including as a founding member of the Board of Directors of the Land Trust of the Treasure Valley and the East End Neighborhood Association, and service with the Harris Ranch Wildlife Mitigation Association and The Grapevine, Inc.  Like BREN these organizations serve the public interest and are staffed by volunteers with common purpose.

I have produced and presented at BREN events including the following peer to peer presentations: (1) Fundamentals of River Restoration, Idaho Chapter of American Water Resources Association (November 14, 2018), and (2) A Reconstruction of the Geomorphic and Ecological History of Barber Pool (April 5, 2019).  And, I have provided technical assistance at the request of BREN to the Wood Duck Island Homeowners Association, City of Middleton, and Idaho Shakespeare Festival.
My interest in serving as a member of the Coordinating Team is founded on providing a bridge from the past to the future.  As one of the principal authors of the Boise River System Ordinance, I have witnessed the value of the public process in building consensus for the conservation of the Boise River and its floodplain.  I wish to share that experience, and others from my professional career, with those who are eager to continue to educate the public and advocate for the river.

Erv Ballou
I have managed and enforced the Idaho Stream Channel Protection Act for over 34 years while employed by the Idaho Department of Water Resources – chiefly responsible for the existing program, rules, and operation. I have acted as an advisor to the Boise River Flood Control District (FCD) #10 since 2007.

Phil Bandy
The Boise River is a treasure for me and my family. As a young man I explored the riverbanks when they were mostly unimproved and the river itself still functioned as a “working” river. Over the past 45+ years I have seen the river transformed from its former state to a significant recreational, social, and cultural component of Boise and the Treasure Valley. I would like to do my part to maintain, enhance, and perpetuate this important amenity of our community.

I intend to support BREN by applying the leadership, management, communication, analytical, and organizational skills I have developed through my academic and career experiences. I hold a Master of Public Administration degree (MPA) with an emphasis on Natural Resources and Environmental Policy, as well as a Master of Science degree in Geology and a Bachelor of Science degree in Geosciences. I worked for the State of Idaho for over 17 years in several natural resources agencies (Idaho Department of Environmental Quality, INEL Oversight, Office of Species Conservation, and Idaho State Department of Agriculture). My primary focus while working for the State was nonpoint source pollution of ground and surface waters and watershed protection.

I have direct experience with policies affecting the river from my tenure as Mayor, Councilman, and Commissioner for the City of Eagle. During my seven years with the City, I lead many short and long term strategic planning efforts in a complex economic and natural resource environment. I served during challenging times of rapid development along the Boise River and proposed development in the foothills above the city.

I am currently Senior Environmental Scientist at HECO Engineers. I have over 25 years of experience in environmental and natural resources projects, including information management and technology, outreach and education, project and program management, regulation, and administration. I am skilled in interpersonal communications, problem-solving, and collaboration. I plan to use the knowledge I have gained through these experiences and efforts to support BREN’s goal to enrich the Valley’s quality of life.

Adam Bass
I have been involved with BREN information sessions and have coordinated with current members. My experience with the Boise River is recreating along it since childhood and I continue to do so. Last year, I kayaked from the New York Canal Diversion to the Confluence with the Snake River which was neat to see all the different areas along the River. Growing up here has given me the appreciation of what a great asset the Valley has and why better understanding of the river needs to be demonstrated to the public.

By becoming a founding member of BREN and getting involved by attending information sessions, I’d like to further dedicate my effort and time to what BREN is accomplishing. Being involved with projects such as the Hyatt Hidden Lakes Reserve, Cottonwood Creek Daylighting, and the North Alkali Drain would make me absolutely ecstatic to give something back to the drainage that has provided me so much. Improving water quality, habitat, recreation, and economy along the River in a sustainable way is something I strongly believe in and will continue to strive for in my free time as well as in my occupation.

Tamsen Binggeli
I currently serve as Treasurer on the BREN Board of Directors and have been involved with BREN for over 5 years. I am passionate about the Boise River and finding opportunities for enhancement through collaborative action. During my tenor I’ve worked to guide planning efforts, facilitate meetings, perform outreach and work cooperatively with stakeholders. I also helped research and write the Boise River Enhancement Plan.

I currently work as an Environmental Planner for T-O Engineers in Meridian. I have a Master’s of Science in Environmental Science from the University of Idaho and have experience working in a variety of ecological systems, with a focus on riverine‐riparian and wetland ecology. I am dedicated to BREN’s mission and am looking forward to working with the BREN Coordinating Team in whatever capacity I can.

Mike Homza, PE
I was initially involved with BREN from its inception, including: BREN’s very first organizing meetings (before BREN even had a name), meeting with Dr. Kustra inviting him to speak at BREN’s 2011 public event, assisting with the public event as well as other BREN events. I have been a “casual” participant in a number of Coordinating Team (CT) meetings, have assisted with fundraising and have taken on other tasks as requested by the CT. I am a river restoration/civil engineer well versed in many aspects of river and habitat planning, design, modeling, permitting and construction. I therefore believe I can contribute to the CT from the technical/practical/regulatory aspects as well. I am a resident of Boise and frequently float, stroll along and bike along the Boise River: I truly believe the Boise River is the lifeblood of the Valley and want to do what I can as a responsible citizen to protect and enhance the river, its water quality and associated habitat. I was also a founding member and President of the Idaho section on the American Water Resources Association (IDAWRA) and understand the roles and responsibilities associated with professional/non-profit organizations such as BREN. I believe my history with BREN, my professional expertise, commitment to the community and passion of rivers in general – and the Boise River in particular – can benefit BREN.

Maria Minicucci
Having grown up in a small town on the banks of the Charles River, I understand what a river can mean to a town, a city, a region, and beyond. Like most rivers, the Boise River has absorbed more than its share of punishment in the last 160 years and I’m proud to be part of the effort to restore its ecological health.  I have a background in the sciences (B.S. in biology) but I’m not a scientist. I’ve worked in government agencies during my time in Idaho and earned a M.P.A. a few years ago. My path has been, as they say, “non-linear.”  My interests are in trying to actively influence our systems- social, financial, governmental, scientific – to create positive impacts in our communities. I believe that BREN is the best organization in our community to provide leadership and coordination in the efforts to restore of the ecological health of the Boise River corridor.

Thank you to our past Coordinating Team members: Erin Brooks, Heidi Ware Carlisle, Lisa Harloe, Jessie Sherburne, Greg Kaltenecker, Charissa Bujak, Jessica Harrold, Tim Breuer, Whitney Byrd, Kati Carberry, Bill Carr, Tom Chelstrom, Mike Dimmick, Megan Dixon, Alex Johnson, Doug Fowler, Gary Grimm, LeeAnn Garton, Michael McConnell, Christy Meyer, Liz Paul, Derek Risso, Julie Scanlin, Mike Somerville, Alan Winkle, and Becky Yzaguirre.