Administration Office & Development Teams
- Travis Williams - Executive Director
- Nicole Tonar - Executive Assistant
- David Nyitray - Development Director
- Lynn Kotecki - Advancement Officer
- Anna Daab - Visitor Services Coordinator
- Ashley Van Zee - Community Outreach Coordinator
- Tracey Nally - Grant Writer
Travis has worked in the field of environmental education and resource management since 1997 when he graduated from Hope College with degrees in Biology and Environmental Science. As his career developed, he pursued multiple advanced degrees including a MBA in Strategic Management. He has worked for the Outdoor Discovery Center Macatawa Greenway since its founding in 2000 where he has been intimately involved with developing the nonprofit education and conservation organization as its first Executive Director.
From a young age Travis was interested in wildlife, conservation, and the outdoors. He spends most of his time with his wife and three children enjoying the outdoors and sports activities. Travis’ favorite hobbies include fishing and nature photography – both of which feed Travis’ passion for being outside.
The best part of working at the ODCMG are the amazing opportunities we are offered each day to make our community the best place to Live, Learn Work and Play. It is a blessing to work for this organization, with the ODCMG Team, and in our amazing community.
Nicole moved to Holland 12 years ago after graduating with a Bachelors Degree in Business Administration. Her first job out of college was for a large logistics company working in the HR department where she remained for 10 years. She was searching for opportunities to move out of the corporate world and into a business or organization that focused on a greater mission.
Her hobbies range from enjoying the beaches along Lake Michigan, golfing, biking, camping, but most importantly, spending time with her children, family and friends. One of Nicole’s favorite things about working at the ODC are the relationships that have been built with co-workers, visitors and the overall community.
Dave’s background is in development and administration of non-profit organizations and he was drawn to the ODC because of his desire to connect people and the outdoors. In his free time, he likes to play softball, go camping with his wife and son, and grill out with friends. Dave’s favorite part of working at the ODC is seeing community support invested in children and families experiencing nature together!
After retiring in 2009 from 35 years in banking, Lynn is thrilled to be launching a second career with the Outdoor Discovery Center. Her role as Advancement Officer allows her to put good use to her experience in both relationship management and community development. Lynn enjoys working with a young staff whose energy and ideas keep her on her toes and young at heart. She enjoys traveling, flying, biking, and camping with Karl, her husband of 45 years.
After working for several other non-profit organizations Anna found her love of working and developing relationships with children and adults alike. After visiting the ODC with her oldest child in 2011 she was blown away with the mission of the organization and how it connected community members with nature in a unique way.
Her favorite part of working at the ODC is the ability to interact with the outdoors while seeing how nature influences the lives of many individuals. In her free time Anna spends time with her three daughters, she bikes, runs, bakes, adventures in the woods, and spends time finding unique adventures around Michigan.
Ashley was once a 4th grade student who came to the ODC on a fieldtrip, she went to Central Michigan University for Recreation and Event Management. After a long internship, she was hired on full time. In her free time she likes to walk/run with her Dalmatian – Chip, play softball, and travel. Her favorite part about be a part of the ODC Team is seeing the change and growth in people’s hearts and lifestyle when they’re exposed to nature.
Tracey is excited to be at the ODC after 30 years in academia where she assisted faculty in obtaining external grants for education and research. Tracey loves to enjoy our West Michigan outdoors including its lakes, beaches, and cross country skiing and hiking trails. She wants to ensure they stay pristine and enjoyed by all by helping ODC secure resources to educate our community to appreciate and conserve our natural environment.
Program, EcoSystems, and Early Childhood Teams
- Jamie Krupka - Program Director
- Joy Funk - Chief Naturalist
- Tom Funk - Interpretive Naturalist
- Andrea Woody - Interpretive Naturalist
- Jennifer LaForest - Assistant Naturalist
- Dylana Eisaman - Interpretive Natualist/Productions Manager
- Kim Lane - Animal Care Specialist
- Bob Wandel - EcoSystems Education Network
- Ted Malefyt - EcoSystems Education Network
- Larry Fegel - EcoSystems Education Network
- Carlie Becksvoort - LHDP Assistant Teacher/ODCMG Maintenance
- Vicki Sturtevant - Early Childhood Naturalist/LHDP Associate Teacher
- Ruth Cronk - Early Childhood Coordinator/EcoSystems Ed. Partner
Jamie Krupka is a naturalist who has worked for the Outdoor Discovery Center Macatawa Greenway since 2003. Though he grew up in the suburbs of Cleveland, Ohio, he has lived in West Michigan since 1999. He received a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Biology from the University of Dayton. His specialty is birds but he also enjoys learning and teaching about reptiles and amphibians. Jamie has enjoyed building the ODCMG program department to a diverse and skilled team of people. He looks forward to new ways they can continue connecting people with the natural world around them.
Jamie’s personal goals including visiting all 50 states and compiling a bird life list of 3,000 species. His pastimes include bird watching, exploring new places, traveling, playing soccer and spending as much time as possible with his wife Sarah, daughter Anna and son Nicholas.
After working as a landscape designer for almost 7 years, Joy realized her passion for teaching about the environment and worked in Kentucky and Illinois as a naturalist. She has been with the ODC since 2013.
She enjoys hiking, baking, reading, and walking her German Shepherd, Zeke. Her favorite part about working for the ODC is the variety of her job responsibilities and helping children get excited and be amazed about our natural world.
Tom grew up loving nature, at age 4 he had started a butterfly collection, his prize specimen, a luna moth. By age 5 he had a toad hole under the front stoop and he was scaring little girls by getting lizards to bite onto their hair. His very first job was as a Boy Scout camp counselor. He loved teaching kids about the outdoors.
Tom took a class to become a certified interpretive guide and he volunteered with the Lake County Illinois Forest Preserves. He decided to pursue a career as a naturalist, he had jobs and adventures at Acadia National Park and the Land Between the Lakes before coming to the ODC. Tom started at the ODC running the Visitors Center, he is now a full time Interpretive Naturalist. For fun, Tom likes to take walks with his beautiful wife and his dog Zeke, decorate cakes, and raise honeybees.
Andrea is a new Michigan resident who began her Naturalist career at Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area in Kentucky. After receiving her Master’s Degree in Park and Resource Management, she spent 4 years in Kansas working with over 60 different species of program animals. She jumped at the chance to join the ODCMG, a company with a strong identity and clear mission. Andrea is enjoying her new Lake Michigan life style. Her hobbies include going to the beach, reading, biking, camping, and taking walks with her husband and dog. She imagines that her walk will get much shorter when winter arrives.
Jennifer started working weekends at Founders Hall in 2010 and gradually increased her involvement to include programs and animal care. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time in her garden, swimming with her kids, and practicing archery with her husband. Her favorite part about working at the ODC is sharing in the little mysteries and wonders of nature, like finding tracks by the pond or a new flower in the meadow.
Dylana has been with the ODC since 2009 and sometimes marvels at how much the organization has grown since then. She has a passion for education, although her background is in Biology and Art, with a concentration in printmaking. Dylana most enjoys finding cool nature facts and sharing them with people, either through programs or in the brochures, signs, and newsletters she’s in charge of creating here.
Bob is a Graduate of Michigan State University and has a Masters in Business from Davenport University. Bob came to the ODC through his work as an educator in STREAM School. Bob is an 8th grade science facilitator in a middle school STREAM classroom where students uncover significant content through the natural world and Project Based Learning.
The quest to build a nature-rich community in West Michigan has led Bob to the ODC Ecosystems Education Network, where he takes on the role of EcoSystems Education Partner.
Bob lives on the North Side of Holland near Lake Michigan with his wife, Kelly, and daughters, Ellie and Riley. He and his family have a close connection to the Great Lakes where they spend most of their time exploring, hiking, camping, fishing, hunting and living.
Ted came to the ODC through his work as an educator in STREAM School. He currently teaches in the middle school STREAM classroom where students uncover significant content through the natural world and gold standard Project Based Learning. The success of STREAM School has led him to the ODC Ecosystems Education Network where he takes on the role of EcoSystems Education Partner.
In his free time, Ted enjoys outdoor time with his family, fishing for salmon on Lake Michigan, and reading. All the while focusing on the mission of engaging more kids and adults in the natural world that surrounds them. A vision of a nature rich community where all kids have the ability to develop a personalized relationship with their ecosystem while adding value drives the discussion every day!
In 1969, he worked at Blandford Nature Center as an Environmental Educator, he helped start the educational farm in 1974. After retiring from teaching at West Ottawa, Larry joined the ODC Team in 2001, through the Ottawa Area Intermediate School District. He was hired to help Travis start the educational programming at the ODC. He also teaches geology at Grand Valley State University.
Larry was born passionate about the great outdoors and teaching others about nature. In his spare time, Larry prefers to go fishing, hiking, biking, and birding. He enjoys the opportunity to be a support for teachers incorporating outdoor activities into everyday educational programs, like STREAM school.
Carlie joined the Little Hawks during its first year, as an assistant teacher. She graduated from Grand Rapids Community College and holds an Associates Degree in Early Childhood Development. She is passionate about her job because, she gets to help kids grow and learn through nature and the world around them.
In her free time, she likes to scrapbook and craft, spend time with family and her new nephew. She also coaches volleyball. Her favorite part about working for the ODC is spending every day with children and helping them explore and learn through nature and being outside!
Vicki graduated from Central Michigan University with a degree in Recreation, Parks and Leisure Services with a concentration in Outdoor and Environmental Education. She completed a 2 semester internship at the Chippewa Nature Center in Midland where she discovered her love of teaching young children about nature. After many years of teaching at various camps and a residential education facility; she found her way to the Outdoor Discovery Center. She is excited to share her love of the outdoors with young children through teaching at the Little Hawks Discovery Preschool and Nature School. In her free time she enjoys biking, hiking, knitting, crocheting, and sewing.
After retiring from 32 years of teaching for Zeeland Public Schools she found her niche teaching outdoor education classes with us. She is an avid walker who loves interacting with little children in their natural world. Her goal is to afford children opportunities to create their own sense of curiosity and wonder as they explore their nature world.
- Mike Oosting - Operations Director
- Dan Vinson - Grounds and Equipment Manager
- Dan Callam - Greenway Manager
- Ben Heerspink - Conservation Land Manager
- John Dykstra - Maintenance
- Joey Broderick - Facilities Manager
- Tanner Bricker - Conservation Land Steward
Mike came from the Pacific NW, Alaska, Idaho and Hawaii. He has a degree in Landscape Architecture from Colorado State University. His background experience is a blend of construction and natural environment.
In his spare time he likes to build and create wood sculptures and garden. Working at the ODC is gratifying for Mike because he is able to construct new buildings and develop natural play areas.
Dan was born and raised on a dairy farm in Hopkins, he was introduced to the ODC through his sponsor for falconry. He began volunteering in the care and feeding of the birds of prey shortly after hearing about the ODC. In 2010 a permanent position opened up in the maintenance department and he was hired on full time. His duties include trail and building maintenance, building natural play structures and playgrounds, and bird of prey care.
In his spare time, Dan likes to ride his Harleys, build furniture out of reclaimed wood, and make various items through his leather-working skills. His favorite part of working at the ODC is the reward of seeing kids and the community connecting with nature.
Dan came to the ODCMG in 2012 after studying at, then working for, Hope College in the Geology and Environmental Sciences department. He enjoys the wide variety of projects that we have going, including helping plan and monitor restoration projects, as well as introducing folks to paddling the Macatawa Marsh. When he’s not at the office, you can often find him on his paddleboard, his kayak, at the golf course, or “managing” the ODC softball team.
Ben started at the ODCMG as a volunteer after completing his Natural Resource Management degree at GVSU. He loves playing with his dogs Lucas and Luna, mostly Luna. Ben also plays softball, rides his motorcycle, and backpacks. He enjoys the people he works with every day, to share a work environment with such dedicated people. The best part about working at the ODC is that he gets to work outside everyday, it’s the best office he could imagine.
Joey graduated from Western Michigan University. He loves working outside and thought the Outdoor Discovery Center would be a perfect fit for him. He saw an opportunity to work at the ODC and jumped all over it. He loves being able to make a difference in the community with the ODC’s conservation work. One of his favorite things about working at the ODC is being able to work with the elk! In his spare time, Joey likes to go hunting, fishing, and backpacking with his dog, Stella.
Tanner joined the ODCMG team as a conservation land steward. Tanner is a graduate of Central Michigan University where he studied Biology with a concentration in Natural Resources. He is excited for the opportunity to help restore ecosystems and reconnect people to nature. In his free time, you can find him on the water, hiking, or playing his guitar.
Little Hawks Discovery Preschool Team
- Rachel Hucul - Little Hawks Discovery Preschool Director
- Barb Ferguson - LHDP Administrator
- Jayne Schutter - LHDP Office Manager
- Kelsey Zuiderveen - LHDP Lead Teacher/Early Childhood Naturalist
- Darcy Logan - LHDP Lead Teacher
- Sandra Kipen - LHDP Lead Teacher
- Elizabeth Wolter - LHDP Lead & Associate Teacher
- Jill Babich - LHDP Associate Teacher/Early Childhood Naturalist
- Kristi Rosema - LHDP Associate Teacher
- Kristin DeJarnatt - LHDP Associate Teacher
- Nicole Dykstra - LHDP Associate Teacher
- Brittany Peters - LHDP Associate Teacher
- Sheila DeVries - LHDP Associate Teacher
Rachel is the Preschool Director and Lead Teacher at Little Hawks and has been with the preschool since its creation and is the lead teacher for the Gray Squirrels and Blue Jays sessions. After graduating from Saginaw Valley State University with a B.A. in Elementary Education and an endorsement in Early Childhood Education, she taught for six years in Midland before join our team. Her goal is to create an environment where every student can enjoy a safe, enriching, and challenging learning experience by using the natural resources around us.
Barb is a retired teacher, principal and curriculum director and serves as the preschool administrator for Little Hawks. She has loved being a part of the creation of Little Hawks and will be happy to try to help answer any questions about enrollment, tuition, paperwork, etc.
Call (616) 393-0949 or email email@example.com.
Jayne joined the team in 2017. She was born and raised in Hamilton and still resides in the area with her husband, John, daughter, Julia and son, Johnny. Jayne loves good coffee, spending time outside with her family, enjoying beach days and kayaking. She is excited to serve Little Hawks families in the area of office management.
Kelsey graduated from Calvin College and has three years of experience teaching environmental education to preschoolers through 12th grade. She is an active musician; her main instrument is the oboe. Kelsey’s hobbies are hiking, backpacking and biking. She joined the Little Hawks team in 2016 and is an assistant teacher in the Blue Jays session.
Darcy has 20 years of experience teaching children from preschool to 6th grade. She owns her own music education program, Tunes4Tykes, and is a very active leader in the Boy Scouts of America. She is married to her high school sweetheart, Tim, and has five children.
Sandra and her husband Dan have been married for 12 years. They have a 6 year old son, Logan, and a 9 year old dog, Swisher. Sandra earned her Master’s Degree in Early Childhood Education from Grand Valley State University and has been teaching GSRP for 5 years. She enjoys spending time with her family and friends, running, baking, and party decorating with her friend Courtney and organizing.
Elizabeth is joining the Little Hawks team this year. She graduated from Cornerstone University with a Bachelors in Elementary Education and Early Childhood Development. Elizabeth loves teaching young children about the world around them. In her free time, she enjoys hiking, kayaking and yoga. She was born and raised in Holland.
Jill graduated from Central Michigan University with a degree in Child Development and Outdoor Recreation. She has experience working with and teaching children of all ages in camp settings and child care. She loves walking with her dog, running, camping, hiking, paddling and baking. She is joined the Little Hawks team this year and is very excited about providing nature experiential learning for the children!
Kristi has a background in Environmental Education and has spent much of the past 20 years home educating her two, now grown, children. She and her husband, Kale, live in Holland and will be celebrating their 30th anniversary this year. Kristi loves the sense of wonder children have for the world around them and she is looking forward to exploring and discovering with the Little Hawks students.
Kristin graduated from Hope College with a B.A. in Biology and a minor in Environmental Science. She taught environmental education to 4th – 12th graders for 5 years and preschool for 3 year old’s for 3 years. She enjoys gardening, kayaking, camping and spending time with her husband and daughter. Kristin encourages students to be curious and creative in the outdoors and also to care for the environment.
Nicole is originally from the east side of the state, moving to Holland after graduating from Grand Valley State University. Both of her children are Little Hawks graduates and have mastered the fine art of puddle jumping! Nicole loves the outdoors, finding the fun in every season. She is excited to be a part of the Little Hawks team and the many awaiting adventures and memories!
Brittany graduated from Grand Rapids Community College with her associates degree in early childhood education. Before joining Little Hawks she spent seven years working in child care with children’s ages ranging from 1 to 4. She loves being outdoors and connecting kids with nature. Brittany is married and has a young daughter. In her free time she enjoys golfing, attending Bible Study Fellowship, and spending time with family.
Sheila is excited to be joining the Little Hawks team this year. She graduated from Calvin College with a degree in Biology. She has over 4 years of experience in outdoor education with pre-K – 12th grade and beyond. When she is not teaching kids, you can find her reading books, playing with her American Eskimo dog, Echo, or enjoying the outdoors through hiking, birding or photography.