St. Paul Office: 651.290.0154
Duluth Office: 218.727.0800
Prior to joining MEP in 2006 Steve served as Senior Fellow in the College of Agricultural, Food and Environmental Sciences, at the University of Minnesota. He developed and ran the Green Lands, Blue Waters initiative; a Mississippi River basin project to maintain productivity of the land while addressing the ecological impacts of agricultural practices.
Steve was Deputy Commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) from 1999 to 2003. He was elected to the Minnesota State Senate in 1986 and reelected three times. During most of his 12 years representing the Winona area, he was Chair of the Senate Environment and Agriculture Budget Division. Prior to his legislative work, Steve managed his family’s apple orchard and served on the Winona School Board.
Irene leads MEP’s work on Great Lakes policy at the regional and national level, including oil transport, invasive species, ballast water, TMDL’s and other related policy issues. Irene brings to MEP extensive experience working with Indian tribes and tribal organizations on the state and national level in the areas of governmental affairs and environmental policy. She is a graduate of Stanford University and received her law degree from Cornell Law School. Irene is a member of the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe, born and raised in Cass Lake, and very eager to make Duluth her new home.
Abbie staffs the Mining and the Great Lakes Clusters, assists in capacity building, and fundraising. Prior to taking on this role, she had worked with MEP as the Legislative Session Intern. Abbie is passionate about the intersection of environmental protection and social justice. Before coming to work for MEP, Abbie worked as a community organizer with MN350, the Sierra Club, and the Whittier Alliance. She earned her Masters of Public Policy degree from the Humphrey School for Public Affairs. In her spare time, she enjoys camping, hiking, listening to podcasts, and reading.
Matt joined MEP in March 2017 as the coalition’s Operations Assistant, handling MEP’s communications, web management, and administrative functions. He has previously worked with the Sierra Club as a Legislative Intern and volunteer, assisting with advocacy, research, and writing for the North Star Chapter’s policy campaigns. He holds a B.A. from UMN-Twin Cities with a major in Political Science and a minor in Global Studies. A Wisconsin native and resident of Saint Paul, Matt is an avid explorer of Minnesota’s outdoor spaces and enjoys baking, swimming, and hiking with his dog.
Sara works with MEP’s coalition groups to develop and implement collaborative policy and candidate education initiatives, including communications, organizing, and lobbying at the Minnesota Legislature. She previously served MEP at a Candidate Education Coordinator, and draws on experience working for the Ramsey County Attorney’s office and the Statewide Association for Family Planning. Sara studied at St. Olaf College and the University of Minnesota, and earned her law degree from William Mitchell College of Law. In her free time, she enjoys playing the cello and traveling with her family.