INHF Welcomes Four New Staff Members

Posted on July 28, 2022 in Blog

Please join INHF in welcoming Stacie Couvillon, Sydney Hunter, Patrick McNaughton, and Erica Place! Each brings valuable expertise to both newly-created and already existing positions. 

Stacie CouvillonNick Goodell

Couvillon joins the INHF team as the Planned Giving and Major Gifts Coordinator. In this newly-created role, she will work with INHF’s cohort of known legacy donors, grow the planned giving program and help steward and deepen relationships with our committed constituents. 

Couvillon is originally from Lincoln, Nebraska but also resided in Tennessee and Texas before settling in Des Moines. She has undergraduate and master’s degrees from Nebraska Wesleyan University and Vanderbilt University in Biology, with an emphasis on plant evolutionary biology. Most recently, she served as the Program Manager at the nonprofit After School Arts Program (ASAP). She is proud to have navigated the challenge of providing arts enrichment opportunities to students who weren’t in school full time, if at all, during the pandemic. 

“This position seemed like a nice way to blend my background in biology with my more recent nonprofit experiences,'' Couvillon said. “Plus, conservation has a special place in my heart as I’ve always enjoyed spending time in nature no matter the activity.” 

Couvillon enjoys running, hiking and essentially any other activity that gets her outdoors. She also loves spending time with her family and has taught yoga for 19 years. 

Erica PlaceKaley Hubbard

Place began creating social media content and managing INHF’s magazine as the Communications Specialist last spring. Though an Iowa transplant, she has called central Iowa home for much of her life and now resides in Huxley.

Place has a B.S. in Animal Ecology from Iowa State University. She worked in various natural resource roles prior to starting with INHF: inventorying plants and animals in the Iowa Great Lakes region; growing trees at the State Forest Nursery; connecting people with nature through environmental education programs; or building nature advocates through a county-wide volunteer program.  

“I’ve long admired INHF’s work across the state,” Place said. “The stars finally aligned for me to join this hard-working team of conservationists and I couldn’t be more excited about contributing to this mission.” 

An avid hiker, Place feels most at ease on a woodland trail with binoculars in hand. She has to stop at every sandbar and would love to chat with you about birds or your favorite place to get outside.  

Sydney Algreen-HunterAJ Lass

In her new role as Communications Assistant, Algreen-Hunter will manage content for the website and handle design and layout of INHF publications among other responsibilities. She is originally from Earlham, IA and lived and worked in eastern Iowa before returning to central Iowa. 

Algreen-Hunter received degrees in Forestry and Spanish from Iowa State University. Her previous work includes multiple years as a naturalist, followed by working at the Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden. Serving as a land stewardship intern in 2009 inspired Algreen-Hunter to look for a full-time position at INHF. 

“I greatly value the work INHF does and after being in the conservation field for many years, know the expertise and acclaim that INHF carries,” she said. “I am humbled to be part of INHF’s mission and what I consider to be one of the most upstanding conservation organizations in Iowa.” 

Algreen-Hunter enjoys spending time outdoors with her twins and husband. She especially loves hiking through the prairie and will gladly join you on any prairie romp.   

Patrick McNaughtonBrady Chiles

McNaughton recently joined the INHF crew in northeastern Iowa as Blufflands Land Stewardship Assistant. He is from “all over” but has been based in Decorah since 2020. 

McNaughton earned a B.S. in Wildlife Ecology- Research and Management from University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. His many previous roles include Maintenance Aide with California State Parks, bio-tech with USFWS, and wildland firefighter with USFS, but he says his greatest achievement is working with a variety of endangered birds with the New Zealand Department of Conservation. 

Though a traveler at heart, McNaughton applied for a position with INHF because he wanted to settle down in Iowa and work for an organization that matched his land ethic.

“I have wanted to work in conservation since I can remember,” McNaughton said. “It has been a lifelong passion for me. Every day is living the dream.” 

This dream includes floating down “majestic” Iowa rivers, kayaking, canoeing, tubing and more. He is at peace on the water.