Sara Race, is a Senior Environmental Compliance Specialist for ComEd, an electric utility company that serves most of northern Illinois. In her role, Sara is responsible for managing environmental compliance programs related to wetlands, land use, and threatened and endangered species. In addition, she oversees the company’s stewardship and biodiversity programs, including ComEd’s prairie program. Sara is currently involved with Chicago Wilderness as a member of the Corporate Council and works with many NGOs and government agencies to advance common stewardship and land management goals. Sara has been with ComEd since 2005, and has an M.S. in Environmental Management. Prior to graduate school, she worked in the non-profit sector focusing on environmental education and plant science education with institutions such as the Chicago Botanic Garden and The Field Museum. Sara joined the Biodiversity Project Board in 2009 and became Board Chair in 2013

Todd Cywinski Todd Cywinski is the Senior Vice President of Client Relationships at imagination. He works directly with Imagination clients to understand their business objectives and partners with them to develop strategies and implement content marketing programs that help meet their goals.

Todd spent the first 20 years of his career prior to Imagination focused on Customer Management, Business Strategy, and Marketing Strategy within the Financial Services Industry. He has worked on a wide variety of innovative and exciting customer-centric marketing initiatives at financial services institutions in the US, Canada, Australia, Asia, and Europe.

Todd lives with his wife and two daughters on the north side of Chicago where he enjoys biking along the lakefront and all the live music and comedy, food, and architecture the city has to offer.

As a Senior Consultant with Geosyntec Consultants, Dennis Dreher specializes in green infrastructure and watershed planning. He works with clients, and staff engineers and ecologists, to identify and incorporate conservation design practices into new residential, commercial, and institutional development projects. Dennis was formerly the Director of Natural Resources for the Northeastern Illinois Planning Commission, where he managed a variety of water and natural resource projects for more than 25 years.

Dennis has authored or assisted in the development of numerous water and natural resources publications, including model ordinances, guidebooks, and watershed plans. He holds a B.S. and M.S. in Environmental Engineering from Purdue University and the University of Illinois, respectively.

Dennis is Treasurer of the Chicago Wilderness Corporate Council and serves on the Chicago Wilderness Green Infrastructure Vision Task Force.


Theresa Salus is currently Outdoor Programs and Outreach Market Manager for REI (Recreational Equipment Inc.) for which she oversees REI Outdoor education, volunteerism, recreation programs, and events within the Chicago region.  Prior to REI, Theresa was Director of Economic Empowerment for the YWCA Metropolitan Chicago and also held several positions with the Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana. Theresa is a graduate of Slippery Rock University with a bachelor’s of science degree in both environmental education and theatre design and technology. She also holds a master’s degree from Aurora University in Recreation Administration, with a specialty in Outdoor Pursuits. In addition to serving on the Bluestem Communications Board, Salus serves on the YWCA Ambassador Council and Center on Halsted Board Program Committee.

Jill Kostel, Senior Environmental Engineer at The Wetlands Initiative

Maggie Soliz, Business Development at Applied Ecological Services