Staff & Consultants
Contact the Children and Nature Team
phone: (612) 351-2723
If you’d like to make a contribution
Sarah Milligan Toffler
Sarah is a creative, energetic, and mission-driven leader who brings 25 years of experience in developing, funding, and implementing outdoor education and adventure programs that provide a deep connection to nature for people of all backgrounds and abilities.
Cathy is using the many skills she learned during her 25+ years as an IT professional, small business owner and PTO treasurer to bring order and efficiency to C&NN’s processes and systems. Detail is her middle name. She is based in Minneapolis, MN and enjoys summer camping trips with her family and friends.
Grassroots Leaders and Research Network Organizer & International Conference Manager
Avery Cleary is the co-founder of the San Francisco Bay Area Children in Nature Collaborative and leads C&NN’s initiative to connect, support and empower Grassroots Leaders. She currently guides the team of Grassroots Leaders and C&NN staff who are committed to creating avenues of access to the latest tools, resources and research on Network Leadership Principles and Strategies.
Vice President of Advancement
Amy is an accomplished and versatile senior level organizational and development leader who is passionate about helping donors make a positive difference with their gifts by supporting organizations and causes that they care about. She brings over 25 years of executive experience with several foundations and nonprofits that focused strengthening the lives of children, youth and families and building strong partnerships with community organizations. Amy enjoys spending time with family and friends and being outdoors.
Consulting Research Director
Cathy Jordan, PhD, LP, pediatric neuropsychologist by training, is an associate professor in the Division of General Pediatrics and Adolescent Health in the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Minnesota. She is also an Extension Specialist in the University of Minnesota Extension Center for Community Vitality. Cathy was the Executive Director of the University of Minnesota Extension’s Children, Youth and Family Consortium from 2004 until July, 2014. Cathy earned her PhD in clinical psychology from Wayne State University in 1991.
VP, Strategic Initiatives
Margaret is a policy and program architect who connects environmental learning and play with the goals of achieving health and wellness for all children. She is a national leader in designing programs that increase outdoor physical activity, mental health, and healthy lifestyles for children and families.
A proud product of south central Los Angeles, Juan D. Martinez is C&NN’s VP of Strategic Partnerships. His passion to empower individuals and youth led him to direct Sierra Club’s first environmental justice youth leadership academy in Los Angeles.
VP, Marketing and Communications
Every organization has a story to tell. Laura Mylan has spent the past 25 years helping public, private and nonprofit organizations create and share narratives that define issues, deliver business objectives and advance causes. She brings a passion for the outdoors and youth development to her work and loves helping grassroots networks communicate effectively to bring social change.
Staff and Consultants
Cheryl Charles, Ph.D., served as founding President and CEO of C&NN from April 2006 to July 2013. Cheryl is an innovator, entrepreneur, author, and educator who is among those instrumental in developing the worldwide movement to reconnect children and nature.
Manager, Community Leadership Development
CJ Goulding trains, mentors and supports a national network of leaders who are creating equitable access to nature in their communities. His work stems from his previous experience as an outdoor trip leader, community crew leader, youth programs manager for the National Park Service, his Masters studies in Urban Environmental Education, and his overall passion for people, community, and leadership.
Elissa Hoagland Izmailyan
Director, Cities Connecting Children to Nature
Elissa is a partnership builder, helping city governments collaborate among departments, across jurisdictions, and with communities and the private sector to better serve their constituents. She began her career in urban environmental education, inspired by her lifelong relationship with nature. She also brings over eight years of consulting experience helping cities and their partners develop parks, infrastructure, and policies to facilitate inclusive community development.
Monica Lopez Magee
Director, Community Leadership Development
Monica has turned a love of the outdoors into a career promoting nature exploration, environmental education, and stewardship. Through her sixteen years of nonprofit work, she has been involved in all stages of program implementation and development from spearheading youth education programs and community-service initiatives, strategic planning, fundraising, and organizing communications campaigns.
Director, Content Strategy
Jenette is Director of Content Strategy at C&NN. She brings over 17 years of experience to the role and was a health and environmental reporter and documentary film producer for PBS, ABC, CBS & National Geographic before shifting into nonprofit communications and content. Jenette is passionate about nature and the environment and sits on an Advisory Board for the Endangered Species Coalition.
Research Library Curator
Ruth Wilson, Ph.D. has over 30 years as a teacher and teacher educator and now devotes most of her time to writing and consulting on issues relating to young children and nature. She wrote her first book on connecting children with nature (Fostering a Sense of Wonder during the Early Childhood Years) in 1993 and has since written several other books and numerous articles on this same topic. Her most recent book, Learning is in Bloom, was published by Gryphon House in 2016.
Director, Green Schoolyards for Healthy Communities
Jaime is a strategic thinker, partnership builder, program developer, fundraiser and conservationist who is thrilled to help make green schoolyards the norm. She is the former Vice President of Community Engagement and Education at Openlands in Chicago, where she grew the organization’s school-based programs to include a substantial school garden and teacher training program for elementary and high school students, and launched its green schoolyard program, Space to Grow.
The Children & Nature Network is a national nonprofit organization and led by a dynamic team of employees and consultants across the U.S. If you’d like to help us connect children, families and communities to nature, keep an eye our Jobs listing and our Facebook page for employment, contract and volunteer opportunities.