Our Team

Mary Vandevord


Mary has always had a deep appreciation for nature, farmland, and the outdoors. She has a background in urban planning and preservation and has worked in various states on land use policy, conservation, and trails. She took the reins as CEO in October 2016.

(618) 566-4451 ext. 20

Ed Weilbacher

Vice President – Building Greener Communities

Ed has been with HeartLands since the beginning. He is responsible for a variety of special projects, most notably the Mounds – America's First Cities Project. As a former NRCS coordinator, Ed advises staff on natural resource issues and opportunities.

(618) 566-4451 ext 11

Michael Andreas

Agricultural Waste Technician

Mike coordinates and designs agricultural projects, such as animal waste facilities. He has worked on numerous facilities in Clinton County and is a former NRCS employee.

Susan Brethauer

Office Assistant

Susan volunteers as our office assistant once a week. She has a background in human resource management and helps keep us on track.


Janet Buchanan

Environmental Planning & Policy

Janet works primarily on our watershed projects. She has a background in biology and environmental policy and is involved in water quality efforts in the state and region. She also coordinates a water quality monitoring event in East Fork Silver Creek each year.

(618) 566-4451 ext. 25

Bill Boardman

Conservation Easement Monitoring Volunteer

Bill makes sure that our 30+ easements are being managed and protected. A landowner near Millstadt, Bill himself has made a long-term commitment to preserve part of his land in a conservation easement.

Laura Lyon

Special Projects Coordinator

Laura, who also serves as VP/Principal at H3 Studio, works on Special Projects at HeartLands – primarily the Mounds – America's First Cities Project. Laura has a background in urban design, planning, and landscape architecture, as well as graphic design and marketing.


Kim O’Bryan

Development & Events Coordinator

Kim is responsible for HeartLands' events, membership program, corporate sponsorships, and fundraising. She has a background in marketing and advertising and has served on numerous committees and boards throughout southwestern Illinois.

(618) 566-4451 ext. 10

Trisha Roberson


Trisha handles the financials at HLC. She has 17 years of experience in accounting and financial management. She joined our team in October 2016.

(618) 566-4451 ext. 12

Sarah Vogt

Environmental Programs Technician

Sarah has a passion for natural areas and native plants. With a background in natural resources, Sarah manages HLC's natural area stewardship and invasive species removal programs. She creates maps, works on bicycle and pedestrian plans, and manages other projects.

(618) 566-4451 ext. 23

Steve Widowski

Special Projects – Middle Mississippi River Partnership

Steve is a wildlife biologist and retired after 23 years as a forest supervisor for the Shawnee National Forest. Steve now coordinates the Middle Mississippi River Partnership and our work to protect the natural floodplains of the Mississippi River.