Prairie Rivers Network is governed by a board of directors that sets policy for the organization, determines its annual working budget, and hires and oversees the work of its executive director. Members are elected by the board and serve three-year terms with the option of reappointment. Present members of the board are as follows:


Jon McNussenJoined Board: 1991 and elected president in 2006
Illinois Location: Villa Grove
Profession: Environmental, Health, and Safety Coordinator for an agricultural and industrial equipment manufacturer
Background: Jon is a leader of Citizens for a Safe Environment, a grassroots group which successfully opposed construction of a landfill and a toxic waste incinerator. Like other members of the board, McNussen provides leadership based on his firsthand experiences as a grassroots organizer. His knowledge of OSHA and EPA regulations and a perspective on the environmental issues facing industry are also valuable to our board.


Eric Freyfogle - professor of law

Joined Board: 1998 and served 5 years as board president and has been secretary since 2009
Illinois Location: Urbana
Profession: Swanlund Chair and Professor of Law at the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana where he has taught since 1983. His teaching and scholarly work focuses broadly on humans and nature with particular emphasis on private property rights in land and natural resources and on environmental thought. He is author of over 100 articles, essays, and reviews and author or editor of a dozen books, including Justice and the Earth (Free Press 1993); The New Agrarianism (Island Press 2001); Why Conservation Is Failing and How It Can Regain Ground (Yale University Press 2006) and On Private Property: Finding Common Ground on the Ownership of Land (Beacon Press 2007); law school casebooks on wildlife law (Foundation Press, 2d ed. 2010; with D.D. Goble), natural resources law (West 2007), and property law (West 2012; with B. Karkkainen); and the co-authored treatise, Wildlife Law: A Primer (Island Press 2009; with D.D. Goble).
Background: A long-time environmental activist he brings to the board both hands-on experience and expertise in environmental, natural resources, and property law.
Favorite River: Hog Branch of the Embarras River


Michael RosenthalJoined Board: 1996
Illinois Location: Glencoe
Profession: Engineer with his family firm, Rosenthal Manufacturing in Chicago
Background: While a student at the University of Illinois, Rosenthal led the campus Model Community waste reduction program, recruiting and training volunteers from sororities and fraternities to reduce the wastes produced at their campus houses, recycle everything possible, and use recycled products. Rosenthal brings to the board the energy of youth and expertise concerning environmental issues and industries.


Maggie BrunsJoined Board: 2010
Location: Urbana and Washington D.C.
Profession: Legal and Operations Associate at the League of Conservation Voters in Washington, D.C. She currently manages operations, outreach and LCV’s President’s Office, while acting as the liaison for their Board of Directors.
Background: Bruns has been a long time supporter and volunteer of Prairie Rivers Network. She began volunteering while attending UIUC. Shortly thereafter she began organizing various PRN events such as the Salt Fork River Clean-ups and our Annual Dinners. After graduation, Maggie worked for the Student Conservation Association in Northwest Montana and interned with World Wildlife Fund, before landing at the League. She brings a fresh (yet familiar) voice and her experience working with a national grassroots organization to help guide the future direction of Prairie Rivers Network.


Clark BullardJoined Board: 2000
Illinois Location: Urbana
Profession: Engineer and U of I Professor
Background: Clark is a long-time environmental activist and leader of many campaigns, notably the 22-year effort to develop alternatives to an ill-conceived dam project and secure National Scenic River status for the Middle Fork of the Vermilion River. He has served as a professor, consultant, member and Chair of the Central Midwest Low-Level Radioactive Waste Interstate Commission, directed the US Dept. of Energy’s Office of Conservation and Renewable Energy Policy, and served as policy analyst for the Congressional Office of Technology Assessment. He currently serves on the board of directors of the National Wildlife Federation. Bullard brings to the board not only his professional expertise but also well-honed skills in organizing to achieve environmental goals. He and his wife Irene are the parents of three grown children.
Favorite River: Middle Fork of the Vermilion


Ellyn BullockJoined Board: 2012
Illinois Location: Champaign
Profession: Owner of Law Office of Ellyn J. Bullock where she practices in adoption and federal civil rights litigation.
Background: Ellyn Bullock is a lifelong environmentalist and a strong PRN supporter. Ellyn has received the Catholic Charities Friends of Adoption award (2007), the East Central Illinois Women Attorneys Association Service Award (2011), the YWCA Leadership Award for Environmental Advocacy (2011) and the Prairie Rivers Network Volunteer of the Year Award (2001). Ellyn and her husband David have three great kids – Kyle, Imy and Charlie – and they enjoy their company when they come home to visit from their college and work experiences.
Favorite River: The Mighty Mississippi

Jean FlemmaJean Flemma

Joined Board: 2015
Illinois Location: Urbana
Profession: Strategic Environmental Policy and Planning Consultant.
Background: Jean was previously the Executive Director of PRN from 2002-2006. She recently left her job as a Senior Policy Advisor at the Committee on Natural Resources in the U.S. House of Representatives and is working as a consultant. Jean brings more than 25 years of experience in international, national and state policy development and implementation to the board as well as her hands on understanding of the organizations operations.


Rob KanterJoined Board: 2014
Illinois Location: Champaign
Profession: Academic adviser and lecturer with the University of Illinois School of Earth, Society & Environment, where he teaches courses in environmental communications and issues.
Background: Rob prefers to be outdoors whenever possible–taking pictures, birding, hunting, fishing, walking and/or just being. He writes about these pursuits, along with the scientific and political efforts to maintain a world in which they are possible, in “Environmental Almanac,” which runs as a column in the Champaign News-Gazette, as a radio commentary on WILL-AM 580 and other Public Radio affiliates around the state, and lives online at
Favorite River: The nearest one


Joined Board: 2017
Illinois Location: Seymour
Profession: Executive Director and founder of 4 Osprey | Ecofluent,
Background: Recently retired from Krannert Center for the Performing Arts, Rebecca is now applying her over 30 years of experience in strategic planning, marketing, and management to environmental and local community efforts. Rebecca is currently the executive director and founder of 4 Osprey | Ecofluent, a nonprofit organization committed to helping people live in balance with the environment, and director of the Community Solutions Incubator, a program of the Community Foundation of East Central Illinois offering mentoring, networking, and co-working space to start-up community nonprofit organizations. Rebecca and her partner live on 7 acres along the Sangamon River in Champaign County.

Favorite River: Sangamon

William Van Hagey

vanhageyJoined Board: 2014
Illinois Location: Mahomet
Profession: Bill has a private law practice in Mahomet representing clients in a variety of business counseling and litigation matters. He is also an adjunct Professor at the University of Illinois.
Background: Bill has been a long-time supporter of Prairie Rivers Network. He received his undergraduate and law degrees from the University of Illinois. He clerked for Chief Justice Robert C. Underwood of the Illinois Supreme Court. He is a former chairman of the Franchise Advisory Board in the office of the Attorney General of Illinois. As a former farm land owner and board member of the Land Conservation Foundation, Bill brings to the board a wealth of knowledge and commitment to protecting our environment.