NLI Board of Trustees and Affiliations
“Perhaps nobody before us had seen the need or been able to set aside natural areas. And those that follow will no longer have the chance. They will only be able to care for what we leave them.” ~ George B. Fell
Attorney, Ray A. Ferguson & Associates, Ltd
Retail Operations Manager, Rocktown Adventures
Engineer, Ingenium Technologies (retired)
Executive Director, Kane County Forest Preserve (retired)
President and Chief Investment Officer, Investors Management Group (retired)
Immediate Past President
Mark Maffei, Ph.D. Owner/President, Androck Hardware Corp
Electrical Engineer Manager, Sundstrand /UTAS (retired)
Ed was born and raised in Rockford but now resides in Genoa, IL (DeKalb County). He grew up in the city but always migrated to the country and, in particular, the family cabin along the Kishwaukee River. Ed is following in the footsteps of his father, Gordon G. Eggers, who was a previous NLI president during the Nygren Wetland acquisition. A love of international travel and the outdoors led Ed on a 30+ year career in the agricultural seed business. He directed international seed activities for DEKALB Genetics and ultimately owned, with his wife, Sunfield Seeds, Inc. based in the Sacramento Valley of California which primarily produces hybrid sunflower seed and utilized up to 60,000 bee hives per season. They now own several Colorado food operations which focus on natural and gluten free and are run by family members. Being involved with NLI gives Ed a nice conduit to transition from a successful business career to a non-profit alternative for the benefit of future generations. Ed is an avid sportsman who enjoys hiking, skiing, canoeing, sailing and many other outdoor activities. He has a BS from Colorado State University in Ag Business with a minor in Agronomy and an MBA from Northwestern’s Kellogg School.
Broker, Dickerson & Nieman Realtors
Executive Director, Girl Scouts of Northern Illinois (retired)
President, LMA Techworks (retired)
Retired, Environmental Science Educator
Biology Instructor, Highland Community College
Urban Planner, Gary W. Anderson Architects
Daniel L. Swift, M.D.
Physician, Rockford Urological Associates (retired)
Retired, Illinois Department of Natural Resources
Nancy Williamson retired June 2018 after serving 19 years with Illinois Department of Natural Resources as a Regional Watershed Coordinator and was “Green Cities” Campaign Manager for the Illinois Wildlife Action Plan, and Conservation 2000 grant administrator for twelve years, working with private sector Ecosystem Partnerships in Northern Illinois. She served for seven years as co-chair of the Chicago Wilderness Green Infrastructure Team, and founded the Sustainable Watershed Action Team, which worked with private grant funding to advance green infrastructure planning, watershed planning, and resource-sensitive development with multiple local jurisdictions across northern Illinois.
Nancy served for five years on the board and as President of the McHenry County Conservation District, and 15 years on the McHenry County Conservation Foundation and on two referendum committees, ultimately bringing $141.5 million in open space funding to McHenry County, IL.
Nancy was a recipient of the 2010 United States Department of Interior “Partners in Conservation” Award for her work with Chicago Wilderness Green Infrastructure and received the award again in 2012 for her role in helping establish Hackmatack National Wildlife Refuge. She currently serves as Board treasurer for Friends of Hackmatack NWR. She is an accomplished graphic artist/illustrator and helps many not-for-profits with free or cost effective graphic design, including interpretive signage at NLI’s Nygren Wetland Preserve.
President, Midwest Packaging and Container
Rob Young was born and raised in the country at Everbold Farm in Kirkland, Illinois and has had a curiosity and passion for the natural world from a young age. An avid outdoor adventurer, Rob has sought out natural beauty in places such as New Zealand, California, Utah, Arizona, Georgia and Virginia, but when he is home you can find him hiking along a Northern Illinois trail. Professionally, Rob is the owner and President of Midwest Packaging and Container, a tennis teaching pro at Forest City Tennis Center, and the assistant editor of FutureSox.com. Rob is a 2015-2016 alumni of the Rockford Chamber of Commerce Leadership Rockford Program, a member of Next Rockford, and Vice President of the Rockford Young Professionals Meetup group.
President, Zethmayr LLC
Carrie Zethmayr, President of Zethmayr LLC, started the business development company in 2017 to help businesses to realize their full growth potential. Before starting Zethmayr, Carrie served for two years as Northern Stateline Region Manager for the State of Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity. Prior to joining the State of Illinois, Carrie served as Executive Director of Trade & Investment for the Rockford Area Economic Development Council where she spent seven years marketing the Rockford region and managing business attraction projects.
Her personal passion for preserving our natural world and serving communities through economic development is shown in her volunteer work as Trustee, Natural Land Institute, and as President, Women of Today’s Manufacturing.
Other roles in the community that she has held include: Executive Director, I-39 Logistics Corridor Association, Director, IL Small Business Development Center International Trade Center, Chairperson, Go Global International Trade Conference Planning Committee, Staff Liaison, Rockford Area Aerospace Network.
Carrie holds a Global MBA from Thunderbird School of Global Management, and a Bachelor’s degree in Modern Languages and Asian Studies from Beloit College. In 2006 and 2007 she lived in Jinan, China where she studied Chinese language and culture.