Fred Koerschner, President
We first visited Madeline Island 30 years ago and fell in love with its beauty and solitude! My wife and I currently have a summer cabin on the island which we enjoy using with family and friends when we are not at our home in Mahtomedi, MN.
Growing up in Michigan's Upper Peninsula I learned the pleasures and benefits of the outdoors and continue to enjoy skiing, hiking, kayaking, and bicycling.
Protecting the natural beauty on Madeline Island is important to me. That is why I enjoy serving on the Madeline Island Wilderness Preserve Board.
Steve Mueller, Vice President
I was drawn to Madeline Island because of the quiet and solitude offered by its unique beauty. My family visits the island all year round. We own a cabin on the northern tip of Madeline, from where we enjoy kayaking, hiking, biking and snowshoeing.
I am committed to the Wilderness Preserve’s mission of preserving this special place for future generations by setting aside many large portions of Madeline Island’s woodlands and bogs.
I make my living as a carpenter/contractor in the Minneapolis area.
I have been a board member of MIWP since 2007.
Tom Atmore, Secretary
Tom Atmore joined the Madeline Island Wilderness Preserve Board in 2014. Born and raised in Duluth, Minnesota, Tom spent summers sailing in and around the Apostle Islands and visiting Madeline Island. Now living and practicing law in the Twin Cities, Tom and his family have a cabin on Madeline Island where his family lives during the summer months. Tom was drawn to serve on the Wilderness Preserve Board out of his lifelong love for Lake Superior and Madeline Island and a desire to help preserve and protect this amazing area and the magnificent Lake.
Ned Hancock, Treasurer
Ned Hancock has been visiting Madeline Island with his wife and four children for twenty-five years, and when the last went off to college, he finally had time for North Woods volunteerism. After spending much of his early years in the forested areas of New England, his introduction to this eco-region turned into a life-long love affair. He became a board member in 2011 to help preserve for posterity what he and his family have been so fortunate to have enjoyed.
Ned has spent more than thirty years with 3M in a variety of marketing roles and lives in Edina, MN. He owns a cottage on the South Shore.
I grew up on the East coast and spent every summer at my grandmother’s house in Maine right on the edge of Acadia National Park. The park was my first lesson in the beauty and necessity of land conservation. I moved to Minnesota in 1978, came to Madeline Island about five minutes after unpacking, and have been spending time on the island ever since. I joined the MIWP board in 1989 because I truly love Madeline’s open spaces and it would break my heart to see them disappear. My main role on the board has been the very joyous one of planning the Fourth of July parade floats, but somehow last year I also got talked into being president, following in many good footsteps.
In my other life I have been a primary care doctor at the University of Minnesota for almost 30 years. I am a moderately good birder (I’m half of the team that leads the MIWP spring bird hike), a passionate but mediocre gardener, and I share my life with one daughter, two dogs, two cats, and five chickens.
Long before we built our cabin in the woods off South Shore Road, I worked at the Chateau Madeline, waiting tables and growing to love life on the Island. The many friends from that summer more than four decades ago still connect each summer on the Island. The circle has grown and the memories multiplied. Now, a member of the MIWP Board, I have come to appreciate the Island’s beauty even more and our collective need to be stewards of its treasures.
My professional life has focused on helping others work and live in cultures other than their own. My family and I have lived in Asia, Europe and the Middle East, always returning happily to our Midwest home and time on the Island.
I grew up in Duluth Minnesota, and Lake Superior and water in general has always been in my blood. As an environmental scientist and director of the St. Croix Watershed Research Station, an affiliate of the Science Museum of Minnesota, I work with water-quality issues on a daily basis. I was married to Madeline Island (literally) several decades ago in mid-December at the Coffin family cottage on the north end of the Island. Our family was one of the charter members of the Wilderness Preserve, and my wife Barbara, served as its second president until she convinced me to join the board in 1995, so she could step off. I became fifth president of the organization and currently serve as its newsletter editor and general go-to science guy.
I was elected to the first Madeline Island Wilderness Preserve Board of Directors in 1988 and served as the third President of this vital organization. As an urban commercial real estate developer, I see areas of great natural beauty become rarer, the importance of conservation become greater, and the need for places that aid personal balance and peace of mind loom ever larger. We are so fortunate to know what the personal value of this Island means and what it will mean for future generations. In the end, our society will be defined not only by what we create but by what we refuse to destroy.
Madeline Island is a special, unique place. I’d felt that for many years, but in the last year I have come to know it more directly. I first came to the island as a teenager with my family, and I have enjoyed our family cabin with my siblings over the past 31 years. When the land next door came up for sale my husband, Ken, and I followed our dream to spend more time here and we built a home. We are quickly becoming full-time islanders as the lake, woods and community call us here. We feel more engaged and invigorated with each season; we are extremely blessed to be here. As a health professional I have known about and personally experienced the healing power of the natural world. I am now eager to play a new role in preserving this local environment and doing whatever I can to foster connections for others to one of our world’s great natural places.
In 1953, my parents toured a dark Mission Inn cottage across from what is now the Madeline Island Golf Club. The cottage had no kitchen, needed work and included one-eighth ownership in the three-story Mission Inn hotel. Despite these challenges, they decided that if they were going to have a piece of paradise, this was it. And it was, and is. I had the great good fortune to spend all my childhood summers on the Island and then get back for at least one vacation each summer.
Serving on the board of the Madeline Island Wilderness Preserve unites my love of the Island with my profession. I work in the field of my greatest passion: conserving our natural world. I’m the Director of Philanthropy for The Nature Conservancy chapter that includes Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota. Our office is in Minneapolis on the Mississippi River, so I work by the greatest river in North America and vacation on the greatest of the Great Lakes.
My first trip to the Apostle Islands was in 1986 aboard a 26-foot sailboat. Although the trip was filled with adventure and mishaps, we were enchanted by the Islands. The boat grew to 40 feet and we continued to explore the Apostle Islands every summer. A catastrophic engine failure in 1997 marooned us on Madeline Island with two small children and too much time We discovered a lovely beachfront property on Sunset Bay and it captured our hearts. We were drawn to the quiet beauty of Madeline Island and built a summer home.
In 2010, I received a postcard from the MIWP looking for people to get involved. My years of sailing and exploring the Apostle Islands had given me a profound appreciation for their natural beauty. According to Native American wisdom, we do not inherit the earth from our ancestors— we borrow it from our children. As we live and play on Madeline Island, we have a duty to protect and preserve its natural beauty for future generations. It is to be savored, enjoyed and protected. I am honored to participate in this dynamic and passionate organization.
For the past 30 years, I have worked in the practice of anesthesia. The operating room is a sterile, fast-paced, and highly-technical environment. It makes time on Madeline a serene respite from my professional life in Duluth.
Our family has owned a home on Madeline Island since 1989. We enjoy the natural beauty of the Island and I wanted to help preserve this for future generations so I joined the MIWP Board in 1991. I have served as the Treasurer for 6 years and as the President for 10 years.
I enjoy spending time at our cabin and boating in the Apostle Islands.