Our
Team

Chris Knopf

Executive Director

For more than 25 years Chris has worked to protect, preserve and restore our wild places. Prior to joining the Friends, he was a practicing environmental attorney, served as the Ohio Office Director for The Trust for Public Land and worked as a major gifts officer with the Indian Land Tenure Foundation. He has deep love for the outdoors and enjoys hiking, kayaking, canoeing, biking, backpacking and photography.
Contact Chris

Mike Linnemann

Director of Development

Mike sees fundraising as the art of helping passionate supporters have the greatest possible impact on programs and ideas they hold dear. As an Eagle Scout from central Minnesota, his foundational experience took place in the Boundary Waters, which he considers to be the state’s greatest natural asset. More recently, he honed his fundraising skills at the University of Minnesota Foundation, and today is most happy doing what he can to help keep Minnesota beautiful.
Contact Mike

Pete Marshall

Director of Communications

Pete has canoed more than 8,000 miles through remote regions of Canada and put on plenty of miles in his “backyard” BWCAW. He has written for a number of publications and produced a documentary film for Twin Cites Public Television. Before coming to the Friends he worked at a marketing agency, and in another life flirted with a career in academia.
Contact Pete

Rachel Wagner

Operations and Outreach Coordinator

Rachel enjoyed her first trip to the BWCAW on her honeymoon and couldn’t believe such a treasure was situated right in her home state! Ecological justice and climate change have been issues dear to her heart since studying Global Studies at Concordia College and traveling abroad in India. At home, Rachel enjoys gardening with her husband, knitting/crocheting and hiking.
Contact Rachel

Kara Josephson

Government Relations Manager

Having worked for seven years at the Minnesota Senate and more recently as the legislative coordinator for the Sierra Club North Star Chapter, Kara is excited to combine her government experience with her love of the outdoors to help advocate for and protect our beautiful BWCAW. In addition to attending law school part time at Mitchell Hamline, she enjoys camping, hiking, spending time on and near water and listening to live music.
Contact Kara

Lauren Mitchell

Program Coordinator/Administrative Assistant

Lauren is passionate about protecting wildlife, wild places and advocating for environmental justice. In addition to working with the Friends, she is pursuing her master’s degree through Oregon State University. Lauren loves to travel and camp with her two dogs, play golf and is a proud member of the St. Croix Valley Bird Club.
Contact Lauren