Deb Nelson
Museum Director

Deb grew up in the Fox Valley area of Wisconsin, worked in schools and the University as a Career and At Risk Counselor, and created and operated Telemark Educational Foundation, Inc. promoting educational opportunities in the northwoodsI  Deb has loved every job in her 60 plus years but working as the Museum Director of the Cable Natural History Museum is the best! As a child her family visited relatives who lived along the Bad River and she and her brothers played in the Chequamegon National Forest.  Today Deb and her husband live in a small log cabin on 120 acres of woods in the Drummond area and enjoy sapping in the spring, cutting wood in the fall and snowshoeing in the winter. We have seven grandchildren who love visiting “Up North” Grandma and Grandpa’s house.  No electronics allowed – only playing outside in the clean fresh air of Northern Wisconsin! 

mollie kreb

Mollie Kreb

Mollie is a Wisconsin native with an abundance of significant life experiences in the outdoors. From a young age, Mollie experienced the sense of wonder in nature through regular outings with her parents, where she soaked up all that she could learn. Her cherished memories of collecting bits and pieces of nature to take home and study led to an interest in promoting similar learning opportunities for others. She left her hometown of Stevens Point to attend classes at Northland College on the Chequamegon Bay, where she received a Bachelor’s degree in Outdoor Education-Natural History and Interpretation. While pursuing her degree, Mollie had the opportunity to foster a deep connection with the area’s natural wonders through technical skills training and teaching opportunities in some of the many treasured outdoor spaces of the Northwoods region. Mollie had also interned with the Museum for two summers in order to further develop her professional teaching skills. She fell for the organization and its unique forested location right away. Some activities that Mollie enjoys are fumbling in the woods, wild foraging and herbalism, paddling, creating art, and helping others to foster their own connections with nature. 


John Kudlas
Collections Monitor 

John Kudlas in the Collections Monitor at the CNHM and this involves care and repair of the many taxidermy specimens in the collection as well as mounting birds and small mammals that the museum receives. John is a retired biology/ecology teacher (35 years) and has been employed and volunteered at the museum for several years. His major interests include the Lake Ecology Education Program (LEEP) and aquatic studies. He enjoys anything outdoors, especially fly-fishing and bird hunting with his Britany, Josie. During the winter he is engaged with manatee and raptor work in Florida.

Emily Stone
Naturalist / Education Director

Emily Stone teaches kids of all ages about nature in beautiful places. She creates the Museum’s program schedule, oversees school field trips and MuseumMobile visits, and designs Museum exhibits. Emily is also an award-winning writer who pens a Natural Connections column for more than 15 local newspapers. Her first book, Natural Connections – Exploring the Northwoods through Science and Your Senses, which is a compilation of her favorite articles, can be purchased here.

Emily loves to cross country ski, mountain bike, garden, and paddle (especially in the Boundary Waters).

She was drawn to this area by the unique opportunities presented by Northland College in Ashland, WI, where she majored in Outdoor Education-Natural History with a minor in Geology. Emily then traveled around the country to naturalist jobs in Canyonlands National Park, Acadia National Park, California, Minnesota, and even a month of wolf-watching in Yellowstone National Park. She earned her Field Naturalist Masters from the University of Vermont. Emily has been with the Museum since 2011.

“What is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” –Mary Oliver

Sue Thurn
Summer Naturalist & Teacher

Susan began her love for the outdoors as the Director of Education at the Cable Natural History Museum for 20 years. Her next adventure began as a fourth grade teacher at Drummond Area School District. She has degrees from the University of Wisconsin-Superior and Northland College. In 1994 she received the Environmental Education Nonformal Educator of the Year presented by the Wisconsin Association for Environmental Education, and in 1995 she received the Fisheries Educator of the Year with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. 

Beda McKinney
Volunteer Coordinator

Beda grew up in the Hayward area and has been married to her husband Bill for 50 years and raised three boys. Together for the past 45 yers they owned McKinney Realty until recently retiring and passing the family business on to one of their sons. Little known fact about Beda is that she graduated from Clown College with professional training in the art of “clowning around.” Beda is also very involved in her church and volunteers for many organizations and events in the area. She and her husband have a home on Lake Owen and enjoy many lake activities, traveling, downhill skiing, and spending time with their six grandchildren.


Leslie Strapon
Assistant Director

Leslie has lots of variety in her job which gives her lots of interaction with volunteers, board members and visitors. Leslie has two children with husband Derec. She grew up in Stillwater, MN along the St Croix River and enjoyed many camping trips with family. She got a degree in Geology from University of Minnesota – Duluth, where she enjoyed climbing, winter camping, snowboarding and exploring, and her job at the Duluth Pack Store. She’s lived most of the past 20 years in Seeley on a beautiful spot along Pacwawong Spring – a great spot for exploring.  She shares this little slice of heaven with her family, a large garden, some chickens, a couple dogs and lots of birds and wildlife. Leslie enjoys drawing and painting, music, paddling, snowshoeing, reading, gardening, travel & camping.

Jane Weber
MuseumMobile Teacher

I have a BS in Agriculture/Soil Science from UW-Madison and a Master’s in Professional Development (Education 1-8) from UW LaCrosse.  I worked as an agricultural consultant and lab tech before pursuing Education.  I taught Elementary Education for 25 years, both in Northern California and Ashland.  After retiring in 2012, I got certified as a Hatha Yoga teacher and have a studio in Iron River.  Since retiring, I have been very lucky to work for the National Estuarine Research Reserve in Superior as an Education Mentor, getting students outside and aware of the Lake Superior Watershed and now I am having a great time working for the Museum Mobile program.  I feel so lucky to have returned to the way I have always thought teaching should be done; hands-on, interactive, and teaching about topics the students are so interested in.  I am hoping that I am sparking their interest in learning more about the natural world right outside their door. In my free time I love to hike, bike, ski, observe and learn about my local ecosystems, be on the water paddling, read, bake and have various ongoing crafting projects.

Haley Appleman

Haley grew up in the Minneapolis suburbs and received a BA in Biology and Environmental Studies from St. Olaf College.  Following a passion for animal care, she completed internships in zoos before finding her niche as a naturalist.  She loves bringing people closer to the nature in their own backyards, especially when she can share the stage with a live raptor.  In her free time, Haley enjoys hiking, birding, cross-country skiing, and cozying up with a good book or knitting project.

Bev Bauer
Museum Shop Manager

Bev has spent her adult life promoting literacy for children from as far away as South Africa and nearby in Cable and places in between.  She currently is involved in promoting the natural world through books as a member of both the Sigurd Olson Nature Writing Award for Children and the Children and Young Adult Literature Conference held at Northland College in Ashland.

As a former bookstore owner in downtown Cable, Bev understands the great asset that the Cable Natural History Museum is for the local community.  She has heard from families far and wide about how much they have learned about the outdoor world there. (It is even written into a novel by an author from California).

Bev finds as the museum gift shop manager, she has the opportunity to continue her journey of growth while sharing her skills and experience in a meaningful way.

Jayme Morey
Live Collections Assistant

As a native to Wisconsin, Jayme fell in love with the Northwoods early on. A deep passion for animals led her to working as a Humane Officer in the nonprofit world. This passion for nonprofits and animals carried over into native wildlife here at the CNHM. Jayme maintains the Museum’s reptiles and amphibians in its living collections and has set up and cared for native insects and fishes in our living exhibits. Jayme attended The Raptor Center’s Care and Management of Captive Raptors workshop in 2015 and happily spends her time working with the museums American Kestrel, Red-tailed Hawk and Great Horned Owl.   

Board of Directors

Chair: Larry Hanson

Larry grew up on a farm south of Chetek and spent his free time playing in the creek below the barn and roaming in the woods behind the house.  He cannot recall a time in his life when he did not want to be outside exploring and learning about nature.  Thanks to his dad, he had guidance, training and the opportunity to learn to hunt, fish and enjoy the natural world.

Larry moved to Barnes as a full time resident in 2006 after spending the previous 30 years in Medford, Wisconsin teaching chemistry at Medford Senior High School.  His family built a cabin in the Barnes area in 1985 where they spent many weekends each year.  Larry and his wife, Teri, enjoyed the area enough to purchase property on which to build a retirement home ‘someday’.  That someday arrived in 2006 when they realized a life dream and moved north to retire. 

Shortly after moving to Barnes, Larry was asked to help the Museum move out of the phone company building into the new building.  Larry was impressed by the mission of the museum, the passion of the staff and the enthusiasm of the volunteers and decided the Museum was a valuable volunteer opportunity.  In 2012 Larry joined the Museum Board and continues to work on exhibits, special projects and is chair of the Personnel Committee. 

Elizabeth Aase

Liz and her husband Craig have split their time between St. Paul, MN and the Cable area since 1978, and the beauty and health of the north woods is important to them, their children, and now their grandchildren.  She joined the CNHM Board of Directors after she retired from St. Paul Public Schools, where she was a district writing specialist and a classroom teacher. After almost 30 years in education, the museum’s mission was a natural fit with her professional background and personal interests.  She was part of the museum’s Moment of Awe Campaign, chaired/co-chaired the Power of the Purse fundraiser for four years, and currently serves on the Education and Events Committees.  “I want to ensure the museum’s future success as a community resource and a place where children AND adults will continue to say what my grandkids have said, ‘Oh there’s the museum, I LOVE that place!’ ”

Jack Carlson

Jack, and his wife Kathy have lived in Ashland and Bayfield County for over 40 years.  They moved to the area in 1975, after Jack graduated from Marquette University Law School.  He has been engaged in private practice in Washburn since 1978, and established a satellite office in Cable in 1982.  Having lived on Lake Superior and Lake Owen during this time, Jack has acquired a keen interest in the outdoors, and all that nature has to offer to residents and tourists who frequent the area.  Jack has been a director of the Museum for decades, and he and Kathy have taken an active role in assisting in fund raising activities for the Museum.

Liz Johnson

“It is a privilege to serve on the CNHM board of directors and ultimately, the residents and visitors who visit this beautiful gem in the Northwoods.”

A native of St. Paul, MN, the Bennett family have been enjoying the Cable and Hayward areas for some 50 years. Her and husband, Quentin, recently retired to the area and plan to spend time enjoying all the Northwoods has to offer. They especially love the people who live here and have vacation homes nearby. They are what make this area so special.

Liz enjoyed a business career in the financial services industry in MN and was also an adjunct professor for the University of St. Thomas, teaching marketing for their MBA program.

Since leaving the business world, her work has taken the form of volunteering in fundraising for large non-profit organizations.

“It is my hope that these experiences will bring value to the Cable Natural History Museum and assist in achieving the Museum’s goals for today and tomorrow.”

bill (3)

Vice-Chair: Bill McKinney

Bill McKinney and his wife Beda grew up in the area. They built McKinney Realty.

photo by Kelly Randolph

photo by Kelly Randolph

Mimi Crandall

Mimi Crandall moved to the Cable / Drummond area with her husband Jim in 1977. Almost a native, but not quite. Two children, Jesse and Suzannah were born and grew up here. They, too, were actively involved in Museum programs. Both have pursued careers in the environmental sciences. After retiring as an administrator from WITC, Mimi joined the CNHM Board. She is active in the the ski, biking , running and hiking community, an avid gardener and is known as “the Flower Lady’ around town. Her creativity leads her to paint in all mediums and create unique and colorful environments for many area event venues.

Kristen Dew

Kristin Dew

Kris Hines was born in Elgin, Illinois. Her great aunt and uncle, Myrtle and Ted Moody, built Moody’s Resort on Spider Lake in 1923. Summers were spent enjoying the woods and water at the family cabin. Kris and her husband, Tom, built their own lake home in 2000 just a short boat ride away.

       Kris graduated from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design. Her career was in the family retail business in Barrington, Il., while doing free-lance design work focusing on creating wedding gowns and theatre costumes. She now enjoys outdoor photography, cooking and Up North adventures with family and friends.

      Tom and Kris are involved in many wildlife/conservation organizations, such as Ruffed Grouse Society, Boone and Crockett Club and Bear Den Studies. “Being third generation in the area, I respect and treasure this gift everyday. It is my pleasure to share the history and blessings of the Northwoods with the Cable Natural History Museum generations.”  

Ed Johnston

After 32 years in the corporate world, Ed had the good fortune to retire and run away to the north woods in October of 2012 and hasn’t looked back! Privileged to now live here every day, he’s reminded over and over again of how important the Museum is to everyone in our amazing community – young and old, rich and not so rich – and how lucky he is to play even a small role in its ongoing success. 

tom johnson

Tom Johnson

Tom is originally from Whitehall, Wi and is a graduate of UW-Eau Claire. After a 38 year career as a Partner, CPA and Certified Financial Planner with a regional accounting firm, Tom retired in 2013. Tom and his wife Barb live in Menomonie, Wi but spend Summers at their home on Lake Owen. Tom is currently President of the Lake Owen Association and is very involved in the protection and preservation of the lake.

Tom and Barb have always enjoyed civic and non-profit involvement especially with organizations that benefit children.  They are excited about the Cable Natural History Museum children’s discovery area and programming.

Ron Anderson

Treasurer: Ron Anderson

Ron was born and raised in Chetek Wisconsin where he learned his love of nature from a neighbor “Bob”, who lived completely “off the grid”, growing his own food, no electricity, an old bike for transportation. Ron graduated from Hudson High School and UW Madison with a degree in applied math. Two graduate degrees later he entered the work force and ended up in Finance.
Ron has been married to Patty for 43 years. They have two grown sons and 3 grandchildren, 2 in Madison and one in St Petersburg FL. Ron is an active volunteer and is currently serving on the boards of River Alliance and Friends of Wisconsin Public TV. Ron is an avid road biker, paddler, x/c skier and golfer. He has recently taken up fat biking which can be ridden in all conditions.

Joe Brady

Anne Miller

Anne was born and raised for 14 years in Toronto. Her family was then relocated to several locations in the United States, and she ultimately met and married a Minnesotan some 50 years ago.  She and her family have been members of the Cable community since 1977 and also maintain a home in Minneapolis.

Anne is serving her fourth term as a member of the Musuem Board, has hosted several summer benefits at her home, and chaired two summer benefits along with fellow board member Carolyn Owen.

Bill Hannaford

Bill Hannaford retired in 2006 from a long career as a university marketing professor. He has taught marketing at Ohio State, Bowling Green State University, and the University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire, where he served as Department Chair in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s. He has served as a marketing consultant and board member for a wide variety of regional and national businesses, with a focus on industrial marketing, systems selling, promotion, and market research. He holds a BA degree in Economics from Denison University, an MBA with a finance emphasis from Ohio State University, and a PhD in marketing, also from Ohio State.

Tom Matthiae

Tom’s been involved in natural resource issues for many years, both as a career and as a personal interest.  He enjoys being part of the museum as one way of bringing those issues out to a wider audience, through the museum’s programs and exhibits.  “It’s also a great group of people to work with!”

Secretary: Kathi Jensen

Born in River Falls, WI and retired to Cable four years ago with husband Phil, who have owned their home on Lake Owen since 1995. Grandmother to 11 grandchildren, all of whom enjoy the Museum.  

Most of her life was spent going to school and college in Minnesota and raising family. She has a strong background in language arts and education, and has worked in the community with families on various boards, including the school board.  Her work history includes being a K-12 language arts teacher, a speech coach and conflict resolution professional.  Before retiring she was the Executive Director of Mediation Services for Anoka County , a non-profit  that trains volunteer mediators to assist the MN 10th Judicial District in Conciliation Court and neighborhood, business and family mediation.

Since retiring to Cable, she’s served as Women’s Fellowship President of the Cable UCC Church, the co-chair of the search committee for its newly hired pastor and have been a member of the Lake Owen Association. She’s a current member of the Museum and has been trained as a docent and served on its silent auction committee.  Kathi enjoys cross country skiing, biking, snowshoeing, golf, reading and cooking. 

Ron Caple

Ron grew up on Rainy Lake in Northern Minnesota where his father was diligent in teaching him about nature and respect for the environment. He encouraged Ron to get involved with Eagle Scouts. After retirement from the University of Minnesota Duluth as a Chemistry Professor he found himself in Cable. The Museum was an outlet for his belief in the importance of exposing our youth to the outdoors and nature.

Pris Nei

Pris is devoted to her family, pets and the communities she lives in. She was born in Milwaukee, but after many relocations, she call the Chicago area home. In her free time she enjoys cooking (and of course eating!), gardening, tennis, golf, needlepoint, and her book clubs.

For the last thirty plus years Pris has been involved in raising money for two charities. One is an annual flower sale with proceeds that go toward scholarships for continuing female education, both here in the U.S. and internationally.  The other is a large party event and auction benefitting needy children’s organizations.  Pris hopes to build on these experiences and help raise money for the Cable Natural History Museum, which she feels is such a special asset not only to our small community, but to all of Northwest Wisconsin.

Maureen Palmer

My husband Brad and I met at Iowa State University in Ames, where I received a degree in Social Work and Brad in Civil Engineering. We raised our three daughters Jennifer, Amy and Lisa, mainly in Reedsburg (southern Wisconsin). Jennifer, her husband Josh, our grandsons Easton and Sullivan live in the Twin Cities area. Amy lives in Reedsburg and is the Marketing & Sales Director for Knuckleheads in Wisconsin Dells. Lisa, her husband Ande and our granddaughter Brynn also live in the Twin Cities area. 

Our family came up to the cable area for the first time in summer 1994 and fell in love with the area.  My parents, Pete & Colleen McIntyre, ended up retiring here in 1998.

Brad and I recently purchased Redbery Books in Cable.  My 22 year career as a public librarian is the foundation for which I hope to continue the Redbery story.  Brad is not ready to retire from his position with Kraemer North America in Plain, so he tries to get up here as many weekends as possible.  We both look forward to eventually retiring and living up here permanently.

My past volunteer experience includes many years of involvement with public schools including eight years on the Reedsburg School Board, secretary of the Reedsburg/Sauk County Rotary Club and various church committees.  I look forward to working with the Cable Natural History Museum board to explore new opportunities and promote all of the amazing programs and activities the museum offers.