Native yellow sunflowers in a field

Staff and Consultants


Brett Feldman


Before coming to the Parks & Trails Council as communications director in 2005, Brett worked in communications for the Minneapolis Neighborhood Revitalization Program (NRP). He has worked as a reporter for the Columbia Missourian and internationally in Jamaica and South Africa. Brett holds a bachelor of individualized studies degree from the University of Minnesota and a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri – Columbia. Brett attributes his appreciation for parks to his father, a lifelong parks and recreation administrator who raised Brett in the world-class Minneapolis park system.

Lisa Filter

External Relations Director


Lisa Filter joined Parks & Trails Council in June 2012. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Anthropology from the University of Minnesota and a master’s degree in Natural Resources Science and Management with a focus on recreation resource management from the University of Minnesota. She brings years of experience in nonprofit communications work. She started her career in the Americorps VISTA program where she worked at the White Earth Land Recovery Project in northern Minnesota. Returning to Minneapolis, Lisa worked for the youth-development organization, Camp Fire for five years. She spent one summer as an interpretive-naturalist at Interstate State Park, one of her favorite parks.

She is also an avid park user. In 2019 she completed the Minnesota State Park Passport Club, along with her spouse and child. For the uninitiated, the club sets a goal of visiting all the state parks and recreation areas in Minnesota. Her son grew from a newborn to a teen in the 13 years it took to complete. Now, she has started the second time around and has added the hiking club to the goal.

Lauren Mitchell

Database Coordinator


Lauren joined the Parks & Trails Council in 2022. She attended the University of St. Thomas and studied Environmental Science with a concentration in biology and a minor in geology. Aside from solidifying her love of wildlife (turtles in particular), she came away with a passion for data. Professionally, she has channeled that energy into working behind the scenes with environmental non-profits for the last several years doing database management, including membership and gift processing. When she doesn’t have her nose buried in spreadsheets, you can find her catching a Chicago Cubs game, spending time with her family, or paddling around in her kayak.

Andrew Oftedal

Research and Policy Manager

Andrew has worked with Parks & Trails Council since 2013. A graduate of Iowa State University and the University of Minnesota, his past work has spanned several disciplines – including outdoor recreation, tourism, and public health – and has been published in numerous research journals. With Parks & Trails Council his work is focused on better understanding how Minnesotans use and benefit from their parks and trails and informing Parks & Trails Council’s legislative priorities. When not at the office, Andrew enjoys exploring Minnesota’s trails by foot and by bike, relaxing with a cup of coffee, and following his favorite sports teams.

Anneliese Tatham

Administrative Coordinator


Anneliese joined Parks & Trails Council in December 2022. She grew up camping, hiking, biking, and skiing in Minnesota’s public lands and gained a love for plants while helping her mom with wetland health surveys in Dakota County. She obtained her B.A. from the University of Minnesota Morris, where she studied Environmental Science and Environmental Studies. Prior to joining Parks & Trails Council, she worked with The Nature Conservancy on the Minnesota Prairie Recovery Project, managed order fulfillment and prairie seed collection for a native plant nursery, and assisted with plant ecology research at the University of Minnesota. In her free time, she enjoys gardening, watercolor painting, reading, and exploring the great outdoors.

Phoebe Ward

Friends Group Program Manager


Phoebe Ward joined Parks & Trails Council in April 2022. Prior to this, she served as a Lead for Minnesota Fellow with the City of Little Falls, where she collaborated with various community partners to advance City goals. Her childhood experiences with Minnesota’s parks and trails system inspired her to pursue a Master’s degree in environmental conservation from the University of Wisconsin–Madison. She feels very lucky to now be able to work alongside the friends groups that have dedicated themselves to protecting these valuable pieces of our natural heritage. In her spare time, she enjoys walks in nature, gardening, and exploring local historical sites.


Ann Lenczewski

Government Relations Consultant from Lockridge Grindal Nauen PLLP

A highly-regarded leader in Minnesota politics for more than twenty years, Ann Lenczewski assists Lockridge Grindal Nauen government relations clients on a broad range of issues, including tax policy, local government matters, and political strategy.

Ms. Lenczewski has earned a reputation as a smart, deeply knowledgeable, and effective leader in her many roles in state and local government. Ms. Lenczewski unique expertise in tax policy and its interaction across state, county, and municipal governments—together with her unparalleled political savvy—is an asset to Lockridge Grindal Nauen’s government relations clients.

Ms. Lenczewski has served in the Minnesota House of Representatives since 1999 and became known for her moderate, practical voice as chair of the Tax Committee. Prior to her service in state government, Ms. Lenczewski was twice elected to the Bloomington City Council and also served on the Bloomington Chamber of Commerce Board.

Ms. Lenczewski is a graduate of the College of St. Benedict and completed graduate work at Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota.

Barb Simonson

Accounting Consultant

Barb Simonson works as an independent consultant to Parks & Trails Council of Minnesota and 17 other nonprofit organizations. Barb started an accounting company in 1991, after graduating from Augsburg College with a B.A. in accounting and finance. She works solely with nonprofit organizations because she believes that by providing sound financial management and support she can help strengthen these organizations and help them do good in the world. Barb also trains boards and staff members on various aspects of financial management, as well as financial policies and procedures.

Steve Young

Land Acquisition Consultant


Steve Young worked as a volunteer land project manager for Parks & Trails Council of Minnesota for three years before becoming a land acquisition consultant for the organization in 2009. Steve has 20+ years of experience in the commercial real estate industry and is a licensed real estate broker in Minnesota. He holds a bachelor’s degree in construction administration from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a master’s degree in real estate development from Columbia University in New York, NY.

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