Kathy Poi, President
Kathy and her husband Bob are long-time Friends and supporters of the Arboretum. Their children and grandchildren were brought up hiking in the Arboretum. Kathy is a native of the suburbs of Washington, D.C., but came to Madison (her mother’s hometown) to attend the UW–Madison School of Nursing, where she earned both her BS and MS degrees in nursing. She spent most of her professional career at the university, retiring in 2007 from her position as executive director of University Health Services and clinical professor with the School of Nursing. Kathy has been active with the Wisconsin and American Nurses Associations, holding appointed and elected offices with both. Since retiring, she has been a volunteer bookstore assistant at the Arboretum Visitor Center, a board member of the West Madison Senior Coalition, and a member of the City of Madison’s Committee on Aging. Kathy and Bob live in Nakoma in the 100-year-old house where her mother grew up. They have two grown daughters, five grandchildren, and a great granddaughter.
Pat Henrikson, Vice-president
Pat retired from UW–Madison in 2009 after serving 16 years as the undergraduate Biological Sciences Advisor. She graduated from St. Olaf College with a BA degree in biology and chemistry and earned advanced degrees in biology from Stanford and Purdue. She and her husband, Chuck, are long-time supporters of the Arboretum and both have completed steward training. They both volunteer at the Wisconsin Institutes of Discovery in various programs there. In addition, they have offered lab sessions on vision for middle school field trips. Pat submits Arboretum events monthly to the Isthmus, the Wisconsin State Journal, and the Greater Madison Convention and Visitors Bureau. Her mother was a great influence on her love of outdoors, and Pat carries that forward with her own family as they enjoy biking, hiking, camping, canoeing, and gardening.
Tyler Schroeder, Treasurer
Tyler is a financial advisor at Baird on Madison’s west side. He attended the UW–Madison, where he received his Bachelor’s in medical microbiology and immunology and biology. Tyler developed his love for all things outdoors through his family farm in central Wisconsin, where he worked with various state and federal agencies to restore the landscape to its native state. He also co-founded the UW chapter of Ducks Unlimited, which focused on educating students on the essential role of wetlands in a healthy ecosystem. Tyler and his wife Sarah, who is a resident physician at the UW hospital, live in the Midvale Heights neighborhood just west of the Arboretum. They enjoy spending time with family, exploring our beautiful state, traveling, and hanging out with their 4-year-old yellow lab, Paxton.
Chris Smithka, Secretary
Chris is Corporate Counsel at Zendesk, a global customer service software company, and an Adjunct Instructor at the University of Wisconsin Law School. He lives in the Harlan Hills neighborhood, just across the Cannonball Path from the Arboretum. He and his wife, Haben Goitom, enjoy hiking the Grady Tract trails and standup paddle boarding on Lake Wingra. He has enjoyed attending Arboretum Family Nature Programs with younger friends and family members and looks forward to showing his three-year-old daughter Sophia all that the Arboretum has to offer in the coming years. Chris is the Vice Chair of the United Way’s Business Volunteer Network and active in the Harlan Hills Condominium Association. He attributes his love of nature to the many summers he spent working at a canoe rental business on scenic Sugar Creek while growing up in central Indiana.
Tricia is a Senior Strategic HR Advisor at Clark & Gotzler, Attorneys at Law. For more than ten years Tricia has been fortunate to call Madison home. At first, she was more familiar with the Madison/Milwaukee corridor than Madison itself, but she soon found a job in Madison and learned quickly how amazing it is to live, work, and play here. She discovered the Arboretum, first biking through with friends and then hiking the Grady Tract trails. To encourage active lifestyles and community involvement, Tricia supports local nonprofits by participating and supporting friends in runs, bike rides, and many other fun activities. She is also active in her condo association and is a board advisor to the Olbrich Botanical Society.
Barry is a commercial real estate lender at US Bank on the Capitol Square. Originally from Mount Horeb, Barry first experienced the Arboretum at the December 1980 Optimist Club 10K, and he continues to run the road and trails weekly. As a lifelong runner, he truly appreciates this unique resource and will continue to instill this appreciation in future generations of runners through responsible use and support of the Arboretum. Barry participated in the Spring Sprint for the Arb for several years and co-chaired the 2014 event after being a race participant for several years. As both an undergraduate and graduate student at the UW–Madison, Barry has used the Teal Pond and boardwalk areas as peaceful places to read and study, and he is long overdue for a re-reading of A Sand County Almanac. Barry also “borrows” landscaping ideas from Longenecker Horticultural Gardens for use at his family’s house in Mount Horeb.
Jeff is a clinical assistant professor with the UW–Madison’s Law & Entrepreneurship Clinic and a practicing attorney in Madison. Jeff primarily works with startups including numerous local (and not-so-local) craft breweries on legal and business issues. Jeff was president of the Dunn’s Marsh Neighborhood Association, just across Seminole Highway from the Arboretum, and has spent many hours hiking and running in the Arboretum. He has served on the board of the Allied Wellness Center and the Badger Red Cross Marketing Committee. His wife Erin is also an attorney in Madison. Together with their dog Lola they spend a lot of time outdoors hiking, canoeing, and camping.
Greg is a partner and commercial litigator at Quarles & Brady. Greg has enjoyed the Arboretum over the years for hiking and bird watching, walking in the Longenecker Horticultural Gardens, running, biking, and cross-country skiing. He learned how to press leaves and make a plaster cast of a raccoon track at about age 6 in an Arboretum day camp. Greg and his wife, Carla McDonald, live in Nakoma, next to the Arboretum, where they enjoy its beauty and abundant wildlife daily. Greg is a former president of the Western District Bar Association, former trustee of the Edgewood Campus School, and past president and current board member of the Madison Club Charitable Foundation. Before returning to Madison, Greg was a fraud prosecutor with the U.S. Department of Justice in Washington, D.C. He and Carla have two grown children.
Judy loves the Arboretum and has been a volunteer here for more than 20 years. She served as a naturalist guide for 5th graders at Mosquito Hill Nature Center in Appleton, Wisconsin. Upon returning to Madison in 1996, she started volunteering as a receptionist at the Arboretum and as an assistant guide for Earth Focus Day Camp. As a retired nurse specializing in home care and hospice, she now volunteers at Agrace Hospice. Judy and her husband Sal enjoy all that the Arboretum has to offer. Besides being on the Friends board, she is on the Friends of Wisdom Prairie at Holy Wisdom Monastery. Her interest in prairie restoration continues there and here at the Arboretum.
As a graduate in Art and Art Education at UW–Madison, Barbara taught art to elementary and middle schoolers in Brookfield. After moving to Madison in 1975, she was an artist in Westwing Studio for 25 years and taught art classes to the residents of Badger Prairie Health Care in Verona. She has exhibited and sold artwork locally at the Chosy Art Gallery. Her paintings feature Wisconsin landscapes. She is a member of the Westside Garden Club and volunteers at the Arboretum’s native garden with Susan Carpenter. She also worked as a guide at the Aldo Leopold Nature Center for many years. Barbara enjoys all the activities that the Arboretum affords—walking, cross country skiing, and biking, as well as attending the Winter Enrichment lectures and various other programs.
Dr. Tipple attended UW–Madison and then Marquette University School of Dentistry, graduating in 1985. He spent three years on active duty in the United States Air Force Dental Corps and later led the Madison-based Wisconsin Air National Guard Dental Corps prior to retiring as a Lieutenant Colonel. Dr. Tipple volunteers for many organizations around the Madison area including Donated Dental, Madison Dental Initiative, and many others. Dr. Tipple is a Madison native and grew up on Jefferson Street. He actively participates in the community and spends his spare time with his wife and three kids. His father was a UW–Madison campus architect and served on the early Arboretum committees.
Frank grew up in Youngstown, Ohio, served in the U.S. Marine Corps and Marine Corps Reserve, went to college, earned a Ph.D., and spent the next 35 years as a professor of English. He is currently emeritus professor of English from Northern Illinois University and the author of more than a dozen articles in both academic journals and trade magazines, the most recent being “Michael B. Olbrich’s Role in the History of Wildlife Conservation in Wisconsin,” published in the Wisconsin Magazine of History in Spring 2015. He is also the author of five books. The most recent, Pioneers of Ecological Restoration: The People and Legacy of the University of Wisconsin Arboretum, was published in 2012 by the University of Wisconsin Press. He has worked as a volunteer at the Arboretum since 2004. An avid backpacker and outdoorsman, he also worked for the U.S. Forest Service as a volunteer backcountry ranger in southern Colorado’s Weminuche Wilderness for a number of memorable summers during the 1980s and ’90s.
Laurie grew up in Upstate New York. She moved to Madison with her husband, Rick Niess, in 1978 to pursue a MSSW degree. She has devoted much of her professional career to working on behalf of crime victims. Laurie was an avid Girl Scout growing up, is the mother of two Eagle Scouts, and has served on the executive board of the local Boy Scout Council. She was the founding president of the board of directors of Friends of PACT, a program of Mendota Mental Health Institute that supports individuals living with severe mental illness in the community. Laurie trained to become a Wisconsin Master Naturalist volunteer. As a naturalist volunteer, she currently collaborates with the Lower Wisconsin State Riverway Board on a project to promote good stewardship by property owners along the River.
Barbara grew up in Wausau. She has a life-long love of gardening and outdoor activities, including hiking and backpacking. And she has had a life-long career in libraries, books, and the arts, which began with and undergraduate job at the UW–Madison Kohler Art Library while she was working on her Bachelor’s in fine art. She also has Master’s degree in library science and PhD in education from UW–Madison. She taught library science at Ohio State and Western Kentucky universities before settling at UW–Eau Claire as a faculty member in the school of education. She retired from UW–Eau Claire with emeritus status and moved to Madison in 2014. Barbara taught drawing and painting at the UW–Madison Rhinelander School of the Arts summer program for nine years. Since retiring, she has been involved in a variety of activities. She has been an Arboretum reception desk volunteer since moving to Madison and has helped with the Friends native plant sale. She has volunteered at the Circus World Museum archives in Baraboo helping catalog their collection. She has been a volunteer at the Madison Book Festival and is a City of Madison poll worker. She is currently a part-time instructor at UW–Whitewater College of Education teaching cataloging each fall in their library media certification program.
Susan has lived her entire life in Wisconsin, growing up in Sparta. She graduated from Ripon College with a Bachelor’s in physical education and elementary education. Susan taught for 34 years, 30 of them for Oregon Public Schools, all in the primary grades. She attended the first Earth Partnership class at the Arboretum and, with others, established a prairie garden at her school. She brought her students to the Arboretum on field trips and always thought it would be nice to volunteer there after retirement. She has been a receptionist at the Arboretum for more than 12 years. Her interests, besides love of the prairie, include shade gardening, singing and playing the piano, reading, playing bridge, snowshoeing, kayaking, and sitting on her porch watching her amazing birds.