The Friends of Wehr believe that every person deserves to have access to nature year round. As the nonprofit partner of the Wehr Nature Center, the Friends of Wehr supports Wehr’s mission of inspiring current and future generations to explore and value the natural world.
Our over 1000 members help us provide financial support to every aspect of the Wehr Nature Center.
Cindy Lorentzen, President
Cindy’s love of nature brought her to the Wehr Nature Center as a volunteer and board member. With diverse communications and marketing experience, she has worked in the corporate and non-profit industries. She holds an undergraduate degree from Alverno College and a master’s degree from Marquette University. Cindy currently lives in Franklin with her husband and energetic English setter dog.
Bob has always enjoyed hiking, walking the beach and just exploring nature. Milwaukee is very grateful to have our wonderful County Park System for walks as well as golfing. However, Wehr is a hidden gem within Whitnall Park. I became a volunteer in the Wheel 'n Chip Society 5+ years ago to continue being outdoors. This far different from my preretirement professional career in human resources where I managed employment, compensation and labor relations. I earned a bachelor's degree in Labor Relations from UWM and held senior professional certification in SHRM organization.
Paul Brings, Member
Paul has served as a director on the Friends of Wehr Board for 13 years and president of the board for ten years, stepping down in 2019. He started as a naturalist at Wehr in 1974 and served as the University of Wisconsin Extension nature education agent at Wehr for 13 years. In addition, Paul served as the chairman of the Milwaukee County Extension Office and Southeast Wisconsin District Director before retiring in 2002. Since retiring, he has coached high school tennis for 12 years. Paul is married with two children and five grandsons.
Tim comes by his love of nature honestly: he began his bug collection at age 7 and owned a professional microscope by age 9. Tim is a lifelong Milwaukeean. He received his BS in Zoology from UW-Madison. He stayed at Madison for his Masters coursework, but switched field to Energy Analysis during the Carter energy crisis.
Tim worked for We Energies for 23 years in the areas of natural gas procurement, rate cases, power plant contract administration and risk management. In 2020, he pivoted and began working for the City of Milwaukee in Mayor Barrett’s Environmental Collaboration Office - the City’s team of eco-activists. In 2012, Tim created the program called HOME GR/OWN - repurposing vacant City-owned lots to pocket parks, gardens, orchards and healthy green spaces in challenged neighborhoods. Tim ran the HOME GR/OWN initiative from 2012 - 2020, winning numerous local, national and international awards.Tim brought together disparate groups such as neighbors, water engineers, public health advocates, foundations and numerous City departments to create 34 unique public spaces.
Taking early retirement, Tim focuses on his wife Tracy, the new puppy and his yard -man expression of Tim’s love for nature and landscaping. Tim and his dog have walked scores of area parks, nature reserves and forests in the last three years. Tim also serves on the Board of Groundwork Milwaukee.
After retiring in 2009 from the Department of Natural Resources, Ted began taking his grandson to the Little Wonders and NatureNauts classes at Wehr Nature Center and volunteered for the Wheel and Chip Society. Serving as a Friends of Wehr board member, he participates in the finance committee and helps make updates to the website. Ted has routinely worked to support the major fundraising events: Plant Day, Cider Sunday, Maple Sugar Days, and Halloween Haunts.
Greg Joers, Member
Greg is retired and volunteers at the Milwaukee Art Museum, Greendale School system as a “reading buddy,” past volunteer at Discovery World, member of Suburban Singers Chorus and church choir. He enjoys golf, reading, cooking, among other things. He is widowed with two daughters and two granddaughters in college.
As a tax advisor/financial advisor at Focused Tax Solutions/Choice Advisors, Lucas helps families define and achieve their financial goals. Born and raised in the Milwaukee area, he has developed a strong desire to give back to his community. As a graduate of Carroll University, Lucas values education, respect, integrity and involvement, which applies to both his practice and daily life. In his free time Lucas can be found hiking, camping, kayaking, reading, painting, playing piano, traveling, cooking, or doing yoga.
Paul is a project management and communications professional, working with organizations across diverse industries in enhancing operational mechanisms and growing their professional brands. He helps Friends of Wehr by creating communication strategies and quality promotional initiatives. Paul holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Project Management and an Associate of Science Degree in Visual Communications from ITT Technical Institution in Greenfield, Wisconsin.
Joe joined the board of Friends of Wehr in 2021. He was born and raised in West Allis, WI and currently lives in Muskego, WI. He has been a frequent visitor of the Wehr Nature Center and enjoys many nature activities including camping, hiking, biking, boating, and fishing. Joe works as an Independent Wealth Advisor and Tax Preparer, owning and operating two businesses, MoneyWise Planning Group LLC and Focused Tax Solutions of Greenfield.
James Wroblewski, Treasurer/Store Manager
Jim’s background is a combination of business and banking. Jim was an international and corporate banker with Bank One in Milwaukee as a vice president and division head of international banking. He also was a college instructor for 17 years. He retired from banking and teaching in 1995 and became president of two successful corporations. He finally retired in 2015. He volunteered at Wehr Nature Center in 2015 and became its Treasurer and a board member. He gave up the positions in 2018 when his wife passed away. Jim signed up again in 2021 as Treasurer, board member and manager of the Nature Store. His past awards include the Milwaukee Archdiocese Chancellor’s Award, Milwaukee County Family of the Year, Scouting awards, American Rental Association business of the year, Chamber of Commerce business of the year and twice received the Friends of Wehr Nature Center, Inc. volunteer of the year. Jim had been a longtime volunteer for Habitat. He has two sons with adult grandchildren. His interests include playing guitar and piano, camping, biking and dedicating time to the Friends of Wehr.
Joe has been a volunteer at Wehr Nature Center for over ten years. He is a retired lieutenant firefighter/paramedic for the City of Wauwatosa, and was a certified master mechanic for both automotive and heavy-duty trucks. Joe is currently a CPR instructor, coaches little league baseball and serves as vice president on the board of directors for Raymond Youth Baseball. Previously, he served for 20 years on a volunteer fire department. Joe has an associate’s degree in business management. He is divorced with three children.
Jennifer Lazewski, Member
Jennifer joined the board of Friends of Wehr in 2021 after volunteering and presenting programs at Wehr for several years. She is a Master Naturalist and Master Gardener Volunteer who enjoys educating others about native plants, birds, and native bees. After earlier careers as an attorney and an international business operations manager, she feels fortunate to work in conservation professionally as the Executive Director of the Wisconsin Society for Ornithology. May is her favorite time at Wehr with the return of warblers and bumble bees, but fall on the prairie is a close second with the backdrop of beautiful colored trees.
Dr. Justin Hougham (he/him/his) is a faculty member at the University of Wisconsin-Madison where he supports the delivery of a wide range of science education topics to K-12 students, graduate students, and in-service teachers. Justin’s scholarship is in the areas of place-based pedagogies, STEM education, and education for sustainability. He continues to teach courses, clinics, and trainings that develop pedagogies in experiential education.