Rebeca BellRebeca Bell, Communications Director, assists in the development of key messages and creation of all of Bluestem Communications’ communication materials, including brochures, websites and workshop materials. She also manages Bluestem Communications’ media relationships and plays a key role in shaping and implementing communications projects, programs and campaigns. Since joining Bluestem Communications in 2009, she now oversees communications projects and staff and guides evaluation processes for all of our work. With a background in grassroots organizing, rhetoric and writing, Rebeca manages our communication efforts so they are both inspirational and persuasive. She holds a degree in political science from Denison University and a Master’s degree in writing and rhetoric from DePaul University.
andyAndy Kimmel, joined Bluestem Communications in Summer 2014 as the Mississippi River Network Policy Manager. Andy hails from a 24-year tenure at the Forest Preserve District of Lake County in Illinois, where he most recently served as Deputy Executive Director. Andy brings extensive background in natural resource policy, education, land use and management, fundraising and volunteer recruitment. He is a Certified Park and Recreation Professional, and is a past Co-chair of the Chicago Wilderness Government Relations Committee. Andy brings further experience working on legislation within coalitions from his time serving the boards of both the National Association of Counties and the National Association of County Park and Recreation Officials.
Kelly McGinnisKelly McGinnis, Mississippi River Program Manager, joined Bluestem Communications in September 2014. She works directly with network members in the ten-state Mississippi River region, building the coalition with the goal to protect and restore the River. Kelly comes from a diverse professional background, starting her career as a fisheries biologist and freshwater ecologist in Washington State before moving back to the Chicago area where her focus shifted to sustainability in the built environment and coalition building. She brings passion and enthusiasm for protecting the environment to her role. Kelly holds a B.S. in Environmental Science and Ecology from The Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington, and is an avid gardener and lover of the outdoors.
Kelly McGinnisMalcolm Mossman, Communications Coordinator, joined Bluestem Communications in August 2015. He assists the communications director with the management and implementation of Bluestem Communications’ projects, programs and campaigns. Malcolm makes sure that our communications projects are clear, engaging and persuasive. He also helps develop communications materials, messages and strategies. Prior to working with Bluestem Communications, Malcolm organized citizens in Arizona around solar power and renewable energy initiatives. He holds a B.A. in American studies with a minor in sustainability from the University of Notre Dame and is currently pursuing his M.A. in Sustainable Urban Development at DePaul University. As a native of the Chicagoland area, Malcolm is excited to be back in his hometown and working with people who share his passion for the environment.
Kelly McGinnisBrooke Thurau, Mississippi River Campaign Coordinator, joined Bluestem Communications in March 2016. Brooke advances the Mississippi River Network’s (MRN) public communications campaign, called 1 Mississippi, to help build a nationwide community of people (River Citizens) to protect the Mississippi River. She manages the creation and distribution of outreach materials, the website and the online Action Center. As a longtime advocate of nature protection, she brings to the position a background in conservation education, campaign management, fundraising and sustainable tourism. Prior to joining Bluestem, Brooke worked as a consultant for the USDA National Forest Service, taught environmental studies courses at Knox College and co-founded an environmental nonprofit organization. She holds a B.A. in environmental studies from Northeastern Illinois University and an M.S. in forestry from Southern Illinois University.
Joanne DiGuido, Finance Manager, joined Bluestem Communications in May 2015. Prior to joining Bluestem, she worked independently for over ten years for her own clients. Her projects involved financial management, strategy planning, board support, and overall administration for a variety of nonprofits, startups, and small businesses. She is both a board member and volunteer at several organizations. She holds her MBA and received her Nonprofit Management Certification from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.


Chair: Sara Race
ComEd, Oak Brook, IL
Todd Cywinski
Imagination Publishing, Chicago, IL
Dennis Dreher
Geosyntec, Oak Brook, IL
Jill Kostel
The Wetlands Initiative, Chicago, IL
Theresa Salus
REI, Chicago, IL
Rey Phillips Santos
City of Chicago, Department of Law, Chicago, IL
John Sentell
Lake Forest Open Lands Association, Lake County, IL
Maggie Soliz
Applied Ecological Services, IL