Staff & Board

Board of Directors

JimGJim Graupmann, President
In his capacity as a captain for Atlas Airlines, Jim flies freight and passengers around the world.  When home in Talkeetna, Jim has been an involved community member by grooming ski trails, maintaining hockey rinks, and has been the catalyst and inspiration for the creation of folk art programs held at NSI.


Sarah Kehoe, Board Member
Born in Britain, Sarah moved to Alaska at age 23 to Fairbanks and eventually, to Talkeetna. She worked at Sunshine Community Health Center in its early days, and is mother to three teenagers. She believes in fair and equal access to nature, good education, excellent healthcare, meaningful work, and strong community.


JoePJoe Page, Treasurer
For the past 30 years, Joe has been one of our community’s most active visionaries. He is a retired teacher, founder of NSI and the Denali Arts Council, founding chair of the Talkeetna Community Council, served as chairman of the Talkeetna Comprehensive Plan Advisory Committee, and co-founder of the CEAL Academy.


BarbMBarb Mannix, Secretary
Barb has been an active member of the Talkeetna community for more than 30 years, with a passion for natural history outdoor adventure, gardening, books, and theater. She works as a medical assistant at the Sunshine Community Health Center in Talkeetna.


Ashley Kaso, Board Member
Ashley graduated from the University of Connecticut and came to Talkeetna with the intent of spending just a summer working at Talkeetna River Guides. Fast forward 14 years and she’s still working for TRG as general manager. She loves to travel, and in doing so has come to believe that she lives in one of the best communities around!


Mark Wildermuth, Board Member
Mark has been enjoying Alaska for more than 30 years as a rafting, fishing and dog mushing guide (finishing 22nd as a rookie in the 1995 Iditarod). Recently, he has enjoyed the challenge of developing Denali Zipline Tours, Talkeetna Camper Park, and the Wildflower Café/Main Street Suite with a commitment to environmentally-conscience development.


LargeSquareBetsy Smith, Board Member
Betsy brings diverse experience working with non-profits, nonformal education, and partnerships throughout the country, primarily within the field of environmental education. Her experience is supported by an M.Ed. in Environmental Education and she also serves as an Adjunct with the University of Alaska Anchorage.


Ellen Wolf, Board Member

A long-time community activist, Ellen brings a wealth of experience and expertise to the NSI board.   A retired teacher, Ellen loves traveling, hiking, rafting, sailing, swimming, paddleboarding, and being outside as much as possible.


Emily Fleissner, Youth Program Volunteer Coordinator

Emily recently moved to Talkeetna after pursuing an Environmental Science degree at the University of Minnesota Duluth. She spent the last year working towards an M.S. in Water Resources Science and hopes to carry on her passion for the outdoors in Alaska.


Nonprofit Organization Status
The Northern Susitna Institute is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Donations are tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law. For more information, please contact us.  Please use the links below to view the NSI’s public documents.

Conflict of Interest Policy
Disclosure Statement
Board Roles and Responsibilities
Board Member Reimbursement Procedure