H2O For Life Staff

Doug Niemela

Executive Director
Starting in 2008 with his work to pass the Clean Water Land and Legacy Amendment in Minnesota, Doug has over a decade of leadership with environmental nonprofits. For the last 6 years, Doug has served as an executive director taking on issues from climate change to renewable energy to playing a lead role in the fight to protect the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness from sulfide ore copper mining. Through this work he gained valuable insight in communications, marketing, and narrative-based motivation from partnerships with for-profit enterprises like Patagonia, Columbia, and many others in the Outdoor Industry. He is excited to bring cutting edge exploratory leadership and design thinking skills to H2O for Life.

Fun Fact: After having to scrap his initial honeymoon plans due to COVID-19, Doug and his partner Melissa went on a four day, five night dog sledding expedition in the Boundary Waters to celebrate their union!

Nick Coughlin

Director of Marketing & Communications
Nick joined H2O for Life in 2012 as a graphic designer with a knack for writing and marketing. In addition to managing all lead generation for H2O for Life, he is responsible for the design and production of all digital and print collateral including annual reports, flyers, posters, booth displays, toolkits, and web graphics. A longtime animal advocate, Nick is passionate about making the world a kinder place for the most vulnerable among us. He lives in Minneapolis but escapes to northern Minnesota as often as possible to sail, swim, and hike with his rescue cattle dog, Pico.

Fun Fact: In his spare time Nick runs The Good Kid Project, which helps kids cultivate compassion for animals.

Steve Hall

Director of Global Partnerships and Schools
Steve joined H2O for Life in 2008 as a volunteer and became the first full-time employee for the organization in 2009. He manages relationships with our US and International school service-learning program. In addition, he acts as the liaison between H2O for Life and our many Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) partners around the world who implement our water, sanitation and hygiene education (WASH) projects at schools in need. Steve provides updates to our participants on the status of the WASH in Schools projects our program supports. 

Ron Lattin

Director of Development
For over 20 years, Ron Lattin has been a nonprofit and public affairs leader working with organizations, people and causes that promote corporate social responsibility, better government, cleaner political campaigns, and more effective nonprofits. Ron has spent the bulk of his career creating and implementing development efforts for nonprofit organizations and centrist public affairs campaigns.

Mitchell LeGrand

Educational Outreach Manager
Mitchell joined H2O for Life in 2019 after moving from the Global Programs at the University of Minnesota. His role is to manage new relationships with educators and organizations interested in implementing H2O's programming. Mitchell has worked in a variety of roles related to developing teaching tools across disciplines for nonprofits and he is always willing to find a way to give opportunity to students to better themselves and the world around them. In his spare time, Mitchell enjoys playing and writing music with his friends, training for races, and finding ways to be involved in his community.

Fun Fact: Mitchell has run his own local music festival for young musicians.

Judy Onufer

Education Project Manager
Judy is a career science educator with more than 30 years of experience that include high school environmental science and physics, university level elementary science education for pre-service teachers and director of education at a nature museum.  She holds multiple degrees in Botany, Science Education, and Physical Science and is passionate about sharing her science knowledge through curriculum development, teacher training and community outreach.

Fun Fact: Judy raises tarantulas!

H2O For Life Board

A.J. Austerman

Board Member
A.J. has over 19 years of Commercial Banking experience, and is currently a SVP-Commercial Banking Manager for MidCountry Bank.   He has been an advocate of H2O for Life since its inception in 2007, and is passionate about water and volunteerism.   He also serves on the Boards for MN DARE and Minnetonka Boys Basketball, and in his free time he enjoys spending time coaching, traveling, and racing around town with his 3 young boys.

Kate Booth

Board Chair/President
Kate is a part-time Nurse Practitioner at the University of St. Thomas Health Services. She is active in the Harriet Tubman Northstar Youth Outreach Center, Project Home through Interfaith Action and the St. Paul Garden Club. Kate dabbles in both indoor and outdoor sports and has ventured out on mission-related trips including a visit to H2O for Life project sites in Uganda. Kate and her husband, John have raised two daughters and are happy grandparents. 

Ashley Filipovich

Ashley is a CPA at Ramsay & Associates in Mahtomedi. In addition to Ashley’s work with H2O for Life, she is a member of the White Bear Lake Rotary and is involved in the Greater White Bear Lake Community Foundation’s “Leadership Tomorrow” program. Ashley is married to Nick and they enjoy traveling, camping, skiing and many other outdoor activities.

Jennifer Gallagher

Jenni Gallagher is an Assistant Professor of Social Studies Education at East Carolina University. Her research is focused on social justice-oriented inquiry curriculum and pedagogy. She earned her PhD from Iowa State University in 2017.  She was also a 7th grade Geography teacher in Colorado Springs, CO where she led students in supporting two water projects through H2O for Life. 

Patty Hall

Board Member
Patty was a middle level educator at Highview Middle School where H2O for Life began as a service-learning program. Patty is a co-founder and has volunteered with H2O for Life since its inception in 2007. She is married, has 3 adult children, 6 grandchildren — all of whom are amazing water advocates. In her spare time Patty enjoys reading, travel, outdoor activities and is passionate about the global water crisis. 

Nicole Kettwick

Board Member
Nicole is a Partner at Brandt Criminal Defense. As a criminal defense attorney, she has committed her career to helping those who find themselves on the wrong side of the law. In addition to her law practice, she also serves as an adjunct professor at the University of St. Thomas School of Law and volunteers with local bar associations and committees. Nicole and her husband, Treye, have two young boys and reside in North Oaks. 

Jim Rathburn

Board Member
As a member of White Bear Rotary in Minnesota, Jim is committed to community service in his hometown, but also mindful of the broader service mission globally. He volunteers for the White Bear Food Shelf, Second Harvest, and St. Mary’s Catholic Church. In addition to his work with H2O for Life, Jim enjoys golf, reading, films, and the arts. He is a big sports fan and proudly owns stock in the Green Bay Packers. 

Simon Sikulu

Board Member
After spending seven years working for Barclays Africa, Simon has spent the past decade with Wells Fargo and is currently a Business Relationship Manager. Simon is a native Kenyan from the village of Bungoma, and has personal experience with water scarcity issues.

Fun Fact: Simon is known to prepare traditional Kenyan meals including githeri, ugali, sukuma wiki, and chapati.

Terri Williams

Vice President
Terri Williams is the founder and Chief Executive Officer of Mains’l Services, Inc., a national company offering services to people and families who need assistance to live full and purpose filled lives in their home communities. As a lifelong entrepreneur, Terri is passionate about creating sustainable collaborations and partnerships improving the lives of others both locally and globally. For over thirty years she has held leadership positions in business and philanthropic organizations offering services to people of all ages and abilities.