(All pictures compliments of Greg Pyle Photography)

Alison Zajdel is the Executive Director at Cope Environmental Center and oversees operations and fund development. She has been a staff member since 2001 mostly recently serving as Development Director. Before coming to CEC she attended DePauw University majoring in Studio Arts. She has her certificate in Fund Raising Management from the Fund Raising School (Center on Philanthropy) and has completed training in planned giving, grant-seeking/writing, major gifts, and annual fund development. Alison contributes to our community by volunteering for a wide variety of organizations and sits on the Richmond Environmental Sustainability Commission. Alison received the prestigious Indiana Governor’s Award for Tomorrow’s Leaders in 2004 and has been an avid jump roper for 20 years!



Dana! Dana Risch is the Office Manager at Cope Environmental Center. Dana is a biology student at Indiana University East and will complete her Bachelor degree, with minors in both Environmental Science and Anthropology in June 2014. Before coming to CEC Dana spent many years working in childcare, owning her own licensed daycare as well as working with other programs. Hers is usually the first face you will meet inside our door, and the go to person when you want to get a message to any of us. When not at CEC you will find Dana spending time with her family, gardening, hiking through the woods, working with her animals, or reading a book. She is very excited to be at CEC!


Aubrey Blue is the Program Director at Cope Environmental Center. Aubrey has a Bachelor’s degree from Indiana University East and oversees all programming at CEC. Aubrey became a Certified Interpretive Guide (CIG) in 2005, and has attended numerous other workshops and programs adding to her experience. Five summers prior to becoming full-time, Aubrey was an integral part of the summer program staff working with pre-K through high school students. Most of Aubrey’s work at CEC is to write curriculum and lead community, family, school and summer programs.  She also is involved with other community organizations.  She is on the Board of Directors, part of the Cardinal Greenways Wayne County steering committee, and on the steering committee for Wayne County Foundation’s Women’s Leadership Conference.  Aubrey has classroom teaching experience and truly excels in outdoor and environmental education. Her ability to connect with young students benefits CEC through all the program seasons.


Traci Lewis is CEC’s Volunteer Coordinator.  We are thrilled to have her “back” as she worked at CEC roughly 10 years ago!  Traci has spent the last 26 years in the film industry directing actors and extras in films, commercials, and TV series.  She uses these skills to wrangle our volunteer corp- pairing each person with their skills and talents.  Traci lives on a farm in Centerville and enjoys farming, gardening and taking care of her animals.  “I’m excited to be back.  CEC gives me to chance to do the same type of work (coordinating the masses!), but while helping the environment and my community.  Wow- it’s great to be back at CEC!”




Brent Evans is the Facilities and Grounds Coordinator. He received his Associate’s Degree in Conservation Law from Vincennes University and his Bachelor’s Degree in General Science from Indiana University East.  He has taken classes in forestry through Purdue Extension and is well-versed in the care and development of natural areas.  Before becoming a year-round employee, Brent served as a summer intern. His knowledge of natural resources and equipment maintenance makes him an invaluable addition to the team. Brent lives in Centerville with his wife Courtney.




IMG_1422Kyle King is CEC’s Community Outreach Coordinator. He received his Bachelor’s Degree from Taylor University and has worked with non-profits for the last 10 years. Kyle has business and marketing experience as one of the founders of Roscoe’s Coffee Bar & Taproom where he implemented sustainable practices such as composting used coffee grounds, recycling, restoring an 1860s building, and sourcing local ingredients. He also has experience organizing community gardens, leading environmental & wilderness programming with high-risk youth, and teaching sustainability as a summer counselor at CEC in 2004 & 2005. Outside of CEC, Kyle enjoys hiking and gardening with his kids, cooking, spending time with his wife Sarah, and writing.

Board of Directors

Cope Environmental Center has an amazing volunteer Board of Directors! They work well with the staff and are passionate contributors to the community and the programs of CEC. All board members can be reached via email using the following address equation:

Cope Environmental Center’s Board of Directors meet on the 4th Tuesday of each month at 4:30pm. If the meeting falls on or near a holiday, the meeting time and date might be rearranged to accommodate schedules.

Karen Black
Ed Cope
Marianne Cope
Susie Ferrell
Robert Green
Teri Grossman

Susy Hasecoster
Pat Heiny
Cheri Jetmore
Kate Johnson-Keep
David Jose, Emeritus
Randy Kirk
Francie Klinge
John Kuhn
Marie Cope Nicholson

Ali Carter-Rivera
Neil Sabine
Tim Smock
Alan Spears
Tom Swinford
Jim Tanner
Bill Thistlethwaite
Brad VanVleet