Traci Lewis is the Executive Director at Cope Environmental Center. Since 2001, Lewis has served in various capacities at CEC, including resource coordinator, volunteer coordinator, events coordinator, and education and outreach coordinator. She has worn many hats at Cope and is highly respected by staff, visitors, volunteers and the community. Traci spent 26 years in the film industry directing actors and extras in films, commercials, and TV series. She uses these skills to pair people to positions in which their skills and talent can flourish. Traci lives on a farm in Centerville and enjoys farming, gardening, and taking care of her animals.
Dana Risch is the Operations Director at Cope Environmental Center. She has a Bachelor degree in biology, with minors in Environmental Science, and in Anthropology from Indiana University East. Before returning to school Dana spent most of her life working in preschools and childcare, owning her own licensed daycare as well as working with several other programs. Dana sees opportunity at CEC to enable her to mesh both worlds together, passing on her knowledge of the natural world to children. Her face will usually be the first one that you see inside the door of Cope Environmental Center, and she is the go to person to get a message to any of us. When not at CEC, you will find Dana spending time with her family, reading, or gardening. She is very happy to be 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.
Kaitlyn Blansett is the Development Director. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Spanish and History from Indiana University in Bloomington. Kaitlyn has programming experience working with children in nature as a counselor at CEC in the summers of 2012-2014 and 2016. She spent the summer of 2015 vetting materials for CEC’s Living Building Challenge project. She has a Certificate for the Project Learning Tree Program. She also served as the Community Outreach Coordinator from 2016-2018. Outside of CEC, Kaitlyn enjoys hiking, reading, knitting, and spending time with her cat, Harvey.
Erica Hile is the Marketing Director. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Biology from Wright State University. While earning her degree, she worked as an undergraduate laboratory assistant in an Aquatic Ecology Lab, traveled to the Amazon rainforest, sank in mud to her waist while learning to delineate a wetland, participated in bird banding at Hueston Woods and Magee Marsh, and waded in the mudflats of Seahorse Key, Florida while in pursuit of gastropods and bivalves. She has programming and wildlife handling experience from her time as an Education Intern at Aullwood Audubon Center and Farm and as an Intern/Education Fellow at Brukner Nature Center and Wildlife Rehab. She hopes that her experiences and love of nature will inspire the sense of wonder in others. Outside of CEC, Erica enjoys spending time with her family, going on adventures, gardening, reading, and drawing.
Stephanie McCurdy is the Program & Volunteer Coordinator. Stephanie holds a Bachelor Degree in Natural Resources from Purdue University and has 20 years of experience working in the non-profit sector of Wayne County. She brings to CEC a wealth of knowledge in programming, outreach, fundraising, and event planning. She also has a lifelong love of the woods, is passionate about frogs and other herps, and enjoys sharing her
knowledge with people from many different backgrounds.
Stephanie is certified in Project Learning Tree, Project WET, Project Wild/Aquatic, Go FishIN, and is a Master Gardener. She is active with the Indiana Envirothon Competition and happily volunteers her time supporting the various activities of her sidekicks, James and Morgan.
Amanda Jetmore is CEC’s Accountant. Amanda holds a Bachelor Degree in Accounting from the University of Evansville. Before joining CEC staff she worked as a contract bookkeeper for CEC for five years. We also share her with the Wayne County Historical Museum and First English Lutheran Church. Amanda first came to CEC because she was inspired by Marianne Cope, who was the kindergarten teacher for both of her daughters. Amanda admired the values that Marianne instilled in her children and has continued to share and encourage the love of nature and the outdoors with them at CEC ever since. Her daughters have attended CEC’s camps since they were five years old and now they both are Junior Rangers, special volunteers who help lead the Summer Adventure Camps.
Amanda’s favorite outdoor activity is running. She has completed 10 half marathons to date and plans to complete one every month for the next year! Amanda also enjoys sewing, knitting, and gardening.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
Ed Cope, Ex-Officio
David Jose, Emeritus
Marie Cope Nicholson