We get the pleasure of meeting some truly amazing, inspiring, and smart people on our journey here at the foundation. Some of whom we more formally associate with through our Fellows program.
In alphabetical order.
Klayton grew up north of Detroit in Romeo, Michigan. He received a degree in engineering from the University of Michigan. Today, he helps automotive companies solve their technical challenges working with ITW. When he’s not working, you can find Klayton volunteering in downtown Detroit with his sister at Anchored Hope Outreach, a non-profit focused on helping to combat the practice of human trafficking, sailing on the Great Lakes, or hanging out with his dog, Penny.
Melissa Estep grew up exploring the Sierras in California and is now a long-term resident of the Rocky Mountains in Boulder, Colorado. Melissa’s area of interest is in water supply and quality, in which she holds a Master’s degree. As a federal employee, she focuses on long-term water supply planning and management for the western United States, specializing in mitigating the impacts of climate change and supporting consultation for indigenous sovereign nations.
Outside of work, Melissa spends the majority of her time exploring everything from the mountain tops to canyon bottoms. She is happiest while mountaineering, trail running, packrafting, or simply getting lost deep in the wilderness.
Melissa’s occupation and interests brings a wide range of knowledge to this foundation for future growth.
Jeff is all about bringing out the best in others. He teaches professional presence and civic engagement at the University of Illinois at Chicago in the College of Business. He has been a career/leadership coach in the Higher Education environment, in some capacity, for most of his adult life.
The Boy Scouts ignited Jeff’s passion for the outdoors. An Eagle Scout, he attributes his love of hiking, paddling, exploring, birding, and fishing, to the amazing leaders he had in BSA Troop 360 in Glendale, Missouri. His bucket list includes a desire to experience every US National Park.
Jeff loves open water swimming and cycling. He also runs occasionally so that he can compete in triathlons. He completed Iron Man Wisconsin in 2015 and the Mighty Mac (Straits of Mackinaw) Swim in 2019.
Jeff and his wife Joanne celebrated their Silver Anniversary in 2021. They have two grown children – Jay & Jessica.