Our Team

The Save the Dunes' Staff is a group of committed, hard-working, talented, and passionate individuals who make the impossible possible.

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NATALIE JOHNSON

Executive Director

natalie@savedunes.org  •  219-879-3564 x 122

Natalie has been working on water quality efforts and environmental community outreach for over sixteen years.  She has a great enthusiasm for developing and implementing important projects that protect and promote our area lands and waters, all while engaging our Northwest Indiana residents. Natalie holds a Bachelor of Science in Biology and a Bachelor of Science in Secondary Education, emphasis Biology, from the University of Missouri—St. Louis. She also holds a Master of Science in Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. Natalie is an active board member of the Gary Rotary Club,  an advisor to the Citizens  Advisory for the Remediation of the Environment, a governing member of the Healing our Waters Coalition, and many more. When Natalie is not outside hiking or kayaking, you might find her volunteering for animal rescue groups or assisting 4-H youth with poultry projects.

Katie

KATIE HOBGOOD

Program Director

katie@savedunes.org  •  219-879-3564 x 128

Katie is a Northwest Indiana native, bringing ten years of nonprofit program management experience to the Save the Dunes team. She is a creative, inquisitive individual with a proficiency in process creation and implementation, and a strong background in community collaboration and engagement. She holds a B.A in Sociology with a concentration in Anthropology from Indiana University. In her free time, Katie serves as the Board President for the East Chicago Education Foundation. She also spends time volunteering with Humane Indiana Wildlife, where she works with the education ambassador owl species, and fosters baby squirrels each year. She enjoys traveling, hiking, and expanding her knowledge base whenever she can.

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VICTORIA WITTIG

Senior Program Specialist

victoria@savedunes.org  •  219-879-3564 x 127

Victoria has more than 15 years of experience in the environmental field including roles within the academic, science-policy, government, international development and non-profit sectors. Victoria holds a Bachelor of Science in Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences, emphasis Ecology, from the University of Illinois. She earned her Ph.D. from the Department of Plant Biology, also from the University of Illinois. Her research examined the impacts of rising concentrations of carbon dioxide and ground-level ozone pollution on the growth and productivity of trees and is published in the peer-reviewed literature (Wittig et al., 2005, Wittig et al., 2007 and Wittig et al., 2009). Victoria has a passion for biodiversity preservation and through her work, endeavors to connect people to the incredible diversity of life all around them. Victoria grew up in the dunes and is often found searching for crinoid fossils on the beach, identifying native butterflies, figuring out how to put more native plants in her garden or relaxing at home with Cosmo, her wonderfully intelligent cat.

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Myra Cseke

Director of Development

myra@savedunes.org  •  219.879.3564 x 123

Myra has over 15 years of experience working in the nonprofit sector in several roles combining administrative, fundraising, events and promotion for multifaceted organizations. Myra brings with her extensive experience in the development of strategic resources to enable organizations to maximize assets and fulfill mission purpose. She holds a Bachelor of Science from Metropolitan State College of Denver in Land use and minor in Geology. When she is not in the office you may find her outside gardening, biking, camping and soaking up all of the wonderful outdoors of Northwest Indiana.

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VICKY PLATH

Bookkeeper

vicky@savedunes.org  •  219.879.3564 x 121

Vicky started with Save the Dunes in 2010.  She earned her Bachelor of Science in Accounting degree in 1997 from Governors State University and earned her MBA from Purdue University in 2006. During her career, Vicky has worked with several non-profit organizations and for profit companies in the banking and logistics industry. Vicky fell in love with the dunes when she moved to Northwest Indiana from Illinois almost 20 years ago. She is involved with many organizations, such as the Northwest Indiana Paddling Association, Shirley Heinze Land Trust and St. Patrick School and Church. In her spare time Vicky enjoys spending time outdoors with her wonderful husband, Dan and their three beautiful children.

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AMBER SEILER

Office Manager

amber@savedunes.org  •  219.879.3564 x 121

As a native of Michigan City, Amber grew up playing in the area’s woodlands and on the shores of Lake Michigan.  She received a Bachelor of Science degree in education from Ball State University.  Amber has a background in the finance and manufacturing industries and most recently in the education industry where she coordinates a youth mentoring program at some local schools. She is involved in community groups and local volunteer efforts. In her free time, Amber still enjoys spending time with her family on the shores of Lake Michigan beaching, boating, hiking and fishing.