Board of Directors

Dave Peck, President, has been on the Friends of the Fox board for several years. Dave serves as Chairperson for the Upper Fox Committee. He has canoed and boated on the Winnebago water way system since about 1968. Dave mostly enjoys boating on the upper pools and rivers. Dave enjoys the challenge of helping the people who live, visit or represent Wisconsin to understand and value this unique water system.

As president of Friends of the Fox, Dave will encourage our boart to put additional effort and focus toward supporting Fox River Navigational System Authority's building of the Aquatice Invasive Species (AIS) barrier at Rapide Croche transfer station. This is the last remaining major project needed to return navigation to the Lower Fox River.


Ellen Balthazor, Secretary has been on the Friends of the Fox board since the 1990's.

Ellen has a special interest in bringing people to the Fox River to enjoy the historical treasure of the lock system. Ellen also had a passion at working to reopen the Fox River for navigation while protecting the environment. She is pleased at the opening of many of the locks and looks forward to the time that the entire lock system will be navigatable.

Brunhilde Courtney, Executive Board Member has served on the Friends of the Fox board about 30 years.

Brunhilde and her husband have traveled through the Lower Fox locks for many summer vacations to Lake Michigan and the North Channel in their sailboat.

They own a home on Little Lake Butte des Morts, so Brunhilde very much enjoys the opportunity to educate waterfront property owner on safe lawn practices to keep our water pristine.

Mark Geall, a Friends of the Fox board member since 2011. Mark is a principal for Tanesay Development, a firm that redevelops industrial and other brownfield properties. He has currently developed and opened the RiverHeath project, located on the Fox in Appleton, just below the College Avenue Bridge. Mark is particularly interested in the Fox-Wisconsin Heritage Trail, increasing community access to the waterways, and preserving the historic lock system.

Mark was raised on the shores of Lake Winnebago. One of his earliest memories of the Fox River was watching his father jump in the river after his fishing rod was pulled in by a legendary fish. Both father and rod made it safely back to shore.

Richard Abb is one of Friends of the Fox's founding members and has served on the Board for over 22 years. Before retiring, Richard was employed with Kimberly-Clark Corporation and worked with collateral duties managing Neenah Dam with the U..S. Corp of Engineers. Richard has served FOF faithfully throughout the years. Without his commitment FOF would not have made the achievements they have.

Ed Kleckner has served on the Friends of the Fox board for over 10 years, and has been active in working on the Fox-Wisconsin rivers for the past 20 plus years. Ed works for East Central Wisconsin RPC where he is the Principal Planner responsible for recreation and urban economic development planning for an 8 county region in the state.

Ed's passion for the Appleton riverfront has now been expanded to cover the Fox and Wisconsin River historic Marquette and Joliet "1673 Route of Exploration" from the Bay of Green Bay to the confluence of the Wisconsin River with the Mississippi River. Ed has enjoyed working closely with Friends of the Fox in directing the Fox-Wisconsin Heritage Parkway project in an effort to secure a National Heritage Area designation for the Heritage Parkway.

John Forster is one of Friends of the Fox's founding members. John has served as President of Friends of the Fox for 20 years before retiring and moving to Florida in 2002. John has been instrumental in developing Friends of the Fox into the credible organization it is today.

John has served throughout his lifetime on numerous committees, some of them being the Fox River Management Commission, the Wisconsin Aquatic Nuisance Control Council, Fox Cities Youth Apprenticeship Steering Committee, Fox Cities Visitor and Convention Bureau, Fox Cities Children's Museum, Fox Wolf Basin Advocacy Group and the Fox Valley Technical College. He is currently serving in an advisory capacity with FOF and a Guardian Litem protecting the interests of children in Charlotte County Florida.

Karl Kaufman joined the Friends of the Fox board in 2012. Karl is a lifelong resident of Appleton. Karl's particularily interested in being a liaison between the Fox Valley Rowing Club and Friends of the Fox.

He is the owner of Kaufman Residential Design, LLC and is involved extensively in the building and design field. Some of his expertise involves volunteering to help the D.N.R. with eagle monitoring.