board & Staff
Meet Our Board Members
Michael Stelzer, Chair
At-large, 2nd Term Expires December 2024
Michael’s background in business and branding began with ownership of a Design firm focusing on identity development
and package design for companies like 7-Up, Monsanto, Holiday Inn and Bass Pro Shops. After the sale of the firm, he became Creative Director for an Ad Agency where he worked with clients such as Tyson, Sara Lee, Simplot and other national brands. From here, he co-founded Marlin, an Ad Agency focused on food and beverage. This employee-owned company grew into 5 offices, 180 people and a client roster that included global brands such as Starbucks, Unilever, Heinz, Nestle and Frito-Lay.
A love of nature and the outdoors drew him to, and keeps him in, the Ozarks. Currently, Michael is in post-retirement as a full time Blacksmith/Sculptor working out of his dirt floor forge on his farm close to the Upper James River.
Meet the Watershed Staff
Mike grew up in Ozarks and for most of his life has spent as much time on the water as possible—especially Ozark streams. His lifelong passion for nature developed into a vocation at the Watershed Committee of the Ozarks (WCO), which at its core, involves teaching people of all ages about nature and fostering stewardship of the earth and, ultimately, each other.
Mike joined the WCO as a staff member in May 2006 and has served as the Executive Director since 2012. He previously worked with the James River Basin Partnership, Missouri Department of Conservation, and Missouri State University (MSU) while earning his degree. At MSU, Mike earned a comprehensive biology degree with an emphasis in ecology, evolution, and systematics, and a Master of Science in biology, focusing on aquatic ecosystems. Mike currently serves on a variety of local and state committees related to water and sustainability. He is passionate about the mission of the WCO and leaving a positive mark on our community.
Mike and his family live in the Rountree neighborhood and are proud Springfield residents. They enjoy time on the water, traveling, and working to make the community better.