By the Lake


Gary W. Anderson

CPA, Independent Consultant 

Board Member Since: 2019

Gary Anderson, CPA & CGMA is an Independent Consultant. He retired in 2016 from TCF National Bank in the capacity of Senior Vice President and Director of Finance for TCF's Lending companies and was an advisor to the Vice Chairman and President on a wide range of matters including finance, risk management and technology. Mr. Anderson was a former Chief Financial Officer of TCF's leasing companies, Winthrop Resources Corporation and TCF Equipment Finance, and also served in a Chief Technology Officer role during his 28-year career at TCF.

He currently instructs a Principles of Leasing course for the Equipment Leasing and Finance Association.

His community involvement includes current service on St. Cloud State University’s Foundation Board of Trustees (past Chair) and the McGregor Lakes Area Foundation (Treasurer).  He has been associated with Big Sandy Lake and the surrounding community since the 1950’s and has a lake home in Davis Bay.


St. Cloud State University, Bachelor of Science Accounting

St. Cloud State University, M.B.A. 

Lisa M. Mueller

Retired Deputy Director, Hennepin County Public Health

Board Member Since: 2019

Lisa retired as the Deputy Director for Hennepin County Public Health in Minneapolis, MN. She has over 30 years experience as a strategic member of public sector and corporate leadership teams. She has also held positions with Mercer Human Resources Consulting, the State of Minnesota, Honeywell Inc., and the Appleton Medical Center.

She and her family have had a cabin on Big Sandy Lake since 1994, and moved full-time to their lake home in 2019. Lisa is an avid golfer, hiker, kayaker, traveler and truly enjoys the peace and beauty of the northwoods.

Lisa joined the McGregor Lakes Area Foundation because she believes strongly in their mission to support the greater McGregor lakes area through ongoing education and annual grants to non-profit organizations that focus on ecological, educational, environmental, and social areas. 


University of Wisconsin - LaCrosse M.S., Adult Fitness and Cardiac Rehabilitation

Northern Michigan University B.S., College of Health Sciences/Professional Studies, Health and Human Performance

Katie M. Nelson

Foundation Director, Riverwood Healthcare Center

Board Member Since: 2014

Katie Nelson is the Foundation Director at Riverwood Healthcare Center.  With over fifteen years of experience in the nonprofit sector, she has proven success in board development, donor relations, major and planned giving, volunteer management and annual campaigns. 

She is extremely passionate about connecting donors with their passions. She is gifted at building relationships and impacted by results that support a deeper purpose.  Katie enjoys helping others and is inspired when strategy is linked to purpose.  She is driven to bring more transparency and kindness to the world through collaboration and relationships.  

During her time with Riverwood Foundation she has successfully coordinated multiple events, played a key role in the several capital campaigns, and has been actively involved in successful donor development activities throughout the communities Riverwood serves.  

Katie joined the McGregor Lakes Area Foundation as a way to stay connected to her community.  She feels so grateful to have the support of donors to the Foundation.  It's the donors who drive continued growth in the McGregor Lakes Area.


Augsburg University, 2001 Bachelor of Arts

St. Mary's University, 2013 Masters of Arts: Philanthropy & Development

Curtis J. Sparks

Retired Professional Engineer

Board Member Since XXXX

Curtis Sparks was President of Sparks Environmental Consulting formed in 2009.  Curt co-founded North American Wetland Engineering, Inc in 1997 and EcoCheck in 2002.  He served as President thought NAWE and Ecocheck’s acquisition by Jacques Whitford and Stantec.  Curt is proud of the 10 state and national environmental protection awards NAWE and its clients received between 1997 and 2007. 

Curt has over 50 years of experience in the environmental engineering field both as a consultant, a program manager at the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, Vice President of HDR Engineering and as President of 5 other companies.

Curt has been held management positions in environmental organizations throughout his career.  He helped draft the Big Sandy Lake Association bylaws and assisted in the development of over 50 lake and watershed management association.  He formed and chaired the Forest Lake watershed Management Organization, was engineer for the Big Stone Lake Watershed District, the Poplar River Watershed Management Organization, served as engineer for the Comfort Lake Forest Lake Watershed District and is now on the CLFLWD Advisory Board.  In 2011 he was appointed to the Big Sandy Lake Foundation and now chairs the McGregor Lakes Area Foundation.      

Curt served in 2 elected positions as a Supervisor in Forest Lake Township and at the Washington County Soil and Water Conservation District.  Curt retired in 2013.  He has remained active in many organizations that serve the communities he lives in. 

Ann Zappia

Retired Registered Nurse

Board Member Since: 2019

Ann Zappia has been a member of the McGregor Lakes Area Foundation since 2019.  Ann graduated from the University of Minnesota in 1981 with a Bachelor of Science- Nursing.  She worked as a labor and delivery nurse for 37 years at Hennepin County Medical center and then Fairview Southdale Hospital.  Ann recently retired as the school nurse at McGregor School District #1. 

She grew up on the St. Croix River and developed a deep fondness for the river and the environment surrounding it.  She hopes to foster that love for the care and stewardship of the Big Sandy Lake Area.


University of Minnesota, 1981 Bachelor of Science, Nursing