Our board represents a cross-section of our community and is a holistic advocate for our cause. Its members work hard to ensure long-term sustainability of the organization so that funds raised directly affect results.
Fred Oelschlaeger is a native of Rock Island, IL. and is currently a Regional General Manager and Assistant Vice President for Cargill AgHorizons based out of St. Louis. He has held various roles with Cargill in operations, IT, and commercial management since graduating from the University of Illinois in 1991 with a degree in Business Administration. Fred has a passion for the river system and has worked and overseen facilities on the Snake, Columbia, Minnesota, Mississippi, Illinois, Ohio and Tennessee rivers during his career with Cargill. Fred met Chad and the team in 2004 and has been a fan and volunteer of LL&W ever since. Fred is the current chair of Farm Safety for Just Kids, a non-profit organization committed to education and safety of children in rural America. He also serves on the U.S. Grains Council. Fred resides in Chesterfield, MO with his wife Karol and four children.
Founder & President
The Mississippi River was literally Chad Pregracke’s back yard while growing up near East Moline, IL. After spending his summers shell diving, Chad, son of two river enthusiasts, began to realize how neglected the rivers were with the unsightly and toxic accumulation of trash along their banks. At the age of 17, Chad started making calls to government agencies to notify them of the problem, assuming someone would take care of it. Year after year passed by and the problem only worsened. In 1997, Chad decided that if no one else was going to clean up the river, he would.
In 1998 at the age of 23, Chad founded Living Lands & Waters. Today, the organization has grown to include a full staff and fleet of equipment. The crew averages nine states a year along the Mississippi, Illinois and Ohio Rivers, as well as many of their tributaries. Chad has expanded the mission of the organization to include Student Educational Workshops, the MillionTrees Project, Adopt-a-River Mile, Invasive Species Removal, Alternative Spring Break and the Great Mississippi River Cleanup.
Mark Werning is Chief Operating Officer & Secretary of American Bank & Trust, Davenport, Iowa. He joined the board of LL&W in January 2007, served six years, rejoined in 2014, and serves as Chairman of the Finance Committee. He graduated from Luther College, Decorah, Iowa in 1980 with degrees in Management and Economics, and graduated from the Graduate School of Banking with an Audit major in 1986. Mark serves on boards or Committees of numerous non-profit organizations. Mark lives in Bettendorf with his wife Deb and three children. His family loves the outdoors and enjoys being involved in many environmental and conservation projects. Please help us clean up our rivers and waterways – encourage children to get involved!
Kathleen, a QC native and SAU alum, moved back to the area in 2015 after living 17 years in Denver, CO. She manages Terracon Consultants eastern Iowa/Western Illinois office out of Bettendorf, Iowa. Terracon is a multi-discipline consulting engineering firm specializing in environmental, facilities, geotechnical and materials services. Kathleen worked for Kinder Morgan Inc., one of the largest energy infrastructure companies in North America, for 15 years while in Denver, lastly serving as Director of Procurement and Administration. She also worked as Senior Director of Strategic Relationships for Mile High United Way. Kathleen is a Junior Achievement Board Member and serves in many other voluntary capacities as well. Her strong philanthropic nature combined with her concern for the environment make. Kathleen a great fit for the LL&W board!
Andrew is Assistant General Counsel for Ingram Barge Company, a position he has held since mid-2014. On a day-to-day basis, Andrew handles a wide range of legal matters, including negotiating and drafting commercial agreements, incident response, employment law, and government relations issues. Prior to joining Ingram, he worked in private practice for eight years at Hill Rivkins in New York City, and Fowler Rodriguez in New Orleans and Houston. Andrew splits his college football loyalty between Ohio State, where he received an undergraduate degree in English in 2003, and the University of Tennessee, where he received his J.D. in 2006; although he was a Buckeyes fan long before he ventured south for law school. Andrew and his wife Laura live in Nashville with their two kids and are still (somewhat) in denial that their awesome young(er) adult days are over.
Bucky is a retired lawyer who has resided in the Philadelphia suburbs for 50 years. He graduated from Amherst College in 1975 and the Villanova University School of Law in 1981. Bucky worked in private practice, as an Assistant U.S. Attorney, and with Lockheed Martin Corporation for 25 years, specializing in litigation and compliance. A 2006 chance meeting with Chad Pregracke led to his becoming a Living Lands & Waters supporter and volunteer, and now a member of our board!
Mr. Adrian first joined Marquette in 1986 as a dispatcher in the traffic department and was promoted to manager of the traffic department in 1991, VP of sales and Logistics in 2001, and EVP of Sales and Logistics in 2008 before assuming his current role as Executive-Vice President in 2010. As EVP of the River division, Mr. Adrian has primary responsibility for both vessel and barge P&L’s and develops synergies for Marquette’s sales efforts across all divisions of the Company. The Sales and Logistics and Operations departments at River division all report directly to Mr. Adrian. Mr. Adrian has been active in many industry organizations and currently sits on the boards of the River Industry Executive Task Force and the American Waterways Operator’s Midwest Region.
Alain retired from LafargeHolcim in June 2017. He held many positions during his nearly 34 years with Lafarge, including Plant Manager of the Buffalo, Iowa plant between 1999 and 2007. He has an engineering degree from Ecole des Arts et Métiers in France and a MBA from Keller Graduate School of Management. Alain met Chad in 2000 and served on the Board of LL&W from 2002 to 2007. He was the Chairman from 2003 to 2007. In 2008, Lafarge moved Alain and his wife Cathy to Atlanta, then to Lyon France in 2012, and to Michigan in 2015. After Alain retired they decided to move back to the Quad Cities in July 2018 to be near their grandchildren and many friends they made in the QC.
Even though Gary received a BS in Natural Resource Management, he fell directly into a high school teaching position. There he spent 34 years fine tuning an Environmental Science program that earned multiple national recognitions. His primary focus has been on empowering students to impact local water quality decisions. He earned a MSed from NIU where he is now an adjunct instructor. Currently, he is the President of Friends of the Fox River where he is responsible for annually connecting thousands of students with their local streams. He is excited to have the opportunity to be part of the LL&W team.
Jeff Becker is vice president of operations for the Agricultural Services business unit of Archer Daniels Midland Company (NYSE: ADM), one of the world’s leading agricultural processors. In this role, he oversees a network of more than 200-grain elevators, 100 processing plants, various port facilities and an extensive crop transportation network encompassing barges, railcars, trucks and trailers. Prior to assuming his current role in 2013, he served as the company’s vice president, North American Grain, overseeing grain, edible bean, and rice-milling operations.
During his 29-year tenure at ADM, Becker has held a series of operations leadership roles, serving at various times at company locations in Illinois and Missouri. His emphasis on safety has been a hallmark of his leadership; he has repeatedly helped the company reduce recordable incident rates while delivering strong financial results and lowering operating costs.
After having served on the LL&W board from 2012-2017, Jeff was excited to return the LL&W team in 2019.
Past Board Member we can't seem to let go of.
He WAS on the board.
Mr. Becker graduated from Colorado College in 1976 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology. He spent a year with the Colorado Department of Wildlife, conducting research on raptors, banding young prairie falcons and osprey. In 1977, Mr. Becker established his own company, a building supply business located in the ski destination of Summit County, Colorado. Terry began his career at Riverway Co. in 1982 and sold his share of the Colorado business in 1983. He was named President of Riverway in 1992 and added the title of Chief Executive Officer in 2003. Riverway Co. was sold to Ingram Barge Company in April, 2005. During his career, Mr. Becker served in numerous leadership roles with Waterways Council, The American Waterways Operators, The National Waterways Conference and The Marine Transportation Council. He continues to serve as a Trustee of the National Waterways Foundation. Terry served six years on the Living Lands & Waters Board of Directors before enthusiastically returning in 2013. He is currently the Board Chairman.