Founder & President
The Mississippi River was literally Chad Pregracke’s backyard while growing up near East Moline, IL. Chad’s vision, charisma, non-stop work ethic and natural leadership have garnered him an abundance of awards and honors over the years. Most notably, Chad was the recipient of the Jefferson Award for Public Service (America’s version of the Nobel Prize) in June of 2002. Chad accepted this award in the United States Supreme Court in Washington D.C. with other award recipients Rudolph Giuliani, Bill and Melinda Gates, and Lilly Tartikoff. Chad was also honored to be named the 2013 CNN Hero of the Year. Whenever he can get away from his rigorous work schedule, Chad enjoys fishing, hunting, skateboarding, windsurfing and recycling used and salvaged materials by incorporating them into new projects.
Mike, aka Nozzy, began as a volunteer in 2005 and was asked to join the crew in 2007. Mike graduated from Northern Illinois University in 2000 with degrees in history and teaching. Before joining the Living Lands & Waters team, he worked as a teacher in his hometown of Rock Island, IL. Much like the mighty paddlewheels on the majestic steamboats of yesteryear, Nozzy propels the crew to greatness. His knack for motivational speaking and his go-getter attitude have earned him the nickname “Coach.” His words have inspired thousands of volunteers at hundreds of river cleanups. Mike takes his coaching to the classroom as the Education Facilitator, teaching students about the importance of our nation’s rivers, clean water and recycling. In his spare time, Nozzy enjoys lifting weights, reading, seeing live music and picking up garbage.
Dan started as an LL&W volunteer in 2010 and, after participating in two Alternative Spring Breaks and completing an internship, he was invited to officially join the staff crew in May of 2013. He’s known as a modern day renaissance man with many talents. He’s creative and adds innovative ideas to many brainstorming sessions. He’s a professional disc golfer, technologically savvy, guru of trash collecting, a soccer goalie, skateboarding whiz, snowboarder, sage photographer, prospective American Ninja Warrior and he plays one mean kazoo. He loves traveling and listening to live music.
Serving as the keeper of the checkbook, Shelly carries the responsibility of payroll, expenses and record-keeping for the organization. She joined the LL&W office staff in the fall of 2013 and has a fun sense of humor and organizational and business skills that have added checks and balances to the operations. Shelly might be the kindest, sweetest, most giving person on the crew – but if anyone misses turning in his or her timesheets, Shelly will come a-looking. In her off time, Shelly enjoys watching her kids’ sporting events and serving as their full-time taxi driver.
Rhiannon Rogstad initially started working with Living Lands & Waters in 2014-2015, helping with grant writing and recently rejoined the crew in September of 2019. She taught university writing and literature courses for ten years before entering the non-profit world in 2014. She has worked over the last six years with three non-profits, including her current work as the Director of Philanthropy at Abundant Grace Coastside Worker, which serves the homeless. Her grant writing skills are as rock-solid as granite, and we don’t take them for granted, because they help keep our props spinning. Rhiannon’s grant writing skills are undeniable. But, she is probably most famous for co-writing the infamous indie river folk song, Pandiculation Station, with a former crew member, Nelson Curran. Rhiannon is almost as well-traveled as Carmen Sandiego, living in 24 towns in 12 states, including the Canadian Province of Ontario. She is a voracious reader, always reading at least two novels at a time. Rhiannon enjoys hikes and walks with her two middle school age boys and according to her other friends that are moms and AMAZING! The greatest joy in her life (apparently even over the birth of her sons) is when she made a margarita for Bill Nye the Science Guy.
Tree Nursery Manager
Andrew is an East Moline, IL native. He has worked in many professions, from construction to making amazing bagel sandwiches, teaching, farming, pouring concrete, and everything in between. He married the love of his life, Casie, and they have two dogs, Lily and Chief, and two little girls, Virginia and Lucy. They love traveling the world and spending time with their amazing friends and loving family. Andrew also enjoys live music, the mountains, being in the woods, skiing, hunting/fishing, the Cubbies, new experiences, meeting people from all walks of life, and saving the world, one piece of garbage at a time. He has made it his life goal to bring the coach to justice for his unlawful coaching career, lies, and his multi-personalities. The ref will prevail.
Cody Breecher joined the Living Lands and Waters crew in December of 2020. He is a Quad City native, attended Moline High School, and was a local 150 operators and apprenticeship member.
Cody has driven almost every land-based vehicle, including trains! This mechanical guru loves building race cars in his spare time and has owned over 200 vehicles in his lifetime. He can basically build anything that someone’s willing to dream up. The crew has requested he assemble a towboat transformer that picks up trash and makes double stuff Oreos from scratch. He loves updating old stuff to work in new situations. Can we get a “HELL YEAH” for repurposing?!
What is this mechanical super juggernaut’s kryptonite, you might wonder? It’s ONIONS! He hates ONIONS!
Callie is the freshest trash here on the crew. She grew up in Waukesha, WI for most of her 25 years of living on this earth. Callie ventured down to north shore Chicago and graduated from Lake Forest College, in 2018. She graduated with a major in Environmental Studies, and a minor in Communications. Right out of college she got her first “big girl” corporate job, but felt like she was missing something in her life. So, after some time she decided to pack up her belongings and head out west to Portland, Oregon to be a drummer in an island reggae band. Then, Covid hit...
On what was supposed to be a quick visit back to the midwest Callie got connected with Tammy, and the rest is history. Callie will be running LL&W’s social media, website, press releases, and whatever random ideas Chad calls her about to do. In her spare time, she enjoys visiting her parent’s alpaca farm, goofing around with her 3 older sisters, drumming, playing ukulele, swimming, scuba diving, traveling, and yoga. Callie grew up as a competitive swimmer and loves any and all types of water. So, living on a barge down by the river is her ideal work/life balance.
Ethan Beyer aka "The Cookies and Cream Kid" was born and raised in Paducah, Kentucky. This Scorpio joined the crew in the late summer of 2021. Ethan has mad skills when it comes to operating the John Deere excavator. His skills are powered by the copious amount of cookies and cream ice cream that Ethan eats. Ethan has been working in or around farms since he was 14 years old running tractors and equipment. The skills that he developed working on farms are invaluable to the organization and Ethan is a huge help when it comes to keeping things running for the crew.
Ethan loves snowboarding and carving out cherry cherry pow pow on the slopes. He and his family also love playing an ancient game of strength known as "bouldering" where you see who can pick up the heaviest and biggest rock at a location. Finally Ethan is an animal on the dance floor, and when the party really gets going he has been known to break out his infamous dance move the cookies and cream shuffle!
If Travis could be summed up in one word it would be loyal…loyal at least to LL&W’s maternal leader, Tammy. Travis is smart enough to not stray too far from the gravy train. However, when he hears someone rummaging through the refrigerator, he will be the first to be by their side. Travis was discovered in Southern Illinois with a patty of liquid nail on his head. Travis puts the word “chill” in chiller and his exceptionally laid back personality is great for any campfire. A few of Travis’ accomplishments include: four-time champion softest fur coat at the National Fur Convention, fastest hot dog eaten North of the Mason Dixon line and a variety of firsts and seconds at the biannual Alaskan river dog bark off championship. Simply put, Travis is a god among dogs.
Meet our other friendly crew pups: Bailey, Pork Chop, Kota and Diesel.
After wandering the hills and valleys of Montana for eight months of his lonely puppy-hood, Pork Chop was taken in by the loving embrace of Chad and Tammy. Right away, it was apparent that he was made for life on the river. Never missing a boat or car ride, Pork Chop could be compared to a mix between Scrappy-Doo and Curious George. Pork Chop’s hobbies include wrasslin’, running full speed ahead (usually into Travis or Diesel) and catching flies in mid-air. The crew is extremely happy to have Pork Chop aboard!
Meet our other friendly crew pups: Bailey, Travis , Kota and Diesel.