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For general inquiries, please contact or call 312.224.8028.

Suzanne Malec-McKenna  Executive Director


Phone: 312.224.8028

Suzanne Malec-McKenna is Executive Director of Chicago Wilderness, a regional alliance of more than 200 organizations that preserves, improves, and expands nature and quality of life in the region. Throughout her 25 years of experience, she has maintained special emphasis on natural resources and water quality; communications; environmental education, stewardship, and enforcement; and sustainability efforts—especially those that intersect with successful business development and community engagement.

Prior to joining Chicago Wilderness, Suzanne served as Deputy Commissioner and Commissioner for the City of Chicago’s Department of Environment, during which time she helped create and oversee the implementation of the Chicago Climate Action Plan, Chicago Conservation Corps, Greencorps Chicago, and spearheaded the City’s Calumet initiative. She worked with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources’ Millennium Reserve Steering Committee to develop a plan for the Millennium Reserve Calumet Core, and also worked with The Morton Arboretum to initiate an urban forest strategy for the Chicago region. She has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, and holds a master’s degree and Ph.D. in Communications from Northwestern University in Evanston. In addition to being a nature lover and resiliency advocate, Suzanne is a mighty fine cook, gym rat, mom, and eternal optimist.

Chris Mulvaney – Director of Conservation


Phone: 312.224.8094

Chris Mulvaney is Director of Conservation for Chicago Wilderness. He leads regional biodiversity recovery strategies by facilitating partnerships, guiding coordinated actions across organizations, and developing and monitoring metrics toward collective impact. By leveraging the resources of the alliance, including its vast scientific expertise, on-the-ground knowledge, and a strong foundation of successful conservation initiatives, he helps build and sustain momentum toward common conservation goals to ensure the preservation, improvement, and expansion of our region’s natural resources. Over the next several years, he will be leading work focused around oak ecosystems, priority species, and water.

Chris has more than 10 years of experience working with Chicago Wilderness, facilitating and managing collaborative conservation projects for the alliance. He holds a Master’s degree in Biology from Illinois State University and a Bachelor’s in Biology from Millikin University.

Catherine Game – Director of Communications and Engagement


Phone: 312.224.8087

Catherine Game is Director of Communications and Engagement for Chicago Wilderness. Catherine oversees Chicago Wilderness' communication strategies and leads the alliance's focused efforts to engage landowners in conservation action, build and sustain a diverse conservation constituency, and apply technology to accelerate member collaboration. 

Prior to joining Chicago Wilderness, Catherine held positions in communications, program evaluation, and education. She holds a Master’s degree in Natural Resources and Environment from the University of Michigan and a Bachelor’s degree in Biology and Art from Albion College. She is the recipient of the Doris Duke Conservation Fellowship and a Morris K. Udall Scholar.


Karra Barnes – Conservation Information Coordinator


Phone: 312.224.8131

Karra Barnes is the Conservation Information Coordinator for Chicago Wilderness. Karra brings a diverse set of skills such as GIS and spatial analysis, cartography, data and website administration, researching, and consultation.

She recently completed her Masters program in Geographic Information Systems and has a Bachelor's in Environmental Geography. Prior to joining Chicago Wilderness, Karra was a GIS Technician where she helped develop a university-level enterprise database and create maps for clients of various industries. She was also an Assistant Researcher in which she performed research and data collection to develop GIS tools for mapping industrial supply chains in Wisconsin.