Meet the Team
Jon Mobeck, Executive Director
Jon is an experienced organizational leader, having directed two wildlife nonprofits in Jackson Hole, Wyoming prior to assuming the National Loon Center’s Executive Director role in January of 2021. He’s a native Minnesotan who eagerly returned home to build conservation support for the loons and lakes he has loved since childhood.
From 2009-2020, Jon served first as Executive Director of The Murie Center in Grand Teton National Park and then in the same capacity for the Jackson Hole Wildlife Foundation. He also spent a year in Boulder, Colorado with the WILD Foundation – an international conservation organization – as its Director of Partnerships. Jon has contributed to community development in Jackson Hole, WY and Park City, UT while directing communications and membership for their Chambers of Commerce from 2001-2004. Throughout his career, Jon has combined hands-on work with science-based policy recommendations to benefit wildlife, ecosystems and people. He has worked extensively with public agencies, private citizens and other organizational partners to advance conservation ethics and actions.
Jon grew up in Ham Lake, Minnesota, where he developed a passion for nature and a love of outdoor adventure. He graduated from Bethel University in St. Paul, MN with a B.A. in Professional Writing. Jon spends much of his free time hiking, biking, trail-running and playing hockey. His family knows him as “Jeep” as he was named after the late Minnesota North Stars hockey player J.P. “Jeep” Parise.
Natasha Bartolotta, Stewardship & Outreach Manager
Natasha migrated all the way from the Northeast to the Midwest in the fall of 2021 to join the National Loon Center. Prior to joining the NLC she worked for Audubon Louisiana as a Coastal Bird Technician to promote community stewardship of beach-nesting birds. Natasha has also worked as a Conservation Educator for the Lehigh Valley Zoo in Pennsylvania and as a research assistant for projects on wild chimpanzees and orangutan behavioral ecology in Uganda and Sumatra, respectively.
She’s hoping to use her unique range of experiences to be the best advocate she can for loon conservation and freshwater habitat preservation. Natasha has her Bachelor of Science in Biology from Cornell University, graduating with Distinction in Research. She is excited to draw from her scientific background to develop engaging educational and citizen science programs on Minnesota’s lakes and loons. In her free time, Natasha enjoys kayaking, baking (and eating bread), hiking, reading, and exploring new places. She’s looking forward to discovering all the beautiful natural spaces in the Brainerd Lakes Area.
Mike Pluimer, Program Operations Associate
Mike is a Minnesota native who resided in the Brainerd Lakes Area for ten years prior to joining The National Loon Center’s team. With a strong familiarity with Crosslake and its neighboring towns, he understands just how valuable The National Loon Center is and will be to its community of people, loons, and lakes.
His love for the iconic Minnesotan wildlife is rooted in a lifetime of experience and appreciation for his home. Having grown up alongside its lakes and loons, he feels a strong obligation and responsibility to ensure their protection and safety in a fast-paced world where the beauty and importance of things such as our natural world can be easily overlooked, forgotten about, or taken for granted. Mike is a strong advocate for conservation and sustainability, and is grateful for the opportunity to use these passions in stride with The National Loon Center to advance the success and wellbeing of lakes and loons, on both a local and a national scale. He believes that the less wildlife we share our world with, the less interesting our world will be.
Mike has a creative background that reaches across a wide spectrum of artistic hobbies, including music, photography and videography, and graphic design. In 2021, he graduated from the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota with his B.A. in Music Business, after which he returned to the area with his wife, Haley, to settle down in Breezy Point.
Maddi Nistler, Minnesota GreenCorps Member
Maddi is originally from Loveland, Colorado and traveled to Minnesota in 2019 to attend Bemidji State University. Having lived in Northern Minnesota for several years, her love and appreciation for nature and wildlife, including loons, has grown substantially. During her time in the North Woods, she has come to understand the ecological and cultural importance of loons and she is excited to become a part of an organization that emphasizes this importance.
Maddi’s educational background in Environmental Studies has prepared her for the challenge of reaching out to the Crosslake community and beyond to advocate for the protection of local wildlife. She is a member of the Minnesota GreenCorps and will be serving an 11-month term with the National Loon Center with the goal of creating an environment in which Crosslake’s youth are empowered to participate in loon conservation efforts. Aside from loon-watching, Maddi can be found doing other outdoors activities such as hiking, camping, and fishing. She also enjoys painting, reading, and a good Netflix marathon. Maddi is looking forward to getting to know the Crosslake area and what its community, lakes, and loons have to offer.
Learn more about the Minnesota GreenCorps program.