DeVries Nature Conservancy

Ken Algozin,  Executive Director

Ken started things off at DeVries in 2006. Raised in the untamed wilds of the Chicago suburbs, he dreamed of someday becoming a farmer, a forest ranger, or maybe even a mountain man. After attending four Big Ten universities (yes, four) and serving as an economist with the United States Department of Agriculture in Washington D.C., Ken and his family moved to Owosso in 2001, where he opened and managed the Shiawassee River Program Office for The Nature Conservancy. Four years later, Ken was offered the opportunity of a lifetime: to create and manage the DeVries Nature Conservancy. As Executive Director, Ken has been entrusted with cultivating the vision of the late Jack and Fran DeVries; that their property endure forever as a place for the community to enjoy; dedicated to preserving the natural history and agricultural heritage of Shiawassee County. In his spare time, Ken enjoys reading, running and barbequing.  

Dirk Oudman, Farm Manager

Dirk came to DeVries in the spring of 2017, as the garden transitioned into a market farm operation. He grew up surrounded by cornfields in northwest Indiana, so agriculture has always been a part of his life. After graduating from a small college in Iowa he participated in a year-long training program in Texas, where he learned the principles of community development and how to run a small organic farm. He then pursued several different farming opportunities before marrying and moving to the Owosso area, with the goal of growing vegetables to provide healthy food for the community. In his free time, Dirk and his wife enjoy being outdoors for any reason--hiking, swimming, or just lounging on a hammock under the trees.

Dean Braid,  Grounds Manager

Dean took over for our original Grounds Manager in 2010.  Dean maintains the trails, the drive, does all the mowing, plowing and other general grounds tasks. 

Dean retired from General Motors. Living next to DNC he has a personal stake in the grounds thriving.  When not working he spends time with his loved ones, works on and cruises in his classic vehicles, and takes long motorcycle trips.  

Evan Klinkoski, Administrative Assistant

Evan got started at DNC in 2016 as a research intern, working with a development team to redesign and enhance the Carriage and Sleigh Museum. Now an employee, he assists the Executive Director with various administrative support tasks. His primary duties include visitor reception, website and social media management, data entry, and facility rental oversight. Evan is a recent graduate of the University of Michigan, where he double majored in English and Latin literatures. In his spare time he loves to read, write and play the 5-string banjo.

Jeff Millar, Market Manager

Jeff is a resident of Owosso with his three children, but is originally from Howell. He grew up working in his family’s restaurant before serving for five years in the Coast Guard. Since then, he has kept busy in the food service and hospitality industry. He enjoys spending time out of doors, gardening, biking, fishing, and reads a lot. The mission of Devries Nature Conservancy is what drew him to the position of Mobile Farmers Market Manager and he is looking forward to serving as many members of the community as he can.

Torey Fry, Environmental Educator

Torey joins the DeVries team with a B.S. in Environmental Stewardship from a small college in Kansas. Originally from Kansas, Torey moved to Traverse City in 2013, where she worked as an Environmental Educator and Preschool Coordinator at the Grand Traverse Conservation District. After moving to the Lansing area in 2015, Torey worked at a Montessori school where she was able to better understand child development and gain more knowledge in experiential learning. Torey is excited about meeting and educating young naturalists in the area. In her free time, you can find her weeding her garden, reading, and backpacking along Michigan's beautiful trails.

Contact us

Mail us: 2635 N. M52 

             PO Box 608

             Owosso, MI 48867

Call us: 989.723.3365

Email us:

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