Kevin Roper, Executive Director

Kevin Roper Photo Edited for webKevin Roper has worked the last 35 years in Memphis, Nashville, and Washington D.C. in retail, healthcare, and higher education, having previously served as the president of the Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare Foundation, and as the Executive to the President for Government Relations for The University of Memphis. His background includes strategic planning, fundraising, alumni affairs, capital campaigns, planned giving, marketing, business development, clinical research, workforce development, government relations, and public policy. He has been involved in the development, planning, and execution of over $600 million in programs in the private and public sectors from philanthropic and government funding for programs locally and nationally. Kevin holds an undergraduate and  graduate degree from the University of Memphis and has held adjunct teaching and research positions at the University of Memphis and Vanderbilt. He has spoken at a number of professional national and regional conferences including The Association of Fundraising Executives, The Association of Healthcare Philanthropy, and The Council for Economic Education.


Jan Syrigos, Communications Specialist

Communications Specialist Jan Syrigos promotes Foundation programs to partner groups and the conservation community at large and oversees MCHF media and communications.

She has worked for the Missouri Department of Conservation as a Naturalist at Runge Conservation Nature Center and most recently as a Special Programs Coordinator with Policy Coordination Unit.   She holds a Bachelor of Science Degree from the University of Missouri in Forestry Management with an emphasis in Interpretation/Education.  Over the last 8 years, Jan and her family have operated their own environmental education company which serves teachers, leaders and students in the Midwest.

Jan, her husband George and daughter  live north of Jefferson City and enjoy canoeing, kayaking, hiking and making music together.


Cynthia Hawcroft, Research/Foundation Assistant

Cynthia Hawcroft earned a degree in biology from Baylor University and a master’s degree in aquaculture from Auburn University.  She has worked as an environmental scientist for Franklin Associates, an environmental consulting firm in the Kansas City area.  Together with her husband Bart, she managed an aquaculture facility in South Carolina.  With additional experience in database management and event planning, Cynthia utilizes her combined skills and knowledge to help promote the cause of conservation.


Missouri Department of Conservation Support and Liaison Staff Serving the Foundation:

PaulCalvertCanoe_000Fisheries Field Operations Chief Paul Calvert is a Conservation Department liaison with the Foundation on Stream Stewardship Trust Fund matters. Paul has a Master’s degree in biology from University of Central Missouri and has worked with the Department for almost 17 years in a variety of positions working with private landowners and the stream resources of Missouri. Currently, in addition to coordinating Stream Stewardship Trust Fund projects, Paul oversees the Missouri River Unit Fisheries staff.

SherryFischerAlbertaFalls_000Stream Services Program Supervisor Sherry Fischer serves as a Conservation Department liaison with the Foundation on Stream Stewardship Trust Fund matters. Sherry has a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Missouri-Columbia and has worked for the Department for more than 25 years. During her tenure with the Department, Sherry’s focus has been on stream issues and related management efforts. Sherry has played an integral role in the continuing success of the Missouri Stream Team Program. She is a life-long resident of Jefferson City. Sherry and her husband Brent have two children and enjoy a variety of outdoor activities.

robyn_000Realty Services Technician Robyn Hilliard* provides advanced adminstrative support to the Missouri Department of Conservation’s Realty Services staff, Realty Committee and Director’s Office, in addition to staff of the Foundation. Robyn has pre-department experience as a word processing supervisor for an accounting firm. Prior to her current position, Robyn served the Department as an administrative staff assistant for Private Land Services Division and administrative assistant for the Director’s Office. She also provided previous, valued assistance to the Foundation, and is pictured here (at right) receiving an award in recognition of her service from former Foundation president Jan Phillips.

*The Foundation reimburses the Missouri Department of Conservation for administrative and financial services provided by Conservation Department staff.