Northern Lakes Impact Center

Who We Are

The Northern Lakes Impact Center is dedicated to serving people through our innovative programs and partnerships in hopes that each of our participants will walk away with an increase in awareness, an expansion of knowledge, and a new appreciation for self, others, and the environment.

One of our main goals here at the Northern Lakes Impact Center is to create an inviting atmosphere where teachable moments can be used to change the lives of our nation’s youth. We focus on the details, logistics, and teaching so that the group leaders can focus on encouraging their students and growing alongside of them. We serve teachers, athletic coaches, corporate companies, youth groups, and everything in between!

Hannah Burkhart Director

Hannah was born and raised in west Michigan. Nature and the outdoors have always been a big part of her life. As a child she was regularly found in the creek behind her house and known for coming home with baby squirrels and bunnies, turtles, snakes, and frogs. As Hannah grew older, so did her passion for the outdoors. She credits a lot of her outdoor enthusiasm to her father as he was always playing with her and her siblings outside. Hannah attended college at Asbury University in Wilmore, Kentucky where she majored in Equine Studies and Outdoor Adventure Leadership. These majors allowed Hannah to explore and gain a fundamental understanding of various outdoor activities such as rock climbing, whitewater rafting, backpacking, caving, and canoeing. Hannah also learned many outdoor leadership skills and how to safely manage groups in the wilderness. Hannah has been all over the world backpacking, rock climbing, whitewater rafting, horseback riding, and canoeing. Hannah’s biggest outdoor passion has always been tied between backpacking and riding her horse. She finds it very relaxing and peaceful to wander through the woods surviving on what she carries on her back as well as riding along on her horse listening to the hooves on the trail. Hannah is passionate about the work she does at Northern Lakes Impact Center. She is eager to share her expertise and knowledge with others. On Hannah’s free time, you will find her riding horses, hiking, rock climbing, or canoeing.

Maria Rudesill Executive Director

Maria began her adventure in camping as a Ropes Course Facilitator working with "At-Risk" and "Alternative to Incarceration" youth in Michigan after she graduated college. That summer solidified her love of the outdoors and started her fascination with all things Outdoor Education and Teambuilding. Now, over 20 years later, armed with an undergraduate degree in Psychology and a Master's in Organizational Development, Maria is still excited to show a group of students the amazing wonders that await discovery in the natural world. Maria’s responsibilities have shifted slightly to more administrative duties as she became the executive director of Northern Lakes Partners in 2015, but she never misses the chance to hang out in the High Ropes Course, encouraging participants of all ages to try one more step. When Maria is not running around camp, she loves to travel and hang out with her husband, Barry, and their two teenagers.

Jordyn Vermeulen Assistant Director

Jordyn Vermeulen is a born and raised Arizonan who permanently moved to Wisconsin in early 2023. After graduating high school in 2018, Jordyn worked in a Public Library and enjoyed being surrounded by books and have the opportunity to help in her community. She interned with Northern Lakes Partners in 2021-2022 and discovered a passion for teaching kids in an outdoor setting.

Going home in the fall of 2022, Jordyn worked in a classical education preschool while prepping for her permanent move in the Spring. Jordyn loves teach, read, bake, hike, and explore new things and is very excited to delve further into the programs and opportunities and Northern Lakes Impact Center.

Dale Haskins Program Maintenance

Dale is a northern Wisconsinite through and through. He has lived in the Northwoods since birth and continues to love it here. He grew up playing in the woods behind his house as well as hunting, four-wheeling, and snowmobiling, like any good northern Wisconsinite would do. After graduating high school, Dale was offered a summer job doing construction and ended up with that company for 14 years before going off on his own. After owning his own company for almost 10 years, he was offered a position with Northern Lakes Partners as the Aquatic Director and Head of Program Maintenance and Facility Remodeling. He even spent 20 years as a volunteer firefighter in which 4 of those years he served as the chief. Dale loves working with the groups that come to the Northern Lakes Impact Center. He likes the challenges of program construction and maintenance such as low ropes and high ropes courses and climbing tower. On Dale’s off time, you’ll find him hiking, four-wheeling, or snowmobiling with his lovely wife of 28 years, Desi.

Jonathan Kowatch Instructor

Jonathan Kowatch was born and raised in Wausau, Wisconsin. After graduating from highschool, Jonathan spent his summers working for Northern Lakes Partners. He loved the work so much that in 2021 he decided to join our staff team as a Program Assistant. Jonathan is passionate about teaching and working with youth. He loves to engage in conversations and answer all their big questions. In Jonathan's free time you will find him running, biking, or playing tabletop games.

Carrie Graham Instructor

Angie Payfer Office Manager

Angie was born and raised in Minnesota, a great place to foster a love for forested areas and playing outside. As Angie grew up, she began to dream about someday raising a family in the Northwoods. After marrying her husband, Jeremy, they moved to Duluth, Minnesota. It took a few years, but eventually Angie’s dream of living in the Northwoods came true when she started working for Northern Lakes Partners in 2001. Angie has over 20 years of accounting experience and enjoys the work she does for Northern Lakes Impact Center. In Angie’s free time, you will find her at home, being a rock star mom to her three daughters.