Plenary and Keynote Speakers

Opening Plenary Speaker: Wednesday, December 8, 2021

Byron Franz, Special Agent, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)

Byron Franz is a Special Agent of the FBI and has worked national security matters for over 22 years.  He currently serves on FBI Milwaukee’s Cyber Squad, where one of his responsibilities is to raise awareness of cyber and insider threats to business, academia, and state/local governments.  He is FBI-certified to conduct cyber investigations and rated as proficient to          work counterintelligence investigations by the U.S. Intelligence Community. He holds a B.A. in Russian and a law degree, both from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Keynote Luncheon Speaker: Wednesday, December 8, 2021

Cheryl Newton, Acting Regional Administrator Region 5, United States Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA)

Cheryl Newton is the deputy regional administrator and acting regional administrator for U.S. EPA Region 5. Her responsibilities include overseeing environmental protection efforts in the Great Lakes states of Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio and Wisconsin, as well as 35 federally recognized tribal governments.

The Office of the Regional Administrator (ORA) manages the planning, programming, implementation, control and direction of technical and administrative aspects of Region 5 programs and activities. In addition, ORA is responsible for total resources management in the Region, and for the continuing evaluation of Regional programs and activities.

Keynote Luncheon Speaker: Thursday, December 9th

Todd Ambs, Deputy Secretary, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR)

From 2003-2010, Todd was the DNR’s Water Division administrator, where he was lead negotiator for the State of Wisconsin during the development of the Great Lakes Compact. Todd has worked in the environmental policy field for more than 30 years, most recently as the campaign director for Healing our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition.

His extensive experience in both state government and nonprofit organizations includes serving as executive director of two statewide river organizations, policy director for the Ohio Attorney General and senior policy analyst for the Wisconsin Department of Justice. Todd graduated from Eastern Michigan University in 1980 with a Bachelor of Science in Political Science/Speech.