Kristen Joiner, Executive Director
Executive Director Kristen Joiner just couldn't stay away from Madison. A Madison native, she started her career with Habitat for Humanity, co-organizing an environmentally sustainable housing program in Texas/Mexico border communities, and then moved on to the east coast. In New York City, Kristen worked with such national legislators as the recent US Green Party Presidential Candidate, Cynthia McKinney, to the head of the National Democratic Congress in Ghana to promote sustainable development through international policy at Parliamentarians for Global Action. In 1999, with ABC News Producer Maura Minsky, Kristen co-founded Scenarios USA, which they grew into a national model for public school engagement and reinventing sex education. At Scenarios, she spent ten fast-paced years working in collaboration with public school teachers and hotshot filmmakers to produce media written by teenagers about their lives. While the organization garnered multiple awards for its work with youth, the films premiered at theaters in New York and aired on Showtime, MTV, Sundance and other outlets. In March 2009, Kristen took the helm as the Executive Director of Sustain Dane in her Midwestern hometown.
Jessie Lerner, Director, Sustainable Business Initiative
Jessie is always in motion. When Jessie joined Sustain Dane in November 2007, she was still working with the Aldo Leopald Nature Center in Monona, trying to engage an appreciation in the outdoors in young children, and she would bike furiously between the two jobs. She hasn't slowed down since. Since March 2008, Jessie has coordinated the MPowering Madison campaign, and works one-on-one with local businesses, helping them go more sustainable. And, she still continues to work with the Aldo Leopold Center when she has free time. Jessie earned a B.S. in zoology and psychology from the University of Wisconsin- Madison.
Annie Kalson, Program Manager, Sustainable Business Initiative
In 2003, after six years of living in various cities of the Northwest and earning a B.S. from the University of Oregon, Annie moved home to Madison to be closer to lakes, sunshine, and family. Currently, she is enrolled in the Edgewood College Sustainability Leadership Graduate Certificate Program and in 2010 received a Certificate in Effective Public Participation from the International Association for Public Participation. Annie joins the Sustain Dane team with over 5 years of experience in environmental education and program coordination at the Wisconsin DNR.
Rachel Martin, Director, Sustainable Schools Initiative
Rachel graduated from University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1997 with a joint Master's degree from the Department of Urban and Regional Planning, and the LaFollette Institute of Public Affairs. She spent five subsequent years as the Manager for UW's Commuter Choices Program before leaving to stay home with her two children. During that time, Rachel co-founded a community-school garden at Midvale Elementary, and received a Dane County Public Health Award in 2009 for its bountiful results! She continues her work with the Madison Metropolitan School District as she helps move forward their new Sustainable Schools Initiative.
Julie Jarvis, Program Manager, Sustainable Schools Initiative
After living in Michigan, New York, Oregon, and Washington, Julie finally made her way to Wisconsin in the winter of 2010. She is loving Madison’s bike paths, restaurants, lakes, prairies, and her job at Sustain Dane! Julie has a BS in Resource Ecology and Management from the University of Michigan and a MEd in School Counseling from Western Washington University. She has spent her professional life working with children as an elementary school counselor, therapist and environmental educator. Her job as Project Manager for the Sustainable Schools Initiative draws together her interest in kids and learning, her passion for nature and her belief in the importance of living in harmony with the land and with one another.
Amy Soyck, Program & Administrative Assistant
Amy graduated from UW-Madison in 2009 with a B.A. in Sociology and Geography with a Certificate in Environmental Studies. Since graduating, she has worked for UW-Madison's Wisconsin Union as the Sustainability Coordinator for Dining Services, volunteered for the Aldo Leopold Nature Center as an Event Assistant and, in August 2010, joined the Sustain Dane team. On the weekends, Amy can be found biking around Madison, reading on the Terrace or buying fresh flowers at the Farmers' Market on Saturdays.