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Meet the Nominees

Twenty-five local champions were nominated by community members like YOU for the 2017 title of "Badger Bioneer." Nominated by members of the greater Madison community, they are recognized for their pioneering work that fosters Big 'S' Sustainability, inclusive of a strong community, just economy, and healthy planet.
All nominees will be recognized at Sustain Dane's Badger Bioneers Conference on Wednesday, November 29. Register now!
Meet the 2017 Badger Bioneers awardees!
Sustain Dane is thrilled to honor the 2017 Badger Bioneer Nominees:


Alex Lindenmeyer, Short Stack Eatery Sustainability Team

Alex Lindenmeyer

Alex created and now leads the Short Stack Eatery (SSE) Sustainability Team. She sets the overview and structure for four major initiatives and the scope of work within each one. Alex engages the entire SSE staff with exciting messaging from the Sustainability Team and encourages all employees to get involved.
Alex chose four initiatives that not only make sense within the organization, but help the whole community as well. SSE's race equity initiative spans beyond SSE by forming a partnership with Jewish Social Services and implementing a refugee program at SSE, an ongoing partnership with Boys and Girls Club for Summer internships and mentorship programming with Club kids, hosting Groundwork seminars for staff at SSE, and funds donated to Lilada's Livingroom/Black Woman Heal.  The alternative transportation initiative works at a local and national level to help make biking more accessible to everyone: women, children, POC, LGBT, handicapped persons, etc. The goal of the waste reduction and local purchasing initiative is to sponsor non-profit farming programs and events that help get their products out to the masses. SSE also hosted and sponsors Neighborhood Food Solutions for the Madison Night Market, focusing on urban agriculture and local food access for underserved populations--specifically communities of color and low-income families in South Madison.
Learn more about Short Stack Eatery and their commitment to sustainability here.


Amanda (Mandy) Mott, Wisconsin Department of Administration

Mandy Mott

Mandy worked for the State Energy Office from 2010-2015. During that time she served on the American Biogas Council Board and was an experienced and successful grant writer for energy efficiency, biomass and biogas grants. She obtained $250,000 for the Gundersen Lutheran Medical Center biomass boiler and established the Statewide Wood Energy Team to promote sustainable wood energy development in Wisconsin through a National Forest Service grant. Mandy successfully wrote an $80,000 federal grant for Sustain Dane and worked on numerous other successful bioenergy and renewable energy grants, including helping craft breweries integrate sustainable energy into their daily operations. During her time with the State Energy Office she presented on the office’s efforts and accomplishments at local, regional and national conferences. She also led and participated in several renewable energy and energy efficiency policy and development working groups.
Mandy is currently the Director of the State Prosecutors Office at the Department of Administration.
Learn more about the Department of Administration here.


Brandi Grayson, Racial Justice

Brandi Grayson

Brandi Grayson is a community activist and organizer who has been on the front lines of racial and social justice for many years. Today, she is a consultant and orator on issues of racism and our personal role in solving issues of social injustice and inequity.
Brandi's work in organizing on UW Madison’s campus resulted in the creation of the Multicultural Student Center. When Hurricane Katrina displaced refugees, Brandi and her team brought resources and found homes in Wisconsin. After Mike Brown was shot and killed by a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri, Brandi organized Madison’s first rally for Black Lives Matter and later helped found the Young, Gifted and Black Coalition, which uses direct action and community education to help end mass incarceration, poverty and police brutality.
Learn more about Young, Gifted and Black Coalition here.


Corinda Rainey-Moore, Mental Health/Volunteerism

Corinda Rainey-Moore

Corinda works to change the disparities around education, healthcare and employment. She volunteers with the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI Dane County since 2003). She has helped raise over $50,000 for Urban League of Greater Madison programs, particularly the Schools of Hope Program. She has volunteered in working to teach computer skills to seniors.
In addition, Corinda volunteers with the Foundation for Black Women's Wellness to change the disparities of African-American women. The program has gone from 100 women attending our annual Black Women's Wellness Day to over 500 African-American women attending the event which is now in its 8th year. Corinda was also influential in making sure that mental health is a part of this event every year. In addition to this, she is working with Vera Court to raise funds for their $2 million expansion. So far they have been able to raise half of the amount needed for the expansion. Corinda also created scholarship writing workshops for students at Madison College.
Corinda served two terms as President of NAMI, Dane County. During her Presidency with NAMI, Corinda helped to raise over $300,000 over a two-year period to go towards programs for NAMI. She was instrumental in hiring the first Mental Health Peer Specialist in her role as Program Manager of two community support programs.
Learn more about NAMI Dane County here.


Emily Steinwehe, Sustainability Through Education and Edible Cityscapes

Emily Steinwehe

From installing edible landscapes to time banking, equity and community building, Emily Steinwehe is passionate and dedicated to sustainability in all its forms. Emily works at the Aldo Leopold Nature Center and epitomizes the interconnection between social, economic and environmental sustainability. Emily has a background in science and a passion for gardening and permaculture, and she has volunteered around the community for years, donating time and money to beautify our city by planting trees for non-profits, friends and family. She specializes in the design, installation, and maintenance of edible trees, shrubs and perennials.
Emily is a hard-working naturalist, teaching students of all ages about our local ecosystems and the wonders of the natural world. She has served as a strong voice at ALNC, helping to guide administrators, staff, and partners to always strive for ethical and sustainable choices in day-to-day operations. She is a volunteer (and on the Board of Directors from 2009 - 2013) for the Dane County TimeBank, an innovative organization where all citizens and their contributions are valued equally and services exchanged help to fill resource gaps in the community. She is a proud member of Union Cab, a worker-owned cooperative with many green initiatives, where she is vocal about rights and equity in the workplace. Most recently, she started her own business, Emily Plants, in order to help people install edible landscapes in yards and schools. She is also involved with the Madison Area Permaculture Guild as well as the Sustainable Gardening Club, which she started in January 2017.
Learn more about Emily's business, Emily Planets, here.


Erik Lincoln, Ho-Chunk Gaming Madison

Erik Lincoln

Erik is responsible for general maintenance and appearance of both the interior and exterior of Ho-Chunk Gaming of Madison. He serves on the project management team for project expansion and development and leads green team initiatives. Erik is a role model and mentor who allows staff to realize their potential and listens to their ideas. He empowers staff and encourages them to be creative, explore, brainstorm and research ways that the facility can be more sustainable. He was an advocate for Ho-Chunk to become the first gaming facility in Wisconsin to become smoke-free.
Erik is deeply committed to green initiatives playing a major role in Ho-Chunk’s development. He completed five noteworthy projects in a little over a year. First, he put a white roof on the facility, which reflects 98% more light and decreased surface temperature by 55%. Second, he repurposed shredded tickets by donating 13 ½ tons/year to local horse and goat farm. He also replaced interior light bulbs with LEDs and added a bike to the maintenance fleet. He purchased a GenEon Cleaning System, which eliminated caustic cleaning chemicals through sustainable alternatives. This prevented 1,000 gallons of chemicals from infiltrating waterways.
Erik currently has eight ongoing sustainability projects for future implementation and is doing further research on two more. Erik also demonstrates his commitment to the environment as a current student at the Yahara Watershed Academy.
Learn more about Ho-Chunk Gaming of Madison here.


Eugenia (Gina) Podesta, Inclusive Economic Empowerment

Gina Podesta

Eugenia (Gina) is a community leader who works hard to create an ecosystem of support for people from all different backgrounds and passions. She co-owns Synergy Coworking and is also a director on the Economic Empowerment & Entrepreneurship team at Vital Voices Global Partnership, an international women’s leadership nongovernmental organization based in Washington DC. Globally, she helps run a prestigious accelerator program for women owners of small and medium businesses in Latin America and the Caribbean, the Middle East and North Africa, and sub-Saharan Africa. Here is Madison, she is cultivating a unique space, especially for women and people of color, to thrive. Through Synergy, she strives to grow a diverse and professional environment, and community of growth and collaboration through the exchange of knowledge, expertise, ideas, resources, and tools.
Gina is a social entrepreneur with a natural ability to connect people with one another. She understands that one person, group or organization cannot do it all and that collaboration will help the community succeed. Her Synergy Coworking space is a hub for entrepreneurs, leaders, professionals and anyone who is striving for business and professional growth and wants to make a difference in our community to come together. She has organized and hosted a variety of events featuring local and international women leaders who have had the opportunity to along with attendees, share their stories, receive support for their business or organization, and network. In addition, she has also created initiatives that include a non-traditional Masterminds, where diverse local experts come together to brainstorm and help solve problems and create strategies for leaders in our community.
Learn more about Gina's company, Synergy Coworking, here.



Erika Jones, Carrie Sedlak, Claire Strader, FairShare CSA Coalition

Fairshare CSA Coalition


FairShare CSA Coalition supports and connects Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farmers and eaters through education, resource sharing, and outreach events. CSA is a partnership between farms and consumers to ensure thriving independent businesses, a strong equitable food system, improved access to local, seasonal produce, and sustainable, organic farms. They envision a future where everyone has access to fresh, healthy, local food and have strong connections to their farms, food and community.
FairShare’s Partner Shares Program provides financial assistance toward purchasing CSA shares. Funds raised through Bike the Barns enable more people to afford CSA and farms to get a fair price, sustaining their long-term viability. The Workplace CSA program partners CSA farms with employers as part of wellness or sustainability initiatives. Farms reach new customers through area employers, and employees gain easy access to healthy food.
By publishing two nationally distributed cookbooks, hosting an annual CSA Open House, and launching a new Food and Farms Film Festival, FairShare engages and educates consumers about eating healthy, finding the right farm for their family, supporting sustainable farms, and understanding other issues affecting our food system. FairShare’s Grower Program provides education for organic vegetable producers (field days, grower gatherings, and active listserv) fostering farmer-to-farmer learning and resource sharing.
Learn more about the Fairshare CSA Coalition here.


Gregg Potter, Project Kinect 

Gregg Potter is the founder of Project Kinect, an organization that focuses on connecting positive social change agents and organizations with tools, resources, other positive change agents. Gregg is also the Field Director at Peacework, an NGO which engages communities, academic institutions, and corporations in innovative cross-sector solutions for sustainable development around the world.
Recently, Gregg has helped foster a partnership between Briarpatch and the Let's Eat Out food cart collective, which provided mentorship and an income stream for at-risk/homeless youth. He also created and launched the annual Social Change Forum where participants this year learned about themes such as speaking up more when we see injustice happening, challenging those around us to take action, being persistent when we may feel like everything is against us, listening and finding empathy.
Learn more about Project Kinect here.


Jeff Jaeckels, Madison Gas and Electric Company

Jeff Jaeckels

Jeff is the Director of Safety and Environmental Affairs at Madison Gas and Electric Company (MGE). Through this position, Jeff builds safety and environmental processes into sustainable utility business practices. He advises the company on environmental technology and regulatory trends. Jeff oversees the company’s Green Tier program and Green Masters Certification which helps assess, benchmark and minimize environmental impacts in the Madison community.
Jeff has been instrumental in helping MGE move forward on a number of environmental initiatives that are important not only to MGE but to the community as a whole. He has helped MGE reduce its environmental footprint by transitioning away from coal, increasing renewables, reducing air emissions, increasing recycling, reducing water use, and improving construction practices. Jeff provides some of the technical expertise that helps MGE accomplish these goals and move towards accomplishing several sustainability metrics. Under Jeff's oversight, MGE has achieved and retained the highest level of certification under Wisconsin's Green Masters program. Jeff is also part of a team that has significantly enhanced the environmental and safety culture at MGE over the past several years. In addition, Jeff shares his passion for sustainability with young people by presenting to student groups and by employing student interns on various sustainability projects at MGE.
Learn more about Madison Gas & Electric here.


Jim Birkemeier, Timbergreen Forestry

Jim Birkemeier grew up in Madison. Today he is a landowner, forester, woodworker, and teacher who was quickly disillusioned by the practices he saw in commercial forestry after he graduated from UW-Madison in 1976. During the 1980s, Birkemeier re-learned forestry as a timber owner by doing “just the opposite” of industrial forestry by letting all the good trees grow and only harvesting what the forest gives you each year. He and his team champion "full value forestry" where dead and dying trees are carefully harvested and used to make hundreds of high-value finished wood products, that they sell directly to customers. All of the many values of the trees are kept right in the local community, putting local people to work with rewarding jobs.
Jim's work encompasses holistic sustainability. He trains and employs young people, including many who have struggled in traditional education settings, giving them a sense of dignity and purpose. Employees learn the essentials of “arthroscopic” tree falling, sawmilling logs into lumber, solar kiln drying, woodworking, and installing their hardwood flooring right in the customer’s home, mostly in Dane County. He helps local communities recycle their municipal trees into buildings and products, keeping them from landfills and wood chippers. Recently a community church burned, and he helped the congregation rebuild using the salvaged Ash tree from their own yard.
Jim has taught farmers, foresters, and conservationists across the globe by presenting his Full Value Forestry system at four international United Nations Forestry Conferences. He has shared face to face interactions with forest owners in 20 countries, to pass along his knowledge about solar heated lumber dry kilns and tree harvesting methods. Visitors from 80 countries have traveled to Timbergreen Farm for his tours. He is the author of numerous books on the topic and regularly hosts foresters and environmentalists on his Spring Green farm to teach them sustainable wood harvesting methods. A recent trainee was a 40-year-old Army Veteran wanting to learn a quieter profession.
Birkemeier has served as a volunteer firefighter and EMT for 37 years with no thought of retiring.
Learn more about Timbergreen Farm here.



Kara O'Connor, Wisconsin Farmers Union

 Kara O'Connor

Kara O’Connor serves as the Government Relations Director for Wisconsin Farmers Union, advocating for policies that promote healthy food, sustainable family farms, and land stewardship. She leads her WFU team and citizen members throughout Wisconsin to champion strong policies, laws and regulations that support sustainability and conservation, and ensure that these values are on the minds of legislators, journalists, and decision-makers on the Madison Capitol Square. During Kara's tenure, Wisconsin Farmers Union has grown into an especially critical role in Madison, amplifying progressive rural voices that would otherwise be missing from the policy debate.
Kara has a successful track record which exemplifies her cross-pollination between community, economy, and environment. Under her leadership, attendance at WFU's Farm & Rural Lobby Day in Madison, which trains citizens to be policy advocates and build relationships with elected officials, has grown each year since it was re-initiated in 2014. She also launched the WFU Friend of the Family Farmer Awards, which honor legislators and partner organizations who have prioritized healthy communities, economies and the environment. She initiated the 2016 WFU Dairy Survey, which reached out to every dairy farmer in the state to hear directly from them about their challenges and hopes for their industry.
Kara has a special passion for speaking out against consolidation and mega-mergers in the food and agricultural industries. In keeping with the policy priorities identified by WFU members, she has focused attention in recent years on the issues of nonpartisan redistricting and campaign finance reform. She is also an advocate for expanding high-speed internet to rural areas, and served on the UW Extension Broadband Adoption and Utilization Advisory Council in 2015-2016.
Kara completed her undergraduate studies at the University of Nebraska and received her law degree from the University of Minnesota. Kara currently serves on the Board of Community Shares of Wisconsin and lives in the Greenbush neighborhood in Madison with her husband Ryan and daughter Sophia.
Learn more about the Wisconsin Farmers Union here.


Karin Wolf, Madison Arts Program Administrator, City of Madison Arts Commission

Karin Wolf

Karin Wolf believes that engagement in the arts helps contribute to holistic sustainability. Karin’s work centers around supporting and advocating for access to arts and culture in the Madison Region. Karin is energetic, highly collaborative and inclusive. She sees and makes connections between creative people and bold ideas that often are overlooked by others, and overall, making positive things happen.
Most recently, Karin began instituting a percent for art program in Madison. The goal of this project is to pass a city ordinance that attaches a fee, representing a relatively small percentage of the project cost of large-scale development projects, in order to fund and install public art. This program has the ability to create opportunities for artistic expression, support artists, make distinctive public art accessible to all, and enhance the vitality of our local community and beauty of our cityscape. Karin can also be seen participating in neighborhood meetings, promoting young artists at off-the-beaten-path art openings, helping install a new mural on Willy Street, convening stakeholders who see opportunity in converting an underutilized property into studio space for local artists, working alongside children creating a mosaic artwork in a public school's outdoor classroom and working closely with Central Park's design team and a world-class environmental artist from Seattle to create a unique gathering place in the city's central corridor. Karin is passionate about any project where arts, culture, social justice, and environmental sustainability collide.
Learn more about the City of Madison Art Commission here.


Kathy Leifer, Alliant Energy Sustainability Squad Chairperson

Kathy Leifer

Katherine Leifer is a Senior Key Account Manager at Alliant Energy with over 23 years of experience in helping commercial and industrial customers meet their energy needs. She recently completed her Sustainable Systems Engineering Master’s Degree from the University of Wisconsin, as well as, earning a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Madison in 1987. Katherine is a Certified Energy Manager and serves on the Board for the Wisconsin Association of Energy Engineers. In her spare time she leads the Alliant Energy Sustainability Squad, which is Alliant Energy’s largest employee resource group and responsible for many of the sustainability initiatives that occur at Alliant Energy.
Learn more about sustainability at Alliant Energy here. 



Lindsay Leno, Upshift Swap Shop

Lindsay Leno

Lindsay Leno is the proprietor of Upshift Swap Shop, an organization which provides an innovative model that realigns retail with sustainability. At Upshift Swap Shop, customers pay a small fee and provide a bag of gently used clothing and leave with a bag of "new" gently used clothing curated by Upshift. The simple clothing exchange process offers 100% sustainable inventory that is 100% local to the Madison area.
Lindsay is committed to reducing the waste in the fashion industry while contributing to the local economy with reused local products. She and her business exemplify the adage "think globally, act locally". Everything in the store--from mannequins to hangers--is all secondhand. They gather needed materials from either donation or from purchasing it from the Habitat for Humanity store or the UW SWAP Shop. Lindsay also gives to the community by opening Upshift’s doors to the Madison Area Technical College fashion program where students can gain real-world experience in fashion marketing. In addition, the boutique donates to local charities the quality garments that don’t sell quickly or simply don’t match with the particular style sought after by Upshift customers. Upshift builds local retail, reduces waste, and has expanded the pool of women-owned businesses that are thriving in the region.
Learn more about Upswift Swap Shop here.


Lorrie Hurckes Dwyer, Executive Director, Dane County TimeBank

Lorrie Hurckes

Lorrie Hurckes Dwyer is the Executive Director of the Dane County TimeBank. She has been with the TimeBank since 2007 and sees time banking as a tool for systems change and community organizing. Prior to becoming the Executive Director, Lorrie ran the TimeBank's youth court program for 9 years, expanding the project from one community location to implementing sites in all four Madison High Schools, Verona High School, and two community-based locations. Lorrie earned a Psychology degree at Eastern Illinois University and spent close to 20 years working in the mental health system. She has served on Dane County's Disproportionate Minority Contact Advisory and Implementation Committee and is currently serving on Madison Metropolitan School District's Community Guiding Coalition on Equitable Behavior and Discipline Practices, Madison Metropolitan School District's Superintendents Human Relations Advisory Council, and the Dane Restorative Justice Coalition. Additionally, Lorrie is a board member of the Social Justice Center and a TimeBank USA Ambassador Core member.
Lorrie was an integral leader in the development and goal setting of the Dane Restorative Justice Coalition. The Dane Restorative Justice Coalition is organized for the purpose of transforming the justice system by establishing a continuum of, educating and advocating for public support of, and evaluating and reporting the successes of Restorative Justice projects and initiatives in schools and communities in Dane County through a social and racial justice lens. In 2015, Lorrie was a leader in building the Brighter Futures Coalition and successfully working with the Madison Police Department in changing their policy on how they respond when in contact with youth committing a municipal violation. The new policy allows all youth between the ages of 12-16 who commit a municipal ordinance violation in the City of Madison the opportunity to participate in a restorative justice option rather than going through the formal system. Through the new policy, when youth opt into the project and successfully complete the process they do not receive the citation, go to municipal court, or have the incident appear on their record. Lorrie established two TimeBank community youth court sites as part of the Brighter Futures Initiative. The addition of these two sites more than doubled the amount of kids coming through the youth court program.
Lorrie is currently developing and piloting a project with Madison Metropolitan School District at LaFollette High School that utilizes the TimeBank youth court model to address suspension incidents. This project aims to reduce suspension rates and promote school engagement, peer support, accountability, and leadership, and a learning experience for the student.
Learn more about the Dane County TimeBank here.


Lou Host-Jablonski, Sustainable Design Leader, Design Coalition

Lou Host-Jablonski

Lou Host-Jablonski is an architect with Design Coalition, Inc., of Madison, Wisconsin. His projects of the last 40 years include multi-family housing & co-housing, childcare centers, new homes & additions, community-built projects, community centers and playgrounds, and home modifications for persons with disabilities and chemical sensitivities.
Lou has always practiced a socially-conscious ‘public interest’ architecture. His areas of professional focus are resource-efficient (‘sustainable’) design & planning, and environments for children. He frequently lectures, and teaches workshops on ecological design and construction practices. With an interdisciplinary team, he has been researching and advancing light straw-clay natural building techniques for over 20 years.
Lou has lived in the same progressive EastSide Madison neighborhood for over 4 decades, and served for some years as the chair of its neighborhood association. He has also served on many City of Madison commissions and committees, including the city's influential Urban Design Commission for 12 years, and helped to craft Madison’s “GreenPrint” as chair of the Sustainable Design & Energy Committee.
Design Coalition is a non-profit architectural and planning office working in the Dane County area and the Upper Midwest since 1972. Designs for an eye-popping addition a children’s museum and a re-design for a nature center are currently on the drawing board.
Learn more about Design Coalition here.


Mary Evers Statz, Sustainability Program Director, University of Wisconsin Medical Foundation, Inc.

Mary Evers Statz

Mary Evers Statz leads the energy management and sustainability efforts throughout the UW Health system, which includes 6 hospitals and over 80 clinics in south central Wisconsin and Rockford, Illinois. In this position, she is responsible for the corporate vision and strategy to make UW Health a more environmentally friendly enterprise, and initiates strategies to create more efficient processes. Mary consolidated UW Health’s data tracking systems and uses benchmarks to drive organizational goals. She implements energy sourcing and saving measures, and works to enable a more environmentally sustainable operation by collaborating with key stakeholders. UW Health believes healthcare’s triple bottom line of better health, better care, and lower costs can be reinforced through sustainable efforts, and a healthy environment supports the health of our populations.
In 2017, through her leadership and initiatives, UW Health received the Partner for Change award from Practice Greenhealth. In addition, UW Health was one of 15 companies in the State of Wisconsin to receive a Focus on Energy Excellence in Energy Efficiency award, and received recognition for achieving an 18% improvement in energy performance from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Better Buildings Challenge.
Mary has 25 years of architecture, construction and facility management experience with extensive experience in medical and research buildings. She became interested in sustainability as Director of Facilities Services for UW Health. She was asked to lead UW Health’s sustainability program after implementing their first successful retro-commissioning project and leading several other sustainable initiatives throughout the clinics. Mary is a professional member of ASHE, WHEA, AEE, USGBC, and ACHE. She has presented to USGBC Wisconsin and the Wisconsin Society of Healthcare Engineers. Mary is completing her Masters in Sustainable Management from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh in December of 2017, and is currently working on a three-year Sustainability Plan for UW Health.
Mary was recently asked by Dane County Executive Joe Parisi to participate in the Dane County Climate Change Action Council, a 2017 initiative to coordinate the community’s work to reduce carbon emissions. She also serves on the Wisconsin Market Leadership Advisory Board for the US Green Building Council.
Learn more about the University of Wisconsin Medical Foundation's Sustainability Program here. 


Matt Eberly and Lauren Kieliszewski, DANEnet, Everyone On Madison, Digital InclusionLauren KieliszewskiMatt Eberly

Lauren Kieliszewski and Matt Eberly work for DANEnet, a local nonprofit that focuses on digital equity and IT support for the nonprofit community. Lauren and Matt are dedicated technology experts with exceptional people and teaching skills. They bring effective technology, devices, connectivity and skills to the greater Madison community. Technology provides access to education, economic opportunity, social networks and civic participation. Matt and Lauren provide technology to people and organizations.
Lauren and Matt do critical digital inclusion work in Dane County. Digital Inclusion is the activities that ensure all individuals, communities, and organizations, including the most disadvantaged, have access to and use of Information and Communication Technologies. Matt and Lauren have helped over 200 non-profit organizations with their IT needs. For the past 12 years, Matt has coordinated the IT Day of Service, the biggest local service day for technology experts. Each year Matt coordinates between 30 – 50 tech-savvy volunteers to complete tech projects in the community. The cumulative financial impact of these volunteer hours is well over $100,000. Lauren leads DANEnet’s education efforts through Everyone On Madison and teaches free basic computer classes for adults in a nonjudgmental and relevant way. Over 200 adults have taken a class. At the end of the classes, adults have the opportunity to purchase a low-cost computer; for many it is their first computer. From ensuring high-speed internet connections for all to wiring projects to managing servers to solving countless IT problems across the county, Matt and Lauren have been working towards a more digitally equitable community for years.
Learn more about DaneNET here.
*Photos from danenet.org.

Dr. Nicole Andersen, Artisan Dental
Nicole Andersen

Doctor Nicole Andersen strives to optimize the health and happiness of her patients, team members, suppliers, community and environment through exceptional quality care and sustainable business practices. She does this by powering her office with 100% renewable energy and offering health plans for patients without dental insurance as well as free events to support overall wellness using local businesses. She also initiated a recycling program that was the first of its kind in Madison. She is a member of Sustain Dane's Sustainable Business Network and Dane Buy Local.
Learn more about Artisan Dental's commitment to sustainability here.
*Photo from artisandentalmadison.com.



Rebecca Nelson and John Pade, Nelson and Pade, Inc.

Nelson & Pade

Nelson and Pade, Inc.® helps individuals, organizations and governments get started and become successful in aquaponic food production by providing comprehensive training, proven, science-based Clear Flow Aquaponic Systems®, and long-term grower support in the Nelson and Pade, Inc.® Grower Program.
Nelson and Pade, Inc.®’s innovative products and services help to solve local and global problems, such as water shortages, pollution, over-use of chemicals in agriculture, lack of food safety and food security and poor nutrition. With their extensive efforts at sharing information and educating individuals around the world about aquaponic food production, Clear Flow Aquaponic Systems® are being implemented throughout Wisconsin and around the world, putting the people receiving it one step closer to food security and a sustainable method of food production. The innovative Nelson and Pade, Inc.® Clear Flow Aquaponic System® is proudly made in Wisconsin, with locally-sourced materials.
As the leader in aquaponic food production, they engage in sustainable business and manufacturing processes while focusing on innovation, sustainability and efficiency. The global reach of Nelson and Pade, Inc.® gives people around the world the ability to grow fresh fish and vegetables, year ‘round in any environment, using a proven system designed and built in Wisconsin. In doing so, Nelson and Pade, Inc.® and their innovative technology have made a lasting impact on the availability of fresh, nutritious food, utilizing sustainable agriculture methods, for not only Dane County and Wisconsin, but globally as well.
Learn more about Nelson and Pade, Inc.® here.


Winnie Karanja, Maydm

Winnie Karanja

Winnie Karanja is the Founder and Executive Director of Maydm, an organization which introduces girls and students of color to opportunities in the STEM fields: Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math. Maydm programs equip youth with the technical skills, confidence and exposure to pursue opportunities in the technology field and become innovators and technology leaders. Winnie is committed to changing the racial/ethnic disparities that exist in the technology field by inspiring and educating students to dream ambitiously. Winnie has established strategic partnerships with local and national organizations and companies to expand the reach of STEM education to students. 
Learn more about Maydm here.