Vision and Mission

Sustain Dane’s vision is a thriving and connected community with a sustainable environment and economy we are proud to pass on to future generations. Our mission is to inspire, connect, and support people to accelerate sustainable actions for community wellbeing.

Meet Our Team

Claire Oleksiak

Executive Director

As Executive Director Claire aims to accelerate a sustainable environment and economy that benefits all members of our community. Claire is passionate about innovation, collaboration, and social impact. Prior to joining Sustain Dane, she worked as the Community Services Manager for the City of Madison Parks Division.  In that role, she facilitated partnerships with public and private organizations, managed community facilities, and implemented the Connecting Children to Nature Initiative. Claire also worked on local community and economic development in Washington, DC for 10 years. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Cornell University and a master’s degree from Oxford University. She grew up in Madison, WI. Reach out to Claire about strategic partnerships, your thoughts on sustainability opportunities and challenges, and any other questions related to Sustain Dane overall

Lorenza Zebell

Sustainability Project Manager

Lorenza develops and manages the Accelerate Sustainability workshops, one-on-one assistance, and tracking of our partner’s sustainable impacts. She believes taking sustainable actions large and small can create a more secure, fair, and prosperous future for our community and beyond. Lorenza was a dedicated volunteer with Sustain Dane for years before accepting this position. She holds a degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in Operations and Sustainability. Prior to her work with Sustain Dane she ran WSUM 91.7 FM Madison’s student radio station. Reach out to Lorenza for more information on engaging with sustainability at your organization.

Lucia Hunt

Member Relations and Development Specialist

As the Member Relations and Development Specialist at Sustain Dane, Lucia leads membership outreach and engagement, grants, and program sponsorship. Previously, Lucia worked with REAP Food Group to promote a more equitable and interconnected local food system in South Central Wisconsin. Before that, she worked as a project manager for Epic Systems. Lucia holds a bachelor’s degree in Geography from Macalester College, and she is passionate about analyzing and engaging with the layered systems and actors that play into urban sustainability. Reach out to Lucia with questions related to membership, donations, or sponsorships.

Kai Brito

NOAH Outreach Specialist & Multimedia Producer

Kai coordinates the Naturally Occurring and Affordable Housing (NOAH) projects at Sustain Dane. He also is a video producer and content creator with a passion for sustainability. His personal experiences with poverty and race drew him to the affordable housing sector, an area where improving sustainability metrics can improve both financial wellbeing and personal health. That is why he holds dual roles as a housing advocate and media personal, to help tell the stories of the most vulnerable people who are fighting for our planet. As an environmental storyteller, his secret for creating compelling narratives is to focus on human subjects and their relationships with their communities and the Earth. Kai graduated from UW-Madison with a degree in Environmental Science – Geospatial Focus. Additionally, he creates content for the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies and produces a morning talk show on WORT Radio. Reach out to Kai for questions on NOAH incentives and home-installations or photography & video project proposals.

Interns & Volunteers

Joie Zhang

Intern

As an intern, Joie coordinates volunteer programs and helps run social media at Sustain Dane. She is passionate about exploring the intersection between design and sustainability and its ability to connect communities. Currently she works at an architecture firm and recently graduated from Washington University in St. Louis with a bachelor’s degree in architecture and environmental studies.

Job Opportunities

There are no current open positions, but feel free to express you interest in an email to hello@sustaindane.org

Sustain Dane Board

Robin Lisowski

Robin Lisowski

President

Slipstream

Steve Whayland

Steve Whayland

Vice President

DC Engineering

Jim Bradley

Jim Bradley

Treasurer & Secretary

Home Savings Bank

Mark Richardson

Mark Richardson

GigBlender

Ben Reynolds

Ben Reynolds

Reynolds Transfer and Storage

Amanda Goetsch

Amanda Goetsch

University of Wisconsin Sustainable Management

Richard Heinemann

Richard Heinemann

Boardman Clark LLP

Yvette Jones

Yvette Jones

designCraft Advertising

Dave Benforado

Dave Benforado

MG&E

Melissa Flores

Melissa Flores

Nordic Consulting

Missy F. Tracy

Missy F. Tracy

Ho-Chunk Gaming Madison

Tom Thompson

Tom Thompson

UW Health

Annual Reports

Learn more about our work throughout past years. Sustain Dane’s Annual Report is a summary of our impact and partnerships with innovative organizations and individuals.

History

Sustain Dane was founded in 1999 by a group of Madison community members including Brian Joiner, Niki McGlathery, Jennifer Olsen, and Per Kielland-Lund to create a more sustainable future for Dane County. They used the internationally recognized science-based sustainability framework called The Natural Step as their guide. In 2003, Sustain Dane received 501(c)(3) status and was officially recognized as a nonprofit. Sustain Dane programs have evolved over the years, positively impacting Dane County sustainability and wellbeing.

Past Board Members

  • Grant Abert, Kailo Fund, Sustain Dane Co-founder
  • Sara Alvarado, Alvarado Real Estate
  • Josh Arnold
  • Craig Benson, UW-Madison Office of Sustainability
  • Dave Boyer, MCD, Sustain Dane Co-founder
  • Karen Crossley, Morgridge Center for Public Service
  • Jonathon Foley
  • Jac Garner, Webcrafters
  • Jordan Hemaidan, Michael Best & Friedrich
  • Michael Hernke, Sustain Dane Co-founder
  • Joann Kelley, MGE
  • Brian Joiner, Joiner & Associates, Sustain Dane Co-Founder
  • Wendy Kuo, Shoutlet
  • Niki McGlathery
  • Annette Miller, EQT by Design
  • Vanika Mock
  • Rose Molz, EZ Office Products
  • Michael Mucha, Madison Metropolitan Sewerage District
  • Sonya Newenhouse, Madison Environmental Group
  • Leslie Orrantia, UW- Madison
  • Angela Pakes, UW-Madison
  • Jonathon Patz, UW Global Health Institute
  • Lisa Peyton-Caire, Black Women’s Wellness & Summit Credit Union
  • Erik Ranheim, UW Health
  • Cate Ranheim, Meriter
  • Rebecca Ryan, Next Generation Consulting
  • Willa Schlecht, Agrace & Numbers for Nonprofits
  • Ben Schmidt, Urban Land Interests
  • Jen Voichick, Habitat ReStore