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 grew up in Madison, WI.

Lorenza Zebell

Sustainability Project Manager

Lorenza develops and manages the Launching 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.

Jenna Mrotek

Development Associate

Jenna Mrotek leads the development efforts at Sustain Dane. With a passion for writing and language, she enjoys communicating with organizations, businesses, and the public to develop partnerships and advance the Sustain Dane mission. Jenna graduated in 2018 from the University of Wisconsin-Madison where she earned dual degrees in Environmental Studies and Political Science, a certificate in Gender and Women’s Studies, and led the UW campus chapter of the National Organization for Women. These experiences taught her the power that community organizations have in advancing sustainability for the public good and encouraged her to seek further experience in Madison’s robust nonprofit sector, where she has now worked with Olbrich Botanical Gardens, the Aldo Leopold Nature Center, and Sustain Dane.

Kai Brito

Multimedia Producer

Kai is a video producer, web designer, and content creator with a passion for sustainability. As an environmental storyteller, his goal is to let the public know what is happening to our planet. 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.

Interns & Volunteers

Tenzing Tamdin, Intern

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