Staff and Board
The Sustain Dane team is based in Madison, WI, and serves all of Dane County. Our board members represent a diverse group of businesses, nonprofits, and local governments that believe in a sustainable future.
Meet Our Team
As Executive Director Claire (she/her) 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.
Development & Partnership Manager
Spencer (he/him) aims to develop relationships that increase Sustain Dane’s connection to its members and ensure that community members are supported in their journey to sustainability. Prior to joining Sustain Dane, Spencer worked at the Wisconsin Foundation and Alumni Association where he focused on generating affinity for the University of Wisconsin – Madison. Spencer studied Community & Nonprofit Leadership and Environmental Studies at the University of Wisconsin – Madison. After work you can find Spencer exploring natural areas, bouldering, or painting. Reach out to Spencer for any questions regarding membership, sponsorship, grants, or powerful teen leaders.
Audio Producer Consultant
Jay (he/him) is a freelance audio producer helping bring the Sustain Dane Podcast to life. He hosts, edits, and produces the show in an effort to provide a new way for people to engage with sustainability content. Jay believes the medium of audio is powerful and can be utilized not just to promote ideas, but to inspire action. He graduated with a degree in Psychology from UW – La Crosse in 2018 and has been working on various audio projects since 2019. You can also find Jay volunteering his time at WORT 89.9 FM as a member of the Board of Directors, working at Green Barn Farm Market on the square every Saturday morning, or enjoying the many bike paths that Madison has to offer. Reach out to Jay if you want to know more about the Sustain Dane Podcast or if you have an idea for something we should talk about on the show.
Efficiency Navigator & NOAH Outreach Specialist
Valora (she/her) engages directly with community members as the Efficiency Navigator and Natural Occurring Affordable Housing (NOAH) Outreach Specialist. She advocates for energy efficiency in low-income and workforce housing, in order to foster economic and environmental sustainability. With a holistic vision of environmentalism, she is committed to serving under-resourced residents of Dane County. Growing up in California, environmental justice issues are quite literally close to home for her. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she double majored in Environmental Studies and Geography with an emphasis in People-Environment Interaction Studies. While there, Valora was a Chancellor’s Scholar. Prior to her work with Sustain Dane, she researched habitat conservation and mitigation banking in UW-Madison’s Geography Department. More recently, she managed environmental health and safety campaigns within the Wisconsin Environment and WISPIRG nonprofit network. Reach out to Valora for questions about energy efficient home upgrades and how we can build a more equitable, resilient future.
Sam (she/her) was born in Madison and holds a bachelor’s degree from Butler University in Biology and Environmental Studies with a minor in Spanish. Previously she worked at Exact Sciences as a hydroponic farmer and implemented sustainability solutions within the culinary department. Sam’s role with Sustain Dane focuses on program/event coordination and implementation, such as the Sustainable Breakfast Series, Dane County All-Arounds, and volunteer opportunities. She also supports fund development through partnership and sponsorship/membership growth. Sam is passionate about food sustainability and circular economies. In her free time, Sam loves to spend time outdoors, play pickleball, and explore new restaurants in town. Reach out to Sam for questions about Sustain Dane programs.
Program Director, Powerful Teen Leaders Summer Youth Employment Program
Anna (she/her) became a composting intern to prevent food waste, as that’s one of her biggest passions. She’s very excited to be working with Sustain Dane and contributing to a program dedicated to creating a positive environmental impact in her city. Another way that Anna is involved in the zero waste food movement is through her university’s organization, UW Slow Food. For this club, she helps cook weekly farm-to-table meals for the community at a “pay-what-you-can” price. On the weekends, she works at Wonderstate, which is a sustainable bakery and coffee shop. She is currently a full-time third-year student at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and intends to graduate with degrees in Environmental Studies and French as well as a certificate in Sustainability.
Jeanne(she/her) discovered the connection between the health of an ecosystem and the equity and wellbeing of the community during her time in the Peace Corps as a forestry volunteer in Mali, West Africa. She is a systems thinker who enjoys working together at the intersection of health and the environment, and seeks local opportunities to make a positive and sustainable impact. Jeanne has a B.S. in Natural Resources from Michigan State and a Masters in Public Health Education/Outreach from University of Hawaii, Manoa. She believes each person’s story adds value to the wellbeing of the whole community. Jeanne finds renewal by singing in harmony with others, listening to nature, and appreciating the abundant gifts the Great Lakes Region has to offer.
Chlo (they/them) is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison where they pursued a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Studies and People-Environment Geography. Their passions lie in community based work surrounding issues of environmental injustices, food sovereignty, and equitable access to healthcare within minority communities. In their free time, Chlo enjoys arranging music for their college a cappella group, watching true crime documentaries, and playing with their calico kitty, Bia. Chlo is excited to be returning to Sustain Dane this summer and looks forward to seeing returning faces and meeting new ones!
As an intern, Liv (she/her) has interests in sustainability and supporting her community through business and volunteerism. She recently graduated with a biology degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign – she swears she’s not one of the Illinois drivers you might be thinking of ;)! An interest in sustainability emerged in college after learning about food systems and nonrenewable energy, as well as working with a soybean geneticist. Some important, personal goals for Liv are the desire to reduce her plastic usage and reuse items that no longer serve their primary purpose! When not testing products or collecting compost, Liv plays volleyball on a recreational team and is enjoying reading the Harry Potter series for the first time!
You can play a critical role in helping Sustain Dane achieve our vision of a thriving and connected community with a sustainable environment and economy we are proud to pass on to future generations. If there are no current open positions, feel free to reach out to email@example.com with your resume for future opportunities.
Sustain Dane Board
President, Executive Committee
Vice President, Executive Committee
Treasurer, Executive Committee
Retired, Home Savings Bank
Secretary, Executive Committee
Dane County Department of Waste and Renewables
At Large, Executive Committee
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
- Jay Patel, American Family Insurance
- 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
- Missy F. Tracey, Ho-Chunk Gaming Madison
- Jen Voichick, Habitat ReStore