Lynne joined Renewing the Countryside in 2012 as Finance Manager. She holds a BA from the University of Wisconsin—Eau Claire; and has had numerous accounting classes as an MBA candidate at the University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Management. She is a member of the Nonprofit Financial Group of the Twin Cities and the American Institute of Professional Bookkeepers. A legal resident of Wisconsin, she and her husband and their little “doglet", a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel named Ruby (aka Dufus) live in St. Paul during the week and in Spooner, WI on weekends.
Grace is a Program Manager and our Development/Communications Director. She currently organizes Renewing the Countryside's Community Based Food System programming, facilitates development strategy, and supports the organization's online and print media content. She holds an MS in sustainable food systems and writing as well as a BA in English and art, has spent over ten years in the nonprofit sector, and is committed to handbuilding a life of learning, sharing, and making change. She spends her time in Western Montana and Northern Minnesota.
Elena holds a doctorate in nutritional sciences from the University of Wisconsin–Madison. She most recently served as Outreach Coordinator for the Organic Processing Institute, a nonprofit that offered education and information resources for food businesses. She and her husband have been avid gardeners for years, and now enjoy the willing assistance in the garden from their four children. She shops at her local co-op and is enjoying seeing the local foods movement capture the hearts of consumers everywhere.
Kate is a CSA farmer near Iowa City, growing food for 200 families each week of the growing season. Kate is entering her ninth year of farming and serves as a Farmland Access Navigator in Iowa.
Eli joined Renewing the Countryside in 2014. He has over a dozen years of experience working with local foods systems in the Twin Cities area. He was the general manager at Birchwood Cafe, a bastion of farm-to-table food in Minneapolis; operations director at Resilient Northern Habitats, an organization in Western Wisconsin which works to revitalize the rural landscape and School and CropShare Coordinator of Cooks of Crocus Hill in Saint Paul, which teaches culinary enthusiasts how to prepare delicious homemade and healthy foods. Eli lives in Twin Cities with his wife and son and works from Renewing the Countryside's Minneapolis office.
Jan Joannides is the Executive Director and co-founder of Renewing the Countryside. For the past fifteen years, she has been an advocate and organizer for rural communities and citizens who are working to stimulate economic growth and enhance their communities through sustainable uses of their landscapes and resources. Jan also holds an appointment as Senior Fellow at the Minnesota Institute for Sustainable Agriculture. Prior to her work with Renewing the Countryside, Jan coordinated the Community Assistantship Program at the University of Minnesota and helped found and directed the Center for Integrated Natural Resources and Agricultural Management. Jan holds a master's degree in natural resources from the University of Minnesota. She lives in Zumbro Falls, Minnesota with her husband Brett, daughter Olivia, and son Axel.
Brett Olson is co-founder and the Creative Director at Renewing the Countryside. He works on community and local foods system development and designs and manages Green Routes. Before joining Renewing the Countryside he worked as an art director for fifteen years, starting as a designer at a small design firm in Minneapolis, and then opening his own advertising and marketing studio. As one of the founders, Brett has been involved in much of the development, planning and organizing of Renewing the Countryside since it's beginning. Brett and his family have recently moved to a historic dairy farm and stone stagecoach stop in Zumbro Falls, Minnesota.
Ramona is the Program Associate assisting with the coordination of Renewing the Countryside’s farm-to-childcare and farm-to-school programming. She has experience teaching, researching, and writing on the topics of public health, nutrition, and food system sustainability. She holds a doctoral degree in nutrition with a minor in sustainable agriculture and recently completed master gardener training. She currently lives in Hudson, Wisconsin and enjoys time with family and friends, being outdoors, and gardening with her son Jackson and daughter Lily.
Stephanie is a Program Assistant and works across a variety of programs and projects. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Chemistry from Washington University in St. Louis and has collaborated on an urban agriculture ordinance and agriculture educational materials in St. Louis, Missouri. She briefly farmed in Missouri and Maine before returning to Minnesota. She loves to garden and talk about food, pollinators, and soil!