NEW STAFF at WEI. Congratulations to our new WEI STAFF:
Anika Walz, Farm Administrator and Events Coordinator, is a native of North Branch and recently returned from her global adventures. She is a graduate of St. Catherine University in Justice and Peace Studies. Her post collegiate years have been dedicated to amassing skills and experiences in a number of areas all centered around social justice and the common good. Most recently she has been living and working in East Africa, as Program Director of Give Us Wings, an international non-governmental organization dedicated to sustainably eradicating poverty. She is passionate about all things organizing (people and spaces), growing things, cooking, and throwing parties - all of which make her ecstatic about her role with WEI.
Annelie Lindberg-Livingston, WEI Education and Curriculum Coordinator, graduated from the University of Minnesota Duluth with a B.S. in Biology. She received her Master of Science in Integrated Biosciences from the University of Minnesota Duluth in July of 2012. Her thesis research project focused on insect ecology and evolution. Annelie taught as a graduate teaching assistant while earning her Master’s and served as Adjunct Faculty at the University of Minnesota Duluth during the fall of 2012, teaching an upper division Plant Biology course. She also worked as a farm assistant on a local fruit and vegetable farm, volunteered with the Duluth Community Garden Program, and worked at the Duluth Farmers Market. Between earning her undergraduate and graduate degrees, she worked at the Environmental Protection Agency in Duluth, conducting amphibian toxicology research. Annelie lives in St. Paul and spends a lot of time thinking about, preparing, and eating delicious meals.
Woody McBride, Events Production Coordinator, produces inspiring music, fitness, and cultural events in Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota and along the St Croix River in Wisconsin. His venue résumé includes the legendary First Avenue Nightclub, the historic Roy Wilkins Auditorium in St. Paul, cherished public events in St Croix Falls, and at the futuristic Franconia Sculpture Park in Shafer, Minnesota. Known to many as "The Genius of Fun," McBride has worked to expand minds and horizons for 25 years since producing his first events at Bismarck State College in North Dakota. The University of Minnesota was his next challenge as a student hosting his first large scale public events. He went on working for the award winning Minnesota Daily newspaper and then The Associate Press. The WEI connection started in 1988 as he studied with esteemed WEI Director and University of Minnesota professor Jacquelyn Zita. With humbleness, McBride works daily to improve the lives of others through entertainment, athletic events, family fun, and humanitarian work and via his alter-ego as internationally acclaimed performer and musician "DJ ESP."
HUGE THANK YOU AND TRIBUTE TO BETH HATCH
Please join WEI in wishing Beth Hatch, Executive Administrative Coordinator at WEI from April 2009 – January 2013, all the best in her future endeavors. Beth‘s last day at WEI was January 31.
In April 2009, Beth joined the staff at WEI and single-handedly transformed our office into a well-organized, customer service-oriented, and peace-full space. She has been passionate about creating an image for the Women's Environmental Institute that is recognized and respected in the Twin Cities metro and surrounding region. In addition, Beth has been WEI's administrative anchor for the Growing Power Regional Outreach Training Center, providing an excellent "in-house graphic design department" for newsletters, e-mail reports and updates, marketing and publicity pieces, and social networking outreach. She writes reports and articles for newsletters and other informational publications with ease and skill.
Beth has been instrumental in strengthening WEI's relationships with vendors, CSA Share members, farmers and guests at workshops and retreats. She made time in her schedule to attend to the needs of directors, other staff members, volunteers, and visiting groups. And she was willing to give a quick tour of the WEI farm and retreat center, sort through information to find a necessary file for an upcoming event or meeting, and find opportunities for WEI to serve Chisago County residents in North Branch, Chisago, Center City, Lindstrom, Taylors Falls, and other communities. This activity led to more involvement at WEI from local volunteers and members. WEI began its volunteer workshare CSA program under Beth's administrative care. Over the past two years, this program has become more organized and had increasing participation, generating enthusiasm in communities near the Amador Hill Farm and Orchard.
As of February, Beth has been re-opening her animal training business, True North Training, with a new focus on service animal training. More specifically, Beth will be creating and teaching a training curriculum designed to assist sufferers of PTSD to learn how to train their own pet partner. These animals provide therapeutic support for their handlers in stressful situations, can be trained to bring them medications or remind them to take them, create space in crowded places, turn on lights in dark rooms, etc. It's an exciting new venture, and we wish her well, although we will miss her terribly.