Vision Team welcomes six new members in 2013
Alex Brower Born and raised in Wisconsin,Alex Brower graduated from Jefferson high school and Beloit College (class of 2010). Alex has held a variety of jobs including deck hand on the Miss Allison, union organizer and loan underwriter. In his spare time Alex enjoys fighting the hegemony of the corporate profiteers. Along with others, Alex is organizing a new union, Workers Empowered. Workers Empowered is a democratically-run organization that focuses on building worker power. WE will have open-source membership. Membership in a union should be open to all workers, with or without a contract at their job.
Casey Dahl grew up in Jefferson Wisconsin and developed a passion for the outdoors from an early age. Picking wild berries, running around in the woods, building forts, and getting muddy offered a childhood connection to nature that would inspire him to learn as much about nature as possible. During his teen years Casey volunteered his time to restore native ecosystems and raise awareness of environmental issues. It was through volunteering at Prairie Dock Farm, in Watertown, that he decided to live his values of ecological stewardship by becoming an organic farmer. Casey sought mentorship through the Garden Student Program at Michael Fields Agricultural Institute. Since then he has worked on CSA farms, had his own CSA and market garden business, taught classes on foraging, and spent as much time as possible learning about ecology, ethnobiology, agriculture, botany, and permaculture through direct observation, participation, and books. His current business, Feral Farm, is planning an agro-forestry system that will produce nuts, fruits, and livestock in the Palmyra area.
Julie Garrett works as the community program manager for the FairShare CSA Coalition in Madison, a coalition of 48 community supported agriculture farms. Her professional background is in communications. She recently moved to Wisconsin from Gainesville, Florida, where she worked as the media relations coordinator for Santa Fe College and also led the college's sustainability committee. She volunteered as a residential energy auditor and instructor with low-income families, co-founded Grow Gainesville, a popular urban gardening network, and served as a leader and board member at the University of Florida's Organic Garden Cooperative. She is volunteering now with the sustainability task force of Emerson East neighborhood producing monthly Sustainable Saturday Night gatherings, and is planning a "Tour de Solar" community bike ride visiting urban homesteading projects in June. Julie learned about sustainability from her frugal, earth-loving grandparents who both grew up on farms,and she spent many hours playing freely in nature as a child. She is passionate about community organizing, events, and education around sustainability themes.
Dan Healy is currently working in greenhouse sales and marketing for Zimmerman's High Tunnels. Previously worked at Growing Power for 9 years. Dan has always been a proponent of moving away from the use of oil and also reducing the human carbon footprint. Dan is a networker and is always willing to help out with getting worthwhile projects off the ground.
Douglas Renk is Biological Commissioning Engineer with BIOFerm Energy Systems in Madison. He brings experience from Renewable Energy, Solid Waste management, Organic recycling, and Agricultural sectors. Mr. Renk has roots in Wisconsin, but developed his career in Florida where he operated a landscape design/ build operation for 20 years. He holds a BS degree in Environmental Management from Rollins College and MS in Agricultural and Biological Engineering from University of Florida. While at UF, he developed a program for converting used vegetable oil to biodiesel, partially powering the campus diesel equipment fleet. Together with UF and American Crystal Sugar, Renk developed a hybrid two-stage bioreactor for converting sugar beet residues to renewable fuel. Renk believes the hope for civilization relies on wise resource recovery and conservation, resulting from shared vision, responsibility and collaboration.
Jun Yoshitani established AlgaXperts LLC, an applied environmental phycology consulting and technology development company with partners L.E. Graham, Ph.D., professor of botany, UW-Madison, and J.M. Graham, Ph.D., algal research scientist, UW-Madison. He is also president of Alga Bionics LLC, a start-up joint venture of AlgaXperts and SkyWater Catchment Systems, LLC. The joint venture will offer custom design and delivery of algal cultivation systems for application in municipal, industrial and agricultural sectors. Starting in July 2013, Alga Bionics will be housed in Milwaukee Water Council’s International Water Technology Center. Prior to starting AlgaXperts LLC, Jun operated an independent environmental and renewable energy consulting firm which provided professional services for variety of clients including the Wisconsin Department of Commerce for Development of Commercial Scale Algae Cultivation System (collaboration with UW-Madison researchers) and Growth Dimension (an economic development agency for Belvidere, IL and Boone County, IL) for Feasibility of Integrating Algae Cultivation Into Rock River Wastewater Treatment Plant. Jun is a registered professional engineer and has been involved in planning, design and construction of environmental related facilities for over 40 years.
Summary of Vision Team 2011/2012 notes
Vision Team 2010 notes