Meet our Staff
Jessie Lerner, Executive Director
Jessie is always in motion. When Jessie joined Sustain Dane in November 2007, she was still working with the Aldo Leopald Nature Center in Monona, trying to engage an appreciation in the outdoors in young children, and she would bike furiously between the two jobs. She hasn't slowed down since. Since March 2008, Jessie has coordinated the MPowering Madison campaign, and works one-on-one with local businesses, helping them go more sustainable. She previoulsy worked in program development and environmental education at the Kigio Wildlife Conservancy in Kenya. Jessie earned a B.S. in zoology and psychology from the University of Wisconsin- Madison.
Annemarie Kalson, Sustainable Business Initiative
In 2003, after six years of living in various cities of the Northwest and earning a B.S. from the University of Oregon, Annemarie moved home to Madison to be closer to lakes, sunshine, and family. She is a graduate of the Edgewood College Sustainability Leadership Graduate Certificate Program and in 2010 received a Certificate in Effective Public Participation from the International Association for Public Participation. Annemarie joins the Sustain Dane team with over five years of experience in environmental education and program coordination at the Wisconsin DNR.
Julie Jarvis, Sustainable Schools Initiative
After living in Michigan, New York, Oregon, and Washington, Julie finally made her way to Wisconsin in the winter of 2010. She is loving Madison’s bike paths, restaurants, lakes, prairies, and her job at Sustain Dane! Julie has a BS in Resource Ecology and Management from the University of Michigan and a MEd in School Counseling from Western Washington University. She has spent her professional life working with children as an elementary school counselor, therapist and environmental educator. Her role at Sustain Dane facilitating the Sustainable Schools Initiative draws together her interest in kids and learning, her passion for nature and her belief in the importance of living in harmony with the land and with one another.
Amy Kesling, Administration & Program Coordination
Amy graduated from UW-Madison in 2009 with a B.A. in Sociology and Geography with a Certificate in Environmental Studies. Since graduating, she has worked for UW-Madison's Wisconsin Union as the Sustainability Coordinator for Dining Services, volunteered for the Aldo Leopold Nature Center as an Event Assistant and, in August 2010, joined the Sustain Dane team. On the weekends, Amy can be found biking around Madison, reading on the Terrace or buying fresh flowers at the Farmers' Market on Saturdays.
Danielle Russell, Communications & Development
A Wisconsin farm kid and UW-Madison Grad (2008 B.S. Life Sciences Communications), Danielle credits this background for instilling in her a Midwestern work ethic and a deeply rooted passion for agriculture and life sciences. Yet it was a road trip through the Andes and Southern Patagonia that revealed her true love for nature and exploration of the wild world. After graduation, she fled South to Austin, Texas for three years to escape the harsh winters and to live out her rock 'n roll dreams, which she balanced with an adventurous career as the Marketing Director for an international software company. Around Madison, you'll rarely find Danielle without her loyal companion by her side, a spunky Shih Tzu / Poodle / Cocker Spaniel mix named Lola.