Staff Members

We celebrate our rural culture while working on national issues that impact all rural citizens. We live and work rural.

Business Development Specialist
Growing up in rural Nebraska helped me see the immense value and benefits of small town living. I enjoy the atmosphere of peace and quiet, knowing who your neighbors are, and taking time to do things...
Senior Project Associate
When I was little we lived in Brainard, Nebraska, but our family farm was only two blocks away. Since then it has always been a large part of our family's life. We now live on the farm, four...
Senior Policy Associate
I am an Iowan, and though I grew up mostly in the Des Moines area, I have fond memories of running around my dad's hometown of Salix (pop. 363) as a kid, where we would go often to visit great-grandma...
Development Director
I’m proud to play a small part in keeping communities vibrant places for the diverse people who call rural America home. Prior to joining the Center, I spent a decade as a newspaper reporter, then...
Senior Policy Associate
Rural America helped shaped me into the person I am today. I grew up on my family’s farm in southeast Iowa, and was active on the farm throughout my childhood. The responsibility, communication, and...
Chief Financial Officer

I grew up in small towns and have lived half of my adult life in the smaller communities that the Center has a real passion for. I spent almost 20 years in banking, including working in my family's...

Chief Administrative Officer
I have always felt that rural America is the fabric and backbone for all that we are, no matter where you live – it’s where we all find our roots, and we shouldn’t forget that. There is so much beauty...
Women’s Business Center Director
When I was 5 years old, I moved to Grand Island, Nebraska, from Houston, Texas, and have known Nebraska to be my home ever since. Rural America holds a special place in my heart because I have had the...
Project Associate
I’ve had the opportunity to work with farmers and rural communities all over the world. I’m now proud to be building sustainable agriculture systems in my home state of Nebraska. I’m a firm believer...
Lending Partner Manager
I grew up in Fullerton, Nebraska, population roughly 1,400, and spent most of my life there. After graduating from the University of Nebraska at Kearney, I had the opportunity to come back home and...
Office & Technology Manager

My job includes different tasks every day, and my main priority is to help the Center for Rural Affairs run smoothly. My goal is to help everyone else achieve their goals. Since 1998, I’ve enjoyed my...

Executive Director

At an early age, I learned to care about my community and the world around me from my parents. It was only a matter of time before I became active in my community, engaging in local debates over...

Data & Evaluation Manager
I grew up on my family’s farm in south central Nebraska. The values imparted on me from that rural community are firmly rooted in who I am, and align perfectly with those of the Center for Rural...
Business Development Specialist
Rural America is my home—I grew up here, and I’m raising my family here. Working at the Center gives me the opportunity to help keep small communities beautiful and prosperous for generations to come...
Community Development Manager
As a project associate at the Center, I have the rare and unique opportunity to combine my background in the culinary arts, my degree in global studies, and my experiences as a first generation...
Native Communities Manager
I grew up on a farm near Crofton, Nebraska, and have always lived in rural America—this is where my family comes from. I want to raise my boys here, as I believe being raised in the area comes with...
Farm & Community Assistant Director
I am a lifelong student of the outdoors. I’ve lived in many different landscapes, learning land management on the high, dry plains of Wyoming and New Mexico; the tallgrass prairie of Colorado; and the...
Latino Loan Specialist
Rural America is full of hard working individuals, and I feel honored to help create vibrant rural communities that are inclusive and supportive of all community members. I strive to provide quality...
Policy Associate
My life has been a unique mix of rural and urban, but rural America has always had my heart. I’ve lived everywhere from Illinois to Massachusetts, and now Iowa, but my home is small-town Indiana. My...
Policy Director
I’ve worked with the Center for close to a decade, and in that time, I’ve concentrated on the areas of research, analysis, lobbying, strategy development, and management to successfully carry out my...
Policy Communications Associate
While I’ve always considered myself a “city girl,” as the years have passed, I’ve come to realize that smaller settings are best suited for my personality. Rural communities have much to offer, and I...
Loan Operations Associate
I work out of the Lyons office as a loan operations associate. Most recently, I was a loan administrative coordinator with Two Rivers Bank in Blair, Nebraska. I feel like this Center job will be a...
Policy Manager
I have worked out of our Nevada, Iowa, office since 2016. My background is in federal agricultural policy, with an emphasis on working lands conservation. During my time at the Center, I have met with...
Policy Associate
I'm a fifth generation South Dakotan with deep roots in the McCook/Lake county area. Growing up in the countryside gave me a deep appreciation for the rural landscape and the people who live there...
Brand Marketing & Communications Manager
Growing up in Lyons, Nebraska, I experienced first-hand the closeness of a farming community. Every day during the summer, my brother, sister and I rode our bikes to the pool, then spent our evenings...
Community Organizing Associate
Until I moved to Schuyler, Nebraska, about a decade ago, I had always lived in big cities. At this point in my life, I don’t think I will ever move back to an urban area. Rural America offers a sense...
Community Food Associate
I was raised in Winnebago, Nebraska, until I was about 12 years old. Throughout my childhood, my family almost always had a garden, or we harvested what grew wild in and around Winnebago, like...
Minnesota Policy Associate

As an adult, I have lived in the Twin Cities and throughout Latin America, but was born and raised in southwest Minnesota in a tiny farming community called Currie. My parents and grandparents were...

Policy Associate
Born, raised, and educated in the northwest Iowa town of Sioux Center, I am the daughter of a fourth generation family business. I take pride in the leadership and investments my family has made in...
Policy Associate
I was born in rural Nebraska in the mid-1980s during a farm crisis. I would learn later in life that my family was fortunate enough to make ends meet with a combination of corn, soybeans, and 60 head...
Marketing and Communications Associate
My family has resided in northeast Nebraska for as long as I can remember. I am a multi-generational farmer’s daughter—I have seen my family go from raising cattle, hogs, and crops to now just crops...
Executive & Development Assistant
In three words, I would describe myself as, "driven, resilient, and observant." I’m proud to be the first-ever assistant to the executive and development directors, as well as work as part of the...
Accounting Associate
Rural America presents so many great experiences that cannot be offered in a city setting. I grew up in Bancroft, Nebraska, and could not imagine growing up anywhere other than a rural community. I’ve...
Lending Services Director
I’ve been at the Center for Rural Affairs for more than 20 years. I like to think of myself as a utility infielder. I have worked with every program at the Center, from state and federal policy...
Inclusion Assistant
I was raised in El Paso, Texas, a big city where farming and small town areas were things I had only read about in books. During my first visit to Nebraska, I fell in love with the small town feel...
Latino Loan Specialist
I was born in Mexico and moved to the U.S. at a young age. I graduated from Lexington Senior High in Lexington, Nebraska, and attended Central Community College, Bellevue University, and Grand Island...
Farm & Community Director
Hailing from northeast Nebraska, I am no stranger to the challenges of rural life. I remember checking rows (getting ice cream cones) with my grandpa and driving through small towns. I recall vibrant...
Latino Loan Specialist
I’m excited to develop and maintain meaningful relationships with borrowers before, during, and after their loan transactions. I feel privileged for the chance to work with people who have a dream...
Senior Development Associate
Like so many others who grew up (and remain) in a rural environment, I feel a strong pull to protect and strengthen the landscape and people who keep communities viable. I want to work to help the...
Loan Specialist
Being from a large city, I love the fact that people actually know each other and help each other in rural places. Rural America has so much potential, and when people come together, it can really...
Community Organizing Associate
I grew up as a migrant worker, traveling every summer to different parts of the nation. This experience helped me connect with farmers, especially the shared love of the soil. Throughout my travels, I...
Policy Organizing Assistant
Nick Summers joined the Center for Rural Affairs on Sept. 13, 2021. He is based in our Nevada, Iowa, office with a focus on clean energy and climate work.
Community Foods Advocate
I’m thrilled to lead the Center’s work with the Santee Tribe in northeast Nebraska, with gardens, markets, and small businesses. I formerly taught middle school at Santee Public School and was...
Accounting and Office Assistant
I grew up in Bancroft, Nebraska, and have stayed in rural America all my life. My husband and I live on a farm between Bancroft and West Point, and over the years, I have learned much more than I ever...
Grants Manager Associate
Growing up on a farm in western Iowa, I can’t say I worked with crops or animals—my dad had five boys to help him and my mom only had one girl to help her, so I was definitely outnumbered—but I’ve...
Loan Specialist
My passion for small towns and small businesses comes from spending my formative years in the Midwest. While I may not have grown up in a rural area, I understand the importance of rural America. I...
Loan Operations Assistant
You might guess that I like rabbits. Holding Bebert the Bunny is my therapy. I don’t care if they eat my garden, I have a thing for these creatures! I pay the bills at the Center. I balance the...
Accounting Manager
I'm originally from China, and earned my MBA at University of Nebraska-Lincoln in Finance in August of 2015. I like to watch movies and work out during my spare time. I started out at the Center as an...