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...
Rural Enterprise Assistance Project (REAP)
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...
Farm and Community Program
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...
Policy Program
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...
Administrative Staff
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...
Policy Program
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...

Administrative Staff
Policy Assistant
I am incredibly excited to be a member of the Center for Rural Affairs team, where I am one piece of a large puzzle that can help create solutions for rural citizens. Centered around grassroots...
Policy Program
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...
Administrative Staff
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...
Rural Enterprise Assistance Project (REAP)
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...
Farm and Community Program
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...

Core Support
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...

Administrative Staff
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...
Core Support
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...
Rural Enterprise Assistance Project (REAP)
Project Associate
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...
Farm and Community Program
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...
Farm and Community Program
Community Food Associate
I am an enrolled member of the Omaha Tribe of Nebraska, mother of 9 children, wife to an extremely understanding, patient man with a heart of gold. We have built our life together on a farm just...
Farm and Community Program
Community Organizer
As the middle child in a very education-driven family, I feel very grateful that my siblings and I have found success due to our parents’ sacrifices, forward-thinking, and motivation. I’ve carried...
Farm and Community Program
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...
Rural Enterprise Assistance Project (REAP)
Policy Assistant
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 Program
Policy Assistant
Growing up on an acreage outside of Firth, Nebraska, my responsibility was to take care of the cattle—from the bottle-fed calves to the big bull we knighted Sir Loin. I broke the ice for them in...
Policy Program
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...
Administrative Staff
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...
Policy Program
Accounting Associate
I work out of the Lyons office as an accounting 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 perfect...
Accounting
Policy Manager
I have loved agriculture for more than a decade. Working for the Center has given me the opportunity to do what I love every day. My job is to work on policy advocacy throughout the Midwest. That...
Policy Program
Policy Assistant
I'm a fifth generation South Dakotan with family who were some of the original homesteaders in rural McCook County, where I grew up. My family lived on an acreage where my parents instilled in us a...
Policy Program
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...
Core Support
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...
Farm and Community Program
Minnesota Policy Assistant

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 Program
Policy Associate
I’m a native of Norfolk, Nebraska, and I graduated from Wayne State College in 2012 with a degree in political science. At the Center, I’ve been immersed in clean energy development. I’ve written...
Policy Program
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...
Core Support
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...
Core Support
Accounting Assistant
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...
Accounting
Rural Enterprise Assistance Project Director
I’ve been at the Center for Rural Affairs for nearly 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 analysis...
Administrative Staff
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...
Farm and Community Program
Business Development Specialist
I grew up in rural Nebraska, and lived here my whole life—there is no place I would rather call home. The challenges faced by rural communities are complex, but in my experience, don’t hold a candle...
Rural Enterprise Assistance Project (REAP)
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...
Rural Enterprise Assistance Project (REAP)
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...
Administrative Staff
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...
Rural Enterprise Assistance Project (REAP)
Project 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...
Farm and Community Program
Northeast Nebraska 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...
Rural Enterprise Assistance Project (REAP)
Project Assistant
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...
Farm and Community Program
Grants Manager
As a native Nebraskan, and a lifelong resident of northeast Nebraska, I love being in a rural, small-town setting, where the traffic jams consist of a tractor going down the highway followed by a...
Core Support
Policy Associate
I grew up on a sheep and cattle farm in rural Indiana where I developed a deep passion for rural communities and advocating for solutions to the challenges they face. I studied agricultural...
Policy Program
Community Food Associate
I’m thrilled to begin my role as the new community foods specialist in the Farm and Community Program. This will include leading the Center’s work with the Santee Tribe in northeast Nebraska...
Farm and Community Program
Accounting 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
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...
Accounting
Loan Specialist
Originally, I’m from North Platte, Nebraska, but my career as a lender began in 1986, in Laramie, Wyoming. Since then, I have worked in north central Nebraka and western Wyoming for different...
Rural Enterprise Assistance Project (REAP)