Renner named Center for Rural Affairs chief people officer

Small Towns

Sandra Renner, chief people officer, 402.687.2100, ext. 1009,; Teresa Hoffman, senior communications associate, 402.687.2100 ext. 1012,

LYONS, NEBRASKA – Sandra Renner, of West Point, has been appointed chief people officer with the Center for Rural Affairs.

Over the past decade, she has served in several capacities with the Center, most recently as farm and community director. As chief people officer, a newly created position, she’ll work across the organization to support Center staff and board members.

“Sandra has demonstrated the ability to build, align, and support a team tackling a growing and diverse set of work,” said Brian Depew, Center executive director. “I am excited to see her bring these skills to her new role supporting the entire organization in 2024.”

Renner started work at the Center in 2014 as a project associate focusing on farm to school and women in farming. Since then, she has immersed herself in everything from outreach and promotion to grant writing to project management surrounding food systems work and welcoming efforts in rural communities.

The Center’s projects have grown in response to an evolving rural America, and the amount of staff needed to facilitate projects has increased. Today, 60 staff members work in offices in Lyons, Grand Island, Hartington, Scottsbluff, Lincoln, and Schuyler, Nebraska, and Nevada, Iowa, as well as in home offices across four states.

Renner said she looks forward to the opportunity to serve the Center’s work in all areas, including policy, lending, community development, and food systems.

“I’m excited to work across the organization to build, maintain, and support our staff and board to continue to achieve impact with rural audiences we serve, as well as create greater alignment towards advancing the Center’s mission in supporting vibrant rural communities,” Renner said.

Renner is based in the Center’s Lyons office; reach her at 402.687.2100, ext. 1009, or