Board & Staff

WCI Staff

  • Anna leads, directs and manages West Central Initiative, and guides its strategic direction. She also acts as WCI’s chief spokesperson and represents the west central region to the greater state of Minnesota. "Every day this organization demonstrates the good that can happen when people come together in common cause."

  • Sandy is part of the executive leadership team, responsible for the administration of all internal operations of WCI. “Being part of an innovative, growing organization with shared values for community, respect, responsiveness, learning and stability has been and continues to be very near and dear to me – together we can create a better tomorrow!”

  • Greg is responsible for WCI’s business initiatives including the loan programs, technical assistance to businesses and entrepreneurs, and WCI’s equity financing programs; he also oversees WCI’s economic development planning work, and the organization’s partnership with the Federal Economic Development Administration. "I'm passionate about the region, the woods, waters and prairie, its communities, and the businesses and entrepreneurs that are part of the fabric of those communities."

  • Building strong relationships that benefit our region and communities is key to Rebecca's work at WCI. "By making connections, we find out what we have in common and how we can work together toward shared goals."

  • It's all about the kids! Nancy ensures that the early childhood project, funded by The McKnight Foundation, is successfully completed and appropriately coordinated with the efforts of the other Minnesota Initiative Foundations.
    "I love my job at WCI, all day everyday I get to learn, share, and do around early childhood! What more could an early childhood advocate ask for?"

  • Wayne’s primary responsibility is to work with communities in the region on transportation planning issues, including bicycle/pedestrian planning, Safe Routes to School planning, Complete Streets projects, transit planning and other transportation issues. Wayne also coordinates transportation planning with WCI’s economic development planning efforts. "One of the things I love about my work at WCI is the feeling that we’re making a difference in people’s everyday lives."

  • The administration of WCI's grant programs falls under Wendy's responsibilities, including the planning and evaluation activities. “I am a firm believer in the power of rural philanthropy. It is inclusive and visionary and can enable whole communities to come together, articulate their dreams and become the places they want to be.”

  • Sarah is intricately involved in all aspects of WCI. Having spent the last several years working in corporate communications, Sarah looks forward to celebrating and sharing all the good work WCI is doing. "I appreciate how the decisions we make each day impact people--and telling those stories connects us all."

  • Rick works primarily on WCI’s Live Wide Open regional marketing campaign, helping businesses, communities, counties and organizations promote reasons for people to live and work in west central Minnesota. “My first job ever was helping my carpenter father. At the end of each day, we would look back and see progress. When I see examples of WCI’s support throughout this region – a child care center, a playground, a new or expanded business - it makes me proud to once again be on a team of builders.”

  • Kathy takes care of all funds coming into WCI, balances all checking account statements, prepares financial statements, year-end reports and statements, etc. She also assists with financial reporting to all of WCI's funders. "I like the variety in my work at West Central Initiative and seeing good things happen in our region. "

  • Rick assists the accounting manager to help serve our donors, loan recipients, grantees and component funds. “Rural values make west central Minnesota a special place to live and work! “

  • Katrina performs many accounting functions, including maintaining component fund records and preparing and distributing financial reports. “I appreciate that West Central Initiative is committed to supporting our communities and the people in them. I’m honored to be part of this organization.”

  • Jill is responsible for WCI’s economic development work and assists with transportation and community development planning. “I truly believe, as Paul Wellstone said, that ‘We all do better when we all do better.’ WCI has a long history of raising up our communities, and I am thrilled to be a part of that legacy.”

  • Samantha helps manage WCI’s donor database, increases interactions among both donors and members of WCI’s donor-advised funds, and leads new outreach and community engagement efforts. "It brings me joy to be working at WCI supporting philanthropy in west central Minnesota where I was born and raised. Through our collective giving and investments we support the growth and sustainability of our great region now and in the future."

  • Marsha is a regional liaison for the Early Childhood Initiative, making connections among individuals, communities, agencies and resources, all for our children. She works directly with the 10 ECI coordinators, the special program coordinators and regional partners, with the effort to strengthen our early childhood infrastructure. “I live and work under the credence that every child deserves a chance. Whether it is providing their basic needs, connecting them with resources or providing them with the richest education possible, our children deserve it.”

  • Deb provides legal documentation support to the loan department. Deb is also responsible for all aspects of WCI’s database management and provides administrative support to the WCI Board of Directors. “I have deep roots in west central Minnesota and love living near family and friends. I feel fortunate to work for an organization that has a positive impact on the people and communities I love.”

  • It's Donna's pleasure to greet you when you call or come in to WCI's office. In addition, she provides administrative support for the President and all departments, and maintains WCI's database. "I believe happiness grows from thankfulness. And here I am, happy to be living and loving life in Minnesota lakes country!"

  • WCI is the Region Four Economic Development District organization which allowed access to additional funds from the Federal Economic Development Agency to add two staff planners including Alex. After spending two years in Minneapolis to earn his master's degree in planning, Alex is grateful to be back in west central Minnesota. “Being able to do planning within a region and being connected to philanthropy and economic development is really exciting. I can’t wait to dig into and help communities in the region.”

  • WCI is the Region Four Economic Development District organization which allowed access to additional funds from the Federal Economic Development Agency to add two staff planners including Emily. She is a native of Kansas and she is loving west central Minnesota. “I hope to support agriculture tourism in west central Minnesota in this job,” Reno said. “I also love applied learning, so I want to accomplish our objectives through action.” Reno loves to cook and enjoys trying to replicate foods she’s eaten in restaurants.

  • Minnesota GreenCorps is partnering with West Central Initiative (WCI) to support Mallory Jarvi's work as she connects with WCI’s nine-county region. Jarvi will be working on the Safe Routes to School effort through summer of 2021. “I became interested in the Minnesota GreenCorps because I wanted to serve a Minnesota community with a focus on promoting a local healthy environment,” she said. “I also hope to become an environmental professional in the future. This great experience gives me chance to create connections with environmental professionals across Minnesota.”