Board & Staff

WCI Staff

  • Anna leads, directs, and manages West Central Initiative and guides its strategic direction. She also acts as 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."


  • Greg is responsible for our business initiatives, including the loan programs, technical assistance to businesses and entrepreneurs, and equity financing programs. He also oversees our economic development work and 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. "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 McKnight Foundation, is successfully completed. "I love my job, all day every day 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, and more. "One of the things I love about my work is the feeling that we’re making a difference in people’s everyday lives."

  • Sarah works each day to tell the West Central Initiative story—how we’re positively impacting the people, communities, and region we serve. She oversees our communication channels and strategies, branding, content creation, and more. "I appreciate how the decisions we make each day impact people, and telling those stories connects us all."

  • The administration of our 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.”

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

  • 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.”

  • 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.”

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

  • Marsha is a regional liaison for the Early Childhood Initiative (ECI), connecting individuals, communities, agencies, and resources. She works with program coordinators and regional partners to strengthen 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 also is responsible for all aspects of our database management and provides administrative support to the 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.”

  • Katrina maintains component fund records, prepares and distributes financial reports, and more. “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.”

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

  • 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! “

  • 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.”