Meet the Greensburg GreenTown Staff
Daniel Wallach (Executive Director and Founder) has been a resident of rural Stafford County (his and Catherine's home is 35 miles northeast of Greensburg) since 2003. Before moving to Kansas he and Catherine founded the Colorado Association of Nonprofit Organizations (name has since changed to Colorado Nonprofit Association). Daniel was also active in the development of the association of nonprofits movement nationally. In 2004 he started a natural and local foods co-op in Pratt that, for two years, served two dozen Pratt and Greensburg families.
Catherine Hart (Program Director) has had a passion for green living and renewable energy since the 1970s, first working during college with Missourians for Safe Energy. She has a master’s degree in social work, has worked as a counselor and educator, and has designed and led workshops pertaining to wellness and living life fully. She loves talking with people about all aspects of sustainability and is grateful to be able to draw from her experience in Greensburg to help launch GreenTown Joplin.
Ruth Ann Wedel (Site Manager) is a 1965 Greensburg High School Alumnus and Northwestern Oklahoma State University graduate. She and her husband, Bob, owned WB's Bulk Food Store in Greensburg; the store was completely destroyed in the tornado. After they reached the very difficult decision not to reopen the store she was happy to find an opportunity to connect with the public in a way that would serve her community. Ruth Ann is excited about the role Greensburg GreenTown is playing in the rebuilding of Greensburg. She sees her job evolving as the organization grows to meet the needs of the community. She has stayed involved with the Redevelopment Business Sector, Can Do Action Team, Make A Difference Day, Greensburg Tourism Committee, Boy Scout Troop 211, and Greensburg Methodist Church.
Joah Bussert (Project Director) hails from Elmhurst, Illinois, a suburb located 15 miles west of Chicago. He has a Bachelors of Architecture from Iowa State University and a never ending desire to learn new, green technologies, especially relating to the built environment. Joah’s passion for sustainable building stems from his parents’ world view that all people have a responsibility to care for the Earth. This responsibility extends from how we design and construct our physical environment to the simplest actions in how we live our daily lives. He believes no action is too small or less important in living sustainably. Joah lives and works in Denver, CO, coordinating projects in both Greensburg and Joplin, MO.
Sydney Menees (Project Manager) grew up in Overland Park, KS, a suburb of Kansas City. Many of Sydney's childhood summers with her family were spent in national parks, where she became a junior ranger and learned the importance of preserving the environment. Sydney graduated from Bard College (Annandale-on-Hudson, NY) with a Bachelor of Arts in music. Upon graduating, she decided that an impactful way to make the world a better place would be to work for an eco initiative. For that reason, Sydney is excited to be working at Greensburg GreenTown. She is enthused about GreenTown's current projects as well as starting some of her own. In the future she intends to work as an advocate for the environment either with a focus in sustainability in business or a specialization in environmental law. In her spare time Sydney enjoys playing violin, reading, and spending time with friends.
Jason Culbertson (Project Manager) grew up in Omaha, Nebraska and studied at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln where he received his Masters of Architecture in May of 2012. Jason's interest in sustainability comes from his schooling and desire to design a more responsible built environment. He is inspired by Greensburg's effort to establish a model city for sustainable building practices and is blessed to be a part of the GreenTown organization. Jason believes a cleaner, healthier, and more prosperous future is linked to sustainable living. He thinks that building sustainably should be engrained into our practice and no longer thought of as just a "design concept." During Jason's free time he enjoys riding his bike, playing video games, watching movies, and sketching.