Our Team

Staff

Andy Johnson

Director

Andy hails from Decorah, and is happy to be back "home" with his family. He is a class of 87 DHS grad, and his college and graduate work focused on ecology and natural resources management. The past couple decades he has worked in sustainable agriculture and natural resources management, first in the Peace Corps in Guatemala, then with USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, and most recently upon returning to the family farm near Decorah. His current passions of the Energy District and land-care farming are kept in perspective, and motivated by, his wife and three amazing daughters.

Joel Zook

Farm Energy Planner

Joel graduated from Illinois Institute of Technology with a degree in Architecture and has spent the past six years working in energy efficiency and renewable energy. He has worked with over 200 Decorah area homeowners make decisions about their energy use and given energy assessments to hundreds of businesses across the state. Agricultural energy efficiency is Joel's new challenge and he looks forward to helping area farmers manage and reduce their energy costs.

Heidi Eger

Communications and Engagement Specialist

Heidi is thrilled to be back in renewable energy work after taking some time to learn in the local foods world.  Originally from the St. Paul suburbs, she currently lives in Spring Grove with her growing flock of Katahdin-Dorper sheep.

Board of Directors

Lyle Luzum

Lyle retired from Northeast Iowa Community College's Computer Information Systems Director position in 2010 and from organic farming in 2017. He and his wife Susan live in Decorah. In addition to serving on the Winneshiek Energy District Board since 2014, his Board experience includes 12 years on the South Winneshiek Community School Board, 6 years on the Calmar Lutheran Church Council, 6 years on the Oneota Community Food Co-op Board, the Board of the Sustainable Iowa Land Trust since 2018, and as Assistant Winneshiek County Soil & Water Conservation Commissioner since 1980. Lyle and Susan do volunteer tax preparation through the AARP Foundation Tax-Aide program, sponsored locally by NE Iowa RSVP.

In recent years, while living on Lyle's family farm, the Luzums installed geothermal and solar to reduce their energy use and carbon footprint. They donated their farm in 2017 to the Sustainable Iowa Land Trust.

    Jim Martin-Schramm

    Jim Martin-Schramm has been a member of the religion faculty at Luther College since 1993. He is the author or co-editor of several publications including Eco-Reformation: Grace and Hope for a Planet in Peril (Wipf & Stock, 2016), Earth Ethics: A Case Method Approach (Orbis Books, 2015), and Climate Justice: Ethics, Energy, and Climate Policy (Fortress Press, 2010). Jim served on the inaugural board of the Iowa Wind Energy Association and recently completed serving a term as chair of the board of Iowa Interfaith Power & Light.  Jim directs energy and climate programming for Luther’s Center for Sustainable Communities and serves on the board of Luther College Wind Energy Project, LLC.

      Wendy Stevens

      Wendy was a member of the Luther College Biology department for 42 years.  Since her retirement in 2013, she has enjoyed more involvement with community organizations.  Wendy is currently the chair fo the Winneshiek County Zoning Commission, enjoys helping folks complete their income tax returns as a Tax Aide for RSVP, volunteers weekly at the Oneota Food Co-op and is actively involved with Oneota Weavers Guild.  As a member of the county's zoning commission, she was fortunate to be able to contribute to the Winneshiek County Comprehensive Smart PLan and to the current Winneshiek County Zoning Ordinance and Subdivision Regulations.

        Larry Grimstad

        Larry served as President and Chairman of Decorah Bank & Trust Company for 30 years.  He has been the owner and joint developer of a 900 KW wind turbine project and two solar projects totaling 1.1 MW and lives on a sustainable rotationally-grazed grass farm that uses wind, solar and geothermal energy.  Larry has served on several community service boards and works to develop additional community-based clean energy and energy efficiency and local foods projects. He currently serves on boards of Seed Savers Exchange, Winneshiek Energy District, Oneota Film Festival and Decorah Power.

          Kyra Bellrichard

          Kyra Bellrichard, a resident of Decorah, is Program Manager Lead for the Northeast Iowa Community College (NICC) Business and Community Solutions team.  She joined the Winneshiek Energy District (WED) board in March of 2015.  However, Kyra’s relationship with WED began four years earlier when she started her career at NICC coordinating energy efficiency and renewable energy training programs with the Department of Labor ‘Green’ Grant, as well as the State of Iowa Energy Sector Partnership Grant.  Both grants supported WED efforts with equipment and training, and trained many other area professionals.  Kyra also manages Career Pathway Certificate programs and Trades & Industry Continuing Education classes at NICC.  Outside of the college you will often find Kyra throwing pottery in her home studio or helping others experience the art of clay as a volunteer Studio Assistant at The Clay Studio.

            David Carlson

            Dave Carlson is president of Randd Properties and serves on the Winneshiek County Medical Center Foundation and Winneshiek Energy District boards in addition to the Luther College Regent Emeriti. Past distinctions and activities have included being a chairman for the National Asphalt Paving Association, past president of the Iowa Concrete Paving Association, past president of the Asphalt paving association of Iowa, board of directors for Associated General Contractors of Iowa, founding director of the Decorah Area Foundation, president for Winneshiek County Habitat for Humanity, and past president for Oneota Golf and Country Club. Dave is a graduate of Luther College (1963) and now resides in Decorah with his wife Brenda.

              Kristine Jepsen

              Kristine Jepsen is a writer and editor with a background in magazine, small-business start-up, and marketing. For 15 years, she ran farm-based businesses in Allamakee County and comes to the WED board with interest in corporate and municipal energy policy, as well as adaptation of sustainable energy systems at the industrial level.

              She also has experience writing and administering grants for both small business and non-profits (including WED) and looks forward to telling the broader story of where our energy comes from and how the industry works. She can be reached via www.kristinejepsen.com.

                Kevin Sand

                Kevin has lived in Decorah almost his entire life.  He practiced family medicine at Mayo Health System in Decorah for 33 years and is now retired.  In his free time, he enjoys forestry, gardening, and grandchildren.

                  Green Iowa AmeriCorps

                  Collin Kern

                  Collin graduated from Luther in 2020 where he focused on political science and social work. He spent his last two summers working various jobs in Decorah and is excited to be back collaborating with the WED and the community. When not with WED, you may find Collin working or running on the trails in Decorah, or scoping out an opportunity to get on the Upper Iowa River.

                    Mara Mergens

                    Mara is a 2020 graduate of Luther College with a degree in Environmental Studies with concentrations in Culture & Society and Women & Gender Studies. She is excited to spend her first summer in Decorah after studying here for the past four years. Mara has spent her college career working in recycling and compost and is excited to transition to the energy world. Mara enjoys showing off her amateur cooking skills on Instagram and searching for the best finds at the Depot and Goodwill.

                      Maggie Anderson

                      Maggie graduated from Luther College in 2020 with a major in biology. She spent a summer researching ground beetle communities in Decorah and is thrilled to now be working with the WED. In Maggie's free time, she loves to play soccer, basketball, and card games.

                        Matt Staver

                        Matt graduated from Luther College in 2020 with a degree in environmental studies and a minor in biology. While at Luther, he had to opportunity to do summer research on soils and during the school year was the lab assistant for the school’s GIS class. In his free time, you will usually find him listening to an audiobook, swimming, or running.