The Center for Sustainable and Cooperative Culture: Board of Directors
The board of directors for the Center for Sustainable & Cooperative Culture (501c3) and Dancing Rabbit Land Trust (501c2) oversees financial development and strategic planning for our non-profits in conjunction with the Dancing Rabbit membership.
Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage, Rutledge, MO
Having grown up baling hay on a forty acre farm in Iowa, Kyle subscribes to a simpler form of sustainability. He studied physics, then history, then English at Macalester University before reexamining his trajectory and ultimately moving to Dancing Rabbit in 2010, where he now studies wood, clay, and village design. He has constructed two homes at Dancing Rabbit and continues to contribute to the growing database of alternative building technologies of cob, earthbag, strawbale, timberframing, and subterranean construction. He is specifically interested in designing the “in-between”– spaces where buildings, people, and the outdoors converge. He presently works around the rural Midwest, conducting soil samples to facilitate improved agricultural resource management.
Director of Programs for Family Connections – Cleveland, OH
Stephen grew up in Los Angeles, CA and, after living in the Midwest for ten or so years, has recently moved with his wife to Turin, Italy (where she is from) and there they have a young baby. Between 2010 and 2018 Stephen spent about five years living at Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage. Stephen has studied and/or worked in photography, writing, real estate, education, environmental canvassing, and other fields. He now teaches middle school in Turin, Italy and tries to integrate all he has learned from Dancing Rabbit and elsewhere, and hopes to pass it on to the next generation.
Sue Ann Kortkamp
Foundation Executive Director of OSF Saint Francis Medical Center and Children’s Hospital of IL (Retired) – Illinois
Sue Ann Kortkamp graduated with a BS in Biology from the University of Illinois. She retired in 2008 after a 23 year career in health care fundraising. Prior to that time, she also worked for the Tazewell County Health Dept as their first environmental sanitarian and served for 12 years on the Council of the City of Pekin. Currently, she serves on the board of The Dirksen Congressional Center and the MS Council of Central Illinois. During retirement, Sue Ann enjoyed helping students with their reading skills and helped found the Pekin Outreach Initiative which provides weekend snack packs to all students who are food insecure; as well as helps feed the homeless through local food pantries and church feeding programs.
General Practice Attorney, Farmington, MO
Ed Pultz’s connection with sustainable community began in 1974, when he and his wife, Wendy, were founding members of Dancing Rabbit’s neighboring community, Sandhill Farm. After leaving Sandhill, he taught for two years in the two-room school in nearby Rutledge, before leaving the area to pursue a law career. Ed has practiced law in Farmington, MO for over thirty years. Ed has served on the boards of the Farmington School District, Presbyterian Children’s Services, and Legal Services of Southern Missouri. He has been actively involved with the local Habitat for Humanity affiliate since its beginning in 1998, and cofounded the local recreational soccer program and has been responsible for the referees for more than 15 years. Ed is an avid organic gardener and he, Wendy and their two grown children renovate older housing stock to extend the lives of houses and make them more energy efficient.
Nancy J. Allen, MBA, Ph.D.
Organizational Sociologist and International Development Practitioner – California
Nancy J. Allen is an organizational sociologist currently working for the Global Engagement Office in the College of Agriculture & Environmental Sciences at the University of California, Davis. Current projects include research management for the Center for Excellence in Agriculture in Egypt and a study of USAID-funded Feed-the-Future Innovation Labs. From 2000 to 2015, she consulted on behalf of philanthropic foundations and international development agencies, specializing in strategic program evaluation primarily working in Africa. Following graduate school, she worked for Harvard University as an economic advisor to the Ministry of Finance in Indonesia, specializing in foreign direct investment and export manufacturing. The connecting thread in her professional and board work is an abiding fascination with how people work together in formal organizations and a deep commitment to improving the capacity of organizations to achieve their finest goals.
Dr. Allen received her Ph.D. from Harvard University, in a joint degree of the Harvard Business School and the Department of Sociology; an M.B.A. from Santa Clara University; and, a B.S. from Georgetown University. She was born in South Dakota; grew up in Egypt, Lebanon and Cyprus; raised her own children in Indonesia and Kenya; recently returned from a two-year stint in Pakistan; and for now finds herself sort of settled in California.
Zach Rubin, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Sociology at Lander University – South Carolina
Zach Rubin is a Midwesterner displaced to the South, trying to learn a whole new group of trees and bugs while working as an Assistant Professor of Sociology at Lander University. He has a PhD in sociology from the University of Missouri and is working on some other, higher degree in loving the Earth. In 2015, he lived at DR for eight months. This led him to write his dissertation, “My Year Pooping in a Bucket” about the experience, as well as to publish several journal articles using DR as a case study for social movement activity. He also sits on the board for the Communal Studies Association. In his spare time he likes to practice carpentry and gardening.
Brenda Van Gelder
CPA & Chief Financial Officer for MDS Communications – Arizona
Brenda was introduced to Dancing Rabbit when she and her family attended a visitors’ session in 2017. It was a transformative experience for them, and she is honored to be able to contribute to the organization’s mission through service on the Board of Directors.
Brenda graduated from Arizona State University with a Bachelor of Accountancy in 2000 and obtained a CPA license from the Arizona State Board of Accountancy in 2004. She worked as an auditor in public practice for seven years performing audit, review,and compilation engagements in manufacturing, construction, distribution, commercial furniture, equipment rental and service, trade associations, and 401(k) plans. Since leaving public accounting in 2007, Brenda has held various accounting and finance roles: Corporate Accountant for a commercial construction company, Revenue Analyst for a medical transportation company, Controller then CFO for a fundraising company, and CFO for a health and safety consulting company. Additionally, from 2012 to 2018, Brenda served on the Board of Directors at a local non-profit organization that provides free out-of-school programs for youth.
Brenda is currently employed as the CFO for MDS Communications, a corporation that provides telephone fundraising services to some of the most well-respected charities in the nation. She lives in Chandler with her husband, Charles, and their three teenaged sons.