(Spicer MN-) Prairie Woods Environmental Learning Center’s Governing Board has named Jennifer Swenson as its next executive director, effective January 17, 2022.

According to PWELC Board Chair Scott Glup, “Ms. Swenson’s professional experience is a great match for Prairie Woods Environmental Learning Center at this point in its history. With Jennifer’s leadership, we are excited for the future of PWELC.” Chair Glup extended his appreciation for the thoughtful and committed work of the Board hiring committee throughout the hiring process. “We had a strong pool of qualified and experienced candidates, and Ms. Swenson emerged as the clear and unanimous choice of the Board.”

According to Glup, “Swenson brings considerable experience in administration, responsive program development, marketing, communication, and grant writing from her work for 20 years in nonprofit and educational organizations.” Prior to this role, Jennifer served for ten years as Director of Communities United in Education in Siren, WI.

Glup also expressed sincere appreciation to Mari and Kory Klebe for their work as interim directors. Dave Pederson was Executive Director for 17 years and retired in August 2020. Glup says “Covid has been a challenge for educational settings such as PWELC. Kory and Mari were instrumental in guiding the organization through this difficult time. The Board is very appreciative of their dedication to the mission of PWELC and look forward to their work in shaping the future of PWELC with Executive Director Swenson.”

“I am thrilled to have this opportunity to lead PWELC into a new chapter,” said Swenson. “The PWELC vision of ‘learning to live well with self, others, and the environment’ appeals to my personal and professional commitment to manage my mind and think intentionally, accept and hold space for others, and respect and appreciate our environment. I’m eager to share my focus and strategies to further elevate the concept of Prairie Woods Environmental Learning Center, moving forward to the next level with dedicated staff, Governing Board, and Board of Trustees.”