Jen first joined the team at St. Louis Earth Day as Communications & Marketing Manager, after having earned her Masters of Science in Sustainability in 2014 from Saint Louis University. Prior to this she enjoyed a diverse career in sales (from fine wine to children’s books). During her studies at SLU, Jen frequently asked herself how to help individuals understand the connection that personal choices have on the environment. In her work, she aims to facilitate communication that will affect change in the way we live our lives so that future generations have the same opportunity to enjoy our planet as we do today.
Jen grew up in Northwest Indiana and moved to St. Louis 23 years ago to attend Washington University. She fell in love with St. Louis and her now husband, Kyle, and they settled in South City – growing their family by 2 daughters and 2 dogs. She has been very active in her community, serving on several boards, coaching Girls on the Run at her daughter’s school, and founding (and now leading) her neighborhood’s community garden and orchard.
Currently, Jen serves as Board President of the Garden District Commission, focusing on the redevelopment efforts that have been happening in the Botanical Heights Neighborhood. She loves to read, work in the garden, and cook what she grows (including canning for winter).
Bob Henkel comes to St. Louis Earth Day with over 20 years of program development experience in service-oriented non-profits. Bob has a passion and enthusiasm for sustainability, recycling, land stewardship, and developing human potential. Bob has shared his love of nature with youth and adults, facilitating wilderness adventure and team building experiences in a variety of programs throughout the country including Outward Bound in Maine, the Wyman Center in St. Louis and the Girl Scouts in Knik, Alaska.
Bob and his partner, Kelly, moved to northern California in 2006 where Bob worked as the site and facilities manager for the di Rosa art and nature preserve in Napa while pursuing his interest in sustainable land management strategies. He is certified in Permaculture Design and as a Sustainable Building Advisor, which is recognized as a mastery level course by the USGBC. Bringing these areas of expertise to St. Louis, he has consulted on edible forest design and habitat restoration.
Probably the most significant learning experience has been through Bob’s connection with Jon Young and the Wilderness Awareness School. By learning to sit still in one spot as a daily routine and engage his senses, especially listening to bird language, Bob has been able to develop a deeper connection with nature, hope in these challenging times, and the skills to make positive change.
In 2012, Bob and Kelly returned to St. Louis to be closer to family. They love Missouri and find that it has ecological reminders of all of the places they’ve been, well, except sharks. But Bob is really a freshwater river person anyway.
Laura Allers-Lowry first met the St. Louis Earth Day team in 2008 when she was a member of the Ameren Missouri Pure Power group. Laura has 14 years of experience as an event coordinator/planner for companies and organizations such as: Novus International, Art & Air Fair in Webster Groves, Pure Power, Serendipity Homemade Ice Cream, STL250 and 4 class reunions. Laura is honored to be a member of such a dedicated group of sustainability professionals at St. Louis Earth Day.
As a member of our team, Laura will be leading the coordination of the St. Louis Earth Day Festival, and will play a critical role in carrying on the 26-year-old tradition of Earth Day in St. Louis. In addition, she will be coordinating the St. Louis Earth Day Symposium (in June) and supporting the events that participate in the Recycling On the Go program.
In addition to her passion for making things happen, Laura’s main driving force is her dedication to sustainability, especially recycling. She regularly provides information about sustainability through her quarterly column, Green(er) Events 101, in Missouri Meetings and Events Magazine. Social media marketing, human resources and team motivation through humor and enthusiasm are also some of Laura’s strengths.
As a devoted animal rights activist, Laura supports the important work of local organizations such as: Humane Society of Missouri, APA of Missouri and the Endangered Wolf Center, as well as several national organizations, through event community education and social media communication.
Laura is a St. Louis native, recently moving to the beautiful DeMun neighborhood with her husband Denny, daughter Kelli, and two miniature dachshunds, Anni and Dotti. When she is not event planning, Laura enjoys traveling to destinations that are surrounded by our planet’s natural beauty for kayaking, hiking, and wildlife observance.
Green Dining Alliance Program Manager, LEED GA
Jenn DeRose began working for Saint Louis Earth Day in late Spring of 2015 as a staff member of Recycling On the Go, and subsequently joined the Green Dining Alliance in September of 2015. A current student of Sustainability at University College at Washington University, Jenn is an evangelist for the environment with a special interest in environmental justice.
The Green Dining Alliance is excited to welcome Jenn as the new Program Manager. With over ten years in the restaurant industry, holding positions that spanned both the front and back of the house, Jenn loves good food and the people who make good food possible at every stage of its production and disposal.
Strongly convicted, Jenn believes that stewardship of the environment can bring financial, emotional, and ecological benefits for all participating parties. Saint Louis is in a unique position to become a national leader in Sustainability, and she hopes to help make that dream a reality through her work with The Green Dining Alliance.
Jenn is a freelance writer for Feast and the Riverfront Times, a cycling enthusiast, an avid forager, a novice birdwatcher and a lover of Saint Louis, the city she has called home for nearly twenty years. A vegetarian who tends towards vegan-ism, Jenn cultivates a container garden made from re-purposed materials in order to grow the kale and collard greens that fill her daily burritos. Prior to joining the GDA she worked at Vintage Vinyl for seven years and volunteered as a DJ on KDHX for nearly two; for Jenn, local music is as important as local food, and she spends much of her free time attending concerts. She is fond of Henry Catsinger, her cat, Peach, her housemate’s dog, hiking, camping, most flavors of sparking water, and the veggie tortas on Cherokee Street.
Office & Programs Assistant
Kathy Dolson first became involved with St. Louis Earth Day through volunteering at the St. Louis Earth Day Festival in 2010. Staff remember being impressed by Kathy’s energy, dedication to completing tasks quickly and with a high degree of quality, and her fun-loving attitude. It was only natural that when the organization needed support in planning the 2013 Festival that we looked to Kathy.
A life-long environmentalist, Kathy brings her passions for conservation and common sense to the many diverse projects with which she assists in the office, and within her community as a Cub Scout Leader and in her church. During the 2014 Lent season, Kathy worked with her church to institute recycling and composting at their weekly fish frys. Although she was met with many challenges along the way, St. Ann’s Catholic Church became, as far as we know, the first to institute a zero waste strategy for fish frys! Over 1,248 lbs of recyclables and 125 lbs of organic waste was kept out of area landfills through intentional sourcing of service ware, volunteer education, and signage.
Hello! My name is Hannah Ceurvorst and I am from Moline, IL. I am currently a senior at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, working towards a major in Business Administration and a minor in Applied Communication Studies. In addition to attending SIUE, I work at a coffee shop in downtown Edwardsville called Sacred Grounds. This job has had a large impact on my life because it has taught me how easy it really is to live a more sustainable lifestyle with recycling, composting, and conserving. In my free time, I enjoy hiking, attending live concerts, traveling, and being outdoors as much as possible. As an individual that is dedicated to living a sustainable lifestyle, I am thrilled to be working with this organization as an Event Planning Intern for 2017’s St. Louis Earth Day Festival! I am looking forward to being an integral part of this event to help generate awareness and celebration of environmental sustainability.
Sponsorship Relations Intern
Maddy Bacon is a current student at St. Louis Community College Forest Park presently studying for her degree in Hospitality & Tourism with a focus on Event Planning. While she’s not at school she loves running, hiking, and playing disc golf. Maddy also holds a job at Villa Antonio Winery as the wedding coordinator. She loves meeting with new people and is highly excited to be a part of the SLED team in 2017 and learn all about sustainability practices. In her free time she enjoys drawing and listening to new and local music.
Festival Marketing Intern
Alyssa Almasalmeh is a second semester Junior at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. Her discipline is in Applied Communication Studies with an emphasis on Public Relations and a minor in Art and Design. Throughout her time in college, she has spent much of her time dedicated to her sorority, Delta Phi Epsilon, and has been honored to serve as an officer each year–currently Director of Finance.
Outside of school, she works as a bridal consultant at White Traditions Bridal House; fueling her passion for the wedding industry and her aspirations to break into the event planning business upon graduation. In her free time, she loves to travel, spend time with friends and family, and read a good book. She also has a kitten named Thor that is a handful and keeps her on her toes constantly! She is very excited to work with St. Louis Earth Day to promote sustainability in the community at the 2017 St. Louis Earth Day Festival.