Board of Directors
We are very proud of our volunteer Board of Directors, some very special people who are devoting a significant amount of their time and resources each month to building Strong Towns.
Ryan Kelley, CNU-A
Kelley is currently a planner with the City of St. Louis Park, MN. He was previously a land use planner with Hennepin County developing policies to create more walkable and bikeable communities and interned in the planning department at the City of St. Paul. Prior to receiving his Masters in Urban and Regional Planning at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs he was the director of a Minneapolis AmeriCorps program and was a program officer for the Minnesota State Commission for AmeriCorps. He also served as a training consultant for the Institute on Community Inclusion at UMass Boston. Kelley is passionate about creating resilient communities and is active in the Congress for the New Urbanism, the American Planning Association, his local neighborhood board and the advancement of grassroots placemaking in Minneapolis. He received his BA in Philosophy from St. John's University, Minnesota and lives in southwest Minneapolis with his wife and two dogs.
Formerly with the University of Minnesota, Department of Natural Resources, Legislative Staff, Legislative Commission on Minnesota’s Resources, Widseth Smith Nolting and other positions throughout a long and distinguished career. Orning has recently served on the boards of Minnesota Waters and 1000 Friends of Minnesota.
Betsey Buckheit’s route to the Strong Towns board began in 2001-2005 when she chaired the Northfield, MN Planning Commission and began asking questions about how Northfield got to where it was, where it wanted to go in the future, and who would pay for it. This lead her to the Humphrey Public Policy Fellows program, the Blandin Community Leadership Program, and a term on the Northfield City Council. Betsey is also currently on the board of the Northfield Downtown Development Corporation, a group dedicated to sustaining a vibrant Downtown Northfield. Betsey blogs at www.betseybuckheit.com about development-related policy and local issues with large dollops of non-motorized transportation advocacy thrown in.
Betsey has a B.A. in Religion from Swarthmore College, an M.A. in Philosophy from Syracuse University, and a J.D. from the University of Minnesota Law School. She lives in a brightly colored house in Northfield with her husband and 2 large dogs. In 2013-2014, Betsey will be in Cambridge, England and Jyväskylä, Finland where she hopes to enjoy and investigate European cities to look for inspiration to bring back to Strong Towns.
Betsey is also an enthusiastic supporter of public transportation.