Jason Schaefer served as Strong Towns' Member Support Specialist from 2015-2016. Jason has always had a strong interest in cities and has lived in some great ones, including Almuñécar, Spain; Missoula, MT; Boston, MA; Washington, DC; Fargo, ND; and, of course, Grand Forks, ND. Last year, he was awarded a McCloy Fellowship to study urban sustainability initiatives while visiting Amsterdam and seven cities across Germany.
He is very involved in urbanism efforts in his hometown of Grand Forks, ND where he sits on the boards of the Downtown Development Association and the US Green Building Council - North Dakota chapter. He was a featured speaker at TEDx Grand Forks where he shared his vision for a transit and development corridor.
Charles Marohn is the Founder and President of Strong Towns. He's a Professional Engineer (PE) licensed in the State of Minnesota and a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP). Marohn has a bachelor's degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Minnesota's Institute of Technology and a Master of Urban and Regional Planning degree from the University of Minnesota's Humphrey Institute.
Marohn is the lead author of Thoughts on Building Strong Towns — Volume 1, Volume 2 and Volume 3 — as well as the author of A World Class Transportation System. He hosts the Strong Towns Podcast and is a primary writer for Strong Towns’ web content. He has presented Strong Towns concepts in hundreds of cities and towns across North America and in 2017 was named one of the 10 Most Influential Urbanists of all time by Planetizen.
Rachel Quednau serves as Communications Director for Strong Towns and has been a regular contributor and podcast host for Strong Towns since 2015. Previously, she worked for several organizations fighting to end homelessness at the federal and local levels. Rachel is a Midwesterner currently living in Milwaukee, WI with her husband, Jack, but draws from her experiences living in New York City, Washington, DC, Walla Walla, WA and Minneapolis, MN to help her build better places wherever she is. Rachel has a B.A. in Religion from Whitman College. One of her favorite ways to get to know a new city is by going for a run in it. You can find her musings on Twitter @rquednau.
Interested in writing for Strong Towns or contacting us with a press inquiry? Please email Rachel.
Kea Wilson serves as Director of Community Engagement for Strong Towns. She's based in the great city of St. Louis, Missouri, but she's lived everywhere from Santa Fe, New Mexico to coastal Maryland to far northern Michigan. She became passionate about the question of what it means to build a better world when she was in college, where she volunteered at a co-op bike collective and studied (most of) the great works of western civilization, roughly in chronological order. She's worked in community outreach and development for six years, most recently at a small independent bookstore where she coordinated a not-so-small author events series. She's also an avid (if somewhat slow) cyclist, an armchair economics nerd, and a novelist.
Have a question about joining the Strong Towns movement or how to get involved in our work? Please email Kea.
Andrew Price has been a regular contributor to Strong Towns since 2013 and is a founding member of the organization. Andrew is a software developer by day and an urbanist by night. He is passionate about traditional urbanism – he believes in fine-grained, highly walkable places that are built for people. He grew up in Australia and now lives in the United States with his wife. Andrew is a regular contributor on Strong Towns and runs his own blog, andrewalexanderprice.com. You can find many of his photographs throughout the Strong Towns website. Andrew’s motivation to be involved in Strong Towns and urbanism is to create a great place that he and his wife, and one day their children and their future generations will want to call home.
Daniel Herriges has been a regular contributor to Strong Towns since 2015 and is a founding member of the organization. Daniel has a Masters in Urban and Regional Planning from the University of Minnesota. His obsession with maps began before he could read. His budding environmentalism can be traced back to age 4, when he yelled at his parents for stepping on weeds growing in sidewalk cracks. His love of great urban design and human-scaled, livable places has also been lifelong. Daniel has a B.A. from Stanford University in Human Biology with a concentration in Conservation and Sustainable Development. After college, he worked as an environmental activist for several years, in support of indigenous people's rights and conservation in the Amazon rainforest. He can often be found hiking or cycling. Daniel is from St. Paul, Minnesota.
Sarah Kobos has been a regular contributor for Strong Towns since 2016. She is an urban design nerd and community activist from Tulsa, OK. Her superpower is the ability to transform almost any topic into a conversation about zoning. Whenever possible, she explores other cities and writes about urban design and land use issues at AccidentalUrbanist.com.
Johnny Sanphillippo has been a regular contributor for Strong Towns since 2014. He is an amateur architecture buff with a passionate interest in where and how we all live and occupy the landscape, from small rural towns to skyscrapers and everything in between. He travels often, conducts interviews with people of interest, and gathers photos and video of places worth talking about (which he often shares on Strong Towns). Johnny writes for Strong Towns, and his blog, Granola Shotgun.
Nolan Gray has been a regular contributor for Strong Towns since 2016. He serves as Policy Director at The Center for Market Urbanism and is currently working on his Masters in City and Regional Planning at Rutgers University.
Alexander Dukes has been a regular contributor for Strong Towns since 2016, and works as a Community Planner for the US Air Force at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst in New Jersey. He is a graduate of Tuskegee University and Auburn University, with a Bachelor’s in Political Science and a Master’s in Community Planning, respectively. With this background, Alexander focuses his planning work on both public policy and the design of the physical realm for both military and civilian applications. Alexander is principally concerned with building sustainable urban environments and neighborhoods that provide all citizens with access to meaningful employment, civic resources, and beautiful places.
Spencer Gardner has been writing for Strong Towns since 2016. He is a transportation planner based in Madison, WI, who spends his spare time chasing his children, riding bikes, doing hobbyist computer programming, and very occasionally writing about urban issues. You can read his thoughts about transportation at http://roadsarelike.tumblr.com.
Sara Joy Proppe has been a regular contributor for Strong Towns since 2016. She works by day as a Project Manager in real estate development in the Twin Cities where she oversees a variety of mixed-use and multifamily historic and urban infill projects. In her free time, she is developing Proximity Project to educate and activate churches to be stewards of the built environment. She loves to write and speak on the connections between theology and our design and use of physical space.
Matthias Leyrer has been a regular contributor to Strong Towns since 2014. He is an aspiring developer and advocate. A designer by trade, he looks to fill the mundanity of the work week by writing about urban planning, land use and transportation at his blog, keycity.co. He is inspired by the idea that every city deserves the chance to be beautiful and that we can build cities and towns worth passing on to the next generation. In addition to writing for his blog, Matthias assists Strong Towns with graphic design, including the creation of our Strong Towns memes.
Nathaniel Hood has been a regular contributor for Strong Towns since 2011 and was the first person to ever donate money to Strong Towns. He is a founding member of Streets.MN and lives in St. Paul. Nate can be found online at Thoughts on the Urban Environment and Streets.MN. Nate also runs a weekly newsletter that includes two short, smart, witty paragraphs, and one local Twin Cities recommendation. You can sign up here.
Gracen Johnson has been a regular contributor for Strong Towns since 2014 and is a founding member of the organization. She calls her work, "Projects for Places we Love." She mostly helps individuals and organizations with strategy, research, communications, and outreach. Despite finishing her MPhil in Planning, Growth, and Regeneration in 2013, she has never stopped studying the city. Gracen thinks of her day-to-day as action research, diving into the question of how Strong Citizenship can transform a place. She lives with her husband and coonhound in Kitchener, Canada. In her column, Field Notes, you'll get snapshots of life as a friendly neighbour and community organizer. Gracen has also created (and continues to create) many of Strong Towns' short films.
Wondering why your local government is claiming it needs to widen a street to make it "safer"? Trying to make sense of the outdated zoning codes in your city? R. Moses has the answer. From the Strong Towns membership, we've assembled a panel of licensed engineers to answer your questions under the collective pseudonym R. Moses. In doing this, we hope to give licensed professionals a chance to speak to important issues without fear of reprisal from their peers or employers. Submit your engineering question anonymously and R. Moses will do his best to answer it in a future post.
Max Azzarello serves as Growth Manager for Strong Towns. He has studied anthropology, public policy and urban planning. His work is as diverse as his residence, from energy management in New York to electoral politics in Sacramento to social justice in Los Angeles. You can currently find him riding his prized Yamaha scooter up and down the beach in the San Diego, California. His passions include chess, creative writing, and Medieval Scandinavian poetry. He considers Microsoft Paint to be the most underrated software of all time.
Are you a Strong Towns member with a question about your membership status or payments? Please email Max.
The Incremental Development Alliance (IDA) is led by Jim Kumon, R. John Anderson and Monte Anderson. Long-time friends of Strong Towns, they occasionally write about their workshops and projects as small scale developers. The Incremental Development Alliance envisions a network of small developers who build flexible buildings that enhance their neighborhood context and a small business culture that creates new opportunities for merchants and entrepreneurs who can build wealth in their communities. IDA is at the nexus of real estate and economic development, splicing together a new strategy for economic prosperity at the most local level - our neighborhoods.
Michelle Erfurt serves as Strong Towns' Pathfinder. Guided by a passion for helping people, Michelle navigates people through the process of bringing a Strong Towns event to their area. Her first career is in music therapy. She spent her clinical years working to decrease pain, improve coping, and enhance interpersonal relationships of hospice and hospitalized patients. Michelle became interested in the topic of city design, the influence of the built environment, and planners after marrying into the field. Her husband, Ed Erfurt, is Assistant City Manager in Ranson, WV and a long-time friend and member of Strong Towns.
Would you like to bring Strong Towns staff to your town for a speaking engagement? Please email Michelle.
Bo Wright serves as Development Director for Strong Towns. Previously, he was a research analyst at Calvin Edwards & Company, where he provided consulting services to support the giving decisions of major donors. Prior to that he was a research fellow at the Georgia Center for Opportunity, a state-based public policy think-tank dedicated to increasing opportunity and improving the quality of life for all Georgians. In 2013, Bo was a fellow at the John Jay Institute.
Are you interested in strategically supporting the Strong Towns mission? Get in touch with Bo.