Strong Towns is a lean organization. Even we are amazed by how much we are able to accomplish with such a small staff. This is due, in part, to an active board and our amazing volunteers.

Yes, we are a lean organization, but we're a growing organization too. And in recent weeks our staff has expanded. We wanted to take a minute to introduce you to the new faces you'll be seeing on the site, meeting at events, talking to on the phone, or communicating with via Slack or email.

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Each year, Strong Towns coordinates a select number of two-day regional gatherings that immerse participants in the Strong Towns approach to building resilient, lovable and livable communities. Miriel Thomas Reneau, our Regional Gathering Coordinator, is the dynamic presence behind those gatherings. A Michigan native, she spent her twenties bouncing all over the country before putting down roots in Columbus, Ohio with her husband and young children. In addition to coordinating our regional events, Miriel is a PhD candidate in political science at Baylor University, where she focuses on American politics and public law. 

If you think a Strong Towns Regional Gathering might help catalyze the Strong Towns movement in your part of North America, definitely get in touch with Miriel at miriel@strongtowns.org.

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We also want to introduce Joleen (Jo) Quisberg. As the Strong Towns Office Assistant, Jo helps president Chuck Marohn and the diffuse Strong Towns team stay connected and get stuff done. She resides in the Brainerd Lakes Area of Minnesota with her husband and two daughters. Growing up in the suburbs of Minnesota, spending her twenties living in Minneapolis, and eventually planting her roots in a more rural area, Jo has always made community connection a priority and strongly believes in the power of the little things we can do to make our community a better place. She has had a lifelong passion for running, and early morning runs are her favorite way to start the day.

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Daniel Herriges will be familiar to regular readers of our site. He has been a prolific writer, even as he was serving as our Content Manager. We're excited to announce that Daniel is shifting into a new role as Senior Editor. As Senior Editor, Daniel will continue to help shape the direction of Strong Towns content, including major projects such as in-depth stories and issue campaigns. He will work to expand and diversify our roster of regular and guest contributors. And, of course, he will continue to write regularly for the site.

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With Daniel now serving as Senior Editor, we needed someone to step in as Content Manager. That brings us to John Pattison, our newest staff person. John has a background both in nonprofit development as well as in writing and editing. John helped raise more than $43 million over a sixteen-year grant writing career. He has also served as books editor, deputy editor, and managing editor for both print and online magazines. John is the author of two books, most recently the award-winning Slow Church (IVP, 2014), which takes inspiration from Slow Food and the other Slow movements to help faith communities reimagine how they are living life together in the neighborhood. His next book is set to be released in 2020. John also cohosts The Membership, a podcast about his favorite writer, Wendell Berry. John and his family live in Silverton, Oregon.

As Content Manager, John will help us continue to produce great content (we average 10-15 articles and three podcasts per week). He will write, edit, and copyedit for us. If you are interested in writing for Strong Towns, or you have a story you’d like us to cover, John is the one you would email. Get in touch at john@strongtowns.org.

We continue to be grateful for all our staff, our board, our contributors, our volunteers, and of course our members, who not only make our jobs possible but are doing this good work in their own communities.