Welcoming Janna

We are delighted to welcome Janna Walters-Gidseg as the new Conference Center Coordinator at Woolman Hill!

Janna (pronounced Yah-na) brings extensive experience in non-profit management, operations, development and strategy, as well as a broad range of experience in such areas as farming, maintenance, landscaping, inn-keeping and cooking. A reference spoke of Janna as one of the smartest people she has ever met, a passionate, compassionate person able to think her way out of any box.

During the application process, Janna described her understanding of God as creating space for people to connect about things that matter. She lifted up the overlap between Woolman Hill’s core purpose and her own strong pull toward social justice and community building throughout her life; she also resonated deeply with the guiding principles in the board’s recently approved strategic plan.

Janna has been yearning to bring her whole self to a professional role, integrating administrative and physical, inward and outward, creative and technical, individual and collaborative. She has an unusually eclectic array of work history and life experiences. When asked what led her to apply for the position, she replied that she has had the sense that this particular role is what all the work of the past decade has been preparing her for.

Janna participated in Quaker youth programs at Powell House (New York Yearly Meeting) growing up, and graduated from Earlham College. She also brings many ties to the local community – including through music, contra-dancing, and social activism. She lives and homesteads with her partner in nearby Greenfield, a short commute away from the hill.

We were blessed to have a very strong candidate pool with several excellent options. Many thanks go to Mary Link (who served as interim Administrative Assistant) for allowing Woolman Hill to take the time we needed to find the right fit for the next phase of this organization. And a tremendous thanks to Steve Howes, who served as Conference Center Coordinator for twelve years; in February he and his partner Jensey moved north to NH for semi-retirement and new adventures. We’re delighted that they are still close enough to visit from time to time!

Janna officially began her role on August 1st and has already been a wonderful asset. We are excited to integrate Janna into the Woolman Hill community.

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