Staff

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~ Jenn Battles ~ Executive Director

With a lifelong love for digging in the soil and over a dozen years of experience in non-profit management, Jenn has found a fitting home for her passion and skills with AERO. She has an Environmental Science degree, as well as a Master’s in Social Science, and has worked side by side with service providers, volunteers, business owners, veterans, and marginalized groups to strengthen communities, build relationships, and improve lives. She has extensive fundraising experience and an inexplicable fondness for organizational and planning documents, a trait she has exercised in her work as an event planner, environmental educator, farmer market manager, veteran advocate, project manager, and Executive Director. Jenn has traveled much of the United States and abroad, but has her roots under the Montana sky. She drinks tea, reads voraciously, and has been known to talk to her garden plants. Email Jenn at [email protected]

 

~Jackie Heinert ~ Local Food Systems Coordinator

Jackie grew up happily spending a lot of time traveling and outdoors with her family.  After attending the University of Montana and receiving a BS in Forest Resource Management, she began a career with the Forest Service.  She worked as a wildland firefighter, Forester, and environmental document writer on several western National Forests before taking time off to be with her kids. Jackie has been active in the Montana Master Gardening program, and volunteers for community gardens, farmers markets, and community events.  Before moving back to Montana, she was director of the Chamber of Commerce in Lovell, Wyoming.  Prior to that, she worked with a local group that received a grant and established the first community garden in Lincoln, Montana.  In her previous positions, she has gained a lot of experience collaborating with community, government, nonprofit, and school groups. Email Jackie at [email protected]

~ Kate McLean ~ Administrative Assistant

~ Kate McLean ~ Office Manager & Member Services Coordinator

Kate has a passion for food and reading. She studied Art at the University of Montana and traveled abroad to try her hand at teaching, but found she was much more interested in exploring the farmers markets. After that Kate spent several years exploring local agriculture in Pennsylvania, Vermont, and Maryland. Her accomplishments include baking for a local CSA, selling locally made goat cheese at the farmers market, baking for a farm-to-table restaurant, and managing a small farm-to-table inn and restaurant in Friendsville, Maryland. Now that she and her husband are back in Montana they have their own booth at the farmers’ market and run a bread CSA. Email Kate at [email protected]

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~ Kaleena Miller ~ Program Manager

Kaleena is a New York State native who grew up with a passion for spending as much time outdoors as possible. She has a bachelor of science degree in environmental economics from the University of Rhode Island and a master’s degree in environmental policy from Bard College in New York. She joined the Energy Corps Program as an AmeriCorps member in 2011, applying her knowledge of energy issues to Montana communities while gaining valuable skills in the energy field.  Kaleena transitioned to employment with the National Center for Appropriate Technology in the fall of 2012 as the Director of the Energy Corps program.  While there, she learned tremendous amount about clean energy and sustainability, which has only reinforced her drive to work towards community based solutions.  Email Kaleena at [email protected]

 

 

AERO Staff at the 2018 Montana Farmers Union’s Women’s Conference. Photo by She She Photography.