Get Informed/Current Staff
STLF National Core
STLF is supported through the dedication of eight full-time Staff Members. See below to learn more about each staff member.
Click here for contact information for the following people.
IRENE FERNANDO, Co-Executive Director & Co-Founder
Director of Marketing & Human Resources
Irene is Californian at heart, originally from Carson, CA (Los Angeles Area). She graduated May 2007 with a BS Business degree in Marketing from the Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota. She is currently pursuing her Masters in Education at the University of Minnesota, in the Youth Development Leadership program. Irene also serves on the Board of Directors at the Charities Review Council. She is also actively involved as a sorority alumna of Alpha Gamma Delta.
GUFF VAN VOOREN, Co-Executive Director
Director of Operations & Finance
Guff was born and raised in Davenport, IA, one of the state's famed Quad Cities. She graduated from Iowa State (go Cyclones!) and has spent significant time in Summit County, Colorado. Guff's life purpose is connecting with and caring for people and our planet and co-founded the Friends of the Dillon Ranger District organization. Beyond her daily work of being awesome, Guff loves to be outdoors hiking, skiing, and golfing, and she also enjoys traveling, reading, yoga, and cooking for friends and family.
JOSH REIMNITZ - Co-Executive Director
Director of Development
Josh was Bismarck born, Bismarck bred, and when he's gone he'll be Bismarck dead. After graduating from North Dakota State University in 2008, Josh moved to Atlanta, GA (where the players play) and taught fourth grade through the Teach For America program. He wrapped up two successful years in the classroom, leading his students to over a 1.5 years ofacademic growth in a single school year. He enjoys playing basketball, frisbee golf, reading, and reigns as the lankiest member of the STLF team.
NICK LINDBERG - Co-Founder
Manager of Finance and Operations
After growing up in North Branch, MN, Nick attended the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis. He is a May 2007 graduate of the Carlson School, and has a BS Business degree with an emphasis on Finance and Accounting. Following his graduation, Nick spent a year and a half working for Ameriprise Financial, all the while volunteering one day per week for STLF. The organization is lucky to have him back in the office full-time since the beginning of the new year. During his spare time, you will most likely find Nick working on his car, racing, or giving yeah buddies!
NICK WIEBUSCH - Human Resources
Manager of Human Resources
Nick Wiebusch was born in Minneapolis but called North Dakota home for most of his life. He returned to the Land of 10,000 lakes for college and when he met STLF it was love at first sight...He graduated in 2010 and returned to STLF in 2012 to take on the role of Manager of Human Resources. When he's not base jumping with eagles, bodyboarding with orcas, or luging down the streets of San Francisco, he rocks out with puzzles, good books, and quiet nights with friends.
DANNY WALTER - Program Core
Manager of Leadership Camps
Manager of Middle School Programming
On a warm July afternoon, Danny was introduced to the world in Dayton, OH. 19 years later, his love of airplanes soared him to the University of North Dakota where he studied Air Traffic Control and Communication. While there, a friend introduced him to STLF and he's been hooked ever since. In his spare time, Danny enjoys spending time with his wife, Anastasia, traveling, playing music, home brewing and eating at one of the Twin Cities countless amazing restaraunts!
CAITLIN PLAZA - Program Core
Manager of High School Programming
Born and raised in Illinois, Caitlin grew up in the wonderful town of Lake in the Hills. Graduating from Illinois State University, Caitlin received her BA in Political Science while minoring in Sociology and Peace Studies and Conflict Resolution. Caitlin fell in love with STLF her freshman year after going on her first tour. Along with STLF she was greatly involved with Invisible Children at ISU and danced with Absolute Deviation Dance Troupe. She will watch any sport (especially Chicago teams!) and you can always get her to grabsome coffee with you.
Ellie Thorstad - Program Core
Manager of College Programming
Ellie grew up in Racine, WI, and is proud to be the lone Sconnie in the office. She recently graduated from the University of Minnesota - Twin Cities where she majored in Urban Studies with a Nonprofit focused Management minor. Ellie has been hooked on STLF since her fifth day in Minnesota and was an active volunteer all throughout college. In addition to STLF, Ellie's favorite things include live music, reading, politics, and going on adventures.
Josh Hansen - Spring Staff
Finance and Operations
Josh hails from Blaine Minnesota and is currently finishing up his last semester at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities working toward a physics major. STLF unexpectedly entered his life during his junior year of high school, and it has been changing him ever since. He has an undeniable love of learning, is passionate about education, and loves meeting new people and making new friends. Coffee and lunch invitations are always welcome.
Leah Martin - Spring Staff
Leah grew up in Duluth, Minnesota on the tip of Lake Superior. In 2009, she moved to the city and started college at the University of Minnesota. Her freshman year, Leah went on her first Pay it Forward Tour and after only one day it was clear STLF would be a huge part of her life. In the spring, Leah will graduate with a major in Youth Studies and a minor in Leadership. Besides dancing like an idiot and laughing at her own puns, you can be sure to find Leah wandering around the city and stumbling upon adventures.
My Story - Dan "Sparky" Knapp
Sparky shares his experience through multiple years of PIF'n