Elizabeth Gering Bio
Elizabeth Gering is the Donor Relations and Communications Director for the Howard Young Foundation.
Elizabeth graduated from the University of Wisconsin – Madison in 2009 with a degree in Rural Sociology with a focus in International Agriculture and Natural Resources in 2009. Following her degree, she stayed in Madison and worked as an AmeriCorps VISTA on a joint garden and nutrition education program for at-risk youth with UW-Extension and a local non-profit, Community GroundWorks. After her service, she continued to work for Community GroundWorks full time in the Education Program, and served as a consultant for the Wisconsin Department of Health Services to create community-based garden programs around the state. During this time, Elizabeth successfully raised over $100,000 through grants to fund the Education Program. She was able to bring her knowledge of youth agriculture programs to Nepal in 2011 to work with a local organization in schools around the Kathmandu Valley. While she was there, she helped to develop and implement a training program for the first cohort of Teach for Nepal Fellows - Nepali teachers that would be sent into rural schools to bring higher quality education to some of the most remote villages in Nepal.
Elizabeth returned to the United States in 2013 and began her Masters in Development Practice (MDP) at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis. The two-year degree focused on building bridges between the institutions that make up the development of a country - economics, education, public health, agriculture, policy, and leadership. This perspective allows development practitioners tackle big picture challenges with a goal of finding solutions that are both inclusive and sustainable. Her interest was primarily in non-profit management and program evaluation. As a part of her required international experience in the MDP program, she traveled to the Amazon Basin in Ecuador for three months to assist the Rainforest Alliance in creating a value chain analysis of a non-timber forest product called Copal. Non-timber forest products allow indigenous communities to create economic stability without destroying the rainforest, and Elizabeth’s report was published in an agriculture publication in South America to inspire other communities.
In her final capstone project, Elizabeth worked with Eagle Bluff Environmental Learning Center to create an Ecotourism readiness tool that communities in Southern Minnesota could use for self-assessment. The tool was published by the Journal of Extension so it could be distributed nationwide for extension agents to use.
After graduation, Elizabeth accepted a position as the Mission Advancement Director at Camp Jorn YMCA in Manitowish Waters. She created all marketing publications, established a social media presence, wrote press releases and online newsletters, and coordinated the annual Strong Kids fundraising campaign. She also coordinated all events and supported off-season rentals.
In 2017, Elizabeth was offered a position with the Town of Manitowish Waters as the Community Development Director. She worked on grant funded projects, established an economic development committee, and updated town communications to better serve the community.
Elizabeth has been the President of the Board of Directors for the Manitowish Waters Chamber of Commerce since 2015, and sits on the Board of Directors for the Vilas County Economic Development Corporation. In her free time she enjoys teaching yoga classes, cooking delicious food, and getting outside with her yellow lab Sunny.