- Michael Stein - Business Development & Operations
- Ray Zambroski - Business Development & Operations
- Kate Donnelley - Events & Administration
- Tel Jensen - Field Trainer & Curriculum Manager
Michael Stein, Business Development & Operations
For the last 8 years, Michael's accomplishments include the leadership and growth of two privately held commercial real estate firms, Randall Realty and Weidner Apartment Homes. There, he worked with value-added commercial real estate investors and played a crucial role in repositioning several multifamily developments into profitable and valuable community additions in 3 states. Michael's experience includes the direction and oversight of over 4,750 apartment homes ($670+ million), and the deployment of several successfully endorsed company programs designed to train, retain and develop the best talent the market has to offer in affordable housing.
In 2007, Michael started his own company. He eventually co-developed a patent-pending, automated valuation model for commercial real estate, and became committed to making "Green Building" and "Green Conscious" thinking our new standard moving forward. But the recession in 2008 marked a major shift for Michael in his business and personal life. He hired a business strategist and a leadership coach to assist him, and found well more than he bargained for. His coach turned out to be a theologian, a psychoanalyst, a family therapist, a community developer, an organizational consultant and a spiritual teacher. His engagement and emphasis in consciousness studies, with practical focus of transforming organizations and institutions, resulted in Michael's awakening to true wealth and abundance in the world. Michael soon stepped away from his business of three years and discovered great fulfillment in building community and being in service to others. He learned and now teaches that our work in and for the world, when infused consciously with our spiritual values, becomes deeply transformative. This has become Michael's founding principal in life, and in community.
Ray Zambroski, Business Development & Operations
Kate Donnelly, Events & Administration
Kate Donnelly grew up in an agricultural community in the coastal foothills of Southern California where orange trees and sage brush far outnumbered sidewalks and streetlights. The lush Pacific Northwest, and the sublime feeling of living in a big city in the woods, drew her to Seattle and the University of Washington in 1993. Kate attended the UW Foster School of Business, studying small business entrepreneurship, where she was often given the badge of "tree hugger" by her classmates.
Upon graduating in 1997 with a BA in Business Administration, she was hired by an aggressive home accessories wholesale agency to grow the business in all aspects of sales and operations, focusing on providing design-oriented, environmentally-conscious products to independent retailers in the Pacific Northwest. The company was one of the first in its industry to promote the concept of a sustainable lifestyle as an important factor in the retail marketplace. Kate advanced to Managing Director and Key Account Manager, working with hundreds of locally-owned manufacturers and retailers on the forefront of eco-friendly gifts and products for the home.
In 2009, Kate retired from the frenetic wholesale industry to raise her family. As a creative outlet and stream of income, she founded Lifeboat Business Services, an organization that connects women in recovery with micro-businesses in need of marketing and administrative assistance. At this time, she also helped spark the idea for Groundbreakers, and is thrilled to find a way back to her agricultural roots while simultaneously making a positive contribution to the community. Today she's excited and inspired by Groundbreakers growth and potential to make a difference.
Tel Jensen, Field Trainer & Curriculum Manager
Tel has worked for Fall City Farms in the Snoqualmie Valley since 2001, growing produce for local restaurants and community members. He has been working with GroundBreakers since since early 2010, providing consultation and guidance on the farming side of the project. Tel has a special interest in permaculture, particularly unusual and delicious fruits and vegetables. He grows these perennial crops on four acres, which have been in his family for five generations, on the Lewis River in Southwest Washington. In Summer 2010, Tel and his partner moved onto a patch of land also on the Lewis River, where he has been building systems and gardens using permacultural methods. He continues to make regular visits up north to work with the GroundBreakers team. Tel also plays the accordion for his four goats.