Before joining the Foundation in December 2010 as manager of InCommons, Jake spent four years as the sustainability manager for Cagwin & Dorward, a top-25 landscape contracting firm in the United States. He led the transformation of that 400-employee, 55-year-old, $30 million company into an environmentally responsible pioneer in the land management industry.
His facilitation has lead people to discover how ecological systems can enrich their business, social and industrial infrastructures for a higher quality of life, increased sales and fast cycle time change. In order to connect complimentary businesses, community groups, politicians and sustainability organizations that were previously working separately, Jake co-created the Community Earth Farm. The University of Minnesota funded this nonprofit to build local agriculture into a sustainable economic system. Members shared resources for more robust marketing, learning, education, expertise, events and brand recognition. Both business and community gained more value from the collaborative system.
At a young age, Jake developed his abilities in regenerative practices at all levels of systems. He enjoyed the unique opportunity of growing up on a sustainable farm, which included a self-built solar home, a full root cellar each winter, creating a local economic system and community collaboration to meet the needs of many families. He further studied ecological and community economics while working with community-supported agriculture (CSA) programs and permaculture farmers in Minnesota, California, Washington and Colorado.