People & Culture at the UEC!

Written by Urban Ecology Center
    Tuesday, 14 February 2023
People & Culture at the UEC!

Today we are excited to introduce you to the Urban Ecology Center’s newly-named People & Culture team!  This team leads the organization’s work on human resources, internal communications, EDJ (Equity, Dignity, and Justice), Green Career Pathways, and other initiatives related to employee engagement and organizational culture.

So, why People & Culture? From a functional perspective, the perception of traditional HR is that it manages policies, compliance, benefits, compensation, and similar work. While HR is one of the functions of our team, it doesn’t define our team. A People & Culture approach at the UEC focuses on putting the employee first by humanizing systems and continuously improving employee engagement, development, and retention. We lead with the why, we put transparency at the forefront, and we delegate through empowerment.

People are at the heart of the Urban Ecology Center’s work - our mission is based on relationships with people and the world around us, so it only makes sense for our team to use a relationship-based approach as well. In a recent professional development session, we discussed how leadership isn’t a place or seat where someone sits in an organization, but rather something that lives within all of us and is displayed in how we utilize our power and influence. We have a phenomenally talented and dedicated network of staff and each person impacts our culture and organizational outcomes. This fact is what guides the way we do our work. 

We are so excited to (re)introduce ourselves to the UEC community and to get to do our work every day. 

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Who we are:

ElizaWoodsEliza Woods, Administration Coordinator, just re-joined the UEC team after graduating from the University of Minnesota-Duluth and completing a Farm n' Arts Apprenticeship at Diaspora Gardens on Madeline Island. She was a summer intern with the UEC in 2021.

Olivia Raasch webOlivia Raasch is our Green Career Pathways Manager. Olivia was first introduced to the UEC as a third grader on a field trip, returned to us as a high school Outdoor Leader in the summer of 2012, and has been on staff since 2018 in Community Programs, then as a Volunteer Coordinator, and now leading our Green Career Pathways efforts. 

ZacZac Schnick is our People & Culture Generalist, managing our day-to-day HR functions and serving as our EDJ Coordinator.  He came to the UEC as the HR Coordinator in 2021 after many years in operations with Colectivo.  

amandapanciera webAmanda Panciera is the Director of People & Culture, leading our team’s strategy and working to deepen meaningful connection and collaboration across the UEC. She has been with us for just over a year and has spent the majority of her career learning from and leading non-profit operations. 

Urban Ecology Center

Urban Ecology Center

At the Urban Ecology Center, we connect people in cities to nature and each other. Read more about us here!


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