Being Good Stewards
Good Steward Consulting is dedicated to the successful future of small town America and agricultural, as the backbone which supports feeding our world. We are passionate about renewable energy and other rural developments for environmental and economic reasons. Our founder spent the past nine years as a farm wife and mother living on the edge of a 120+ turbine wind farm. Although not a participating landowner in the project, she welcomed the development and the opportunities afforded to her township and neighbors. Wind turbines and solar panels are lifelines helping to secure the future of multi-generational farming operations and allowing for further income diversification during times of commodity price volatility. All while being the best energy option for America.
GRACE · GRIT · RESOLVE · ACCOUNTABLE · CREATIVE · ENERGETIC
Meet the Team
Mariah Lynne is a seasoned businesswoman, agriculture/clean energy enthusiast, and mother. She spent nine years as a farm wife on a corn and soybean farm west of Hartland, Minnesota with then her husband, Chris, and their two children (John Paul, 10 and Camellia, 7). She awoke every morning to the beauty of wind turbines on her horizon, delivered seed/parts/meals to Chris and his crew via wind farm access road every spring and fall, and she’s been known to invite curious community members into their fields to experience the majesty of wind turbines. You can learn more about her passion for renewables by reviewing her support letter for the Freeborn Wind Farm here.
Before embarking on her journey as The Good Steward, she co-founded The Marketing Plant (TMP). TMP became a blossoming entity with clients in 8 states by the end of year one and 18 states by the end of year three. Prior to launching TMP, Mariah served as Vice President of Client Services for Intellicents (formerly Alliance Benefit Group Financial Services, Corp.) where she cut her teeth in the financial services industry (earning her Series 7 license), management world, and executive leadership circle. Mariah managed a team of 36 employees for the multi-million-dollar family-owned company which held over $3 billion in assets under management. Good Steward Consulting was named the 2017 Small Business of the Year by the Albert Lea – Freeborn County Chamber of Commerce. Mariah has been featured in Minnesota Business Magazine (January, 2016) as one of the state's most creative and ambitious female leaders. Check out the article here.
VP of Sales & Marketing
Chris Fjermestad is joining our team as VP of Sales & Marketing. Chris grew up just outside of Albert Lea, MN, in rural Freeborn county. Farming, a rural setting, and the outdoors have always been a large part of his life. Chris currently still lives in rural Freeborn county with his family. Top interests are time with family, the outdoors, hunting, and fishing.
Chris is coming to GSC with 15 years of small business ownership in two Vegetation management companies. Both of those companies were sold successfully, and he began his tenure as a regional manager for the upper Midwest with an infrastructure maintenance company. He has spent the last 3 years consulting for various companies and keeping tabs on GSC and its tremendous growth! In early 2021 the stage was set to join GSC.
“I am blessed to join such an amazing team and company! I am also very proud to be working in an environmentally responsible industry and making the future cleaner and greener for my kids and grandkids!”
When your development team is considering a project, please reach out to Chris to discuss strategy.
Laura grew up on a dairy farm in Hayward, MN. In her youth, she spent time loving the outdoors and
the resources around her family farm. She graduated from the University of MN with a B.A. in
Communications. She is an avid volunteer and community advocate. She is a positive presence for the local lake restoration efforts and lends her passion for environmental stewardship awareness. She served as the President of the Albert Lea Lakes Foundation for 10+ years. The effort resulted in a community collaboration that brought in $30M+ for area water resources.
Laura’s career background involves wholesale distribution, marketing, recruiting, and business management. She is energized by the opportunity to do good for the benefit of an entire community.
Laura is married to Colby who spent his youth in the great Driftless Area of northeast Iowa. Together, they are raising two sons, Cooper and Jax, to respect and harness all that nature has to offer.
Her hobbies include being a mother, golf night, jewelry design, home organization, and exploring unique destinations. Laura comes to Good Steward Consulting as a Project Manager. She is focused on
seeing projects develop and thrive, in turn, leaving a lasting legacy for their home communities. She
believes in harvesting renewable energy and renewing rural farming communities.
Seth Light was born and raised in Albert Lea, MN, and has always been innovating and thinking about the next big thing. He graduated with a degree in marketing communications from the University of Wisconsin - River Falls, after developing his creativity as an on-field promotions intern with the St.Paul Saints. Seth returned home after college to work for a local marketing firm, where he first met Mariah Lynne.
Seth began using his digital marketing skills to create and produce real-world marketing efforts. He developed and expanded new skills that led him to start his own business, Digital Lighthouse. With the thrill of running his own business, he was, once again, approached by Mariah to work for Good Steward Consulting. With GSC leading the charge for a local renewable energy project, Seth hopped on board to help lead the charge for social media and other digital marketing efforts. He continuously strives to improve his skills and bring fresh ideas to any company or industry for which he works.
Abby Flatness is an Assistant Project Manager for Good Steward Consulting. She and her husband, Gage, live on the northern edge of the Bent Tree Wind Farm near Hartland, MN with their cat (Luna) and German Shepard (Ava). Abby knew she wanted to be a part of the Ag world after several years of participation in the local 4-H club and FFA. As such, she attended the University of Wisconsin – River Falls and graduated with a B.S. in Agriculture Studies. Abby enjoys meeting and chatting with new people and helping in any way she can. In her spare time, she cherishes nights around the campfire with family and friends, traveling to the mountains with her mom (Julie), and helping her Dad (Dennis) with his auction business. She hopes to one day raise a family near the Hartland area… yes, raise healthy children right near a wind farm! Fun fact: Abby has an identical twin sister, Claire.
Frank is our Paris Solar project representative in Kenosha County Wisconsin. He joined the Good Steward Consulting team in April of 2019. Frank, born and raised in Chicago, Illinois has lived in Southeast Wisconsin for the last 35 years and brings with him knowledge of the area, creativity, and business experience. Having resided in both urban and rural areas.
Frank brings with over 25 years of experience in project management, technology, and customer service. This experience along with his involvement in the community makes him a great fit for the Paris Solar project. He is also currently active as a small business owner running both a website development business and a travel agency.
Frank has been involved in many aspects of the communities he has lived in. Some of his community involvement includes, elected to a village board member position in the Village of Union Grove, coaching youth soccer, a board member of the local youth baseball association, a volunteer firefighter/EMT as well as roles in the local chamber of commerce where he has held the offices of President and Vice President.
In his free time, he enjoys many activities such as local festivals, concerts, camping, cruise vacations, watching the Green Bay Packers, and spending time with his 7 grandchildren. You may have even seen him on a few episodes of Chicago Fire where he worked as an extra portraying a Firefighter.
Randy joins us as the local representative working on the Eldorado Solar Project in southern Illinois. He has lived on the family farm for the last 60 years and has held many jobs during that time. For his last 23 years and before retirement, he worked for the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) in Saline County as a highway maintainer. Prior to IDOT, he worked at Illinois Youth Center (IYC) as a Youth Supervisor in Harrisburg, Illinois.
While continuing to work on the family farm, Randy also spent several years in the coal mining construction field. Growing up, Randy went to Shawneetown schools and attended S.I.C College. He has been an active member with the local FFA Alumni chapter being one of its founders and served as president for 3 years. The chapter hosts an Annual Fish Fry that serves around 1,400 meals and raises money to help deserving students with scholarships each year. He is an avid gardener and enjoys donating vegetables to many in the local community. Randy was the first in Gallatin County to install solar at his home and enjoys the fruits of residential green power on his property. He is looking forward to helping bring solar to Saline County.
Stacey Kincaid joins Good Steward Consulting as the local representative for the Darien Solar Project. She was born, raised, and lives in rural Wisconsin and is proud of the deep tradition of farming in her family. She feels it was truly a blessing to grow up "a farm girl,” where daily chores helped shape her work ethic. She fondly remembers playing in the haymow, chasing kittens, showing cattle at the fair, participating in 4-H, selling sweet corn, and painting fences.
She graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Stout in 2001 with a BS in Merchandising Business Management. Stacey worked in product development, marketing, retail leadership, human resources, and customer relations for several large organizations. For 11 years, she focused her energy at home raising three young boys. She lives on a 3rd generation family vegetable farm in Palmyra with her husband, Corey. Stacey has worked on many successful community projects and events while volunteering her time with the School PTO, Waterski Team, and Cub Scouts.
Stacey enjoys spending time outdoors with her family, fitness endeavors, running marathons, and cooking. This good steward plans to join her keen perspective of being raised in a farming family with the forthcoming local opportunities for renewable energy development. Stacey feels that traditional farming, in tandem with, renewable energy possibilities hold a bright future for generations of farming families in Wisconsin.
Tracy has spent her career in the customer service industry, starting back in high school. It has always been her pleasure to work with people, both in person and over the phone. Her first job was as a Claims Adjuster for American Family Insurance, and then moved to the agency side of insurance: sales and handling customer calls. She has been married to her husband (Mark) for 21 years and they have been blessed with two children (Ellie and Luke).
Tracy was the “CEO” of the Fillback Family for many of those years, sharing experiences with her kids, volunteering in their classrooms, and working with the Parent/Teacher Club. She maintained her insurance accreditations through the years and worked part-time for an agency. The opportunity to work with the Badger Hollow Solar Farm came along when Tracy was looking for a way to reengage with the public. As the local representative, she is able to use her people skills to make contacts, answer questions, and present information about this exciting new energy source for Wisconsin. Other than time with her family, this is her sunny place!
Interested in becoming a part of the team? Contact us below about new opportunities today!
VP of Finance
Jenny joins the GSC team as the Vice President of Finance! She began working with GSC as a subcontractor in 2018 and has been integral to the team ever since! Prior to her new position, she worked in the infrastructure maintenance industry for the past fifteen years with a focus on vegetation management in the Midwest.
Jenny is originally from Albert Lea, MN where she continues to live with her husband and two daughters. She attended college at Riverland Community College & Rochester Community & Technical College. She loves to spend time at home with my family or working on home renovations with my husband. Richard from Tommy Boy is my missing twin.
VP of Operations
RJ Welch originally from Fremont, Ohio population 15,900 located in NW Ohio. Graduated high school from Bettsville, Ohio (Pop 660) with a class of 18. Currently he resides in Gahanna, Ohio with his wife of 12 years and 4 children.
RJ come to GSC with 15+ years of Business and Operations Management, most recently with an infrastructure maintenance company. In this role he covered OH, MI, IN, KY, IL, and WV primarily, and assisted across the U.S. and Canada. Throughout his career, RJ has worked with many State Department of Transportations in contractual agreements, Permitting, Davis Bacon compliances, Disadvantage Business Enterprise compliance, and many other state and city contractual functionalities.
In his tenure RJ has also worked with an array of railroads, and many other private entities and has a vast knowledge of Vegetation Management/ best management practices, Storm Water, Wetland Management, Highway Asset Maintenance, Rest Area Management, Aquatic Vegetation Management, and many others.
RJ has been a part of or continues to be a part of continued education for vegetation management and/or preventative maintenance for Ohio State University, Ohio Department of Agriculture, National Roadside Vegetation Management Association (VMAK), West Virginia Department of Highways (WVDOH), Ohio Stormwater Association, American Public Works Association (APWA), Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT), and the Transportation Research Board of the National Academies (TRB).
RJ enjoys spending time with his friends and family, hiking, fishing, and Ohio State Sports. “I love people with strong values, great work ethic and passion in whatever they do. I admire people who are just Good People.”
I believe my passion for a sustainable future, family values, agricultural background, work experiences, vast network in the mid-west, understanding of business acumen, and understanding of rural communities will make me a great fit to Good Steward Consulting and all their partners”.
Emily was born and raised in rural Hartland, MN, on the family farm. Emily’s parents are Randy and Carol Light, who currently reside on the farm. She has one sister, Hannah, a brother-in-law, Bennett, and twin nephews, Leighton and Beckett. Many of her early memories involved playing with her German Shepherds, raising her 4-H show pigs, bailing hay, and running meals to dad in the field. She was active in the Hartland 4-H Club, where her passion for agriculture grew; she loved being a leader and channeling her creativity throughout her 13-year involvement with the program. Emily graduated from South Dakota State University in December of 2015, with a B.S. in Agriculture Communications - she will always be a proud Jackrabbit Alumni!
Emily has been with Good Steward Consulting since February of 2018, getting her start as an Assistant Project Manager. Her favorite part of this job involves making new contacts and meeting people in various communities. She has made some great connections and feels that the Good Steward brand is growing and developing a positive name within the community.
Emily resides in Wells, MN, with her fiancé, Taylor; a local beef and grain farmer, business owner, and the head high school basketball coach at the United South Central Public School. They have a Border Collie/Blue Healer mix puppy, Cash, who lives on Taylor’s family farm. She stays busy with a number of social and volunteer activities, and enjoys being part of the Wells Area Jaycees and giving back to the community. Emily also makes time to visit family in Northern Minnesota, which is her favorite place to travel - especially in the summer. Her future goals include raising a family in rural Minnesota and growing professionally with Good Steward Consulting.
Mark Raney is an experienced graphic designer with a truly amazing artistic talent. He has nearly 20 years of experience and has worked in print shops, for ad agencies, in-house art departments, and he even once owned a retail store with his wife. Mark and his family love the outdoors and nature. Mark was born with a passion for art and has always loved to draw. He knew his future as a graphic designer was set in stone when his fourth grade art teacher told him he was going to be a commercial artist when he grew up... undoubtedly, he was right. With a creative eye and experienced graphic touch, Mark delivers excellence in all forms of design.
Shane Glinski was born and raised in Wisconsin Rapids, Wi. After 18 years in Central Wisconsin, he decided to venture out into the world, and spent a semester at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls studying Field Biology and Environmental Studies. After a semester away from home, Shane realized that Central Wisconsin was where he was supposed to be, so he transferred to the University of Wisconsin- Stevens Point. He recently graduated from UWSP with a B.S. in Communications: Professional Communications and started as an Assistant Project Manager for Good Steward Consulting.
Shane first got started with Good Steward Consulting as a Junior in college, where he was hired as a Public Relations intern for the Wood County Solar Project. He had the opportunity to work on a project that was local to him, while gaining experience and utilizing skills in his professional field. After working as an intern for several months, Shane fell in love with the work, vision, and team of GSC, and is now extremely thankful to be a part of the team full-time.
In his free time, he enjoys hunting with his family in the fall, downhill skiing in the winter, hanging out with his little brother from the Big Brothers Big Sisters Foundation, enjoying time with his nephew, and spending quality time with his fiancé. He also enjoys traveling, which he looks forward to doing with his fiancé after they are married in June. Fun fact: Shane has been to 32 states, and although his fiancé has traveled to only a few states, she has topped the scale by traveling to the Middle East and Australia.
Frank joins us from Sikeston, Missouri, and is a lifelong resident of Scott county. He grew up in Blodgett, where his family has a farm that has been in the family for over 120 years. While growing up he worked on the farm with his father, raising wheat, rye, corn, soybeans, cotton, and milo, as well as having a cow/calf operation.
After high school, Frank got his BS in business administration and in economics from Regis College in Denver. He then attended Saint Louis University School of Law where Frank received my Juris Doctor, before returning home. Frank has been engaged in the practice of law in Sikeston for thirty-five years and has served as a municipal division judge for multiple communities in the area.
Frank has been involved with various community civic organizations, as well as youth sports, and continues to be involved with the family farm. His wife, Missy, is the director of the Three Rivers College Sikeston location. They like to spend their free time together, outside in their yard, walking, and going to visit their son and daughter and four grandchildren.
"This solar farm is a good, natural fit for this agricultural area, and will bring new opportunities and interests for local residents." - Frank
Rick comes to Good Steward Consulting as a local representative located in Gibson County, Indiana. He has been in Gibson County since 1984 and understands the demographics of the area. Rick is a highly regarded individual within the community, and he serves as a Fire Captain at the Evansville Vanderburgh Airport Authority and President of Directors of the Pike Gibson Water, Inc.
Rick and his wife, who is a principal at a local school, are a fifth-generation resident of Gibson County. Rick recognizes the importance of teaching the public about economic growth and how infrastructure, such as a utility-scale solar farm, would benefit the community and county.
Rick is an outstanding representative because of his experience, understanding of the community, local ties, and the voluntary positions he holds and has held.
Stacy was born and raised in Posey County. She moved for a few years to live in the big city of Evansville, but shortly after she and her husband, Mike, were married, they moved back to Posey County. They both grew up there and had families that had lived in Posey County for many generations so it was important for them to return after they married. They jumped right into their return to Posey County by starting construction on their home just days after their wedding.
Stacy grew up on a farm that her family rented. Her dad farmed the ground and her family lived in the home on the farm. Her grandma’s farm was just down the road. Stacy loved spending time at her grandma’s and credits her with a lot of the things that Stacy knows how to do today. This is the same farm that her grandpa ran his blacksmith shop out of and the same farm that her Dad, Aunt, and Uncle still own today.
Stacy graduated from North Posey High School and is the oldest of six children, headed right into the workforce after graduation. Her first job as an insurance clerk and her other work history includes working with title insurance and real estate closings. She holds her title insurance and real estate licenses as well as being a Notary Public.
Stacy and her husband are both members of E’ville Iron Street Rods, host of the Frog Follies. The Frog Follies is one of the largest street rod events held in the United States. As a member of E’ville Iron, Stacy has held many offices, including three terms as its Rod Run Chairman (the person in charge of coordinating the event), and is currently serving as President.
Stacy’s other interests include spending time with her family and friends. She also loves working in her gardens, cooking, and photography.
Stacy is excited about the opportunity to grow her knowledge about renewable energy and is anxious to see the part that it plays in our future.
Tracy is our Local Representative for the Hayward Solar Project in Freeborn County, Minnesota. He is a resident of Hayward Township, and his family has pioneer roots in the Township (the Skaar family settled there after leaving Norway several generations ago). Tracy raises corn, soybeans, hay, oats, and cattle alongside his wife, Sue, and one of his sons, Mic. With strong agricultural passion within the family, Tracy’s other children also work/study in ag-related fields. His son Jay is a Forestry Technician in Northeastern Kansas and his daughter Shayna is an Animal Science major at the University of Wyoming.
Before engaging in his own family farm operation, Tracy studied Diversified Ag Production at the University of MN Technical College in Waseca, MN. He then pursued Dairy Science at South Dakota State University. Later in life, he diversified his education by enrolling in the Wind Turbine Technician/Solar Installer program at Riverland Community College in Southern Minnesota. It was during this time that he grew to understand and appreciate renewable energy production.
Tracy serves on the Hayward Fire Department as a Firefighter and Emergency Medical Responder. He invests time in serving as the Dairy Superintendent for the Freeborn County Fair every summer and serves on the Hayward Coop Elevator Board of Directors. Recently, Tracy became a Ski Patroller at Mount Kato, a ski resort in Mankato, MN. He is committed to keeping the community safe and diversified- literally and economically.