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A native of lower Michigan, I arrived in Baraboo in 1991 for a six-month job picking up crane poop.

My tenure at ICF ended up lasting about five years, and ever since, I've called Sauk County home.  I was the first education coordinator at the Aldo Leopold Foundation, and I've also worked as a stagehand at American Players Theatre and several venues in the Dells.  For many seasons, I've donned a yellow jump suit to conduct prescribed burns with EC3 or the navy polo of a summer softball coach.

More commonly now, you'll find me behind the counter at The Village Booksmith, which I puchased in 2017.  My staff and I pride ourselves on being a keystone business downtown, bringing visitors to our area and providing residents with a wide variety of reading options and free entertainment or cultural events.  Even before I became a business owner, I was an active volunteer with Downtown Baraboo, Inc., working to keep our city center vibrant, clean, and attractive.

I have a strong environmental ethic, and try to avoid using my car as much as possible.  You've likely seem me walking or biking through the district on my way to work or to a softball practice at Pierce Park.  Or maybe you've noticed the natural landscaping around my house to try and promote species diversity.

You've probably also seen me around town with Arty, Scout, or Zoey, the three service dogs that I've helped train.  This is something I do as a volunteer with the Wisconsin Academy for Graduate Service Dogs, based in Madison.  With the cooperation of everyone in our community, each of those dogs has gone on to help someone with a mobility challenge lead a fuller, more satisfying life

I've had the good fortune to work overseas in Thailand, China, and Cuba, and have also travelled extensively through Europe and Africa.  Nowadays, I'd rather bike than fly somewhere, and after each of my excursions, I mark my arrival home with a victory lap around the Square..

A few other details about me:

  • B.A. in Integrated Science from Northwestern University;
  • additional coursework at UW-Madison in statistics, economics, and conservation biology;
  • 29 year resident of Sauk County, including 16 in District 18;
  • 1995-96 BHS girls basketball "Fan of the Year";
  • 2002 graduate of  Grupo Fenix solar/cultural course in Nicaragua;
  • 2003 graduate of the Sauk County Institute of Leadership;
  • Former trustee of the Baraboo Public Library (2010 - 2015)
  • Regional steward for IATSE Local 251 (roughly 2006 - 2017);
  • Treasurer for the Baraboo Thunder summer girls softball program;
  • Assistant varsity coach for BHS fastpitch softball;
  • Helped write and develop Voices From Wisconsin: Echoes of Our Heritage;
  • Unoffical scribe for Downtown Baraboo, Inc.;
  • Plus, I still have all my wisdom teeth!
Designed, built, and paid for by Sensibly Sauk, Rob Nelson, treasurer.