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Greg Wright

Executive Director

Greg has been immersed in educational nonprofit leadership his entire career. Arriving at North House in its fourth year, he has relished its strong community, powerful mission, and steady evolution. Northerner travelers by nature, Greg, his wife Jeanne, and daughter Olya prefer life outdoors. Chickens, bees, garlic, birch firewood, a CSA and some fiddling keep them moving.

Jessa Frost

Program Director

An educator by training, Jessa is passionate about lifelong learning, folk school traditions, and the connections of craft, community and landscape. She and her husband Eric play music in a variety of local venues and spend as much time as possible in the garden, the kitchen or the canoe with their friendly furball of a dog, Otis.

Tom Morse

Development Director

Tom grew up in the Pacific Northwest with a passion for deep woods and deeper water. He enjoys working with donors to connect their passions with the vision and mission of the North House. Tom, his wife Lynnea, and daughter Runa enjoy family time outdoors - whether its hiking, canoeing, gardening or just a short walk with their dog, Daphne.

Rachel Andrus

Front Office & Administrative Assistant

A lifelong forest dweller, Rachel grew up in Illinois, bounced around the country teaching environmental education, and landed on Minnesota’s north shore in 2010. She lives on a yurt- and garden-studded homestead in the big woods with her husband and two wee children. She is inspired by the drastic changes each new season brings to the northland, and loves to knit, write, and wander through the woods.

Ben Byron

Program Assistant

With a winding background involving traveling minstrel troupes, inner-city wood shops, international market data, life saving knots, Icelandic trolls, and a bull fiddle named Carol; former intern Ben found a psychic home on North Shore. When not wrangling program logistics, his jack-of-all-trades skill set and diverse interests keep him busy. 

Kay Costello

Office Manager/Registrar

Citing its many magnetic qualities, Kay has moved to Grand Marais twice. Her grown sons have also returned to the shore--with wives, children and kittycats! Life is rich. When not counting beans at North House, Kay enjoys walking by the lake or in the forest, playing the piano, making dinner for friends, and reading reading reading.

Carolyn Fritz

Communications & Outreach Manager

Carolyn, a Rochester, MN native, initially moved to Grand Marais in 2010 as a sailing intern at North House. Since then, Grand Marais has been home and has fueled her passion for nonprofit arts education, craft, and design. Carolyn can often be found out sailing the big lake, hanging out with her dog, Lettuce, exploring the woods, and designing things.

Justus Grunow

Technology & Systems Manager

With feet planted solidly in the worlds of craft and technology, Justus is passionate about wielding technology as a tool to support the pursuit of traditional craft. Born in Two Harbors, raised in Ashland, and now transplanted to Grand Marais, Justus has never lived more than 20 miles from the greatest lake. Along the way he has picked up an affinity for contra dancing and a love/hate relationship with motorcycles.

Cindy Lou Hansen

School Store Manager

Locally grown, (born and raised in Cook County), Cindy recently become a “townie” after moving to Grand Marais from waaaaay back in the woods where she’d co-owned and operated Sawbill Canoe Outfitters for 30+ years with her husband, Bill. Together they raised a couple more locals while living off-grid. She loves to tap dance and enjoys a good laugh!

Libby Larson

Grants & Fundraising Events Manager

Growing up in the lakes region of western Minnesota, Libby gained a range of nonprofit experience while serving with an organization in Delaware. Returning to the Midwest in 2018, she is excited to share North House’s mission and story through her role. The local landscape provides the perfect fuel for Libby's swimming passion - from indoor laps to long-distance, wetsuit-clad swims in Superior’s invigorating waters.

Matt Nesheim

Operations Manager

Raised on Lake Superior, intern alum Matt found his way back to North House after living on Puget Sound and serving in Peace Corps Paraguay. A mild disdain for prolonged desk work and an odd skill set has landed him in charge of campus operations, from buildings to boats. It’s never boring, and neither is a life of recreating, playing music, and making stuff.

Kathleen Viton

Office & Registration Assistant

Born on the coast of Maine, Kathleen feels at home on Lake Superior. For twenty years she co-directed a wilderness camp next to BWCAW. She has spent a lifetime teaching and sharing her passion for the outdoors with others. Today you will find her greeting students at the campus office or working in Special Education as an Occupational Therapy Practitioner.

Russ Viton

Facility Manager

Russ was born in Duluth, Minnesota, playing hockey, guitar and learning to speak Minnesotan; the latter came natural. He and his wife, Kathleen, spent 21 years directing a wilderness tripping and retreat center on the Gunflint Trail where they guided canoe and dog sledding trips into the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness and trained others to do the same.

Sarah Waddle

Program Manager

Sarah moved to the North Shore originally to work in environmental education. Though she keeps her hiking boots laced up, her job now lets her learn skills both in craft and in life from the North House interns, volunteers, and surrounding community. Outside of work, she cultivates her love of pickles, spinning, and swimming whenever possible.

Mike Ulen

Facilities and Front Office Assistant

Mike, another former intern, fell in love with the joys of craft at North House. He found his way back after writing about folk schools while at Marlboro College in Vermont, studying at Ronshoved Hojskole in Denmark and interning at Yestermorrow Design/Build School in Vermont. He enjoys viking metal, woodworking, reading, thoughtful design, and being near the Big Lake.

Board of Directors

Nancy Burns, President
Mike Prom, Vice President
Todd Mestad, Secretary
Paul Aslanian, Treasurer
Jane Alexander
Terri Cermak
Andrew Houlton
Mary Levins
Mary Morrison
Jim Sannerud
Randy Schnobrich
Carol Winter
Mark Glasnapp


See our full list of instructors

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