WHO WE ARE
Growing Garnett Community Heart & Soul started in the summer of 2020. We launched during the pandemic and are the first Community Heart & Soul community in Kansas!
Our project is driven by the residents of Garnett, Kansas and includes people of all ages who live, work, play, and learn within the city limits of Garnett. Everyone is an equally important part of our Community Heart & Soul process. Our coach is Michelle Wodtke-Franks.
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Michelle is currently executive director of Golden Hills Resource Conservation and Development, a community-based nonprofit committed to preserving, promoting, and protecting the unique assets of rural western Iowa. She has worked in the nonprofit sector for nearly 30 years and enjoys helping local people dream big and put those ideas into action. A native Iowan, Michelle brought her Pittsburgh-born husband back to her home state where they have raised their two children near Hastings, Iowa (population 110, plus the occasional roaming chicken). She is a graduate of the University of Iowa and holds a Masters from the University of Cincinnati. On a summer night, you'll probably find her enjoying a glass of wine on her 100 year old farm while watching lightening bugs sparkle in the soybean fields.
As a passionate advocate for rural communities, she believes in the transformative power of engaged citizens to positively re-shape the future of their own town. She is working to bring the great potential of Community Heart & Soul to western Iowa and neighboring communities.