Comprehensive Plan Steering Committee
The primary working group for the Comprehensive Plan Update is a 12-member volunteer Steering Committee appointed by the Mayor. Steering Committee members represent a broad range of interests and backgrounds, and they provide close citizen oversight of the Comprehensive Plan Update process. The committee works directly with City of Winona staff and consultants HKGi and Engage Winona.
Meet the Steering Committee
Michelle Alexander (Winona City Council)
Michelle serves as a Board Member for the Winona County History Center, The Coalition of Greater Minnesota Cities, The Winona International Friendship Association, Kashubian Capital Centennial Celebration and various committees for Home and Community Options and her church. She has served the community of Winona as a dedicated volunteer and Council member for the past 12 years. She is a small business owner.
Brian Buelow (Planning Commission)
Brian Buelow is chair of the Winona Planning Commission. He likes Winona for its easy access to outdoor recreation, beautiful setting and small town vibe.
Dr. Annette Freiheit is superintendent of Winona Area Public Schools and loves all seasons in Winona.
Andrew Guzzo is a Regional President for Merchants Bank. He enjoys the broad spectrum of resources that the City of Winona affords residents and visitors; specifically, higher education, thriving businesses, beautiful topography, arts, entertainment, parks, plus warm, inviting citizens!
Laurie Lucas (Port Authority)
Laurie Lucas works at the Winona County History Center and enjoys supporting the community and land preservation efforts. She says, "Winona is home. Its natural beauty, people and history are what keep me here."
Rahel Mekonnen is a senior at Winona State University and the Co-President of the Black Student Union, she loves the inclusivity in Winona.
Sadie Neuman is the Communications Chair for the Recreation Alliance of Winona (RAW) and she loves getting outside to explore our bluffs and backwaters.
Jovy Rockey is the owner of Orno Gift + Home and a jewelry artist.
Andre Russeau was born and raised in Winona and recently graduated from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse. His favorite things about Winona are the close sense of community and the abundance of outdoor recreation--most specifically the outdoor ice rinks!
Rachelle Schultz is the president/CEO of Winona Health and recently moved to the lovely area of Pickwick where she can now enjoy a beautiful river drive to and from work.
Jeff Van Fossen
Jeff Van Fossen is the founder of CodaBow International and enjoys Winona's countless outdoor and arts activities with his wife Marcy and their four children.
Nathan Woodworth is President of WKM Properties and a local volunteer and father of three.
Meet the project staff and consultants
Carlos Espinosa, City of Winona
Carlos Espinosa is City Planner for the City of Winona and has worked 13 years for the city. Carlos also lives in Winona with his family and enjoys spending as much time outside as possible.
Luke Sims, City of Winona
Luke Sims has served as the City of Winona’s Assistant City Planner since 2017. He is the SE District Director for the MN Chapter of the American Planning Association and is accredited through the Congress for the New Urbanism. Luke enjoys gardening, rehabbing his historic home, and cozying up with a good book.
Jeff Miller, HKGi
Jeff Miller has been a planning consultant at HKGi for 16 years working with many communities throughout the Upper Midwest. Jeff was the project manager for the development of the Winona Unified Development Code a few years ago. Jeff grew up in the Mississippi River Valley (Wabasha) and is excited to work with the Winona community on creating a new vision and course for the future.
Rita Trapp, HKGi
Rita Trapp has been a planner with HKGI for 18 years. She was part of the team that created the City of Winona’s Unified Development Code a few years ago and is happy to be back working with the community.
Marcia Ratliff, Engage Winona
Marcia is the Executive Director of Engage Winona, an independent nonprofit that works to ensure that everyone has access, voice, and power in community decision making. She enjoys meeting community members and taking long walks around Winona.