Who We Are
Board of Directors
Joseph Billesbach, Co-chair – Owner: Platte Valley Agronomics
Dr. Stephanie Furrer, Co-chair – Associate Professor of Psychology, Hastings College
Lindsey Stout, Secretary – Physician Assistant, Hastings Internal Medicine
Will Vrooman, CPA, EA Treasurer – Owner: Vrooman Tax Prep
Jessica Allen-Pickett – Educator
Dave Berens – Founder & Educator: Rural Ranchers 4-H Club
Jan Herbek – Educator: Morton/Watson Elementary Schools
Rich Olson – Owner: Olson Farms
Tim Overmiller –Veterinarian: Animal Clinic of Hastings
Doug Saathoff – Owner, West Fork Farms, Inc.
Justin Stein – Master Electrician/ Owner: Stein Electric
Amy Sandeen, Executive Director
Amy grew up in Hastings, then worked with nonprofits in St. Paul/Minneapolis for eighteen years before moving back to her roots in 2008 to help establish Prairie Loft.
Amy's professional background is in experiential education and nonprofit management. She has worked with schools, nonprofits, outdoor education centers, and wilderness programs in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Massachusetts, and Nebraska. Amy serves on the Humanities Nebraska Council and is an adjunct instructor with Hastings College. She works with local groups to enhance strategic planning, community culture, inclusive approaches, and leadership skills. Amy is also a musician and photographer and loves sharing outdoor experiences with others.
Lorna Zajack, Assistant Director
Lorna joined the Prairie Loft team in 2013. Originally from New York, she honed her customer service, marketing and business development skills over 13 years in the private sector in NYC, Boston, DC and San Diego.
Lorna leads the coordination and implementation of private events, summer camps and other programs. Additionally, Lorna plays an integral role in event planning, teaching, program design, strategic planning, volunteer and vendor management. She is a fitness instructor at the YMCA, head coach of Girls on the Run, and lead volunteer in Hastings Public Schools. Outside of the office, you will find Lorna at a park or on a running track!
Tess Bruner, Program Assistant
Tess joined the Prairie Loft team in 2014. She works as an educator and event host and helps plan and facilitate field trips, summer camps, and other educational programs.
Tess graduated from Hastings College in 2014 with a degree in Elementary Education and English as a Second Language Education. Since then she has been the coordinator of the Platte River Safari summer camp at Rowe Sanctuary; a substitute teacher in the Hastings, Shelton, Minden, and Wood River school districts; and accompanist at the Shelton United Methodist Church. Tess enjoys being outdoors, reading, and playing the piano.
Emily Filsinger, Program Assistant
Emily joined the Prairie Loft team in 2017. Emily's duties include planning and helping with Prairie Loft events for all ages as well as helping maintain the grounds.
She is a senior at Hastings College pursuing a degree in business administration with a minor in accounting, as well as a coaching endorsement. Emily is a member of Hastings College's national championship winning volleyball team, as well as several campus organizations including Professional Business Leaders and Omicron Delta Kappa.
Joe Prickett, Development Assistant
Joe joined the Prairie Loft team in 2017. A Hastings native, Joe is a senior at Hastings College majoring in history and sociology. He has previous experience in fundraising and development with nonprofits based in Los Angeles and New York City.
As a development assistant, Joe assists with database construction and management, fundraising, and general administrative duties, as well as assisting with Prairie Loft events. He is involved on campus and in the community as a peer educator, amateur researcher, and lover of the arts. He intends to pursue a Master of Public Affairs and Arts Administration and a career in nonprofit management.