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Rural Summit Speaker Bios

Nathan Johnston is the founder of Pusher, a creative design agency, uses strategy, design and technology to push important stories forward. From music composition to wood-working, experimental ethnographic film to developing connections between people through exchange, Nathan’s work lies at the intersection of technology, culture, education, and art. Nathan traveled extensively and ultimately returned to rural Siskiyou County to continue his education in how to best ignite and inspire creativity and curiosity. He has a Bachelor of Science degree from Stanford University and a Master of Education degree from Harvard University

Gina Lujan, is founder, CEO, and director of Hacker Lab, a community, a work space, an organization and a movement of innovators, creators and entrepreneurs. Gina is a Social Entrepreneur and Social Engineer. She focuses on community development and government relations as well as working on community cultivation in outlying rural cities. She was Sacramento Business Journal‘s 25 Business Leaders of 2012 and received International Women’s Day and 2013’s Women Who Mean Business awards. Gina is passionate about serving her community and currently volunteers as a member of JSPAC, a special populations educational group.

Tony Hsieh, is the CEO of Zappos. Acquired in 2009 by Amazon for $1.2 billion, Zappos has over $1 billion in sales and is regularly named on of Fortune Magazine’s “Best Companies to Work For.”

Glenda Humiston,

Dr. Glenda Humiston was appointed by President Obama on August 23, 2009 to serve as the California State Director at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Rural Development. Humiston brings over 25 years of experience working on public policy development and program implementation supporting rural development and sustainable communities to the Agency.

Humiston previously served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Tunisia, as Executive Director of a nonprofit advocating farmland preservation and value-added agriculture development, and has taken on many difficult challenges throughout the western states as a consultant on environmental and agricultural issues. In that capacity she developed a Rangeland Water Quality Management plan for the state of California that has become a model in many western states. More recently, she managed the “Sustainable Development Institute” at the 2002 World Summit for Sustainable Development in Johannesburg, South Africa, and the 4th World Water Forum in Mexico City, Mexico in 2006. Humiston served from 1998-2001 as Deputy Under Secretary for Natural Resources and the Environment at USDA. While there she received national honor awards from USDA and EPA as well as two “Hammer” Awards from Vice President Gore for outstanding government programs.

Humiston completed her Ph.D. at the University of California at Berkeley in 2009; her dissertation was titled: “Sustainable Agriculture as U.S. Farm Policy: Opportunities and Threats to Reform.” She received her Master’s degree in International Agricultural Development from the University of California at Davis and her Bachelor’s degree in Animal Science from Colorado State University. She has also completed Professional Certification in Environmental and Land Use Planning and a two-year fellowship with the California Agricultural Leadership program.