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GSBN:Late Roll Call response

Reconnected to GSBN, so finally sending in my roll call response:

I was added to GSBN list because of my work in reviving sb in Nebraska
and The Straw Bale Association of Nebraska.  While I have had the
opportunity to meet many of the GSBN group, I look forward to meeting
everyone some day soon!

In the category of perhaps more than you want to know, here goes:

Introduction to straw bale construction came from a television program
in which Pliny Fisk explained testing results and benefits of building
with straw and other natural materials.  Interest in building naturally
and all that goes with that started at an early age - selection in
Junior High School for a special project on all aspects of soil
conservation and land management and present a paper at a seminar at the
University of Nebraska.  I never forgot what I learned there (used to
bug my uncles and other family members who farmed about the principles
and practices all the time ad nauseum to them, I suppose).  Now, in my
work through ReBuild Associates, I "preach" that we can grow it here,
manufacture a product with it here, and build with it here to the
benefit of all - if we do it sustainably.  I also believe that every
plant, shrub, tree or living thing was given to us for a purpose - and
we are responsible for learning what the purpose is and exploring how we
can use and conserve it without destroying it.  So, I work with
sustainable ag folks and others to gain greater knowledge and explore
opportunities about this, too.

Throughout my 40-year work life, it seems there has always been
construction work going on for the organization I worked for.  In
watching the construction at all of these locations and others, I
observed the waste of perfectly good materials and wondered how I could
put those materials to use.  In the late 1980s, with the help of a
friend who was involved in recycling through the city of Lincoln, we
developed and submitted a grant proposal to set up a demonstration
construction/demolition waste project to use as a model for the state.
No one knew what we were talking about, so no money, no demonstration,
no model.  However, through that effort, ReBuild Associates was created
and I am currently working to establish a salvage network  in geographic
regions throughout the state - as a demonstration model in one region to
spread across the state.

Before starting my business and SBAN, my employment included
coordinating public programming and public relations for the library
system including a weekly inhouse newsletter , serving on the editorial
committee of a quarterly professional magazine, managing an inhouse
print shop.  Being unable to pursue a degree in architecture when as I
was young - the "be anything you can be" philosophy had not yet come
into being - I settled for work assignments related to building
projects,  furniture layout, specifications and ordering. When I left
the library, I earned an associate in architectural drafting technology
from Southeast Community College, where I now teach each quarter a
one-day workshop, Building the Natural Way, and an introductory course
on Macintosh computers.

When I graduated from SCC, I assisted with marketing services, contracts
and billings for a local architectural firm for about three years. Still
searching for the right niche in which to pursue my interests and
explore business ideas, I moved on to a temporary job which turned into
a full-time position with the Nebraska Rural Development Commission
serving as office manager and staff support for the Commission's Rural
Development Task Force and helping develop policy statements on
deregulation of telecommunications in Nebraska, and telecommunications
applications for rural communities.  And while I was at the Rural
Development Commission, I served as Office Manager for the Nebraska
Community Foundation, setting up accounts for rural communities to
access grant and other funding for community and economic development
projects.  I had previously worked for the Lincoln City Library
Foundation, assisting with their administrative work and fundraising
efforts for building projects, services and programming.

When not traveling throughout Nebraska and adjoining states promoting
straw bale construction and natural building, I live and work in
Lincoln, but spend time whenever possible in the Sandhills not far from
several of Nebraska's historic bale buildings. Currently, I'm setting up
the Green Prairie Foundation for Sustainability which will provide
nonprofit and tax status for the MidAmerica Straw Bale Association,
SBAN's efforts to preserve the historic bale buildings, housing
projects, the salvage network, perhaps a design/build school, and other
activities related to straw bale construction and natural building.

I have been very fortunate throughout my working life to have had
mentors and good people to work with and learn from - from the high and
mighty to the the general public.  I learn something new every day and
enjoy that challenge.  I say often that everything I have done
throughout my life has guided me to where I am today, and the dreams I
had as a young girl to be an architect, librarian, interior designer,
secretary, teacher, writer, artist, rancher are playing out in ways I'd
never anticipated.  Each job taught me skills I took with me to the next
one.  Each group of people I work with teaches me concepts, ideals and
methods which help me in the next project, presentation, activity, phase
of development or goal.  I have watched some of the best - and some of
the worst - realize their goals and accomplish their dreams, and I try
to reflect on these experiences as I work to achieve my dreams and
goals, too.

Joyce Coppinger
ReBuild Associates and
The Straw Bale Association of Nebraska