MEET THE TEAM
ROBERT - Founder
"Dirty hands make clean money."
Robert was born in Jefferson County, Mo. and grew up working for his father, who was a stone mason. He always had a passion for building, dismantling, and creating new things.
When he volunteered with Mission: STL he began teaching job skills to at-risk men, an experience that changed Robert's life.
"Born and raised in Jefferson County, as the son of a stone mason in a low income family, I never considered myself to be "privileged" in any way and was accustomed to long hours and hard work. BUT - after I'd spent a month with a class of interns I realized how many skills I had collected throughout my life that I had taken for granted, and the obstacles these men encountered while trying to better themselves. I was immediately confronted by what privilege ACTUALLY looks like and part of me was WRECKED by that realization. Anew Nature became a vision to level the playing field - my attempt at justice."
BIDDA - SHOP MOM/FINE PAINTER
"Wherever you are - be all there."
Bidda was born in Nashville, Tn. and is the eldest of nine siblings. When she was in third grade she moved to STL. As she grew up, she developed a very close relationship with her parents. In her early life, Bidda worked with her father who ran a creative ad company, where she developed her love for creativity and writing. She has written a book and created MANY paintings. Her college years were spent in New Mexico, where she had the full 70's experience and loved every minute of it. Then she returned to STL when her father became sick with cancer and was with him, holding his hand when he passed away at 50 years old. Shortly after, she met her husband Bob Karleskint. They married and raised three children in STL, that led to eight grandchildren. In December of 2015, her husband of 30 years suddenly passed away from a heart attack. Ever since, her heart for her city has doubled in size and she volunteers every spare moment she has. She has been volunteering with Anew Nature for 18 months and treats every intern like one of her own children.
"Recent widowhood has made my time with Anew Nature and our interns so precious to me! The environment is FUN, educational, and relational!"
Julie - trainer/office administrator
Julie majored in psychology, with a study emphasis in behavorial modification and stereotypes. Julie takes many of the photos you've seen of Anew Nature and has a real knack for design, layout, and presentation. She is the mother of two wonderful children and has a passionate heart for breaking down boundaries that restrict communal growth and HARD WORK.
"My job with Anew Nature allows me to explore my personal interests. Specifically, working with our interns has given me a better understanding of the many hardships that can hold one back. I enjoy seeing our interns embrace new work skills and work towards a better future." - Julie
Adam - Media, manufacture and internship coordinator
Adam can't stop smiling, making hilarious voices or investing in his co-workers.
Adam is an all around big man. BIG personality, BIG strength and giant hands. Even bigger than those is his heart. Adam loves his job and it shows through his enthusiasm which energizes interns going through our program (or us when we're exhausted, down or up against a deadline) Anew Nature feels like a family, largely due to Adam. On top of that, he is a skilled photographer, a precise wood worker and a GREAT writer (our IG/Facebook are great examples of his writing skills)
Emily - Product&Production manager
"It's important for me to work at a place that has a conscience. We're a small shop so we pay lots of attention to detail, but we're big enough to give back to the community." - Emily
Emily has been working with Anew since the winter of 2017 and has seamlessly fit in with the family. Emily leads the team, handles poring through plans, welds and works with wood with a level of mastery that you would never expect from a 23 year old!
Miles - Graduate and builder
"Miles may very well be the hardest worker I've ever met in my life" -Robert
Miles came through our Fall session in 2017 and immediately we knew his place was with us at Anew. Miles is INCREDIBLY detail oriented, peaceful, encouraging, fun to crack a few with and has a deep pool of patience and love for our interns going through the program. He pushes, comes along side and never takes or makes excuses.