Mary Jane Leach has had an abiding interest in creating vibrant, sustainable communities has influenced her professional work and volunteer efforts for over a decade. Her educational background in business and government taught her how to “crunch the numbers” to understand and solve problems, but she believes that strengthening community connections helps places truly thrive. She has successfully started or grown several small nonprofits in her professional work, managing all aspects from financial and board development, to communications and fundraising. She loves to grow veggies in her plot at the Wylde Center, a microcosm of her early farming career in the southern Appalachian mountains. MJ has been on several community sustainability boards and currently serves on Decatur ESB. She endeavors to help her community meet the challenges of a heating planet. MJ is married to a really talented woodworker (John) and has raised a couple of techy daughters who are both involved in the high school and college versions of the Society of Women Engineers. Though she’s not too talented with machinery, she loves to connect people with ideas and each other, and see what transpires. This is one reason she loves Decatur Makers!