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Two Long-time Family Development Team Members Move On

We recently bid farewell to two Family Development staff members: Sharon Danes and Fay McLain.

Sharon Danes, Ph.D., professor and family economist, retired this summer from the University of Minnesota after a long and illustrious career with the Department of Family Social Science and with University of Minnesota Extension. She received many awards and distinctions throughout her career, including the Hubler Award for Excellence in Service to Family Businesses for her research, teaching, and consulting on family business disciplines. She also received the International Family Enterprise Research Academy Fellow designation, the National Extension Association of Family and Consumer Sciences Dean Don Felker Financial Management Award, and the Epsilon Sigma Phi (Pi Chapter) Distinguished Team Award for Educational Response to Families’ Financial Situations After a Natural Disaster.
Sharon developed many outreach opportunities from her research, including the Rural Minnesota Life website, which provides tools and resources for building successful family businesses while preserving family vitality, and the Getting Through Tough Times series, 17 fact sheets that cover topics such as making financial decisions with less and helping children cope.

Sharon joined the U of M Department of Family Social Science in the College of Education and Human Development in 1986 after serving in positions at Iowa State University, Michigan State University, and the University of Wisconsin. She has a doctorate in Family Economics and Management from Iowa State and a master’s degree in the same field from Michigan State. Best wishes in retirement, Sharon!

Fay McLain retired this summer after nearly 28 years with Extension nutrition education programs, starting as a home-visiting participant in the Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP) and ending as a program coordinator for that program.

Fay learned about EFNEP as a participant in 1983 and became a nutrition education assistant (now called community nutrition educator) in 1988. Later she worked for the Food Stamp Education Program, which became Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program-Education (SNAP-Ed). She supervised staff in both programs for a number of years before moving back to EFNEP as a program coordinator in 2014.

EFNEP has continued to grow over the past two years, adding eight new staff members across four Twin Cities-area counties. ENFEP's 13 educators now serve more than 600 families with limited resources, teaching how to eat healthy foods and get more physical activity. “I have enjoyed my career with Extension working with agencies, participants, and the wonderful nutrition staff,” Fay said. “I am confident that the current EFNEP staff will continue to bring great programing to the metro area as they provide direct education to the diverse populations we serve.”
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