ABOUT THE TEAM

current board

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Joy Ellsworth, MPA

Co-Founder, President

Joy is the administrative and promotional side of the mom-and-pop founding pair, assisting the governing board, performing outreach, and pursuing partnerships and funding.

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Luke Ellsworth, AAS

Co-Founder, Property Manager

Luke is the muscle and practical worker of the mom-and-pop founding pair.  Luke's expertise is in property maintenance, mechanical repair, technical hardware and security measures.

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Carl Stafford, BFA, CGIS

Carl serves on the governing board as Vice President.  He is President of the Gregory Ridge Neighborhood Association, and Founder of MY REGION WINS!, a Kansas City-based 501c3 nonprofit organization serving the 3rd and 5th council districts.

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Connie Stewart, BS, MCS

Connie serves on the governing board as Secretary.  Her input sources knowledge from her years as a Silicon Valley software engineer, master gardener and environmentalist. Connie now serves our area as a resident of Kansas City's urban core.

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Iscela Huntington, MBA

As board Treasurer, Iscela brings to the board her expertise in real-estate project management and corporate finance.

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Jim Vokac, BA, MEd

Jim brings to the board his expertise as a community organizer and retired science educator.  He's known to drive from his home in the Ozarks to attend our Kansas City volunteer days.

honored past board members

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Marie Ellsworth, BA

Marie is a retired director of an early childhood program, and has directed education and community development programs. She is the most recent Past-President of Gregory Ridge Neighborhood Association.

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Lea Christopher, MBA

Lea served on the founding board as Clement Waters' Treasurer, and is a retired foundation program manager.  Lea has written over $6M of funded grants for public-benefitting infrastructure and housing projects in the Missouri Ozarks.

our partners

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A multidisciplinary nonprofit organization with a mission to transcend everyday challenges by using the Arts to nurture creative & undeveloped ideas that shape society.  MRW! and Clement Waters work hand in hand to realize better lives through outdoor beauty.

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Heartland Conservation Alliance

Staff and workgroup members of HCA have proven themselves precious beyond measure to our motion forward.  Working with like minds gives us the confidence that what we do matters.

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Block Knowledge

The instructors and mentors at Block Knowledge have played a key part in guiding Clement Waters' business planning with endless patience.  Our founders are eternally grateful for every new chance to understand varying perspectives, which PUK presents whenever needed.

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OPPORTUNITY IN ADVERSITY

our history

In 2013, a promising career opportunity placed Kansas Citians Luke and Joy Ellsworth in the middle of rural southern Missouri. The move caused a sudden drastic lifestyle change.  Three months after the move, Luke's debilitating immune disorder mysteriously disappeared.

Luke's sudden and outwardly obvious physical healing caused the Ellsworths to look at their unfamiliar Ozarks lifestyle with new eyes.  They asked themselves, "What specifically changed?" The answers were: 1.) more time in nature, 2.) fresher local food, 3.) autonomous belonging within a community. It was clear that city-dwellers (and even struggling Ozarkians) could benefit from this knowledge.

From these realizations, the concept of Clement Waters Retreat was born. The Ellsworths’ long- term goal was to bring urbanites into the country to experience natural healing, but there was a problem. Their urbanite friends were literally scared of going into the country.

While forming the backbone of a 501c3 retreat-supporting institution, Luke and Joy learned in person about self-sufficiency and survival techniques used by people living deep in rural areas, before returning to Kansas City to partner with grassroots efforts to bring nature to the people and vice-versa. The partnerships are defining new possibilities for everyday people to gain natural control over their own health outcomes without having to break the bank.