HEIDI ZIMMER, FOUNDER
On her first visit to beautiful Bayfield, Wisconsin, Michigan native Heidi Zimmer began dreaming about developing a retreat center on the shores of Lake Superior. Through continued conversation with area artist and influencers over the last five years, the idea for Wild Rice Retreat bloomed.
Heidi is an experienced real estate developer with a compassionate and creative approach to land stewardship and development. She has a deep appreciation and connection to the Great Lakes, fine arts, music, dance and nature, along with a passion about one's living and working environment and is committed to artistic excellence.
Heidi has been an avid yoga practitioner since 2006, studying styles including Ashtanga, Hatha, Yin, and Vinyasa. She is passionate about creating nurturing, creative and artistic spaces to develop the mind, body and spirit.
She lives in Minneapolis with her teenage daughters and husband Martin Ebelhardt, co-founder of Wild Rice Retreat’s parent organization, Superior Living Arts.
JENNIFER ALBRECHT, DIRECTOR
Jennifer Albrecht was born and raised in Bayfield and approaches her work with a lifelong passion for Lake Superior and the great Northwoods.
Jennifer credits her father, the late Don Albrecht, with instilling a love and appreciation of the arts: dance, theater, opera, music, and visual arts. At Wild Rice Retreat, she blends this love with dedication to making a positive impact on her hometown community through active involvement, an admiration for the healing power of mindfulness, and a powerful sense of place.
Jennifer has maintained an active yoga practice since 2001 and is also a runner, adventure-seeker, lifelong learner, and perpetual student of the human condition.
Martin ebelhardt, CO-FOUNDER
Martin Ebelhardt developed an interest in teaching wellness during a career in federal law enforcement. His interest in wellness was born in the late 1980’s when he began to study Aikido, a martial art which focuses on achieving harmony through the re-direction of force. He has also studied Ashtanga and Yin Yoga, has read extensively on eastern and western healing disciplines, and has a special interest in posture and movement therapy. Since 2005, he has studied and practiced Chinese healing arts including Tai Chi Chuan and Qigong.
In addition to his experiences as an instructor and senior leader, Martin’s study of the martial and healing arts, and in academia, has led him to believe that human growth and development stems from an inexorable link between the internal self and the outside world. As such, he maintains that art, in its many forms, is a foundational and necessary element for both human and societal health, healing, and well-being.
Martin also possesses a deep appreciation and connection to nature, believes that human health and the health of the planet are indivisible and synergistically linked, and that it is essential to respect the land and natural resources which sustain all life.
He lives in Minneapolis with his wife Heidi Zimmer, Founder of Superior Living Arts and two step-daughters Sarah and Molly.
Annalisa’s early life began with deep roots and connection to the Bayfield area with childhood summers spent boating the Apostle Islands with her family. With a background in branding and marketing, and a Masters of Science in Real Estate, her passion has always been to create unique and inspiring experiences through thoughtful real estate development. Most recently, she helped develop and bring a 120-year old historic warehouse building in the North Loop of Minneapolis back to life as an experiential boutique lodging, restaurant, and social club, known as the Hewing Hotel. After years of branding and developing real estate projects for clients in markets nationwide, Annalisa and her husband have finally planted their feet as full time Bayfield residents, embracing their lifelong dream of raising their two little girls in this community.
Annalisa discovered a special place in her life for yoga practice and meditation during both of her pregnancies. She aspires to someday become a certified instructor to help other mothers find the same joy and connection through yoga. She and her husband are also in the testing phases of establishing a local lavender farm.
A value for sustainable development that supports and encourages young families to locate to the Bayfield area and pursue their dreams is the heartbeat of Annalisa’s desire to help advance the vision of Wild Rice Retreat.
ANNALISA BERMEL, DEVELOPMENT CONSULTANT
David’s architectural practice is located in Duluth, Minnesota. His work is rooted in the principal of modernism as well as the founding influence of the vernacular of Minnesota’s immigrants. Most of his work exists from the northeast tip of the arrowhead’s wilderness, down the eastern edge of Minnesota to Lake Pepin.
Since 1985, his projects have won 13 AIA Minnesota Honor Awards, two American Wood Council Awards and in 1998 brought an Architectural Records Record Houses Award for the Emerson Residence and a National AIA Honor Award for Architecture for the Brandenburg’s Ravenwood Studio. His work has been featured in over 60 articles in regional, national, and international journals, books, and publications.
DAVID SALMELA, SALMELA ARCHITECTS, MASTER WILD RICE DESIGNER
Travis and his team create innovative and transformative landscape architecture through the integration of landscape, art, architecture and ecology that is ingrained in context, clarity, craft and collaboration.
Travis Van Liere Studio’s designs focus on the relationships between design intent, materiality and sustainability, bringing extensive innovation, detail craft, and methodology to diverse projects of various types and scales.
The studio’s goal is to promote landscape architecture as a leader in our profession by creating designs that are functional, engaging and environmentally sustainable. We are a practice dedicated to design innovation, research and refinement. The landscapes we create are simple, distinct and beautiful.
Travis’ team is committed to a culture of collaboration between clients and design disciplines, and the long-term environmental stewardship of our landscapes.
Travis Van Liere, LANDSCAPE ARCHITECT
To communicate with any Wild Rice Retreat Team Member, please send us a note.