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About Coldwater


Kevin & Jen Sutton

Coldwater Foundation Director

I grew up in Northern Ontario and though I’ve lived in many places, I still think of the lake country West of Thunder Bay as home. Currently, I live in Grand Marais, MN with my beautiful wife Jennifer and our children: Abigail Mae, Linden Joy, Meredith Kate and Peter Andrew. As a family we have all kinds of interests ranging from traditional string music to swimming and soccer to all things outdoors. The place we most enjoy being together is at our family wilderness retreat on Shebandowan Lake .

I studied at Northwestern College, majoring in history where I appreciated the strong emphasis in reformational worldview. I later did my graduate work at Wheaton College and completed an M.A. in Christian Formation and Ministry. In both places I spent time thinking about the ways people learn and particularly about how they learn to take on the character of Christ.

I’ve been interested for a long time about the ways that Christians choose to live and work together in community; the ways in which we develop convictions about this living and working. The place I have learned the most about these ideas and how they connect with my life has been in the wilderness classroom, where the harshness and beauty of wilderness blend to create an indelible print on a persons life–an imprint for faithfulness. This is how I have chosen to serve…by following these ideas about education and by continuing to offer Christ and His way in the context of wilderness and adventure settings.

Dave Nonnemacher

Coldwater Foundation Director of Operations

After talking about working together for close to 25 years, Dave and Kevin finally decided to do it! Dave, wife Jody and daughters Zoe and Grace relocated to Grand Marais from Two Harbors in the summer of 2015. Dave comes with an understanding of nonprofit work and a keen eye for "stuff that needs to happen" as well as a strong sense of networking and a love for connecting people to experiences.

Matthew & Michelle Gray

Coldwater Canada Director

In October of 2013 Matthew moved back to his hometown of Kitchener, Ontario with his beautiful wife Michelle and sweet daughter Eloise to begin the ministry of Coldwater Canada. Matt spent his undergrad years at Northwestern College in Orange City, Iowa where he studied Christian Education. Northwestern is where he first connected with Coldwater Foundation and completed Coldwater’s Wilderness Instructor Training in 2009. Following instructor training, Matt was heavily influenced by the work of New Horizon’s Foundation in Romania where he learned first hand the ways that experiential strategies can be used to develop communities, promote sustainable development, and foster civic responsibilities.

Through his formative student experiences and later fulltime leadership role with Coldwater Foundation, Matt realized his passion for using adventure education and service-learning to empower people to develop a mature faith and a lifestyle of leadership. Matt is driven by his foundational belief that our culture needs leaders – leaders with a strong character, a deep faith, and a clear understanding that their lives must be used to build the Kingdom, solve problems, work change, and live the gospel.

When he is not working, Matt enjoys adventure racing, rock climbing, running and mountain biking, taking care of the chickens with his daughter, fishing at his family cottage, and drinking coffee.

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