Meet our Super Clayhands Team!
Ron Ringsrud – Founder
Ron has been a full-time dealer of Colombian emeralds and president of Ronald Ringsrud Co. Colombian Emeralds for 30 years. As the source of the finest emeralds in the world, Colombia became his focus and in 1993 he purchased a house in downtown Bogota just seven blocks from the famous and historic emerald district. His 150-year-old house fascinated him; with its 20-inch thick adobe walls. He saw immediately how alternative construction with adobe, cob and pressed earth could address many needs in the remote emerald mining region. Clayhands came out of this as a natural evolution of his interests and obsessions. Now there are projects pending in several Colombian locations.
Besides emeralds, Ron has been active in motocross and underwater hockey and in 2010 he published a book that became very popular in the gem and jewelry industry: Emeralds A Passionate Guide available at www.emeraldpassion.com.
Ron has donated room in his Bogota house for Clayhands to operate from.
Susan "Sun" Paulson
Sun has been a member of the Board of Directors of Clayhands since the beginning of our vision. From the photo you may imagine her to be a young New-Age vegan goddess and you might pretty-much be right. But, she is also a very knowledgable mineral expert, having been a gem and miniral dealer for over ten years. She has travelled to many major gem and mineral shows and yet can often be found in old-growth redwood forests carefully placing quartz crystals at the trees' bases.
Sun traveled to Colombia in 2013 and met with the mayor of the small town of San Pablo de Borbur to talk about our project of building an adobe house in Borbur as well as restoring and re-opening the 100-year-old adobe brick workshop in nearby Chanares Colombia. 2015 is the year that this project will take off.
Her knowledge of permaculture, cacao processing, her connections in Hawaii and California have all given a breadth to the scope of that Clayhands can do.
Ramón Manrique Mejía
Ramón is an attorney and disaster services worker with experience in man-made and natural disaster recovery with emphasis on programs for groups recovering from violence. As a resource for Clayhands diverse Colombian activities Ramón is an extremely valuable member of our team. As a solar power and electric vehicles enthusiast he also advocates for the use of solar power and alternative energies as part of our projects. )'(
Our Colombian logistics officer and events promotion specialist Carolina is an important part of our team. With experience in the emerald business as well as hotel administration Carolina is part of the big-hearted youthful energy that permeates our group. She has an approach to problems and projects that does not see limitations but forges ahead to accomplish any task. When you come to Colombia to donate time or money, Carolina is the first person that you will meet.
The wisdom that comes from being a man of the earth is what Roger brings to our team. Based in South Dakota USA, Roger has been to Colombia and has met with our founding team there. He has been helpful and important in many ways and has background and experience that few can offer.