Meet the folks who make it all possible!
Deb is delighted to return home to Washington State to join GRuB’s leadership after several decades farming and teaching in Wisconsin and Illinois. During her 15 years at Angelic Organics Learning Center, she developed programs, partnerships and resources to help farmers and eaters thrive, including establishing an overnight farm camp, building regional programs for farmers, and growing a youth leadership and urban agriculture program. She loves to have her hands in the soil and takes great satisfaction from preparing and sharing good food straight from the land.
Rebeca has a Master’s Degree in Community and Regional Planning and Certificate in Nonprofit Management from the University of Oregon. She has applied her passion for equity planning in the fields of public transportation, asset building, and now food systems. Olympia has been her home for over 20 years. She loves making her garden bigger and seeing how much food she can produce from her yard.
Elise Krohn, M.Ed. is an educator, author, herbalist, and native foods specialist in the Pacific Northwest. She is committed to cultivating healing relationships between people, plants, place and cultural traditions. During her 18 years of experience teaching in tribal communities, she has worked with elders and cultural specialists to create successful community gardens, food sovereignty resources, a program on healing addiction, and curricula on chronic disease prevention. Through leading ‘train the trainers’ workshops, Elise has multiplied the number of educators who are teaching about native foods and herbal medicines in tribal communities.
Kerensa leads GRuB’s Community-based Fundraising, Special Events and Volunteer Coordination Programs. She comes to GRuB with passions for good local food, gardening and building relationships across multicultural backgrounds. She has over 15 years of experience in the nonprofit world from parenting & child welfare, affordable housing & grantwriting, and project evaluation & management. With Kerensa’s international background and passion for inspiring cross-cultural learning, much of her past work has been spent helping people to live successful and sustainable lives through empowerment and inclusivity.
Melissa's varied background includes community food systems, organizing, tech & graphic skills, and volunteer coordination in a wide range of group structures. Melissa is passionate about nature, biodiversity, social justice, and engaging and empowering communities. They happily return to lush, green Olympia after enjoying time in the woods of northern California.
Wade is a longtime Washingtonian, spending most of his life as an Olympia resident, which is where he developed a passion for serving others. He began his career with GRuB as a Cultivating Youth crewmember in the summers of 2000 and 2001. From 2005-2007 he went on to serve throughout Washington as an Americorps member through the Washington Conservation Corps. Wade is the first Cultivating Youth alum to be brought on as a core staff member of GRuB.
Heather comes to GRuB after spending 4 seasons farming in Oregon. She has a degree in Elementary Education from Northern Arizona University, but her favorite place to teach has no walls or florescent lights. She is so excited that her position as Farm Manager weaves together her loves of playing in the dirt and growing delicious food, as well as engaging with youth and community members in the relevant and dynamic work. Heather thoroughly enjoys living in the northwest and when she's not at the farm you can find her sniffing out the perfect camp spot under big trees or seeking out some funky jams.
Beau cares deeply about the environment, issues involving food insecurity, and asset-based community development. He has a BA in Sustainable Agriculture and is working towards his Masters in Environmental Studies. Beau is a proud veteran of both the US Marines and US Army and is passionate about helping veterans and their families transition back home and build community. He is excited to help enhance the Victory Garden Project, support the development of the Victory Farm, further develop the Food Investment Garden (FIG) program, and encourage emerging community food solutions.
Gabriel’s journey to GRuB is rooted in their childhood kinship with more-than-human beings as friends and mentors through challenges. They have stayed close to these relations through work in environmental restoration, community gardening, and flower farming. They are striving (and on their best days - especially proud) to be the queer educator, mentor, and farmer that they yearned to see while growing up. Gabriel came to GRuB first as an intern in 2015 and gradually stepped into leading youth programming at the Tumwater FRESH Farm, a GRuB pollinated program. Gabriel returned to GRuB in 2020 as the Youth Program Coordinator where they are so excited to hold space for youth on their own journeys and hopefully inspire love, gratitude and justice for the more-than-human and human world along the way.
Selena came to GRuB as the Office Administrator in November 2017. She is a GRuB Youth alum from the 07-08 crew and continued on through 2009 helping assist and prepare for that year's Soirée. She has two boys named Braxton and Dakota. Selena was born and raised in Washington, and over her lifetime has been to 26 different states and lived in four. Selena has extensive background working with children and is passionate about helping in the community. She is working on her degree in Nutrition.
Mariana has spent the last 6 years working to promote culturally based leadership initiatives for Native youth within the northwest and nationally through her work with the Native Youth Leadership Alliance and the Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians Youth. Mariana co-led Native student buffalo harvests at her college in Colorado which sparked her journey into Tribal Food Sovereignty. Since then she’s returned home to Washington State and is actively learning about traditional foods from her Yakama community and elders. She has studied with our Director of Traditional Plants, Elise Krohn, in her Wild Roots apprenticeship, and is a founding development team member of the Tend, Gather, Grow program. Mariana holds a Bachelors of Arts Degree in American Indian Studies, is a member of the Yakama Nation, and a proud new mother.
After completing their master’s degree in environmental studies, Sadie joined GRuB in 2018 as an AmeriCorps member serving as the VGP Leader Garden Builder and then stayed on to help with that summer's Seed to Table camps. They returned in May 2019 as a permanent staff member. Sadie has a vegetable garden and raises mini lamancha goats and chickens on a shared farm.They have a passion for empowering people through helping them grow their own food. Sadie has over 10 years of experience in environmental education including work in zoos, organic farms, a local conservation district, prisons and a juvenile detention center.Their goal is to start a GRuB-like program on their farm for people reentering the community after releasing from prison.