Tilth Board Election Results, 2016

The job of our board members, on behalf of all stakeholders, is to ensure that the organization’s mission to build an ecologically sound, economically viable and socially equitable food system, is achieved. It provides governance to the organization, represents Tilth to the community, advocates for the mission, and accepts ultimate legal authority for the organization.

The Tilth membership has elected eleven members to the Board of Directors for the 2017-2018 term. The following board members were elected to their first term on the board:

bjp-vf-pic-2 Ben Page, Sipree Inc. (Seattle)

Ben Page’s professional experience includes senior finance positions with technology companies, most recently serving as CFO for Sipree, Inc., a digital payments service provider for commercial and government organizations. Ben is a native of Washington State and an outdoor enthusiast who enjoys hiking, camping, kayaking and skiing as well as politics and classical music. He has served on the Board of Directors and as past-President, Treasurer, and Finance Chair of the Pike Market Senior Center and Food Bank.

Nancy Tosta, retired (Burien)

Nancy Tosta is a retired public servant, having spent most of her career working for public agencies or consulting to them. She currently serves as a City Councilmember in Burien, WA, a community of 50,000 people in the Puget Sound region. She has a background in science and policy and has held senior and executive level positions in regional, state, and federal government. She also led and owned a nationally respected consulting company, as well as her own consulting business.

Stephan Feldman, Private Practice (Seattle)

Born in Brooklyn, grew up in NYC, graduated from Duke University, spent the summer as a tennis pro at a resort in the Catskill Mountains. Served in the Army, and upon discharge began my working life as a copywriter on Madison Avenue. Attended law school in the evenings, and came to Seattle where I practiced law until offered a two year Teaching Fellowship at Harvard. Then taught law until I got married, and decided to switch careers, and acquired a Ph.D. in clinical psychology. Returned to Seattle, did my internship at the VA hospital, and opened a private practice in counseling and forensic psychology.

The following board members were elected to a second term on the board:

Becky Warner, Full Tilth Farm (Bainbridge Island)

Becky Warner is a farmer living on Bainbridge Island, WA.  She hails from Ann Arbor, MI, and has lived in the Seattle area since 2005.  She comes from a software development background, but discovered a passion for growing vegetables. Becky is a strong believer in resilient local food systems and spreading the love and knowledge of good food throughout our communities.

Cornelius Adewale, Washington State University (Pullman)

Cornelius Adewale is a native of Ilesa, an agricultural community in southwestern Nigeria. His farm experience began at the age of six with weeding and harvesting at a cocoa plantation with his grandfather. Cornelius’s life and career interests relate to global food security, and paths to sustainable agriculture in general. He aspires to be part of teams that develop designs and models that will address some of the sustainability issues in the world’s agricultural and food production systems. With his accumulated experience in agriculture and business management Cornelius was elected into the board of Tilth Producers of Washington in 2012, and as treasurer in 2013.

Joshua M. Piper, Dorsey & Whitney LLP (Seattle)

Josh Piper graduated from UC Davis with a BA in music, and earned his JD from the University of Washington School of Law. He has been practicing law for more than ten years, focusing on business transactions and franchising. Josh is motivated to help Seattle Tilth address important issues involving our local food system and environment, especially as they relate to the health of our communities and our personal connection with land, place and nature. Josh joined Seattle Tilth’s Board of Directors in 2010.

Kate Smith, WSU Center for Sustaining Agriculture and Natural Resources and Skagit County Extension (Burlington)

Kate’s passion for supporting farmers in the important work they do has guided her work both internationally and here in Washington State.  Currently at WSU Extension, Kate works to provide bilingual support for small farms in Skagit and surrounding counties. A Skagit County native, she is also the WSU Cultivating Success instructor for Skagit County where she teaches continuing education and community college credit courses in Sustainable Small Farming and Farm Business Planning.

Liza Turley (Fall City)

Liza Turley lives in Fall City, is a dedicated year-round farmers market shopper and avid home cook. Liza joined the Seattle Tilth Board of Directors in April 2007, while she was a student in the UW Foster MBA program.  Liza served as board president for four years of the Seattle Tilth board and is current the board president of the new Tilth organization. Liza is a senior program and project manager for technology companies and also has a dozen years of experience working in catering and special events in Seattle and Boston, MA.

Sam Maupin, Brothers Greenhouses (Port Orchard)

Sam Maupin works as a production manager at the Brothers Greenhouses in Port Orchard. He was raised on a family farm in Belfair, graduated from WSU, and now volunteers as a Kitsap County Master Gardener. He advocates for the benefits of working with natural methods in gardening and farming through his work with the public. Sam and his wife Elise have a son, Isaac.

Sash Sunday, OlyKraut (Oakville)

Sash Sunday was born and raised in the Pacific Northwest and is a co-founder of OlyKraut, a raw sauerkraut company based in Olympia, WA.  Through OlyKraut, Sash puts her fermentation fanaticism to work building a food system that supports vibrant health and sustainable farms.  Making delicious, nourishing, raw fermented vegetables with literal tons of local produce while spreading the good word on healthy microbes is her idea of a good time.  She studied Food, Food Systems, and Sustainable Agriculture at The Evergreen State College and earned her MBA in Sustainable Systems at Pinchot University.

Tim Gruner, Slalom Consulting (Woodinville)

Mr. Gruner has over 20 years in various aspects of finance and accounting. He earned an MBA at the Haas School at UC Berkeley, is a CFA Charterholder and passed the CPA exams in Washington State. Tim began his career with General Electric in their Financial Management Program before working in Mergers & Acquisitions for Sumitomo Corporation and Deloitte & Touche. Tim is currently a consultant to large public technology companies in various accounting, FP&A (Financial Planning and Analysis), product launch, and (Enterprise Resource Planning) implementation projects.

They join the following continuing board members:

Addie Candib, Cloud Mountain Farm Center (Bellingham)

Addie has been working in Sustainable Agriculture in Washington since 2009. She co-founded the Washington Young Farmers Coalition, and joined the board of Tilth Producers of Washington in 2012. For several years, she also served on the board of the West Olympia Farmers Market, and she recently joined the advisory council to the Pacific Northwest American Farmland Trust. Addie earned a Master of Public Administration at The Evergreen State College, and now works as the Development Manager at Cloud Mountain Farm Center, near Bellingham.

Branden Born, University of Washington (Seattle)

Branden Born is a Wisconsin native who arrived in Seattle in 2003. As a faculty member in the Department of Urban Design and Planning at the University of Washington, he studies food systems and planning processes. He is particularly interested in alternative social movements and how they relate to food systems and democracy. He’s actively engaged in shaping the local food policy environment here in Seattle with the Puget Sound Regional Council. Nationally, he has been part of a group of academics and practitioners leading the American Planning Association to adopt food systems as a fundamental part of planning practice. He is excited to be a part of on-the-ground projects.

Elaine Chang (Seattle)

Elaine is a community volunteer with more than 30 years of experience in international education, in settings that have included universities, museums, nonprofit organizations, and the travel industry. Closer to home, she grows vegetables in her spare time, and was an early graduate of Seattle Tilth’s Master Composter program in 1989 (her most valuable Master’s degree).

Jessica Gigot, Harmony Fields (Bow)

After working on several farms in the northwest, Jessica completed graduate work in plant pathology and horticulture at WSU’s Mount Vernon Research and Extension Center. She fell in love with the diverse agricultural and artistic communities that coexist in the Skagit Valley and decided to stay. Jessica currently owns and operates Harmony Fields, a small, organic farm in Bow, WA that produces herbs, specialty produce and lamb. She also part-time faculty at the Northwest Indian College, where she teaches courses in their native environmental science program with a focus on food sovereignty.

Stephanie Daley-Watson, Prism Law Group (Seattle)

Stephanie Daley-Watson is a founding member of Prism Law Group, PLLC, a Seattle-based corporate law firm. Before forming Prism Law Group, Stephanie was Vice President, Associate General Counsel and Secretary of Safeco Corporation for six years. Before Safeco, Stephanie was Of Counsel in the Corporate Finance and Securities group of Perkins Coie LLP focusing on mergers and acquisitions, executive compensation and securities offerings. Stephanie is former Secretary of the Board of Trustees of Artist Trust and has served on the Board of Directors of Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and Hawaiian Islands since 2012.

Tom Neir (Kirkland)

Tom Neir strongly supports the effort to strengthen the local food economy and spread the availability of healthy food to all communities. He is a native of Kirkland and has worked and lived in a number of places across the US and internationally. He has a background in business with degrees from the University of Washington (Economics) and the University of Virginia (MBA). Tom has worked on a number of boards over the years and is currently a member of the Kirkland Transportation Commission. Tom has corporate experience in finance, sales, marketing and planning, and is a proven entrepreneur. Tom looks forward to applying his business and entrepreneurial skills to his board service and helping the organization to continue to be a valuable catalyst for positive change in our community.

Warren Neth, Slow Food SWWA (Vancouver)

The membership also elected the following board members to officer positions:

  • President: Liza Turley
  • Vice President: Stephanie Daley-Watson
  • Treasurer: Tim Gruner
  • Secretary: Joshua M. Piper

Members of the board are elected to 2-year terms, which are staggered so that approximately half of the board is up for re-election each year. Individuals interested in pursuing a position on the board were broadly invited to apply earlier in the year, and the governance committee then vetted and selected candidates to stand for election.

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