Hilary joined Washington Farmland Trust in 2011, working on many facets of our farmland conservation program, including real estate transactions, conservation planning, and management of public grants for acquisitions. Hilary has been involved in land conservation and watershed protection since 2004, working with a range of local, county, federal, and international conservation initiatives. Prior to her work at the Trust, Hilary focused on coordination of community-based conservation programs, including watershed restoration projects, natural resource management, and planning (operational and financial) for long-term management of protected conservation lands. Hilary holds a B.A. in Political Science, and a MPA from the University of Texas-Austin.
Favorite Vegetable: Green beans
Over the last decade, Melissa has helped shape the direction of the Washington Farmland Trust’s conservation, stewardship and conservation finance initiatives. Today, as Executive Director, she leads the Trust’s staff and board, as well as its impact investment work. Prior to her work at the Trust, Melissa worked on conservation and natural resource initiatives spanning the natural areas of the Midwest to the farms and forestlands along the West Coast. Melissa holds a B.S. from the College of Food, Agriculture and Environmental Sciences at The Ohio State University and a Master’s degree where she studied the connections between our local communities and working landscapes. When not at work, Melissa enjoys being outside and exploring our natural world and communities, with her family.
Favorite Vegetable: Ohio sweet corn
Robin Fay grew up on his parents’ organic berry farm in the San Juan Islands, where he learned about farming first hand. He received a degree in Environmental Policy from the University of Puget Sound, and a Masters in Public Administration from the University of Washington. Robin has diverse work experience, including working in bike shops and as an EMT. Robin brings a background in land use planning and farmland conservation policy to his role as Conservation Director, working with the rest of the conservation team to cultivate relationships with farmers, complete conservation transactions and easement purchases, and protect valuable farmland around the region. Outside of work, Robin loves spending time outdoors and eating good food with his family and friends.
Favorite Vegetable: Peas
Molly joined Washington Farmland Trust’s communications team in 2016. As Communications Director, Molly leads efforts to raise organizational visibility and increase public support for local farms. Molly works across programs to help bring people closer to our work, make meaning out of complex stories and data, and develop inclusive and accessible messaging that inspires action. Prior to joining the Trust, Molly spent four years at a strategic communications firm helping to elevate the work of nonprofits. Molly graduated from the University of Washington with degrees in Communications and Interdisciplinary Visual Art. When not crafting content or conducting photoshoots on the farm, you can find Molly drinking coffee, picking flowers from the side of the road, or devouring her cookbook collection.
Favorite Vegetable: Green zebra tomato
Joy brings years of experience in non-profit management for arts and humanities organizations to her role as Operations and Finance Manager. Joy’s passion for conservation was sparked at a young age, having grown up overseas as a Navy “brat” and seeing firsthand how the well-being of countries is often linked to the state of the natural environment and the opportunities it offers to local communities. Joy holds a Bachelor’s of Science in Finance from George Mason University in Virginia. Outside of work, you can find Joy eating her way through new towns and adventuring outdoors with her husband, two kids, and German Shepherd.
Favorite Vegetable: Cauliflower
Megan joined Washington Farmland Trust in 2015, bringing nearly a decade of experience in community engagement, advocacy, and coalition-building with her. In her role, Megan leads the Trust’s Community Engagement and Farm to Farmer programs. Before coming to the Trust, Megan was a community organizer working on a range of environmental issues, including reducing climate pollution. She graduated from Dickinson College with a BA in English. When she’s not at her desk or out talking with people about the Trust’s work, you can usually find Megan with her nose in a good book, trying out a new recipe using local produce, or adventuring.
Favorite Vegetable: Garlic
Nayla Jiménez Cabezas
Nayla was born and raised in Costa Rica surrounded by family and nature, having grown up on seven acres of land that her grandparents restored. She received her BA in Education and Business Administration, and went on to pursue a Master’s in Environmental Education with a focus on organizational sustainability from Goshen College. Nayla has worked as COO of a federally qualified health care center, as a small business development consultant, and as an independent project manager for a variety of organizations and businesses. As a Brown, gay immigrant, issues of access and equity are extremely important to Nayla. Motivated by her own journey and experiences, Nayla is a strong believer in the transformative power of relationships, and aims to apply that to her work as she connects with farmers, landowners, and other partners across the state. Inspired by food, nature, and music, you can often find Nayla cooking a meal, exploring the outdoors, or playing the guitar for her wife and daughter.
Favorite Vegetable: Heirloom tomato
Claudia joined Washington Farmland Trust’s fundraising team in 2021, bringing more than a decade of experience in engagement, community relations, data analysis, and program management. Prior to joining the Trust, Claudia spent 13 years on the membership and community relations teams at PCC Community Markets (the co-op is Washington Farmland Trust’s founder). Claudia is passionate about local food and farming, having worked in a community kitchen and on urban farms as a young adult, and is excited to support the fundraising team in its efforts to engage donors and raise funds in support of the Trust’s mission. Claudia received her bachelor’s degree in Geography with a focus on Urban Sustainability from the University of Washington. In her free time, she enjoys hiking, backpacking, and feeding her family her world class biscuits.
Favorite Vegetable: Radish
Nate brings close to two decades of experience in food, farming, and farmland preservation to his role as Conservation Manager. Nate and his wife own and manage Oyster Bay Farm, a 40 acre organic diversified livestock and crop farm on the shores of Puget Sound in Olympia, WA. They started farming in 2002 as caretakers on the farm, and, ultimately, they became owners in 2018 after successfully completing an agricultural conservation easement. Prior to joining WFT, Nate worked with Washington State Department of Agriculture’s organic certification program and as Farm Policy Director at the Organic Trade Association. He holds a bachelors of science in organic chemistry and agricultural science from The Evergreen State College.
When not pursuing his passion of farmland preservation, Nate can be found working on his own farm, floating his drift boat down local rivers in pursuit of salmon and steelhead, or foraging for mushrooms in our region’s forests.
Favorite Vegetable: Snap peas
Favorite Vegetable: Potato
Marisol joined Washington Farmland Trust’s fundraising team in 2021, bringing over a decade of experience in digital communications, fundraising, and community outreach to her role. As a proud daughter of farmworkers, Marisol cares deeply about community, conservation, and social justice — all values instilled by her parents. Prior to joining WFT, Marisol worked as Digital Communications and Outreach Manager at EarthCorps, where she led efforts to develop equity-focused communications and outreach strategies to engage diverse audiences, and at the Latino Community Fund of Washington, where she gained a deeper understanding of philanthropy grounded in racial equity, social justice, and community engagement. Marisol earned a bachelor’s degree in Digital Technology and Cultures from Seattle University and recently graduated from the University of Washington with a Master of Communication in Communities & Networks. In her spare time, Marisol serves on the board of EchoX, a diverse and inter-generational initiative leveraging the power of the internet and social media to amplify the voices of ethnic communities in our region.
Favorite Vegetable: Potato
Stephanie brings over a decade of varied experiences to her role as a Conservation Manager, from running operations teams at high growth tech companies to owning and operating her own diversified farm in the Umpqua National Forest. Stephanie’s pivot away from the private sector and into farming was borne out of a love for our planet and a deep concern for how inequity expresses itself in agriculture. The intersection of Stephanie’s own lived experiences as a Latina, first generation American, first generation college/high school graduate, and native Spanish speaker – coupled with her exposure to our fractured farming industry – have shaped her relentless pursuit of a more equitable, resilient, and human-centered food system. Outside of work, Stephanie spends her time playing competitive soccer and volleyball, cooking from her CSA share, perfecting her focaccia recipe, and enjoying endless cuddles with her four pups, two cats, and loving partner.
Favorite Vegetable: Hakurei Turnips
Having grown up advocating for conservation issues and attending stream clean-up work parties along the Anacostia River in Maryland, Sophia brings a deep love for the natural environment and the outdoors to her role as Stewardship Coordinator. During her time working as an outreach specialist at the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, Sophia helped organize agricultural, reforestation, and riparian restoration events and workshops. Most recently, Sophia worked as an agricultural technician at the University of Maryland’s Waste to Energy Lab, where she collected and analyzed samples from an anaerobic digester. Sophia received a BS from the University of Maryland in Environmental Science with a concentration in Ecological Technology and Design. In her spare time, Sophia enjoys hiking with her dog, listening to audiobooks, and exploring the local music scene.
Favorite Vegetable: Artichoke
Nicole brings more than a decade of experience in agriculture and conservation to her role as Farmland Project Manager. Prior to joining the Trust, Nicole spent several years working for local conservation districts as a Farm Planner and most recently as a Wildlife Biologist for a national non-profit, engaging the community on conservation issues as well as providing education and technical knowledge to assist farmers in implementing conservation practices on their farm operations. Nicole grew up working on a variety of pastured dairy and livestock farms in New England and the Pacific Northwest. Having grown up in rural Connecticut, she developed a passion for conservation issues and has continued to find her place in supporting the local agricultural community ever since. In her spare time, Nicole enjoys gardening, cooking big meals, and adventuring outdoors — hunting, fishing, camping, or backpacking with her dog Sorrel.
Favorite Vegetable: Carrots
With more than 25 years of experience as a professional communicator, Liz Gorman has spent the past two decades solely focused on corporate social responsibility (CSR) and sustainability strategy and communications, a specialty that began while leading community affairs at Eddie Bauer, Inc. As a consultant for Cone Communications and Edelman, Liz provided strategic counsel to companies such as Starbucks, REI, CVS Health, Nike, and PCC Community Markets, among many others. In 2019, Liz co-founded Gorman Coale, LLC where she leads sustainability strategy, stakeholder engagement, and communications for a range of Fortune 250 clients. Liz graduated from the University of Washington with a degree in Political Science and earned her Master’s in Communications from the University of Minnesota.
Washington Farmland Trust is seeking to expand its board and board committees in hopes of better representing the communities we aim to serve. We’d love to hear from you.