About

Staff and Board

Staff

Hilary Aten

Associate Director

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

Melissa Campbell

Executive Director

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

Conservation Director

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 Goren

Communications Director

Molly joined Washington Farmland Trust’s communications team in 2016. As Communications Director, Molly leads the organization’s communications program, which aims to engage key audiences, raise organizational visibility, and increase public support for local farms. Molly works across programs to make meaning out of complex stories and data, developing 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 writing 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

Megan Jenny

Community Partnerships Director

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

Senior Farm to Farmer Network Manager

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 Lewis

Senior Donor Engagement Manager

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 Lewis

Conservation Manager

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

Rosemary Martin

Senior Community Engagement Manager


Rosie brings more than a decade of experience in equity focused community development and advocacy to her role as Senior Community Engagement Manager. She holds a BA in Rural Development from the University of Alaska Fairbanks, with a concentration in community research and Indigenous knowledge. Rosie’s work includes supporting BIPOC communities through organizing workshops, programs, and partnerships focused on capacity building, leadership development, storytelling, and community and economic development. Prior to joining the Trust, Rosie was instrumental in initiating a food-centered community engagement program at Seattle Public Schools, increasing food and meal access for students and families of color throughout Seattle, while prioritizing fresh, locally-sourced foods through the implementation of a farm to school program. Outside of work, Rosie enjoys spending time with her husband and two doodle puppies, camping, hiking, cooking, and finding new coffee shops.

Favorite vegetable: Potato

Marisol Morales

Senior Fundraising Communications Manager

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

Sophia Toler-Smith

Stewardship Coordinator

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

Emily Trabolsi

Farm to Farmer Coordinator (Statewide)

Emily brings nearly a decade of experience working on local farms and at farmers markets to her role as Statewide Coordinator of the Trust’s Farm to Farmer program. Emily is passionate about uplifting local producers, strengthening the food system, and creating access to community resources for the “forseedable” future. Prior to joining the Trust, Emily served as a Retail Sales Coordinator for Oxbow Farm & Conservation Center, where she spent time implementing creative and sustainable land management strategies and cultivating a diverse and prolific network of good food advocates working to re-define our relationship with seasonal food. Emily received her BA in Environmental Education, Agroecology, and Sustainable Agriculture from Western Washington University. Outside of farming, Emily loves backpacking and hiking in the great outdoors, voraciously reading, laughing, cold water swimming, and cooking meals with family and friends.

Favorite vegetable: Alliums of all kinds

Steph Wang

Administrative Assistant

Steph joined Washington Farmland Trust’s Operations Team in 2021. As a queer, first-generation Taiwanese American, Steph loves bridging cultural differences and is passionate about uplifting and empowering marginalized communities. She is interested in social policy, particularly at the intersection of immigration justice, farmworker rights, and food sovereignty. In addition to working part-time at WFT, Steph is a graduate student at the University of Washington Evans School of Public Policy and Governance, where she is pursuing a Masters of Public Administration. Prior, Steph worked in the aerospace manufacturing and tech industries and received a Bachelors of Business Administration from the University of Texas at Austin in Supply Chain Management. In her spare time, Steph enjoys competing in ultramarathons and triathlons, drinking too much coffee, and listening to podcasts.

Favorite vegetable: Sweet potato

Nicole Warren

Farmland Project Manager

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


Board

Mark Kantor

President

As a founding shareholder of Kantor Taylor, Mark represents for-profit, nonprofit, and public entities in all aspects of the financing, planning, and development of affordable housing and economic development projects. Mark has been a national leader in the Low Income Housing Tax Credit industry for two-decades and, in addition to facilitating hundreds of transactions, has led numerous policy advocacy efforts in support of affordable housing.

Sandy Wood

Vice President

Sandy has a long history of supporting and working for environmental and social causes in the Northwest. Her career has ranged from urban planning & community organizing to psychology, teaching and organizational consulting. Most recently she was the Executive Director of the Lopez Community Land Trust and then the Technical Assistance Manager for Community Frameworks, a four-state non-profit intermediary in the affordable housing field. Feathers in Sandy’s cap include founding Seattle’s Homesharing for Seniors Program, being a leading founder of the Burke-Gilman Trail, and developing the nation’s first USDA-approved mobile meat processing unit. A PCC member for over 35 years, and now retired, Sandy wishes to actively participate in the preservation of precious farmlands and the provision of opportunities and support for new organic farmers in the Northwest.

Rachel Hynes, Secretary & Treasurer

Rachel has a background in finance and operations, currently working as the COO/CFO at Firefly Kitchens. She is passionate about the preservation of farmland and is excited to use her skills to support the important work of Washington Farmland Trust. She grew up in Central Pennsylvania with family who were farmers, acutely aware the benefits realized through good relationship with the land. She cultivates that connection at her p-patch plot, growing lots of brassicas as well as flowers for the bees. She lives in Capitol Hill with her husband Antonio and 2 cats.

Beth Mondzac

Past President

Beth Mondzac is an ardent supporter of organic farming and long-term participant in community supported agriculture and land conservancy. Beth believes in preservation of local organic farmland for future generations. She has lived in Seattle for over twenty years and has had a career in engineering management consulting that utilized both her undergraduate degree in engineering and her MBA.

Joan Caine

Joan Caine, founder and principal of Sirius Advice, has extensive nonprofit management and fundraising experience. Since establishing Sirius Advice in 2002, she has worked with 70 nonprofits in the greater Seattle area in the fields of human services, conservation and the environment, education, and arts and culture. Joan has a specialty in capital and other large-scale campaigns, and has supported more than 35 multi-million-dollar campaigns with feasibility, planning, and implementation counsel. Joan also works with clients to refine and strengthen messaging in support of successful fundraising. She has experience working with organizations aiming to build capacity and infrastructure, and provides training and coaching to staff and volunteers. Joan began working with Washington Farmland Trust on their $26-million-dollar Our Farms, Our Future campaign in 2016 and fell in love with their work. She lives in Lake Forest Park with her husband, Andre, where she tends to the garden of her dreams.

Liz Gorman

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.

Pamela Hinckley

Pamela’s career started in the late 1970’s when she discovered her true passion for the food and beverage industry while creating a farmer’s market for Americorps. That experience led her to change career paths from psychology to marketing, and in 1997, Hinckley became Vice President of Marketing and Sales at Redhook Brewery in Woodinville, Washington. Her 15 years there helped to hone her executive leadership skills and in 2002, Hinckley moved on to establish her own marketing consulting company. One of her greatest success stories was managing the launch of award-winning brand Theo Chocolate, which was ultimately included in Seattle Magazine’s “Best in Seattle” list in 2006. Hinckley’s reputation grew as a visionary in the Seattle food scene, so it came as no surprise when her long-time friend and Seattle restaurateur, Tom Douglas, approached her to join his team in 2009 as CEO/CVO (Chief Vegetable Officer).

Of the many rewarding experiences while at the restaurant company, Pamela considers these most memorable: setting up Made from Scratch cooking classes for kids, helping Tom’s wife Jackie coordinate visits to the company farm, working with Seattle Public Schools on improving school lunch, instituting Meatless Monday for staff meals, building a coconut cream pie float for the Gay Pride parade and raising tons of money for Food Lifeline with an annual croquet tournament.

Her husband, Michael Teer owns the fabulous wineshop, Pike and Western, so they enjoy tasting wine from around the world with vegetable forward meals at their home in Ballard.

Dr. Stephen Jones

Steve Jones is a wheat breeder at the Washington State University – Mount Vernon Research Center. Steve has a PhD in Genetics from the University of California at Davis and teaches graduate courses in advanced classical genetics and in the history and ethics of genetics. His first wheat crop was on five acres at Chico State University’s student farm in 1977. Together with his graduate students, he breeds wheat and other grains for local uses to be grown on small farms in the coastal west and the upper Northeast. He also runs the Bread Lab, a combination think tank/baking laboratory where they experiment with improved flavor, nutrition, and functionality of regional and obscure wheats. Steve grew up in the Bay Area and witnessed farmland loss first hand.

Gary Kotzen

Gary moved to the United States from South Africa in 1985 and joined Costco shortly after arriving in Seattle. During his 30 years with the company he held various positions in operations and merchandising, eventually leading Costco’s Global Sourcing and Sustainability Initiatives. Gary and his wife Lisa are both retired and enjoy traveling and spending time in the Pacific Northwest.

Jared Mitchell

Jared has worked as part of the Merchandising and Procurement team at PCC Community Markets for the past 12 years. Originally from the east side of the Cascades, Jared has lived in Seattle for more than 20 years and currently resides in West Seattle. Working at PCC and meeting some amazing people opened his eyes to finding ways to be an active part of the community he wants to live in, including being a long-time volunteer with the Farmland Trust. When he thinks about the most enjoyable ways to spend his time, all of them seem connected to the health of our environment and food system. Jared enjoys cooking for his friends and family and spending time on or around water. For Jared, farmland preservation is one way to contribute to a much bigger picture.

Josh Monaghan

Josh Monaghan, principal with Monaghan Consulting, has over 25 years of experience working in natural resource conservation, ranging from site specific farm conservation planning to managing and directing conservation programs and teams. He has led numerous collaborative initiatives that connect on-the-ground work to expand funding to support conservation and food system goals. Josh grew up on a small farm in Rhode Island, has a life-long commitment to farmland conservation, and has long been a supporter of the great work of the Trust. He is thrilled to be joining the Board.

Todd Olsen

Todd was born in Washington and is a life-long enthusiast of food, sustainability, and the outdoors. He serves as VP, Head of Marketing at Kingston Marketing Group, a Seattle-based marketing and PR/comms agency. Todd has worked in a marketing capacity for Starbucks, Golazo, and Young & Rubicam advertising, and with many endearing PNW brands including Metropolitan Market, Rad Bikes, and Rover, to name a few. Todd has served on two non-profit boards previous to this role, and is excited to contribute his energy and ideas to Washington Farmland Trust’s mission. When not at work or tending to board business, you can find Todd fly fishing, cooking with his family, biking around town, or at the Tractor Tavern listening to a local band. 

Bob Peterson

Bob Peterson serves as the Deputy Director of the Washington State Housing Finance Commission, a self-supporting state agency since 1983. As deputy director, Bob is responsible for the administrative integrity of the Commission, The deputy also directs and manages business services and has a major role in strategic planning and implementing the Commission’s racial-equity values. Bob brings a wealth of experience in affordable housing finance and insight into Washington’s housing and economic needs and opportunities. Bob joined the Commission’s Homeownership division in 2000 from the banking industry, later taking a hiatus to work at the Pierce County Housing Authority before returning to the Commission in 2006. He now manages federal Low Income Housing Tax Credit programs, which build or preserve thousands of affordable apartments across the state each year. Bob received a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Washington State University and an executive development certificate from the University of Notre Dame’s Mendoza College of Business.

Kate Wendt

Kate is the Divisional Vice President of Strategy at REI, the largest consumer cooperative in the US. At REI, Kate drives the company’s long-term vision and growth strategy, strategic planning, market insights, and new business development. Prior to REI, Kate was one of the youngest female Senior Equity Research Analysts on Wall Street, where she worked at Wells Fargo Securities covering the healthy lifestyles and grocery sector, and was recognized as a Rising Star in the Institutional Investor Poll. She also worked at ICR, Inc., an investor relations firm, where she collaborated with senior management teams in the consumer and retail sector to evolve their corporate strategy and best position their current initiatives and long-term goals to external and internal constituents. Kate graduated with honors from Stanford University, and is an avid trail runner, hiker, mother, cook, and lover of local food.