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US Board of Directors

Carrie Evans, President

Carrie Evans PhotoCarrie’s passion for community development work began as a Peace Corps volunteer for three years in the Philippines. Work there seemed always to center around the school environment. Perhaps because of the feeling that the school is often the “hub” of village development, she returned to Colorado to earn her Masters in Multicultural/ Bilingual Education from the University of Colorado at Boulder. Then, she embarked on a 25 year career with the Boulder Valley School District. Although beginning as a teacher, her interests always focused on the social/emotional well being of students and families. She has been able to continue stints of international education work in Central America, Mexico, Uganda, Tanzania over the years. Through these sabbaticals, she has gained flexibility, creative problem solving, leadership practices in a most non-traditional sense, courage and recognition of self-care, by working in these settings. After three years in Guatemala working as a social worker for Common Hope, a non-governmental agency focused on family development to support students’ educational needs, she received a Masters in Social work from University of Denver, to deepen the work of leading others in social change and equity. This led to leadership as a school principal of an alternative service learning middle school. For the last decade, she has served as a School social worker, focusing on low-income students and their families. She also is a Licensed Clinical Social worker in Colorado and runs a small private practice. She loves cross-country skiing, making art and seeking her next international adventure. She looks forward to rekindling work and friendships in the Philippines through her role on the Global Seed Savers Board of Directors.

Alisha Wenger, Board Treasurer

Alisha is a fundraising professional who first learned about Global Seed Savers after attending a Seed School in a Day training facilitated by our Executive Director Sherry. As part owner of Seeds Trust, a local seed company selling high-altitude, open pollinated seeds, the mission and work of Global Seed Savers was an obvious fit. Alisha is a proud Coloradan who grew up in Steamboat Springs and studied English at Colorado State University. After graduation, she fulfilled a dream of serving with the UnitedStates Peace Corps, spending three years in Togo, West Africa as an Environmental Action and Food Security Volunteer. It is there Alisha found her love for empowering communities to find innovative solutions for making our world a better place to live. Since returning home in 2013 she has worked in both the non-profit and local government sectors in the Denver metro area. Alisha recently completed her Permaculture Design Certification and loves cooking vegetarian feasts, hiking peaks with her pup, practicing yoga, and traveling the world with her husband. She looks forward to growing along with Global Seeds Savers as a new member of the Board of Directors.

Alaine Janosy, Board Member

Alaine is excited to join Global Seed Savers because organic food has always played an important role in her life. Supporting organic famers and farming through the mission and work of Global Seed Savers is a natural extension of her personal passion. Growing up at a time when Whole Foods was still just a store in Texas, some of Alaine’s favorite memories includegrocery shopping at the local natural foods store and picking up vegetable shares from a regional organic farm. Ultimately, this early exposure to organic food and agriculture influenced not only her personal passion, but also her career trajectory.
 
Alaine has worked extensively in sustainable agriculture and food production systems. Her past experience includes work with many top companies such as Chipotle Mexican Grill, Fairway Market, Slow Food USA, and Accenture. In her current role as the Business Partner for Nutrition  Health and Wellness at Nestlé, Alaine collaborates with senior leadership to drive sustainable agriculture strategy and enable Nestlé’s response to increasing consumer demand in that space. Her work spans all Nestlé operating companies in North America. She holds an M.A. in Food Systems from New York University and graduated Cum Laude from The George Washington University. In addition to her considerable sustainability experience, Alaine is also a trained pastry chef.

Marissa Loterina, Board Member

Marissa first learned about GSS when she was a Graduate Student in Denver in 2015. She joined our Board of Directors in March of 2019. With a desire to help others, Marissa found her passion in working alongside communities at the international level many years ago. Upon receiving her bachelor’s degrees in International Affairs and Sociology at the University of Georgia (Go Dawgs!), she pursued a master’s degree in International Development at the Josef Korbel School of International Studies at the University of Denver. She is currently the Program Officer for Days for Girls  in Guatemala where she manages all country programs, creates and implements monitoring and evaluation tools, works with social enterprises, and leads marketing strategies. She believes in building the capacity of locals and collaborating with them to find solutions in order to achieve long-term sustainability and meaningful impact. She has experience in program management, communications, fundraising, and team capacity building in cross-cultural settings. 
 
Growing up in a Filipino/Mexican household in Los Angeles, California, Marissa is eager to work with farmers in the Philippines to strengthen ties with her roots there, but most importantly to empower them and their work! With a deep love for food, Marissa believes that food security and organic farming practices are important for our health and environment worldwide. Marissa enjoys dancing, exercising, eating delicious food, painting, knitting, and traveling.

Stacy Armbruster, Board Member

Stacy’s passion for working internationally began in 2012 when she lived in Ecuador working with the Ceiba Foundation for Tropical Conservation and the local community of Tabuga on reforestation and environmental education projects. From there, she moved to southern Belize to serve as a Project Manager with Ya’axché Conservation Trust, collaborating with indigenous communities, including farmers and women’s groups through leadership trainings, capacity building workshops, and providing technical support. In 2013 she returned to the US and moved to southwest Colorado where she served two years in AmeriCorps with the Montezuma School to Farm Project as a Garden Program Coordinator, teaching garden-based education and creating local support for school garden programming. 
 
Most recently, Stacy completed her Masters of Science in Conservation Leadership at Colorado State University in Fort Collins. Her thesis focused on looking at women’s barriers and opportunities to participation within agricultural programming and market systems development. Stacy is currently a Research Associate at Colorado State University in the Department of Human Dimensions of Natural Resources. She is excited about her role on the Global Seed Savers Board of Directors and connecting with and learning from farmers and partners in the Philippines.

Michael Beck, Board Member

 
Michael is 1/4 Filipino his grandmother was born and raised in Jolo, Sulu before moving to the United States. This small bit of heritage drew him to start his company, Venture Coffee Company. Which imports coffee from the Philippines to Denver. You might remember tasting this delicious brew at our Annual Nourish Events in the past years. He also created Tribung Kape, Inc. to support the work of Philippine Coffee Farmers which is based in the Davao del Sur, Mindanao the southern region of the Philippines. Both of these company’s goals are to assist the coffee industry of the Philippines attain recognition worldwide. By doing this, securing financial, economic, and environmental sustainability for Filipino Coffee Producers. 
 
Michael holds a Masters in Environmental Management from the University of Houston- Clear Lake where his focus was Environmental Stewardship and Education. He has worked in Houston and Austin, Texas putting this into action by minimizing landfill waste and providing staff with educational resources.  He has also served on the Board of Directors of the Bicycle Racing Association of Colorado as both President and Vice President. Michael is excited to share his passion for helping Filipino Farmers gain economic and environmental sustainability by serving on the Global Seed Savers Board of Directors.  

Burke Fishburn, Board Member

Burke Fishburn is the Executive Director of the Posner Center for International Development,  a Denver-based community of almost 200 organizations and individuals working across the spectrum of international development issues in over 100 countries. The Posner Center’s mission is to convene, connect, and catalyze the international development community to collaborate for greater impact. Global Seed Savers is proud founding tenant of Posner and thrilled to have Burkes leadership and guidance extend to our Board. 

Burke previously led Colorado-based global public health consulting firms, directed the World Health Organization’s Tobacco Free Initiative in the Western Pacific Region, and served as a US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Associate Director for Policy, Planning and Evaluation, as well as a Technical Officer in Cambodia, Lao PDR, Malaysia and Viet Nam. He is a former Navy Lieutenant, and graduate of the Georgetown University Master of Public Policy Program and Villanova University.

Philippines Board of Directors

Padmapani L. Perez, President 

Padmapani (Padma) L. Perez is an anthropologist by training and a writer by heart, she received her bachelor’s degree in Social Sciences from the University of the Philippines Baguio. Padma went on to pursue a master’s degree in Environmental Anthropology in Kent University, in the United Kingdom, after which she earned her doctorate in Anthropology from Leiden University, in the Netherlands. She is presently a Research Fellow at Far Eastern University, in Manila. Her research interests include indigenous peoples’ rights, nature conservation, climate change, art, and visual ethnography. Padma balances her academic work with community engagement in different forms, including disaster response, participatory governance, writing for a popular readership, and now, happily, organic farming and seed saving! Her poems, essays, and feature articles about motherhood, Philippine Cordilleran culture, art in Baguio, and the environment appear in various Philippine books, periodicals, and online publications.

Cesar Glavey,  Vice-President

Cesar Galvey is the current President of LaTop: La Trinidad Organic Farming Practitioners Association the regions largest organic farming cooperative in the Northern Philippines. Prior to becoming a full time organic farmer and advocate, Cesar served 15 years as a Barangay Official in La Trinidad, Benguet honing in on his community development skills and learning how to interface effectively with a variety of government offices to provide social good services to communities. His advocacy and desire to become an organic farmer began when he saw the adverse health effects that the chemical laced cut flower industry had on himself, his family, and his neighbors. He has been practicing organic farming since 2005 on his 1,000 sq meter farm in Shilan, La Trinidad, Benguet that is a certified organic farm and ATI-CAR learning site farm. In 2016 Cesar joined the GSS Seed Savers group and began to produce his own organic seeds. Through this work he has been inspired to share his new found seed saving knowledge with a wider community of farmers in the Philippines. He is excited to serve on the Philippines Board and continue to advocate for organic farmers and food security throughout the Philippines. 

Efren Cabbigait,  Treasurer

Efrenlito (Efren) is a social worker with more than a decade of experience in the social development sector. He has worked for many Non-Government-Organizations (NGOs) in several capacities ranging from direct service provision, youth development, program development, to resource mobilizer. An ardent advocate of social justice, he commenced his career at the Institute for Inclusive Education Foundation in Baguio City by advocating for the rights of blind children to be included in the regular classes and advocating to make schools more accepting of children with diverse needs. He advanced to more complex roles in following organizations leading to his current job as a Liaison Officer at the International Justice Mission. His main duties include, accessing resources from government and private agencies to help restore lives of sex trafficking victims. Efren holds the following degrees: Masters in Social Work (MSW) from Philippines Women’s University in Metro Manila, Masters in Social Development Studies (MSDS) from The University of Philippines, Baguio City, and a Bachelors in Science (BS) in Social Work from Saint Louis University in Baguio City.

His motivation for joining Global Seed Savers-Philippines comes mainly from being a son of a poor farmer. Life was difficult for him growing up with a parent whose career was undervalued by the market economy. He believes that GSS vision is fitting to his aspiration for promoting farmers to a higher degree of importance within the society, which will translates to farmers leading better and more sustaining lives.

Nash Tysmans,  Secretary

Nash is a writer, teacher, and community worker. She was previously employed by the government to do communications work but found that she was best fit to be outside of the office, on the ground, collecting stories to make better policies. She splits her time between the Cordilleras and Mindanao, seeking to understand the everyday in the far away and learn about farmers whose lives are directly bound to the earth. At present, Nash is fascinated by what’s on her plate. She’s determined to discover where her food comes from and hopes to encourage more people to pay attention to how food travels from the farm, to the market, to our plates. In the course of her work, she has found that food is a universal experience that not many can enjoy and so, there must be a way to change this, one community at a time.

Rambie Lim, Board Member

Rambie Katrina Lim is a Community worker who specializes in marketing and product development of community products. Initially focused on Traditional Textiles and Artisanal crafts in the Philippines with Rurungan sa Tubod Foundation, Inc. and HABI: the Philippine Textile Council, developing products and introducing them to the main markets in Manila. Despite relative success in these fields, she felt a need to widen her scope and venture into sustainable livelihood with Ayala Foundation Inc. and the Tao Kalahi Foundation, working with non traditional communities, relocation sites and the islanders, enforced her love for farming and the need to instill in people the importance of food security.

Jeffrey Sotero, Board Member

Jeffrey Sotero has served as the Municipal Agriculture Officer in the Municipality of Tublay, Benguet since 2008. In this role he has been a tireless advocate for Global Seed Savers programs helping us launch our first Seed School in Tublay in December 2015. Thanks to his leadership and support our founding Seed Library is housed at the Municipal Agriculture Office and we continue to partner to host technical and capacity building trainings for farmers at the Municipality of Tublay. In 2018, under his leadership Tublay was given the distinguished honor of being named the top Organic Municipality in the Country at the National Organic Agriculture Congress of the Philippines. He holds a Bachelor’s of Science in Agriculture Engineering from Benguet State University (BSU) the region’s leading agriculture school. He is currently completing his Master’s in Science in Rural Development also at BSU.

In addition to his long leadership at the Municipal level he also served for four years as a Barangay Council Member in Daclan, Tublay. He and his wife Connie operate a beautiful organic farm in Daclan and are active members of the Benguet Association of Seed Savers (BASS). We are excited to welcome Jeffrey to the Philippines Board of Directors where he can share his local government expertise and passion for our mission to support our continued expansion and collaborative partnerships throughout the Philippines.

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