US Board of Directors
Carrie Evans, President
Carrie’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
Marissa Loterina, Board Member
Stacy Armbruster, Board Member
Michael Beck, Board Member
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
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.