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
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.
Efren Cabgigat, Treasurer
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 the Philippines Board 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 Global Seed Savers vision is fitting to his aspiration for promoting farmers to a higher degree of importance within the society, which will translate 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.