Sherry Manning, Founder and Executive Director
Sherry’s work with Global Seed Savers began when she served as US Peace Corps Volunteer in the Philippines from 2006-2008. She was fortunate enough to be assigned to the town of Tublay in Benguet Province and the loving Cosalan Family as her host family. Sherry dedicated her service to helping the Cosalan’s develop their ancestral land ENCA Farm (our founding partner), into an organic farming training center, youth environmental education facility, and leading sustainable eco-tourism destination. This critical work continued when she founded Friends of ENCA Farm (now Global Seed Savers) in 2010 to support ENCA Farm’s programs in the Philippines and build advocacy in the U.S. through her role as Executive Director. In 2015, under Sherry’s strategic leadership Friends of ENCA Farm began to expand their work beyond their founding farm and in light of this growth and success, in October 2017 they announced their new name Global Seed Savers at the 7th Annual Nourish Event.
Sherry holds a Masters Degree in Environmental and Natural Resource Law from the University of Denver Sturm College of Law and a Bachelor’s in Government from the University of Redlands in Southern California. She is a proud graduate of Seed School in a Day and the weeklong Seed School Teacher Training program of the Rocky Mountain Seed Alliance and has facilitated multiple Seed Saving courses in the US and the Philippines. Sherry also serves as the Interim Board Chair for The Women’s Bakery and the Vice Chair of the Board of Directors for the Posner Center for International Development. When not working for Global Seed Savers she can be found playing in the beautiful Colorado Mountains and enjoying delicious craft beers.
Karen Lee Hizola, Country Director, Philippines
Karen joined the Global Seed Savers team in 2016 and has been instrumental to our program growth and impact throughout the Philippines. Karen is an Electronics Engineer by profession but an artist and environmentalist by passion. In 2012, she had her Introduction to Permaculture and the following year pursued a more in depth Permaculture Design Course in Cebu, Philippines. This became her first experience in working with local organic farmers. Because of this, she has been looking for an opportunity to learn and, in turn, to teach people this paradigm shift. She spends her time working as a Graphic Designer and managing the Philippines Operations of Global Seed Savers. She lives by a quote from Arundhati Roy: “To love. To be loved. To never forget your own insignificance. To never get used to the unspeakable violence and the vulgar disparity of life around you. To seek joy in the saddest places. To pursue beauty to its lair. To never simplify what is complicated or complicate what is simple. To respect strength, never power. Above all, to watch. To try and understand. To never look away. And never, never to forget.”
Harry Paulino, Cebu Program Coordinator
Elizabeth Martin, Benguet Field Coordinator
Himani Patel, Operations Intern (GSSW Field Placement)
Join us in welcoming our newest team member, Himani Patel (as of September 2019)! Himani will be completing a year-long field placement internship with us as part of her Graduate Studies at the Graduate School of Social Work at the University of Denver. She is pursuing a dual degree from GSSW and an MA in International Administration from the Joseph Korbel School of International Studies.
” I am looking forward to interning at GSS for many reasons! I hope to work with farmers in India and refugees around the world after graduation. Refugees often have to live in camps and settlements for years, which causes issues with access to employment and nutritious food. Farmers globally face issues of food sovereignty and sustainable food production. Community seed banks can help address many of the issues these two communities face and the model for training and establishing community seed banks GSS uses is one I hopes to learn a lot from to aid refugees and farmers in the future. GSS is also a small non-profit that has been able to reach various areas of the Philippines with limited resources and a strong understanding of what farmers in the area need. I hope to learn a lot about nonprofit management by working with the GSS team as well.”