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. 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 Manager-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.”
Koe Gonzales, Data and Research Intern
Koe is a first generation Filipino-American and super excited to be part the team! He will be graduating with a Bachelors of Arts Degree in Peace and Justice and History from Regis University later this year (2018). He loves to travel and studied abroad in Peru in the spring of 2017. He has also visited various countries around the world in Asia, Europe, Latin America and the Philippines are his main interest. He strives to live a positive life and enjoys simple joys in life. Aside from international development he would like to have his own television show someday. The show would be called Koenan spreading humor and entertainment all over the world. Koe is Looking forward to contributing to the good work of Global Seed Savers this semester.
Jane Cavagnero, Events and Communications Intern
With a passion for keeping the communities surrounding farms and food strong, Jane has spent her last year and a half living in Boulder working with a number of nonprofits, farms and others groups whose goal it is to promote sustainable alternatives to industrial agriculture. With a degree in International Political Economy from Colorado College, Jane is looking forward to bringing her excitement about international development and sustainable food systems to Global Seed Savers. Her drive to learn more about the value of seed saving and the role it plays in traditional farming methods is what makes Jane so energetic about being a new member of the team.