Laura has worked in the Seattle nonprofit sector for the past 13 years, serving as an Executive Director and a Program Director of organizations focused on environmental sustainability, education, and peace. She is currently a Senior Consultant with the Valtas Group, specializing in interim leadership. City Fruit's mission is particularly appealing to Laura, who studied natural systems agriculture at The Land Institute in Kansas. She holds bachelors and masters degrees in ecology. You can contact Laura at [email protected].
Juan comes from a family of migrant farm workers. The family traversed the east coast following work on farms, ranches, and orchards. They harvested apples, cherries, asparagus, sweet potatoes, oranges, etc. To this day, sweet potato pies and grilled asparagus are some of Juan’s favorite foods. The family eventually settled in West Chicago where Juan spent his formative years. He has still maintained a strong connection to growing food and sustainability.
Juan comes to City Fruit with a strong commitment to food and social justice. He is eager to learn about our city’s fruit trees to develop better methods in sharing resources with our communities and contributing to healthier trees and people. Contact Juan at [email protected].
Lisa originally hails from the metropolitan city of Tokyo but has spent the majority of her adult life in Seattle and fully embraces the life in the beautiful Pacific Northwest. Always interested in supporting the local community including the businesses and people that it represents, Lisa has spent most of her professional career dedicating herself to working with local artisan producers, including many years working for the WA Brewers Guild and WA Beer Commission. In addition, she founded the Washington Artisan Cheesemakers Festival in 2012 to help raise awareness for the growing cheesemaking industry in our state. Lisa is passionate about locally grown food and making it accessible to everyone in the community, and is excited to be part of the City Fruit team. Contact Lisa at [email protected].
Latest blog post: Fruit Tree Pruning Workshop and Community Lunch with Tilth Alliance
Emily comes to City Fruit with a passion for human growth and cultivating intentional communities. Knowing that nourishment through education, community and the food we eat is key to success for human growth, Emily is driven to support Seattle and City Fruit with equitable educational and volunteer opportunities that do just that.
Using the environment and education as her medium she has found herself in many Outdoor and Environmental Education roles in the past ten years after completing her B.A. in Geography at the University of Colorado. Fresh out of the desert canyons, rivers and mountains in Utah and Colorado working for Colorado Outward Bound School as a Course Director, Emily made the move to Seattle to complete her M.A. of Urban Environmental Education at Antioch University to become a more just and equity-driven educator.
In her free time, she is probably making “dad-jokes” while adventuring with friends wearing a banana costume (she really loves fruit).
Barb grew up on an apple, pear, and cherry orchard outside Selah, Yakima county, where she learned how to pick fruit, can fruit, and make pies from fruit. Decades later, while walking her son back and forth to elementary school, she noticed many fruit trees along the Burke-Gilman Trail choked by blackberries and ivy. Walk by walk she freed those trees, and realized a new passion caring for fruit trees. Barb started as a volunteer for Seattle Parks, then City Fruit, then joined City Fruit in 2013 as an employee, managing several public orchards in Seattle. In 2019 she moved from the public orchards to training home fruit growers with workshops and one-on-one consultations, focusing on organic pest control and pruning. She also teaches fruit tree pruning and in 2018 conducted a research study comparing effectiveness of different sizes of exclusion netting against codling moth and apple maggot damage at Meridian Playground orchard in Wallingford. Barb is getting back into playing piano (she was a performance major at Lewis & Clark College) and has a bunch of piano ensemble sheet music to share!
Latest blog post: When to Harvest Your Apples and Pears
Luke was born and raised in the golden wheat fields of North Dakota. A desire to experience elevation change brought him to pursue his studies in Tacoma at the University of Puget Sound where he graduated with a degree in political science. After returning to the states from teaching middle school math in Juticalpa, Hondura, Luke moved to Whidbey Island to help his sister on her 6 acre, organic produce farm, Deep Harvest Farm. After the 2013 harvest season was complete, Luke moved to Seattle and interned with the Domestic Fair Trade Assocation - an organization committed to working towards a more equitable, diverse, and sustainble food system. Besides playing in the dirt, Luke enjoys cooking, reading, ultimate frisbee, and getting lost in nature. Contact Luke at [email protected].
Latest blog post: City Fruit U-Pick Harvest Box
Board of Directors
Growing up in California's fertile Central Valley, Jeremy spent much of his childhood playing in orange groves with his dad and brother, which helped him understand the importance of integrating nature into city life. Jeremy moved to Seattle in 2014 to complete a Masters in Public Administration at UW's Evans School and was thrilled to see the abundance of fruit trees throughout the city. Jeremy currently works at Amazon, building and implementing programs to drive career development and improve employee satisfaction, diversity, and inclusion. He joined City Fruit in 2016 to help build a Seattle that uses its resources to care for the most vulnerable. Through City Fruit, he is determined to make sure that local, healthy food is available to those who need it most.
Growing up in Wisconsin, Andrew always had an association with fresh fruit and vegetables, from his parent’s garden to his uncle’s much larger farm. Upon arriving in Seattle in 2016, Andrew was impressed with the overall greenness of the city and was excited for the opportunity to revive family traditions in an urban setting. He was excited to join City Fruit because of the wonderful simplicity of its mission.
In addition to being a City Fruit board member, Andrew is a director who democratizes data at Starbucks. He lives with his wife and young son in West Seattle. Andrew’s goal is to leave a legacy of data literacy & growth that allows City Fruit to flourish and become a sustainable non-profit in the city of Seattle for years to come.
Brian moved to Seattle in 2012 to work for Laird Norton Company, where he is currently Vice President of Strategy and Corporate Investments. He is a keen amateur cider maker, and his interest in cider initially drew him to City Fruit. Over a period of years he got more and more involved, feeling that its mission just made sense. – The process culminated with his joining the board in 2016.
Brian lives in Magnolia with his wife and with their two young boys, who both love rubbish trucks. He is looking forward to making his first batch of cider from apples grown on the Yarlington Mill and Dabinett trees he planted a few years ago. He would like to see City Fruit become a financially stable and sustainable non-profit that is recognized as a pillar of the community.
Raised in the Greater Seattle Area, Patrick grew a fondness for our local environment through enjoying the great outdoors of the region. Working for the U.S. Peace Corps, he learned the value of subsistence farming and food preservation, growing his belief that access to food, despite one’s situation, should be a human right. Returning from abroad and hoping to make a career in the non-profit sector, Patrick attained a master’s degree in Public Administration from the Evans School of Public Policy and Governance. He discovered City Fruit when his family was looking for a way to donate extra fruit from their small family farm and gardens.
Joining the Board in January 2018, Patrick loves working with City Fruit and is driven largely by the organizations goals of feeding those in need and protecting the Emerald City’s unique urban orchard. He works as a Project Manager at Seattle University and brings his experience in organizational management, process improvement and board staffing to his work with City Fruit. In his spare time, Patrick enjoys making cider from his family’s trees, mountaineering around the Pacific Northwest, and spending time with his family, partner June, and cat Squash.
As a Seattle-area native, Lamai has been aware of City Fruit’s efforts for years. During travels abroad, she reflected on the uniqueness on her hometown and returned with a renewed vigor to enhance the Pacific Northwest and its spirit from a grassroots approach. She felt City Fruit embodied that mission of grassroots change for good.
Lamai is the Community Relations Program Manager at PCC Community Markets, bringing to City Fruit insight on grocery retail through the lens of a cooperative business model and perspective on corporate philanthropy. She has BA in Environmental Studies from the University of Washington with a minor in Anthropology, and is driven with the belief that human culture and the natural environment must be addressed in tandem for a sustainable future.
At home, Lamai enjoys sharing a meal, getting her hands in the soil, and – of course – foraging!
Lamai aims to add diversity in City Fruit guidance in a way that benefits all communities of Seattle.
Gail grew up picking apples in the ‘Apple Capital of the World’ and, after a hiatus of 40 years, returned to coordinate fruit harvests throughout Seattle. She has organized neighborhood and community harvest groups and is the author of Gather It: How to Organize an Urban Fruit Harvest. Gail’s background includes serving as a communications specialist with King County environmental programs, working as a public health educator, and overseas stints in the Philippines and Ghana. She has masters degrees in anthropology and public health.
Matt was introduced to City Fruit when he joined the Orchard Steward group at Martha Washington Park. He is committed to supporting good local food and is especially interested in getting it to those who need it most and in building knowledge and community around food. Most recently Matt has been applying his experience as a hobby hard cider maker to teaching people how to turn their bounty of apples into delicious cider. Matt works at Fair Trade USA as a web applications developer.