Our Team

Staff

Carrie Ferrence

Executive Director

Carrie brings almost twenty years experience working with small businesses and non-profits to promote resilient and thriving communities. Most recently, she was co-founder and CEO at Stockbox Neighborhood Grocery, which has worked to improve access to good and fresh food inside of Seattle’s urban core. Prior to Stockbox, Carrie had more than a decade of experience in directing planning, marketing, and operations for non-profits, public organizations, and retail businesses including Second Use Building Materials, Seattle Public Schools, NISGUA (Network in Solidarity with the People of Guatemala) and more. She has also managed multi-sector planning projects in her work as the co-founder of a Seattle non-profit, which helped secure and develop a local park and community center.

Carrie was a Kiva Fellow in Tajikistan and is an Echoing Green Fellow. She earned a double B.A. in International Relations and Latin America Area Studies from America University and an MBA from the Bainbridge Graduate Institute (now Presidio).

Carrie was born and raised in rural Pennsylvania, where she grew up with a large orchard. While her urban plot is much smaller, she and her husband do maintain an extensive backyard garden, complete with fruit trees and chickens.  She lives in Seattle’s Crown Hill neighborhood with her husband, Ryan; her son, Duncan; and her cat, Gladys.

She is excited to work with City Fruit team and community to continue to grow the reach and scope of the organization’s impact.


Latest blog post: Look Up

Luke Jesperson

Harvest Manager

Luke was born and raised in the golden wheat fields of North Dakot. 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: Fresh Sheet for October 11th through October 18th

Barb Burrill

Orchard Manager

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. Years later in Seattle she was compelled to rescue neighborhood fruit trees choked by blackberries and ivy. Barb has been lead steward for the Burke-Gilman Trail Urban Orchard since 2010. She also volunteers in her son’s public schools where she has established “Green Teams” and has led Washington Green Schools certifications. She has an MBA from NYU and a large collection of piano ensemble sheet music just waiting to be played.


Latest blog post: When to Harvest Your Apples and Pears

Natalie Place

Senior Manager, Programs & Education

Natalie is a fruit enthusiast with degrees from Bastyr University and James Madison University.  With her combined education and work in public health and holistic design, she is passionate about healthy environments and happy people. Natalie has a diverse range of experiences from working with volunteers at CrossOver Ministry, an urban public health clinic, to a Seattle coffee shop gardener. In her free time she likes to practice bikram yoga in the U-district and likes to try new dance styles at the Massive Monkees Studio: The Beacon. Her desire to help people improve their quality of life brought her out the Pacific Northwest and she hasn’t looked back. Natalie loves meeting and working with amazing City Fruit volunteers and is also excited because she hasn’t yet met a new fruit she didn’t like! Contact Natalie at [email protected].


Latest blog post: #GivingTuesday

Claire Thompson

Communications & Outreach Associate

Claire's budding romance with the Pacific Northwest led her to Seattle in September of 2016, away from the warm winters of California -- and growing ever further from her southern roots. She studied Earth Systems at Stanford University, with a focus on food and agriculture. Although she is thrilled to don the raincoat of a Seattleite, Claire will be returning to her alma mater next year to complete a master's in Environmental Communication. She is an occasional dancer, a lover of words, and a hugger of mountains. 


Latest blog post: City Fruit Celebrates: Sponsors!

Emelia Williams

Member Stewardship Manager / Harvester

Emelia is a native Kentuckian who has never been too far away from the growing and harvest of food. A recent Centre College grad, she studied environmental science and international development with hopes of finding a way to work for the good of people and their places. This inclination has led to experiences at a community arts organization in Atlanta, an environmental education nonprofit in Central Appalachia and a child sponsorship program in Kampala, Uganda during her time in undergrad. Before moving to the Pacific Northwest, she worked as a writer and copy editor for a small Kentucky newspaper as well as an English teacher in Leon, Nicaragua. She is excited to be a part of the local Seattle food community and equally excited to be in a part of the world that has cool(er) summers. In her free time, she enjoys learning how to climb, reading books out loud, chickens, and David Bowie.


Marilyn Cotrich

Harvester

Marilyn’s interests in food justice and agriculture began to blossom at the same time that she discovered her fervent love for the outdoors — after a trip to Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks in California. She studied Sustainability and Global Health at Arizona State University, making the interconnectedness of our food, our land, and our wellbeing evermore apparent to her. She is proud to be a part of the food community of Seattle, and hopes to be able to share her love of fresh food and fertile soil with as many people as she can. She spends her spare time frolicking in the great outdoors, cooking with friends, and making lists of vocab words she wants to add to her repertoire. 


Hailey Moore

Harvester

Hailey has been in Seattle for nearly eight years, but she will never forget her Coloradan heritage. She is spending her time here learning as much as she can about growing, foraging, propagating, digging, and eating. She has studied Holistic Landscape Design, Visual Communications, and Herbalism and is interested in innovative city systems promoting strong communities, food justice, public horticultural therapy, and healthy ecological systems. She spends her free time fermenting things, climbing rocks, taking pictures of other people’s dogs, and dreaming of having her own cow someday. She is pretty happy to be climbing trees and picking fruit for the people of Seattle.


Board of Directors

Morgan Larsen

President

Morgan most recently hails from Chicago where she survived the winters by spending long hours crunching numbers first for Ernst & Young in their audit practice and then Citadel Investment Group working in Accounting Policy and Financial Reporting. She now has her own accounting consulting practice helping local nonprofits and small businesses develop and understand accounting systems. She also loves to explore Seattle’s urban parks with her two children, especially when they find fresh fruit to enjoy! Morgan holds a Masters in Accountancy from Arizona State University and is a CPA.


Betsy Moyer

Vice President

Betsy has always wanted to make a positive difference in the world by using her expertise and talents for the greater good. Since opening her consulting firm, Betsy has used her experience to help her nonprofit and business clients grow and contribute to the world. Betsy holds an MBA from Bainbridge Graduate Institute. She grew up in rural Pennsylvania where the art of preserving fresh produce for the winter was common and spent countless hours as a child picking wild berries. A few years ago, she and her husband bought a house with an ancient apple tree needing lots of love and care, which began her involvement with City Fruit.


John Braden

Treasurer

John Braden served as Director of the Seattle Aquarium from January 2005 through its transition to non-profit management in July of 2010. John was a key leader in negotiating the Transition Agreement and its implementation. He continues to serve as an ex-officio member of the Board of Directors, and as Director Emeritus serves of the Public Partnerships, Master Planning and Facilities Committees. Previously, John served as the Deputy Director of the Aquarium from 2002 to 2005, focusing on exhibit development, finance, and personnel management. Prior to that he had served as the principal planner for the Seattle Parks Department’s central waterfront properties. Earlier in his career, John worked in the City’s Office of Economic Development, serving as its Director from 1986 to 1991. His work focused on job creation, redevelopment of distressed communities, and planning for infrastructure improvements. John holds BA and MA degrees in Geography from the University of Washington. John was born and raised in Seattle. He and his wife, Kristin Johnsen, live in the Green Lake area where he grew up. He has two adult children, Will and Anna, who both live and work in the Seattle area.


Grant Bertoli

Board Fellow

Grant is currently pursuing his MBA at the University of Washington.  Prior to attending school he was a bank auditor for the Farm Credit Administration, where he traveled across the country visiting small agricultural banking institutions.  He also spent time as a financial analyst for an oil and gas company in Denver Colorado.  He graduated from the University of Colorado with an undergraduate degree in Finance. In his free time he is an avid skier and as a transplant to the Pacific Northwest, has learned to ski in the wet concrete like snow of Washington.  He also spends his free time exploring with his golden-doodle named Cooper.


Jeremy Erdman

Jeremy Erdman graduated with his Masters in Public Administration at the University of Washington's Evans School of Public Policy and Governance, specializing in environmental and energy policy in June 2016. Before coming to Seattle, Jeremy lived in San Antonio, where he studied Engineering Science and Environmental Studies at Trinity University with a keen interest in renewable energy. As a Board Fellow, Jeremy is thankful for the opportunity to work with an organization focused on strengthening Seattle's connection to sustainability. 


Joe Francis

Board Fellow

Joe is a newcomer to Seattle, moving here to pursue his MBA at the University of Washington. He grew up in India where he did his undergraduate in Computer Science and worked in Bangalore's tech space. Joe likes to be outdoors and explores Seattle during his free time. He likes fruits, with Oranges being his favorite. As an MBA board fellow, Joe is excited about City Fruit's mission dedicated to protecting fruit trees.


Brian McGuigan

Brian is a relative newcomer to Seattle, having arrived in 2012 to join Laird Norton Company where he is the Director of Corporate Investments.  Brian grew up in South Africa where he studied Chemical Engineering at the University of Cape Town.  After several years living and working in the UK, he moved to the US to attend business school at the University of Southern California's Marshall School of Business.  Brian is a cider enthusiast and has been a home cider maker for nearly a decade, but what he most enjoys is spending time with his with his wife and two young sons, especially outdoors.


Brandon Bills

Brandon moved from rural New York to Seattle in 2013, where he is a Marketing Manager at Mountain Safety Research. His involvement with City Fruit began while employed in his previous role at Whole Foods Market, where he managed Marketing, Community Relations, and Partnerships. Brandon graduated from Paul Smith’s College of Arts and Sciences in 2012 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Management and a minor in Business Administration. He holds an Executive Certificate in Marketing Strategy from Cornell University. In addition to his role with City Fruit’s Board of Directors, Brandon is a volunteer at The Nature Conservancy and spends his free time cooking, gardening, and hiking.


Annie Fadely

Board Fellow

Annie is currently an MPA candidate at the University of Washington. She works on local and regional political campaigns with a consulting firm and is a policy researcher and writer with Civic Ventures, a group devoted to catalyzing significant social change. Annie grew up in the Seattle area, and earned a BA from UW in international studies with specializations in climate change and energy. She's passionate about local, sustainable food systems, farmers markets, smoothie bowls, and books. 


Andrew Graf

Andrew moved to Seattle in 2015 after several years in Washington, D.C. working in the Federal Government with analytics and operational planning. Andrew joined Starbucks in early 2017 where he manages reporting and analytics for their 300,000+ worldwide partners.  Andrew’s background has always been rooted in giving back to his community. After completing his undergraduate degree, he served with AmeriCorps for Habitat for Humanity in Milwaukee, WI and completed his Economics MA fellowship with the City of Milwaukee Housing Authority. An avid cook and cider drinker, Andrew enjoys exploring PNW with his wife and son as they put down roots in West Seattle. 


Melissa Poe

Melissa has been gleaning fruit and foraging wild foods in the Seattle region for over 25 years. Melissa earned a PhD in Environmental Anthropology from the University of Washington. Currently, she serves as the joint social scientist for Washington Sea Grant (UW) and NOAA’s Northwest Fisheries Science Centerto improve understanding of the sociocultural dimensions of ecosystem management. Whether it’s facilitating a workshop on cultural food practices, speaking about access to nature as a social justice issue, or linking cultural values to ecosystem restoration, Melissa is passionate about strengthening ties between people and the environments in which they live. Melissa and her partner love to garden, forage, make medicinal salves, homebrew and botanical art.


Hazel Singer

Hazel’s work experience relates back to and is reinforced by her training in Economic Geography and Urban Planning: understanding how systems (e.g., transportation, social services, manufacturing, health, small and large businesses, communities, government, etc) function in a region; what are the constraints and obstacles to successes and efficiency; and how to increase participation by all citizens in these processes so that they have a stake in positive outcomes. Hazel has worked in the public, private, and non-profit sectors and her volunteer work has spanned hands-on work to policy review and budget development. She is one of City Fruit's original founders. 


Advisors

gailsavina.jpg

Gail Savina

Founder

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.

barb-burrill-150x150.jpg

Matt Pope

Technology Advisor

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.