Our Team

Click on one of the following items for quick navigation: 

1) Staff  2) Board Members 3) Advisors 

Staff

Back row from left to right: Julian Garcia, Natalie Place, Spencer Christian, Tiare Gill.

 

Front row from left to right: Jordyn Egbert, Layla Al-Jamal Judkins, Annie Nguyen.

Executive Director (she/her)

As the child of refugees growing up in Alabama, Annie Nguyen’s passion for human rights started early. She has been working with nonprofit organizations in education, conservation, and social justice on the local, state, national, and international level for more than 20 years. After graduating from the George Washington University with a BA in Political Communication, Annie started her career in teaching, fundraising, and management. She has served as an afterschool writing/soccer coach for America Scores (DC), a Program Coordinator for the International Visitor Program (DC) and National 4-H Council (DC), a grant writer for the National Forest Foundation (MT) and Refugee Women’s Alliance (WA), the Maryland Branch Manager for BPSOS (MD), the Director of Grant Funding for St. Vincent de Paul of Baltimore (MD), and the Grants Manager for Seattle Jobs Initiative (WA).

 

Annie fell in love with the Northwest while earning her MFA at the University of Montana and moved to Seattle in 2015. She believes a more just world begins on the local level, by valuing diverse voices among stakeholders. As she has furthered her career, she has kept true to her belief in service as an active volunteer. She has volunteered as an Americorps Literacy Corps member, as a mentor for Asian American LEAD, a teacher trainer in Thailand, and most recently, as a moms group facilitator for PEPS and as a mural artist with Friends of Little Saigon. Annie joins City Fruit excited to increase access for all to Seattle’s urban fruit orchards, reducing food waste, and creating more community one fruit tree at a time. She would love to hear from you at [email protected].

Grants & Harvest Resources Manager (she/her)

Jordyn Egbert grew up in Leavenworth and Seattle, Washington. After earning a degree in Environmental Studies from Western Washington University, she returned to Leavenworth to pursue a position as an AmeriCorps Vista Summer Associate. Jordyn worked for the gleaning program of the Leavenworth non-profit, Upper Valley MEND. She led volunteer groups to glean thousands of pounds of produce from local orchards and farms, and delivered the produce to food banks in the Leavenworth area. This experience sparked Jordyn’s interest to work with organizations dedicated to addressing food insecurity and reducing food waste.  Looking to expand her knowledge of nonprofit fundraising, Jordyn received a certificate in Fundraising Management from the University of Washington.  


In April 2021, she joined the City Fruit team as an AmeriCorps VISTA Fundraising & Development Specialist, helping to develop sustainable sources of funding.  After completing her AmeriCorps service in April 2022, Jordyn joined the City Fruit team in a new role as Grants & Harvest Resources Manager.  Jordyn is thrilled to continue her work with the team, and bring her grant writing experience and passion for gleaning to her position at City Fruit.  She believes access to healthy food is a human right and should be available to every member of our community.  For information about our Harvest Program and scheduling a harvest, contact Jordyn at jord[email protected].

Fruit Tree Specialist and Assistant Harvest Manager (he/him)

Julian is originally from San Antonio, Texas, where he spent many of his early days out at his grandparents’ house among fig, citrus, peach, and loquat trees. He moved to upstate New York to study International Agriculture & Rural Development at Cornell University, and worked on an apple orchard during his time there. Upon graduation, he joined the Peace Corps in Panamá working with smallholder farmers to improve the sustainability of their agro-forestry systems and home gardens. In his third year as a regional coordinator, Julian trained and supported volunteers in their own community projects, as well as collaborated closely with Panamanian ministries and Peace Corps office staff.


He joined City Fruit in 2021 and is excited to help to improve our urban food system for all of Seattle through connecting communities of diverse backgrounds. He believes that a love of learning from others and an emphasis on teaching by doing are essential for community engagement. In his free time, Julian enjoys hiking, foraging, learning new recipes, and spending time with his puppy. For information about fruit tree care or to register your fruit tree and schedule a harvest, contact Julian at [email protected].

Education and Volunteer Programs Manager (she/her)

Tiare was born and raised on the island of O’ahu, Hawai’i, but Washington has been an important home-away-from-home for the past 6 years.  She originally moved to Tacoma to pursue a bachelors in Biology and Environmental Policy & Decision Making from the University of Puget Sound.  Following graduation, she spent two years as an educator and volunteer mentor at the Slater Museum of Natural History, where her love for inquiry-based learning, natural history, and community building took flight.  While living in Washington, Tiare has maintained her connections back home, working with O’ahu organizations focused on native ecosystem restoration whenever she is on island. 

 

Most recently, Tiare graduated with a MA Ed. in Urban Environmental Education from Antioch University Seattle, and she hopes to use this degree to be a more equity-minded and community-rooted educator.  She comes to City Fruit with the knowledge that food is not only a vital component of individual identity, but also community identity, and hopes to be able to contribute to food sovereignty efforts in the community.  Her favorite fruits include mango, breadfruit, and plum.

 

For information about our volunteer events and educational programming, you can reach Tiare at [email protected].

AmeriCorps VISTA Fundraising and Development Specialist (she/they)

Vera-Camille grew up in north Seattle, biking, digging, and adventuring in the various parks and green areas around. During her recent years living in Texas, she delighted in walking along the bayous and through the expansive fields near her town. She grew to cherish these places for the peace they gave her, building on a long held love for the outdoors. After graduating with an Associates of Arts from her local state college in 2020, Vera-Camille moved back to her hometown to pursue her interests. After working a year to establish herself, she became an AmeriCorps member and part of the City Fruit team. There she works to expand and aid City Fruit’s efforts to secure the right of fresh fruit for everyone.

For more information about our mission at City Fruit, please reach out to Vera-Camille at [email protected]

Community Engagement and Education Intern (he/him)

Spencer grew up in Austin, Texas, where he first tasted fruit in the form of apple sauce.  He attended the Academy for Global Studies at Austin High School, where he was able to travel to Costa Rica and Ecuador, studying world history, sustainable agriculture, and eating plenty of bananas.  He moved to the Pacific Northwest to study English literature, art history, and ethnic studies at Whitman College in 2016.  Before moving to Seattle in 2020, Spencer worked in museums and art galleries in Austin and Walla Walla, curating exhibitions and designing educational materials.  His time in the Walla Walla Valley turned an interest in (drinking) wine into a career working in tasting rooms and vineyards, where he was fascinated by how the grapes make it from the fields to the bottle.  Spencer is currently pursuing a Masters in Education from Antioch University Seattle. To learn more about our current youth programming, including our new Urban Fruit Guardian program, please email Spencer at [email protected]

Board of Directors 

Leslie Llado

 – President –

Director, Global Infrastructure & Product Development, Splash.

City Fruit member since 2020.

Leslie moved from Austin, Texas to Seattle several years ago in search of cooler climates and higher-altitude adventures. Her interest in local food systems began while studying regenerative agriculture in graduate school. Since then, she has fueled this passion by volunteering at farmer’s markets, supporting harvests at local farms, and cultivating her community garden. Leslie is passionate about City Fruit’s mission to support Seattle’s urban fruit orchards and promote local food justice and looks forward to helping achieve these goals as a board member.

 

Leslie comes to City Fruit with over 10 years of experience creating and executing strategic initiatives in Africa, Asia, Central America and the United States for corporate, non-profit, and government organizations. Currently she leads infrastructure and social enterprise activities for Splash, a Seattle-based non-profit focused on improved water, sanitation, hygiene, and menstrual health for kids in Africa and Asia. She brings skills in non-profit program management, social enterprise development, and environmental sustainability to her work at City Fruit.

Patrick Gordon

 -Vice-President –

Government & Public Service Sector Consultant, Deloitte Consulting.

City Fruit member since 2020.

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. 

James Lenihan III

 -Treasurer –

Senior Manager of Financial Planning & Analysis, Tableau Software.

City Fruit member since 2019.

James joined City Fruit because it bonds our environment with our community in a way that everyone benefits. He believes City Fruit is uniquely positioned to steward our urban orchard in a dynamic, changing landscape while responsibly leveraging our natural resources to ensure our neighbors thrive.

 

James is a Senior Manager of Financial Planning & Analysis (FP&A) at Tableau Software and has prior experience in public accounting at KPMG LLP. James holds Bachelors of Science degrees in Accountancy and Finance from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, a Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Washington Foster School of Business, and is a licensed CPA in the State of Washington.

 

James aims to leverage his professional experience and academic background to ensure City Fruit’s resources are put to their best and fullest use as the organization advances its community impact.

Lamai Cox

– Secretary –

Clerk/Previous Manager of Community Giving, PCC Markets.

City Fruit member since 2019.

Lamai has always enjoyed sharing in fruit harvests. Whether enjoying sun-warmed goods in her grandma’s garden or sharing recipes with friends. 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 pursuing a Master’s in environmental studies, specializing in geography at Western Washington University. During her studies Lamai is driven to build data visualizations across geographies so that all may better understand and interact with their environments for long-term conservation. She holds a BA in environmental studies from the University of Washington with a minor in anthropology and believes that human culture and the natural environment must be addressed in tandem for a resilient and sustainable future.  Most recently she was the Manager of Community and Giving at PCC Community Markets, bringing to City Fruit insight on grocery retail through the lens of a cooperative business model and perspective on business philanthropy.  

 

At home, Lamai finds peace anywhere outside, getting her hands in the soil, and – of course – foraging!  Lamai aims to add diversity in City Fruit’s guidance that can incorporate all communities of Seattle.

Michael Kim

– Member –

State Income Tax Reporting & Compliance Team, Amazon.

City Fruit member since 2019.

Michael joined City Fruit because it empowers Seattle’s community to nurture two of Seattle’s most neglected natural resources — its landscape and its people. He hopes to challenge our community’s standards for inclusive and active engagement and to further enrich our city’s urban landscape through thoughtful planting of edible resources, including the cultivation of existing and new fruit trees. 

 

Michael was born and raised in Los Angeles (i.e., the San Fernando Valley) and moved to Seattle in 2009 to attend the UW’s law school. Currently, he works with Amazon’s state income tax reporting and compliance team. He’s the husband of a budding chef (@mextizopnw) and the father of a terrier mix named Remy. In his free time, he’s a muddled mix of an amateur ceramicist, vegetable gardener, aquaponics experimenter, casual gamer, and aspiring bike commuter. His favorite fruit, if he had to choose, is Korean pear.

Rivers Townes

– Member –

Account Executive, Salesforce. 

City Fruit member since 2019.

In 2018, Rivers’ career in technology brought him to Seattle from Charleston, South Carolina. And more recently, his love of nonprofits and passion for social justice brought him to City Fruit. Rivers is inspired by the community that food (and in our case, fruit) brings together. Rivers’ appreciation of local fruit was inherited from his role model and grandfather, who made his own wine using South Carolina-grown Fredonia grapes and emphasized the importance of using fruit that shared the same sunlight and rain as his family and community. 

 

By day, Rivers works as an Account Executive with Salesforce.org, partnering with changemakers who are building a more just and equitable world. He brings with him 4 years of experience in nonprofit technology and a unique perspective on how solutions and data can be leveraged to drive social impact. Through City Fruit’s mission to promote Seattle’s urban fruit, it’s Rivers aspiration that we also promote the wonderful diversity of our urban neighborhoods, and strive towards a happier, healthier, and more inclusive community.

Cristina Airado

– Member –

Fiber Crops Technical Program Manager, Textile Exchange.

City Fruit member since 2021.

Eric Madrid

– Member –

Mitchell Medical Consultants Network. 

City Fruit member since 2019.

Jason Giroir

– Member –

Head of Channel Sales, Marketing & Planning, Amazon Kitchen. 

City Fruit member since 2022.

Advisors 

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.

Matt Pope

– Technology Advisor –

Web Applications Developer, Fair Trade USA.

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.