Our Team

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City Fruit Staff

Executive Director (she/her)

Born and raised in Iowa, Kara moved to Seattle after college and knew immediately she had found “home.” Now, for over 20 years, Kara has been working on community food systems efforts throughout the Greater Seattle region. With a background in urban planning, her work has focused on strategic planning, program development, and partnership convening within the food systems realm. From 2015-2022 Kara oversaw the development of the Food Innovation Network (FIN), a community-based initiative in South King County, WA. This included creation and implementation of Spice Bridge, home to a food business incubator, a farmers market and meal program. Previously, she owned a small consulting firm in which she worked with local governments and nonprofits on various community food system projects to improve food access and economic opportunity. Kara has served on the American Planning Association’s Food Division executive committee, the Seattle Planning Commission and Washington State Food System Roundtable.

 

 

Kara is thrilled to join City Fruit where she continues to work with the community to collaborate, innovate and improve efforts to achieve food justice. Her favorite fruit, hands down, are peaches. To connect, please contact Kara at [email protected].

Development Manager (she/her)

Jordyn Egbert grew up in Leavenworth and Seattle, Washington. After earning a degree in Environmental Studies from Western Washington University, she spent the summer and fall working for the gleaning organization, Upper Valley MEND in Leavenworth, where she led volunteer groups to glean thousands of pounds of produce from orchards and farms to share with local food banks. 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 2021. In April 2021, Jordyn joined the City Fruit team, with the belief that access to healthy food is a human right and should be available to every member of our community. She is thrilled to bring her passion for food justice to her position at City Fruit. Her favorite fruits include watermelon and peaches.

 

For grants and donation inquiries, please contact Jordyn at [email protected]

Education and Volunteer Programs Manager (she/they)

Tiare was born and raised on the island of O’ahu, Hawai’i, but moved to Washington in 2014 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. Tiare originally joined City Fruit in September, 2020 as a graduate intern through the MA Ed.Urban Environmental Education program at Antioch University Seattle. 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].
 

Tree Care Specialist (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 sign up your fruit tree for harvest, contact Julian at [email protected].

Program Coordinator (she/they)

Riley is a born and raised Washingtonian who grew up in the town of Maple Valley. They attended Western Washington University where they studied Environmental Journalism. After 2 years, she transferred to the University of Washington to pursue a degree in Environmental Studies and a minor in Law, Societies, and Justice in order to better merge her interest between environmental and social justice issues. For their senior Capstone project, Riley interned with City Fruit as a Community Engagement intern. She would later join the City Fruit team as seasonal harvester in the summer of 2022, where they saw just how much fruit is redistributed across the city. In November of 2022, they joined City Fruit full-time as a Programs and Special Projects Coordinator, helping to plan special events and projects such as orchard plantings, Pint Nights, etc. Riley believes that food is an essential part of one’s identity and community, and hopes to be a part in enabling all people to have access to the foods that make them feel the most like themselves. Her favorite fruits include sumo oranges, raspberries, and italian plums. 

 

For inquiries related to special events and our Harvest Program, contact [email protected].

AmeriCorps VISTA Fundraising & Development Specialist (she/her)

Jeanie is a PNW native, and attended Seattle Pacific University for an undergraduate degree in history. While in school, she volunteered with Seattle Tilth (Tilth Alliance), working in the community learning garden at the Good Shepherd Center. In 2016, Jeanie worked with Washington Latino Farmer’s Network, distributing fruit around Seattle. After serving with AmeriCorps in Fort Worth, Texas, she came back to Snohomish county to learn about sustainable agriculture with Nora Farms.


Reach out to [email protected] for social media/blog or cider press rental questions!

Fruit Tree Specialist (he/him)

Jeff has spent his entire life living in the Puget Sound region. He grew up surrounded by fruit trees and berry bushes in north Seattle and is currently working on transforming his yard into a food forest. Jeff has travelled throughout the United States enjoying the many different amazing natural wonders. A lifelong love of the outdoors and growing plants led him to pursue a degree in Horticulture from Edmonds College. The beauty and utility of fruit trees has captured his passion, and he is excited to be working with residents to keep their tree healthy and fruitful. He has worked on the fruit trees at the Edmonds Campus Farm as well as several orchards and private residences. Jeff has been a teacher, coach, has volunteered in his community, and views public service as a cornerstone in his life. He is eager to help reform our food systems and help empower people to grow and consume their own local fruit. In his free time, Jeff enjoys camping, hiking, live music, and standup comedy.

Board of Directors
Leslie Llado

 – President –

Director, Global Infrastructure & Product Development, Splash.

City Fruit member since 2020.

 

 

Jason Giroir

– Vice President –

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

City Fruit member since 2022.

Lamai Cox

– Member –

GIS Analyst at Environmental Science Associates

City Fruit member since 2019.

Patrick Gordon

 – Member –

Government & Public Service Sector Consultant, Deloitte Consulting.

City Fruit member since 2020.

Erik Madrid

– Treasurer  –

President at Probility Exam Services & Owner of Press Then Press

City Fruit member since 2019.

Maya Monroe

– Secretary –

Client Relationships Manager at Sprague Israel Giles, Inc

City Fruit member since 2023.

BJ Bell

– Member –

Head of Performance Measurement and Attribution at BlackRock

City Fruit member since 2023.

Advisors

Gail Savina

– Founder –

Matt Pope

– Technology Advisor –

Web Applications Developer, Fair Trade USA.