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Our Staff and Board of Directors
Our Staff and Board
La Vang comes to Gardening Matters with more than 10 years’ experience in non-profit accounting, having worked for East Side Neighborhood Development Company, the Ronald McDonald House, the Jeremiah Program, Prepare and Prosper, and Minnesota Computers for Schools. She has a B.S. in Accounting and an M.B.A. Management. La has grounded her work in non-profits because she loves mission driven work.
Past Staff Members: Kelsey Barale, Ari Baum-Hommes, Nadja Berneche, John Brosnan, Ila Duntemann, Jeremiah Ellis, Lisa Farwell, Sara Grochowski, Rebecca Harnik, Magdalena Kaluza, Mallory Morken, Patsy Parker, Margaret Perez, Susan Phillips, Lina Rodriguez, Kirsten Saylor, Nate Schrecengost, Julia Wells
Seth has been a lifelong food activist. In his childhood, his family tended a vegetable garden, berry plants, and fruit trees at their home in the northern MN community of Baudette near the shores of Lake of the Woods. They would also occasionally visit his great-grandparents’ farm in western Wisconsin. In his adult life, Seth was a community gardener for five seasons with Celeste’s Dream Community Garden in St. Paul before pursuing the life of an urban farmer. In December 2010, along with his partner, Megan, he bought a house (with a double lot) in south Minneapolis. Presently, Kuhl Beans Urban Farm is largely a hobby more than a profession. Prior to joining the board in 2011, Seth served on the St. Paul-Ramsey County Food and Nutrition Commission. Professionally, he has worked at Second Harvest Heartland and The Home Depot, and currently works at Eastside Food Cooperative in northeast Minneapolis.
Anna has a background in environmental education and policy. She has a Bachelor's degree in Political Science from Colorado College, with a minor in Environmental Issues. After a stint in Washington, D.C., which included apprenticing on an educational farm, she moved to Minneapolis in 2013 to work for Wild River Academy--a nonprofit that utilizes rivers as a dynamic classroom to teach students about environmental issues. Anna is a current graduate student at the U of M Humphrey School of Public Policy. She has been pursuing her interest in state and local policy since moving to the Cities, and is excited to bring her experiences and energy to Gardening Matters.
Ebony is a Minnesota native with many interests which include gardening, preserving food, and photographing chickens in her backyard. From a very young age she started digging both hands and feet deep into the soil, so when time and schedule allow she can be found doing this with family and in community. As an awkwardly social butterfly, her love of food and nature drives her to continue to learn and explore the wonderful world around her. Some of Ebony’s talents include being a Red Cross Certified Aquatics instructor, Life Guard, Beach Manager, Artist, and community educator. She attended North Central University and Minneapolis Community and Technical College where she studied Youth Ministry, Culinary Arts, and Restaurant management. “You'll never know everything about anything, especially something you love.” ― Julia Child
Stayci Bell is an avid gardener, an actress, a model, a documentarian and most recently, a low voltage electrician. A single mother of 7, she loves ice skating, sports, crocheting and being involved and any and everything positive that she can find and have time to do. Stayci can be seen guerilla gardening all over the northwest suburbs.
Betty is an avid urban homesteader who has a hopeless compulsive food growing disorder. She is originally from Suburban Chicago but has lived in Minnesota since she was 18, including 10 years on a 40 acre farm north of Duluth. She has a Master's of Fine Art degree in Theatre Design and Technology, is a graduate of The National Institute of Wood Finishing and is a certified professional sharpener. Betty has a been an instructor for much of her life, ranging from teaching Theater Design in College and University, to diversity training for non-profits and tax theory and skills for H and R Block.
She likes working with her hands and is very interested in researching old ways of growing and preserving food. She is currently working as a self-employed furniture repair technician and sharpener, and at the Southside Farm Store.
Special thanks to past Board Members Amy Arcand, Mike Braunlin, Valentine Cadieux, Grace Chou, Betsy David, Beth Fritcher, Collie Graddick, Mark Granlund, Nate Halloway, Dan Halsey, Del Hampton, Allissa Heim, Michelle Horovitz, Jim Howitt, Beth Kackman, Krista Leraas, Abe Levine, Greg McMoore, Ken Meter, Mary Morse, Xe Susane Moua, Towle Neu, John Parker-Der Boghossian, Ann Putnam, Fiona Quick, Chuck Repke, Greg Sautter, Ruby Simmons, Claudia Slovacek, Meredith Smith, Marco Suemnick, Michelle Thayer, Chris Vanacek, Sarah VanDusseldorp, and Aurora Young.