Board & Staff
Board of Directors
Rick VanderKnyff, President
Rick VanderKnyff has been on the board of PCC Farmland Trust since 2008, and has served as chairperson of the strategic planning and board development committees. An assigning editor at NerdWallet.com, he has worked previously at Microsoft, the Los Angeles Times and the University of California. He has served as a volunteer for numerous conservation groups and causes, and lives within a short cycle of one of the Trust’s focus areas (the Snoqualmie River Valley).
Beth Mondzac, Vice President
Beth Mondzac is an ardent supporter of organic farming and long-term participant in community supported agriculture and land conservancy. Beth believes in preservation of local organic farmland for future generations. She has lived in Seattle for over twenty years and has had a career in engineering management consulting that utilized both her undergraduate degree in engineering and her MBA.
Natalie Cheel is an Account Executive at PARSONS, a full service strategic communications firm that specializes in supporting businesses and organizations that align with their company vision of a healthier, equitable and environmentally sound world. Her appreciation for farming was born while attending the University of Maine and continued to evolve through encounters with small landowners while working at Forterra (formerly Cascade Land Conservancy). Natalie grew up in a small coastal town in Massachusetts. She lives in Seattle with her husband and son, who all enjoy the bounties of the Northwest.
Alexandra “Xan” Gerson is an attorney at Helsell Fetterman, LLP where her practice focuses on estate planning, tax, wealth transfer, business succession, and charitable giving. When Xan moved to Seattle in 2007 she instantly fell in love with the wide variety of food and drink the Pacific Northwest had to offer and has a strong desire to preserve its production for future generations. When she’s not advising clients, Xan can be found doing stereotypical Seattle things like walking her dog around Greenlake, taking photos of her food, and enjoying her husband’s homebrew.
Maria Hines has been on the PCC Farmland Trust board since 2009, the same year she won the James Beard Award for Best Chef in the Northwest, and a year after the New York Times declared her Seattle restaurant Tilth one of the top-10 best new restaurants in the country. Maria’s commitment to seasonal and organic foods extends far beyond the kitchen, into her service as co-chair of the Seattle chapter of Chef’s Collaborative, and as owner/chef of the second restaurant in the United States to receive organic certification. Maria also started our Local Chefs for Local Farms quarterly dinner series.
Randy Lee is also the Chief Financial Officer of PCC Natural Markets, where he has worked for many years and serves as that cooperative’s treasurer. Randy has served on the board of the Farmland Trust since it was founded in 1999 and was board Chair from 2006-2014. Randy lives in Seattle and holds a BS in economics and an MBA from the University of Washington.
James Schroeder works for The Nature Conservancy as Director of Conservation Programs where he focuses on developing conservation strategies that balance the needs of people and nature in the East Cascades Forests and Aridlands of eastern Washington. James has devoted more than 15 years to conservation in Washington, and grew up on a small family farm in Maine where he spent a joyful childhood raising free range livestock, riding horses, and growing organic vegetables in the family garden. James received his bachelor’s degree in Bioethics from Brown University and a joint Master’s of Science in biology and policy from Tufts University.
Seri Sedlacek oversees west coast sales for Badger Mountain Vineyard/Powers Winery, whose wines are USDA Certified Organic. Powers Winery makes special PCC Farmland Trust blends of Chardonnay and Cabernet, sold at PCC Natural Markets, that benefit the Trust. She is also responsible for securing the amazing wine donations for our Local Chefs for Local Farms series. A graduate of the University of Washington, Seri is happy to be back home living in Seattle. When she’s not pursuing her passion for wine, she can be found training for triathlons and pursuing artistic endeavors.
Sylvia See spends her days in an office tower but her heart is in the dirt. As an avid gardener and animal lover, she has taken a great interest in the local farming movement and sustainable agriculture. This interest includes workshops at Quillisascut Farm in Eastern Washington which serve to bring back things learned from her grandparents about the impact we have on nature and how we can kindly give and receive from the soil and water. Sylvia’s passion for land and farming draws her to the work of PCC Farmland Trust, where she hopes to be able to offer experience from the world of finance and business management.
Andrew Stout is the founder, CEO and head farmer for Full Circle, the west coast’s leading organic produce delivery service. Stout and his wife, Wendy Munroe, started Full Circle 15 years ago, motivated by a shared passion for farming in a way that protects the environment, preserves the soil and yields delicious produce, free of herbicides and pesticides. Rooted in the importance of growing organically, their commitment to crops and community have enabled Full Circle to become a leader in the good food movement. Among other distinctions, Andrew is a founding board member of the National Farmers Market Coalition, President of Sno Valley Tilth and Washington Tilth, and was recently declared one of the “Most Powerful Players in the Seattle Food Scene” by Seattle Magazine.
Sandy has a long history of supporting and working for environmental and social causes in the Northwest. Her career has ranged from urban planning & community organizing to psychology, teaching and organizational consulting. Most recently she was the Executive Director of the Lopez Community Land Trust and then the Technical Assistance Manager for Community Frameworks, a four-state non-profit intermediary in the affordable housing field. Feathers in Sandy’s cap include founding Seattle’s Homesharing for Seniors Program, being a leading founder of the Burke-Gilman Trail, and developing the nation’s first USDA-approved mobile meat processing unit. A PCC member for over 35 years, and now retired, Sandy wishes to actively participate in the preservation of precious farmlands and the provision of opportunities and support for new organic farmers in the Northwest.
Rebecca Sadinsky, Executive Director
Rebecca brings to PCC Farmland Trust years of management experience in the social sector with both nonprofit and government organizations. Starting her career with an undergraduate degree in Environmental Design and Planning, Rebecca’s career has spanned many causes: grassroots-led neighborhood planning, affordable housing, urban community gardening, and economic development in dis-invested communities. It is her long-standing enthusiasm for the Farmland Trust’s mission that guides her work leading the organization’s staff and volunteers to fulfill our lasting role in the movement, toward preserving and expanding organic agriculture in Washington State. Send Rebecca an email
Melissa Campbell, Associate Director
For the past ten years Melissa has been involved in species recovery, watershed restoration and land conservation at all levels of government and in the nonprofit sector throughout Washington, California and Ohio. Forever a loyal Buckeye, Melissa holds a B.S. in Plant Pathology and a minor in Environmental Economics from The Ohio State University and a Master’s degree where she focused her capstone work on land tenure barriers for immigrant farmers. In her spare time, she enjoys digging in the dirt, surfing, riding her bike and exploring farmers markets in search of the tastiest kale in the Northwest. Send Melissa an email.
Hilary Aten, Conservation Director
Hilary joined PCC Farmland Trust in 2011, working on many facets of our farmland conservation program, including real estate transactions, conservation planning, and management of public grants for acquisitions. Hilary has been involved in land conservation and watershed protection since 2004, working with a range of local, county, federal, and international conservation initiatives. Prior to her work at the Farmland Trust, Hilary focused on coordination of community-based conservation programs, including watershed restoration projects, natural resource management, and planning (operational and financial) for long-term management of protected conservation lands. Hilary holds a B.A. in Political Science, and a MPA from the University of Texas-Austin. Her long-term interest is in supporting local livelihoods that mutually benefit from protecting our region’s unique valuable natural resources, and she sees saving local organic farmland forever as critical to that future. Send Hilary an email.
Maura Rendes, Marketing & Communications Manager
Maura returned to PCC Farmland Trust in 2011, after serving as an intern in 2009 and receiving her BA in Public Affairs at Seattle University. After traveling through Latin America, working and studying with sustainable farmers facing many of the same challenges as those in the Northwest, she returned to Puget Sound to engage her community around local food, and its necessary foundation: land. Maura enjoys growing and bringing together the Farmland Trust community by crafting and sharing news, stories and events– in person and online. Beyond making the most of our wonderful local bounty, she is an avid traveler, and an enthusiastic participant in nearly every kind of outdoor activity the Northwest has to offer. Send Maura an email.
Judith May Austin, Development Manager
Judith Austin joined PCC Farmland Trust as a fundraiser in 2014. Her background includes seven years as an arts administrator and spokesperson for Pacific Northwest Ballet, where she worked to increase young audience participation and established the organization’s social media presence. Judith also served youth and families as an AmeriCorps member in Seattle; she worked as a field organizer for Senator Patty Murray and former Washington State Governor Christine Gregoire in in 2004. Judith was born in Washington State and graduated from the University of Washington. She is passionate about building a more just, sustainable, and beautiful world. Send Judith an email.
Robin Fay, Conservation Manager
Robin Fay grew up on his parents’ organic berry farm in the San Juan Islands, where he learned about farming first hand. He received an undergraduate degree in Environmental Policy from the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, and a Masters in Public Administration from the University of Washington. Robin has diverse work experience, including working in bike shops, as an EMT, and as a project manager for American Farmland Trust developing tools to foster sound environmental practices on farms, and on issues of farmland preservation, land use planning, and environmental policy. Robin is excited to join the PCC Farmland Trust team as Conservation Manager, and to continue working to preserve farmland around the region. Outside of work Robin is an avid outdoorsman, aspiring photographer, and has an undying love for bicycles . Send Robin an email.
Eve Boyce, Stewardship Coordinator
During her undergraduate time at Bates College in Maine, Eve discovered her interest in land conservation by interning for a small community-based land trust. She was inspired by the huge impact of the land trust on the community and decided she would like to continue working for a land trust in the future. Luckily enough, just after graduating in 2013, Eve got the opportunity to move to Seattle and work with the Farmland Trust as an Americorps Intern. One year was not enough for Eve, so she has stayed on as the Stewardship Coordinator for the Trust. Eve works to ensure that the agricultural and environmental values of the land conserved by the Trust remain protected forever. Her favorite part of her job is getting to know the many farmers and their operations during monitoring visits each year. When she’s not busy interpreting easement language or planning habitat restoration projects for the Trust, she enjoys exploring her new home in the Pacific Northwest and tending to the small garden growing on her apartment stoop. Send Eve an email.
Candace Halvorson, Fundraising & Administrative Assistant
A Montana native, Candace made her way to Seattle for college and studied history at Northwest University. After an 8 year career in accounting and data management, her love of cooking and concern for how food production impacts the environment led her to pursue further education at Western Washington University where she earned a B.S. in Environmental Science. She is passionate about healthy food systems and is thrilled to be able to use her data management skills to support food and farming at PCC Farmland Trust. In her free time, Candace likes to hike, travel, and cook for friends and family. Send Candace an email.
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