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.
Brad Harrison is a Mission Related Investment (MRI) Analyst at Threshold Group. As a member of the Investment Management & Research team, he is responsible for leading mission related investing across a range of asset classes. He focusses on the design of carbon divestment strategies and research of low-carbon reinvestment opportunities within clean technology, sustainable forestry and agriculture, land and water conservation, access to capital, community lending, and community responsive, place-based development. Prior to Threshold Group, Brad worked at Ecotrust/Ecotrust Forest Management and Green Building Services. Brad earned a bachelor’s degree in Applied Economics and Management from Cornell University and a master’s degree in Environmental Management from Yale University.
Steve Jones is a wheat breeder at the Washington State University – Mount Vernon Research Center. Steve has a PhD in Genetics from the University of California at Davis and teaches graduate courses in advanced classical genetics and in the history and ethics of genetics. His first wheat crop was on five acres at Chico State University’s student farm in 1977. Together with his graduate students he breeds wheat and other grains for local uses to be grown on small farms in the coastal west and the upper Northeast. He also runs the Bread Lab, a combination think tank/baking laboratory where they experiment with improved flavor, nutrition and functionality of regional and obscure wheats. Steve grew up in the Bay Area and witnessed farmland loss first hand.
Betsy Lieberman is a Leadership Consultant, based in Seattle, Washington. Her work is focused on ensuring successful leadership and strategic directions for organizations, particularly health and human service nonprofits. Prior to her consulting practice, Betsy served as Executive Director of Building Changes, a nonprofit organization working to end homelessness across Washington State through grantmaking, evaluation, non-profit capacity building, and advocacy for policy change. Betsy holds a Master of Health Services Administration from the University of Michigan, School of Public Health and a B.A. in Political Science from Antioch College. She lives with her husband and Airedale in Seattle.
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
Hired in 2008 to formalize and build the Trust’s Stewardship Program, Melissa transitioned to Conservation Director in 2011 and most recently the Associate Director role in 2015. These days, Melissa oversees the conservation and stewardship program staff, work plans and budgets and pitches in on project development and design, building strategic partnerships and creating innovative farmland conservation tools and strategies. Melissa also leads the organization’s conservation finance efforts and initiatives which include building an organizational business plan and strategy toward leveraging private capital for farmland conservation as well as advocating for increased funding for farmland preservation in the state of Washington. Forever a loyal Buckeye, Melissa holds a B.S. from the College of Food, Agriculture and Environmental Sciences at The Ohio State University and a Master’s degree where she focused her capstone work on land tenure barriers for Puget Sound immigrant farmers. When not at work, Melissa enjoys being outside, as much as possible, with her family. 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.
Judith May Austin, Development Director
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.
Maura Rendes, Marketing & Communications Manager
Maura joined PCC Farmland Trust in 2009. A foundation in outreach and development brought her to her communications specialty, where she brings together the Trust community by crafting and sharing news, stories and engagement opportunities—in person and online. She believes that compelling images and well-crafted information and experiences can help bridge the gaps in understanding our current and ideal food systems, and their necessary foundation: land. Beyond making the most of our wonderful local bounty, she is an avid traveler, and an enthusiastic participant in most outdoor activities the Northwest has to offer. Maura holds a BA in Public Affairs and Spanish from Seattle University, and a Certificate in Public Relations and Strategic Communications from University of Washington. Send Maura an email.
Megan Jenny, Community Engagement Manager
Megan first discovered her passion for sustainable farming while volunteering at her college’s local farm, where she spent time digging for root vegetables and learning about the importance of how our food is grown. After graduating from Dickinson College with a BA in English in 2009, Megan launched her career in environmental advocacy and has worked in multiple capacities to engage volunteers and communities on local and statewide environmental issues including: reducing climate pollution, incentivizing clean energy sources, and limiting pesticides and other chemicals in our environment. As the Community Engagement Manager, Megan works with our volunteers and community partners to create opportunities to engage people in the Trust’s work to protect farmland forever. She strongly believes that we all have a role to play in making the world a just and sustainable place to live and is constantly thinking up new ways to ask you to get involved. When she’s not at her desk or out talking to people about the Trust’s work, you can usually find Megan with her nose in a good book, trying out a new recipe using local produce, or out adventuring. Send Megan 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 for American Farmland Trust. Robin brings a background in land use planning and farmland conservation policy and is excited to join the PCC Farmland Trust staff as Conservation Manager, working with the rest of the conservation team to cultivate relationships with farmers, and complete conservation transactions to purchase easements and 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.
Gina Kilbridge, Development Assistant
Gina Kilbridge joined PCC Farmland Trust as a fundraising assistant in 2015. She is a Seattle native. Since 2003, she has worked in support of several different locally-based organizations, all with the common goal of serving their communities. In college, she was an intern for the Seattle International Film Festival, and more recently, she was the advertising coordinator for Seattle Weekly. She graduated from the University of Washington with a degree in Comparative Literature. She is passionate about her home state, food and wine, sustainability, and doing her part to enable all of these things to work in harmony. Send Gina an email.
PCC Farmland Trust
1917 First Ave, Level A – Suite 100
Seattle WA 98101
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