Staff and Board
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 & Communications 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 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.
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 Community Engagement Manager, Megan works with 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.
Rusty Milholland, Farmland Stewardship Manager
Rusty joined PCC Farmland Trust in 2016 where he works to ensure the agricultural and environmental values of the land we conserve remain protected forever. Rusty comes to the Trust from Salt Lake City, UT where he served as the Stewardship Director at Utah Open Lands, a statewide land trust. His interest in conservation began at an early age, after spending his childhood in the caretaker’s residence of a nature preserve in Southern Maine. Upon graduating from Bates College in Lewiston, ME, Rusty has focused much of his efforts on conserving our limited resources and encouraging others to explore the natural world. When he isn’t busy meeting with farmers, planning restoration projects, or interpreting easement language, Rusty enjoys exploring the mountains and coastline by foot, bike, and ski. Send Rusty 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 The Nature Conservancy. Robin brings a background in land use planning and farmland conservation policy to his role as Conservation Manager, working with the rest of the conservation team to cultivate relationships with farmers, complete conservation transactions and easement purchases, and protect valuable 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.
Jordan Jobe, Conservation Manager
Jordan joined PCC Farmland Trust in 2015. She has a broad diversity of experience, including working at The Nature Conservancy on coral reef conservation and with the Washington Field Office on several indigenous stewardship projects. As a Peace Corps Volunteer, Jordan worked with an NGO in Western Samoa to create marine protected areas in rural villages. She later volunteered with Seattle Tilth to implement a CSA program for underserved communities. She also spent many years in environmental education in the Puget Sound region, working in a salmon hatchery, and as a Beach Ranger. Jordan has a B.S. in Zoology and Fisheries from the University of Washington, and a Masters in Environmental Management from Yale University. Jordan loves international travel, learning new cooking techniques, swimming, gardening, and getting people excited about natural resource conservation in their community. Send Jordan an email.
Gina Kilbridge, Institutional Giving Manager
Gina Kilbridge joined PCC Farmland Trust 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.
Molly Goren, Communications Manager
Molly brings her strategic communications background and interest in sustainable food systems to her role as Communications Manager. After graduating from the University of Washington with degrees in Communications and Interdisciplinary Visual Art, Molly launched her career as a marketing professional and project manager at a Seattle-based strategic communications firm. From small arts institutions to large community foundations, Molly helped a variety of nonprofits elevate their missions, engage new audiences, and raise critical dollars. Most recently, Molly spent three months working on an organic farm in Tuscany as a way to get closer to her food. Molly is thrilled to contribute to the prosperity of our own farmland, farmers, and food here in Washington by educating our community about the Trust’s vital work. When not writing blog posts or snapping photos out on a farm, you can find Molly sipping espresso, tromping through the PNW wilderness, or reading her cookbooks cover to cover. Send Molly an email.
Natali Swann Terreri, Program Assistant
Natali developed a passion for sustainable agriculture and community development while studying Environmental Studies at Oberlin College. After graduating, she took her passion to the field, working as a flower farmer in upstate New York. She also interned at a community land trust in DC where she saw the power land trusts can build within communities. Natali believes the greatest asset to conservation efforts is human’s relationships with each other and nature. She is excited to learn more about land trusts and preserving farmland in Washington State. She enjoys cooking for friends, exploring Seattle’s neighborhoods, and looks forward to planting a flower garden in the spring. Send Natali an email.
Sydni Baumgart, Community Engagement Coordinator
Sydni joined PCC Farmland Trust in 2016. Growing up in a commercial fishing family in Bellingham, Washington, Sydni witnessed the delicate relationship between humans and the environment firsthand. While studying Aquatic and Fishery Sciences at the University of Washington, Sydni spent summer months working in a salmon processing plant in Naknek, Alaska. After graduating, Sydni worked as a math and chemistry tutor, interned with Taylor Shellfish Farms, served as an AmeriCorps member with IslandWood, worked as a project assistant for Bellingham’s first annual SeaFeast, and and coordinated a Bellingham-focused sea-to-plate film. She is passionate about spreading her enthusiasm for natural resource conservation, and strives to be the communication link between farmers and fishermen, scientists, and the general public. Outside of work, you may find Sydni exploring a variety of community events and enjoying the city of Seattle where she has access to delicious food, live music, and the beautiful outdoors. Send Sydni an email.
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 the owner of Cheel Communications, a full service firm helping clients craft meaningful experiences and shape memorable brands. From message development to event planning to public relations, Natalie supports businesses and organizations that are improving the world through their unique products and services. Her appreciation for farming was born while attending the University of Maine where she joined the field crew of the school’s dairy farm and quickly found herself immersed in the local agriculture community. Her passion continued to evolve over a decade long tenure at Forterra working on conservation across the region. Natalie lives in Seattle with her husband and two sons, who all enjoy the bounties of the Northwest.
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.
Bailey Hinckley is currently the City of Seattle’s Workforce Equity Advisor, where she develops actionable strategies and metrics around workforce equity for the city. In addition to her experience in regional politics and policy development, Bailey brings an understanding of PCC Farmland Trust’s work and a passion for its mission to her role as board member. Since 2013, Bailey has sat on the Trust’s strategic planning committee, working to measure the organization’s impact in the Puyallup River Valley. Bailey earned a bachelor’s degree in Economics from the University of Washington and a master’s degree in Economic Development from the University of Cambridge.
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.
As a founding shareholder of Kantor Taylor, Mark represents for-profit, nonprofit, and public entities in all aspects of the financing, planning, and development of affordable housing and economic development projects. Mark has been a national leader in the Low Income Housing Tax Credit industry for two-decades and, in addition to facilitating hundreds of transactions, has led numerous policy advocacy efforts in support of affordable housing.
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.
Elizabeth Pontefract is the Vice President of Strategy for PCC Natural Markets. Her main area of focus is developing integrated strategies for mission-driven organizations, first as a management consultant with McKinsey & Company and going on to work in-house for Starbucks before joining the team at PCC. She earned her JD/MBA from Harvard and a BA in Mathematics and Literature from Claremont McKenna College. Elizabeth lives in Ballard and considers herself a true Seattleite despite growing up in Boise, Idaho: she is a passionate Seahawks fan, drives an electric car and has two dogs, Seamus and Norman, who feature prominently on various social media outlets.
Kate Rogers is editor in chief of Mountaineers Books, an independent and nonprofit publisher of outdoor recreation, adventure, and conservation titles. Her interest in food and agricultural issues stems from their Skipstone imprint, which focuses on urban-based sustainable living topics. Kate’s publishing career has spanned thirty years, including positions at Waldenbooks, Bantam Doubleday Dell, and Sasquatch Books, and as founder–principal of a book packaging firm. She has served on the board of the Washington Trails Association and the Trust’s strategic planning committee, and has been a part-time lecturer on publishing and media at the University of Washington and Seattle Community Colleges.
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. Sylvia is the Senior Business Officer at Salal Credit Union.
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.