Meet the Team
The “Mister Rogers” of farming, “Farmer Karl” is a compassionate leader who is dedicated to lifting lives by connecting individuals with plants, the soil, and others on the farm. With 33 years of international business experience as a consultant, teacher, and mentor, Farmer Karl’s specialty is his ability to collaborate, educate, and support community leaders committed to providing farms to help people rebuild their lives.
Director of Cultivation
Jasmine Thompson is an urban farmer in Philadelphia operating an 8 acre farm. Her farm operates two local farmers markets, a 50-member CSA, and an urban ecology program that promotes urban forestry, wildlife habitat restoration, and community connection to nature.
Jasmine has a background in Native American food sovereignty establishment in northern California and southern Oregon as well as state-level food policy work. That work continues currently as Jasmine serves as an advisor for the USDA Farm Service Agency Urban Agriculture County Committee for Philadelphia, a land advocacy fellow for National Young Farmers Coalition, and a board member for the Pennsylvania Farmers Union. Jasmine uses her power of storytelling, core memories, and asset-based community development to revitalize the connection between her neighbors and Philadelphia's local food system.
Ella Fleming is a seasoned farmer and community advocate with over 15 years of farming experience and education on the east and west coasts. A native of Rhode Island, she has farmed in upstate New York and California. From 2019 to 2022, Ella managed the Homeless Garden Project farm in Santa Cruz, California. This community farm provides social services and transitional employment to help trainees find stable housing solutions, employment, and other opportunities to build a healthy future. Ella brings a passion for regenerative farming and a commitment to address social challenges. With cultivated experience in program design, community engagement, and leadership, Ella is dedicated to fostering a brighter future for all through the power of regenerative agriculture.
Director of Member Services, Treasurer & Secretary
Nary Rennie, is a refugee from Cambodia, and a self-made business owner. Now she volunteers to work with inner city youth, advancing education, fundraising and leadership training. Nary heads the Grow-Life garden club in Philadelphia.
Rita Ebeling - educator, permaculturalist, and farmer. Rita earned her bachelors of science degree in biology at Wichita State University and her Masters of Education in curriculum and instruction in science at Brigham Young University. She has taught and tutored at the secondary level in a number of settings including at a school utilizing restorative practices. In 2020, she and Karl attended a Permaculture Design Course which helped her see a beautiful way to use her science education background to improve both people and the planet. Growing up as an Air Force dependent, she learned to find the good in every place, every person, and every situation. Her most rewarding job has been being a mom of five incredible children and especially enjoys her grandchildren. Since 2022, Rita and Farmer Karl have managed a small for-profit farm (Faircrest Farms) in Ogden, UT.
Board of Directors
Chad Utley most recently served at Pluralsight as Vice President of Skill Content Development. He believes lifelong learning is critical to self-fulfillment. He is inspired by opportunities to help individuals build technical skills and propagate skill development. Drawing on that inspiration, he recently led an effort to efficiently scale and cultivate a network of expert authors, speakers and presenters who comprise the top one percent of technologists around the world. He brought these individuals together to deliver the most powerful technology skill development offering available today. In former roles, Chad helped businesses to acquire talent as well as to develop operational processes to achieve the scale and reach they desired for their clients. Chad graduated from The University of Utah with a bachelor’s degree in Marketing. Chad is a thoughtful and gifted leader who finds purpose in helping his team accomplish its best ideas.
Tamara L. McDaniel
Tamara L. McDaniel (Tami), has served as Youth Harvest Project Director with Garden City Harvest since 2016. The Youth Harvest Project is a therapeutic, service-oriented, work program. She builds healthy natural and social communities via youth-based farming and outdoor experiences in natural environments. As a behavior consultant for the Youth Enhancement Program, Tami supported at-risk youth in a school environment. As an alternative high school teacher, she co-developed and taught EATS: Ecology and Agriculture Together for Sustainability, working with under-served students. As an urban, environmental educator, she led service-learning programs as well as FOOTSTEPS, a summer leadership program. Tami has been recognized by Eden Streets as 2021 Outstanding Farmer.
Anne Dunaway, Director of Agricultural Land Use for Marriott-Slaterville, has developed a local food system to empower farmers to grow profitably through cooperation and resource leveraging. As a member of Ogden Food Council, Anne advocates for food access for those experiencing food insecurity in underserved communities. As owner of Urban Prairie Ag, Anne not only runs a farm collective, but also farms herself to support the local food economy. After earning her Bachelor's degree in Education in 2011, Anne developed professional grant writing experience through working at nonprofits focused on social-issues planning through a collective-impact approach for measurable outcomes in Salt Lake City.
Mark Kearney, known as “Solomon” at Newark, New Jersey’s largest urban farm “City Bloom”, has been managing this three-acre intensive vegetable farm since 2012. A Mandingo warrior, Mark has a doctorate degree in life experience. Formerly incarcerated and homeless, Mark has overcome incredible social and emotional challenges and thus can relate to just about anyone. Mark continues to harness the power of the farm to transform not only his life, but also the lives of hundreds of individuals, including those reentering society. Those who come to the farm are his “farmily”. He IS the farm. Many who have worked alongside him planting, cultivating, and harvesting vegetables are now university graduates, business owners, and community leaders. Mark has sown the seeds of life skills, caring, and connection that have helped many to break out of the cycle of intergenerational poverty.
Thomas G. Wendorf, PE
Thomas G. Wendorf has over 39 years of experience in public works, Infrastructure financing, program delivery, construction management and delivery of services in the public sector. Thomas G. Wendorf is a Principal for Wendorf Beward & Partners, LLC (WB&P) specializing in disaster recovery working with local government clients. He served as Director of Public Works for the City of San Antonio. He was named Engineer of the Year for the State of Texas by the Texas Society of Professional Engineers and as Public Works Leadership Fellow by the American Public Works Association. Mr. Wendorf has been a leader in multiple professional and civic organizations including president of the Texas Chapter of the American Public Works Association. He has a M.A. degree in Public Administration and B.S. degree in Civil Engineering.
Jean Zosel has led Garden City Harvest as Executive Director in Missoula, Montana since 2011. As a community leader, she has built the organization to over $1M budget to manage 4 urban farms, 10 community gardens and 5 garden learning centers in schoolyards. She has developed a cooperative grower model that engages an ever-growing circle. Garden City Harvest works with students from kindergarten through college to inspire young environmental stewards. They hire teens who are struggling with life circumstances to grow food together.
Dr. William King, Jr
Dr. William King, Jr wears many hats. Professionally, he is a pediatrician in Philadelphia. Dr. King’s professional interests are in community-based pediatric practice, and parent education. His research interests have been on youth violence reduction, childhood malnutrition, and medical student outreach. Dr King works actively as “chief farmer” for the White Rock Children’s garden, raising veggies to fund a mission in Malawi. He similarly supports the children's garden club at Northern Children Services in Roxborough.
Gweny Love is founder of Mantua Worldwide Community, Inc., an organization that primarily focuses on promoting public health, the arts and sustainability. Ms. Love has championed nonprofits to promote stronger communities and build capacity, as she educates children in gardening. Gweny has partnered directly in various projects with University of Pennsylvania, Drexel University, Physicians for Social Responsibility, The Philadelphia Museum of Art, American Insight, and Family Leadership Institute within the department of Human Services.
A professional organic grower, educator and small farm consultant, James Loomis has been a disciple of sustainability and permaculture for the past 20 years. He is currently the Green Phoenix Farm Director of Wasatch Community Gardens.
Darrie has worked with the Homeless Garden Project since 1991 and has led the Project since 2008. Under Darrie’s leadership, the Project has developed the transitional employment program and its goals, grown revenue four-fold, and has successfully completed a $3.5 million capital campaign. Darrie has primary responsibility for vision and planning, fundraising, program direction, financial management, public relations and staff support of the Project's Board of Directors.
Michael Ableman is an American-Canadian author, organic farmer, educator, and advocate for sustainable agriculture. Michael is considered one of the pioneers of the urban agriculture movements. He is a frequent lecturer to audiences all over the world and the winner of numerous awards for his work. Michael Ableman is the founder of the Center for Urban Agriculture in Goleta, California where he farmed for 20 years; co-founder and director of Sole Food Street Farms.
Camille Winnie specializes in urban development, empowering those facing homelessness. Camille is behind the Downtown Ambassador Program, a group employed by the Alliance to patrol the downtown area thoroughfares, assisting businesses, visitors, workers, and the homeless. Currently, she is the director of community outreach at The Other Side Village in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Case Manager at the Wasatch Community Gardens Green Phoenix Farm, is a personal advocate for each woman. With 12 years of experience in human and social services, she empowers women to overcome obstacles to stable employment and housing. She also organizes groups and events that focus on holistic self-care, including art-making, creative writing, and healing-based practices. From personal experience, she has learned to stop being a victim to take back her life. Her gifts and passion has given her the ability to connect and empathize with women.
Sara Marie Hamilton
Originally from Berkeley, California, Sara Marie Hamilton has hands-on experience as an entrepreneur, farmer, food-system leader, and community organizer. She specializes in linking people with the resources needed to sustainably create abundance. Sara Marie sees farming as a powerful means toward social and environmental justice reform. With direct experience running a small family farm in Oregon, she employs regenerative, land-management practices to address community causes. As an instructor at Full Life Pilates and managing partner at the Slow Life Farm, she managed social media and customer relations. Sara Marie is certified in advanced permaculture, growing small farms, and sustainable agriculture.