Staff & Board
Linda Pack, Executive Director, is responsible for the implementation of the organization’s philosophy and mission. She provides direction and leadership toward the achievement of its strategic goals and objectives by allocating, organizing, and overseeing the use of staff, contractors, and volunteers to create programs that meet the mission to cultivate a healthy local food system by providing opportunities for education, social enterprise, and community involvement. She joined the Noyo Food Forest in February 2011, bringing more than 30 years of proven leadership skills and management expertise.
Gowan Lester, Farm Manager, is responsible for growing and harvesting produce for our Farm to School program, Fort Bragg Farmers Market and other outlets at our flagship Learning Garden. Born on the Mendocino Coast, she was Artist in Residence at the Mendocino Art Center in 2006, studied art in college and completed Oregon State University’s Organic Gardening Certification, as well as Master Gardener Training. Her gardening experience includes farms ranging from 1/4 acre to 150 acres and she is a strong believer in biological soil fertility, polyculture, and connecting the community to the farm.
Paige Doyle, AmeriCorps Member, is the School and Community Outreach Coordinator. Her main job duties include recruiting volunteers to the Learning Garden and promoting Noyo Food Forest workshops and events. She is also the BEANS instructor for the 2012-13 school year. Paige obtained a Bachelor of Science Degree at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point in 2011, majoring in Health Promotion and Nutrition.
2012 BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Laura Welter, President of the Board, is the Executive Director at Safe Passage Family Resource Center. She has worked in non-profits in our community for thepast twenty-eight years, and joined the NFF board of directors in October of 2010. Safe Passage and Noyo Food Forest are partners in the Stone Soup Family Garden at Safe Passage.
Pilar Gray is an educator and the Nutrition Services Director for the Fort Bragg Unified School District. She is diligently building a sustainable and replicable Farm-to-School program with the Noyo Food Forest Learning Garden at Fort Bragg High School as the main supplier of local, organic produce for school meals.
Susan Lightfoot, is the coordinator of Farm2Fork, an initiative of North Coast Opportunities/Community Action and a Co-Founder of Noyo Food Forest.
Steve Lund, Treasurer of the Board and former Superintendent of the Fort Bragg Uniﬁed School District was instrumental in providing a location for the “Learning Garden” and in promoting the concept of a healthy sustainable community.
Brent Rutherford is a retired employment and training manager, vocational and technical education coordinator and community college history teacher. He has over 35 years of experience working in the local community. As a coordinator for the Mendocino County Office of Education, Brent helped develop organic gardening programs for both adults and high school students. Brent believes that the web of life is best appreciated in a garden.
Janet Aguilar, CEO of Thanksgiving Coffee Company, brings 35 years of corporate and non-profit executive management experience to the table. She generously offers her willingness and commitment to share an extensive and diverse array of contacts and connections in the business and private sectors in support of NFF. Janet lived in San Francisco for many years before moving up to Mendocino in 2004.
Jack Welter is a tutor and substitute teacher. Having worked in a variety of fields and places since graduating from Fort Bragg High in 2006, Jack is thrilled to be investing himself in the community that brought him up through serving on the Board.