People are always surprised by how small our staff is. It's because we create such a huge organic ruckus on the hill, in the field, on the streets, and on the web. Our work for organic farmers goes well beyond a 'day job'. It's a belief in the vision.
Creating sustainable communities drives Maureen Wilmot-- both on land and in the sea. She brings over twenty years of experience in environmental policy, marine science, non-profit management and communication and outreach to Organic Farming Research Foundation. She received her BA in Biology from the University of California at Santa Cruz where she also established the docent program at the UCSC Long Marine Lab. Maureen received her MA in Marine Affairs from the University of Rhode Island.
While running the public programs at a wetland visitor center in Southern California, Maureen was recruited to manage the national education programs for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) National Marine Sanctuary Program in Washington DC. After ten years on the east coast, Maureen returned home to California. She was Executive Director of a coalition of conservation groups working to establish marine protected areas and also led a small communications and social marketing consulting company.
When not working on policy issues, Maureen is an avid gardener and recently won a Water Wise Garden Award from her local water district. She also is a certified Green Building Professional having completed a year-long program at Sonoma State University.
Maureen lives with her husband and two sons along the coast of California.
Denise leads OFRF’s External Relations Team, which is comprised of development and communications. Denise has extensive strategic marketing experience in the technology, renewable energy, alternative healthcare, natural product and eco-travel industries. Prior to operating her own strategic marketing business, Denise served as Director of Channel Marketing at Oracle Corporation and Executive Director for The Enterprise Network, one of Silicon Valley's most successful entrepreneurial incubators. Denise serves on the Board of the Marina Technology Cluster and several early stage ventures. Denise was the Communications Strategist for Ocean Champions, the leading political voice for ocean health and sustainability and also Marketing Strategist for California Certified Organic Farmers (CCOF). Denise enjoys all things related to the outdoors including surfing, hiking, and skiing.
Rachaelle is Executive Assistant to the Executive Director, and manages office functions in her role as Office Manager. Before moving to the Santa Cruz area from Santa Monica, she worked as associate project management director at a law firm, research assistant in a pharmaceutical lab, and most recently worked in administration, event planning and management at a local business. She is passionate about public health, advocacy, red wine, dogs, and Santa Cruz beaches. Rachaelle received her B.S. in Biology from UC San Diego in 2006 with a minor in French Literature.
Kristin supports the Development and Communication teams in her role as External Relations Assistant. Prior to joining OFRF, Kristin worked with other non-profits with a primary focus on improving biodiversity, environmental and human health. She has also worked in the for-profit sector engaging with business leaders to improve the local business economy. Kristin currently serves on the Site Council for Bonny Doon Elementary and also runs her own, small photography business which gives her the opportunity to engage with people of every age and walk of life. Kristin received her B.S.degree in Journalism from the University of Colorado at Boulder.
Susan is an expert in designing and executing successful fundraising programs. With over a decade of experience Susan has worked with a wide range of non-profit organizations from internationally renowned to national and local. At these organizations she has successfully executed a wide variety of programs from planned giving to telemarketing, large special events to personal asks. As the Annual Fund Director for the Monterey Bay Aquarium, Susan managed a team that was responsible for orchestrating a multi-million dollar annual campaign to over 70,000 supporters. Susan has served on the board of directors for a variety of non-profits including Children’s Trust Foundation, The Depression Wellness Network, and Mariposa’s Art. She has provided consulting services for organizations including OFRF, Hands Up for Haiti, Rising International. Susan has a bachelor’s degree in psychology from UCSC and a master’s degree in Public Policy from the University of Washington, with a focus on education and social policy.
Karen is a New York City native who grew up gardening with her mother, and went on to dig into organic farming on the West Coast, first in California, and continuing in Washington State as a small-scale beginning farmer and food cooperative board member. After moving to the South, where she managed a large Atlanta farmers’ market, she embarked on a wide variety of educational, communications, and outreach projects in the organic farming movement, directing programs for organizations that include Georgia Organics, Southern Sustainable Agriculture Working Group, Team Agriculture Georgia, and Florida Organic Growers.
Highlights of her work include the development and expansion of an acclaimed organic farmer-to-farmer mentoring and in-depth education program, multi-state professional development programs in sustainable agriculture for university Extension and USDA Natural Resources Conservation professionals, and numerous publications in the field of organic and sustainable agriculture. Karen was recognized as Organic Advocate on the Ground by the Organic Farming Research Foundation in 2010 and, coming full circle, she is now back in California and working with OFRF.