2023 Board and Staff Updates

Board of Directors

Our board of directors and staff make an incredible team. Together, they have helped Gaining Ground accomplish phenomenal harvests in spite of unpredictable changes in weather patterns, guided us through the creation and launch of an exciting new strategic plan for the organization, and enabled us to strive to meet rising food insecurity in our region. 

In the time since last spring’s newsletter, we bid a fond farewell to board members Guillermo Ruiz-Rico and Lauren McKown. We offer our heartfelt thanks to Guillermo and Lauren for their insight, enthusiasm, generosity, and time over the years—both at board meetings and out on the farm—and wish them all the best in their future endeavors. 

Over the past growing season, Sigmund Correa, Shilpi Desai, Sam Hiersteiner, and Yvette Philip joined our board of directors. Please click here and here to revisit the profiles we shared of these terrific additions to our team.

This season, we are thrilled to welcome Katie Bekel as the newest member of the board.

Katie is a second year law student at Boston College Law School and a graduate of the University of Vermont, where she studied psychology and English. After college, she served as an AmeriCorps Member at Groundwork Lawrence in Lawrence, Mass., and then followed her passion to pursue a career in sustainable agriculture. Katie worked and managed small vegetable farms in eastern Massachusetts for nearly a decade. In these roles, she advocated for fairer wages for her staff and herself and created programs to make local produce more accessible for lower-income community members. Throughout this work, she became keenly aware of the challenges facing low-income workers and deeply invested in questions intersecting wealth, equity, and labor. She is interested in civil rights, worker protection, immigration, and public policy. She is excited to continue to spend her time engaged in sustainable agriculture and be part of Gaining Ground’s growth. 

Welcome to the team, Katie!

Our 2023 Staff

On the staff front, last year brought changes as well. We said goodbye in 2022 to farmers Rae Axner, Erin Espinosa, and Sarah Lichtman. Their contributions to Gaining Ground, as well as to the farm’s volunteer community, are too numerous to name. We feel immense gratitude to these three incredible farmers and miss them already—but we are thrilled to see what exciting work they will get up to next.

Rounding out this year’s team is:

Kari Bender, Co-Assistant Farm Manager

Dayanna De la Rosa, Field Crew Member

Chrissie Edgeworth, Co-Assistant Farm Manager

Allison Goodwin, Operations Director 

Avery Indermaur, Volunteer Coordinator, Development Assistant, and Field Crew Member

Jennifer Johnson, Executive Director

Anna Kelchlin, Farm Manager

Ava Lublin, Field Crew Member

Geoff Nelson, Groundskeeper

Christine Savage, Communications Manager

Rachael Walton, Field Crew Member

Maddie Weikel, Assistant Grower and Assistant Volunteer Leader

To learn more about this year’s team, click here.

Photo credit: Tony Rinaldo Photography LLC