Gail grew up picking apples in the ‘Apple Capital of the World’ and, after a hiatus of 40 years, returned to coordinate fruit harvests throughout Seattle. She has organized neighborhood and community harvest groups and is the author of Gather It: How to Organize an Urban Fruit Harvest. Gail’s background includes serving as a communications specialist with King County environmental programs, working as a public health educator, and overseas stints in the Philippines and Ghana. She has masters degrees in anthropology and public health. Photo courtesy of urbanfarmhub.org
BOARD of DIRECTORS
Heather Hazen Parton
Heather grew up in North Carolina where she spent many hours in the garden with her mother. Since moving to Seattle in 2008, Heather has volunteered in community harvests and urban gardening events: giving back to the community through locally sourced food is a passion. As the Director of Development for PopCap Games, Inc., Heather supports game teams for the Bejeweled franchise.
Morgan Larsen, Treasurer
Morgan most recently hails from Chicago where she survived the winters by spending long hours crunching numbers first for Ernst & Young in their audit practice and then Citadel Investment Group working in Accounting Policy and Financial Reporting. She is now a full-time mom who runs marathons and loves to cook and eat delicious food and is excited to learn how to care for the pear tree that came with her new house! Morgan holds a Masters in Accountancy from Arizona State University and is a CPA.
Larry Liang, President
Larry grew up on east coast and has called Seattle home since 1998. At Microsoft he focuses on online marketing communications and operations working with internal and external partners. In addition to his day job Larry also runs the Visiting Chefs Series, which brings renowned chefs and cookbook authors to Microsoft. In his free time he is very active in the Seattle food community and loves spending time and cooking with his family.
Kristen Ramer Liang
Kristen has been singing and teaching in Seattle since 2001. She is a core member of the internationally recognized Fisher Ensemble and serves as the ensemble’s Director of Education and Outreach. Kristen has also performed in the chorus of Seattle Opera and with the Esoterics. When she’s not singing, Kristen loves to spend time with her family in the garden and around the dining table.
Matt Pope, Secretary
Matt was introduced to City Fruit when he joined the Orchard Steward group at Martha Washington Park. He is committed to supporting good local food and is especially interested in getting it to those who need it most and in building knowledge and community around food. Most recently Matt has been applying his experience as a hobby hard cider maker to teaching people how to turn their bounty of apples into delicious cider. Matt works at the King County Department of Transportation as a technology project manager.
Hazel Singer, Vice President
Hazel’s work experience relates back to and is reinforced by my training in Economic Geography and Urban Planning: understanding how systems (transportation, social services, manufacturing, health, small and large businesses, communities, government, etc) function in a region; what are the constraints and obstacles to successes and efficiency; and how to increase participation by all citizens in these processes so that they have a stake in positive outcomes. Photo courtesy of urbanfarmhub.org
Betsy has always wanted to make a positive difference in the world by using her expertise and talents for the greater good. Since opening her consulting firm, Betsy has used her experience to help her nonprofit and business clients grow and contribute to the world. Betsy holds an MBA from Bainbridge Graduate Institute. She grew up in rural Pennsylvania where the art of preserving fresh produce for the winter was common and spent countless hours as a child picking wild berries. A few years ago, she and her husband bought a house with an ancient apple tree needing lots of love and care, which began her involvement with City Fruit.
Kimberly has lived in the Pacific Northwest since 2004. Originally from Chicago, Kimberly has spent over 14 years in the investment profession and is currently a Relationship Manager at Halbert Hargrove, a boutique wealth manager. She works with clients on their wealth planning and investment portfolios and is a Certified Financial Planer. In her free time, Kimberly can be found spending time with her husband and two young boys exploring Seattle neighborhoods.
Melissa has been gleaning fruit and foraging wild foods in the Seattle region for over 25 years. Melissa earned a PhD in Environmental Anthropology from the University of Washington. Currently, she serves as the joint social scientist for Washington Sea Grant (UW) and NOAA’s Northwest Fisheries Science Center to improve understanding of the sociocultural dimensions of ecosystem management. Whether it’s facilitating a workshop on cultural food practices, speaking about access to nature as a social justice issue, or linking cultural values to ecosystem restoration, Melissa is passionate about strengthening ties between people and the environments in which they live. Melissa and her partner love to garden, forage, make medicinal salves, homebrew and botanical art.
Barb grew up on an apple, pear, and cherry orchard outside Selah, Yakima county where she learned how to pick fruit, can fruit, and make pies. Years later in Seattle she was compelled to rescue neighborhood fruit trees choked by blackberries and ivy. Barb has been lead steward for the Burke-Gilman Trail Urban Orchard since 2010. She also volunteers in her son’s public schools where she has established “Green Teams” and has led Washington Green Schools certifications. She has an MBA from NYU and a large collection of piano ensemble sheet music just waiting to be played.
Melanie grew up twenty minutes from Chicago, spending summers with her dad harvesting their small rhubarb crop and figuring out how to keep the pesky birds from stealing their Concord grapes. In college she minored in Sustainability and developed a passion for food justice and food access for all people, regardless of income. During her first year as an AmeriCorps VISTA at Indy Hunger Network, she developed a double-up SNAP (formerly known as food stamps) incentive program similar to Seattle’s Fresh Bucks that doubled SNAP recipient’s fruit and vegetable purchases at area farmers’ markets up to $20. She is thrilled to be joining City Fruit as an AmeriCorps VISTA during this exciting time of growth, during which she’ll be spearheading a robust volunteer program, alongside other projects.
Tabitha grew up next to Glacier Park in NW Montana, moving to Seattle in 1997 for college. She has worked in graphic design, illustration, interface and game design, and user-centered design, moving to freelance graphic design in 2008. She has been a volunteer graphic designer for City Fruit since 2009; sculpting the online presence and creating print collateral for events and campaigns. Starting Jan. 2014, Tabitha began serving the organization in a more official capacity as the Office Manager. She is passionate about food justice and healthy foods for all, and is also an artist, avid gardener, and companion of two hilarious pet bunnies.
While there are too many to name, we couldn’t do what we do without them. Thank you Volunteers!