Amy Bono-Kruckewitt joined The HEAL Project as Executive Director in March, 2015. Amy holds a B.A. in Psychology and Biology from U.C. San Diego and she brings more than two decades of youth environmental education and extensive community leadership experience to the organization. Prior to joining The HEAL Project, Amy served as an outdoor educator with U.C. Elkus Ranch, a zookeeper for the San Francisco Zoo, and a substitute teacher for Cabrillo Unified School District. Her community leadership experience includes service as PTO Chair at Cunha Intermediate School and at King’s Mountain Elementary School, Board President of the Kings Mountain Children's Center and the Coastside Mothers' Club, as well as a Parcel Tax School Liaison for Measures B and E. Amy lives on the coast in the redwoods with her husband, two dogs, one cat and two teen-aged children.
Shannon Kromat is our Operations Manager and Program Instructor. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Business Psychology from Palo Alto University. She has seven years of small business administration experience in the financial planning and security industry. Shannon serves as a chairperson and secretary of the board for the non-profit, Kings Mountain Art Fair, which funds the local volunteer fire department. She spent the last two years volunteering with neighbors to make a local community garden thrive. Shannon is passionate about improving our environment through research and education. She looks forward to lending her skill set to The HEAL Project and their mission of educating the next generation about sustainability and healthy living.
Holly Markham is our Development and Outreach Manager and provides administrative and grant support for THP's program. While earning her B.S. in Environmental Studies at Michigan State University, Holly worked on the school's Student Organic Farm--a model teaching and research farm that supports a year-round CSA. She is grateful for the rich training she received at the farm and credits much of her skills in farm education to her experience there. Holly has owned and operated her own cut flower farm, worked as an urban farm educator in Portland, OR, and as a guide and naturalist in Southeast Alaska. Holly loves working with flowers and moonlights as a floral designer. She approaches her work in garden-based outdoor education with a deep respect for nature's processes and a never-ending curiosity of life's mysteries.
Laurel Bigelow is our Intensive Garden Program Educator at Farallone View Elementary School. She came to know THP through her involvement at Farallone View (where her two children are students) and in 2014 when she heard we were looking for a new Instructor, she stepped right up. Laurel grew up gardening with her grandfather in the Central Valley. She attended UC Berkeley and then moved to San Francisco. She taught high school English and was the site coordinator for AVID, a program that supports students who aspire to be the first in their families to attend college, at Woodside High School in Redwood City. While taking a break from paid employment to raise two energetic boys, Laurel shifted her focus to elementary education and began to pursue her interest in hands-on environmental education. She co-chairs Farallone View Elementary's Oceans Week and is assisting the school in expanding their environmental education to complement THP programs.
Jon Glancy is our San Mateo County School Farm Manager. Jon grew up in a small town in northern Michigan. His parents had a large vegetable garden and small fruit orchard that he and his siblings tended to through the spring, summer and fall. Jon says the garden was always his favorite place to be. The growing process was always fascinating to him. Jon continued to cultivate that passion through his teens and decided to study horticulture and sustainable farming at Michigan State University. Jon connected with the Student Organic Farm at MSU where he continued to learn about holistic land management and helped educate Jr High students about organic farming and permaculture practices.
Melinda MacNaughton is our Engaging Active Agricultural Tasters (EAAT) Tastings Coordinator. She is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist with a Master's degree in nutrition. She worked as dietitian in hospitals for over eight years, teaching classes, providing nutrition consulting, and assisting hospital patients with medically prescribed diets. She is a mother of two, which has fueled her passion for the environment and sustainable food systems. From 2009-2011, she co-founded, organized events, and provided content for GreenMoms.com. Currently, she volunteers in the Wilkinson school garden as a nutrition educator and gardener. In addition, she writes nutrition articles and short blogs for Well Kiddos newsletter and website. Recently, she has taught nutrition classes at a local girls fitness camp and provided technical nutrition editing for 'The Growing Classroom' garden curriculum book for Life Lab.
Naomi Stern is the Farm Programs Manager at the San Mateo County School Farm. She is excited to begin leading the field trips and camps that happen on the farm. Naomi began teaching when she was an undergraduate at the University of California, Santa Cruz. She designed and facilitated a course called “Restoring our Place” that weaved together the concepts of habitat conservation with ecopsychology and sustainable agriculture. After receiving her degree in Environmental Studies her travels allowed she to explore farming and education in diverse environments. It did not matter whether she was in the deserts of Israel, the streets of downtown Berkeley, forests in the Sierras, or the jungles in Central America, Naomi found she was inspired by the mysteries and beauty of the natural world. In 2015 she was a Programs Instructor for The Youth Garden Project located in Moab, Utah. As an instructor she designed and lead after-school programs, outdoor science field trips, as well as a summer camp in a garden setting. She is grateful to have this opportunity to teach bay area students, and herself, about the power of healthy food, healthy ecosystems, and responsible farming.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Jason Mousel, Board Chair, has a master’s degree in nutritional sciences, completing research on assessing college campus food and health environments. Jason currently works as a clinical dietitian at Sequoia Hospital. He has a strong involvement in community nutrition, working with Head Start, Seton Coastside Medical Center, Healthy San Jose State, and founding a sustainable foods student group at SJSU. Prior to finding his place as a nutritionist, Jason worked as an accountant for small businesses in San Francisco.
Lydia Puhak, Vice Chair, brings a passion for encouraging conscious, intentional living as engaged, compassionate world citizens and specializes in transformative change through her life coaching and yoga teaching practices. This explains her strong affinity for The HEAL Project’s mission where the values of earth stewardship and personal leadership ring true. Her formal education in economics and biology, coupled with a broad career history, provide a whole-systems, organic understanding of people in society, in community and on this Earth. Lydia has turned her attention toward bolstering the strength and longevity of nonprofits that serve this community through her personal involvement since 2003, stepping out of the traditional workforce. At The HEAL Project, she applies her energies toward effectively engaging and retaining volunteers and building robust supporter relationships through communications and outreach. Lydia lives in Montara with her husband, Scott Fortlage, on a little slice of heaven called Soul Fire Farm.
Beth Loof, Secretary, was born and raised in the Bay Area. She received a B.S in Biological Sciences with an emphasis in botany from CSU Chico. She has worked as a lab technician, restaurant manager and inside-sales and support tech person before staying home with her two boys. She got involved with The HEAL Project when they were looking for someone to work in the Hatch garden during summer vacation several years ago. Beth has always loved the outdoors. She is often outside running, bicycling or working in her own garden. She also enjoys quilting, knitting and cooking Beth resides in Half Moon Bay with her husband and two boys.
Lynn Watson, Treasurer, has been a flight attendant for 25+ years. Her flexible work schedule has allowed her to get an MBA & become involved with the Coastside community. She has served on the Hatch Elementary PTO Board & currently serves on the boards of Coastside Children's Programs & a family business. She first became aware of The HEAL Project when her daughter was attending Hatch School. To this day, her daughter continues to enjoy outdoor activities & eating most vegetables - especially leafy greens. The HEAL Project’s philosophy resonates with Lynn’s own passion for creating a more sustainable environment through an active eco-friendly lifestyle.
M.R. Gafill, a Midwestern native, has lived in the Bay Area for 30 years and on the Coastside for twenty years. She received a Bachelor of Science from Northwestern University, and manages facilities operations for over 120 courthouses in Northern CA. M.R. has over 25 years of varied non-profit volunteer and board membership experience, along with board governance, funds development and management, public speaking and strategic planning skills and experience she hopes to share with the HEAL Project. M.R.’s professional and volunteer work have been in the Bay Area as a whole, and so her interest in the HEAL Project comes from a desire to focus on and serve the community in which she and her husband, Ken Malloy, make their home as well as an affinity for the agency’s mission that every child grows up active, informed, engaged and healthy.
Mary Oldham received a Bachelor of Science in Horticulture with a minor in Biochemistry from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. Mary has worked in the ornamental horticulture industry on the Coastside since 1980, handling purchasing, customer service, marketing, copyrighting and event planning for a large wholesale nursery. She has been an investor in the Half Moon Bay Brewing Company since 2004, and as an employee since 2010, initially in charge of event management, and currently as director of marketing. Mary lives in Montara with her husband, Tim, where they raised three daughters; all of whom attended schools within the Cabrillo Unified School District. This gave Mary many opportunities to volunteer in the community including the Coastside Infant Toddler Center, Farallone View Elementary School, Cunha Middle School, and Half Moon Bay High School in various capacities such as Fundraising Chair, PTA Board, Classroom Volunteer, Chaperone, Grad Night Chair, Co-chair and Committee member. Cooking is a passion for Mary. Her grandfather was a railroad cook, and food is always a highlight of every family and friend gathering. HEAL Project offers Mary the opportunity to combine her horticulture, event and marketing skills for a wonderful cause.
Denise Phillips, has a BA from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, MD. Originally from St. Louis, she moved to Philadelphia following her graduation. A love of cooking and eating good food led her to attend The Restaurant School there where she received an Associate’s Degree in Restaurant Management. Following a management position at the Four Seasons Hotel, she and her husband relocated to California. She has lived in Moss Beach since 1993 and has been an active volunteer at her children’s school, serving as President of the Spanish Immersion Parent Association for 3 years. It was her children’s enthusiasm for The HEAL Project that encouraged her to get involved. She still loves to cook and eat delicious food, and she can often be seen bicycling the highways and byways of the Coastside to make room for more!
Erin Tormey was born, raised and educated in San Mateo County. Taking a cue from her parents - her mother was the President of the Board of the Coyote Point Museum for Environmental Education during the years the Museum was being constructed, and her father was on the Board of the San Mateo Community College District for 35 years - Erin has been active in the nonprofit sector since 1973. She left the area to pursue a career as a professional athlete, returning to the San Mateo Coastside in 1988. The proprietor of Irish Ridge Ranch, home of the Farm Fatales, her flock of rare and threatened chicken varieties, and apples, Erin works with the American Breed Recovery Project as well as the Rare Fruit Growers Association. She is the founder of The Coastside Farmers' Markets of Half Moon Bay and Pacifica, an inaugural member of the San Mateo County Food Systems Alliance, sits on the Technical Review Committee the CDFA Specialty Crop Block Grant Program, and is a founding member of The HEAL Project.