Staff & Consultants
Robin Crowder, 21 Acres Marketing and Development Director
Crowder’s expertise lies in sustainable marketing initiatives, building supply and demand for local foods, and developing new programs in a wide variety of settings with a conscious attention to environmental issues, climate change and limiting energy use. In her prior position with the University of North Carolina, Crowder directed research related to local foods, agriculture and economic impact projects addressing health disparities. She managed an Innovation Laboratory titled, Linking Local Sustainable Farming and Health, which examined the question, “Can eating local address obesity, the environment and economic viability?”
Crowder has served on a team for three years to write and manage federal, state and foundation-funded grants related to agriculture, food insecurity and food justice projects and played a key role in community-based participatory research. Crowder has an extensive background leading entrepreneurial initiatives with place-based traditional and social marketing strategies. Her work has included: fundraising campaigns; local foods branding; managing packaging and promotion design; creating direct farm-to-consumer buying opportunities; building wholesale relationships; directing public relations; orchestrating major special events; planning cooking and nutrition classes; and conducting educational programming.
Crowder served as operations manager the Bellingham Farmers Market for many years and helped farmers and small businesses position themselves to attract a greater customer base including both wholesale and retail buyers. Prior to that Crowder worked for major health care and senior housing companies leading their corporate marketing departments. Crowder provides ongoing consultation to urban planning and public health organizations, and volunteers for farmers market membership organizations on policy and advocacy issues.
John Eizuka, 21 Acres Farm Manager
I have farmed in the Sammamish Valley for the last 10 years, where I worked as Operational Field Manager for a CSA farm the ROOT CONNECTION FARM, providing locally grown fresh produce for over 500 household members in the community. I was also in charge of sales of fresh produce for the farm at Redmond Farmers Market.
Why farming? What we eat is what we become. We eat to live, not live to eat! Without food, life cannot be sustained. Look around and see what's happening with land, environment, food, corporate farming, and the end result of all that. What do we put in our bodies? This has been a big question to me ever since I started farming and learning about an array of modern agriculture and food industry. I believe growing food is one of the most important tasks in the society and keeping the balance between mother nature and civilization/technology is crucial. Touch the soil, and you feel its warmth. The land is a living thing, not dead. Agree? It's our responsibility to keep it alive so that generations to come can appreciate its beauty and abundance.
Hippocrates said, "let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food." My passion is not only to grow food sustainably, but also to share my knowledge and experience with others - how to grow food and what to eat for health and wellness. It echoes with 21 Acres mission right there.
My wish is that 21 Acres will be known and celebrated for its beautiful and valuable farm land, and also for its supporting community and members within, offering an unparalleled quality of food and “the common good.” Come and join us. Together we experience, learn, share and “grow”!
Kathy Jordan; 21 Acres Project Manager
Kathy Jordan is perhaps one of the people with the most history working with the 21 Acres Center for Local Food and Sustainable Living. Her involvement with the organization goes back eleven years to when the property was first being acquired. Kathy was integral from the early beginning to coordinate details regarding communications and helping track funding logistics to secure the land and launch the 21 Acres venture.
Now, as project manager, Kathy oversees daily details related to operations of the building as well as sharing the organization with the public by taking people on tours, answering questions from the community and helping with special events. As a passionate gardener, Kathy helped with, and gardened at, the original community garden that was on site. Although Kathy likes to think of herself as being mostly behind the scenes, now, as new staff and programming are added, she is looked to as an organizational steward, with the historical knowledge and perspective that can be so helpful to a community-based organization at this stage of its development.
When asked what she likes most about her position, Kathy says that she is excited to see the original vision come together since she has been involved throughout the entire process, from its very first conceptualization to now when the farm is thriving, the school is burgeoning and events are happening; she sees firsthand the hard work come to fruition.
Jane McClure, 21 Acres Event Coordinator
Jane comes to the organization with previous experience as marketing director of a Simon & Associates mall property and as conference services coordinator for North Texas State University. More recently McClure has been a residential design consultant and she is an avid volunteer for energy-related initiatives and helps organize the Solarfest in Shoreline.
Liesl McWhorter, 21 Acres Market Retail Staff
Pat Park, 21 Acres Facilities Manager
Park, along with Melissa Sokolowsky, Assistant Facilities Manager. bring their extensive experience in building and systems management with a specific focus on green building and sustainable, energy efficient projects. Park most recently worked for Adcor Consulting and Sokolowsky worked for Coastal Transportation Disaster Simulator. Together they will collaborate to ensure that the existing 21 Acres facility operates as efficiently as possible and that any new projects are undertaken with the utmost focus on sustainability and are congruent with LEED Platinum specifications.
Kurt Sahl, Principal Education Advisor
Kurt joined the 21 Acres team in January 2010 after 25 years of science and technology instruction, research and consulting. He is co-author of a book about online learning and articles about teacher cognition.
Sahl brings valuable organizational and project management experience to 21 Acres where he develops the educational program. He recently led a utility-funded energy informatics project for 21 Acres. He has served as a board member of a small non-profit and advised on multiple community education committees. He also facilitates Webinar participant and presenter interactions for national renewable energy initiatives.
Sahl holds a B.S. degree in Entomology from the University of Idaho, and a Masters in Education in Educational Communications and Technology from the University of Washington where he served as a teaching and research assistant. Notable life experiences include living off-grid in Alaska, teaching in Austria, and summitting Cascade peaks, Mt. Rainier and Mt. Baker.
Sue Skaggs, 21 Acres Kitchen Assistant
When Sue is not cooking she supports programming with the Veterans Garden at 21 Acres. She just finished her schooling at Le Cordon Blue Cook School and she comes to 21 Acres with a rich and diverse background. She spent 12 years in the Navy Reserves including three deployments (two in Kuwait); she worked as a corporate sales rep; and is a licensed massage therapist.
Melissa Sokolowsky, 21 Acres Assistant Facilities Manager
Sokolowsky, along with Pat Park, Facilities Manager, bring their extensive experience in building and systems management with a specific focus on green building and sustainable, energy efficient projects. Park most recently worked for Adcor Consulting and Sokolowsky worked for Coastal Transportation Disaster Simulator. Together they will collaborate to ensure that the existing 21 Acres facility operates as efficiently as possible and that any new projects are undertaken with the utmost focus on sustainability and are congruent with LEED Platinum specifications
Deb Sternagel, 21 Acres Administrator
As a community advocate and volunteer for twenty five years while living and raising my children in Woodinville, and still with a heart for a mission, I am now honored to be part of the 21 Acres team. As the 21 Acres Administrator and Event Coordinator I get to continue interacting with my neighbors and community, while meeting additional dynamic folks from far and wide who share the 21 Acres interest and mission in sustainable education.
I have a degree in Education from Washington State University and served for many years as a volunteer with my church and the schools my children attended, as well as holding many volunteer roles within the Northshore Youth Soccer Association. In my final role as President of NYSA I was able to lead the association in several field development partnerships and in those endeavors, had the pleasure of meeting and working with many dedicated volunteers and community advocates committed to education, children, and making our community and the world a much better place.
My dad always said “Learn something new every day!” In my role at 21 Acres, I do exactly that - learning each day more about sustainability, and with great pleasure am finding many ways to continue those previous connections, while helping to educate others as I serve the administrative needs of 21 Acres.
Asako Fukuda Sullivan, 21 Acres Kitchen Assistant
Born and Raised in Tokyo, Japan, Asako came to the U.S. about 25 years ago. Her favorite memories from her childhood were visiting farms, foraging and fishing to find wonderful seasonal harvests with her father, and her love for cooking was nurtured with her mother’s Japanese traditional and French culinary training. Previously working in the field of International sales and marketing, she had traveled many countries in every continent, and she has experienced variety of food culture around the world. When she needed to move on from her busy traveling life, she returned to the Pâtisserie and Baking program at Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Art to fulfill her lifelong passion for cooking. After working for some restaurants and caterers, she had joined the 21 Acres kitchen team where her love for the food and nature that her parents cherished can be a great asset. You may likely see her in the kitchen baking, or creating some Japanese and Asian inspired fares for the market and events.
Meghan Tenhoff, 21 Acres Market Retail Staff
After working in the banking industry for a few years, I felt that I was missing something. So I took the leap and began my college education as a “non-traditional” student. At the University of Washington I majored in Anthropology and Environmental Studies and focused my studies on community-based action research, the Slow-Food movement, and food justice. I believe that food is the one commonality that all cultures share. Everyone eats, we all have values and mores about what is and isn’t considered “food” and how it should be prepared. Most importantly, no matter what language you speak or where you are live- food brings friends and family together.
While taking a course on community-based research and food justice I read Lauri Thorp’s The Pull of the Earth, Ethnography in a School Garden and it changed my life. The book so clearly illustrates that children crave to be closer to the earth- they want to eat fresh vegetables. Knowing how and where food comes from gives children a deep appreciation for our planet and food. I believe that nutritious, slow, localized food can help to close the student achievement gap. Healthy food can change lives!
My hobbies include reading, raising chickens, gardening, baking, cooking and talking about food and most of all eating! I look forward to seeing you in the Market to help you explore local food and ways to prepare it.
Brenda Vanderloop, Vanderloop Communications, Public Relations; Independent Contractor to 21 Acres
Brenda assists 21 Acres in developing strong relationships in the community and effectively building a diverse audience promoting the many programs and activities within the organization. Brenda also serves as webmaster and provides a wealth of knowledge to 21 Acres and its supporters, having worked with the organization long term.
Her activities in the local food movement began in the early 1990’s providing promotion and community relations services to the local Farmers Market Board. The ensuing years strengthened her commitment and support in the broader Woodinville area, not only as an advocate for agriculture and farm fresh food, but also with the expansion of educational opportunities through the Northshore Schools Foundation Board; as former director of the Woodinville Chamber’s Tourism Partnership and proponent to small business in the region.
To contact the Board of Directors, Staff or Contractors e-mail them direct or at: email@example.com.