Board of Directors

WCG is supported by a volunteer Board of Directors whose names and positions are listed below.

Pam Dannon, Board President

Pam lives on a little farm and has a big fruit and veggie garden. She raises chickens and compost on her farm, supporting the full life cycle of ecological farming. Pam is a Registered Dietitian and has worked in the farm to school arena at local, state and federal levels. In former lives, she has been an egg specialist, corporate trainer, preschool and science lab teacher, Master Gardener, and restaurant inspector. She is a Hokie, proud Army wife, mother of 3 adult children, and lives her best life outside. Pam is fulfilling her second term as WCG Board President.

Jessica Stephens, President Elect

Jessica's devotion to gardening, the slow food movement, and cooking has been decades in the making.  Its most recent outlet is as President-elect of Williamsburg Community Growers (WCG).  A life long gardener, she enjoyed working in her community garden plot and as community garden coordinator for Project Grow Community Gardens in Ann Arbor, MI.  Today, Jessica balances her work at William & Mary as a Visiting Assistant Professor in Classical Studies with her love of gardening both as a member of the community garden and as a board member.

Nathan Moore, Treasurer

Nathan grew up in Virginia, and  has lived in Williamsburg since 1994, starting as a student at W&M.  His first job was working on an organic farm in Oxford, Maine in 1992, and has had an interest in gardening and growing vegetables ever since. Nathan was one of the first members of WCG, and has grown his plot and plant-repertoire over the years. By day, Nathan in a software engineer. currently with Ferguson.  You'll often see him at the garden working with his children that aren't playing a sport on the fields across the WISC parking lot.

Robyn Woolsey, Secretary and Education Coordinator

Robyn moved to Williamsburg in Fall 2017 to take on the role of Urban Agriculture Education Specialist for the Colonial Soil and Water Conservation District. One of the main responsibilities of that position was to support the continued growth of WCG and coordinate on-site educational opportunities for local schools. Although Robyn is now operating under a new role at the District, she is thrilled to continue to support WCG and the awesome work the group is doing. Robyn is a lifelong Hokie and native of the Blue Ridge Mountains, but enjoys living so close to the beach. 

Liz Callan, Volunteer Coordinator

Liz is an agronomist who was a Hillside Agriculture Peace Corps Volunteer in Honduras (1995-1997), and an organic farmer in Troy, NY where she ran a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) on two acres for five years. She loves getting people involved in raising their own food! When she lived in Mt. Baldy, CA, she ran the school garden when she wasn't making and selling her Mountain Mermaids soaps. Liz, her husband Brian, their two daughters and two dogs recently moved back the United States after living in Trinidad and Tobago for eight years, where Liz worked with Habitat for Humanity. Currently, she is the Culinary Educator with the School Health Initiative Program (SHIP), and also the Williamsburg Farmers Market Assistant.  Liz is passionate about equal access to opportunity for all and local food systems. She loves gardening, being outside, making soap, crocheting, Irish step dancing, learning languages, and spending time with her husband and daughters!

Barbara Arnold, Community Garden Coordinator

Barbara has been a long-time vegetable and perennial gardener and was a Master Gardener in Illinois and Virginia for 20 years. As a Master Gardener, she enjoyed researching horticultural issues for the public on the Help Desk and speaking to community groups on various topics. She also spearheaded their fundraising plant sale. Barbara and her husband Doug moved to Williamsburg in 2018 to downsize and they love being closer to their grandchildren.

Jocelyn Swanson, Food Access Coordinator 

Jocelyn is a Montessori secondary teacher, the director of a Montessori teacher training center, as well as the director of the Williamsburg Farm Camp program. In her pre-teaching career, she ran her own marketing business, starting out first as a writer/editor. Her undergraduate degree is in business / communications with a subsequent Master’s degree in education. A member of the Williamsburg community since 1994, she is passionate about living and teaching in a farm setting and introducing learners of all ages to the joy and delight of nature.

Emmanuel Eclu, Outreach Team Coordinator

My name is Emmanuel Eclou. I live in Williamsburg, James City County. I’m a licensed massage therapist, a certified personal trainer, and a licensed life coach. My interest in gardening started in the summer 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic. WCG offered me a plot and I’ve been spending time in the garden and helping with community activities. Joining the Board of Directors will allow me to be more involved and help improve and expand WCG relationship with the community. 

Roberta Giardi, At Large Board Member

Roberta came to Williamsburg as a transfer student at the College in 2008, and hasn't been able to bring herself to leave since. She developed a deep respect for food growing up in her family's restaurants in Massachusetts, running around the kitchen as a child and working in it as she grew older. Gardening was a natural extension of that respect for food and the environment, and has become a passion (and a folly). By day, Roberta works in Planning and Community Development, currently with Habitat for Humanity, and enjoys spending time getting dirty outside with her children.

David Olson, At Large Board Member

David became our resident beekeeper when he opened an apiary at WCG in the spring of 2019.  That apiary has grown to 6 active honeybee colonies.  David’s initial interest in beekeeping was spurred by his desire to make mead, also known as “honey wine” and he was first introduced to bee culture by his mom.  David eventually took over his mother’s hives and has since become a devoted beekeeper himself.  David is working towards certification as a Master Beekeeper with the Virginia State Beekeepers Association and enjoys sharing his love of bees and all things honey related with his wife Emily and their three children….and anyone else who asks!

Leanne Harrow, Ex-Officio Board Member

Leanne Harrow brings with her years of state and local experience in program development, education, and marketing in the land resource fields of Horticulture and Agriculture. Experiences range from serving in AmeriCorps helping underserved farmers diversify to high-value crops in the rural south, working with Farmland Preservation initiatives in New York State with American Farmland Trust to serving as an Extension Educator within both Cornell University and Virginia Tech.  Prior to her role with HVLC, she served as a Program Manager in the Division of Sales and Market Development for the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS).  Her duties there included developing marketing programs to facilitate the growth of direct marketing, local food systems and agritourism for Virginia agricultural producers.  Her duties also included managing the Virginia Grown marketing program, serving as the state coordinator for the Virginia Farm to School program and as the State Representative for the National Farm to School Network. Her current job with HVLC as Land Stewardship and Outreach Manager embraces many of her interests and skills in preserving land and enhancing business opportunities for landowners and working landscapes. 

Marty Mathes, Ex-Officio Board Member

Martin Mathes was a Botany professor for more than forty years, most of which were enjoyed at William and Mary.  He has been a “gardener” for many years with interests ranging from the College greenhouse and landscape, the Bicentennial community gardens, and instruction in the Master Gardener program.

 

He is currently has a plot at WCG and is interested in the development of Senior gardens.

Brock Reggie, Advisor, Dept. of Environmental Quality 
STAFF
Charlie Morse, Executive Director - Volunteer 

Charlie is a retired WJCC Schools teacher and a founding member of the Blayton Elementary Bumblebee Garden. Upon retirement Charlie joined the boards of WCG and the Colonial Soil and Water Conservation District. His interest in conservation spurred him to develop rainwater irrigation systems for  the gardens at Blayton and Stonehouse elementary schools, York River Academy, and WCG. Three of these systems rely on solar power to fill cisterns and run pumps for drip irrigation. Charlie misses teaching and loves working with young people on various projects on the farm and in the garden. In his spare time he plays drums, cooks, and loves to watch movies with his wife Deborah and their dogs.

Mackenzie Perkins, Farm Manager 

Mackenzie has been working in agriculture for 12 years on vegetable farms, cut flower farms, and retail and wholesale nurseries. A Louisiana native, she relocated to Richmond Virginia in 2014 and started her own small cut flower farm in 2017 called Boots and Shoots in Chesterfield County. She's a member of the River City Flower Exchange that offers a locally grown wholesale flower market to florists and loves to see how the local movement is changing the industry. She loves growing vegetables, experimenting with new recipes and new crops and cooking for and sharing the harvest with friends and family.  When she's not farming she enjoys spending time with her three dogs, kayaking and white water rafting on the James River, hiking and camping, and cooking. She's excited to be working with vegetables again and especially loves pickling all the veggies.