MEET OUR TEAM

STAFF

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Cayce Hill - Executive Director

Cayce is originally from Austin, TX, but arrived in San Jose in 2008 by way of Morelia, New York City, and Tokyo.  Before moving to San Jose she worked with the Japan Organic Agriculture Association, the New York Academy of Medicine, and the Children's Hospital at Montefiore.  Cayce holds an MPA from NYU Robert F. Wagner School of Public Service, with a focus on Health Care Policy and Program Evaluation.  As a culinary gardener and garden educator, Cayce has worked with The Absinthe Group,  Sons & Daughters Restaurant, and the Delphi Agrarian Arts Foundation.  She believes that good food, local community, and social networks - the old-fashioned kind with real people - are what make us all healthy and strong.

cayceh@veggielution.org


Colleen Hotchkiss - Farm Manager

After earning her B.A. in Spanish with a concentration in Gender and Sexuality Studies from Haverford College in 2011, Colleen began her career in sustainable agriculture, working first at a non-profit CSA farm in Maryland and then at a 140-acre natural process farm in Petaluma. Colleen started working at Veggielution In September 2012 as a member of the Silicon Valley Health Corps, managing the Farm Box CSA program and weekly Farm Stand. Promoted to Farm Manager in April 2015, Colleen oversees all farm operations, including fruit and vegetable production and distribution, crop planning, native and ornamental landscaping, equipment and infrastructure, and irrigation systems. She directly supervises a talented team of staff, interns, and HomeGrown Talent fellows to keep the farm operation running smoothly, and works closely with the Executive Director to hone and develop Veggielution's mission-driven programming. Raised in Redwood City, Colleen is passionate about sustainable agriculture in the Bay Area and is working towards owning and operating her own small farm.  

colleenh@veggielution.org


Emily Schwing - Development Communications Manager

A native of the Jersey Shore, Emily Schwing came to the Bay Area by way of the University of South Alabama where she earned a B.S. in Meteorology (2011). Emily earned her M.A. in Communication Studies at San José State University (2014) with a focus on Environmental Communication. Emily joined Veggielution in 2014 as the Outreach Coordinator as a member of the Silicon Valley Health Corps. In 2015, she became Veggielution’s fulltime Program Manager. In her current role as Development Communications Manager, Emily coordinates Veggielution’s overall communication strategy across a variety of media platforms. She is responsible for implementing the farm’s education and community engagement programs including Veggielution Cocina, a community cooking class series. A longtime surfer, Emily is now an avid backpacker. When she’s not on the farm, she can be found in the Sierra Nevada mountains. 

emilys@veggielution.org                            


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Michelle Domocol - Farm Crew

Michelle was born on the East Coast but always felt California & Southeast Asia were her true homes. She works as a landscape designer and horticultural consultant for non-profit organizations and residences in California and the Philippines.  In California, she designs indoor and outdoor gardens for homes around the Bay Area.   While in the Philippines,  she designs and consults for farms in the Visayas and Mindanao.  Before launching her landscape design business, she earned her degree in Environmental Resource Management in Australia.  After her degree, she worked in the Philippines and Australia as a community organizer, environmental consultant and public health researcher.   Since 2012, she supported Veggielution's initiatives as an Intern, Bounty of Heart's Delight (BOHD) Volunteer Coordinator, Workday Leader, and a Field Trip Assistant.  Through each role, she has deepened her appreciation of Veggielution's approach to community engagement and urban farm development. She is incredibly excited to continue her support as this summer's Farm Apprentice.


Mika Shibuya - Farm Crew

Mika Shibuya is a graduate of Sarah Lawrence College, where she studied Creative Writing and Environmental Studies.  She returns to Veggielution after completing her Silicon Valley HealthCorps service at the California Native Garden Foundation, where she worked as Nursery Manager. Veggielution was lucky enough to first have her on the Farm Crew as a HealthCorps member from 2012-2014. Mika is passionate about strong food systems and social justice and knows her way around a greenhouse! To her responsibilities managing our small production nursery and guiding volunteers in greenhouse tasks, she brings a strong sense of organization, focused attention, and a wonderful affinity for plants and people.  

mikas@veggielution.org


Jennifer Aguilar - Youth Program Manager

Jennifer is a San Jose native. In 2014, she was introduced to Veggielution as a drop-in volunteer and eventually progressed into more committed roles as an Education Intern and Workday Leader. Jennifer recently graduated from San Jose State University with a BA in Social Science and a minor in Nutrition & Food Science. Her studies were primarily focused on community and social change, which she feels helped stir up a passion to support Veggielution's mission in East San Jose. She is excited to have the privilege of caring for the Youth Garden, as well as maintaining a safe and welcoming atmosphere for children and families to explore while learning about organic gardening, nutrition, sustainability, and building community.

jena@veggielution.org

 

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SILICON VALLEY HEALTH CORPS

Madeline Owen - Community Engagement Coordinator 

Madeline recently graduated from Santa Clara University and is thrilled to continue her work with community development through the Silicon Valley HealthCorps and Veggielution. At Santa Clara University, Madeline was involved in a multitude of international and national services experiences but it was her work with the Best Buddies and Forge Garden partnership that encouraged her next step to urban farming. This year will be spent finding new ways to engage the community with Veggielution and working to improve food access, nutrition, and opportunity for East San Jose. She is thrilled to work everyday at the incredible Veggielution farm with an out-of-this-world team. Outside of community development, you can find her exploring new trails, working out her down dogs, sending and receiving snail mail, seeking a body of water, and weaving through farmers market stalls.. 

madelineo@veggielution.org


STRATEGIC CONSULTANTS

Kavita Aiyar - Communication & Development Strategy

Kavita is a seasoned Silicon Valley marketing professional with extensive high-tech industry experience and a proven track record driving innovative marketing programs that produce compelling business results. She is now focused on applying her skills to the non-profit sphere.  Kavita has a deep and abiding passion for the written word, as well as for healthy eating and growing her own vegetables. At Veggielution, she is working on evolving the organization's communication and development strategy with a focus on online presence, compelling content, donor and volunteer retention, and creative fundraising. 


Ana Delfino - Bounty of Heart's Delight Committee Chair 

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Ana Victoria Delfino (aka Ana or Vikki) is a hospitality professional passionate about local food, small business, and all things tasty. While working throughout the Bay Area for various catering companies and restaurants, her passion for good food-- and good people-- developed. Enamored with terroir in winemaking, her sights quickly turned to food growth and growers, and felt compelled to get involved. She is excited and honored to contribute to an organization which enables everyone to become part of the farm and community.


BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Kim Pederson - Board Chair
Senior Attorney, Law Foundation of Silicon Valley

After graduating from Santa Clara University School of Law in 2004, Kim Pederson chose to make San Jose her long-term home. Since that time, Kim has worked as an attorney with the Law Foundation of Silicon Valley, an organization in downtown San Jose that provides free legal services to low-income residents of Santa Clara County. She works in the Law Foundation’s Mental Health Advocacy Project, representing people with mental illness residing in the community, along with individuals receiving treatment in psychiatric facilities. Her work focuses on advocating for her clients to live as independently as possible in the least-restrictive settings available to them. She first came to Veggielution in 2010, seeking to explore a different way of working towards social justice, have a closer connection to her personal food supply, and learn about caring for an urban flock of chickens. There’s no other place she'd rather be on a Saturday.


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Bernardo Murillo - Board Treasurer, Tax Accountant

Bernardo Murillo was born and raised on the East Side of San Jose and maintains his residence in the city.  He grew up watching the orchards convert to buildings and was excited to find out about Veggielution and its desire to bring the bountiful origins of this valley back to life for the community.  He is a tax accountant by trade with over 10 years of experience and hopes to provide insight into the financial aspects of the organization to ensure its success.  Backed by his father’s lifelong dedication to the community, Bernardo hopes to bring that same passion to help fulfill the mission of Veggielution. 


 Rebecca Salner - Board Secretary, Communications Professional

Rebecca is a former journalist who enjoys cooking, gardening and building community so it's no surprise that she found her way to Veggielution, first as a volunteer and later as an advisory board member. She grew up in the Bay Area and worked as a reporter and in nonprofit marketing and communications. She is now the Assistant Managing Editor for the Bay Area News Group.


Michael Burt - Board Member, Community Voluntee

As a native Texan he moved to the Bay Area following his partner’s job. Michael enjoys food, cooking, entertaining, and volunteering. He fell in love with the Veggielution community very soon after moving to San Jose in August 2010. He found Veggielution at the San Pedro Farmers Market and quickly joined the Board of Directors after demonstrating knowledge in many aspects off the farm such as cooking, construction and non profit experience. He has served as the administrator for a national non profit pilot’s organization for the past seven years. Michael plans on starting a business selling food products at local bay area farmer’s markets in the near future.


Shreelakshmi Krishnamurthi - Board Member
Software Engineer, Proximex Corporation

Shree grew up in India, and currently lives in the valley with her family. Growing up, her parents’ passion for gardening, and later as a mother, her desire to provide healthy diet for her kids, motivated her to do something impactful with organic farming.  She found her calling when she first visited the Veggielution farm in the spring of 2010, and just fell in love with it and started volunteering. Shree is also a dedicated volunteer for Sankara Eye Foundation (SEF USA), a non-profit that works hard to prevent the curable blindness for the people in India. Though a software engineer by profession, her wish is to make organic farming sustainable and available for every human being on the planet Earth.