Peter Bloch: a market development and innovation specialist with over ten years' experience in countries spanning Africa, central and south America. He has worked as a consultant for the African Agricultural Technology Foundation, Consortium of International Agricultural Research Centers, AGRA, ICRISAT, and Bioversity International, among others. Peter has already been extremely helpful with his constructive criticism of proposed strategies, and can offer practical expertise in coalition-building and technology transfer.
Jill Cloutier: Radio Producer, Environmental Educator, Writer and Filmmaker, Jill is the host and producer of Sustainable World Radio, an online radio show with listeners around the globe, and the first podcast focused on Permaculture. A certified permaculture designer (PDC), she teaches classes on watershed education and organic gardening. She co-founded the horticultural therapy program “Kale, Not Jail” at the Santa Barbara Juvenile Hall, and does PR for local non-profit Explore Ecology. Her film The Soil Solution premiered at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival, and documents the study of soil's potential as a solution to the climate crisis, and the influence of land management on sequestration of atmospheric CO2. Jill’s passion to inspire people to make a positive difference will help permEzone communicate effectively with students, communities and potential partners.
Gerri French: a California-based clinical dietitian, certified diabetes and nutrition educator and cooking instructor, with a BS in Nutrition and an MS in Physical Education and Wellness. She currently works at Sansum Clinic and teaches at Santa Barbara City College and the Center for Lifelong Learning. The former Food and Nutrition Editor of Diabetes Health magazine, she specializes in translating the latest scientific findings into practical information for clients and students. As the creator of the popular Santa Barbara Food & Farm Adventures, she regularly organizes events that bring like-minded people together to tour farms and taste freshly picked foods. As well as advising the team on appropriate indicators to measure improvements in nutritional outcomes, Gerri also hopes to contribute to the training curriculum to help farmers include nutritional considerations in their farm designs.
Vicki Halpern, MSW: a retired social work supervisor and adjunct professor. She has sixteen years teaching experience and over thirty years’ experience working with at-risk and oppressed populations. In addition, she has seventeen years’ experience in coordinating, supervising, managing and training employees.
Upon retirement, Vicki graduated as a certified Master Gardener through the University of California Cooperative Extension Service, joined the California Rare Fruit Growers Association, and is an active member of the Santa Barbara Permaculture community. She is a Board member and dedicated volunteer at Mesa Harmony Garden.
M. Kelley Harris: with a BA in Economics/Mathematics, and a BS in Physics, Kelley has 20 years of software hands-on development experience, is a Lean/Agile/Scrum coach and consultant, an entrepreneur and founder of Sourcecell a custom software development consultancy. His software experience ranges across many highly technical projects, including scientific/medical applications, crash data retrieval, waste-reduction in manufacturing processes, and ground-breaking work on nanomanipulation and nanolithography. He is a certified permaculture designer (PDC), offers permaculture services for ecological regeneration and sustainable human settlements, and has been experimenting in food production and appropriate technology since the late 1970s. He brings to permEzone his practical experience in startups and in developing appropriate technology.
Mary Anne Masterson: Co-Founder and Partner at Mix and Stir Studio, a startup accelerator based in San Francisco. Mary Anne was previously a strategy executive at Microsoft, and for global innovation leader, Frog Design. Her focus on marketing strategy, design innovation and new product development, has helped global enterprises and early stage start-ups. A Senior Lecturer at California College of the Arts, she is also a mentor/advisor with Incuba UC, bringing leading startups from South America to Silicon Valley. Passionate about using technology to drive social innovation in urban and underserved communities, she has led or advised on numerous initiatives, including for the TED City 2.0 Challenge, the San Francisco Mayor's Office of Innovation and Hack City San Francisco 2013. Mary Anne brings to permEzone her considerable experience of advising startups, and her enthusiasm for using technology to improve lives in disadvantaged communities.
Julious Piti: Permaculture teacher and designer, and conflict facilitator, he is a founding member of the Chikukwa Ecological Land Trust (CELUCT) in Zimbabwe. Over 80% of the population of the Chikukwa villages now practices permaculture, meeting their own needs with a surplus to share from the lush and abundant mountainsides that have emerged from the former deforestation and erosion. As Director of PORET (Participatory Organic Research Extension and Training), he is now aiming to replicate the strategies of CELUCT in the low rainfall area of Chaseyama. In 2009 he facilitated a permaculture design project for a village of 5000 on the shores of Lake Victoria, Tanzania, featured in the film From the Mara Soil. Julious presented at International Permaculture Convergences in Brazil, Africa, and Jordan, and in 2012 taught on the Permaculture Design Course for International Development & Social Entrepreneurship at Quail Springs in California.
Michel Saint-Sulpice: California licensed Architect, and a Permaculture Designer. He was the subject of the film “Love & Gratitude” which premiered at GreenScreen student environmental films 2012 at the UCSB Carsey-Wolf Center. He believes that PERMACULTURE is the most practical, (self) sustainable, direct, simple, accessible + affordable by all, comprehensive and fun way to heal and nurture each other and our planet, and he trusts that the permEzone concept can help disseminate the much needed knowledge about the Permaculture Principles to the 4 corners of the world. Michel will help this program with his experience and commitment as a Permaculture Designer, and his professional understanding of development projects.
John Steed: A graduate of Harvard Law School, John practiced law in the US and in Japan, where he was the partner in charge of Paul Hastings LLP’s Tokyo Office for 10 years. He subsequently conducted a consulting practice facilitating business arrangements between clients in the US and Japan. In 2010, considering the legacy he could leave his grandchildren, he wrapped up his consultancy to focus on making an effective contribution to preserving a healthy, sustainable environment. John is on the board of the Community Environmental Council in Santa Barbara, and is involved with an initiative at Human Rights Watch--"Climate Change and Human Rights". He mentors students in the eco-entrepreneurship program at the Bren School of Environmental Science and Management at UCSB. John’s extensive legal and business background and experience assisting clients with international operations will help to steer permEzone’s organizational development.
Sri Subramanian: Sri has had more than 20 years of experience in the software industry focusing on messaging, database and embedded processing in applications including networking, robotics, automation and wind energy. He has started and/or been a part of nonprofits like Minara (metrics for corporate sustainability), For the Future (envisioning a low-carbon world) and Child Vikaas International (seeding programs for low-income children’s education in India). He has also worked on news reporting for the Santa Barbara Independent, Santa Barbara Indy media and KCSB radio.
Sri’s will advise on the development of the mobile phone platform that is an integral part of the permEzone program, and help us explore the different options for sharing information at each stage of the program, and at each level of operation.
Snehal Trivedi (Seed): co-founder of Heal the Soil CSA, runs Sapney farm in the village of Kottakarai, near Auroville, Pondicherry, India. Sapney means Dreams, and he says that since they started living in their Sapney, they have hosted thousands of people from around the world, inspiring them to live their dreams wherever they go. Returning home from working as a graphic designer in England, he opened KofiBar restaurant. Wanting to serve fresh organic food, they started to focus on farming. They now conduct regular workshops on sustainable practices, including tours for school-children and other groups, permaculture weekend workshops and internationally certified permaculture design courses. Seed aims to combine ancient local techniques with permaculture to promote sustainable development for rural as well as urban India. His focus on inspiring others through what he has achieved on severely degraded land is inspiration for the development of permEzone.
H. H. (Tres) Wallower III: A financial advisor in the Santa Barbara area for 27 years, Tres has been involved with socially responsible investing (SRI) and has been a member of the US SIF: the Forum on Sustainable and Responsible Investing (formerly the Social Investment Forum) for the past 21 years. He has also served on local non-profit investment advisory committees and boards and is a Rotary Club past- president. He took his Permaculture Design Course (PDC) under Australians Geoff Lawton and Darren Doherty and attended the International Permaculture Convergence 10 in Jordan in 2011. Tres has been participating in the Slow Money movement, having attended 2 of 3 national gatherings and is very interested in helping to define breakthrough legal and financial structures in the support of local, sustainable food enterprises.
Greg Zahn: a farmer in Newtown, Wisconsin and co-funder for the permEzone Phase 1 Pilot in Rongo, alongside his work restoring Circle Union Farm to ecological health and balance by putting the principles of permaculture into practice, Greg is also on the PRI-Kenya International Advisory Board. As both a donor and advisor to PRI-Kenya and the partner organizations they work with, he visits them on a regular basis, and shares with us his feedback and insights from his first-hand encounters.