Executive Director, Chad Bliss
Most of my experience has been working with different aspects of our food system. As founder and Executive Director of a nonprofit based in Chicago, I ran and operated four farming sites simultaneously with programs running on each one. Each piece of land represented a different part of the food system: food security and access, workforce development, microenterprise, and education.
I was a member of the steering committee with Advocates for Urban Agriculture working on best practices for the growing interest in farming in the city. Simultaneously I was also part of the Chicago Food Advisory Committee working closely with the city to rethink outdated codes and develop a policy that allowed for more innovative growing techniques in the city. As a committee, we would meet regularly with city departments.
Currently, my inspiration is leading me to work with communities and connecting front yard garden collaboratives with rural farming in order to create a greater movement with food through education and distribution. Most of my work is focusing in the Portland OR area
Program Coordinator, Molly Wavra
Having worked for nearly 20 years in the Health & Fitness industry as a Wellness Coach and Health Educator Molly’s focus has always focused on holistic and balanced approaches to improving overall health and well-being. Working with individuals, couples and small groups, Molly has coached, empowered and guided countless clients to improved choice making and wellness habits through basic fitness and nutrition education and a variety of cognitive, behavioral and somatic modalities.
Molly’s expertise and skill set comes from a variety of sources, including a formal education and B.S. in Health Education from Portland State University, 15+ years holding multiple National Certifications as a personal trainer, health & nutrition coach, biomechanical performance specialist, licensed chiropractic assistant, group exercise instructor as well as several years working in the world of corporate wellness as an account manager and program coordinator. A clairsentient since early childhood, she is a life-long seeker with extensive experience as a practitioner and facilitator of Meditation/Visualization, Intuitive Energetic Bodywork, Shamanic Journeying and Sacred Ceremonies. Using her lifelong passion and accumulation of experiences, knowledge, and skills, Molly continues to be of service to her community via individual coaching, weekly classes, regular workshops and most recently as the newest member of the Food by Design team as our Program Coordinator.
Urban Farm Manager, Katrina Cohoe
Katrina Cohoe is the Urban Farm Manager at Food By Design and was born and raised in Portland. They received their Bachelors in Environmental Studies and Outdoor Education from Earlham College, and focused their studies in environmental justice and experiential education. Katrina worked as a farmer and educator at the Poughkeepsie Farm Project, a non-profit in New York that focuses on food accessibility and education, and decided to take these skills and move back to Portland. Since then, Katrina has managed City Farm, a small retail nursery in St. Johns, studied clinical herbalism at the Elderberry School of Botanical Medicine, and has started a small medicinal seedling business this year. Outside of work, Katrina loves to garden, hike, forage, weave, sing, dance, stretch, and spend time with friends and the cats, dog, rabbit, and chickens at their house.
Urban Farmer & Peer Support Specialist, Nicholas Daniel
As a child, living in on the outskirts of Oregon City, I remember always having a garden with flowers, vegetables, berries, and fruit trees. When I was about eight years old one of my chores was to run the tractor around the yard either mowing the tall grass or on some occasions running the tiller. I enjoyed watching the dirt swirl around, knowing that soon there would be new flowers to see and smell or veggies to harvest. My family would raise chickens and although I would often be scared or startled by them I would still see them as majestic creatures with beautiful feathers. Bringing them food scraps and composting their manure was just the normal way of life until I got older and we moved into the city. I wasn’t until my twenties that I would fall in love with farming when I began an internship living and working on an organic farm in Maui, Hawaii for nine months. Part of the curriculum was to collaborate and implement a permaculture design on the farm every three months as well as study and discuss sustainable agriculture. Learning and practicing Marshall Rosenberg’s Nonviolent Communication in weekly gathering was also an amazing part of the intentional community. Sharing the abundance of harvest at the farmers’ markets, with CSA members, and the neighborhood became the most fulfilling aspect of farm life. Returning to Oregon I knew I wanted to connect with farming and was fortunate to become a part of Food by Design where I can continue to grow, teach, and share my experiences in organic agriculture.