Executive Team

Marc Schutzbank

Marc Schutzbank

Director and Poet-In-Chief

“Give me a carrot, a beet, and a lime; I’ll make something so good – it should be a crime!” Marc Schutzbank is our resident poet-in-chief. Marc hails from the United States, coming to Vancouver as a Fulbright Scholar. As a graduate of the M.Sc. Integrated Studies in Land and Food Systems program at the University of British Columbia,

he investigated the economic viability of urban farming – exploring how urban farmers are developing their businesses here in Vancouver. One of those farms was Fresh Roots. Marc has worked with Fresh Roots to develop a green thumb business model that does social good. Marc and Fresh Roots has been awarded BC Business’ 30 Under 30 and the BC Social Innovation Youth Award. Marc has a background in genocide prevention policy and finance – issues that he worked on at the University of Pittsburgh when exploring ethical institutional investment. Marc loves to grow, cook, eat, and share – come on over for dinner! When Marc is not on the farm, you can find him running along the beach or checking out a new recipe.
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marc@freshroots.ca

Ilana Labow

Ilana Labow

Founder

Ilana co-founded Fresh Roots with a passion for gardening, compost, and witnessing the awe and wonder of people pulling a carrot out of the ground for their first time. Driven by the collected wisdom and stories of the diverse neighbours and community in East Vancouver, Ilana now helps develop the vision and growth of Fresh Roots.

After receiving urban farming and community development training with Growing Power, and training in conflict-resolution with the multi-national peace institute Arava Institute for Environmental Studies, Ilana found herself in Coast Salish territories growing opportunities for good food access and cultural knowledge sharing in Vancouver’s soil. Ilana sits on the Farm to School Greater Vancouver steering committee, is a member of the Vancouver Food Policy Council, and was named one of the Vancouver Parks Board’s Remarkable Women of 2013. Ilana is dedicated to advocating for food literacy and for community members whose voices are not often heard, and energized by the incredible opportunities for collectively creating shared visions for a healthier, just, future.
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Good Food Farm Team

Mark Seiling

Good Food Farm Manager

Mark keeps all the veggies growing at our sites across Metro Vancouver! He helps fill our weekly Veggie Box Program (CSA) and market stands, and keeps the farms and veggies going for all the programs to use and munch on. Mark has been farming in the Vancouver area for seven years, and has been in the orbits of Fresh Roots almost since the very beginning.

Mark doesn’t have any spare time, but if he did, he’d spend it nordic skiing, kayaking, and cycling.
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food@freshroots.ca

Galen Taylor Jones

Galen Taylor Jones

Good Food Programmer

Galen takes joy in the snap-ability of harvesting garlic scapes, the jawline of snapdragons, the spines on eggplants and seeing food move from the field into community members’ meals! She joins the Fresh Roots team from a background in rural and urban farming, social support work, and restaurants. Galen trains our interns and youth to grow and share more Good Food, and shed leads teams of adult volunteers during our Big Helps and Team Builds.

When she’s not farming or facilitating with Fresh Roots, she’s listening for bird songs, reading dystopian books, or smothering radicchio’s bitterness in fats and lemon juice.
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galen@freshroots.ca

Youth Empowerment Team

tathali-urueta

Tathali Urueta

Youth Curriculum and Empowerment Manager

During the last 10 years, Tathali has been working in diverse capacities at the intersection of two worlds: Food and Education! Her professional experience in these years has been shaped by her interest and passion in sustainability education, garden-based learning, science education, and food studies.

She has had the opportunity to work and enjoy the indoor and outdoor classroom with learners spanning from pre-kindergarten to higher education. Tathali holds a Ph.D. in Curriculum Studies and an M.A. in Science Education from The University of British Columbia. Tathali is committed to the transformation of society toward more equitable and sustainable ways of living through education that empowers ALL learners.
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empowerment@freshroots.ca

rosalind-sadowski

Rosalind Sadowski

Carrot Club Facilitator

Rosalind joins the Fresh Roots team from a diverse background in urban agriculture, sustainable food systems and community organizing. As a graduate of the Land and Food Systems faculty at UBC, she enjoys stewarding projects to their fruition and implementing new approaches to community food security.

As Fresh Root’s Youth Empowerment Manager from 2017 to 2018, she engaged and inspired young people with the growing potential of schoolyard farms. Her passion for the local food movement in Vancouver has also led to work as the Market Coordinator for the UBC Farm, intern for Inner City Farms, and as the Coordinator for the Vancouver Fruit Tree Project. When she is not munching on locally-grown fruits or veggies, Rosalind loves to practice her Spanish and French, climb mountains, perfect her puns and travel to far-away places.
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Amanda Luu

SOYL Program Facilitator

After spending two years in the SOYL program herself, Amanda was eager to continue her journey with Fresh Roots and is now back as a SOYL Program Facilitator for her second year. She loves to find ways to engage youth in conversations about food and sustainability, and has a huge passion for environmental education. She is currently studying Science at the University of British Columbia.

Nicole Bruce

Nicole Bruce

SOYL Program Facilitator

Nicole started her journey with Fresh Roots in 2016 as a SOYL participant herself! It set her on a path filled with passion for local food systems and the power to make a difference. Nicole left Vancouver to study Environmental Engineering at the University of Northern British Columbia, but the draw of sunny days on the farm and giving the same experience that she was so grateful for to even more youth proved too much to resist. She has joined our SOYL Vancouver staff team for two summers now.

Experiential Learning Team

Kat Vriesema-Magnuson

Experiential Curriculum and Learning Manager

Kat loves to help kids literally get their hands dirty, and seeing a kid hold their first worm is the highlight of her day. Kat has a Graduate Certificate in Education, Environment and Community from IslandWood, an M.Ed. in Teaching and Curriculum from the University of Washington, and over a decade of experience in environmental education.

She is excited to put her skills to work helping students and teachers connect with the land and their community through growing, cooking, and eating Good Food.  When not creating dynamic hands-on learning opportunities, Kat can be found cooking for family and friends, singing,  and learning to sword fight.
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education@freshroots.ca

Grandview Elementary

Charlotte Hewson

Experiential Learning Program Facilitator

Charlotte is passionate about sustainable food systems and the ability for food to both heal and bring together community. After many years working in the Vancouver school system as an Education assistant she decided to follow her heart and study culinary arts at Northwest Culinary Academy. Now she’s crafted a career that’s the perfect balance of creating food to nourish people in her communities and also working with Students in east Vancouver, to broaden their experiences of growing and sharing food.

Storytelling Team

sarah-maitland

Sarah Maitland

Community Engagement Manager

Sarah loves words—specifically, she loves that words can empower people and make change happen. Sarah was once the managing editor of a magazine, she has taught fun writing workshops to hundreds of humans of all ages, and she co-founded the Writers’ Exchange, a charity that gets inner-city kids in Vancouver excited about reading, writing, and their own potential.

She loves using the power of words (both in-person convos and written communications) to connect with the Fresh Roots community, share the amazing work happening here, and raise funds to support the children and youth in Fresh Roots programs!
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sarah@freshroots.ca