Staff • Board • Contractors & Volunteers • Senior Fellows
Small team, big hearts, hard work. Our staff works to care for this organization, its spaces and programs, and its future every day. We love what we do, and bring our fullest selves to work for you and for our shared future.
Thomas lives onsite and works with the team to ensure all participants and visitors find a welcoming home at the Institute. He supports the land and facilities, helping to create an environment that facilitates the life-affirming work happening here. As a photographer, filmmaker, contemplative juggler, and teacher of movement awareness, Thomas seeks to inspire a sense of wonder and delight in our relations with Earth and Other.
Lynne oversees our housekeeping team and helps tend our lodging and communal spaces onsite. Horses and horse rescue have a special place in her heart. She enjoys spending time with her human and animal family, being physically active, and drinking gigantic smoothies.
Jessica is a member of our housekeeping team. In her spare time, she enjoys sewing, painting, and baking. Jessica also loves gardening, spending time with family, working out, hiking, and enjoying her dog and birds.
Photo © Heather Ramirez
Holly is a mission oriented, passionate, and experienced business strategist. Her academic and professional expertise ranges from industrial engineering, manufacturing, and marketing to economic development, business development, and grassroots network development.
Facilities and Group Logistics Coordinator
Kimi comes from a background in biology, teaching, and environmental science. With B.S. and Master’s degrees in Biology, she has had careers as a chef, biologist, and educator. She is an enthusiastic explorer of the outdoors. When not hiking, birdwatching, or kayaking, Kim might be in the kitchen: originally trained in the French culinary tradition, she now honors both her palate and the planet by preparing vegan foods and teaching others about plant-based nutrition.
Erik joined the team in summer 2017, working on a variety of building maintenance, landscaping, and forest stewardship projects. Erik has a degree from Evergreen State College in business and natural resource stewardship with a minor in land use planning, and recently completed an internship at Sound Experience doing online marketing for their summer programs aboard the schooner Adventuress. He also holds roles with Whidbey Island Waldorf School and Island Athletic Club.
Marnie came to the Whidbey Institute in 2013 with a B.A. in English from Suffolk University and a background in journalism, graphic design, teaching, and editing. When she’s not at work, you can find her playing pinball at the Machine Shop, looking for vegan food on local restaurant menus, or playing outside with her two- and four-legged family: a partner, three daughters, three dogs, two cats, two mules, two rabbits, a hedgehog, and a cow.
Heather is passionate about ongoing adult development and growing organizations that are committed to positive change. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Finance, is a graduate of Pacific Integral’s Generating Transformative Change leadership program, and has held previous roles with Sustainable Connections in Bellingham (as founding staff), Sustainable Seattle (as Interim Director), Excellence Northwest (as Interim Director), and Blue Marble Biomaterials (as Director of Finance and Accounting).
Beno lives according to a simple philosophy: “if you take care of what’s in front of you, close by, then by extension you’re helping to take care of the world.” Beno has been involved for decades as a volunteer and for several years as a staff member, serving as a handyman/go-to-guy with extensive skills, a creative outlook, and a contagious attitude of honesty, service, and dedication.
Robert’s academic and professional background includes experience in holistic science, wilderness ecology and education, transformative learning for sustainable living, permaculture design and landscaping, and ecological literacy. In addition to stewarding the land. Robert engages in collaborative organizational strategy, community engagement, and land-based education.
Marta is a part-time Volunteer Coordinator for the Whidbey Institute as well as Power of Hope Camp Manager, landscaper, and board member of Sister Island Project and South Whidbey Youth Soccer Club. Her past experience includes co-founding and coordinating volunteers for Calyx School, volunteering with the Peace Corps, teaching English in Guangzhou, China, and working as volunteer coordinator at the Abused Deaf Women’s Advocacy Services. She is active in local arts and theater and is a nationally certified Sign Language interpreter.
Amber works in housekeeping. She is a dedicated mother of four, and enjoys time with her family, knitting, and jewelry-making.
Brit Schneider has a passion for plants and people as well as a great breadth of experience in medicinal herbs, vegetable farming, volunteer mentorship, and garden education. Brit grew up in this area, but spent time abroad and in Northern California as a young adult. Most recently, she moved from Sacramento, California, where she engaged in farming education and outreach at Soil Born Farms and worked in urban schools teaching garden education.
Database and Office Administrator
When she’s not at the Whidbey Insistute keeping our office in order, Madisun runs her own brand of community merrymaking as a freelance events coordinator and operates a non-profit program under the Whidbey Island Arts Council. In her free time, she can be found on a historic pumpkin farm, living as a steward of the Reserve with her husband, a rescued street-to-farm dog, and four hilarious ducks.