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.
Sommer recently joined our team. Stay tuned for more about her!
Lynne oversees our housekeeping team’s scheduling and ordering and helps tend our spaces. 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.
Database & Community Events Lead
When she’s not at the Whidbey Institute 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.
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.
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 is a storyteller, editor, and graphic designer. She is also engaged in development and equity work. She has a background in teaching, journalism, and nonprofit communications and a B.A. from Suffolk University. When not working, she stays busy at home with three daughters, a partner, an ongoing home renovation project, and a large animal family including dogs, cats, rabbits, a mule, and a cow. Her interests include gardening, boxing, rock hunting, vegan advocacy, and photography. She blogs at www.marniejackson.com.
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.
Jules LeDrew grew up near Boulder, Colorado and loves nature, plants, and people. She is an instructor at Half Moon Yoga in Langley as well as a clinical herbalist, and holds a premed degree in Herbal Science from Bastyr University. She brings her passion for botanical medicine, Ayurveda, and the potential for thriving human/plant relationships to her work as our Westgarden Steward.
Marta is a part-time Volunteer Lead 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.
Brittney recently joined our team. Stay tuned for more about her!
James is responsible for taking care of the land and everything that lives on it or passes through. His schooling and work experience revolve around restoration ecology and invasive species management, as well as public policy. He is an avid outdoorsman, spending much of his free time foraging, fishing, and hiking. Getting people connected and engaged with their environment is his calling, and his goal is to empower people to have healthy relationships with themselves, others around them, and the environment.
Brittany is a married, very busy mother of three: two girls and a boy. She’s a soccer mom, dance mom, toddler mom and volunteer in the PTA of her girls’ Montessori School. She works mostly evenings so she can dedicate a lot of time being involved in her children’s lives and activities. She loves crafting, building, upcycling things, being outdoors, and enjoying good old-fashioned family time.