Board of Directors
Finding Inspiration in Every Turn
Marisha Auerbach (she/her) is an internationally recognized permaculture educator, designer and speaker based in Olympia, WA with experience in both urban and rural environments. Since 2009, Marisha has been teaching permaculture and has taught many independent courses for people of all ages. At the university level, Marisha has been teaching permaculture with Oregon State University since 2011 and has taught at Bastyr University, Portland Community College, and the Maharishi University of Management. She has collaborated with the City Repair Project, Lost Valley Education Center, Aprovecho Education Center, and more.
As an avid gardener and herbalist, Marisha specializes in food production, ecology and useful plants. You can purchase plants from Marisha and her team, Permaculture Rising Nursery Collective. Marisha believes that it is possible to respond to the current environmental challenges, lower our ecological footprint and continue to live equally delightful lives through permaculture design.
Susie Martens (she/her) has a history of leadership experience. She has managed teams of people over the last three decades, most recently in senior management at a small business in Oakville.
In the community, she has been sowing seeds, working in gardens and kitchens, creating art, and connecting with people. She has a background in systems development, strategic planning, and problem solutions. Susie has studied NVC, and believes in team building and authentic communication.
Alice Rose (she/her) worked as a social worker for most of her professional life. Her last position was as a clinical social worker teaching skills and practicing Dialectical Behavior Therapy, which she considers an excellent system for managing and enjoying life through a synthesis of ancient wisdom and western science.
Since her retirement she spends her time introducing folks to interesting ideas and opportunities, building community wherever she lives.
Dr. Tamsin Foucrier (she/her) is the director for the Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership and Transformational Change at The Evergreen State College. She holds a PhD in Sustainability from Arizona State University’s School of Sustainability, where her dissertation explored innovative teaching and learning spaces in higher education for sustainability entrepreneurship. Her work focuses on alternative business models such as cooperatives and social purpose corporations, and the essential support structures needed to build resilient and sustainable local and regional economies.
Dr. Foucrier is deeply passionate about transforming the way we do business in our world today in ways that empower communities and improve the ecological systems upon which we depend. She believes that the next generation of sustainability entrepreneurs can transform the world and address the most pressing sustainability issues we face today through radical, innovative business models and processes, and systemic economic change.
Chris van Daalen (he/him) is a lifelong environmental activist who found and loved the Fertile Ground Community Center (311 9th Ave) in 1998 as a place to ground his regional green building leadership by putting his hands in the soil. An early gardener and advisor to the Fertile Ground Board he helped write the original mission and strategic plan. At an opportune moment, Chris jumped at the opportunity to rent the house next store (911 Adams St.), which soon become "The EcoHouse" through a partnership with his other organization, the Northwest EcoBuilding Guild. The property's yard quickly became known as "The Commons at Fertile Ground" as the team opened up the garden and led 10 years of community-placemaking that turned 1/2 of a city block into a model of sustainability at the neighborhood scale. Chris and the team worked together on many partnerships with Evergreen State College (hundreds of student interns), Komachin Middle School (over 12 hundred 8th and 9th graders), the City of Olympia, Media Island, and many others which you can read more about in the History Section of the website. As the founders' energy wound down, in 2020 Chris facilitated the purchase of the property at 911 Adams Street by the City of Olympia, and we offered our support and input in the development of Rebecca Howard Peace and Justice Park, and African-American centered park honoring Olympia's first Black Woman Entrepreneur.
Meanwhile, Chris has been a regional leader in green building, sustainability and forest management over a 30 year career of coalition-building on a mission to transform the Northwest into the worlds first ecological economy. Accomplishments and affiliations include Executive Director of Northwest EcoBuilding Guild, Shift Zero Alliance, The Code Innovations Database, Capitol Land Trust, Alliance for Sustainable Jobs in the Environment, Save America's Forests, and Student Environmental Action Coalition. Chris now lives in Florida near his elderly father, and is pursuing a new career in sailing the Carribean, with mixed results so far.