Aleen Carey, Board Chair, has spent a decade as a Spanish teacher in the public school system, spending six years in northern Virginia, and four years at Monticello High School in Albemarle County. She is motivated as an educator and as a board member by seeing what can happen when a young person takes what she has learned in the classroom and applies it to her own life. As a former educator, she is excited about sharing her professional experience with that of farmers, gardeners, restauranteurs, and community members to build something that positively informs the lives of Charlottesville youth. Aleen is a graduate of Albemarle County Schools and James Madison University.

Paul Freedman (Ph.D. University of Michigan) is Associate Professor in the Department of Politics at the University of Virginia, where he serves as Associate Department Chair.  Freedman teaches courses in public opinion, media and politics, voting behavior, research methods and the politics of food. He is a founding member of the UVA Food Collaborative, the recipient of the University of Virginia Alumni Board of Trustees Teaching Award, and served as the first Edward L. Ayers Advising Fellow. Freedman is co-author of Campaign Advertising and American Democracy (Temple University Press). Freedman currently serves as Academic Director of the Morven Summer Institute, sits on the board of the Jefferson Institute, and is a senior scholar at the UVA Center for Politics. Since 2000, Freedman has been an election analyst for ABC News in New York.

Margie Gilbert has lived in Charlottesville for the better part of two decades; She is a restaurant manager, non-profit development professional, and an avid home gardener. Since graduating the University of Virginia, she has worked on the staff of Charlottesville’s Department of Neighborhood Development Services, interned with the UVA Center for Politics and served as Creative Media and Technology Director at Eloise. As Marketing & Development Director of the Firehouse Theatre Project in Richmond, Va., she specialized in community engagement, event planning and fundraising, volunteer coordinating and grant writing. She grew up in the restaurant industry, and is currently the bookkeeper and manager of local eatery Continental Divide. She is excited to fuse her passions for gardens and good food into the development of a stronger, more sustainably-minded community.

Neal Halvorson-Taylor grew up in a rural Minnesota town that was surrounded by small family farms. He remains committed to bringing agriculture into the lives of townies. To that end, he directed the Urban Agriculture Project (now called the Urban Agriculture Collective of Charlottesville). Neal is Senior Advisor for Sustainability at Morven Farm at the University of Virginia and on the programming team that manages the Morven Summer Institute, the Morven Kitchen Garden, and the Young African Leaders Initiative. He is ordained in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and currently serves as vicar of Grace Church, Red Hill, an ecumenical community in the Episcopal tradition.

Karen Kennedy is a landscape architect at Rieley & Associates, a Charlottesville firm that specializes in historic Virginia properties.  Prior to earning her MLA from the University of Washington, she spent five years as a K-12 educator and program coordinator at an environmental education center outside of Portland Or.  Karen also volunteers for the Big Brothers, Big Sisters Creative Cooking program at the PB&J Fund, and serves on the Executive Committee of the Virginia Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects.

William Lanzana, Board Treasurer, is originally from NY and has lived in Charlottesville since 2011. He has 20 years of progressive financial, accounting and related systems experience and works for a consulting firm designing software implementations. He is currently involved with the Future Fund, The Boy & Girls Club and Sojourners church and can be found cooking at various fund raising events around Cville.

Rosemary Mahoney works as a consultant on international cooperative development projects as well as on nonprofit and cooperative business development projects in the United States. She was the former CEO of CoMetrics and currently serves as a Senior Adviser with the company. Rosemary serves on the boards of directors of the National Cooperative Grocers, the National Cooperative Grocers Development Cooperative, Thanexus, Inc., KBF, LLC, The Cooperative Foundation, CoMetrics and Capital Impact Partners. She currently serves as Board Chair for both CoMetrics and Capital Impact Partners. Rosemary was raised on a family farm in the Midwest and has her Master’s Degree in Agricultural Economics from the University of Illinois.

Sober Pierre joined CSG’s Board in July 2015 and is co-owner of Pearl Islands Foods. He attended the Darden School of Business at University of Virginia and specialized in entrepreneurship and general management. Sober is also an engineer and brings many skills to his role on the Board. His Pearl Island Foods catering company was created to promote the Haitian culture through sharing its delicious cuisine and they can be found at the Charlottesville farmers market on Saturdays downtown.

Kristen Spaulding Rabourdin has spent over 25 years concentrating on marketing, communications and community engagement with a strong focus in the food industry. Currently with Whole Foods Market as a Mid-Atlantic Region Field Marketing Team Leader, she believes in the advancement of food innovation and the creation of a sustainable, healthy and accessible food system. She has been included as a presenter for the i.Lab, the Center for Global Initiatives, and the Executive Education program at the Darden School of Business at UVA. She serves as an advisor with the Community Investment Collaborative and is a member of the Charlottesville Food Justice Network.

Brittany Thorp, Board Secretary, is currently a Development Associate for the Southern Environmental Law Center.  Prior to moving to Charlottesville, she earned her Master’s in Food Studies from Chatham University in Pittsburgh, PA.  While in school, she volunteered for Edible Schoolyard, which spurred her to write a Master’s thesis on the Labor Dynamics of School Gardens in Virginia.  She grew a passion for community engagement through food while she served with the Peace Corps as a health volunteer in Zambia.

Alessandra Thomas is currently the Associate Director of Philanthropy at the Center for Nonprofit Excellence here in Charlottesville. Prior to her current role, Alessandra managed the Individual Giving portfolio for Teach For America – Connecticut, and most recently, worked on the National Teach For America team coaching regional development teams across the country. Alessandra earned her BBA in Finance from Southern Methodist University. She lives in Charlottesville with her husband, Craig, and puppy, Haven. You might also find her teaching a Group Ex class at ACAC.

Andrea Ruedy Trimble is the Sustainability Director at the University of Virginia and has led higher education sustainability initiatives for over a decade. Andrea holds degrees in architecture, historic preservation, and environmental management and prior to joining UVA,  managed Harvard University’s sustainable building program, taught courses in design and sustainability, and worked in architecture, historic preservation, and sustainability consulting fields. As a the parent of two young children who are enthusiastic about CSG’s programs, Andrea is excited about becoming increasingly involved and invested in the opportunities that CSG provides, to grow hands-on educational opportunities for the youth of Charlottesville.

Juandiego Riccardo Wade grew up in Richmond, VA. He spent his early summers with five siblings at their grandparent’s home maintaining a garden. He attended Norfolk State University for undergraduate and the University of Virginia where he got a Masters in Urban and Environmental Planning. He was employed for nearly 20 years as the County of Albemarle Transportation Planner and now is a Career Counselor for the County. He has served on the City of Charlottesville School Board since 2006. He is married to Claudette Grant and they have a daughter at Charlottesville High School.


Meet our City Schoolyard Garden Staff