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Darwin Kelsey

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Our Board of Trustees


Lisa Dietrich, Board Chair

Owner/Operator, Solis Agro Flower Farm 

What motivated you to become a member of Countryside's board? Interest in sustainably farmed local food. My passion for farming and preservation of farmland.


James Grant

Vice President of Marketing & eCommerce, WBC Group LLC


Barbara Greene, Vice Chair

Principal, CommonGood Consulting, Inc.

What motivated you to become a member of Countryside's board? I was motivated to become a member of Countryside's board because I love going to the markets and having locally grown fresh farm produce and products available for my family and residents of NEO. There's a sense of community at the farmers markets that reenergizes me. I also value Countryside's role to help restore and preserve farmland in the Cuyahoga National Park. It's an innovative, kickin' organization that is a vibrant force in our region - I want to see it grow and flourish.


Nick Katanic, Treasurer

 Retired, former Manager, IBM Corp.  

What motivated you to become a member of Countryside's board? I have a strong interest in gardening and all things connected with horticulture and nature. I am also interested in land conservation and healthy tasty food. I see Countryside as an organization dedicated to many of the things that interest me.


Andrea Kinast


Robert Kirschner

Director of Leadership Cleveland, Cleveland Leadership Center

What motivated you to become a member of Countryside's board? Motivated by my respect for our natural world and a desire to heighten the knowledge of our amazing National Park, I am happy to be a part of Countryside's board. The work of Countryside to connect people, food, and land is accomplished through unique and impactful programming that I am proud to support.


James Kurtz

Creative Director, Kurtz Graphic Design Co.

What motivated you to become a member of Countryside's board? Being a board member in general is a new experience and challenge I am interested in tackling and doing more of in the future. Specific to Countryside, I deeply believe in responsible and sustainable food production and consumption. I also feel that I have some marketing and design talents that I can bring to the team to help our collective efforts succeed.


Susan Klein

Community Volunteer & Conservation Advocate

What motivated you to become a member of Countryside's board? As a national park groupie, I was involved with the CVNP as an early board member of the organization advocating for the creation of the park and testified at the Congressional hearings at Blossom in the 70s. The valley's history of agriculture and locally grown foods has always interested me. So I was delighted when asked to join the enthusiastic board of this committed organization.


Alida Moonen

Cuyahoga County Court System


Phillip Nabors 

Owner, Mustard Seed Market & Cafe


Jeffrey Scott

Principal, Nitor Partners

What motivated you to become a member of Countryside's board? Our family grew up alongside the Cuyahoga Valley National Park, and we've always had a deep respect and appreciation for the conservation of land, resources and the health of our planet. Being a part of Countryside, and working alongside people that are truly experts in farm and land conservation, as well as the production and distribution of locally-grown and sustainable food sources is simply an honor.


Bronlynn Thurman

Akron Program Associate, Knight Foundation and Program Assistant, GAR Foundation

What motivated you to become a member of Countryside's board? As a consistent farmers' market consumer, I am a firm believer that a strong local food ecosystem is an essential part of a healthy community. Being a part of an organization working to support area food entrepreneurs and bring nutritious, local food to everyone, regardless of socioeconomic status, is important and exciting work for me. I hope to continue to increase awareness around food access and education.





Past Board Members

Mindy Barthalome

 Pam Carson: "Countryside’s vision of a thriving food system brings together farmers, processors and consumers in a cooperative eco-system. Developing a leading farmers market, preserving the farms, and crafting the Countryside mission of “Connecting Food, Land and People” aptly addresses that FOOD is everyone’s business, and Countryside rightly sees the CONNECTION of Food to social, economical and environmental issues locally and beyond. This an important defining political issue of the century - as much as workers wages and climate change. As Wendell Berry said :To cherish what remains of the Earth and to foster its renewal is our only legitimate hope of survival." 

Ernie Estep, Board Chair 2017

Jeff Hienen

Casey Hoy

Jean Mc Kenzie

Charles Rankin

George Klein

 Douglas Katz: "The people, the programs, the beautiful land and the food production is such an important part of our community. Once we connect with the community and all of its resources, we learn how important it is to nurture and support it as much as we can. That is why I joined the board and why I continue to enjoy it so much."

Deborah Stinner,  Vice Chair: "I have had a passion for this project since Darwin Kelsey first introduced me to it in 2000 and am now in my second six year term on the Board. It is the combination of love of the land (the national park) with sustainable farming as the basis of a vital community of food entrepreneurs and consumers that attracts me so much."

Greg Studen

Noelle Celeste

Emily Thome