Our Team

Meet The Team

Staff

Kelly ErnstFriedman
Executive Director

“I’m so excited to join the City Slicker Farms team. I’ve admired the organizations’ work in supporting food justice and access for almost a decade, and I feel incredibly lucky to get to do this work in my own neighborhood.”

Kelly has 10+ years of non-profit leadership experience focused on working with communities to increase food, environmental and social justice. Prior to joining City Slicker Farms, she was the Executive Director of CommunityGrows, a garden-based youth development organization in San Francisco, and Program Director at Food Shift, a food recovery organization in Oakland. In 2010, she completed her doctorate in Cultural Anthropology with a concentration in Race, Gender, and Social Justice at American University in Washington, DC.

Julie Pavuk
Director of Programs

(photo credit: Pendarvis Harshaw)

“I love working with soil, plants, and people. Every day I get to support gardeners who are growing their own food, especially those who struggle to access it otherwise, or who have or are at risk of having diet-related illnesses. This work supports individual and community wellness, as well as environmental health.”

Julie specializes in intensive urban agriculture techniques, urban farm management, program management, and garden education/coaching, using the lenses of food justice and therapeutic horticulture. One of her current interests is designing insectaries to grow and support populations of beneficial insects. Insectaries enable us to use more biological controls for pest management while creating oases of life and beauty that welcome friends like butterflies and hummingbirds to visit.

Eric Telmer
Farm and Park Manager

“I believe that by connecting with the beauty of nature, we can effectively and joyfully spread the message of how important our nutrition is, and the knowledge required to grow high quality food affordably. Increased nutrition will in turn improve our communities diets, the lives of the individuals, and the communities as a whole, and that is pretty exciting.”

Eric started off as a volunteer in 2018 and joined the staff in 2019. Prior to committing to food justice work, Eric was a software development engineer. He now uses his design thinking and problem solving skills to help increase the nutritional density in our produce and practice sustainable farming methods.

VISTAs

Vera Lopez
Volunteer Program Coordinator

Verakerr Lopez is a multimedia artist, plant mama, and at home master chef, food is her love language. With her BA in Psychology and steming from an immigrant family of social justice warriors, Vera has since childhood participated in her surrouding community by volunteering or offering photography. After graduating from UCSC ’16, she started her first year with Americorps VISTA as Volunteer Coordinator at 826 Valencia in San Francisco, finding herself back in the same position with us now! After years of being in the bustling food industry in the front and back of house, Vera is now ready to be with the land, back to the root of things bringing joy, love, and security through food where it is needed here in her home of Oakland.

Claire Meuschke
Farm Park Assistant

Claire Meuschke is led by the preservation, accessibility, and adaptability of traditional foods. She was a Farm Assistant at Las Milpitas Community Farm in Tucson, AZ, and more recently, a Farm Hand at Radical Family Farms in Sebastopol, CA. Descendent from a lineage of chefs in San Francisco Chinatown, she is grateful for this opportunity to grow food—on Ohlone land—where her family has lived for over a century. She is an educator, editor, and writer of poetry.

Danielle Smith (she/her)
Communications Coordinator

Danielle Smith is an artist activist and dance educator from Cleveland, Ohio. After receiving her Bachelors of Arts from the University of San Francisco 18’ she served as an AmeriCorps NCCC member in western Massachusetts teaching music and dance classes to youth at various schools and art centers. Danielle values diversity of perspectives and experiences and how we connect through food and community. As of now, her favorite food is sushi which is ironic, considering she grew up in a food desert in Cleveland. Currently, Danielle serves at City Slicker Farms as the Communications Coordinator.

Team

Foresta Sieck-Hill
Bookkeeper
Denise Mewbourne
Grant Writer

Board

Marjorie Wolf, President
Retired, Kairoi Health
Chelsea Snyder, Vice President
3D Consultant, Thought Provoking Consulting
Samara Cummins, Secretary
Development Manager, Rising Sun Center for Opportunity
David Wozniak, Treasurer
Tax Accountant, John W. Brooker & Co.
Veronica Perry
Community Organizer & Educator
Hannah Tikalsky
Director of Quality, LifeLong Medical Care;

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