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Our Team

Jan Derecho

Executive Director
jan at eco-farm.org

Jan brings extensive experience in financial and non-profit organization management, having worked in commercial lending and bank management for regional and community banks in Silicon Valley and Santa Cruz, and later the Santa Cruz Symphony as Executive Director for several years. Jan’s devotion to health and nutrition as well eating the food she grows in her own garden brings her great joy and appreciation for the work of farmers and of EcoFarm. She has served on the board of directors of Shakespeare Santa Cruz, the Santa Cruz Symphony and the Association of California Symphony Orchestras (ACSO) and lends her voice (literally) to the Cabrillo Symphonic Chorus and Cantiamo Cabrillo and is an active member of the Santa Cruz Rotary Club.
 

Abbie Erskine

Administrative Coordinator
abbie at eco-farm.org

Abbie has over 8 years of experience working in the non-profit sector as a Program Coordinator and Administrative Assistant. She is passionate about living harmoniously with Mother Earth and creating a sustainable future for the next generation. She connects with the greater community through teaching Yoga and Ayurveda, while also working as a Massage Therapist. She believes self-awareness and mindfulness leads to taking care of the Earth and each other. Her past experiences include working with Habitat for Humanity and Mount Madonna Center for many years. She is happy to contribute to and grow with EcoFarm.
 

Gabi Salazar

Program Manager
conference at eco-farm.org

Gabi is passionate about working with community to protect and build sustainable agricultural systems that balance the needs of farmers, ranchers, eaters, and of our diverse natural ecosystems. She fell in love with the EcoFarm Conference while doing work trade in 2015, and was thrilled to join the crew shortly afterwards. Gabi grew up appreciating the outdoors and helping on her family's beef cattle ranch in West Virginia. Before moving to California as an apprentice with Soil Born Farms in 2014, Gabi worked in the Dominican Republic, Morocco, and Haiti. She studied International Agriculture and Applied Economics at Cornell and speaks Spanish, French, and Haitian Creole.
 

Deborah Yashar

Marketing & Communications Director
deborah at eco-farm.org

Deborah's interest in agriculture took root at UC Santa Cruz where she earned her BA in Environmental Studies with an emphasis in Sustainable Agriculture & Agroecology. Bilingual in Spanish and Portuguese, Deborah has worked with the Agriculture & Land-Based Training Association (ALBA), Multinational Exchange for Sustainable Agriculture (MESA), Community Agroecology Network (CAN), and Awe Sum Organics. She serves on the Board of Directors of the Santa Cruz Community Farmers’ Markets and has served on the California Department of Food & Agriculture's Certified Farmers’ Market Advisory Committee and the California Food & Justice Coalition.
 

Dina Izzo

Sponsorship & Exhibitor Manager
sponsors at eco-farm.org

Dina has been involved with EcoFarm in some capacity for the past thirty years. She served on the Board of Directors for ten years and has been part of the planning committee for twenty five years. Dina is the founder of BluDog Consulting, a company that teaches beginning farmers basic marketing and sales techniques both one on one an in a classroom setting. Clients include Multicultural Exchange of Sustainable Agriculure (MESA), Agriculture and Land-Based Training Association (ALBA), Center for Land-Based Learning, and a host of farmers and businesses.
 

Katherine Grace

Program & Communications Coordinator
katherine at eco-farm.org

Katherine first fell in love with agrarianism 20 years ago as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Morocco, living in a village of farmers and herders in a valley in the High Atlas Mountains. For several years following, she worked as an ecological educator and local food systems advocate based in Flagstaff, Arizona, where she earned a Permaculture Design Certificate and a Master’s degree in Sustainable Communities from Northern Arizona University. Prior to moving to Santa Cruz County and joining EcoFarm, Katherine made her home in West Sonoma County, working as the Farm Manager for Petaluma Bounty Community Farm and the Garden Coordinator for Salmon Creek School in Occidental. 
 

Andrew Webb

Food Procurement & Special Events Coordinator
andrew at eco-farm.org

Andrew Webb has more than ten years experience in the culinary world, and has been implemental in facilitating the opening of several restaurants in Southern California. He is passionate about bringing nutritious food to the community, and promoting positive social change. His past experiences also include being involved in community group organizations like counsel training at the Ojai Foundation, starting a non-profit urban gardening group, and working with outdoor education programs in the Santa Barbara area. He is very excited to be applying the knowledge he has gained thus far, and to continue learning and growing with EcoFarm!
 

Joyce Rice

Scholarship & Work Trade Coordinator
joyce at eco-farm.org

Joyce has been attending EcoFarm Conference for the last 15 years, as an attendee and most recently as a super-volunteer. She is passionate about food, farming and education. Joyce has over 25 years of experience working at UC Santa Cruz. Her jobs on campus included serving as the Company Manager for Shakespeare Santa Cruz, the Environmental Studies Undergraduate Advisor and Staff Program Manager for Student Sustainability. She spends time between upstate New York and California and is happiest being with her family & friends on both coasts, kayaking on rivers and growing food in her garden.