Founder & Co-Director: Janell Kapoor is the founder and co-director of the Ashevillage Institute and Kleiwerks International, and the Whole Earth Summit. She is an avid mud mama, international activist, designer, teacher, and community organizer who’s work has generated natural building movements of hundreds of thousands of people from over 52 countries. Janell led the first earthen building trainings in Thailand, Argentina and Turkey. Her students have gone on to establish natural building and permaculture education centers, businesses, legislation reform and educational programs and films, including El barro Las manos La Casa. Janell has been featured in numerous articles, radio shows, and in the documentary, First Earth: Uncompromising Ecological Architecture. Janell also transformed a one-acre junk yard and crack house into what is now an eco-urban permaculture demonstration site, the Ashevillage Sanctuary.
Co-Director: Stacey Murphy is a radical systems designer who brings to Ashevillage her vision of creating whole human communities. Founder of BK Farmyards and Farmyard Bootcamp, Stacey’s background is in forging innovative community partnerships, while designing integrated and healthy systems, including abundant local food harvests. She has initiated urban farms and CSA’s, curated online and on-the-ground agricultural and entrepreneurial trainings, and co-created hands-on, holistic food systems classes for high school students in Brooklyn, NY. As a real foods advocate, Stacey has been featured in Family Circle, on Martha Stewart Radio, and on David Letterman.
Co-Director: Sam Ruark has worked in the field of sustainability for non-profits, small business and local governments for 16 years. He has managed renewable energy and energy efficiency projects, sustainability policy and program development, and over 100 events and conferences. He previously served as a Sustainability Coordinator for Sonoma County, CA Sustainability Planner for Marin County, CA and is LEED Accredited and a certified Permaculture Designer. He is the former Educational programming Director for Seven Star Events, the producers of Green Festivals. He serves on the Board of Daily Acts, has participated and facilitated many leadership trainings, has spoken at dozens of conferences, volunteers for creek and river cleanups, tends honey bees, and is a fermentation enthusiast.
Outreach & Administration: Kathryn Blau is a native North Carolinian, having migrated from the Piedmont to Asheville after earning a B.A. in Anthropology and Environmental Studies at UNC Chapel Hill. Her first two years in the Blue Ridge Mountains were spent coordinating volunteers and educating the public about the French Broad River with RiverLink and AmeriCorps. During that time she participated in a workshop with Ashevillage Institute and fell in love with the work, vowing to one day be more deeply involved. A three-year stint on the West Coast got her hooked on all things gardening, homesteading, herbalism, and permaculture. While in Portland she was an AmeriCorps Team Leader, coordinating workshops and environmental service for the Northwest Service Academy’s Ecological Restoration Team. Kathryn thrives on the intersections between nature, culture, and spirituality and loves bringing these together as a part of the Ashevillage team.
Ashevillage Sanctuary Site Director: Kate Hanford is a farmer and a local foods advocate. Passionate about contributing to thriving local foods systems, she focuses on creating ecologically and financially viable farm systems. Kate was the Marketing & Production Manager at Growing Power, an international urban farming training center in Wisconsin, where she led sales, workshops on mushroom cultivation and year-round vegetable production, as well as oversaw maintenance of the large-scale vermicompost, compost and aquaponics systems. Kate was also Production Manager at a herb farm, where she tended perennial gardens and co-created a medicinal value-added herbal product line. Kate currently directs the popular West Asheville Tailgate Market and is thrilled to be putting her combined experiences into practice at the Ashevillage Sanctuary.
Programs and Sponsorship Coordinator: Glenn Geffcken is an accomplished executive with a background in sales, large-scale event production, publishing and sustainability. Strengths include, strategy, business development, sponsorship, sales coaching, finance, personnel development and refinement of culture. Glenn has worked in variety of capacities, with companies ranging from Fortune 500 to small entrepreneurial firms, and brings a passion for purpose-based organizations.
Permaculture Design Course Coordinator: Keri Evjy is co-founder of Herban Farmacy, an herbal CSA, as well as Healing Roots Design, a triple bottom line enterprise that promotes healthy human communities through education, demonstration, and collaboration on ecological design. Keri worked with the National Gardening Association, and graduated from Yestermorrow Design/Build School, and Kleiwerks International Permaculture Program. She is a Certified Clinical Herbalist from the Appalachian School of Holistic Herbalism and a graduate of the Chestnut School of Herbal Medicine.
Natural Building School Lead Instructor: Steveo Brodmerkel is a hands-on builder, designer and general contractor with 30 years experience in the trades. He works on all aspects of projects, with experience spanning repair, renovation and new residential. For the past twelve years, Steveo has focused on natural building, materials and techniques, which have become his main focus of thinking, designing and building, as well as teaching. He has led workshops on clay, sand and straw construction with The Natural Building School, Kleiwerks International, and the Ashevillage Institute. Steveo’s understanding of the built environment and materials makes him a designer and builder trouble-shooter extraordinaire. His keen ability to design effective building systems and to articulate the process in ways that are easy to grok, makes him a gem of a teacher. Steveo’s very first natural building project is one of the finest examples of an earthen-built home in North America. Let’s just say he’s a natural.
Interns & Volunteers
Graphic Design & Photography
Contact our team at firstname.lastname@example.org.