Founding Director: Janell Kapoor is a longtime community organizer, motivational presenter, systems strategist, and designer by nature. She is founding director of Ashevillage, Kleiwerks International, the Whole Earth Summit, and helped launch Permaculture School. As an avid mud mama, Janell led hands-on trainings for people from over 52 countries, helping to catalyze regional resiliency movements amongst hundreds of thousands of people in Southeast Asia and South America. Janell’s home is the Ashevillage Sanctuary, a transformed junk yard and crack house that has become a beautiful and thriving eco-urban oasis in Asheville, NC.
Outreach & Office Manager: Kathryn Blau is a native North Carolinian who earned a B.A. in Anthropology and Environmental Studies at UNC Chapel Hill. Kathryn was volunteer coordinator and public educator with RiverLink and AmeriCorps. One day, she participated in a workshop at Ashevillage and fell in love with the vision and mission, vowing to one day be more involved. A three-year stint in Portland got her hooked on all things gardening, homesteading, herbalism, and permaculture. There she served as an AmeriCorps Team Leader for the Northwest Service Academy’s Ecological Restoration Team. Kathryn thrives on the intersections between nature, culture, and spirituality, and loves bringing these together at Ashevillage.
Hospitality & Program Manager: Quinn Asteak is a sustainable farming enthusiast who is passionate about helping people develop deeper understandings of where their food comes from and how to use it as medicine. Quinn was director of operations and programming at North Brooklyn Farms, an urban farm that transforms vacant lots into productive green spaces to feed, educate, and connect urban dwellers with nature. She also worked with Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture, where she ran public programs, gave tours, facilitated corporate events, and taught nutritional cooking classes. She is a certified health coach and motivational presenter. Quinn is excited to bring her multiple passions into one place and path at Ashevillage.
Garden & Site Manager: Kate Hanford is a farmer and a local foods advocate. Passionate about contributing to thriving foods systems, she focuses on creating ecologically and financially viable farm systems. Kate’s history includes being the Marketing & Production Manager at Growing Power, an international urban farming training center in Wisconsin, where she led sales, mushroom cultivation workshops, year-round vegetable production, and oversaw maintenance of the large-scale vermicompost, compost, and aquaponics systems; Production Manager at a herb farm where she tended perennial gardens and co-created a medicinal herbal product line; Director of the popular West Asheville Tailgate Market, where she doubled revenue in a year. Kate is thrilled to be putting her combined experiences into practice at the Ashevillage Sanctuary.
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