Founder, Designer & Chief Visionary: Janell Kapoor is the founding director of the Ashevillage Institute and Kleiwerks International. 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. Many of her students have established natural building and permaculture education centers, businesses and collectives, programs and projects, as well as regional legislation reform and documentary 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. In 1998, she built the first modern earthen building in the Southeastern United States. Janell has been enjoying her home in the oldest mountains on the planet since 1996. She currently lives at the Ashevillage Sanctuary.
Email: janell @ ashevillage dot org
Program 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.
Email: stacey @ ashevillage dot org
Program Manager, Community Immersions: Kristin Peppel brings to the Ashevillage Institute over 13 years of experience of community building and engagement embedded within the broader goal of sustaining natural systems. As an ecopsychologist and coach, she is committed to helping people to embrace their true nature and to deepen their relationships with the full community of life. Over the past six years, Kristin has worked with Land-of-Sky Regional Council as a conservation planning consultant to develop a regional green infrastructure network for the broader WNC region and raise awareness of the need for conservation planning within municipal and regional planning and design processes. On the personal side, Kristin loves to have her hands in the dirt – creating living spaces of beauty and abundance, and spending time in the woods with her husband, Andrew and her two beautiful twin boys, Austin and Lucas.
Email: kristin @ ashevillage dot org
Program 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 at Ashevillage and fell in love with their 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.
Email: kathryn @ ashevillage dot org
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.
Communications Coordinator: Ian Bryan is the President of Sensible City, a community-oriented marketing and public relations agency specializing in enterprises which propel greatly-needed social and environmental progress; an outreach strategy consultant to Barack Obama’s Senate and Presidential Campaigns. www.sensiblecity.com
Site Coordinator: Sunil Patel is the lead instructor and Ashevillage site manager for the Urban Farm School. He also developed the whole-systems curriculum for the school. Sunil has been farming biodynamically for eight years in various locales across the United States. For four years, he facilitated farming internships and managed a CSA that produced 100 shares a season at Greenmoore Gardens. In addition, Sunil is a skilled cook, baker, and cheese maker. So far, Sunil is loving his life at Ashevillage and eagerly awaits the kick-off of the Urban Farm School!
Email: sunil @ ashevillage dot org
Urban Farm School Learning Catalyst: 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.
Email: keri at ashevillage dot org
Natural Building Instructor, Lead Builder, Site Manager, Volunteer Coordinator: Steve O Brodmerkel is a lifelong builder and general contractor with over 32 years of hands on building experience and consulting in conventional construction and natural building systems. As a teacher of construction and natural building Steveo has taught with The Natural Building School and Kleiwerks International and has been involved with the Ashevillage institute since it’s inception. Steveo brings extraordinary experience and knowledge about materials, design and applications as well as an ability as a teacher to help students to individually understand and engage their building experience easily. Steveo’s very first natural building project is one of the nation’s finest examples of how to build beautifully with mud.
Email: steveo @ ashevillage dot org
Natural Building Outreach & Communications Coordinator: Amanda Garratt grew up in rural Maryland, where she took for granted the idea of having a safe and healthy environment. However, once on her own, she realized that not everyone has this luxury, and has since dedicated her life to environmental justice issues. She is a Fulbright scholar and has a joint Masters degree in Community Organizing and Natural Resources & the Environment from the University of Michigan. Amanda is currently the Director of Fundraising & Communications for a non-profit in the Peruvian Amazon, where she has been working with indigenous people for the past four years on environmental justice issues, permaculture and waste management. She is delighted to be a part of WASI, Ashevillage Institute, and Kleiwerks International and to have the opportunity to strengthen the natural building movement across the Americas.
Email: amanda @ ashevillage dot org
Site Assistant: Jonas Wells
Interns & Volunteers