Julie “Rahanna” Chasen, Founding Director
Julie (aka rahanna) is passionate about all forms of creative expression, and sustainable community building. She received a Merit Award from the city of Santa Rosa for this work in her neighborhood (see youtube video [hint, fast forward to the middle]). She is on the adjunct faculty of Santa Rosa Junior College, where she has been teaching a combination of music, dance, and balance-focused exercise (including tai chi), in the Older Adults program for the past 20 years. A multi-instrumentalist playing piano, hand drums and guitar, Julie learned Spanish while performing with a Latin jazz band in Michoacan, Mexico. She can often be found walking a variety of dogs in the JC neighborhood of Santa Rosa.
A junior college student from Malaysia, Melissa brings her enthusiasm for Growing A Village/Cultivando un Pueblo into web development and other computer technology issues.
Robert Lopez, Educator/Horticulturist
Robert is a Special Resources Instructor at Piner High School, where he has been teaching for the past 10 years. As part of his duties, he oversees the horticultural vocational program for teens. He has worked for the city of San Jose as a community gardens program coordinator, and for Contra Costa County as a horticultural therapist in vocational training programs. Early in his career, he was a coordinator of public school gardens for the San Francisco Arts Commission. Robert is also a visual artist, sculptor and freelance landscaper.
Carol Tuttle, Youth Specialist
Carol has owned and operated the Tuttle Family Daycare for 32 years. This daycare is unique in the way it engages children’s creativity, fosters a connection with nature, encourages involvement in our neighborhood community and teaches kids to walk to their destinations. Carol is also a residential care counselor at the Valley of the Moon Children’s Home, where she has been working for the past six years.