Renée Johnson is our resident champion of rationality and balance. With one foot on the cutting edge and the other in deep-seated reality, Renée enjoys engaging the board and staff in the journey to a strong future. She brings 15 years of experience in development, marketing, IT, finance, and entrepreneurial roles to her position. Born in Massachusetts, she’s also lived in Indiana, England, Greece, and Washington. At home, Renée enjoys the daily antics of her three rescued dogs, Baxter, Sabine, and Finch.
Extra credit: Renée has a keen eye for spotting chaga mushrooms while hiking and foraging in the Maine woods.
Florence Reed, Founder + Director of Strategic Growth
Florence is our resident champion of champions. After serving as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Panama, she founded Sustainable Harvest International in 1997. Florence is passionate about finding better ways to help the world’s farmers live better while regenerating the planet. This passion and acuity continually revitalize the staff, board, participants, and donors alike. In addition to zipping around the world spreading the good word about what we do and making connections, Florence lives with her family in an environmentally-friendly house on 30 acres of gardens and forest in Surry, Maine.
Extra credit: Florence once crewed on a sailboat delivery from Portsmouth, New Hampshire to Portsmouth, England, working as the cook.
Brandon is our resident champion of ensuring our extraordinary supporters are appreciated, informed, and engaged. Brandon loves sharing the many ways an investment in Sustainable Harvest International transforms the lives of thousands of Central Americans, and simultaneously all residents of planet Earth—including you! Born and raised in Louisiana, Brandon spent his youth on the bayous, lakes, and rivers that ran through his hometown. He has since traversed the United States, with stints in California, Colorado, Mississippi, and North Carolina.
Extra Credit: Brandon once snowshoed a 14er (what Coloradans call a 14,000 ft. mountain) from the trailhead to the peak.
Elliott Powell, Director of International Programs
Elliott is our resident champion of program management, ensuring smooth operations and facilitating organizational learning. Based in our US office, Elliott travels throughout the year, serving as a bridge between the field and our headquarters. Prior to working with us, Elliott served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Nicaragua, worked with Water for People, and earned degrees in Latin American Studies and Environmental Management. Elliott enjoys exploring the outdoors with his family, traveling (especially road trips on unpaved dusty roads), and riding his bike.
Extra credit: As a resident of New Orleans, Elliott has enjoyed many years of parades, festivals and Mardi Gras. Subsequently, along with his daughter and wife, he’s amassed a monster costume collection.
Michele Christle, Communications Manager
Michele is our resident storyteller and communications champion. A writer and teacher by training, Michele's street credibility comes from the two years she spent as an Agroforestry Peace Corps Volunteer in Cameroon. Michele lives in Frankfort, Maine and enjoys reading, writing, and going for constitutions.
Extra credit: Michele once traveled across the Pacific Ocean onboard a working containership.
Ricardo Romero, Program Impact Manager
Ricardo is our resident champion of monitoring and evaluation. Born in Mexico, Ricardo studied at the University of Leuven in Brussels. Ricardo spends time in the field, exploring the achievements and challenges facing field staff and farmers with an emphasis on reaching sustainability. Ricardo began working with us in 2014 and is based in Mexico with his wife and children.
Extra credit: Ricardo coached the junior female and male in-line hockey teams of Guanajuato city (Mexico) for three years.
Kelsey George, Donor Relations Associate
Kelsey is our resident champion of donor management. She works with donors and staff to ensure the system's running smoothly, from administering a sophisticated database system to forging relationships with loyal donors. Her eye for detail transcends databases and extends to her love of organic gardening and wheel-thrown pottery.
Extra credit: Kelsey once encountered a bear while hiking down Mount Katahdin.
Tara Brugh, Communications Intern (University of Vermont)
Tara Brugh is our champion of communications. A senior at the University of Vermont, Tara is majoring in Public Communications and double minoring in Food Systems and Community and International Development. Born and raised in Indiana, Tara hopes to move back to the Midwest after college and establish her communications career in the nonprofit sector. When not studying or working, Tara enjoys cooking, gardening, and hanging out with her cat, Junie B Jones.
Extra Credit: Tara once took an open boat tour of the Norwegian fjords in the middle of a very cold winter.
Diomedes Arrocha, Field Trainer
Valerie Campos, Intern (EARTH University)
Orbin Castro, Field Trainer
Damaris Delarosa, Field Trainer
Illiana Figueroa, Field Trainer
Obed Gomez, Field Trainer
Consuelo Hernandez, Field Trainer
Dayra Julio, Small Business Coordinator
Daysbeth Lopez, Field Trainer
Sharla McFadzean, Field Administrator
Maribel Ojo, Field Trainer
Abel Osorio, Field Trainer
Franklin Paz, Small Business, Logistics + Administrative Coordinator
Leonardo Pech, Belize Country Director
Leonardo Pech became the first agronomist from his village in the Orange Walk district of Belize in 1995 when he graduated from Costa Rica’s EARTH University. He has over 20 years of agriculture experience providing technical expertise and guidance to small-scale farmers. He has developed environmentally-friendly crop management programs and implemented fertilizer and integrated pest management programs for a wide range of crops. Leonardo loves that the Sustainable Harvest International model empowers low-income farming families to improve their livelihoods while helping the environment. When not working, he enjoys spending time with his wife, Maria, son, Dwayne, and daughters, Jaileen and Shanelle. He’s also been known to listen to a little Spanish music!
Juan José Pérez, Field Trainer
Misael Perez, Field Trainer
Jonatan Reyes, Field Trainer
Zoila Janet Reyes, Honduras Country Director
My name is Zoila Janet Reyes Nolasco. I was born in Gracias City, Lempira Department, the land of our National Hero, Lempira.
I grew up and studied in Santa Rosa de Copan, also known as La Sultana del Occidente of Honduras. I hold a Bachelor of Agricultural Engineering, but most of my experience is related to community development.
I’m married. I have a beautiful 3-month-old baby and I’m about to finish my master’s degree. I enjoy helping people and being the one who facilitates change for them; that is what Sustainable Harvest International allows me to do and it is what I still want to do. Also, with the same passion that I help people, I enjoy dancing although I don’t do it so well.
Rodrigo Rodriguez, Panama Country Director
Rodrigo Rodriguez first discovered the beauty of agriculture at the Institute for Agricultural Studies of Havana (ISCAH) in Cuba. After completing his studies, Rodrigo returned to Panama, where he dedicated his life to community development and agriculture, and his family. Seeing the success of the families he works with motivates Rodrigo to forge ahead in bringing national recognition to the program for its innovation and dedication to Panama’s people and environment in rural areas. In the rare moments when he is not working, Rodrigo enjoys catching up on the news, reading, and watching sports and documentaries.
Extra credit: Rodrigo loves music. He learned to play the harmonica as a child and still occasionally plays.