Our mission at Everyone’s Harvest is to create healthy vibrant communities and equitable food webs. We believe everyone deserves the right to access locally grown, organic produce and free public events are necessary to strengthen a community.
Iris Peppard, Executive Director and Co-Founder of Everyone’s Harvest
In 2002, Iris along with four other women started Everyone’s Harvest because they saw a need in Marina for reasonably priced fresh organic produce and a weekly community gathering place. Everyone’s Harvest was fueled by Iris’s California State University Monterey Bay (CSUMB) senior capstone project through her degree in Integrated Studies with an emphasis on Community Organizing.
Now, as Executive Director for Everyone’s Harvest Iris oversights the organization’s activities including Certified Farmers’ Markets, Edible Education for Healthy Youth, and other special projects. She works closely with public outreach, marketing, and finances and provides overall support to staff. In addition, Iris is the USDA Project Manager for the Service Learning Institute of CSUMB establishing community gardens in Salinas and Marina. One garden is the Chinatown Community Garden, which provides a free public green space to the City of Salinas where local community members can grow fresh produce. The Garden is part of the renewal efforts of Chinatown.
Dia Beltran, Office Administrator
Dia ensures that all of Everyone’s Harvest’s office activities run smoothly. She takes care of everything from answering the phone to paying the bills. Dia in the past was the Youth Coordinator for The Volunteer Center of United Way Monterey County Caminos Program, focusing on helping at-risk youth in east Salinas. Through this position, she inspired 250+ people to volunteer in Salinas and built networks within Monterey County.
Hugo Perez, Market Manager
Hugo is responsible for the operations of Everyone’s Harvest Certified Farmers’ Markets. He is always on-site making sure everything at the markets runs smoothly from addressing vendor and customer questions to managing the markets’ booths. He is fluent in Spanish and English and started at Everyone’s Harvest as a dedicated volunteer. In addition, Hugo is the Principal founder of CHP Custom Design specializing in residential design for more than six years. He is a student member of the American Society of Interior Designers. He enjoys creating from concept to creation custom houses, major additions, and remodels. Mr. Perez has designed custom housing for private owners in Monterey County and worked on projects for the City of Salinas as an Independent Contractor Designer.
Emily McDearmon, Edible Education Program Manager
Emily joined Everyone’s Harvest in 2011 as an AmeriCorps VIP. She now coordinates Everyone’s Harvest’s Edible Education for Healthy Youth program, teaching community members, youth and their families about the healthful bounty that can be found at our farmers’ markets. Emily is a California native and a Registered Dietitian. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Clinical Nutrition from the University of California, Davis and completed her Dietetic Internship with the University of Connecticut School of Allied Health. Emily fell in love with Farmers’ Markets while living in Davis, where the weekly Farmers’ Markets are a central community event. Ever since, she has been an avid supporter of local, seasonal and organic produce. She strongly supports programs that make healthy foods more accessible and affordable to the population. Personally, Emily’s favorite hobbies include hiking, weight training, cooking and spending as much time as possible outdoors.
Chris Loecher, Natividad Market Outreach Coordinator
Growing up in the Midwest, Chris became interested in sustainable farming at an early age spending hours in his Grandpa’s garden and learning canning techniques from his Grandma. In 1998, after studying at the University of Minnesota, Chris moved to California and began working with organic produce at a Co-op. After becoming a manager and helping with the Co-op sponsored Farmers’ Market, he was instrumental in the member owned Co-op purchasing a new building and increasing memberships in the community. While working at the Co-op, Chris also interned at an organic farm and helped coordinate outreach programs in the local schools. He furthered his experience in helping to make healthy, local produce accessible to people by working for a CSA that made home deliveries. Chris is also an avid hiker, photographer, gardener, and enjoys being a vinyl DJ in his spare time.
A Californian to her core, Elena’s heart is interlocked with the west coastline because she absorbs her strength, passion, and creativity from the tectonic plate activity prevalent in the area. In 2012, Elena graduated from UCSD and moved to San Jose, CA where she worked three jobs as a food server, barista, and flipbook technician. She loved her proximity to food and community but lacked a strong absence of action with her jobs. Between Food Justice Workshops and managing volunteers, Elena is engaging Monterey County youth, and public, in actively deconstructing our food system. Every market she is with volunteers and CSUMB service learners brainstorming our future food prospects, analyzing our current food system, and getting to know the local farmers and vendors at Everyone’s Harvest. Elena believes there is no higher love than that of sharing food with another.
Shelby is a graduating senior at CSUMB studying Environmental Science, with a concentration in Watershed Systems. She began her work with Everyone’s Harvest in the Summer of 2012 as a Service Learning Student Leader. The program was developed by the Service Learning Institute at CSUMB and offers students a chance to work with Community Organizations in relation with the service learners in order to foster their individual service learning experience. Specifically, Shelby works to spark curiosity in the students both about concepts of service learning and food justice at which ever Everyone’s Harvest site they choose to fulfill their required 30 hours. Shelby also assists at the Everyone’s Harvest Farm Stand at CSUMB. Shelby is an avid food lover. Since working with Everyone’s Harvest, she has expanded this love towards the many fruits and vegetables that the Farmers’ Markets have to offer.