The current Aprovecho Board of Directors is:
Emily Sessoms was born and raised in Central Florida. As she was studying international human rights at Rollins College she was introduced to the subjects of natural building and permaculture. She immediately began to view them as a sustainable solution to the human rights to food, shelter, water, and health. During her collegiate career, she studied how vernacular architecture may provide options for affordable housing and entrepreneurship in Latin America, and conducted research on permaculture design systems, plant functions, and turn-over rates’ effects on communities in Brazil. She graduated summa cum laude with a degree in Latin American/Caribbean Studies and Spanish in 2013.
Emily received a permaculture design certificate at Lost Valley in 2011 and a natural building certificate from Aprovecho’s Cascadia Institute of Vernacular Architecture in 2012. She continued her studies of tropical permaculture systems in Hawaii until returning to Aprovecho in 2014 to participate in the eight-month permaculture and agroecology program. The following year, she was an assistant to the Natural Building Sustainable Shelter Series. She has continued to help Aprovecho through fundraising and program development, and served as a guest instructor. She strongly believes in Aprovecho’s mission and the incredible opportunities it provides and is proud to serve on the board.
Emily currently works for Huerto de la Familia as the Farm Program Director, and is a member of Square One Villages’ Cottage Village Coalition. She also serves on the Leadership and Equity teams of the Oregon Community Food Systems Network. She enjoys gardening, natural plastering, herbalism, running, and above all, hiking with her pup, Bark.
Jude Hobbs, Secretary/Treasurer
Jude is a nationally recognized land consultant, designer, educator, and co-founder of the Cascadia Permaculture Institute and Permaculture Institute of North America (PINA). With over 30 years’ experience, she utilizes whole-system techniques in urban and rural settings to co-design environmentally sound solutions that inspire sustainable actions. Through her business Agro-Ecology Northwest, she specializes in optimizing resource conservation, biodiversity, watershed enhancement and income diversification for large and small-scale acreage. As an educator she brings her passion for permaculture to her teaching, which is adapted for audiences throughout the U.S. and Canada. Jude tends Wilson Creek Gardens, a 7-acre homestead and demonstration site located outside Cottage Grove, Oregon. www.cascadiapermaculture.com
Mike was born in Roseburg Oregon. He received a BS from Willamette University in 1992. In 1997 he attended the Sustainable Living Skills Internship at Aprovecho. There he discovered the world of Appropriate Technology and found his life work. Since then he has been building improved cook stoves and conducting trainings in many resource deprived parts of the world. At home he is the international projects coordinator for the Aprovecho Research Center and teaches classes at Aprovecho on a wide range of appropriate technology subjects, including improved cook and heating stoves, composting toilets, solar and wood heated hot water systems, small scale hydroelectricity, bio diesel production and vegetable oil conversions…. to name a few.