Meet the 2024 Foodscapes Team!
Our Board of Directors
Lee Klarman (he/him)
Lee loves being outside. His passions include kayaking the Saco River, camping in the White Mountains, and growing garlic. He received an undergraduate degree in Community and Justice Studies with a Minor in Sculpture from Guilford College in Greensboro, North Carolina and a Master’s Degree in Policy, Planning, and Management with a concentration in Non-Profit Management from the University of Southern Maine. In his free time, he has been employed doing Restorative Justice in the court system of North Carolina, Youth Development with Boys & Girls Club, and building strong & equitable communities with United Way.
Alyssa Schoppee (she/her)
Board Vice President
Alyssa grew up in Maine and spent countless hours as a kid helping out (or eating inventory, depending on who you ask) in her grandparents' berry fields and market stand. She then spent almost a decade in Boston. First attending Northeastern University to study Sustainable Development and Food Systems, and then working in volunteer management and development at a women's shelter in the city. Alyssa recently moved back to Maine and settled in Brunswick where she works as the Development Director for a food security nonprofit. In her spare time, Alyssa likes to hike and kayak with her dog Watson, ski, grow veggies, try new recipes, and practice yoga. Alyssa joined the Foodscapes board in 2023 and is excited to lend a hand to our fundraising efforts.
Margaret Patkus (they/she)
Margaret grew up in Poughkeepsie, New York, and graduated from St. Olaf College in 2019. Throughout her college years in Minnesota, she immersed herself in learning about environmental justice, global food security, and local food systems. Margaret has held a number of roles at various nonprofit organizations, including Education Intern at the Poughkeepsie Farm Project, Community Engagement Assistant and Volunteer Coordinator at Keystone Community Services (St. Paul, MN), and Conference Program Assistant with the Institute on Science for Global Policy. She has also worked in food retail in both co-op grocery store and on-farm market settings. Margaret believes strongly in the power of access to green space and nutritious, culturally fulfilling food and can often be found practicing yoga, cooking, reading, and spending time with friends and family.
Sarah Warren (she/her)
Sarah was raised in Southern Maine with a passion for the outdoors and an affinity for natural spaces. She graduated from Lesley University with a degree in Global Studies and a received a minor in Spanish via a year at La Universitat de Barcelona. Through her time in Boston and abroad, she came to appreciate the importance of local solutions to global problems. This principal, along with her aptitude for technology, systems thinking, and nonprofit data management led her to her role as Director of Technology & Data for United Way of Southern Maine. Like many at the onset of the pandemic, she started her first garden & made a home for her first batch of chickens, furthering her interest in being in close relationship with food sources. She currently sits on the Freeport Shellfish Conservation Commission and believes that we must ensure responsible stewardship of natural resources to benefit all living beings.
Dora Mancia (she/her)
Board Member, FGP Gardener '21
Dora, born in El Salvador, moved to Maine at the age of nine. Graduated From SMCC in 2007 with an associates, then attended University of Maine at Farmington graduated with Bachelors in Early childhood education in 2020. When I am not working at Catherine Morrill Day Nursery I am taking road trips with my children or taking nature adventures. I also love to support my children in their many, many sports interests. I love to garden and do art and crafts, crocheting and reading. I joined the Foodscapes program as a gardener in 2021 and have also added a garden to the School that I work at. I joined the Foodscapes board this year, 2024. My goal is to help families learn to eat healthy without having to spend a lot at the grocery store. Seeing young children see the process of growing their own food and feeling accomplished when they harvest the foods brings joy to me.
Kristina Allen (she/her)
Board Member, FGP Gardener '19
Southern Maine since childhood but born in Georgia. 2019 Maine Foodscapes Recipient. That’s where my farming really started, with three raised beds. I am now the owner of Yellowbird Love Farms and Medicine Makers Organization. At Yellowbird Love Farms we focus on teaching mushroom growing, veggies and unique plants. Medicine Makers Organization is where I explore my passion. My passion is exploring what medicine is and the connection it has to our full circle of health and the impact that has on our whole life experience. I am deepening my knowledge in this area by working with plant and fungi medicines full circle in my life now, at home and my outside job. By talking and listening to individuals, creating small community connections and learning personal empowerment with other women. You will probably always find me with my dog Princesses hair on me! She has been great medicine in my life.
Tom Hatch (he/him)
Joining the Maine Foodscapes Board after three successful build seasons, Tom comes to us from Biddeford, Maine. Tom graduated from Virginia Tech with a Bachelor's in Biochemistry and from California State University San Marcos with a Master's in Business Administration. He is currently a process improvement coach that develops critical problem-solving skills and strategy for a global audience. While living in different parts of the country, he has done work with a couple vineyards and built a few gardens of his own. Tom loves exploring islands in Southern Maine in his tiny boat with his fiancee and black lab. He is excited to support the growth of this important organization and learn more about growing food!
Christian Breau (he/him)
Christian is a lifelong Mainer. He grew up in Lewiston and moved to Auburn with his wife shortly after they married - they have two sons. In 2021, they moved to their camp in Winthrop to be closer to the lake. Christian has worked in the IT field since 1999, but it wasn't until he joined RoundTable Technology in 2012 that his eyes were opened to the vast world of nonprofits and their incredible missions. While he has been helping nonprofit organizations with their IT for more than a decade, he wants to get more involved and use his skills to give back to the community.
Matthew Day (he/him)
Matthew was born and raised in rural Maine where he enjoyed doing farm work since he was old enough to hold a shovel. He earned a B.A. in Philosophy from the University of Maine, after which he set out to explore the country which included living in Los Angeles, CA, Athens, GA, Minneapolis MN, Burlington, VT, and Brooklyn NY. He completed his Ph.D. in Psychology at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, PA.
Matthew eventually returned to Maine and for several years worked with individuals experiencing homelessness and mental illness. Over the past decade he has worked as a Professor of Psychology at the University of Maine and Maine Community College Systems. His courses and research focus on Social Psychology and Community Studies. Harkening back to his farm roots, Matthew enjoys being outdoors and working as a volunteer coordinator with the Portland Community Gardens while also tending his own humble garden plot.
Aryn Coon (she/her)
Aryn was born in Maine and grew up on a homestead tending to vegetable crops and animals. After graduating from the University of Vermont she moved around New England, working on Farms from Southern Maine to Boston. In 2020 Aryn moved back to Brunswick, Maine with her now husband and with the intention of starting her own farming business. After working in the Mid-Coast farming community for a couple of years Aryn started her own small vegetable farm, Merriman Gardens, at her home in Brunswick. She is passionate about regenerative farming practices and utilizes them to maintain and improve the health and biodiversity of her farm’s soil and ecosystem. In her spare time Aryn loves to spend time outside with her husband and dog hiking, canoeing and cycling. She tends to spend the brief winter off-season traveling when she can, cooking with the food she grows, and spending every opportunity possible sitting by the fireplace with a knitting project.
Our Key Staff
Ali Mediate (she/they)
Founder/ Director & Board Member
After studying at the University of Southern Maine, Ali went on to receive a degree in Community Agriculture and Food Science from The Evergreen State College. She made her way back to Maine to serve as a FoodCorps Service Member at Healthy Acadia. She holds Master Gardener and Master Preserver Certificates through the University of Maine Cooperative Extension. In 2018, she started Maine Foodscapes and the Foodscapes Garden Project (FGP), inspired by her AmeriCorps service at Garden-Raised Bounty (GRuB). Since her return to Maine, Ali has worked with the Cumberland County Food Security Council, the Portland Farmers Market (promoting EBT nutrition incentive programs like Farm Fresh Rewards and Maine Harvest Bucks), and the Maine Farm & Sea Cooperative (MFSC). She has a passion for helping raise awareness of the many benefits of strong local food systems. She spends her time trying to excite everyone she meets about growing their own food and reconnecting with the land that feeds us. She can be found reading a book or seed catalogue, riding her bicycle, or in the garden... preferably with bare feet and dirt under her fingernails!
Leah Kovitch (she/her)
Foodscapes Accounting & Financing Consultant
Leah is an avid vegetable gardener, big tree enthusiastic, and all-around outdoorsman. In 2021 she completed her climb of New Hampshire's 48 4,000-foot mountains and is working on her Maine big mountains list. Leah works in public accounting, specializing in non-profit audit, tax and finance. She holds a B.A. in Human Ecology from the College of the Atlantic and a B.S. in Accounting from the University of Maine at Augusta. She lives in the woods of Brunswick with her partner and their seven chickens.
Our Key Volunteers
Peter Mason (he/him)
Foodscapes V.I.V.* a.k.a. Very Important Volunteer
Peter is a native New Englander and a 32-year resident of Maine, and raised two daughters here. He is almost at the end of a career in IT, primarily the utility industry, and recently downsized to Portland with his wife so they could get more involved in initiatives around food security and support of local growers and purveyors. As a long-time gardener, Peter can't think of a simpler and more effective way to empower a family than providing them with an opportunity to garden and is grateful to be assisting Maine Foodscapes in making that happen.