Meet Our Board
Meet the individuals who work hard every day to ensure the Soulful Seeds mission is achieved.
Earstin Whitten is the Co-Founder of Soulful Seeds. He is retired insurance executive and an Army veteran. Since retiring and moving to Reno 15 years ago, Earstin has served on several boards locally and currently serve with the boards of the Great Basin Community Cooperative and the Nevada Women's Fund. Earstin has always been active in growing healthy food. He is co-found of Soulful Seeds along with his wife, Dolores Schafer-Whitten.
Amanda Burden is publisher and editor of edible Reno-Tahoe magazine, which debuted in Spring 2010. Through it, she celebrates and supports the local food and drink movement, which includes chefs, farmers, ranchers, distillers, brewers, home cooks, and more. In addition to being a Soulful Seeds board member, she also serves on the boards of the American Culinary Federation’s High Sierra Chefs Association, which champions the culinary community; the Nevada Press Association, advocating for the state’s journalists; and TEDx Reno. Her business and volunteer work allow her to combine her passions for food, drink, publishing, community, local business, and making a difference.
Jill Moe is the Director of the UNR Desert Farming Initiative, a five-acre organic farm focusing on ag education, demonstration, and research for the Great Basin high desert climate. She has a Master's degree in environmental policy from the University of Washington, a Master's certificate in sustainable agriculture from Washington State University’s global campus, and 15 years of experience in her field. Jill comes from a family with agricultural roots in the Midwest and became interested in desert farming as a US Peace Corps agroforestry volunteer in West Africa. She has managed watershed planning and regional natural resource management projects, has hands-on experience in market farming in the US and Europe, and enjoys working directly with landowners and growers. Her key interest is in building healthy, sustainable food systems.
Janice Bailey is the firm administrator for her husband’s Reno CPA firm and a passionate cook and master gardener. She holds a Bachelors of Science degree in Geography/Environmental Studies from the University of California at Santa Barbara. She is one of the founding board members of Soulful Seeds and serves as its’ treasurer. She enjoys volunteering in the Washoe County elementary school garden program with 10 and 11 year olds and looks forward to assisting with the Soulful Seeds education program at the Our Place Campus.
Details coming soon.
Dee Schafer-Whitten is the Co-Founder of Soulful Seeds. She is a retired Healthcare and Non-Profit Executive. Dee was President and Founder of Corporate Solutions, Inc., a strategic planning firm for non-profits, government, and law enforcement agencies. Dee retired and took a year off to establish Soulful Seeds with her husband, Earstin Whitten, to provide fresh, healthy food to the most vulnerable in our community and move individuals' from poverty to sustainability. Dee currently holds the position as Director for Client Experience at American Wealth Management in Reno.
Jana Vanderhaar is a landscape architect and owner of Verdant Connections Landscape Architecture LLC, a landscape design and consultation firm in Reno. She focuses on edible, drought-tolerant, and ecologically friendly landscape design and garden advice as a way to bring food, beauty, and biodiversity to people's lives. Her design work is done by hand and finished on the computer, and includes many plant species to create biologically diverse gardens. Her aim is to make each design an artistic and functional expression of what is possible, giving the client the tools needed to make their landscape dreams a reality.
Cody was born and raised in Reno. His initial connection to nature and service started as a Boy Scout where his Eagle project helped with the grand opening of the old Veterans Guest House. He strengthened his connection to nature at the University of Oregon, where he participated in their Urban Farm program. After college, Cody continued learning about the world through his teaching and community service work abroad. Cody returned home hoping to share what he learned. He became a member of, and is currently the president of the Reno Midtown Rotary Club. He also joined the Soulful Seeds Board to help grow an idea into an organization, that can sustainably serve the most vulnerable in the community. He is excited to continue giving back to a community that supported him for much of his life.
Details coming soon.