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.
Marc Chapelle is a landscape architect with Lumos and Associates where he is responsible for land and design planning of all scales and development types. He also holds professional education in agronomy, enology, soils, and plant pathology. Marc comes from a family of passionate gardeners and is an avid gardener himself.
David Mansfield is a Reno native and owner of Curtis Brothers Construction. He founded Curtis Bros Construction 15 years ago with the goal of raising the standard of construction in Northern Nevada. Since that time, Curis Bros. Construction has grown into one of the region’s leading construction companies. In addition to his dedication to quality craftsmanship, David is passionate about giving back to his community. He joined the Soulful Seeds board two years ago and is actively engaged in making the Our Place Garden project a reality.
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.
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.
Yesenia Morales is a Reno native. She is a licensed massage therapist, enjoys creating stained-glass art, and animal lover. Yesenia is passionate about being in service to the community and volunteers with numerous area nonprofits. From a young age, Yesenia was interested in gardening. She believes gardening is a communal activity that has the power to satisfy every part of our lives. Yesenia combines her passion for service and gardening by serving on the Soulful Seeds board as our volunteer coordinator.