President: William Faith, Chicago, Illinois
William Faith is a long-standing activist in the fight for the rights of animals, care of the earth and social justice.
Upon encountering permaculture for the first time in 2005, the nature of his artistry and activism changed for the better, both finding a confluence in permaculture. Shortly after completing his certification in permaculture design at the Ecovillage Training Center at The Farm in Summertown, TN in 2006, he co-founded Ars Terra, a sustainable homestead project in Palmdale, CA, where he taught several permaculture courses and workshops before moving to Chicago, where he co-founded the Chicagoland Permaculture Guild in 2012, and completed an advanced permaculture design course at Kinstone Academy of Applied Permaculture in Fountain City, WI in 2014.
William has given many presentations on permaculture at colleges, universities, eco/green fairs and festivals, and private events, also giving several radio interviews on the subject. 2015 heralded the birth of Genius Loci Permaculture — a full-service Design / Build and Education firm.
Vice President: Braden Trauth, Cincinnati, Ohio
Braden became interested in permaculture from a background in Industrial Design. His search for sustainable living and right livelihood carried him through several mainstream green endeavors that didn’t fit the bill. In 2002, he joined the Earthship Crew, working with Mike Reynolds to build off-grid homes. After selling his own-built Earthship, he embarked on an adventure to study permaculture with the likes of Bill Mollison, David Holmgren, Geoff Lawton, Scott Pittman, Peter Bane, Dave Jacke, and others. He now shares and demonstrates how to design a life in harmony with the planet in his home bioregion around Cincinnati through OM Valley Permaculture and Symbiosis Design, a product and systems design consultancies based in Permaculture and Energy Theory. He is a co-founder of the Cincinnati Permaculture Institute, and has helped create the world’s first Permaculture Farm Certification, Permaganic Authenticated.
Treasurer: Peter Bane, Montague, Michigan
Peter published Permaculture Activist magazine (now Permaculture Design) for 25 years, and is the author of The Permaculture Handbook: Garden Farming for Town and Country (www.permaculturehandbook.com). A frequent speaker at conferences and public events and a permaculture teacher for nearly 30 years, he serves as the Executive Director of Permaculture Institute of North America (www.pina.in), and as a Field Advisor in its diploma program. He holds diplomas from PINA, the Permaculture Institute-USA, and the Permaculture Academy of Britain.
A co-founder of Earthaven Ecovillage and a consultant to universities, municipalities, and community groups across the country, he works with landowners to create ecologically sound and economically productive human habitat. He has taught programs in all six states of the GRLPI region, and far beyond. A builder and remodeler of energy-efficient homes, a pioneer in renewable energy, and an innovator in ecological systems for waste, water, and food production, Peter plants and stewards young and established woodlands on 10 acres in western Michigan with his partner Keith Johnson.
Secretary: Sabrena Schweyer, Akron, Ohio
Sabrena’s passion for nature began in childhood on her family’s dairy farm, and continued as her life’s work: connecting people with nature. Since 1996, she has been transforming lives and landscapes through her award-winning firm, Salsbury-Schweyer, Inc, based in Akron, Ohio.
Her education included history, agriculture, liberal arts, and horticulture, plus studies at Oxford University and with England’s National Trust. Well-known for creating sophisticated, spiritually-enriching spaces, Sabrena is also a recognized thought-leader in ecological landscape design. She is a Fellow in the Association of Professional Landscape Designers (APLD) and the co-recipient of APLD’s “Leadership in Landscape Sustainability”, an international honor.
Sabrena and her partner, Samuel Salsbury, FAPLD, work and speak regionally and nationally, helping homeowners, cities, organizations, and professionals create landscapes to heal people, places, and planet. She came to permaculture in 2010 and has been bridging between horticulture, biomimicry, permaculture, farmsteads, and cities ever since.
Marie Fleming, Bloomington, Indiana and South Haven, Michigan
Gaining her education at North Central College in Naperville, IL and Christian Theological Seminary, Indianapolis, Marie is now a retired Disciples of Christ minister and part-time consultant for the Indianapolis Center for Congregations. She has experience and certifications in Permaculture design, teaching, and organizing.
Growing up on a Michigan dairy farm gave her a lifelong passion for the natural world, which she has developed in recent years through locavore activism, seed saving and starting, poultry raising, and food preservation, all aspects of creation care she works with congregations to inspire in their members, and to share. With homes in both places, she moves between tending to grandchildren in Bloomington, Indiana, and care for elderly parents in South Haven, Michigan, where with husband Lyle McKee, also a retired pastor, they are remodeling and retrofitting an older house within a permaculture and energy-efficient framework.
She has helped found church community gardens at St. Thomas Lutheran in Bloomington, and worked with the Disciples of Christ to equip its congregations for creation care. Marie looks forward to serving the Great Rivers and Lakes network in event planning, and to joining the SW Michigan community of practitioners for friendship, support, and action.
Marsha Finley, Horse Cave, Kentucky
Marsha settled in Kentucky after a 20-year military career to pursue her childhood dream of farming. Her final tour in the Army culminated in editing an international newsletter for the US State Department. She used that background in her own desktop publishing business from 1993-2011. Subsequently, she received an online PDC from Geoff Lawton in 2014, and completed a live year-long course with Braden Trauth at the Cincinnati Permaculture Institute in 2015.