Staff

Katie Rains
Executive Director

Katie joined GRuB in April 2013 as our new Executive Director! As the former ED of the WA Free Clinic Association, she comes to us with a background in health issues, which will bring a new richness and relevance to our work. Katie is local to Olympia and familiar with our community and the issues we’re facing (she took part in last year’s Thurston County Food Summit). She has a longstanding passion for GRuB’s Kitchen Garden Project with its focus on prevention and community-building and has been a volunteer garden-builder for years and member of the KGP Leadership Team for the last year+.


Kim Gaffi
Director of Programs

As a GRuB co-founder, Kim has served the organization for more than twelve years. She earned her BA in Community Development and BS in Environmental Science from the Evergreen State College and loves thinking about and working on the intersection of humans and the natural environment. Kim brings her passion for experiential education & food justice as well as her skills in group facilitation & organizational development to her leadership role at GRuB.


Rebeca Potasnik
Operations Director

Rebeca joined the GRuB family at the end of November 2012, taking up the good work of her predecessor Justin Umholtz. Rebeca has a Master’s Degree in Community and Regional Planning and Certificate in Nonprofit Management from the University of Oregon. She has applied her passion for equity planning in the fields of public transportation, asset building, and now food systems. Olympia has been her home for over 20 years. She loves making her garden bigger and seeing how much food she can produce from her yard.


Kerensa Mabwa
Community Engagement Coordinator

Kerensa leads GRuB’s Community-based Fundraising, Special Events and Volunteer Coordination Programs. She comes to GRuB with passions for good local food, gardening and building relationships across multicultural backgrounds. She has over almost 15 years of experience in the nonprofit world from parenting & child welfare, affordable housing & grantwriting, and project evaluation & management. With Kerensa’s international background and passion for inspiring cross-cultural learning, much of her past work has been spent helping people to live successful and sustainable lives through empowerment and inclusivity. With GRuB’s exciting growth, she is enthusiastic about bringing more opportunitie sfor donors and volunteers to move GRuB’s work forward. You’ll recognize Kerensa by her welcoming smile and manner and she loves how GRuB is almost a second home for her family (Her partner is occasionally known as the ‘GRuB husband’). Kerensa and her family moved from the Midwest and she thrilled to be living with the adventures of the Pacific NW right outside her door. On the weekends she’s most likely to be having an impromptu dance party with her children or cuddling on the couch after a taking a family hike.


Wade Arnold
Youth Programs Lead Educator

Wade is a longtime Washingtonian, spending most of his life as an Olympia resident, which is where he developed a passion for serving others. He began his career with GRuB as a Cultivating Youth crewmember in the summers of 2000 and 2001. From 2005-2007 he went on to serve throughout Washington as an Americorps member through the Washington Conservation Corps. Wade is the first Cultivating Youth alum to be brought on as a core staff member of GRuB. After spending 3 years as GRuB’s Farm Manager, Wade spent a year job-shadowing with former Youth Programs Director, Blue Peetz, in order to prepare for his new role as the Lead Educator for GRuB School beginning in summer 2013. He loves the Mariners, working hard and getting dirty, and being deceptively silly.


Meghan “Pfeif” Pfeiffer
Office Manager

Pfeif began working at GRuB in 2013. She hails from the Adirondack Mountains in Upstate NY and made her journey to the Pacific Northwest in 2009, settling in Olympia in 2013. Pfeif graduated from St. Lawrence University with a degree in Environmental Studies in 2005. Prior to working with GRuB she had a short stint with Seattle Tilth and a 5 year adventure with Equal Exchange Fairly Traded Coffee Co. She’s very excited to be here at GRuB and so grateful to meet and hug (watch out if you're not a hugger) all the wonderful people in the GRuB family. When she’s not at GRuB she’s probably busy filling her car sized deep freezer with an assortment of soup! Pfeif lives on a 5 acre plot with her husband, where they are busy learning and creating all that goes into what they've come to call their farmstead.


Heather Rudich
Farm Manager

Heather comes to GRuB after spending 4 seasons farming in Oregon.  She has a degree in Elementary Education from Northern Arizona University, but her favorite place to teach has no walls or florescent lights.  She is so excited that her position as  Farm Manager weaves together her loves of  playing in the dirt and growing delicious food, as well as engaging with youth and community members in the relevant and dynamic work. Heather thoroughly enjoys living in the northwest and when she's not at the farm you can find her sniffing out the perfect camp spot under big trees or seeking out some funky jams.


Jackson Sillars
Community Food Solutions Manager

Jackson is dedicated to creating relationships with people and the Earth that honor and build upon the work of those who came before us. He began his journey with GRuB in 2002 as the AmeriCorps Kitchen Garden Project (KGP) Coordinator. Since then he has worn a variety of hats within the organization including Youth Program Director and Community Engagement Coordinator. After an extended hiatus Jackson returned to GRuB in 2014 as an independent contractor and was hired as a full-time staff in the spring of 2015. In his new position he is excited to return to his roots with the KGP, support the development of the Victory Farm, further develop the Food Investment Garden (FIG) program, and encourage emerging community food solutions. He is grateful for any opportunity to explore the wild with family and friends.


Amory Ballantine
Grants Coordinator

Amory grew up between the woods of northern New Jersey and the big sky country of Austin, Texas. She moved from Chicago to Olympia in 2007 to attend Evergreen. She graduated in 2009 with a BA in Political Science, Sociology, and Literature and in 2016 with a Master's of Environmental Science where her work focused on Critical Geography.  She comes to GRuB with a background in community organizing around issues of community health (particularly sexual assault and domestic violence prevention and survivor support) and spatial justice (particularly housing and transportation issues). She spends her free time with her partner Jeremy, puppy Pearl, and cat friend Flossie, trying out vegan cooking projects and listening to a variety of music from old-timey radio shows to melodic metal. She loves getting her hands and feet in the dirt, taking care of plants and animals, riding her bicycle, and hiking adventures. 


INTERNS

GRuB relies on amazing interns to deliver all of our programs and activities. Their time with us varies from a few months to a few quarters and we’re so grateful to them for all they give to GRuB. To get in touch with one of our interns, please give us a call at 360-753-5522 or send an email to our general mailbox and we will be sure it gets to the appropriate person.