Tara Allden, Board Member
Mary DeMare, Vice President
Mary DeMare came to Pittsboro 7 years ago with her little dog and a twinkle in her eye. Tami had lured her here to run the new co-op grocery store, Chatham Marketplace, by promising community, challenging work, fun and glitter. All of those promises came true and Mary had an amazing experience as General Manager of the Marketplace for 6 1/2 years.
Lured by challenging work, yet again, Mary went to Ohio to help her brother run in the Green Party Primary for US Senate in Ohio. This job involved considerably less glitter (and no money), but was also a great experience.
The mission of Abundance resonates with Mary. The world of DIY and sustainability has always been an important part of her life…as the youngest of 7 from a small town in Western NY, she and her family did al ot of conserving of resources and
doing-it-themselves (with help from others, of course!). The Mission of the Abundance Foundation – educating and empowering the community about sustainable agriculture, renewable energy and local economy – fits Mary’s world vision like a glove! Mary runs New Horizons, a local Pittsboro shop and also has a rabbit farm with her partner, Dan.
Naomi Fernando, Secretary
A recent graduate of UNC, Naomi got her BA in International Studies focusing in Global Health and Environment. During her sophomore year, Naomi was introduced to the world of sustainability education and the philosophies of community and living locally. She found a passion in environmental justice and grassroots advocacy for change in energy policy. She has worked in different areas of both fields including being an intern at Piedmont Biofuels!
Currently, Naomi is spending her time taking some post-grad classes at UNC & NCSU. She can also be found volunteering at the Rogers-Eubanks neighborhood community garden, training interns/hanging out at Piedmont Biofuels, or running around the trails in Carolina North Forest with her puppy.
Owen Fitzgerald, Board Member
Owen is currently a senior at Cary Academy. He has a passion for marine biology, especially sharks, and environmental sciences. This will be his focus in college. He cares deeply about protecting our oceans and environment as a whole. Owen believes that at Abundance, the mission to support local and sustainable agriculture, renewable energy and local economy is a very important step to reducing pollution and conserving our environment.
Jill Reemsynder, Treasurer
Jill graduated from Guilford College with a BA in sociology and women’s studies, and recently graduated summa cum laude with a master of library science from North Carolina Central University. She lives in Bynum and is treasurer of the Bynum Front Porch, a nonprofit community organization. She and her husband, Andy had a leap day baby, Nora, in 2012. Jill has spent years keeping books for a renewable energy company and environmental engineering firm. Jill loves supporting local agriculture, businesses, and her community.
Laurel Shulman, Board Member
Kristy Yule, President
Kristy has an extensive and diverse background in utilizing consumer insights to improve business performance and help brands better connect with customers. Kristy recently founded 10K Marketing, a marketing consulting company established to provide strategic advisory services to small and mid-size businesses that strive to increase awareness, sales and solve product issues. Prior to founding 10K Marketing, Kristy was the Regional VP of Marketing for Newland Communities where she worked for over 10 years leading divisional marketing teams in creating incredible places for people to live. In addition to the Abundance Foundation, Kristy also serves on the Board of the Transforming Hope Ministries. Kristy has a BA in International Business from the University of Georgia. She and Sean are the parents of Hannah and Olivia and reside in Briar Chapel.
advisory board of directors
Allen Baddour, Advisory
Allen is a Superior Court Judge for the Chatham Orange District. Allen and has shown a dedication to both service and justice throughout his career. He is a past President of the District 15B Bar Association, and serves as a liaison for the Superior Court Judges to committees with the N.C. Administrative Office of the Court and the N.C. Bar Association. He serves on Boards with the Chatham YMCA and the Elliott Road branch of the State Employees Credit Union, and coaches basketball. He and his wife Holly are often seen chasing their two sons, Henry and Jack, all over.
Emily Boynton, Advisory
Emily Boynton is the former Associate Director of SEEDS, a non-profit community garden in Durham, NC. While working with the youth participating in the DIG and SEEDlings programs Emily developed a passion for educating kids (and anyone who will listen) about healthy eating, where our food comes from and the importance of sustainable food production. Now she spends her days trying to get her 4 year old and 1 year old to eat anything, all while taking care of 4 donkeys, 7 chickens, 2 dogs, and a big market garden. Emily and her husband David are big proponents of renewable energy, supporting it both at home (in many ways including solar hot water and PV) and through David’s work with Southern Energy Management.
Rachel Burton, Advisory
Rachel Burton is a founding board member and has a long term commitment and passion for sustainable agriculture and renewable energy. Her activism is powered by solar power and biodiesel. Rachel is a Real Hot 100 Woman of 2006. As a founder of Piedmont Biofuels, Rachel has experience with many different facets of education, community and local food and renewable energy.
Lyle Estill, Advisory
Lyle is the author of Small is Possible, Biodiesel Power, and the publisher of Energy Blog. He has been with us from the beginning, and is well known for his fanatical interest in renewable energy, conservation and our local foodshed. Lyle is loved for his new ideas, his vision and for getting things done. He helps run Piedmont Biofuels and has a passion for incubating new farms. He also just harvested his first 10 lbs. of local bananas.
Sami Grover, Advisory
Sami Grover is Co-Creative Director of The Change, a worker owned agency offering brand strategy and design for good-for-the-world businesses and non-profits. He is also a daily contributor to TreeHugger.com. Originally from the UK, he once vowed never to fly again. Then he fell in love with someone on the other side of the Atlantic. He believes flexibility is a central tennet of sustainability.
Rebekah Hren, Advisory
Rebekah Hren is a licensed electrician, designing and installing solar electric (photovoltaic) and solar hot water systems and is also a North Carolina solar installer. A talented organic gardener, she specializes in native plants and flowers as well as uncommon fruit trees. Rebekah has taught solar electric design and installation classes for organizations including Solar Energy International, Appalachian State University, and the NC Solar Center, and will be a speaker on zero energy buildings at the upcoming Solar Power International conference in Anaheim CA. She and her husband, Stephen are coauthors of a book on renewable energy titled “The Carbon-Free Home: 36 Remodeling Projects to Help Kick the Fossil-Fuel Habit.”
Maria Kingery, Advisory
Maria is founder and owner of Southern Energy Management, North Carolina’s largest sustainable energy services company. She is dedicated to building a top-notch team of sustainable energy professionals who are passionate about creating solutions to meet the global climate change challenge.
Maria’s professional background is in sales and marketing, primarily in the commercial printing industry. Like her husband, Bob Kingery, she worked with Burt’s Bees in 1995 as retail operations manager and opened their first store in Carrboro, NC.
Maria has a BA in English Literature from NC State. She and Bob are the devoted parents of 5-year-old Zachary. The Abundance Foundation was thrilled to have her join the board with her enthusiasm, great ideas and her boundless energy.
McCayne Miller, Advisory
McCayne comes to Abundance with a copious amount of energy and expertise in development, renewable energy and farming. Her background includes traveling in Central America and across the US learning about organic and biodyamic farming techniques. She has trained with the USDA on grants for farmers who want to begin making value added products and farmers that want to install renewable energy systems. She is a policy wonk and spends her time as a volunteer researching permits and tax rebates for renewable energy implementation. McCayne was the Director of Business and Community Relations for the North Carolina Sustainable Energy Association and she is currently the controller of Piedmont Biofuels.
Gary Phillips, Advisory
Gary Phillips is a writer, naturalist and entrepreneur in Silk Hope, North Carolina. He has a special interest in conservation easements and other land-protective strategies. Gary co-founded Weaver Street Realty and Auction Company in Carrboro over a quarter of a century ago and still has an office there. He lives in a rammed earth house with his wife Ilana Dubester. Gary avidly reads anthropological science fiction and many other things, studies amphibian activities on full moon nights and was once chair of the Chatham County Board of Commissioners.
For a very cool article on Gary’s green, rammed earth home:
Gerardo Serrano, Advisory
Gerardo Serrano is the Founder and Director of Sixth Sun, a non-profit who’s mission is to empower communities to secure their own food and energy sources. Gerardo is working towards creating a local food shed that will systemically combat malnutrition and access issues in areas of low socioeconomic status, as well as developing community based renewable energy programs. In addition to his work at Sixth Sun, Gerardo is a partner at Hometown Her0, a locally based apparel design company, where he heads Business Development.
Rebecca Workman, Advisory
Rebecca was born in Nashville, Tennessee and spent the first 18 years of her life sleeping in the same bedroom at the end of the hall. Her parents still live in that Cold War-era brick house, and she doesn’t know that any building will ever feel more like home.
She spent four years at the University of Colorado in Boulder, graduating in 2003 with degrees in Creative Writing and American History. After a short stint working at a pub in Edinburgh, Scotland (and taking the train anywhere and everywhere), she returned to Colorado. Her father became a vegetarian when she was very young, and everyone in the family (save her Wisconsin-born mother) is a restricted or non-meat eater in one form or another. Her mother insisted on home-grown vegetables and organic living. There was a special attention paid to that which we consume, and that has been with her ever since. But Boulder was her first introduction to that elusive and daunting creation–the CO-OP. Rebecca was fascinated by the idea of a co-op. Fascinated that there were people who desired to approach living and co-living with such a gentle touch. She loves the sense of community that is created when people live in an area where they all seem to agree on certain basic values and ideals.
Rebecca is currently manager at Top of the Hill Brewery, Restaurant and Distillery. She has been working with non-profits in the community like Sacrificial Poets and Abundance who need our support.
First Abundance Board Meeting: