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Board member, Tony Sarmiento, 'The Garlic Guru', leads the annual fall garlic planting and summer garlic harvest festivals at Koiner Farm. 

We are always seeking dedicated Board members with a passion for supporting a local nonprofit and a commitment to community conservation. Learn more about Board service here.

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

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Washington International School

Michaelen is a Certified Public Accountant with 9 years of public accounting (audit and tax preparation) experience, ten years of data warehousing experience, and 11 years of leadership experience in non-profit organizations. She is currently CFO for the Washington International School. Previously, Michaelen served as Senior Vice President of Finance and Accounting at the Humane Society of the United States and Vice President and Controller of United Way Worldwide. Michaelen holds a BBS in Accounting from the College of William & Mary and a Master’s in Taxation from the George Washington University. Michaelen lives in Gaithersburg, Maryland with her three children and two dogs.

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Photo coming soon.

University of Maryland

Bio coming soon.

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Andalman & Flynn

Peter is the Managing Partner of the Disability Benefits department of the Law Firm of Andalman & Flynn. Andalman & Flynn is a law firm located in Downtown Silver Spring, dedicated to helping clients efficiently and effectively resolve their legal issues. He also serves as a Board Member of the Greater Silver Spring Chamber of Commerce and Co-Chair of their Young Professionals Network, where he has helped with programming, membership development and service. Growing up in Montgomery County, and working his whole life in Downtown Silver Spring he is passionate about the local community.

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Frederick National Laboratory for Cancer Research

Bio coming soon.

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Mindy Milby Tuttle

Land Trust Alliance

Mindy is the Director of Principal Giving at the Land Trust Alliance. Prior to that she was worked with nonprofits such as Colorectal Cancer Alliance, Trust for the National Mall and National Wildlife Federation. She led capital campaign strategy for clients at CCS Fundraising. Mindy is a graduate of Allegheny College. She is a former advisory council member for Girls on the Run of Montgomery County. Her passion for local farms stems from her early childhood of running around her family's property in Hodgenville, KY where the family has been actively growing produce since the 1940s.

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Author

Beth Py-Lieberman is the author of the 2023 book, The Object at Hand: Intriguing and Inspiring Stories from the Smithsonian Collections. Until her retirement last December, Py-Lieberman served as the senior museums editor at the award-winning Smithsonian magazine, where for almost four decades, she frequented the halls and galleries of the Smithsonian museums, educating magazine and online readers on the institution's history, art and science collections, and its exhibitions. Py-Lieberman has served for more than a decade as a volunteer liaison in the Montgomery Parks Community Garden Program and runs the Fenton Street Community Garden. She and her husband Jim Lieberman have lived in East Silver Spring near Koiner Farm since 1986. Her daughters are Claire Murrell, a Montgomery County school teacher, and Patsy Lieberman, a clinical social worker.

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NDC Partnerships

Caitlin (Caity) Pinkard is the Communications Manager with the NDC Partnership, where she oversees multimedia content and communications strategies to advance the impact of the Partnership’s more than 200 members. A communications professional with 10+ years of experience developing print and digital campaigns for diverse audiences, Caity is an environmental policy advocate with technical expertise communicating incentives for sustainable land use and private land conservation, supporting better development pathways for green infrastructure, and advancing climate mitigation and adaptation efforts in line with the Paris Agreement.

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Lerch Early & Brewer

Chris Ruhlen is a land use attorney who focuses on land use, zoning, real estate, and related governmental issues. He assists national and local real estate developers, property owners, commercial tenants and small businesses with a full range of planning, zoning and regulatory matters in Montgomery County and other Maryland jurisdictions. Chris holds a J.D. from the University of Virginia School of Law and a B.A. in Anthropology from American University. Chris is also a busy father of three young daughters and an ardent music fan who can often be found jamming out on his guitar at venues around metro DC.

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Montgomery County Coalition for the Homeless

Bio coming soon.

Bio coming soon.

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The Aspen Institute

Sama Sabihi is the program manager for 2Gen Practice at Ascend at the Aspen Institute where her work focuses on building economic mobility and wellbeing for families. Prior to her work at Ascend, Sama served as the Program Coordinator for the Women in Engineering Program at the University of Maryland where she first learned about CKC through her efforts to build campus-community partnerships. 

Sama joined Koiner Farm as a volunteer in fall of 2020 and joined the CKC Board in July 2023. Sama is deeply passionate about public service, social change, equity and inclusion efforts, and community engagement. She enjoys spending time in her neighborhood, cooking and eating food with friends and family, and listening to live music in the city.

Retired Labor Activist

Tony retired in 2017 after a long career in community/social justice work, including jobs in the labor movement, adult literacy, and services/advocacy for older adults. As a Filipino American, he has lived in upper Northwest DC and Silver Spring since 1958 and graduated from the DC Public Schools and American University with a B.A. in American Studies. His garlic, grown in his small backyard in Woodside, has won the blue ribbon at both the Montgomery County Agricultural Fair and the Maryland State Fair. He is often invited to speak about growing garlic, including as a scheduled presenter at the annual Hudson Valley Garlic Festival in Saugerties, NY. Tony was introduced to the joys of composting and shoveling horse manure by both of his parents, avid vegetable and flower gardeners, at a very young age. He first met Charlie Koiner in 1990.

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The Board of Directors for the Charles Koiner Conservancy conduct Board recruitment base on organizational needs each spring, with new Board terms commencing July 1 annually. Board members serve up to two consecutive three-year terms. Board meetings take place bi-monthly (every other month) with four meetings held virtually and two meetings held in-person. Board members are also expected to serve on at least one committee. Board members dedicate 1-2 hours per week to serving the organization. The Board does not have a formal give-or-get policy, but all Board members are expected to make a contribution to the organization that is meaningful to them. 

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