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Feldman lands Greenbank Farm’s executive director job
After more than seven months, the Greenbank Farm has a new leader who sports a familiar face.
The Greenbank Farm Management Group named Judy Feldman as its new executive director. She was recently the interim director for the WSU Extension, bridging the gap between Don Meehan and current director Tim Lawrence.
“I’ve loved the Greenbank Farm since I’ve moved to the island,” Feldman said Thursday morning. “I really want to see the farm succeed.”
She had served as Extension interim director until April 2010. After that, she worked for South Whidbey Commons and the Whidbey General Hospital Foundation. She moved to Whidbey Island in 1998.
She said her skills from working at Extension and her education in natural history will benefit her as executive director.
The Greenbank Farm hasn’t had an executive director since January when the management group released its former director, Virginia Bloom.
Feldman said she hopes to continue the farm’s history of public input, which was crucial in the farm’s purchase into public hands in the 1990s and the recent development of its master site plan. She hopes to work with the community to make the publicly owned farm more self-sustaining financially.
A bottling and packing facility to be used by local farmers is a potential project for the Greenbank Farm. Leaders tried unsuccessfully to get funding for the building during the last legislative session.
Feldman said the project needs to be thoroughly discussed and thought out before trying to get public funding, which would be difficult in a time of cutbacks.
The Port of Coupeville owns the farm and Jim Patton, port executive director, is familiar with Feldman through her work with WSU Extension. The Beach Watchers and Master Gardeners, both Extension programs, have volunteer programs at the port’s Coupeville Wharf and the Greenbank Farm.
“I think she will do an outstanding job,” Patton said.
The port contracts with the Greenbank Farm Management Group to manage the land at the farm.
The management group formed an eight person committee that sifted through more than 110 applications before winnowing the pool down to 14 for the initial telephone interviews. Four finalists were selected for face-to-face interviews.
“The selection of Judy was the outcome of a rigorous process designed by the committee, whose members were a cross section of the island community and were experienced in executive searches,” committee chairwoman Donna Keeler said in a news release.
The committee was comprised of Claire Creighton, Mary Kay Chess, Fran Einterz, Elizabeth Guss, Keeler, Jan Whitsitt, Mary Jo Stansbury and Maryon Attwood.
“We are happy that the search process did exactly what it was supposed to do — it produced a small selection of high quality candidates and the board made its final selection with as much information about them as possible. We couldn’t be more pleased with the outcome,” Keeler said.