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Executive Director

As the Executive Director, Lovepreet is responsible for managing the operational needs of Valley Verde, organizing events, and fundraising. She has a degree in Health Science and she is passionate about helping others. While studying Health Science, she learned the importance of being culturally aware, and building resilience in the community to help the communities thrive. She has worked with various communities, and enjoys thinking of innovative ways to help communities thrive. Lovepreet enjoys being in her garden, and learning about new vegetables. 

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Operations Coordinator 

Grace is a recent graduate from UC Berkeley's College of Natural Resources where she studied topics of food systems, landscape design, and ecology. While at Berkeley, Grace discovered her passion for urban agriculture, and she loves getting her hands in the soil, spending time outdoors, and sharing delicious meals with friends. At Valley Verde, she's excited to help nurture relationships between people, their cultures, and their ecological environments through food and plants. Outside of work, Grace is excited by map-making, drawing, and cooking. 



Greenhouse Coordinator

Martha moved to San Jose with her parents t a young age . She arrived when San Jose was known as The Valley of Heart's Delight. During that time there was a high concentration of orchards, flowering trees, and plants and it was the largest fruit-producing and packing region in the world. Martha grew up on her parents' farm near the Evergreen Hills. At the age of 8, Martha worked in the orchards with her father picking plums. Throughout her school years, Martha worked in many farm fields and orchards where she picked limes, chilis and other produce. She witnessed a greater part of history when she visited her mother working at Del Monte cannery. Martha became a certified medical assistant, but her love of farm work pulled her back to working with her father on his farm. To this day Martha helps her father in the farm planting and harvesting zucchini, various chilies, garlic and green onions. 



Super Jardineros Coordinator

Hamideh graduated from San Jose State University, majoring in Biology and minoring in Chemistry. She loves nature, helping others, and gardening is one of her favorite hobbies.



Shared Garden and Deep Roots Program Manager

Rita was born and raised in East Side San Jose and attended Evergreen Valley College before transferring to San Jose State University. Rita is a recent graduate of SJSU, where she received her Bachelor of Science in Environmental Studies with a minor in Sustainable Water Resource and focus in Agriculture. While attending SJSU, Rita participated in the UC Master Gardener Program, a public service and outreach program under the University of California Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources, she received her credentials as a Master Gardener by participating with the UC Cooperative Extension program. Rita grew up on her grandparent's farm. She believes that everybody should have access to healthy affordable fresh produce. As the Shared Garden and Deep Roots Program Manager, Rita's goal is to help families develop a passion for sustainable urban gardening physically and mentally, and overall help families develop a personal healthy lifestyle. 



Shared Garden Program Coordinator

Marlene is a recent San Jose State University graduate, where she received a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Studies with a minor in Environmental Restoration. Growing up, Marlene enjoyed visiting her grandparent's farm in Mexico, where they would grow strawberries, corn, tomatoes, and garbanzo beans. She previously worked at a farm where she loved spending time with calves and adorable little chicks. Marlene enjoys working outdoors and feeling the soil in her hands. As a Shared Garden Program Coordinator, she is excited to help families develop a healthy lifestyle and love for organic and sustainable gardening. 



Shared Garden Program Coordinator

Ana Luiza was born and raised in Brazil before moving with her family to the US. She lived on a ranch in Brazil for many years breeding horses. She is passionate about gardening and graphic design. She has a bachelor degree in Journalism from Brazil and she is a UC Master Gardener. Currently she is pursuing her associate degree in Horticulture and Landscape design at Foothill College. She is the garden liaison for Rinconada Community Garden in Palo Alto for the past 8 years and she loves to take care of her own plot in her free time. Gardening and helping people with their own vegetable gardens are by far her favorite activities. She thinks people need more time with nature, getting to know the soil, plants, animals and their benefits. 



Shared Garden Program Coordinator

Cristal was born and raised in the vibrant city of San Jose and is pursuing her Bachelor's degree in communications. Her love for plants began as a little girl watching her grandmother in her garden. What started as a hobby has blossomed into a profound creative expression. Cristal is thrilled to be a part of an organization that shares her passion for nurturing a more profound appreciation, which we call home. She loves nature and is dedicated to positively impacting communities through her love of plants for a healthier and sustainable lifestyle. 



Shared Garden Program Coordinator

Keira has enjoyed working in community gardens, eating fresh-grown produce, and teaching kids about food systems. She believes that gardening can help strengthen our relationships with our local environment, our waste, the food that we eat, and the people we share food with. Whenever she can, Keira loves spending time in forests, tide pools, and gardens.



Deep Roots and Composting Program Coordinator

Erik was born and raised in the Bay Area and has always had an interest in plants and gardening. After graduating from the University of Hawai’i, Manoa, in 2016 with a degree in Natural Resources and Environmental Management, he went on to work on a number of different organic farms including a specialty produce farm growing primarily for restaurants through the Bay. Most recently, he worked on a farm animal rescue ranch, where he worked with rescued animals traditionally in the farmed animal industry. When not in a garden or on a farm, he enjoys spending time exploring the outdoors by backpacking, camping, or hiking while attempting to identify all the plants he passes. He is excited to be back working with plants at Valley Verde, and is excited to work with and build community in San Jose. 

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Meet the Team


Board of Directors

Olivia Nuñez 


Amalia Carbajal

Vice Chair and Treasurer

Lucy Diekmann

Board Secretary 

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