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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. 



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 new Home Garden Coordinator, 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 Home Garden Program Coordinator, she is excited to help families develop a healthy lifestyle and love for organic and sustainable gardening. 

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Meet the Team


Board of Directors

Jo Lerma-Lopez

Board President - Treasurer

Amalia Carbajal


Olivia Nuñez 

Board member

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