Board Bios

Ginger Alvarez

Ginger Alvarez is the director of the Tedder Neighborhood Watch Committee, Deerfield Beach, Florida. She is a teacher at the Highlands Christian Academy just a mile away from the garden.

Lucas Hollar

Lucas Hollar is an Assistant Professor of Public Health within Nova Southeastern University’s College of Osteopathic Medicine, and he is a co-principle investigator for evaluation of Broward Regional Health Planning Council’s “Transforming Our Community’s Health” (TOUCH), made possible with funding through a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Community Transformation Grant. Lucas teaches courses in program planning and evaluation, organization behavior and leadership, and grant writing. His current research focuses on organizational change and development for patient-centered medical homes, childhood obesity, and public health theory. Based on his research, Lucas is a co-author on manuscripts published in American Journal of Public Health, Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved, and Journal of the American Dietetic Association.

To The Fruitful Field, Lucas brings skills and experiences useful for defining and articulating organizational purposes; deciphering organizational priorities, given organizational missions and values; and matching organizational activities to organizational goals in an attempt to maximize organizational impact, particularly within the areas of health and wellness and health disparities.

Chris Reesor- Executive Director

Chris Reesor is a garden enthusiast specializing in youth development. His role is to work side by side with the youth of the Grow City program and to mentor them in life skills that will prepare them for their future in the work force. He comes from a long line of Canadian farmers and ranchers. His favorite pass time was spending time with his grandfather plowing wheat fields and munching on raspberries alongside his grandmother in the garden. Throughout his life Chris has served youth in many capacities from here in South Florida to mission work in Mexico, Venezuela, and the Dominican Republic. Chris serves in his family church as a musician/worship leader.

To the Fruitful Field Chris brings his passion for gardening and living off the land God blesses, a desire to see the youth of this generation developing a healthy life direction, and an all around simple and fun attitude toward life and living. He aspires to bring positive energy and excitement while developing the lives of the Grow City youth in a positive and successful direction.

Angelika Schlanger

Angelika Schlanger, PhD, is a Regional Public Health Specialist for the University of Florida/IFAS Extension Family Nutrition Program, which is Florida’s SNAP-ED program. She serves the busy South District of Florida—which includes Martin, St. Lucie, Palm Beach, Broward, and Collier Counties. Angelika specializes in promoting policy and environmental changes that increase access to healthy foods and opportunities for physical activity. She regularly works with both Extension and outside partners toward these goals, including School Districts, Departments of Health, regional health planning councils, and the Florida Department of Agriculture. She has guided several School Districts in updating and strengthening their District Wellness Policies, conducted Smarter Lunchroom Trainings, developed and promoted Healthy Snacks Policies for childcare centers, and initiated the HUSSC certification process for schools in her district. Prior to this role, Angelika worked as a health writer and researcher, nutrition educator, and Farm Intern at the Fruitful Field.

Flavio Sloat

Flavio Sloat is one of the founding members of The Fruitful Field.  He was Executive Director for the 1st ten years of the garden’s growth. His role was to develop The Fruitful Field through growing edible plants, encouraging education, valuing creation care, and helping volunteers fulfill their gardening passion.  Though a lifelong urban dweller, growing things has deep roots in Flavio’s background.  His grandfather was a small farmer in Indiana and his early childhood counted many hours helping grandpa with plowing, mucking manure, and baling hay in the hot summer sun. His childhood also included twelve years in South America where he learned about ripe mangos, tangerines, and chickens at a friend’s small farm. Early on he experienced the value of buying fresh vegetables direct from farmers at the weekly street market in front of his house. While in law school Flavio enjoyed the agricultural environment (and amazing Farmers Market) at the University of California at Davis, one of the premiere centers for agriculture in the world.

To The Fruitful Field Flavio brings a fast learning curve and an ability to network and encourage a world class group of volunteers and interns through a variety of ongoing projects.  Talk with Flavio long enough and you will hear about his passion for local food, local networks, and sustainability.

Vanessa Thompson

Vanessa Thompson is the beekeeper for The Fruitful Field, alongside her husband John. She has worked as a middle school teacher and helped pioneer the school gardening program with the Fruitful Field. Vanessa has worked internationally in nonprofit missionary work as a trip coordinator, trip leader and missionary herself. She is an active church leader at CityChurch Pompano, seeking to be involved in local ministries that affect her community. To that end, Vanessa and her husband felt called to foster care and are currently parenting with a mission.

To The Fruitful Field, Vanessa brings skills of connecting people with solutions and resources whether that be through the Fruitful Field, Parkway United Methodist or CityChurch Pompano. She is passionate about educating the next generation on Creation care through gardening, beekeeping and humanitarian work.

Miriam Thomas- Treasurer

Jim Walling

Jim Walling is pastor of the Parkway United Methodist Church, a foundational partner to The Fruitful Field, and where The Fruitful Field is located.

Steve Werthman

Steve Werthman lives & grew up in Hollywood, Florida and has been a leader in the fields of environmental protection, and homeless services, with community-based organizations, since the late 1970s. He is currently Vice-President of Operations for HOPE South Florida, a faith-based collaborative, providing a holistic response to homelessness. For 12 years prior to that, he was the Homeless Initiative Partnership Administrator for Broward County. In the late 1970s, Steve co-founded the Environmental Coalition of Broward County and in the mid-1980s, he was Site Supervisor of Specialized Urban Ministries’ Urban Gardens Program in Broward County.Steve’s volunteer experience includes having served as President of the Inter-faith Council of Greater Hollywood, and he is a board member of the South Florida Community Land Trust.

 To the Fruitful Field, Steve Werthman brings a life-long commitment to creation care and community building, and an expansive knowledge of working with public interest, not-for profit organizations.