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Marion Institute Team

Liz Wiley
Executive Director
liz@marioninstitute.org
Ext: 116

Liz Wiley comes to the Marion Institute with a diverse background focused on environmental and social sustainability.  Originally trained as a biologist, she helped pioneer methods to rescue mass stranded whales and dolphins, investigated the impact of noise on killer whales and logged thousands of hours identifying and mapping the location of critically endangered North Atlantic right whales.  While passionate about environmental protection, her experience as a woman in science led to a greater commitment in improving the lives of underserved women and the need to form healthy communities that combine environmental and social needs.  It was through her work at Bristol Community College (BCC) that she was able to develop and expand these principles through grant initiatives focused on workforce development and the green economy.

Most recently, Liz was the Food Security Lead at Spherical Analytics and Impact LABS where her work with farmers, fisheries and aquaculture focused on live piloting IoT technologies and designing, developing and marketing enterprise grade blockchain-enabled platform solutions.

Liz received her MS in Organizational Management and Leadership from Antioch University-New England, where her thesis focused on the ‘Role of Women in Creating and Maintaining Sustainable Communities’.  She has taught courses at Boston University and BCC and is a certified yoga teacher.  Liz and her family; Dave, Luke, Nathan live in Wareham.

Shalynn Brooks
FoodCorps Service Member

Shalynn Brooks (Shay) is a first year Foodcorp Member at the New Bedford Public Schools. She is originally from Fall River, Massachusetts, where she graduated from Bristol Community College with an associates in Liberal Arts – Social & Behavioral Science. The summer after graduating, she joined the YWCA food injustice group, and shortly after became a board member for GroundWorks SouthCoast. Being in the transfer program, Shay was able to swiftly begin attending Bridgewater State University, and is now working towards her Bachelors in Social Work. At both schools, she had chosen electives that had to do with food injustice and food sustainability, but that was not her only connection to those subjects. Growing up with personal experience pertaining to food insecurity pushed her to look more deeply into the environments of those in her own community, and promote civic engagement to those in her personal life. While trying to find a new job that aligned more with her future pursuits she found FoodCorps Program and is excited to fulfill both a student and teacher role. 

Even though the city is so close to her hometown, Shay is excited to finally be able to explore New Bedford and learn more about the history as a new resident. Her favorite place to eat is Celia’s and visit West Beach when the weather allows it. Outside of work she loves writing poetry, playing her guitar and finding new recipes to cook. 

Adam Davenport
Grow Education Program Manager
adam@marioninstitute.org

Through the Grow Education program, Adam designs, manages, and connects residents to use the school based-community gardens.  His BS in Civil Engineering, Certificates in Integrative Nutrition and permaculture, and experience working as a SpEd. science teacher have helped develop his expertise in designing interactions between the ecological and social worlds.  In addition to his part-time role as Grow Education’s Garden Operations Manager, he is the co-Founder of Terra Cura, a Design and Consulting firm focused on regenerative social and ecological systems.  His interests range from philosophy to physics but center around nature.  In his free time he is rock climbing, practicing yoga, or traveling to experience and learn from worldwide cultures.

Jennifer Frates

Jennifer Frates
FoodCorps Service Member

Jennifer Frates, born and raised in Acushnet. Always have had a passion for cooking and loved working restaurants. Graduated in 2007 from Old Colony RVTHS from the Culinary Arts Program, and when on to get an associates at BCC in their Culainary Arts Program. After moving around for 6 years to collect cooking experience in fine dining establishments in Philadelphia, NYC, and Provincetown, returned home to New Bedford. I’ve always had an interest in farming, farm to table cooking and was first exposed to these concepts while working in Philadelphia. I have fallen back in love with living near the water, close to fresh seafood, coastal farms, and have found new interest in sailing and surfing. On the weekends I’m most likely found taking my kids on some combo of wheels on bike paths, swimming at a beach, or finding a new trail to hike (and look for Pokémon! )

Amelia Jones

Amelia Jones
FoodCorps Service Member

Amelia is becoming a part of the team this year as a FoodCorps service member. Throughout her childhood, she always had a love of spending time in nature and making friends with the plants and animals that inhabit the Texas hill country. This love translated into a passion at Middlebury College, where she graduated with a B.A. in Conservation Biology in 2020. During a summer internship at the American Sustainable Business Council in Washington, D.C., Amelia discovered how intertwined the food system is with the environmental issues we are dealing with and was inspired to pursue food sustainability. Not knowing what exactly that meant, Amelia figured the best way to start was to learn how organic food is grown straight from farmers themselves. Thus, after graduation she set off on a year of WWOOFing across America, and during this time discovered the FoodCorps program.

Although Massachusetts is a new state for her, she is excited to engage with the community and learn everything she can from the team this year. Outside of work, Amelia loves cooking and trying new foods, music, movies, traveling, and anything outdoors.

Katie Mannix
BioMed Program Manager
katie@marioninstitute.org

Katie Mannix joins the Marion Institute team having worked in schools for the last twelve years.  She is a passionate advocate for a more just and humane society, as well as matters of individual well-being and community and environmental health.  Her perspective and skills have been most informed by her experiences as an AmeriCorps volunteer; as a student of the fields of Education, Politics, and Theology; and through engagement with the world and its many teachers.  A Michigan native, Katie has grown roots in the South Coast and fallen in love with the region.  When not working, she enjoys learning and adventuring with her family and their beloved dog, Ozzy.

Liz Russell
Development Associate
lrussell@marioninstitute.org
Ext: 114

Liz Russell has worked in the nonprofit sector since 2002 and within development and grantmaking for most of those years. She is passionate about social and environmental justice and feels privileged to rejoin the Marion Institute as Development Associate. In addition to development, Liz brings experience in diversity and inclusion work, program coordination, financial and systems management, contract administration, and event planning. 

A Midwesterner at heart, she was born and raised in a small farming village in Illinois before moving to New York City to study Anthropology and Archaeology at Hunter College. While there, she was invited to participate in a life-changing archaeological dig near Lincoln, New Mexico, where she met her husband. They currently live in Marion, MA with their two children and many pets.

Angela Silva
Director of Finance and Operations
angela@marioninstitute.org
Ext: 111

Chris Silva

Christopher Silva
Marketing & Communications Manager
csilva@marioninstitute.org
Ext: 117

Chris is a native south coaster having grown up in Fairhaven, MA and is excited to be back in the area to lead the marketing and communications efforts here at the Marion Institute. After having lived and worked in Boston, New York City, Provincetown, and most recently Martha’s Vineyard, he has settled in nicely at his new digs in New Bedford; a historic tenement three family in the city’s center. He graduated from The Massachusetts College of Art and Design with a BFA in graphic design and has mainly worked in the publishing design space ever since. An avid gardener, he has great respect for Mother Nature and the lessons she shares as well as a deep appreciation for holistic approaches to life’s challenges. He lists Buddhist practices and meditation as well as yoga and fitness among some of his interests.

Abigail Smith
Human Resources Manager
abby@marioninstitute.org
Ext: 113

Abby graduated with a B.A. in Anthropology and minor in Women’s Studies from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and has a personal interest and commitment to social justice and quality compassionate healthcare. Prior to working at the Marion Institute, Abby’s experience as the office manager at a chiropractic office developed her belief in a multi-faceted holistic approach to health and wellness encompassing mental and physical wellbeing as well as nutrition. Away from the office, you can find her gardening, reading, cooking, and spending time with her family.

Christine Smith

Christine Smith
Southcoast Food Policy Council Program Manager
christine@marioninstitute.org
Ext. 110

Christine began her social justice career working in Taiwan to help migrant workers from all over Southeast Asia. Upon her return to the U.S.A., she worked in a soup kitchen for Catholic Charities in Maryland. After several years of seeing injustices in the social and economic support systems, Christine moved from direct service to educating people on social justice concerns and legislative advocacy issues. She worked in advocacy and organizing both at the state-wide level in Maryland and Idaho. Christine also worked in partnership building on justice issues at the international level for Catholic Relief Services. Christine moved to Massachusetts to be closer to family and work for the social justice and restoration of our world. She enjoys hiking, off-road bicycling, traveling, learning how to garden, and the beach.

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