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|Here is a brief introduction to our organizational structure and team members. Like worker bees, we do not simply carry one task, but each of us strives to do all that we can in honor of the whole, within our unique and varied strengths. Our staff is called upon by the needs of our times to strive forth; to grow, learn, adapt, and change with the seasons and organizational needs. We endeavor to build a team that works closely together with commitment, respect, and dignity. Flexible cross-pollination between the office and the farm is the ‘propolis’ that holds us together, and we are so thankful to have gifted individuals on both sides—the blessing that makes our organization thrive!|
Executive Director & Founder
As Executive Director, Gunther serves in a variety of roles, i.e., beekeeper, teacher, biodynamic farmer, visionary, writer, public speaker, fundraiser, and more. His overall responsibility is to ensure that all organizational activities are effective and in alignment with Spikenard Farm’s mission of serving as a “model” honeybee sanctuary for the teaching and outreach of sustainable and biodynamic beekeeping practices.
Gunther brings four decades of experience as a biodynamic beekeeper, gardener, and farmer. In 1996 he co-founded the Pfeiffer Center – one of the first biodynamic training programs in the US. And since that time he has been invited to teach around the world. His book Toward Saving the Honeybee was first published in 2002. And in 2006, Gunther and his wife, Vivian, founded Spikenard Farm. His work was featured in two full-length documentary films about the honeybee crisis – “Queen of the Sun” (2010) and “Vanishing of the Bees” (2009), and he also produced his own educational film “Hour of Decision” (2015).
Managing Director & Caretaker
Vivian carries a wide variety of responsibilities in her role as Managing Director. In addition to directing all administrative and fiscal operations, she manages the development and production of sale products, oversees construction projects, coordinates communication activities, mentors the interns, and helps to teach, design, and implement educational activities. Vivian is also the Caretaker/Beekeeper at the Honeybee Sanctuary, whose artistic skills have infused order and beauty into the structure and development of the sanctuary. Born in Chile, Vivian brings strong organizational talent and a broad range of experience as a Waldorf kindergarten teacher, anthroposophical therapist, photographer, gardener, and beekeeper.
Program Director & Farm Manager
As Program Director, Alex works with team members to plan and implement all educational workshops and courses where he serves as a teacher. His responsibilities also include social and programmatic communications as well as the oversight of interns, volunteer, and visitor activities. In addition, Alex serves as Farm Manager and Beekeeper. Alex came to Spikenard Farm in March of 2014 after working 3 years as the Manager of the Student Farm at Loyola University Chicago. He has over eight years of beekeeping and farming experience along with educational training from the Biodynamic Association, the Michael Fields Agricultural Institute, and the Angelic Organics Learning Center.
Susan came to us with over 30 years of accounting and business management experience having worked in both large and small local business. She has also lived and worked on her family farm in Floyd all her life and has a deep appreciation for the land and all the creatures on it. In her role as office assistant, Susan is attending to the important tasks in the office, including the administrative and bookkeeping needs of the organization.
Herbalist & Salve Maker
Courtney has worked with us since we moved to Floyd in many creative and varied roles, including designing T-shirts, website work, outreach and development, communications, and more. After founding Blume Botanicals in 2015, she has seamlessly transitioned into the role of our premium salve-maker, using beautiful products from the bees and herbal infusions to produce the wonderful salves that are now on sale in the yurt on our website.
| Susan Heath
Certified Public Accountant
|Pamela Sophiajohn, CFRE
Grants & Campaign Consultant
Serving as a part-time consultant, Pamela works with us to build and maintain foundation and corporate relations, and to help win support for the construction of a Bee Barn (a multi-purpose building) at the sanctuary. She is a CFRE (Certified Fund Raising Executive) and brings over 14 years of grant and fundraising experience.