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Founding Director, Costanoa Commons, Inc.Heidi Cartan, M.S.W., is the founding Executive Director of Costanoa Commons, Inc., the nonprofit organization creating and operating the community farm. Heidi has worked in nonprofit organizations throughout her career, focused on developing home and community-based options for elders and people with disabilities. Heidi trained at the World Institute on Disability under internationally known leaders of the independent living movement, Ed Roberts and Judy Heumann. She went on to found a nonprofit senior services agency in Richmond, CA, working with a very diverse group of low-income elders. Heidi became the first Director of Santa Clara County’s IHSS Public Authority and a founding member of CICA (California IHSS Consumer Alliance), helping to empower consumers of the IHSS program in California toward greater self-determination. She has also consulted with various groups, including the Interfaith Elder Abuse Prevention Network, and Catholic Charities in Oakland and San Jose, CA. In the spring of 2014, she participated in a trip with the Catholic Community at Stanford, where she experienced the L’Arche communities in Seattle and Tacoma, WA. Inspired by the L’Arche Farm in Tacoma, Heidi is committed to incorporating people of all faith traditions into the daily fabric of life at Costanoa Commons. Heidi is also the mother of two sons, including her 19-year-old with cerebral palsy who loves to garden and who inspires her daily with his zest for life.
Farm ConsultantLiz Milazzo, formerly the Field Production Manager for UCSC’s Farm, has a long career in organics and sustainable farming methods. She served as Farm Manager at Green Gulch Farm Zen Center and mentored many students who have come through UCSC’s Center for Agroecology & Sustainable Food Systems apprenticeship program. Liz is an expert in hands-on farm training and is looking forward to sharing her knowledge and experience with all who will come through our community farm at Costanoa Commons. We are lucky to be working with Liz!