Adam began Green Phoenix Farms in 2009 as an outgrowth of his desire to do what he could to provide a better world for his son Morgan. He has over 10 years experience in education, teaching all levels from middle and high school classes to community education workshops. Adam has taught over 1,500 students and given presentations promoting the ease and simplicity of producing your own food from an aquaponics system.
Dr. Thomas is a native of New York City who now makes Washington DC her home. She is a physician and entrepreneur married to writer of fiction, Milton Parirsh. Dr. Thomas received from medical education at Rutgers Medical School, Surgery Internship and Residency was completed at The Brooklyn Hospital and Trauma-Critical Care fellowship at the University of Maryland R. Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center.
Dr. Thomas finds gardening has been away for keeping mind-body and spirit in focus. Dr. Thomas was first introduced to intensive multidimensional agriculture and aquaponics by Growing Power Inc. in Milwaukee WI, where she completed Commercial Agriculture Training. Dr. Thomas trained in construction deepwater culture and media-based aquaponics in Hawaii. She has received continued education in aquaponics and aquaculture from The School of Freshwater Sciences University of WI, Great Lakes Institute, University of Hawaii and Brunswick Community College N.C. She leads G Food 4U LLC a development company with the goal to integrate urban agriculture and aquaponics with urban renewal. G Food 4U LLC has a intensive grow and aquaponics hoop house under construction in partnership with The Urban Farm of Stapleton, Denver CO. In 2012 Dr Thomas was recruited as the Director of the Aquaponics Association Health Committee with efforts to contribute to dissemination of health and science information related to aquaponics, aquaculture, “food as medicine” foodborne illness, food safety, zoonosis, herbal and medicinal horticulture, nutrition and the microbiome. More health committee members are needed for active participation.
Omar Radwan, Director
The Membership Committee will help further develop the Region and Branch structure while also focusing on member services, recruitment and retention.
With a degree in Hospitality Management and a history in Management / IT Consulting, Omar has always kept fish and plants as a hobby on the side. Over the past few years, his aquatic focus has been in keeping exotic plants and selective breeding of various ornamental freshwater shrimp. These “high tech” planted tanks require high lighting, the diffusion of CO2, calculated fertilizer regiments and lots of special attention. From one water project to the next, Omar finally stumbled into aquaponics and was hooked (and luckily partially prepared too). He believes that everyone should take part in growing their own food and his work with the AA is to help promote the benefits of aquaponics. Omar also leads his own aquatic venture called; AQUASUS.
Andrew began Friendly Pastures in 2010 when he moved to Elgin Texas. His primary motivations for farming were initially focused on providing better food options for his large family. After doing a great deal of research around the US food industry he decided to take his farm to the next level in order to provide healthy food options to the surrounding areas of Austin. It didn’t take long for him to stumble upon the concepts of Aquaponics and various other sustainable farming methods. He and his family are now raising Red Wattle hogs, pasture raised poultry and eggs, sheep, and a variety of produce. Outside of farming, Andrew is a software engineer/architect building and leading large teams and has written many books and articles for the computer programming industry.
Casey Townsend, Director
The Conference Committee plans and presents the annual Aquaponincs Association conference, workshops, tours and membership meeting.
Casey Townsend is the Founder of the Tucson AquaPonics Project and is the co-owner of a start-up business called Arnavon with Kathryn Townsend, his wife and partner of 27 years. Together they are living, advocating and teaching Integrated Urban Agriculture, Food Security, Food Safety, and Food Freedom.
By day an I.T. Project Manager, most of Casey’s nights and weekends are spent growing things, or teaching other people how to grow things. Casey earned his Master Gardener certification in 1996 and has experience in Drylands Permaculture, 4-H Small Stock Animal Husbandry, Seed Saving and now 4 years of hands-on experience with Aquaponics. Casey and Kathryn have 8 children, and now are enjoying their first grandchild. They live on a 1/5 acre city lot filled with both aquaponic and soil based ‘beyond organic’ gardens and 3 dogs, two cats, dozens of chickens, scores of rabbits and innumerable fish.
Kimberly Rigsby, Director
Programs & Policies
The Programs and Policy Committee is tasked with directing and managing the Association’s mission and forward momentum.
Kimberly contributes over 15 years of experience in the nonprofit and public sectors where she has worked with environmental sustainability groups, preparedness groups, and faith-based organizations in the United States and abroad. For the past seven years, she has provided strategic consulting to clients in the areas of organizational planning, management best practices, fund development, and volunteer training and mobilization. In 2010 Kim completed her Master’s of Public Administration at Walden University where she focused her studies on food security.
Kimberly and her husband first became interested in alternative farming in 2008 when they successfully remediated an over-fertilized habanera pepper plant utilizing hydroponic techniques. This interest quickly grew into a passion for aquaponics. They now have a 1,000 gallon backyard aquaponic system that sustains over 220 pounds of fish, and the ability to grow enough produce to feed their family of seven and a few neighbors. The Rigsby’s are also starting a commercial aquaponic farm to begin operations for the 2014 growing season.
Samson J. Loo, Director
The IT Committee is tasked with directing and managing the Association’s mission and forward momentum.
Samson has an extensive technical background with over 14 years of experience in the IT field. He has successfully filled critical roles from technical support to systems administrator, systems analyst, systems integrator, developer to database administrator. Samson completed his Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Information Systems with a concentration of Database Management from DeVry University.
Samson first turned to gardening after learning about the issues surrounding genetically modified foods. Wanting better for his family he took action and began converting parts of his backyard to raised garden beds. Later he joined a local farming community called The Orchard Community Learning Center where he met community leaders John Juan and Dr. Brooks who ultimately introduced Samson to the world of aquaponics. In efforts to expedite the learning process Samson reached out to the Aquaponics Association and happily reports that he is now in the process of upsizing his current system while working towards automating portions of his setup via microcontrollers.
The Finance and Fundraising Committee provides financial oversight of the Association and provides financial advice and counsel to the Executive Team and the Board of Directors.
We are currently seeking an enthusiastic member for this open position. Interested? Please send all inquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
As inaugural Chariman of the Board and co-founder of the Aquaponics Association, Gina Cavaliero is dedicated to the mission of advancing the aquaponics industry for fellow members and farmers. Her initial vision was to create an organization to promote aquaponics and educate the general public on the benefits of aquaponically grown food, all while providing protection for the burgeoning industry. Gina is the managing director of Green Acre Aquaponics, one of Florida’s first commercial aquaponic farms, where she directs daily farm operations, marketing and sales, as well as the aquaponic training program and consultation division of the business. Before becoming an aquaponic farmer, Gina was co-owner and managing director of a multi-million dollar, semi-national construction contracting firm. She received her Bachelor of Science from the University of Florida in Anthropology, with a minor in Education. Gina practices Natural Horsemanship in Brooksville, FL, home to the farm, three horses, two dogs, two cats, chickens and more tilapia and koi then can be counted.
Myles is the founder of AquaRanch, the first commercial aquaponics farm to grow tilapia from spawn to fillet and organic produce from seed to retail. Myles has been involved in aquaculture since 1985, and involved in growing aquaponically before it was even called aquaponics.
Chris Schup, Art Director and Creative Strategist
As the former Marketing and Public Relations Committee Director, Chris Schup guided the design, brand identity and marketing component of The Aquaponics Association from 2011 to 2013. Leveraging her creative career with a passion for organic agriculture and sustainable living, her devotion to aquaponics and the promotion of its benefits are palpable. Chris is a mainstay on the live music scene, and performs drums and percussion with local bands in Richmond, VA.
Robert LaGasse is the President of Executives Consultants, Inc., which specializes in management solutions and business services for nonprofit trade and professional associations. Robert also currently serves as the Executive Director for the following professional organizations; the Mulch and Soil Research Foundation, the Garden Writers Association Foundation, the Progressive Gardening Trade Association and the Mulch and Soil Council