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Sustainability

Meet our team

Sustainability

Jamie Christian

Founder and Executive Director

Jamie Christian is the Executive Director and founder of Lettuce Turnip the Beet Sustainability Collective©(2020) and co-founder and Executive Director of its predecessor Lettuce Turnip the Beet CSGA©(2015). LTBCSGA began as a school garden initiative and has bloomed into an organization that provides sustainability and regenerative agriculture education to schools and communities in South Western PA. Jamie teaches “attainable sustainability and agriculture” methods that illustrate how to use easily obtainable materials to build, cultivate, and sustain a beautiful life. She is a lifetime lover of food, agriculture, and the environment. 


In 2017 Ms. Christian moved on from a 15 year career in finance to the full time operation of LTBCSGA . She has continued her education through certification programs including Master Naturalist, Master Gardener, permaculture, mycology, solar and alternative energy, and biomimicry. Jamie has completed Executive Director capacity training and learning circles through the Forbes Funds and the Slippery Rock University Non-Profit Institute. Her  advocacy work includes,  community food sovereignty, equity and inclusion in agriculture, sustainability education, culturally appropriate foods in schools, farm to school programs for all, her future endeavors are focused on changing education and food policy to support these initiatives. Jamie is an active member of The Pittsburgh Food Policy Council,  The Pittsburgh Food Justice Fund Committee, and the PA Farm To School Working group supported by The Food Trust. 

Ms. Christian is a single mother who resides in South Park PA with her family (including her mom, sons, pup Sally, and bunny Ziggy). She served on the YSWPCS PTO for two years (one as secretary) where she also provided sustainability education programming year round. For the past two years Jamie has served as a parent representative for the AIU Head Start/ Early Head Start policy council where she has held the offices of Executive Committee Liaison and Treasurer. 

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Erin Ward 

Education Programming

Production Director 

Board Member/ Secretary

Erin Ward is an Instructional Media Designer for the online division of South College. She and one other Instructional Designer build, format, and design all of the online courses within the LMS of Canvas. They take all of the content from the content experts and transform it into a usable format for students in the various degree programs.Ward earned a B.A. in Telecommunications and an Associate degree in Business at Penn State University, as well as minoring in Photography. Prior to working at South College, she worked at the University of Pittsburgh’s Institute for Learning as an Instructional Media designer and Video & Media Producer. She has also worked in video production for over 20 years in a variety of aspects, from education work to commercial advertising to national television networks. Ward also designed and taught Photography and Video Production courses at two high schools in a charter school district in Pittsburgh. She freelances in photography, video production, and dabbles in several other artistic mediums. Erin resides in Pittsburgh with her two legged and four legged loves. G

Sustainability

Natalie Shearer

Education Curriculum Writer/ Segment Host (E3 Explorers)

Ms. Shearer is a Natural Resources Project Manager. She has a diverse background including conducting rare, threatened, and endangered plant surveys and wetland and stream delineations. She is a Qualified Environmental Professional (QEP), Professional Wetland Scientist (PWS), and maintains a valid Pennsylvania wild plant management permit. She is qualified to conduct conduct Virginia spiraea surveys in West Virginia. In her spare time Natalie volunteers with Animal Friends and Rabbit Wranglers. She resides in Washington county with her fur babies and fur baby fosters. 

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Karrie Bender

Video Production

Member At Large

Karrie Bender is native to Toledo, OH, but considers herself a Pittsburgher since the mid-90’s,when she moved here to attend the Art Institute of Pittsburgh. She graduated with an Associates Degree in Specialized Business Technology, focusing on video production. Her career in the corporate communications industry spans 15+ years, working for high-end video
production and interactive companies, as well a brief stint with an ad agency. Holding many positions throughout the years, such as Production Coordinator, Producer, Account Manager and New Business Development, she developed the keen ability to understand clients’
businesses and marketing challenges, to present on target, on budget solutions. Karrie is also works for her husbands company, Benderbuilt Construction, providing management, accounting and marketing
services and is continuing her education in Project Management at CCAC.
She finds true purpose in volunteer work, which includes delivering for 412 Food Rescue, and
helping at the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank and is one of the founding members/first board members of LTBCSGA. Karrie served as the President of the PTO during her kids’ younger years at YSWPCS, Secretary of the YSWPCS Board of Trustees, and President of her son’s High School Boys Volleyball team. She’s a mother of two teenage boys, (and one girl cat), so you will often find her shuttling them
and their friends to activities, clubs and sports. In her free time, Karrie enjoys gardening, practicing yoga, dancing, and solving crossword puzzles.

Sustainability

Audra N Lewis-Hoesch

Board member

Ms. Shearer is a Natural Resources Project Manager. She has a diverse background including conducting rare, threatened, and endangered plant surveys and wetland and stream delineations. She is a Qualified Environmental Professional (QEP), Professional Wetland Scientist (PWS), and maintains a valid Pennsylvania wild plant management permit. She is qualified to conduct conduct Virginia spiraea surveys in West Virginia. In her spare time Natalie volunteers with Animal Friends and Rabbit Wranglers. She resides in Washington county with her fur babies and fur baby fosters. 

Image by AARN GIRI

Mitch Poee

Board member

Mr. Poee is the owner/operator of  The Breakfast Spot in Pittsburghs Carrick neighborhood and is a residential property developer in the regionas well. Native to Pittsburgh, Mitch grew up in the St. Clair Village neighborhood and has a stong connection to the hilltop communities. His passion for food and issues surrounding food equity aligns with LTBSC's mission and we are so grateful to have him join our board!

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