August 8, 2022

Annika Sampson, Communications and Events Assistant
Sustainable Connections
(207) 812-1271

Sustainable Connections Welcomes New Team Members and Celebrates New Leadership Role

Sustainable Connections is thrilled to welcome three new staff to their team. Each of these people brings passion, experience, and a deep love of this community to their work, and Sustainable Connections is excited to have these collaborators help create a vibrant and thriving Whatcom County.

Delaney Skordal is taking on the role of Grants Manager. Coming from the RE Store and RE Sources, her experience working for a like-minded nonprofit means that she’s bringing considerable skills and experience to the table. Not only that, Delaney’s passion for mission-driven organizations shines – she values comprehensive and bold approaches to sustainability, collaboration, and action, and it shows in her work.

Sustainable Connections’ Food & Farming program is so fortunate to welcome Jessica Gillis to its team as the Food & Farming Coordinator. Jessica is known in the community as the co-owner of Ciao Thyme, a values-led food business that blazed local food trails in Whatcom County for 20 years through cooking classes, dinners, special events, private dining, and catering. She brings extensive relationships with producers and other wholesale buyers, as well as significant event experience. After taking a break from working full time, Jessica is excited to continue spending time with her family while also working for an organization she is passionate about. 

The Food & Farming Program is also excited to announce that Maressa Valliant has been promoted to Eat Local First Director. Maressa recently celebrated five years with Sustainable Connections, and this promotion honors the incredible work that she’s done to support and uplift local food systems both locally and state-wide.  

Dr. Pamela Jull will be joining the Sustainable Connections team as Interim Program Director. She brings deep experience with program evaluation, statistical analysis, and proposal writing through her business of 21+ years, Applied Research Northwest. Most recently, she was a grant writer and resource development lead for United General Health District. Her experience in organizational development, capacity building, project management, and more will greatly benefit the whole organization. Pamela brings her intelligence, experience, and warmth to every organization that she supports, and Sustainable Connections is grateful to have her on their team. 

These new hires and promotions bring valuable experience, insight, and passion to Sustainable Connections. Sustainable Connections is excited to see how their programs can grow and thrive with these incredible new hires. Derek Long, Sustainable Connections’ Executive Director, says, “The unique skills and experiences that these hires bring will help shape our organization for a long time to come. We can’t wait to see how our growing team will strengthen our programs and our community.” 

        We acknowledge that Whatcom County is located on the unceded territory of the Coast Salish Peoples. They cared for the lands that included what we’d call the Puget Sound region, Vancouver Island and British Columbia since time immemorial. This gives us the great obligation and opportunity to learn how to care for our surrounding areas and all the natural and human resources we require to live. We express our deepest respect and gratitude for our indigenous neighbors, the Lummi Nation and Nooksack Tribe, for their enduring care and protection of our shared lands and waterways.
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