Zack Wyatt – President/CEO
Zack Wyatt grew up in northern Virginia. His family were caretakers of a 300-acre, old dairy farm. His family had a large garden, pigs, horses, chickens, and he also worked on neighboring farms. After graduating from Coastal Carolina University in 2003 with a degree in Business Administration, he worked in home mortgage lending and IT. Zack’s passion for bringing community together over food, his understanding of the importance of equitable food access, and his drive to improve local food systems led him to found Carolina Farm Trust in 2015. As the Executive Director of Carolina Farm Trust, Zack has produced two documentaries (The Farmer that Feeds Us series), and an annual music festival fundraiser called Carolina Jubilee. Zack lives in Cornelius with his wife and five children.
Alexx Alcorn – Creative Director
Alexx Alcorn (she/her/hers) is a community organizer and creative interventionist with experience in organizational strategy, coalition-building, community engagement, fostering participatory spaces, and communications. Alexx obtained her Masters in Public Health and Certificate in Urban Policy and Management from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, where her work focused on community health, public policy, and environmental justice, and her Bachelor’s Degree in Biology, Society, and Environment from the University of Minnesota. Alex’s life work is grounded in systems-based and people-centered approaches to building social justice. Alexx was born and raised in Minneapolis, MN and now calls Charlotte, NC home. In her free time, Alexx enjoys dancing, making creative reuse wearables for her small business, reading, and spending time outside.
Sherry Waters – Stewardship & Fund Development Consultant
Sherry Waters is a Personal Stewardship Coach/Practitioner who inspires others to use their talents, resources and skills to live their lives serving others and the community through her agency IEnate, LLC. She opened The Pauline Tea-Bar Apothecary – a sacred herbal tea lounge – in July 2019. Sherry’s vocational career has been in the fund development/marketing field for several Charlotte nonprofit organizations – including the YMCA, Communities in Schools, The Harvest Center and Supportive Housing Communities. She serves on several community boards – including the McCrorey YMCA, Fashion & Compassion and Novant Health’s CPE Professional Advisory Group (which she serves as chair). She has her Master’s of Practical Theology/Pastoral Counseling & Care from Pfeiffer University, a B.A degree in Communications from the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill; and her certification in Nonprofit Management from Duke University.
Tia Wackerhagen – Director of Health & Nutrition
Tia Wackerhagen is passionate about health and healthy food access regardless of race, sex or socioeconomic status. Her firm belief that food, spirituality, and relationships to self and others are the drivers of good health and what drive her activism for a better health system. Currently, Tia is the Director of Development for the Carolina Farm Trust with a speciality in relationship building among funders and collaboration with other organizations. She simultaneously is working towards her Doctorate in Nursing Practice. Using her background of over 10 years in nonprofit development and her future DNP, Tia plans to continue to work with Carolina Farm Trust from a clinical health perspective. Tia sees the opportunity to build better health for the community through relationships between the environment [farms] and food. Her favorite quote is by the sixteenth-century physician, Paracelsus: “If the physician understands things exactly and sees and recognizes all illness in the macrocosm outside [humans], and if [he /she] has a clear idea of [humans] and [their] whole nature, then and only then is [he/she] a physician.” (‘The Foundations of Medicine’, Paracelsus’). Tia enjoys the outdoors the most and will never turn down an opportunity to hike, camp, climb or be on the water.
Lorena Rodriguez – Farm Coordinator at Urban Farm at Aldersgate
Lorena Rodriguez grew up in San Luis Potosi, Mexico. She has always been involved in the food industry, whether working in a family restaurant, a sugarcane plantation, an exotic fruit tree orchard or a fish farm. It was because of this that she developed an interest in food and agriculture. She recently obtained her Bachelor’s in Agricultural Science in the University of San Luis Potosi, in Mexico, and interned in New Town Farms, an organic market farm in Waxhaw, NC. She is an advocate of growing organic, nutritious food through sustainable practices, and firmly believes that quality food should be accessible to all. She enjoys traveling, reading and spending time with friends and family.
Deep Roots CPS – Farm Planning & Management Consultants
Deep Roots CPS plans for and facilitates the integration of just and sustainable agriculture activities in urban spaces to improve the physical and environmental health of communities, increase diversity in the food production system, and inspire self-sufficiency through engagement. Located in Charlotte, NC, Deep Roots CPS is fast establishing a reputation for providing unique educational and consulting services to facilitate the integration of sustainable agriculture activities in urban spaces. The organization, led by Wisdom and Cherie Jzar, is passionate about educating the public about the benefits of urban agriculture, including gardening, urban farming, homesteading, composting, bee keeping, backyard chickens, etc. They have experience developing and managing urban agricultural projects in which they introduce agricultural solutions that are tailored to distinct local needs, maximize benefits, and define a path that contributes to the health of city ecosystems.