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.
Alex Alcorn – Creative Director
Alex 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. Alex 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. Alex was born and raised in Minneapolis, MN and now calls Charlotte, NC home. In her free time, Alex 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.
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.
Daniella Cardenas – Marketing & Communications Associate
Daniella Cardenas grew up in Huancayo, Peru until she moved to the United States at an early age. She is currently attending the University of North Carolina at Charlotte pursuing a major in marketing and a minor in anthropology because she believes in the direct connection between understanding people and conducting successful marketing strategies. During her college career, she has always been involved in student organizations promoting social entrepreneurship to impact neighboring communities and has recently founded a social initiative called NinerThrift at UNCC to reduce textile waste and promote zero-waste options. She deeply believes in the connection between earth and man. Therefore, she wants to continue to build awareness of the importance of local food systems through her work with Carolina Farm Trust. In her free time, she likes to be out in nature, do yoga, read, and watch movies on rainy days.
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.