Meet our Staff and Board of Directors
Tracie is a Manatee County native who lived 17 years in the San Francisco Bay area prior to launching Sunshine Community Compost (SCC) in 2017. SCC emerged from the intersection of her passions for people, planet, community work, creativity, and through years of teachings from mentors, farmers, engineers, social workers, permaculture practitioners, spiritual teachers, travels, the natural world and stewards of life and land that came long before her. Tracie's combined experience working in pediatric occupational therapy, community mental health care, nonprofit management, community-based renewable energy, and sustainable and regenerative agriculture set the foundation for the organization. In the early 1990's she participated in a student project led by a group of indigenous community leaders in Nevada that helped her better understand the human and ecological consequences that result from disproportionately placed burdens of waste. These early experiences illustrated the interdependence between people and planet and keeping people centered in environmental efforts. An early healthcare career enabled her to work in community care settings that worked to get people off the streets, provide care for adults with HIV & AIDS, and educate youth in public schools who experienced developmental milestone achievement delays or barriers due to learning challenges or neurological conditions. Community work and sustainability efforts converged when Tracie stepped out of healthcare and began working for GRID Alternatives, facilitating neighborhood-scale solar energy installation projects for and with families who qualified as low income - commonly installed in regions that were heavily burdened by the impacts of pollution. She has also operated a bicycle-based backyard gardening program, offered a wide range of educational programs in gardening and composting for youth, and spent a year practicing how to grow all her own food after learning closed-loop-system farming from people around the world who grew crops based on calorie density for survival and without the readily available resources such as purchasable fertilizer, compost and tools. These experiences deepened her passion for improving human and planetary health and wellness outcomes in relation to gardening and farming, material and energy conservation, reducing the wasting of food, transforming cultural norms around the disposability of people and the planet, turning "waste" into resources and the need to transform as much inedible organic material into soil to grow food and stronger community connections for present and future generations.