Staff Profiles

Kelli Harper, Education Director

​Kelli's responsibilities include further development of the Garden Education Curriculum, Volunteer Coordination, and Garden Program Implementation. 
Kelli graduated from the University of South Florida, where she graduated Cum Laude with her BA in Integrative Social Sciences, special concentrations in Psychology and Anthropology. After traveling for some time, Kelli was drawn to the Edible Peace Patch after hearing about its mission to bring organic and sustainable practices to the children and community of St Petersburg. She knew it was the right place to grow roots.
Kelli interned with the Peace Patch for six months prior to accepting the Education Director position. Kelli continues to be a driving force in moving our mission forward and raising awareness through community empowerment!
Kelli brings creative sparks and a determination for growth to everything she tackles. You will find her in the garden!

​Catherine Speroni, Office & Communications Manager

Catherine joins us with many years of business experience with heavy involvement in the nonprofit sector, along with an M.B.A., and an advanced Professional Certificate in Non-Profit Leadership from University of New York, Saratoga. Catherine is our Office and Communications Manager, providing extensive experience with over 35 years in both the public and private sector.
Catherine has worked in the public sector in community organization, leadership development, and relations and is passionate about building strong communities and the empowerment of our marginalized youth.  Catherine has been involved in the grant writing industry for more than ten years and has successfully written and administered two large federal grants, as well as many other smaller foundation grants.  
Catherine grew up in Swarthmore, PA before moving to Western New York.  After thirty years in Western New York, Catherine, her husband Pete, daughters Taylor and Jocelyn, and puppies Lily
and Charlie settled in St. Petersburg, FL.  When not at work, Catherine is most likely spending
time with family, researching genealogy or searching for fossils.  

​Krista Keisu: Education Coordinator

Krista graduated from Eckerd College with a Bachelor's in Environmental Studies with minors in Anthropology and Coastal Management. She was drawn to the Edible Peace Patch Project after graduating because of her love for working outdoors and working with plants. She also loves educating the youth about how to grow their own food and using the garden to teach them science curriculum that is otherwise taught in classrooms. She stared volunteering with EPPP in October and became the Education Coordinator in January. She believes it is important for         people, especially youth, to learn sustainable growing practices, which can help address
environmental and social issues. She enjoys traveling, camping, hiking, catching the sunset and
sunrise, and visiting the natural springs of Florida. 
Heather Henderson, Garden & Farm Director

​Heather is passionate about building an equitable and secure food system while fostering inspiration and engagement of youth. She knows that the garden can be used as a platform for social, emotional and cultural education as well as a place for hands-on learning that connects back to classroom topics.
Heather has spent the last five years immersing herself in sustainable agriculture, farm-based education, and farm to school promotion. While in college she lead the Tallahassee Sustainability Group, where she helped facilitate projects including an urban farm and an on-campus student garden. After college she did a service year with FoodCorps in New Britain, Connecticut where she worked to integrate school gardens into curriculum and create a culture of healthy food and project-based learning in New Britain Public Schools.
She moved across the state to join the Edible Peace Patch Project team after spending a year
with the University of Florida IFAS Extension Family Nutrition Program Farm to School and
Community Team as the South Food Systems Coordinator acting as a resource for school and
community gardens in counties in south Florida.
When not at work, Heather is probably reading or writing on a blanket somewhere beautiful, riding
her bike, playing guitar, finding a new place to explore or working in her home garden.

Tim Sommers, Education Coordinator

Tim Sommers is a native Floridian from Zephyrhills. He grew up agriculturally inclined, received his AA degree in Business from Pasco Hernando Community College, then moved on to help organize and start a 45 acre intentional community called Ferndale Hill Farm.  During his 3 years at the farm, he helped grow organic food using methods such as hydroponics,  permaculture, aquaponics, and vermiculture. These skills benefit the community held classes on each weekend.

​Cory Alexander Simmons, Garden Manager

Hello Community! I'm a born and raised Floridian. I have explored living in several other states, but something always brought me home. I started gardening and farming with my grandmother. As a teen I ventured into martial arts, eventually advancing to become an instructor. I loved the impact it could have on a child's life. Just about a year ago I began volunteering on workdays for the Edible Peace Patch Project. It brought my love for plants and my love for empowering kids all into the garden. So when opportunity knocked, I answered. Now I'm the Garden Manager (glorified laborer) for Edible Peace Patch.
Thank you for having me community. Happy watering.