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Our Staff

We are a small team, working toward a big mission.


Virginia Ortiz

Executive Director

For more than 30 years, Virginia has developed, directed, and sustained non-profit and faith-based organizations. A graduate of the National Community Development Training Institute, she is skilled in the areas of executive level non-profit management, fund development, program development, affordable housing, and community economic development. She has held executive level positions with Bayaud Enterprises, Mile High Ministries, Rocky Mountain Youth Clinics, ACCESS Housing, The Archdiocese of Denver, Colorado Foundation for Families and Children, and NEWSED Community Development Corporation. Additionally, she has held mayoral and gubernatorial appointments on the Denver Zoning Board, Colorado Correctional Industries Board, and the Denver Neighborhood Health Program Board, and has served on numerous charter school and other non-profit Boards. Current board involvement includes Denver Basic Income Project, The Denver Foundation Community Impact Advisory Board, and Activate Work Solutions.

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Jess Soulis

Director: Community Food Access Program

​Jess grew up in Redfield, Iowa and has always felt deeply connected with the woods and rivers of her home state. Her work at GoFarm is grounded in this sense of connection with and responsibility toward the natural world and in her belief that its bounty - healthy, delicious food - should be shared by everyone. Before coming to GoFarm, Jess worked in the fields of food systems and agriculture, housing and shelter, and education, most recently with Lutheran Services in Iowa’s Global Greens program. In 2012 she graduated from Iowa State University with a Master’s in Sustainable Agriculture and Sociology and a certificate in Social Justice in Higher Education. She loves to spend time hiking, gardening, and building community around social justice and good food!

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Tessa McCusker

Director: Farmer Development and Support Program

Tessa is originally from the San Francisco Bay Area, where she enjoyed growing up in a diverse community with easy access to both nature and city. She has spent the bulk of her career in the environmental nonprofit world, working for organizations including Environmental Defense Fund, The Nature Conservancy and School Garden Project. She and her family lived in the Willamette Valley of Oregon for many years, where Tessa was able to realize a longtime dream of owning and operating a small, diversified vegetable and flower farm. Craving a change, she and her family decided to move to Denver, where the sunshine can't be beat! Tessa is thrilled to be a part of the GoFarm team and appreciates the opportunity to use the lessons learned in her farming operation to help beginning farmers achieve their own farming dreams. In her free time, Tessa loves gardening, reading, making pottery and spending time in nature with her human and canine family members.

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Johana Bravo

Director: Local Food Share Program

Johana grew up in Lima, Peru and moved to the US in 2006. She has a Master of Public Health from the University of Kansas Medical Center and has been working in the field for 10 years primarily with the Latino/a/x communities in Kansas, North Carolina and Colorado. In Kansas she worked with urban and rural communities to support chronic disease prevention programs including access to healthy foods, increasing opportunities for physical activity, and access to quality health care. Johana’s passion for local food systems started in 2019 when working for Legal Aid of North Carolina - the Farmworker Unit managing their community outreach and education program and working closely with community leaders and statewide partners through the Farmworker Advocacy Network. Johana is a strong advocate for immigrant rights, health equity and loves connecting her community with local resources. When she’s not working, Johana enjoys spending time outside, hiking and climbing, being with community, as well as cooking and dancing.

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Evelyn Gutierrez

Market Coordinator and Bilingual Community Liaison
   Coordinadora de Mercado y Enlace Comunitario Bilingüe

Evelyn moved to Colorado 5 years ago and has loved every part of it. She has recently begun her gardening adventures and has added a flock of chickens and 2 dogs to her home - which can sometimes be a bit chaotic. Her and her husband enjoy working on cars, as well as being outdoors and exploring hiking trails around Denver. They love to cook and love trying out different recipes with unique vegetables and fruits. It has been a long-time dream to grow and eat their own food, and now that dream has come true!

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Jess Hargest

Farming Education and Training Coordinator

Jess grew up just north of Baltimore, Maryland in a housing development where urban sprawl met the wild, met farmland. She’s always been interested in cultivating a life that interacts with all of these things–the structures and facets of society, the peace and freedom of the wild and farming–where they meet. Studying Environmental Science in College, she felt called to focus her energy and attention to farming by her junior year. She maintained that focus for several years, but had to shift gears and widen her vision. Luckily, she came back to farming in 2020 after several years away. She's so happy to have settled into her own small urban farm, Meadowsweet Farm, with the help of GoFarm in 2022. She loves helping folks who envision creating their own farm get started, whether that be through actually starting a farm or gathering more resources. Jess likes to find balance in her free time–relaxing is super important during the growing season! She loves to read, hike, dance, swim and cook.


Sarah Berger

Value Chain Coordinator

Sarah recently started her farming career after looking for a more meaningful personal mission during lockdown. She is incredibly passionate about justice in the local food system and wants to see a world where food equality is a reality. Sarah worked as a GoFarm Market Farmer Intern in the summer of 2022 after participating in GoFarm’s whole farm planning course the previous winter. Now she operates a small urban farm in Lakewood. She moved to Colorado in 2019 after graduating with a Bachelors in Economics at the State University of New York at Albany. Her and her partner live in Arvada with their corgi, baby girl and his 8 year old son. On the weekends you can find them enjoying bass music at Red Rocks or camping and fishing out in the mountains.


Alyssa Sporrer

Marketing and Events Coordinator

Alyssa grew up in central Iowa, where she gained a love of nature and regularly visited a family farm. She graduated from Iowa State University with a double major in Marketing and Environmental Studies. She originally moved to Colorado to be a ski instructor and enjoy all of the outdoor activities and sunshine. Alyssa worked as a sustainability reporter for 2 years and has experience in marketing and writing about topics such as climate change, food supply chains, food waste, and equity. She is excited about the opportunity to impact her local community in terms of something we all need, nutritious, affordable, sustainably-grown food. In her free time, Alyssa enjoys skiing, hiking, ultimate frisbee, rock climbing, camping, reading and movie and game nights with friends.

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