Accokeek Foundation Staff
Meet the team behind the Accokeek Foundation's mission.
President & CEO
Laura became the Foundation’s President & CEO in March 2018. During her tenure with the Foundation, she has been responsible for organizational advancement, including fundraising, communications, and strategic initiatives like the Foundation’s sustainable agriculture program. Laura holds a bachelor’s degree in Language and Literature from St. Mary’s College of Maryland and an Executive Certificate in Nonprofit Management from Georgetown University’s Public Policy Institute. Laura is the Executive Trustee with the Corina Higginson Trust, a grantmaker in the Washington DC metropolitan region. She has a special interest in social justice, equity, and food systems work and is a member of the Washington Regional Food Funders and the Chesapeake Bay Funders Network. She also is a certified horseback riding instructor and owns a small farm with her family in Southern Maryland.
Vice President & Chief Operating Officer
Anjela Barnes is vice president and chief operating officer of the Accokeek Foundation and a member of its executive leadership team. She is responsible for financial, administrative, and operational oversight, leading interpretive and agricultural program development, and collaborating with the National Park Service in stewarding Piscataway Park. Since joining #TeamAF in 2009, Anjela has led many special projects including the Piscataway tribal welcoming of the Hokulea and the National Park Service bi-centennial Bio Blitz celebration. In her spare time, she is passionately fighting for a healthier and more just food system in her community.
Administration & Visitor Services
Shemika is a former Air Force Officer turned actress and makeup artist. She has portrayed Cate Sharper at the National Colonial Farm for several years. Shemika believes bringing history to life makes it more relatable to the audience. She has presented first-person historical interpretation at local schools for over 15 years for Black History Month and other special events. She was a featured actor in “The Choice” about the enslaved people of Sotterley Plantation in St. Mary’s County during the War of 1812.
Visitor Services Manager
MaryAlice joined the Accokeek Foundation in 1998 as an Educator. Since then, MaryAlice has served as Director of Operations, as well as managing school programs and visitor services. She also is the creative genius behind the Foundation's most popular events: Lattes with Lambs and Winter's Eve. When she is not busy being a superhero for the Foundation, MaryAlice enjoys long walks in the park with her best pal, Piper—a rescue black/ lab mix.
Casey joined the Foundation in 2012 as a volunteer with AmeriCorps and Volunteer Maryland. When her service year was up she couldn’t bear to leave, so she joined the team full-time in 2013. She loves anything artistic and learned how to spin wool into yarn using fiber from the farm's flock of Hog Island sheep. Casey is a Virginia Master Naturalist and when she's not marketing, you'll find her exploring the flora and fauna of Piscataway Park.
Marina grew up on a small farm outside of Albuquerque, New Mexico where she gained an appreciation of land and livestock. Prior to joining the Foundation, Marina worked in nonprofit development in the higher education space and, before that, as a nurse in geriatrics and Alzheimer’s/dementia care. She has a Bachelor of Arts in English Studies from the University of New Mexico. Marina spends her free time volunteering with a local animal rescue, buying endless amounts of toys for her pup, and pouring over Chicano literature.
Patti Canter Norment
Patti manages the office and assists the CEO and senior staff, juggling administrative and financial responsibilities. She enhances the team’s work by her positive attitude and willingness to help wherever she’s needed. Patti has been instrumental in coordinating many innovative projects and programs since joining the team in 1992. “This is the farm I have always dreamed of having,” shares Patti. “It’s like my second home!”
Director of Education
Adrienne grew up in New York spending her days exploring nature. She developed a passion for the outdoors and is always excited to share her love of nature with others. Adrienne brings more than ten years of outdoor education experience to the Accokeek Foundation. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Physical Education and Recreation and Leisure from Bridgewater State University in Massachusetts. In her free time, she enjoys running, hiking, biking, and new adventures with her family.
From historical interpretation to program development, Deanna Rishell worked in museums in Delaware for fours years before relocating to Maryland. New to the area, she is looking forward to exploring the site and being immersed in the time period.
Museum Interpreter & Volunteer Coordinator
Kaylin has always been told she was born in the wrong century, so when she heard about an opportunity to work at the National Colonial Farm, she jumped at the chance to go back in time. Her favorite part about working on the farm is researching how her character would have lived. She loves to do theatre, and you may have seen her in one of many local community theatre productions. In her spare time, you’ll find her reading, doing one of her many artistic hobbies, volunteering at her church, and spending time with her wonderfully entertaining family.
Visitor Services Representative
Joining the team in 2013, Linda’s work experience ranges from customer service and retail to education and childcare. Her most rewarding job experience was as a first-grade teacher with the Potomac Heights Christain Academy. Linda now enjoys engaging with the many park visitors, from fisherfolk and trail hikers to the families who come to see the historic farm and barnyard animals. A Maryland native, Linda has lived most of her life in Indian Head where she still lives with her husband of 37 years. Linda enjoys taking long walks, hikes, and playing with her dog “Bo-Bo.”
Museum Educator & Digital Content Specialist
Coming from a background in audiovisual production/engineering and social media management, Sarah brings a creative insight to the team by filming and producing online programming for the Foundation. Each project has its own unique soundtrack and interactive learning segments composed, recorded, and created to enhance the experience of the viewer, building a stronger impression on our audience.
Kate is a firm believer in the use of theatre to illuminate the human condition and highlight societal issues in a personal, hands-on fashion. A performer and artist, Kate uses these talents in playing "Minnie Dunning", Mrs. Bolton's younger sister, as well as periodically working our modern exhibits and serving as an Eco-Explorers captain. She is a lifelong resident of Southern Maryland and a nature lover with an interest in food, historic cooking, and living history. Outside of work Kate can be found working as a professional actor in and around the DC area.
Val joined the Foundation in 2018 as a Visitor Services representative but quickly took on other responsibilities and positions. Out of all of her jobs, her favorite is working in the museum garden, growing medicinal herbs. Val, like the rest of her family, originates from southern Maryland. In her spare time, you can find Val foraging in the local woods
Greetings. I'm Devin Wharwood a Seasonal Educator at the Accokeek. I love nature and my favorite parts of nature have to be the sky and the sea. I enjoy the calm I receive while being alone with thoughts outside. I take care of the farm animals often, If I'm not in the Barn then I am most likely in the Museum Garden growing various fruits and vegetables. Come on by and say hi!
Natural Resources & Agriculture
Originally from Costa Rica, Javier joined the grounds crew in 2019. He helps maintain the over 200 acres of parkland that the Foundation manages. Javier, his wife Molly, and their two daughters split their time between his home country and a small farmstead in Bryans Road, Maryland.
Regenerative Agriculture Coordinator
KC endeavors to forever adventure, explore, and have as much fun as possible in the process. She grew up across the street from an organic farm where she volunteered regularly. It was there her passion for growing incredibly nutritious food and preserving the environment was cultivated. She acquired a BA in Environmental Studies from Queen’s University of Charlotte in North Carolina. While obtaining her degree she discovered the interconnectedness of nutrition, education, and the environment, and the effect it has on society.
After graduating from the University of Delaware 2017 with a Bachelors Degree in Agriculture and Natural Resources, Maryn made a return to farming and agriculture as the Seasonal Livestock Farm Assistant in June 2019. At the end of the position, the Foundation offered her a full-time position as the Livestock Farm Herder. Though she did not grow up a farmer, she is forever excited to learn and continue learning from the animals, the earth, and the wonderful community around her.
Daniel began his work with the Foundation as an Ecosystem Farm volunteer in 2015. At the time, he was a full-time graduate student in the process of creating natural habitats along with produce and flower gardens on his own property. His interest in sustainable agricultural practices increased as he assumed a seasonal farm assistant position and continued when he accepted the position of farm manager. In 2017, Dan transitioned to Grounds & Facilities Coordinator where he helps manage and care for the entire 200 acres of Piscataway Park stewarded by the Foundation. Prior to this period, Daniel worked with the U.S. Navy for 23 years, conducting operations around the globe.
Experienced, trustworthy, fun. These are just a few of the ways coworkers describe this invaluable member of our team. Tim Wood is truly a joy to be around and makes it a pleasure to come to work every single day.