The Board of Directors of the Philadelphia Orchard Project (POP) is pleased to announce the appointment of Kim Jordan as Co-Executive Director, serving alongside Phil Forsyth who also assumes the same title. This new structure of shared leadership was described in POP’s recent strategic plan (finalized in July 2018 following stakeholder input) and aims to create a more sustainable organization that will better serve POP’s growing number of community partners. Phil will continue to lead programming and advance plans related to POP’s headquarters at The Woodlands, while Kim will lead POP’s fundraising and administration. 

Kim Jordan joined the POP staff in January 2019 as Development Director. Her history with the organization stretches back to POP’s founding: during POP’s 10th anniversary year in 2017 she was retroactively awarded the 2008 Golden Persimmon Volunteer Award. Her enthusiasm as an early volunteer turned into service as a member of POP’s Board of Directors from 2009-2016, including terms as Board President and Treasurer. Kim is thrilled to be part of the POP team and has been focused on executing aspects of POP’s strategic plan including expanded fundraising efforts, external relations, and growing POP’s Board. Originally from the San Francisco Bay Area, Kim moved to Philadelphia in 2004. It was through planting trees and working with POP’s community partners that she came to know and love the city and its many neighborhoods, and decided to call Philly home.

Phil Forsyth, POP employee since 2008 and Executive Director since 2012, says of the announcement: “After more than 10 years of working with Kim in different capacities, I am so pleased to have her join me as Co-Executive Director, a change in organizational structure I’ve been advocating for years and that allows me to continue to engage directly and deeply with POP’s programs and partners across the city.” Anne Taylor, President-elect of the POP Board, shares that “we are thrilled that Kim and Phil are undertaking the Co-Executive Director roles, which allow each of them to leverage their tremendous skill sets in support of POP’s mission and exciting vision for growth. As the Board and staff move ahead with plans related to POP’s headquarters at The Woodlands, and welcome new members to our Board of Directors, we see a time of tremendous opportunity and look forward to the coming year!”

Clockwise, from top left, images from POP’s 2019 Orchard Dinner: Board member Marci Green (facing camera) speaks with volunteer Judith Hollier; Co-Executive Director Phil Forsyth recognizes dinner honorees; Board Member Tony Dorman presses fresh cider with volunteer Ula Katsoulis; Education Director Alyssa Schimmel with Cramp ES partner Craig Johnson of Interpret Green; Board Member Michelle Lawson speaks with guest at the welcome table; Co-Executive Director Kim Jordan welcomes a guests with Board President-elect Anne Taylor in the background. Photos by Albert Yee.

Four new members of POP’s Board of Directors were appointed in recent months, strengthening organizational leadership. Tony Dorman developed his enthusiasm for POP’s work by serving as an Orchard Liaison to two sites in Southwest Philadelphia, Tilden Middle School and Philadelphia Montessori Charter School. In that capacity, for which he was recognized with a Golden Persimmon Volunteer Award in 2015, he has come to deeply appreciate how much POP’s work with school orchards in particular can bring joy and learning to children and teenagers. Marci Green is an attorney who worked for years for various state agencies in New Jersey, and in that capacity has a lot of experience dealing with land use and preservation issues as well as contract law. She is a member of 100 Women Philadelphia, whose members recently chose POP as the recipient of its quarterly award. Nathan Kleinman is co-founder of Experimental Farm Network, a primary focus of which is developing perennial staple crops for climate change mitigation. Loretta Lewis is a Trustee at Union Baptist Church, a POP community orchard site, and has long been involved in regional anti-hunger initiatives and food access. POP welcomes and values the unique skills and perspectives each new board member brings and appreciates their enthusiasm for POP’s mission.

POP looks forward to expanding our impact through the installation of a demonstration orchard, greenhouse, high tunnel, and new edible plant nursery at The Woodlands. An initial installation of plants along the perimeter of POP’s future demonstration orchard at The Woodlands was carried out in May 2019, with some photos from the planting day shared below. Native ornamental and edible trees and shrubs were planted with the help of Target employees through funding from the Arbor Day Foundation, through its Time for Trees initiative. We remain grateful for the pledge of support from the Junior League of Philadelphia Blossom Fund which will fund the plant nursery, orchard, and high tunnel. With this new model of shared leadership, expansion of our headquarters, and a newly expanded Board of Directors, now is the time to demonstrate your support in the future of our organization. We invite you to invest in advancing POP’s mission as we work to create a beautiful and bountiful Philadelphia.

Scenes from the May 2019 planting day at POP’s future demonstration orchard at The Woodlands. Clockwise, from top left: native ornamental trees are placed along the running path; volunteers plant blueberry bushes outside the fence; newly planted trees and shrubs line the fence along Woodland Ave; smiling volunteers surround a newly-planted tree.