Meet Our New Executive Director

Meet Our New Executive Director

Krista Basis

In May, we announced that our Co-founder and Executive Director, Courtney Leeds, will be stepping aside to pursue her Masters in Public Health at the OHSU-PSU School of Public Health this fall with the aim of advancing Schoolyard Farms’ good work through improved program design and evaluation.

After a thorough and competitive such, we are thrilled to announce that Krista Basis will be joining our team as our next Executive Director.

Krista brings more than 15 years of non-profit and business development experience to Schoolyard Farms. She moved to Portland Oregon 4 years ago knowing that the Northwest, and the Portland community, was the right fit for her and her family.

A native New Englander, Krista spent many of her early years helping her father on his urban “farm” in Dorchester. Land was scarce, but her parents’ ingenuity was the key to growing healthy and lush tomatoes, peppers and peas. She learned from a very young age that she had a strong connection to the land through her father.

Krista’s development background began as a Community Development Peace Corps Volunteer in St. Vincent working with the Save the Children Fund after graduating from the University of Massachusetts. When Krista returned home to the States, she attending the School for International Management, and went on to work as a recruiter and recruitment coordinator for the Peace Corps. She was also a Volunteer Coordinator for the Denver Avon Walk for Breast Cancer, Director of Communications and Special Events for the Webb-Waring Institute at the University of Colorado Denver and most recently Development Manager at March of Dimes in Greater Oregon and SW Washington. Krista also owned and managed two businesses in Massachusetts.

Her passion is to connect people to causes that they love and foster community support through volunteerism and fundraising. Schoolyard Farms brings her back to her roots. It’s important, now more than ever, to share the joy of farm and garden based access to children and adults; especially the most vulnerable and underserved. Krista is thrilled to be the new Executive Director of Schoolyard Farms.

As Schoolyard Farms transitions into its next stage of development, Krista’s demonstrated ability to lead and grow a small organization will strengthen and expand our work, helping even more kids live healthy, productive lives. We can’t wait to see how Schoolyard Farms grows and matures in the coming years under Krista’s leadership.