Suzanne Matlock – President (incumbent) – I live in East Mt. Airy formerly of Germantown, both of which are sections of the City of Philadelphia. I have been beekeeping along with my husband, Norman, since 2009. Our hives are on American St. (Philadelphia), in Montgomery County (at Arcadia Univ, Glenside PA), and in York County (Dillsburg, PA). I am half-way through my 2-year term as President of Philadelphia Beekeepers Guild in 2013. I am enthusiastic about helping other people get started in beekeeping and speaking to groups about the experience. I attended the first meeting of the Guild (before it had a name!) in September 2009. I have held positions on the Board ever since then. Unless opposed, I will continue on the Board as President in 2014 and continue coordinating the Honey Festival. I have planning and organizational skills, some scientific as well as artistic backgrounds, public speaking experience and a history of community volunteerism.
Don Shump – Vice President (incumbent) -Philadelphia resident, husband and father of three boys. I’m the owner of the Philadelphia Bee Co., specializing in honey production, bee removals and educational outreach. I’m in the second year of my term as Vice President of the Guild. I got my start in beekeeping more than 7 years ago. I volunteered my time in the Southwark/Queens Village (SWQV) Community Garden managing their urban apiary that has existed for more than a quarter century. My 20 rooftop hives at 51st and Parkside are just one of 4 apiaries I manage in Philadelphia. The others (in addition to SWQV) are at Greensgrow Farms in Kensington and at Shane’s Confectionary in old city. In 2013, my honey house (extraction facility) was approved by the PA Department of Agriculture. My company offers educational programs and outreach about bees to schools, libraries and institutions including the Barnes Foundation. I’m deeply passionate about bees and beekeeping and it is my hope that I can apply this to the benefit of the Philadelphia Beekeepers Guild as its Vice President for a second year (2014).
Chad Carnahan – Member Representative (incumbent) – I am originally from North Carolina and graduated from the University of Notre Dame in 1997 with a degree in architecture. I moved to Philadelphia in 2000 and now live in the Italian Market section with my wife, Dr. Christina Fuoco, our 6 year old & newborn daughters, and a couple of cats. I have stepped away from architecture and am currently the Director of Operations of WAG: Whole Animal Gym, a veterinary rehab facility that my wife and I own and operate in Philadelphia. I have kept bees for 3 years and maintain hives on the roof of my home, as well as in the local garden, Bel Arbor. It has been a long path of beekeeping – even though I read and knew a great deal about bees, when I received mine in April 2011, I realized I didn’t understand anything! I am a licensed architect who brings problem solving, design and project management skills. Desiring knowledge and fellowship from beekeepers, I am excited to devote time and attention assisting the Guild in its mission. I will continue serving as a member representative in 2014.
Edian Rodriguez – Member Representative (incumbent)- I’m originally from New York, N.Y. I attended high school outside of Philadelphia and later graduated from The Evergreen State College in Washington state. I’ve been working with bees for three years. So far, the experience has been like any relationship with an animal or human. Ups and downs exist but the process of adapting and figuring out solutions has been rewarding and has fortified my determination to care for these wonderful creatures. I’m currently applying to attain my Masters in Entomology, with a focus in apiculture. With my great interest in and passion for understanding this insect I hope to attend different Beekeeping meetings and schools to establish relationships with other entomologists and bee keepers in our “extended local” area. I hope any relationships forged could provide a resource bank for any further inquiry. I’m eager to learn and great at pooling information together in order to create a functional plan for tackling a given task. My past experience working in the education field has also given me the ability to share information from varying topics with youth, which I think would be a great way of getting the mission of the guild out to the public. I was a member representative in 2013 and will continue in that position in 2014.
Mike Gonzales – Member Representative (new as of 2014) – I am a long-time resident of the West Poplar neighborhood in Philadelphia who is seeking an elected position as a Member Representative for the Board of the Philadelphia Beekeepers Guild. I graduated from Temple University in 1997 with a bachelor of science in Environmental Engineering, and currently work for an engineering firm servicing the petro-chemical and refining industry. My wife Donna Gonzales and I have two children – Ana (age 10) and Sebastian (age 9). Besides successfully completing my first year of beekeeping, my other interests include finance and economics, bitcoin technology, cooking, and family life. I will bring strategic management skills and a fresh perspective to the existing talents of the board members of the Philadelphia Beekeepers Guild.
Anna Herman – Treasurer (incumbent) – I live and work in the Mt. Airy neighborhood of Philadelphia. I have several hives and nucs in my backyard and other spots around town and maintain an observation hive at the Project Learn School. I am a food business consultant & writer and part time nature studies educator. I have planned and planted several edible/pollinator habitat teaching gardens. I’ve held the position of Secretary for the Guild in the past and am finishing my second year as Treasurer of the Guild. I will continue to serve another term as Treasurer starting in 2014. I have considerable professional experience with budgets, planning and finance for businesses and not-for-profit entities.
Amy Hsu – Membership Coordinator (incumbent) – I am a recent transplant to Philly having moved here about two years ago. My husband and I just bought our first home, in East Falls, and I keep bees in our backyard and in Chestnut Hill. This coming season will be my second year with bees. My professional background has been in nonprofit fundraising, working mostly for public broadcasting and arts organizations. Currently, I’m not working, but rather spending my days cooking, gardening, studying herbs, and working on the house. I also volunteer at the animal shelter and prepare taxes as part of AARP’s tax aide program. I’ve been involved with the Guild over the last two years and in 2013 created and filled the Membership Coordinator position on the Board. I’d like to continue my efforts on the Guild’s board in 2014 by focusing on our membership: where we live, who we are, what we’d like to see the Guild do more of in the future.
Russell Alexander – Secretary (new as of 2014) I have lived in the Spring Garden neighborhood since 1985. One day in 2012, a honeybee consciousnes campaign at Whole Foods Market made me realize that I had not seen a honeybee for years. This led me to the Philadelphia Beekeepers Guild and the realization that, thanks to their support, I could do something about it by starting an apiary in Philadelphia!
I invested in my first two “newbee” hives in 2013 and completed the Montgomery Co. Beekeeper’s Association’s course later that year. I approach my beekeeping with these concepts in mind: No-chemical-treatments; I do not own the honeybees – they belong to God. I just manage the honeybee space (hives) and try not to get in their way because they know what to do!
In my other lives I: manage an apartment building for Simpson Senior Services (folks 62+); am a real estate broker and investor; serve as a trustee for Arch Street United Methodist Church; and volunteer at the Penn Wissahickon Hospice.
I wish to serve on the Board to further the Guild’s important mission of: Educating beginning and experienced beekeepers; Increasing the number of urban beekeepers; Growing the honeybee population; and Raising the public’s awareness of the importance of honeybees to our planet. Thank you for considering my candidacy for the Board.
Wynn Geary – Webmaster and Social Media (new as of 2014) – I’m a junior at Science Leadership Academy, a progressive science and technology high school in Philadelphia that was developed in partnership with the Franklin Institute. I live in Roxborough, and first became interested in urban farming and beekeeping after reading Farm City: The Education of an Urban Farmer by Novella Carpenter, in which she wrote about farming and beekeeping in a rundown neighborhood in Oakland, CA.
Inspired by her lifestyle, I passed the book on to my mom, and we became chicken keepers soon after. We then took our first beekeeping class at the Lower Merion Conservancy, and followed that up with the more in-depth and informative Short Course offered by the Bee Guild in 2013. Since then we’ve discovered (as I believe all new beekeepers do) just how amazing bees are. What has been equally amazing is the Philadelphia beekeeping community that’s been there to answer all of our questions.
As a millennial and a student interested in graphic and industrial design, I am very familiar with social media strategies, and I have experience using the WordPress platform. I would like to contribute to the Philly beekeeping community by helping to keep the Guild’s website up-to-date, and by leveraging social media to keep the community as informed and active as ever.