Board Members

We are grateful to our current board members for their dedication and vision to support the growth of permaculture throughout our region.

GRLPI Board 2016

Part of the GRLPI board visiting Moontree Lodge in Donaldson, Indiana at the 2016 retreat.


President: William Faith, Chicago, Illinois.

wf_picWilliam Faith is a long-standing activist in the fight for the rights of animals, care of the earth and social justice.
Upon encountering permaculture for the first time in 2005, the nature of his artistry and activism changed for the better, both finding a confluence in permaculture. Shortly after completing his certification in permaculture design at the Ecovillage Training Center at The Farm in Summertown, TN in 2006, he co-founded Ars Terra, a sustainable homestead project in Palmdale, CA, where he taught several permaculture courses and workshops before moving to Chicago, where he co-founded the Chicagoland Permaculture Guild in 2012, and completed an advanced permaculture design course at Kinstone Academy of Applied Permaculture in Fountain City, WI in 2014.
William has given many presentations on permaculture at colleges, universities, eco/green fairs and festivals and private events, also giving several radio interviews on the subject. 2015 heralded the birth of Genius Loci Permaculture — a full-service Design, Build and Education firm.


Vice President: Peter Bane, White Lake, Michigan.
Peter BanePeter Bane is publisher emeritus of Permaculture Activist magazine (now Permaculture Design), and the author of The Permaculture Handbook: Garden Farming for Town and Country ( A frequent speaker at conferences and public events and a permaculture teacher for 25 years, he serves as the Board Secretary of Permaculture Institute of North America (, as well as Co-Chair of its Diploma Program Committee. A co-founder of Earthaven Ecovillage and a consultant to universities, municipalities, and community groups across the country, he works with landowners to create ecologically sound and economically productive landscapes. He has
taught programs in all six states of the GRLPI region.



Secretary: Sabrena Schweyer, Akron, Ohio.

Sabrena picSabrena Schweyer grew up on a family farm and learned stewardship at an early age and was devastated when her childhood haunt at the creek was destroyed for agricultural tiling. She has degrees in horticulture and agriculture. She studied how history is reflected in the arts at Oxford University where she focused on gardens as the art of the land.

She is driven by studying how people connect with the Earth. She and her husband have a 20-year-old, award-winning business creating gardens that touch people’s souls–healing people, place, and planet. They also teach and lecture on sustainability. She regularly works with engineers and city planners to support sustainability.

She came to permaculture in 2010 and has been bridging between horticulture, biomimicry, permaculture, and cities ever since.




Treasurer: Rhonda Baird, Bloomington, Indiana.

IMG_2137Rhonda Baird is a seventh generation Hoosier, with deep ties to the forested hills and rivers of southern Indiana. Though permaculture practice began formally in 2005, she grew up in a working-class family that gardened and foraged. Within this context, she began asking: “What is going on in the world? And, what can I do about it?”

In her 20s, she became an organizer and carried her interests to community design, social justice (working with ACORN, the AFL-CIO, and a domestic violence program) and forest issues.

In 2005, while finishing up her second stint in graduate school, she stumbled into a Permaculture Design Course with Peter Bane and Keith Johnson and never looked back. From the end of that course, she began apprenticing as a teacher. In 2006 she co-originated the Bloomington Permaculture Guild. In 2008, she began working with Permaculture Design Magazine (formerly The Permaculture Activist). In 2010, she joined the board of the Association for Regenerative Culture. In 2014, she presented at the North American Permaculture Convergence on Permaculture and Children; co-originated the Great Rivers and Lakes Permaculture Institute with Peter Bane and Penny Krebiehl. 

Four years later, Rhonda has an active design and education practice through Sheltering Hills Design, LLC , serves as senior editor of Permaculture Design magazine, serves as a Field Advisor for the Permaculture Institute of North America, helps to coordinate the North American Permaculture Convergence, and is pursuing a Master’s degree with Gaia University. In 2010 she was awarded a Hellbender Award from Heartwood


Member: Jessica True, Racine, Wisconsin

Jessica True was drawn to permaculture through her love for cooking, preserving, and eating natural, locally grown foods. She spent two years volunteering with an urban farm in Colorado, and while living there she sourced over 80% of her food from local, organic farms, year-round. Since moving to Wisconsin, she has worked with various organizations to promote permaculture in her community. She co-leads an ongoing series of permaculture-themed potlucks and is helping design permaculture projects for a local school.

Jessica completed her PDC in 2009 with Sandy Cruz in Colorado and has continued her training with multiple courses in advanced permaculture design, permaculture teaching, and social permaculture. She is also trained in community herbalism and nonviolent communication.