The Non-GMO Project is excited to welcome Kiira Heymann to the team as Client Services Assistant! Kiira moved to Bellingham in 2011 to pursue her M.Ed. at Western Washington University where she focused on experiential education and non-profit leadership and management. She recieved her B.A. in English and Environmental Studies from Colby College, and has traveled for work as a teacher, backpacking guide and farm apprentice in both the U.S. and abroad. Most recently she has served on the faculty at an experientially-based high school, where she developed and implemented globally-relevant curriculum in the classroom and in the field.
Outside of work Kiira enjoys trail running in the mountains, cooking and sharing meals with friends, and hanging in the backyard with her flock of chickens and ducks.
Q&A with Kiira:
What interests you about working with the Non-GMO Project- what about this opportunity caught your attention?
It is exciting to be joining an organization that is having such an impact on creating change in our food system. I first read the work of Dr. Vandana Shiva while apprenticing at a biodynamic farm after college, and was immediately struck not only by how important it was to consider the risks of GMO crops, but also by how little dialogue I had been exposed to around the cultivation and labeling of GMO crops in our country. I continued to work on small-scale farms and followed my interest in food justice to India, where I spent time studying at Dr. Shiva’s farm and organization. I realized how important the work of non-profits is in filling the gaps in our governmental systems. The Non-GMO Project is fulfilling a huge need in North America to educate consumers and provide a non-GMO supply chain. Though I have mostly spent my career in education and working with youth, a wonderful avenue for affecting change on a local level, I am looking forward to contributing to the efforts of the Non-GMO Project team as it continues to drive the national movement on providing access to non-GMO food and products.
How do you think your prior experience will help you in working with the Non-GMO project?
Part of Non-GMO Project’s mission is to educate consumers about what they are purchasing, and I am excited to combine my background in education with my new role here in Client Services. As a teacher, I quickly learned the importance of creating and delivering clear messages that allow people to feel invited into dialogue around big ideas and discussion topics. I couldn’t be more excited to work with clients on becoming verified and to promote the Non-GMO Project.
What is important to you about the work you will be doing with the Project?
I am grateful to be part of a team that is united around a mission that matters deeply to me, and to be working and interfacing with clients and consumers as they join the movement in making our food system more transparent.