In Their Own Words

My work at OAEC:

I oversee the facilities work for OAEC and onsite Sowing Circle Community. My focus is on managing the new construction projects that we’ve been undertaking the past few years.

My background:

I worked on farms for much of my twenties, then fell in with a construction contractor, Kirk Hopkin, in 1999. After a couple of years learning which way is the business end of a hammer, the Facilities Manager position came up at OAEC. I’ve had thirteen years of on the job training.  I’m starting to get it. I think.

My passions:

Through the wanderings of my adult life, the importance of working within a community has been a running theme. Whether it be farming, theater, working with wood, or where I live, the strength of numbers has always been intrinsic to my pursuits. Having a warm home with the wife, the cat, and a cozy wood stove also stir my passions.


James clowning

James in the woodshop


Why my work matters:

I love my work. The OAEC is getting some good work done in the world, my projects are interesting, and I get to teach folks some skills.

My favorite resiliency resource:

The Spirit Rock Meditation Center in Woodacre, Calif. Keeping a strong center makes everything happy!

The wildest place I’ve ever been:

A few years back, high in the Sierras, I sat on a hollowed-out peak with the wind howling through the opening. The land for a hundred miles composed itself before me.

A song that always gets stuck in my head is:

“Lovergirl” by Teena Marie