About the Organizers

Terry BenselTerry photo 2

Terry has been living and working in Meadville since 1994 when he started teaching in the Environmental Science department at Allegheny. Both of his children went through the Meadville school system and are proud to call themselves natives of the area. Terry’s interests in forestry and natural resource management led him to help organize the Northwest PA Woodland Owners Association (NWPWA) and explore ways to strengthen the local economy while protecting the environment. He hopes that the Year of Meadville will be a way for residents and others to learn about and appreciate the wonderful community we are a part of and the opportunities we have to make it even better.


Kerstin Martin

Kerstin has been living in Meadville for about three years, although she’s lived in Pennsylvania for most of her life. She loves growing vegetables, teaching others about sustainable gardening and farming, and especially enjoys cooking and sharing meals with others. Kerstin is especially excited for our community to continue building our regional food economy so that more people have access to healthy food and that more people can make a living growing and preparing food, while protecting our land and water resources.

Autumn VogelAutumn photo 2

Autumn moved to Meadville four years ago when she enrolled at Allegheny College. After getting involved in a variety of community groups during her time as a student, she fell in love with Meadville. Thanks to the support of Gigi Fahrner, Autumn was able to stay in Meadville after graduating from Allegheny to serve as the Year of Meadville Organizer. She is excited to be able to assist in making the Year of Meadville a valuable, resident-focused community experience that will support and grow the good work going on here.

Julie photoJulie Wilson

Before deciding on a career in higher education, Julie was a neighborhood organizer and small business owner. She has seen firsthand the power of grassroots work to effect meaningful change and loves working behind-the-scenes to connect folks to each other and to broader movements. Julie hopes the Year of Meadville will strengthen the amazing work that’s already happening in the area, especially when it comes to engaging young people in civic life and mobilizing for a strong local economy.

Thank you to our steering committee, who represented many residents of Meadville, for helping to shape the direction of this annual theme!