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Our Team

Meet our Staff and Board of Directors



Tracie Troxler

Founder & Executive Director

Tracie is a Manatee County native who lived 17 years in the San Francisco Bay area prior to launching Sunshine Community Compost (SCC) in 2017. SCC emerged from the intersection of her passions for people, planet, community work, creativity, and through years of teachings from mentors, farmers, engineers, social workers, permaculture practitioners, spiritual teachers, travels, the natural world and stewards of life and land that came long before her. Tracie's combined experience working in pediatric occupational therapy, community mental health care, nonprofit management, community-based renewable energy, and sustainable and regenerative agriculture set the foundation for the organization. In the early 1990's she participated in a student project led by a group of indigenous community leaders in Nevada that helped her better understand the human and ecological consequences that result from disproportionately placed burdens of waste. These early experiences illustrated the interdependence between people and planet and keeping people centered in environmental efforts. An early healthcare career enabled her to work in community care settings that worked to get people off the streets, provide care for adults with HIV & AIDS, and educate youth in public schools who experienced developmental milestone achievement delays or barriers due to learning challenges or neurological conditions. Community work and sustainability efforts converged when Tracie stepped out of healthcare and began working for GRID Alternatives, facilitating neighborhood-scale solar energy installation projects for and with families who qualified as low income  - commonly installed in regions that were heavily burdened by the impacts of pollution. She has also operated a bicycle-based backyard gardening program, offered a wide range of educational programs in gardening and composting for youth, and spent a year practicing how to grow all her own food after learning closed-loop-system farming from people around the world who grew crops based on calorie density for survival and without the readily available resources such as purchasable fertilizer, compost and tools. These experiences deepened her passion for improving human and planetary health and wellness outcomes in relation to gardening and farming, material and energy conservation, reducing the wasting of food, transforming cultural norms around the disposability of people and the planet, turning "waste" into resources and the need to transform as much inedible organic material into soil to grow food and stronger community connections for present and future generations.


Samantha Valentin


Sam first connected with Sunshine Community Compost in 2017 when founder and executive director, Tracie Troxler, appeared on a radio show Sam co-hosted. Hearing Tracie’s knowledge and passion for composting hooked Sam and she has been a composting advocate and enthusiast ever since. Sam is a Florida native, born and raised in sunny Sarasota. She has a Bachelor of Science in Marketing from the University of South Florida and is an internationally Certified Digital Marketing Professional (CDMP) through the Digital Marketing Institute as well as a Professional Certified Marketer (PCM) through the American Marketing Association. She is additionally certified in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in the Workplace through the University of South Florida and as a Climate Change Communications Trainer through the National Network for Ocean and Climate Change Interpretation (NNOCCI). In her current role as Director of Marketing and Events for Conservation Foundation of the Gulf Coast, Sam is responsible for developing and executing effective marketing, communication, and event strategies to engage and educate the local community on the importance of land conservation and environmental protection in general. Sam is a Leadership Sarasota graduate and sits on both the JEDI Committee and Membership Committee of NNOCCI’s Governing Council. She is passionate about environmental media and communications, environmental justice, and greater representation in conservation and outdoor recreation. In her spare time, Sam loves camping, spending time with her husband and two young children, exploring nature with friends, and learning more about our incredible planet.

Christine Callahan


Christine was introduced to community composting in 2016 as a participant in the early compost pilot projects that led to the formation and incorporation of Sunshine Community Compost. She was the President of Callahan Associates since 1999, a local business that offered systems programming and analyst services, specializing in government service. She retired in April of 2020. She has been a Master Gardener since 2005, a school “Edible Garden Teacher” since 2006, was a Citizen Advisory Council member for the Sarasota Bay Estuary Program for four years, and project lead in a partnership with City of Bradenton Beach to lead environmental education programs for school-age youth 2010-2011. She helped design and implement the 4th and 5th-grade composting program at Anna Maria Island Elementary School and recently became a member of the Manatee County Library Advisory Board. Christine is a mother of two adult sons and in her free time practices and advocates for all things gardening and composting.

Samantha Grimm


Samantha found Sunshine Community Compost through the Cross College Alliance Internship program offered to residents in the Manatee/Sarasota County.  She is a current student at Ringling College of Art and Design majoring in Graphic Design and minoring in the business of art and design.  With her degree, she plans on using her craft to help businesses and organizations become visually impactful.  During her internship with Sunshine Community Compost, she redesigned the website to become more user-friendly, visually balanced, and engaging.  She also collaborated with Tracie in creating a communication plan and designed the August 2020 newsletter.  In her free time, you can find her dancing with family and friends, hiking up a mountain, or climbing a rock wall.
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Jenna Biggs


Jenna became familiar with composting as a member of the "Green Team" working at The Florida Aquarium. The team was established to help the organization "walk the talk" and one of the initiatives was introducing compost bins in the staff & volunteer break rooms, restaurant kitchen, and animal food prep spaces to collect food scraps that would in turn be composted and used on the plants around the facility. The environment has always been her passion, and educating others about it has been her career for more than 15 years. As an Environmental Educator she has worked in the Zoo & Aquarium world, and with other non-profits, as well as in the hotel industry introducing people of all ages to nature, creating an understanding of why it's important to protect it, and providing them with tools to take action. Through the years she has become a certified facilitator for Project Wild, Interpretive Guide and Trainer through NAI, PADI Divemaster, planning committee member for the Northern Right Whale Festival, and member of the National Network for Ocean and Climate Change Interpretation. In her spare time, she loves doing nature photography, hiking, diving, snorkeling, travel and crafting. 
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Christina Rogers-Hehr


Christina is the newest member of the Sunshine Community Compost board. Her love of nature and concern about protecting our natural world led her to an interest in the organization. Christina was raised in Florida, growing up in Clearwater and moving to Sarasota in 2005 to attend New College of Florida. She has her Bachelor's degree in Psychology and her Master's degree in Applied Psychology with a focus on Counseling. She is currently a recruiter for Sarasota County Schools and has worked for the school district for 11 years. In her spare time, Christina loves hiking, running, and photographing our beautiful local landscapes and wild.

Contributors to Evolving Our Work


Former Board Member


Former Outreach and
Education Intern


Former Outreach and
Education Intern


Former Community Compost
Program Associate

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Former Board Member

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Restaurant Outreach


Restaurant Outreach & Zero Waste Event Support 


Former Media and Content Development Summer Intern

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