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Our Team

Meet our Board of Directors and staff who are
working out in the community and behind the scenes.


Founder & Executive Director


     Tracie is the founder and co-creator at Sunshine Community Compost and a Manatee County native who lived 17 years in the San Francisco Bay area until 2016. In 2017 she launched Sunshine Community Compost, which emerged from the intersection of her passions for people, planet, creativity, and through years of teachings from mentors, farmers, engineers, social workers, permaculturalists, spiritual teachers, travels, the natural world and ancestral 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. Community work in the early 1990's between a group of indigenous community leaders in Nevada and students helped her begin to realize and start peeling back the layers of understanding related to systemic environmental inequities and the human and ecological consequences that result from disproportionately placed burdens of waste. These early experiences illustrated the interdependence between people and planet and informed her that all voices are not heard with equal resonance in response to human-initiated environmental degradation. An early healthcare career enabled her to work with teams and clients in community settings that worked to get people off the streets, provided comprehensive care for adults with HIV & AIDS, and educated 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 community-based, neighborhood solar energy installation projects with families who qualified as low income  - commonly installed in regions that were inequitably burdened by the impacts of pollution. She has also operated a bicycle-based backyard gardening program, has spent many years educating 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 farm and garden inputs so readily available in the west such as imported and easily purchased 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.

Tracie Troxler

Board of Directors

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 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 right here in Sarasota and holds a Bachelor's Degree in Marketing from the University of South Florida. She is an enthusiastic marketing and events professional with a history in both non-profit and for-profit industries. In her current role as events coordinator for Conservation Foundation of the Gulf Coast, Sam oversees fundraising and outreach events of all sizes and actively works to engage and educate the local community on the importance of environmental protection efforts. Prior to joining the team at Conservation Foundation, Sam was marketing and communications manager for Goodwill Manasota where she was responsible for all Goodwill marketing efforts in Sarasota, Manatee, Hardee, and DeSoto counties. She is a member of the 2021 Leadership Sarasota class and in her spare time loves camping, spending time with her husband and young son, exploring nature with friends, and learning more about our incredible planet.


Samantha Valentin

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.


Jenna Biggs


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Contributors to evolving our work


Sam Grimm,
Former Outreach and
Education Intern


Bryn Bell,
Former Outreach and
Education Intern


Salua Rivero,
Former Community Compost
Program Associate

Shelby King Headshot.jpeg

Shelby King,
Former Board Member

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