Marissa LaMagna - Founding Executive Director
Known by some as the “Queen of Green,” Marissa LaMagna is an environmental activist and a passionate educator with lots of Bay Area stories and resources to share. Through her Bay Area Green Tours (BAGT), a nonprofit organization dedicated to showcasing local green businesses and organizations, she has led participants to experience firsthand environmental responsibility and social justice since 2008.
BAGT showcases local green changemakers in green businesses: food and agriculture, water, green building, alternative transportation, renewable energy and zero waste. “BAGT” has hosted “field” trips from Sonoma to Santa Cruz, Marin to Brentwood, the San Mateo Coast, SF and the East Bay.
Previous to BAGT Marissa owned Studio Rasa, the first green-certified Yoga Studio in Berkeley and helped started the East Bay Yoga Collective. She has served on the boards of the Sustainable Business Alliance and The Berkeley Food Policy Council. She helped launch The Berkeley Climate Action Coalition, The California Food Policy Council and Slow Money Northern California. She’s been a speaker at UC Davis’ agritourism conferences, The Heirloom Festival,, The Sustainable Enterprise Conference, and Green Festival and is a Sonoma County Tourism Ambassador. Marissa holds a M.A. in Education from Antioch College and a B.S. in English Education from Ohio University. Her past lives include living on an organic farm and working as a vegetarian cook, high school and elementary teacher, film editor, radio producer, and yoga instructor. Her most recent project involves helping to populate Ecocity Colab, a coworking space in downtown Oakland.
Marissa can be reached at email@example.com and you can also book her for a speech at your event.
Rachel Fessenden - Financial Administrator and Human Resources Director
Rachel has held a variety of positions in her native Bay Area, including working at UC Berkeley’s Plant Biology department
and in outreach for the local chapter of the Sierra Club. She majored in biology at Oberlin College, and has a strong
commitment to creating a greener and more just life for all. Rachel joined the team in March 2011 as an intern and has held the roles of Farm Tour Manager as well as
General Administrator at BAGT, and currently serves as the in-house Bookkeeper. In her spare time she enjoys exploring
East Bay parks, babysitting her newborn niece, and trying out new recipes.
Rachel can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Batya Gelfand - Human Resources & Operations Manager
Batya (aka Beth) has more than 20 years of experience as an event producer, marketer/publicist, writer/editor, and volunteer/project manager for a variety of non-profits tackling societal and environmental issues. This is her fourth year working with Bay Area Green Tours, which is a pleasure and an honor! Batya served for many years as a board member and the events producer of the Sustainable Business Alliance. She has worked as a legislative aide for Congresswoman Barbara Lee, and for over ten years in the field of citizen diplomacy and economic development for Russia. Batya and her husband Scott own The Buddy Club Children's Shows - the Bay Area's longest-running shows for families which entertain over 100,000 families a year with more than 100 live performances in Berkeley, Oakland, Danville, San Rafael, Mill Valley and San Francisco theaters. Their 29 year old company proudly markets the natural and organic products industry to 13 million families nationwide, and provides high quality children's entertainers for private events as well. Batya also works as a promoter and producer for Studio 12 Flys, an aerial dance studio in West Berkeley, and is the proud mom of the amazing Rose and Talia. She can be reached at email@example.com and you can contact her with internship/volunteer inquiries.
Suzy Karasik - Tour Manager/Program ManagerSuzy’s been involved and supported BAGT since its inception. She brings to the organization decades of experience in a variety of fields, including Secondary School Teacher, Convention Services and Event Planning, Hi-tech Business Development, Somatic Education, Nutrition, Permaculture Design, international humanitarian work, and teaching about sustainability and preserving our precious Mother Earth. An avid activist and community organizer, Suzy also volunteers with the Pachamama Alliance as a Symposium Leader, Bay Area Integral, and Beyond the Culture of Separation, a program for white-identified people committed to changing the story of separation. Suzy is passionate about bringing BAGT’s eye opening tours into the corporate arena. She wholeheartedly believes that educating people about successful green business ventures in our own communities is a vital and powerful experience that needs to be known, shared and appreciated.
Baxter – Tour Mascot
Baxter loves long walks on the beach, hiking in the mountains, and all things green.
He’ll be your best friend if you say “hi".
Baxter can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org