Our Staff

Jessica Focht-Perlberg

Executive Director

Alex Kincaid-Beal

Community Building Intern

Jessica and her family have lived in SE Como since  2009. She strives to teach her kids by example how to be part of the change towards creating a community that is ever more just and equitable for all. Driven to action by this aspiration, she made a career shift last year to community organizing work, after more than fifteen years of social justice work as a social worker, and a legal services attorney. She looks forward to building on these experiences in service of the community in SE Como.

Whether you have been involved with SECIA for a long time or SECIA is brand new to you, I would love to hear from you. Contact me at jessica@secomo.org if you would be interested in finding a time to talk about what matters most to you in our neighborhood.

Alex Kincaid-Beal is a Community Building Intern for SECIA. Alex’s past work with social justice organizing has led to their interest in neighborhood organizing and strengthening local community ties. They are excited to collaborate with a variety of organizations and individuals to benefit the neighborhood. Alex is currently studying Biology, Society, & Environment and History at the University of Minnesota.

Mya Halvorson

Communications & Community Building Intern    mya@secomo.org 

Laszlo Marton

Garden Intern

Mya Halvorson just completed her junior year at the University of Minnesota, where she studies Political Science and Urban Studies with minors in Spanish Studies and Racial Justice in Urban Schooling. On campus, Mya is involved in research assistantship and the University Honors Student Association. Mya’s research focus and greatest passion is K-12 public education policy. In her free time, Mya likes to watch hockey, listen to podcasts, hike with friends, and make spreadsheets.

Laszlo is one of the Community Gardens interns for SECIA and is currently pursuing a Master’s in Urban and Regional Planning from the University of Minnesota. Laszlo is passionate about increasing neighborhood connections to food and the environment and is excited to support and learn from SECIA’s gardening community.

Izzy Voigt

Garden Intern

Anna Novalany

Garden Intern

Maribel Morales

Community Building Intern

Izzy (they/them) is a Community Garden Intern, the main garden intern for FairShare Farms. Izzy graduated from the U of M in spring 2020 with a degree in Plant Science/Horticulture. They have previously worked as a Field Technician for an Ecology lab at the U, as well as interned at the Como Conservatory. Izzy is passionate about local food production and excited to be involved in the gardens this summer!

Anna Novalany is one of the garden interns for SECIA. Anna’s main focus is to help create a long-term sustainability plan for the gardens along with assisting in care and upkeep. She is currently studying Environmental Science at the University of Minnesota. She is excited to be involved in the creation of this plan and hopes it will support the gardens for years to come.