Coalition STAFF

Barb Houston, Executive Director

Born to a Navy family, Barb was raised in diverse communities at home and abroad but has spent most of her life in the Puget Sound area. Barb holds a Master’s Degree in International Management and has found a meaningful home working as Executive Director of the South King County Food Coalition and Associate Director of the Des Moines Area Food Bank.

Barb lives in Des Moines with her husband of twenty years. She remains active with the Husky Alumni Band and loves to travel as an international referee in the sport of judo.

You can reach her at

Maggie Rickman, Program Coordinator

Maggie is originally from the East Coast but has called Seattle home since 2012 when she made the big move to attend the University of Washington. She came to the Coalition through an AmeriCorps VISTA position at Elk Run Farm and loved the work so much she continued on with the Coalition as the new Program Coordinator. In her current role, Maggie facilitates projects across the Coalition including Elk Run Farm, King County Farmers Share and more!

Outside of work, Maggie loves attending concerts of all genres, exploring both urban and wilderness spaces, and making up for lost years as a picky-eater by trying new foods.

You can reach her at

Jillian Hirst Johns, Elk Run Farm Manager

Growing up in a rural suburb of Silicon Valley, Jillian was surrounded by orchards and agriculture (things have changed a lot in 40 years!). She learned from an early age that growing your own food was not just tastier but also more rewarding (even when Mom and Dad made me weed!).

In 2013, Jillian started volunteering at the Maple Valley Food Bank, managing their onsite veggie garden. A few years later, Elk Run Farm was founded and she immediately started volunteering there because while growing food has been a hobby of mine since childhood, providing delicious produce fresh from harvest for food bank clients has become a passion. She formally joined the farm team as staff in 2021.  

You can reach her at