Torie Bolster — STAFF member SINCE JUne 2015
Torie may have been born and raised on the Southside of Chicago, but her heart has always yearned for the country roads of West Virginia to take her home. Having sojourned in the summer of 2014, she came to the realization that the staff life was the life for her… and the rest is history! After graduating from Saint Xavier University, Torie traded in her fancy pants and city shoes for work boots, overalls, and a simpler life. Here at the farm, you can find Tor Tor snuggling with Oscar and Ava, being the number-one hype gurl, and hiking/running through the hollow. If you can’t find her in any of those places, she is probably up on a roof, in the garden, or keeping things fun in the kitchen. Wait, no… she’s more than likely still hanging out with the shmushy-faced pups.
Josh LAFave — Staff Member Since July 2017
Josh grew up in southeast Michigan in the Detroit suburb of Livonia. When Josh was over halfway through the nursing program at the University of Detroit Mercy, he found himself headed to a little place called Nazareth Farm. Little did he know that the Farm would be a life changing experience. Upon coming home from The Farm, he started taking bucket showers, planted an organic garden and become passionate about Catholic Social Teaching. Over time, he felt a tug on his heart to consider doing a year of service. After some time discerning, Josh gave God his “Yes” and returned to Nazareth Farm to immerse himself into the four cornerstones. In spring of 2017 Josh graduated with his Bachelor of Science in Nursing and passed his NCLEX, making his official title Joshua LaFave BSN, RN. (Also making him the first nurse to be on staff at Naz Farm!) Around the Farm, you will probably find Josh jamming on the guitar, carrying heavy sandbags up the mountain, playing frisbee or reading a good book.
COURTNEY SMOLA — STAFF MEMBER SINCE OCTOBER 2017
Courtney comes to us from the northwest suburbs of Chicago. After high school, she became a city girl and attended Loyola University Chicago to study Health Systems Management. When she couldn’t get enough of school, Courtney decided to stay another year at Loyola to earn her Master of Business Administration. Upon graduating, she felt God calling her to the mountains to serve. She may have been disappointed when her high school entrance exam suggested she become a farmer, but after first visiting the farm in 2014, she fell in love with the farm life. You can find Courtney talking about sustainability, promoting compost, chilling in a hammock, and whistling while she works. Courtney is also in the process of overcoming her deep-seeded fear of germs. We’ll get back to you on that in a year!
Matt Kosydar — Project Coordinator SINCE DecemBER 2017
Matt Kosydar is the Project Coordinator for Nazareth Farm. He is a kind and helpful man. In fact, he used to have a job at a hotel as a front desk agent. Can you imagine having a job like that?!! Having people come up and say, “Your hotel’s room service didn’t clean my room, so we want a refund!” That proves that he’s patient. So if you have a job that needs doing, my Dad’s on the case!! – Jonah (9)
Allyson Hoch — EXECUTIVE dIRECTOR SINCE aPRIL 2018
Allyson made the move back to the holler after a few years away. During that time, she ventured to Morgantown to complete a Masters in Social Work, work at a free healthcare clinic, and become a real mountaineer. Her dog Jasper also works diligently at the Farm, protecting the front yard from pests (aka cats) and soaking up the sun. She’s enjoying walks down the holler, watching the gardens, porch sitting with neighbors, and working for social justice in the best part of WV!
remy Shaffer Gomes, M.S. —Director of Development Since July 2015
I joined the Nazareth Farm team as the Director of Development in the summer of 2015. This position enables me to ensure Nazareth Farm’s worthwhile mission continues to transform lives and hearts for many years to come. My first visit to Naz Farm created an auspicious start: I had a ‘birthday match” on my actual birthday! I fell in love with Nazareth Farm, the mission, the setting, and the people while learning to install a tin roof. I feel privileged to support our great work and believe this role beautifully combines my personal beliefs and professional skills. I graduated with a degree in communication from the University of Maryland and a M.S. from Miami University in young adult development and leadership. I also bring several years professional experience in development and external relations to my role at Nazareth Farm. I reside in Owings Mills, Maryland, with my husband Casey and our son Bailey and our daughter Eliana.