Who We Are
Julie Solomon: Founder/CEO
A native of Florida, Julie Solomon got her start in the world of environmental educational outreach while working in Los Angeles as a marketing representative for a national green hardware company. With a background in marketing and media, she is active in the “green” community of Los Angeles where she strives to educate people on how they can live a more sustainable life. In March 2008 she saved a 94-year-old home from demolition and chose to remodel and showcase it with all ecologically sound products and processes. Her eco-renovation was filmed for Discovery’s eco-lifestyle channel, Planet Green and airs on their flagship show called “Greenovate.”
Julie founded the Green Beacon Foundation (GBF) to serve as a community resource for the public to have tactile experiences of “going green,” by facilitating on-going workshops, lectures, tours and educational events on the property.
In addition, Julie is a professional Voice-Over Artist whose goal is to speak for the betterment of the planet.
To listen to her demo reel visit: julieannsolomon.com
Luz Angelica Osorio: Secretary
Luz (aka: Angie) is a recent graduate from California Polytechnic State University’s College of Environmental Design, where she majored in Landscape Architecture with a Minor in Regenerative Studies. She is part of the team that created the landscape design for the Green Beacon and is aspiring to see the plan to fruition.
Gaining experience through an organic nursery, a palms broker, and practicing freelance landscape design, Luz currently manages a private nursery specializing in seasonal crops. Her interests include homeopathic medicinal remedies, beneficial wild herbs, and organic vegetable varieties.
In the next few years, Luz plans to further her education by earning a Masters Degree in Urbanism, as well as launching a small business endeavor involving medicinal herbs, lotions, and tinctures.
Natalie Freidberg: Treasurer
Born and raised in Europe where conservation and sustainability are an integral part of life, Natalie comes from a long line of forward thinking environmentalists. Having earned a degree in Environmental Policy from Occidental College, she is a Certified Green Building Professional and a California Building Performance Contractor and is currently training to become a LEED Accredited Professional and a Certified Sustainable Buildings Advisor.
Natalie is particularly passionate about helping clients create comfortable and beautiful living spaces that use the least possible amounts of energy and water. She specializes in researching and sourcing eco-friendly building and design products with reduced carbon footprints and non-toxic materials.
A frequent public speaker, she often donates her time to participate in workshops and events related to green building. She has also appeared on Planet Green’s “Greenovate” home improvement show.
Board of Advisors:
Lauren Johanson: laurenjohanson.com
Lauren Johanson grew up on a sheep farm in northern New Jersey and today raises French Alpine goats on her family farm in Fillmore, CA. She and her mother founded Chivas Skin Care (link: chivasskincare.com) where they hand-craft goat milk soaps using fresh goat milk, fair trade shea butter, pure essential oils and herbs from their garden.
Lauren is most excited about is using their soap company as a soapbox to talk about bigger issues of homesteading, sustainable agriculture and, ultimately, our nation’s health. She loves giving tours of their farm and is training to become a Master Food Preserver so that she can help teach workshops at the Green Beacon. Lauren also comes from a background in green living, as she founded the former YourDailyThread.com, a free daily email for the “eco-curious and social do-gooder.”
Kelly Coyne and Erik Knutzen of ROOT SIMPLE:
Kelly Coyne and Erik Knutzen are the authors of The Urban Homestead (Expanded and Revised Edition): Your Guide to Self-Sufficient Living in the Heart of the City (2008) and Making It: Radical Home Ec for a Post-Consumer World (2011). In 2006 they founded a blog, which was formerly known as Homegrown Evolution, that evolved into Root Simple which is about getting back to basics, DIY living, encompassing homegrown vegetables, chickens, herbs, hooch, bicycles, cultural alchemy, and common sense.
Kelly and Erik live in the heart of Los Angeles, in a little bungalow set on a 1/12 acre lot where almost all of their land is devoted to growing edible or otherwise useful plants and trees. Their obsessions include bees, bikes, beer, chickens, dogs, healthy cities, healing herbs, simple living and good food.