Fond farewell to Amanda Vanhoozier
The Coppell Farmers Market extends the warmest of thanks and a fond farewell to Amanda Vanhoozier, the CFM’s City of Coppell liaison, for her 12 years of leadership getting the market off the ground, functional, growing, and highly regarded across North Texas. Vanhoozier’s tenure as the City’s Community Programs Manager draws to a close this week as she leaves her position of 15 years to assume the role of Director of Market Operations at the Dallas Farmers Market.
She is a familiar face at the market but her initiatives reach much farther and her name is known across Texas for her visionary leadership in multiple environmental arenas. She was first hired as a consultant to get the Coppell Community Gardens off the ground in 1998 then moved to a full time position and significant, community programs began to emerge. “Amanda has spearheaded the evolution of our community into one that is much more environmentally aware. Her early vision for our community garden as an all organic donation garden was the catalyst for change that grew well beyond its borders,” commented Diane Lowe. Through her guiding spirit, the City then developed Keep Coppell Beautiful, the Coppell Farmers Market, the Coppell Service Center Environmental Management System, Eco Coppell Green Team, the Biodiversity Education Center, and other sustainability Coppell initiatives after her beginning with the garden for little folks while teaching at Stringfellow Preschool.
Past city manager Jim Witt aptly noted, “A community needs roots and someone who nourishes them and cares about maintaining them for the benefit of others. Amanda is one of those caretakers for Coppell who made the community a place to call HOME, a real difference maker.”
Pat Lambert, a founding member of the CFM committee, has volunteered under Amanda’s leadership in four different volunteer-led community initiatives. “In all these adventures, I never met a more competent, organized and hardworking individual. I believe Amanda genuinely cares for the City of Coppell, the local food movement and the care and preservation of our natural environment.” If there could be a Mr. or Ms. Green Coppell that person would have to be Amanda Vanhoozier.
Cindy Geppert of the Coppell Community Gardens hailed her as “an inspirational and compassionate leader. She taught me that the community garden is all about the people.” Current CFM chair Karen Pearsall Gillham also noted this priority of the people over the product, “Amanda has always been about people and relationships. She always has time to listen and is the first to offer a helping hand. She’s a friend to everyone and a mentor to many.”
Reflecting the comments of so many who have worked with her, more recent volunteer Sheila Powell noted, “When I started Amanda made me feel welcome and helped me understand the committee’s work and the interaction with other groups and the city. She has always shared her vast knowledge and has been very helpful. Her vision and direction will be sorely missed. Her leaving is truly Coppell’s loss and Dallas’s gain.”
Other past market chairs also chimed in. Peter Lecca stated, we ”thank Amanda for her forward thinking, listening to all possibilities, accountability, humility, and loyalty. These are the qualities of true leadership. Amanda, we will miss you in the trenches but know you are cheering us on.” “In so many ways you have left lasting marks on the City of Coppell; you have been a positive influence on a multitude of lives; you have truly made Coppell a better place to live – and now you will expand your thoughtful, positive leadership to make the Dallas Farmers Market the hub that it should be,” added Marilyn Horton. Thank you, Amanda. Your legacy will be evident for generations to come in Coppell and North Texas.