Our Staff

Heidi Allstead, Executive Director 

Heidi has been the Executive Director for Project MANA since January 2012. Previously, she was the Grants Manager for Tahoe SAFE Alliance where she became passionate about social services work that then later became involved with Project MANA as a volunteer. Her previous professional background includes water quality protection & watershed management, non-profit management, grants management, and consulting. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Science with a minor in Biology. Heidi and her family moved to Lake Tahoe in 2008. Prior to moving to Tahoe, Heidi and her family lived in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan near Lake Superior. Heidi’s passion is non-profit management and helping to make a difference in the community she lives in. 

Brian Herlihy - Office Manager

Brian Herlihy joined the team as the Office Manager in October 2012.  His prior experience includes working with non-profits in an Office Manager or an Executive Director Assistant capacity.  He has lived in the Lake Tahoe area with his wife for over 5 years.

Hayley Collins - Program Manager

Hayley has been the Program Manager at Project MANA since August 2012.  Her previous employment was with Tahoe SAFE Alliance as the Volunteer & Event Coordinator. Hayley has lived in Tahoe for 5 years. Prior to moving to Tahoe, Hayley lived in Seattle, WA. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Politics and is working on a Masters of Arts in Development Policy and Practice.

Deidre Ledford - Program Coordinator

Deidre joined our team as the Program Coordinator in September 2013 upon completion of two AmeriCorps terms with Project MANA as the Nutrition Education Coordinator.   She was born and raised in the Appalachian Mountains of North Carolina.  Deidre received her Bachelor of Science in Environmental Sciences from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2008 and went on to obtain her Masters in Environmental Management from Duke University's Nicholas School of the Environment in 2011.  While at Duke, her master's project focused on implementing farm to school programs to promote the economic revitalization of southeastern NC.  Through this work she realized her passion in working to provide food insecure communities with greater access to fresh, whole foods--work that she continues to do every day with Project MANA. Deidre and her dog, Chewbacca, happily reside in Kings Beach, CA.

Brian Hunt - Warehouse Coordinator & Driver

Brian joined our team as Warehouse Coordinator in September 2013. Although originally from Berkeley, Brian has spent most of his life in Washington, DC.  From his time as an architect to his stint with Recreational Equipment, Inc. (REI), Brian’s involvement with community service organizations have ranged from tutoring exceptional youths in math to spearheading the efforts of an AIDS service organization to build a respite care center for families affected by HIV/AIDS.   In 2012, Brian returned to Lake Tahoe, a place where his family has worked and played since the 1930’s.

Chelsea Truax - AmeriCorps Member, Nutrition Educator

Chelsea Truax is an AmeriCorps volunteer serving as Project MANA's Nutrition Educator. After completing her bachelor’s degree in Nutritional Science and Dietetics from the University of Nevada, Reno, she took some time traveling around New Zealand to explore what nutrition and wellness meant to her and her future in the field. The time spent abroad volunteering on farms and expanding her knowledge on nutrition and self-sufficiency ignited her desire to be of service to her own community, teaching the importance of taking ownership of your health and strategies to incorporate more whole foods into one’s diet. She now happily resides in the North Lake Tahoe area with the hope to motivate the community to adopt healthy habits in all areas of their life!

Ava Murphey - AmeriCorps Member, Volunteer and Outreach Coordinator

Ava, and AmeriCorps volunteer, hopped on the Project MANA team in September of 2013 as the Volunteer and Outreach Coordinator. Ava was born, raised, and went to school on the east coast. From a childhood in Maryland to a college degree in Global Studies and Hispanic Studies at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Ava is excited to be out west, exploring new territories and pursuing her interests in non-profit work.