The Rev. Eyleen Farmer, Founder, is an Episcopal priest and entrepreneur. She holds academic degrees from the University of Memphis and Vanderbilt University and has worked in multiple professional settings including Methodist Alliance Hospice and Calvary Episcopal Church. Toward the end of her tenure at Calvary, she founded Thistle and Bee, a multi-faceted ministry grounded in her belief in the power of love to change the world.
Eli Cloud, Executive Director. Before joining Thistle & Bee, Eli co-founded Sister Supply, an organization that provides menstrual products in an effort to eradicate period poverty in the Mid-South. She is also the Director of Development for the RiverArtsFest. Eli graduated summa cum laude from the University of Memphis with a Bachelor of Liberal Studies degree in Behavioral Science. She and her husband, Eric, have two girls: one human (Lily) and one perpetual puppy (Sausage).
Bethany Hanczor, (LPC-MHSP), Program Director, has dedicated her professional career to empowering people through hope and healing, particularly at-risk populations, and specializing in trauma-focused treatment. She is also skilled in advanced program development and in fostering community partnerships throughout the city of Memphis. Bethany’s role at Thistle & Bee is to develop and oversee the daily operations of the residential program and to coordinate the care and services of the residents. She is there for our women survivors as they undertake their healing journey, helping them become grounded in their newly birthed and powerful identity.
Contact Bethany at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ali Papp Chesney, Social Enterprise Director, an Environmental & Edible Education expert with expertise in outdoor and garden classrooms, STEM curriculum development, professional training, and program management. She has honed her skills through her work at the Chicago Botanic Gardens and the Camp McDowell Farm School in Nauvoo, AL. Ali earned a Bachelor of Arts in Teaching at the University of Illinois, Chicago, and completed a certificate program at the Institute of American Studies, Aix-en-Provence, France. When she is not managing Thistle and Bee’s social enterprises, Ali enjoys raising chickens and growing vegetables.
Alexis Shumaker, Residence Manager, has over 12 years experience in Social Work working with children, adolescents, families, and adults. She has served youth in foster care, provided trauma focused interventions to child sexual abuse victims, and facilitated educational workshops to the populations she serves. Alexis earned a bachelor’s degree in Interdisciplinary Studies from Mississippi State University and a degree in Social Work at Rust College. She is a Licensed Social Worker in Mississippi. She believes that her life’s calling is to serve humankind from all walks of life.
Sheena Wright, CPRS, Peer Support Coordinator. Sheena, a Memphis native, is earning a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management from Lemoyne Owen College. She is a Certified Peer Recovery Specialist in the State of Tennessee. Her motto is “It’s not what you’ve been through, it’s how you handle what you’re going through.” Her favorite thing to do is spending time with her family.
Jessica Harris, Administrative Assistant, has over 10 years of experience in customer service and administrative work. She is efficient in developing organizational systems and processes to enhance an organization’s functionality. Jessica is a native of Memphis and a proud mother of a 9 year old daughter. Her hobbies are reading when she has free time.
Martin Jellinek, Accountant. Martin has worked for Thistle and Bee almost since the beginning, maintaining accounting records and providing tools to ensure financial stability. He has a Master of Science in Accounting from Memphis State University and worked at FedEx for 27 years, mostly in accounting. He retired in 2010 and went back to school, earning a Master of Divinity from Memphis Theological Seminary. He enjoys reading and walking and has a passion for social justice. Martin lives in Cooper Young with his husband Bill and their dachshund Roxy.
Kelsey Johnson, Production Manager. Born and raised in Memphis, TN, Kelsey Danielle Johnson, was exposed to non-profit work and outreach before she was 10 years old. She was a volunteer at Memphis Inner-City Outreach as a child and began volunteering at the Hospitality Hub in High School and on holiday breaks while majoring in Psychology at Jackson State University. Currently she works as a Program Manager at the Hospitality Hub with the City’s Work Local program, and she founded Work Local Women, which is a program that helps homeless women work toward exiting homelessness. Kelsey is the Executive Director of Sister Supply where she and her team work to destigmatize menstruation, provide the indigent with needed products, and educate the public about reusable products. Kelsey is an active person who runs, cycles, gardens, and creates skin and hair products in her spare time.