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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.

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: bhanczor@thistleandbee.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. Her motto is “Don’t forget to be Awesome, every day.” She believes that her life calling is to serve humankind from all walks of life.

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