Leadership and Staff

Founder & Executive Director—Catherine T. Murphy, M.S, HTR

Cate is the founder and visionary of TALMAR (Therapeutic Alternatives of Maryland). Educated at Johns Hopkins University and dedicated to the principle of inclusion, Cate is widely recognized for her innovations. Her expertise in horticulture is immensely valuable to educating, training, employing, and engaging people of all abilities.

Cate is the recipient of numerous citations honoring her achievements as a Registered Horticultural Therapist. The American Horticultural Association recently honored Cate with an international service award in recognition of significant contribution to horticultural therapy in the area of program services provided for a community.

FARM MANAGER: Nan McKay

TALMAR is thrilled to welcome the newest member of our 2018 growing team, Nan McKay! Nan brings 20 years of horticulture and teaching experience to her position as the Farm Manager.  Nan’s educational background is in psychology, horticulture and special education. Nan is also a Registered Horticultural Therapist. She is transitioning to TALMAR from the Milton Hershey School where she had been the manager at their Horticultural Center for the last twelve years. Welcome Nan!

HORTICULTURIST & CERTIFIED SPECIAL EDUCATOR:  Martha Straus

Martha has over forty years of experience in educating and treating children and adults with disabilities.  As a horticultural therapist she he worked with children and adults with a variety of disabilities including psychiatric, seniors, substance abuse, and traumatic brain injuries.  As a Special Education Teacher, Martha taught in non-public and public schools teaching a variety of classes. She recently retired from Harford County Public Schools.  Her Professional Experiences includes holding numerous offices and on the Board of the Directors of  the American Horticultural Therapy Association (AHTA).  She wrote and edited the textbook Horticulture Therapy: the Principals and Practice.  She has published numerous articles as well.  Martha’s education includes a M.Ed from Goucher College; BA in Sociology, Beaver College; and a BS in Horticulture, Virginia Tech.

ASSISTANT MANAGER: Bianca Sarzansky

Bianca Zaransky is a recent transplant to the Parkville area from Westminster, Vermont. Having moved to the area for graduate school majoring in Clinical Social Work. She was pleasantly surprised to find a position at TALMAR as she still pines for her small farmstead back home. Bianca comes to us with an education in resource management and social work. She has worked extensively growing food and animals with young people, specifically young adults living in difficult circumstances. Bianca is passionate about creating a viable and productive environment for children in the foster care system.

OFFICE MANAGER:  Lori Wolinski

Lori has been with TALMAR for the past 5 years.  She is our front person that greets everyone with a wonderful smile and manages to keep our administrative office running smoothly.  She came to us from Goucher University where she was an administrator for student admissions.

FARM STAFF: Will Rhodes; Paul Newill-Champs; Joseph Willey

VOLUNTEER Office Management: Chris Oughton