The Island Grown Initiative has named Keith Wilda as its executive director as the growing nonprofit undergoes a reorganization this fall.

IGI was founded in 2005 by Ali Berlow, who was its first executive director.

As part of the reorganization, Sarah McKay will continue as president, Randi Baird as secretary, Mary Kenworth as treasurer and Simon Athearn as a board member. The board plans to add three additional board members by Jan. 1.

Mr. Wilda is taking on a new role with added responsibilities that include management duties, overseeing daily operations, and fundraising. Mr. Wilda came to the Island in May 2013 to become the program leader for IGI’s Island Grown Farms program at Thimble Farm; his new role includes continued management of that project.

“Fifty per cent of the time I’m the executive director and the other 50 per cent I split between further developing a concept plan and putting together information for Thimble Farm as well as management of the greenhouse,” Mr. Wilda said in an interview.

Since its establishment in 2013, Mr. Wilda has run the 33,000-square-foot hydroponic greenhouse at Island Grown Farms, a campus-style educational farm under the IGI.

For the past six months, the farm has sold produce wholesale to restaurants, primarily in Edgartown. Mr. Wilda said 55 per cent of the building has been built out and the systems inside are up and operating.

“We had a great summer,” he said. The hydroponic greenhouse has been growing lettuce, kale, bok choy, basil, strawberries, microgreens, mushrooms and ginger – “to name a few.”

Plants aren’t the only thing growing at IGI. “We have more staff than we had 18 months ago, gleaning has grown, the poultry unit has grown . . . It’s no longer just a grassroots organization, it’s an organization that’s grown to have some really good programs,” he said.

“My expectations are to help grow this organization and make it fulfill its mission on being a real agricultural nonprofit organization, to help the entire agricultural community, more than just the farmers,” he said.

He added that IGI serves as a model for organizations worldwide. “Every community is an island on its own. We can show a really strong, stable food community and agricultural community that can be used as a model somewhere else. We’ve had outside communities looking at what we’re doing at a farm level and there is a lot of excitement. Local food is important in all communities,” he said. “And I look forward to continuing that.”