About the Team

Welcome from Festival Founder 

Three years ago, our family started Maddie’s Mushrooms Farm because of our belief in the vast potential of mushrooms to create a healthier world. In our increasingly interconnected and changing planet, mushrooms are a powerful source of hope. It seems the benefits of these fascinating fungi only spread as more information becomes available, and more and more people are drawn to their mysterious, magnificent ways.  

We started the Olympic Peninsula Fungi Festival to cultivate discovery, connection, and community. We believe that mycology is a topic that should be available and accessible to all, and the more of us who embrace this subject, the better. 

Our mission is to increase access to experiential learning about an array of mycology topics, and bring people together in one of the most renowned ecosystems for fungi on Earth—the Olympic Peninsula. 

The natural composition of the lands, soils, waters, and weather of this bioregion create exceptional conditions for mushrooms to thrive. Olympic National Park covers nearly one million protected acres and contains at least 1,400 different species of fungi. While it’s only 2 percent of the state’s territory, it accounts for at least 56 percent of its mushroom diversity! The festival hopes to draw locals and visitors from across the country to celebrate, respect, and learn within this unique and spectacular place. 

There are many entry points into the field of fungi, each with its own world of wonder. The festival promotes community-building within and across groups, weaving a network of endless connections and possibilities.

This year, we’ve expanded our venue to the Clallam County Fairgrounds in Port Angeles, and will also host events in Sequim. The festival will feature lectures, hands-on workshops, guided forays, mushroom cuisine, and more from local and internationally acclaimed experts. Live music, a vendors’ market, and camping will make for a full three-days of family fun across Clallam County. There are a variety of ticketing options, including a free option.

No matter where you’re at on your journey with mushrooms, we guarantee this festival will inspire something new. 

David Rogers

Owner, Maddie’s Mushrooms 

Founder, Olympic Peninsula Fungi Festival

Olympic Peninsula Fungi Festival Key Personnel

David Rogers – Executive Director

Howard Sprouse – Program Director

Doug Ihmels - Education/Outreach Coordinator

Rose Thompson – Production Coordinator

Vanessa Fuller – Dungeness River Nature Center

Tom Locke – Medicinal Panel speaker

Shana Rogers – Bookkeeping – Office

Courtney Nestler – Marketing Coordinator / Social Media Marketing / Email Marketing

Ricki Carr – Sponsorship Coordinator

Tom Sanford – NOLT

George Braly – CPA

Team Bios

Doug Ihmels

Role: Education/Outreach Coordinator

In this role, I will be coordinating the involvement of local educational institutions and community organizations in the festival.  Send me an email at outreach.opff@gmail.com and let’s explore how your organization can participate in this year’s event.  It is my goal to increase the number of organizations participating this year.    

Why Mushrooms? I find mushrooms fascinating!   As a food source they offer important health benefits and taste amazing.  They serve an important role in our environment and are used in cultures around the world.  I find them beautiful and I am always excited to see them when I am out exploring.  Their diversity and abundance in nature provide endless opportunities to learn more. What more could you ask for?

Why OPFF? I am thrilled to be a part of the OPFF.   It is easy to catch the enthusiasm of founder David Rogers and the rest of the OPFF team. The mission of educating our community on the many benefits and uses of mushrooms is important.   I look forward to help bring a fun and entertaining event to our community.

Favorite Mushroom & why? My favorite mushroom is the Lion’s Mane.  It’s good for the brain and the immune system and tastes great too!  It’s also very interesting to look at.

Ricki Carr

Role: Sponsor Coordinator 

Why Mushrooms? I have found such peace, curiosity and wisdom within myself and everything that surrounds me in the short amount of time I have spent getting to know our fungal friends. The inspiration that they bring to our earthly experience is truly limitless.

Why OPFF? The opportunity to support a family in their passion project means everything! It’s an honor to support community members achieve their goals while simultaneously watching the community around them and the team they have cultivated become inspired and thrive alongside them.  

Favorite Mushroom and why? One of my favorite fungal friends would have to be Pseudohydnum gelatinosum most commonly known as toothed jelly fungus or cats tongue. They are one of the first fungal families that I became friends with. The second I spotted them my entire body buzzed with excitement and joy! From that point on I made sure I prioritized time for them at least once a week. Every time I returned It was just as exciting as the first time we met! After the buzz of excitement calmed, they reminded me of all my bodily senses and curiosities. They helped me to remember the importance of slowing down and cherishing what I have in front of me. I have so much to learn. I am so grateful to know them.

Courtney Nestler

Role: Marketing Coordinator / Social Media Marketing / Email Marketing

Why Mushrooms? I think mushrooms are very interesting. I've been fascinated by nature my entire life and have always been curious about fungi's role in different ecosystems and environments. Not quite a plant, not quite an animal, but something else - which I think is really cool.

Why OPFF? I love working with this team and helping promote this project. David and his family, Rose and Jason, and all those involved, they are real, authentic community builders. I am honored to be a part of it. 

Favorite Mushroom & why? I don't know if I can choose just one. I am fascinated by mushroom's role in holistic health and cleaning up the environment. 

Rose Thompson

Role: Operations & Vendor Management

Why Mushrooms? I'm more of an event kid than a mushroom kid!  I came to this with a love of putting together community events, bringing awareness to our area and it's natural beauty, and an openness to learning more about mushrooms - from a culinary perspective as well as a health and wellness view.

Why OPFF? I believe this may be the most important event produced on the Olympic Peninsula and I feel very honored to be a part of it.  The world of mycology is enormous, interest in it just seems to keep developing, and we live in one of the most robust environments for foraging and exploring.  There is an amazing team that has bonded together to create this festival, and being a part of that crew is very special to me.

Favorite Mushroom & why? My access point to mushrooms remains in the kitchen, so my favorite is probably a chanterelle!