SAULO ARAUJO is the director of the global movements program at WhyHunger. Saulo works to advance initiatives of food sovereignty and agroecology by identifying resources and network opportunities that will strengthen the work of grassroots organizations and social movements. Originally from Brazil, he has a Bachelor of Science degree in agricultural engineering from the Federal Rural University of Pernambuco state, Brazil and a MA in international development and social change from Clark University. Prior to WhyHunger, Saulo worked as the Latin America program coordinator for Grassroots International, and served as consultant to international funders, including the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization. More recently, he was one of the contributors to the book Rethinking Food Systems: Structural Changes, Strategies and the Law with the article Opportunities and Challenges for Food Sovereignty Policies in Latin America. Saulo is a senior fellow of the Environmental Leadership Program (ELP), and has served as a board member and advisor for many organizations, including The Food Project and New England Grassroots Environmental Fund.
Yissel Barajas chief human resources officer (CHRO), Reiter Affiliated Companies, CA
YISSEL BAJARAS is the Chief Human Resources Of cer (CHRO) for Reiter Af liated Companies (RAC), the world’s largest fresh multi-berry producer. Yissel leads RAC’s Talent, Culture, and Leadership strategies, ensuring the Human Resources strategy is aligned with business objectives.
Before joining the HR Department, Yissel managed RAC’s Philanthropy program, under which she launched the Sembrando Salud program, a work- based healthy living initiative designed to prevent obesity and diabetes among the farm worker community. Sembrando Salud was developed in partnership with UC Davis and UC Berkeley, creating a successful model for public-private partnerships for the bene t of public health.
Prior to joining RAC, Yissel was a Senior Development Project Manager at Cabrillo Economic Development Corporation, a nonprofit developer of quality affordable housing. The daughter of farm workers, she has a personal commitment to health, housing, and other issues affecting the quality of life of the farm worker community. Yissel has a bachelor’s degree in Political Science and a master’s degree in Urban Planning from UCLA. Yissel is an alumni of Class 40 of the California Agricultural Leadership Program.
As part of her commitment to her community, she has volunteered on the Board of various community organizations including, the California Coalition for Rural Housing, the Ventura County Homeless and Housing Coalition, and the American Red Cross of Ventura County. She also served on the steering committee of the Ventura County Farm Worker Housing Task Force and the Ventura County Agricultural Museum. She recently joined the Western Center for Agricultural Health and Safety External Advisory Board.
Yissel lives with her husband, Jaime, and their two children in Camarillo where they enjoy hikes, bike trails, and participating in community events. She stays balanced by running, and continuously learning by traveling and reading.
Stacey Barbas senior program officer, The Kresge Foundation, MI
STACEY BARBAS is a senior program officer on the Kresge Foundation’s health team. She is responsible for managing a portfolio of approximately $20 million that focuses on increasing health equity by addressing conditions that lead to poor health outcomes. Her portfolio includes grants that address healthy food systems that benefit low income communities, and she is a lead staff person on Fresh, Local, and Equitable, a $12 million initiative with the Foundation’s arts and culture program that funds projects around the country that use food-oriented programs to contribute to economic revitalization, cultural expression, and health in urban low-income communities. Stacey’s professional career in the nonprofit health and human service fields spans thirty years. She joined the Kresge Foundation in January 2008 after serving for five years as executive director of the Michigan AIDS fund, a statewide nonprofit grantmaking organization. She received a master of science in administration and management from Central Michigan University. She serves on the steering committee of the Sustainable Agriculture and Food System Funders and chairs the Policy Committee.
Flávio Barbosa director of schools, Landless Workers Movement (MST), Ceará, Brazil
ANDREW BLACK is the founder and director of Certified Kind. He spent the past 11 years working for Oregon Tilth, one of the nation’s most trusted organic certification agencies. Andrew has worn many hats in organic certification, including Farm Program Manager, Inspector, Final Reviewer, Latin American Specialist, and Certification Officer. Andrew has inspected hundreds of farms and food processing facilities in the United States and Latin America and has made certification decisions for hundreds more. He is an expert compliance reviewer for products certified to the USDA National Organic program plus the organic standards of the European Union, Canada, and Mexico. He also has hands on experience growing plants in greenhouses, and for several years grew vegetables for 15 families from his small urban farm.
Andrew Black founder and director, Certified Kind, OR
ANDREW BLACK is the founder and director of Certified Kind. He spent the past 11 years working for Oregon Tilth, one of the nation’s most trusted organic certification agencies. Andrew has worn many hats in organic certification, including Farm Program Manager, Inspector, Final Reviewer, Latin American Specialist, and Certification Officer. Andrew has inspected hundreds of farms and food processing facilities in the United States and Latin America and has made certification decisions for hundreds more. He is an expert compliance reviewer for products certified to the USDA National Organic program plus the organic standards of the European Union, Canada, and Mexico. He also has hands on experience growing plants in greenhouses, and for several years grew vegetables for 15 families from his small urban farm.
Larry Bohlen chief operating officer, HRI Labs, MD
LARRY BOHLEN is a former NASA engineer, a food and environmental advocate, and entrepreneur. He helped repair the Hubble Telescope and worked on the Cosmic Background Explorer that measured the size, shape and age of the universe. Larry left engineering to bring his scientific expertise to public interest advocacy. He has worked as an analyst, strategist, lobbyist, and media spokesperson. Areas of experience include air quality, food and agriculture, chemical, and land use policy.
While working in DC, his investigation of illegal StarLink GMO corn led to the largest food recall in U.S. history—300 retail products and 1 billion bushels of corn. It resulted in more than $120 million in legal settlements paid to farmers and consumers, and helped prevent commercialization of GMO wheat and rice. Most recently, Larry co-founded the Health Research Institute, a nonprofit, independent food testing laboratory dedicated to creating transparency in food and agriculture. HRI Labs tests for a range of pesticides, hormones, and antibiotics as well as nutrients in food.
Larry lives in Baltimore, Maryland with his wife Susan and dogs Ella, Joonie, and Shadow.
ROBIN BOT-MILLER is a team builder, investor, and lifelong learner dedicated to supporting innovative businesses that focus on both future generations and annual results. He left the world of institutional real estate investing in 2016 to embark on a year-long ‘sabbatical’ with his wife Heather and refocus his career in a more regenerative direction. Robin is a proud new dad to their son Ever, and spent 2017 studying organic farming at the Center for Land-Based Learning, where his profound respect for farmers and our soils grew daily. He previously spent 11 years as a commercial real estate investor, most recently as a co-founder and managing director of RBC Real Estate Capital Partners and previously in the Real Estate Principal Investment Area of Goldman, Sachs & Co. in the New York, Dallas, and London offices. Originally from Saint Cloud, Minnesota, Robin graduated with honors from Stanford University with a degree in economics. He is a Fulbright Scholar whose program in Monterrey, Mexico focused on international business.
Kyle Bozentko executive director, The Jefferson Center, MN
KYLE BOZENTKO brings over a decade of civic engagement, public policy, and political organizing experience to oversee the strategic, organizational, and programmatic development of the Jefferson Center. He has worked with a range of organizations including the Minnesota Historical Society, The Farr Institute at the University of Manchester (UK), and the Consultation and Response Agency of the Dept. of Premier and Cabinet in South Australia to strengthen their public participation and civic engagement initiatives. Projects have included topics such as strengthening local government, improving media engagement and collaboration, determining conditions for sharing and protecting patient health data, and deciding whether or not to pursue nuclear waste storage. Kyle’s work has been published in GOVERNING Magazine, MinnPost, and in the Independent Sector blog. His experiences have led him around the world speaking with audiences on the opportunities and challenges for effective democratic innovation and civic engagement. Kyle also serves on the Board of Directors of the International Association of Public Participation USA, the Coalition on Recovery Investment, and on the MNsure Health Industry Advisory Committee.
David Bronner CEO (cosmic engagement officer), Dr. Bronner’s, CA
DAVID BRONNER is Cosmic engagement officer (CEO) of Dr. Bronner’s, the top-selling brand of natural soaps in North America and producer of other organic body care and food products. He is a grandson of company founder, Emanuel Bronner, and a fith-generation soap maker. Under David and his brother Michael’s leadership, the brand has grown from $4 million in 1998 to just under $100 million in annual revenue in 2015. As the main facilitator of the Hemp Industries Association’s (HIA’s) successful multi-year litigation against the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), from 2001-2004, David played a crucial role in defending sales of hemp foods and body care in the US. David has also been arrested for acts of civil disobedience, including for symbolically planting hemp seeds on the lawn of the DEA campus, and for locking himself in a steel cage in front of the White House to protest federal policies preventing farmers from growing industrial hemp in the US. David is an active supporter of both the HIA and Vote Hemp. He is also a key leader in the fight to label GMO foods in the US. David dedicates time and resources to many different issues on behalf of the company’s mission — which encompasses commitments to making socially and environmentally responsible products of the highest quality, and to dedicating profits to help make a better world. David was born in Los Angeles in 1973 and earned an undergraduate degree in biology from Harvard University. He lives in Encinitas, CA with his wife Kris and their daughter Maya. He is a dedicated vegan and enjoys dancing late into the night.
Mike Callicrate director and immediate past president, Organization for Competitive Markets; owner, Ranch Foods Direct, KS
MIKE CALLICRATE is an independent cattle producer, business entrepreneur and political activist. In 1975, after earning a degree in animal science from Colorado State University, he moved to St. Francis, Kansas, to farm and raise cattle. Frustrated by the lack of market access for his livestock, Mike became a founding member of several farm advocacy groups seeking to reform the increasingly consolidated marketplace, including the Organization for Competitive Markets, R-CALF USA, and the Coalition for a Prosperous America. In 2000, he formed a value-added meat company, Ranch Foods Direct, which allowed him to take his products directly to consumers looking for higher quality meat options. After establishing a fabrication plant and retail store in Colorado Springs, he began marketing and promoting high quality natural meats and other locally produced foods, helping dozens of small producers to gain better access to the market. In 2011, Mike collaborated with a nonprofit group to build and begin testing a mobile meat-processing unit that he could use for on-site processing of livestock in the most humane manner possible. He also diversified the farm into the production of eggs and pork as well as beef and has carefully implemented the most advanced regenerative agriculture practices for restoring the health of the land, livestock and local community.
Mike was a lead plaintiff in two class action lawsuits against the major meatpackers, contending the use of unfair trade practices. He also served as an advisor for the films Food Inc. and FRESH, and for several best-selling books about the modern food system including The Omnivore’s Dilemma by Michael Pollan and Fast Food Nation by Eric Schlosser, as well as other popular books, articles and documentaries.
Anna Claussen director of rural strategies, Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy; fellow, Nathan Cummings Foundation, MN
ANNA CLAUSSEN bridges years of practice in urban design and sustainable agriculture policy with a life deeply rooted on a Minnesota family farm. She is committed to facilitating the social change necessary to protect and heal our landscapes. As a current Fellow with the Nathan Cummings Foundation she is leveraging cultural narratives, transformative stories, and immersive experiences to shift the way people think and feel about climate change, and about each other; empowering rural communities to engage in efforts to mitigate and adapt to climate change; and advancing inclusive climate change policies. Anna is a current advisor, and former director of rural strategies, at the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy, which works locally and globally at the intersection of policy and practice to ensure fair and sustainable food, farm, and trade systems. Over the last decade, Anna has focused on creating resilient communities through the design and vision of alternative land-use plans; by advancing market solutions within the emerging bio-based economy; and by sitting in tough spaces, wrestling with problems, and believing in the humanity of all people.
Anna has a bachelor’s degree in geography and studio arts from Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, Minnesota and a master’s degree in landscape architecture from the University of Minnesota.
Camille Collazo president, Visit Rico, Puerto Rico
CAMILLE COLLAZO is a designer, videographer, professor, and entrepreneur from and based in Puerto Rico. She serves as president of Visit Rico, a nonprofit organization dedicated to strengthening the agricultural economy in Puerto Rico through sustainable agritourism experiences in order to achieve food sovereignty. The organization has grown into a network between farmers and their communities to diversify their sources of income. In September 2017, Visit Rico launched the fundraising campaign, Regrow Puerto Rico to guarantee a rapid reactivation of farms after Hurricane Maria.
Camille holds an MFA in “Design as Entrepreneur” from the School of Visual Arts, New York, dedicated to sustainable agritourism for Puerto Rico; a certificate in Sustainable Tourism for Agriculture Short Supply Chains from the United Nations, Training Center, International Labour Organization (ILO); and a BFA in Humanities, Film, Visual Arts, and History of Art from the University of Puerto Rico.
Jay Conui political leadership coordinator, HEAL Food Alliance, CA
JAY CONUI comes to the HEAL Food Alliance family with more than 20 years of experience working in social justice movements and national liberation struggles. Before working at HEAL, Jay served as the program manager for a leadership development organization that trained grassroots organizers and movement leaders on embodying their leadership commitments and visions for social justice through the use of somatics. Before that, Jay served for eight years as the director of a base-building organization that organized and developed the grassroots leadership of Oakland’s low-income Southeast Asian families for immigrant rights and education justice campaigns. Equally important to his movement commitments is Jay’s dedication to raising a healthy and happy teenaged daughter and son.
Dara Cooper national organizer, National Black Food & Justice Alliance; member, HEAL Food Alliance, PA
DARA COOPER is a national organizer with the National Black Food and Justice Alliance, an alliance of black-led organizations working towards national Black food and land justice. She is also an organizer with the HEAL (Health Environment Agriculture and Labor) Food Alliance and completed a southern tour interviewing Black farmers, co-ops, and food hubs throughout the south with the Center for Social Inclusion. Dara is the former director of the W.K. Kellogg-funded NYC Food and Fitness Partnership in Brooklyn, NY, where she worked on creating and strengthening Black farmers markets, developing a community based local food hub, and creating a farm to headstart program in Brooklyn in partnership with Corbin Hill Food Project, a local food hub. Prior to this work, Dara led the launch and expansion of Fresh Moves (Chicago), an award-winning mobile produce market with community health programming, which quickly became a nationally recognized model for healthy food distribution and community-based self-determination and empowerment. A former Uganda Bold Food Fellow (exchange program between professionals in the U.S. and East Africa), Kalamazoo Arcus Center for Social Justice Leadership Food Justice Fellow, National Alliance Against Racist Political Repression Human Rights Awardee, and a member of Black Farmers Urban Gardeners, Malcolm X Grassroots Movement and Friends of Cooperation Jackson (MS), she believes in the power of people organizing and investing in self-determining, sustainable communities worldwide. Dara is based in Philadelphia, PA.
Cathryn Couch executive director, Ceres Community Project, CA
CATHRYN COUCH is the founder and executive director for Ceres Community Project, a nonprofit organization working to foster health by connecting people to one another and to a just and sustainable food system. Couch, who holds an MBA from the University of Michigan, spent four years as director of communications for The Hunger Project’s U.S. operations before founding one of the first gourmet organic home-delivered meal services in the San Francisco Bay region in 1993. She’s a founding member of the Sonoma County Food System Alliance and a member of the Food is Medicine Coalition, a national association of medical nutrition service providers. She’s received numerous awards, including finalist for The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Community Health Leaders Award, Leader in Sustainability Award for Sonoma County, Red Cross Adult Humanitarian Hero for Northern California, and a CNN Hero in 2016.
TIM CROSBY leads the Thread Fund, which focuses on investing multiple forms of capital to generate social and environmental returns alongside financial returns. Tim is coordinator of the Cascadia Foodshed Financing Project, participant in the Global Alliance for the Future of Food, founding board member of Partners for Rural Washington, and partner with Social Venture Partners. Tim’s previous positions include co-chair for the Sustainable Agriculture and Food System Funders, director of Slow Money Northwest, board chair for the Washington Sustainable Food and Farming Network, board chair and interim executive director for NW Sustainable Energy for Economic Development, and program officer and trustee for the Carolyn Foundation. He also has 15 years of experience as a professional photographer and graphic designer. Tim coached club soccer for 11 years and lives in Edmonds with his wife and two daughters. He holds an MBA in sustainable business from Pinchot University and a BA in anthropology from Kenyon College. Tim will talk fly fishing with anyone.
Andrew Crosson director of regional initiatives, Rural Support Partners, NC
ANDREW CROSSON has been at Rural Support Partners since June 2012. As director of regional initiatives at RSP, Andrew works with leaders, organizations, and networks to support regional strategies that advance Appalachia’s transition towards a just and sustainable economy for all. A native of Appalachia, his path to sustainable economic development work began in a small farming community in the mountains of rural western North Carolina. He completed undergraduate studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he earned bachelor’s degrees in history and political science with honors, a minor in environmental studies, and was a founding member of campus groups devoted to local food systems and community gardens. Andrew’s international experience includes a semester of study abroad in Spain, a summer of independent field research in South America, two years teaching English in Spain, and travel in 25 countries and 5 continents. He completed a master’s degree in sociology at the University of Granada in Spain, where his thesis research focused on the role of agriculture in rural development and sustainability. Andrew is a 2016 BALLE Local Economy fellow.
Jessica Culpepper food project attorney, Public Justice, DC
JESSICA CULPEPPER is the Food Safety & Health Attorney at Public Justice in the national headquarters in Washington, D.C. Before joining Public Justice, Jessica was a Barker Fellow and Staff Attorney at the Humane Society of the United States in the Farm Animal Welfare Division. There she worked primarily on fighting pollution from Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations and advocating for federal and state policy reform to advance sustainable food systems and the humane treatment of animals. Jessica also defended constitutional challenges to state laws protecting the treatment of dogs in puppy mills and preventing the practice of cockfighting.
Jessica is a 2007 graduate of Georgetown University Law Center, where she won the Outstanding Clinic Achievement Award in the Domestic Violence Clinic and helped establish the Georgetown Journal of Law & Modern Critical Race Perspective. She received her B.A. in history and political science from Warren Wilson College in 2004, where she won the Alton P. Pfaff Award for Most Outstanding Member of the Graduating Class.
Kelly Damewood director of policy and government affairs, California Certified Organic Farmers (CCOF), CA
KELLY DAMEWOOD advocates on behalf of organic farmers as the director of policy and government affairs for California Certified Organic Farmers (CCOF), a nonprofit organization based in Santa Cruz, California that advances organic agriculture for a healthy world. After a brief stint running a small organic farm, Damewood went to law school determined to help farmers navigate the legal issues that impact their ability to grow food in a better way. She received her J.D. from Vermont Law School and her LL.M. in agricultural and food law from the University of Arkansas School of Law.
Kate Danaher senior director, social enterprise lending and integrated capital, RSF Social Finance, CA
BRANDY DAVIS is the Investor Program Director at Confluence Philanthropy. Confluence advances mission related investing by supporting and guiding a community of private and public foundations, individual donors, and their investment advisors. Brandy joined Confluence after providing customized philanthropic services to individuals, families and foundations at Silicon Valley Community Foundation. As a philanthropy advisor, Brandy partnered with donors to increase the strategic impact of their grantmaking, and supported foundations to have effective operations and governance. Before her career in philanthropy, Brandy was a social justice advocate and public interest attorney. Brandy was executive director of a legal aid organization that advocated for the rights of immigrant communities in Los Angeles. She also led a statewide labor-community coalition and partnered on national organizing campaigns focused on policy solutions for working families, including paid sick leave and family leave. Brandy has a law degree from USC Gould School of Law and is a member of the California Bar.
Trishala Deb regional director, Asia, Thousand Currents, NY
TRISHALA DEB is a seasoned organizer, and leads Thousand Currents’ programs in Asia. She has worked at the intersection of a variety of issues – immigrant and refugee rights, gender justice, and anti-violence and militarization – supporting the capacity-building efforts of emerging grassroots organizations. Previously, she worked for the Caring Across Generations campaign, bringing together home care workers, consumers, and families. She also coordinated a program for immigrants at the Audre Lorde Project, a community organizing center for lesbian, gay, bisexual, two spirit, and trans people of color in New York City, and has worked with the Arcus Foundation and Public Interest Projects. Trishala has served on the advisory board of the National Network of Immigrant and Refugee Rights and worked with Migrant Rights International. She has also served on the steering committee of Grassroots Global Justice to connect issues of migration, sustainable development, and economic justice with organizations in the Global South and the U.S.
Julia DeNatale vice president of philanthropic services, Napa Valley Community Foundation, CA
JULIA DeNATALE DeNatale was born and raised in Napa and has a bachelor’s degree in Communications (with an emphasis in Journalism) from the University of San Francisco. Julia joined Napa Valley Community Foundation (NVCF) as Manager of Philanthropic Services in 2010 and assumed the role of Vice President of Philanthropic Services in January 2017. In this role, Julia oversees the Community Foundation’s grantmaking, including donor-recommended and discretionary portfolios. Julia also leads the Foundation’s grantmaking initiatives, which currently include: Nonprofit Capacity Building; Disaster Relief; and, One Napa Valley, which incubated integration and legal services for immigrants that want to naturalize. After the South Napa Earthquake in August 2014, Julia’s team distributed grants of $8.4 million to aid more than 13,000 Napa County residents with immediate, interim and long-term needs, including: medical care; counseling; food and temporary housing; case management and application assistance; direct cash aid to replace essential household items; grants for homeowners to make structural repairs to ensure the safety of their homes; grants to small businesses to replace business inventory, fixtures and equipment; and long-term rebuilding and case management, like bracing hundreds of mobile homes against future earthquakes. The funds invested helped leverage nearly $50 million in Federal aid dollars for Napa County residents. Following the Earthquake, NVCF invested $861,000 in preparing the community for future disasters and provided intensive technical assistance to 16 key area nonprofits to develop Emergency Operations Plans. Additionally, Julia’s team approved grants totaling $565,000 to the 16 nonprofits to be enacted immediately in the case of a future declared disaster. NVCF also launched Napa County’s first-ever Community Organizations Active in Disaster (COAD), which held its first meeting in the fall of 2017. Within 48 hours of the Napa Fire Complex igniting on October 8, 2017, NVCF re-activated its Disaster Relief Fund, and has since distributed more than $5 million for response and relief efforts, with around $10 million more in philanthropic investments planned for the next 18 months.
Before joining Napa Valley Community Foundation, Julia was Director of Development and Community Education at Wolfe Center, a nonprofit behavioral health organization for teens in Napa. Prior to that, her work in the private sector includes more than six years in marketing and promotions management at Bay Area radio and television stations. Julia is a graduate of Leadership Napa Valley, as well as a former Board member of the program.
Julia’s current volunteer positions in the community include: President of the Charter Council of Napa Valley Language Academy, a public Dual Immersion charter elementary school; and member of the Measure H Bond Oversight Committee of Napa Valley Unified School District. Julia lives in Napa with her husband Chris, the Marketing and Events Director of Boys & Girls Clubs of Napa Valley, and her three children. Julia’s entire family works in the Napa County public sector, and she is raising her son and two daughters to get involved in affecting positive change in their communities.
Bridget Dobrowski program and operations director, SAFSF, CA
Bridget Dobrowski joined the Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems Funders in 2009 and has held many different roles and responsibilities during that time. She has a master’s in environmental science and management from the Bren School at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Before grad school, her professional work experience included time with the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary; interning with the Sonoran Institute in Montana and the Environmental Defense Center in Santa Barbara; and working as a biological field technician for the U.S. Forest Service and the National Park Service in Montana, Idaho, and Utah. She grew up half in Montana and half in Ohio, giving her the perspective to confidently say she always wants to live in the West, without thinking everyone else should feel the same way.
In addition to her professional work with environmental and food system issues over the last 15 years, Bridget has a passion for theater, yoga – especially AcroYoga, building & fixing things, sewing, crocheting, cooking, and helping friends whenever she can.
Brock Dolman co-founder and program director, Occidental Arts & Ecology Center, CA
BROCK DOLMAN is a co-founder in 1994 of the Sowing Circle, LLC intentional community and Occidental Arts and Ecology Center (www.oaec.org) in Sonoma County, California. He is a co-director of OAEC’s Permaculture/Resilient Community Design Program, Wildlands Program and the WATER Institute. Over the past 25 years Brock has worked as an Agroecology and Permaculture educator/consultant internationally in over a dozen nations in Latin America, Asia, Africa, Europe and widely in the U.S.A. He has co-facilitated over 60 Permaculture Design Certificate Courses since 1995. During the mid-80’s he studied organic bio-intensive agriculture with Dr. Rich Merrill at Cabrillo College in Aptos, CA. In 1992 he completed his BA in Conservation Biology & Agroecology with Dr. Stephen Gliessman, where he graduated with honors from the University of California Santa Cruz in the Biology and Environmental Studies Departments. He has been featured in the award winning films: The 11th Hour by Leonardo DiCaprio; The Call of Life by Species Alliance; and Permaculture: A Quiet Revolution by Vanessa Shultz; Russian River: All Rivers. In October 2012 he gave a City 2.0 TEDx talk(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Izf6D1LQlFE).
Leah Douglas associate editor and staff writer, Food and Environment Reporting Network, DC
LEAH DOUGLAS is a journalist based in Washington, D.C., where she primarily covers food and agriculture policy. Her main beat is corporate power, consolidation, and political economy in the food sector. Leah is currently an associate editor and staff writer at the Food and Environment Reporting Network (FERN). She was formerly a reporter at the Open Markets Institute, where she built, wrote, and edited the publication Food & Power. Her work has appeared in the Nation, the Washington Monthly, the Journal of Food Law and Policy, Mother Jones, Civil Eats, Slate, Fortune, and elsewhere.
KELSEY DUCHENEAUX is the fourth generation of her family ranch on the Cheyenne River Sioux Reservation, and works with the nonprofit, Project H3LP!, to give back to her community. She honed skills to better fill this role as a result of the opportunities made possible by the Gates Millennium Scholarship Program. Her penchant for engaging the next generation of leaders and desire to deploy those skills and abilities enhanced through the Foundation’s generosity and vision led her to the Intertribal Agriculture Council. Under her guidance, youth programming has expanded to encompass scholarship preparation while delivering detailed curriculum that supports the sustainable development of agriculture systems to improve Indian Country. In just three years, she’s worked with more than 500 youth from more than 150 Tribal Nations—now leaders of movements in their own communities while shaping agriculture and food policy on a national level.
Abigail Echo-Hawk director, Urban Indian Health Institute, Seattle Indian Health Board, WA
ABIGAIL ECHO-HAWK (Pawnee) was born in the heart of Alaska where she was raised in the traditional values of giving, respect for all, and love. Ms. Echo-Hawk currently serves as the director of the Urban Indian Health Institute, and the chief research officer at the Seattle Indian Health Board. Urban Indian Health Institute is a tribal epidemiology center that serves tribal people currently living off tribal lands nationwide. In addition, in UIHI’s role as the National Coordinating Center for Good Health and Wellness in Indian Country, she also works with approximately 100 tribal nations. Her work incorporates these core principles and activities: engagement and participation of community partners; research and evaluation on health, healthcare, and other community priorities; education, training, and capacity-building for Native people, including researchers, students, and communities; infrastructure development; technical assistance; and sharing results in a way that recognizes and respects the unique cultural contexts of American Indian and Alaska Native people. In these roles she also works with American Indian and Alaska Native tribes and organizations to identify health research priorities and with health researchers to ensure research is done in a manner that respects tribal sovereignty and is culturally appropriate.
Crystal Echo Hawk consultant, Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community, CO
CRYSTAL ECHO HAWK (Pawnee) is president and CEO of Echo Hawk Consulting. Echo Hawk Consulting advises a number of philanthropic clients on grantmaking, program development, research, communications, strategic partnerships and policy change strategies. Areas of expertise include Native American food sovereignty, nutrition, health, early childhood development, revitalization of Native languages, and issues related to the protection of tribal sovereignty, spiritual and cultural life ways and Native American youth. Echo Hawk Consulting is also co-leading an unprecedented national initiative, Reclaiming Native Truth: A Project to Dispel America’s Myths and Misconceptions. The project will develop public opinion research and a national strategy to tackle misconceptions, stereotypes, and the invisibility and false narratives about Native peoples within mainstream media, government, and American society. Native Americans will be empowered to begin to change the hearts and minds of policymakers, institutions, and society to achieve policy changes and increase equity and inclusion that will improve the lives of Native peoples. Ultimately, the project will drive a multi-year strategy and campaign that will catalyze key federal and state policy changes ranging from health care, education disparity, food justice, and criminal justice reform to issues of sovereignty and natural resource exploitation. Before leading Echo Hawk Consulting, Crystal served as the executive director for the Notah Begay III (NB3) Foundation from 2009-2014. During her tenure, Crystal helped grow the NB3 Foundation from a small grassroots organization to an organization that reinvested more than $9.7 million to fight the health epidemic facing Native children through strategic grantmaking, health and wellness programming, technical assistance, research and advocacy that benefitted more than 50 Native American communities, tribes, and 24,000 Native children.
Erin Eisenberg director of partnerships, TomKat Foundation, CA
ERIN WIRPSA EISENBERG works with Tom Steyer and Kat Taylor as director of partnerships at Fahr LLC and as a strategic advisor at TomKat Ranch. Erin oversees charitable giving and works closely with strategic partners making the business and environmental case for regenerative agriculture, shifting demand towards good food, bolstering access to beneficial banking, and preventing climate disaster. Previously, Erin served as executive director of CitySeed, which is building an equitable, local food system in Connecticut. She earned degrees from the University of Notre Dame and Yale University.
CURT ELLIS is recognized as a leading voice in America’s food movement. After growing up in Oregon and finding his passion for food and agriculture at The Mountain School and Yale, Curt moved to Iowa to investigate the role of subsidized commodities in the American obesity epidemic. The film he co-created there, King Corn, received a national theatrical release and PBS broadcast, shaped policy debate about the farm bill, and earned a George Foster Peabody Award. Curt has been recognized as a Draper Richards Kaplan Fellow, a Claneil Foundation Emerging Leader, a Kellogg Food and Community Fellow, a New Profit Social Entrepreneur, and a recipient of the Heinz Award and the Pearl Award. He has appeared on ABC, CBS, NBC, and NPR, is a frequent speaker on college campuses, and serves on the steering committee of Voices for National Service and the advisory board of the Blue Sky Funders Forum. Curt has led FoodCorps through rapid growth, from a $200,000 founding year in 2010 to its current budget of $15M.
Torri Estrada executive director, Carbon Cycle Institute, CA
TORRI ESTRADA is executive director at Carbon Cycle Institute and directs its policy and climate justice work. Torri has worked with nonprofit, community-based, and public institutions to advance solutions to social and environmental justice, climate, and environmental issues for over twenty years. Previously, Torri was the program director at the Marin Community Foundation, where he managed the foundation’s environmental grantmaking program and climate change initiative. He was also a program officer at the Unitarian Universalist Veatch Program at Shelter Rock, where he managed its environmental justice, media reform, reproductive rights, and civil rights portfolios. Torri was the co-founder and a senior policy fellow with the Environmental Justice Coalition for Water; served as director of the Latino Issues Forum’s Environment and Sustainable Development program; and was a program director at Urban Habitat, where Torri managed the Brownfields and Community Revitalization Project and co-developed its Leadership Development Program. Torri holds an MS in environmental sociology and policy (with an emphasis on environmental justice) from the University of Michigan.
Lucy Flores director of program design, FoodCorps, OR
LUCY FLORES leads human centered design-based program development for FoodCorps’ national service program, focusing on experience design that helps create healthier school food environments. In 2011, she helped launch FoodCorps and has since supported the development and expansion of the program. Before her work at FoodCorps, Lucy developed social issue and public health initiatives through her work in nonprofit communications and documentary film. She has studied at the Centre for Film and Media at the University of Cape Town and received degrees in political communication and journalism at the George Washington University.
TYSON-LORD GRAY acts of-counsel to the Richman Law Group in Brooklyn, NY focusing on civil rights and environmental sustainability. He holds a B.A. in religion from Trinity International University, an M.Div. in theology from Morehouse School of Religion, an S.T.M. in philosophical ethics from Boston University, a Ph.D. in environmental ethics from Vanderbilt University, and a J.D. from Pace University. Tyson previously held legal internships with the EPA and the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), where he was the inaugural Food Law Extern through the Pace-NRDC Food Law Initiative.
Tyson is also the founder and director of Green Community Vision, a nonprofit aimed at increasing environmental consciousness and ecological activism in minority communities, and teaches as an adjunct professor in environmental studies and sciences at Pace University. Tyson is passionate about improving the environmental conditions of those in low-income and minority communities, and his advocacy efforts focus on shaping the public discourse and impacting policy.
Reginaldo (Regi) Haslett-Marroquin chief strategy officer, Main Street Project / Regeneration International, MN
REGINALDO (REGI) HASLETT-MARROQUIN is the principal architect of the innovative poultry-centered regenerative agriculture model that is at the heart of Main Street Project’s work. As chief strategy officer, his focus is on the development of multi-level strategies for building regenerative food and agriculture systems that deliver social, economic, and ecological benefits. He leads Main Street’s engineering and design work and currently oversees the implementation of restorative blueprints for communities in the U.S., Mexico, Guatemala and Honduras.
A native Guatemalan, Regi received his agronomy degree from the Central National School of Agriculture, studied at the Universidad de San Carlos in Guatemala, and graduated from Augsburg College in Minneapolis with a major in international business administration and a minor in communications.
Regi began working on economic development projects with indigenous Guatemalan communities in 1988. He served as a consultant for the United Nations Development Program’s Bureau for Latin America and as an advisor to the World Council of Indigenous Peoples. He was a founding member of the Fair Trade Federation in 1994. Regi served as director of the Fair Trade Program for the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy from 1995 to 1998, and led the creation, strategic positioning, start-up and launch of Peace Coffee, a Minnesota-based fair-trade coffee company.
Regi currently lives and farms in Minnesota with his wife Amy and their three kids.
Alicia Harvie advocacy and issues director, Farm Aid, MA
ALICIA HARVIE is Farm Aid’s advocacy and issues director, where she guides advocacy, research, issues analysis, and policy-related activities to advance Farm Aid’s mission and goals, and also oversees its farmer services program. Each year, Willie Nelson, Neil Young, John Mellencamp, and Dave Matthews host Farm Aid’s annual benefit concert to raise funds and awareness around the issues facing America’s family farmers. Alicia has an MS in agricultural science and policy from Tufts University’s Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy. While completing her degree, she interned with Organic Valley, a family farmer-owned cooperative based in La Farge, Wisconsin, and also co-authored policy briefs and working papers on everything from federal farm subsidies to high-fructose corn syrup manufacturers to the impact of foreign direct investment in Mexico’s hog sector while at Tufts University’s Global Development And Environment Institute. Before this, she worked in Oxfam America’s U.S. program.
Leslie Hatfield senior partnership and outreach advisor, GRACE Communications Foundation, NY
LESLIE HATFIELD is the senior partnership and outreach advisor at GRACE Communications Foundation, where she advises on communications matters and collaborates with like-minded organizations on the development and refinement of external communications. Leslie has contributed to The Huffington Post, EcoWatch, Alternet, Edible Hudson Valley, Acres USA, and others, and served as lead author of the publication Cultivating the Web: High Tech Tools for the Sustainable Food Movement. Leslie earned her BA from The Evergreen State College, and her MA in public communication from American University. She sits on the advisory committee for the Food and Farm Communications Fund, and is an advisory board member for the Farm to Fork Initiative and the Plastics Solutions Fund.
Marielena Hincapié executive director, National Immigration Law Center, CA
MARIELENA HINCAPIÉ is the executive director of the National Immigration Law Center, the main organization in the U.S. dedicated to defending and advancing the rights of low-income immigrants. She began her tenure at NILC in 2000 as a staff attorney leading the organization’s labor and employment program. Marielena has served on the American Bar Association’s Commission on Immigration and is currently a member of the Welcome.US and Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP) boards of directors. Among the awards she has received are Univision’s Corazón Award in 2013, honoring her commitment to the Latino community, and, in 2014, the National Public Service Award from Stanford Law School. Ms. Hincapié serves as a resource for and is often interviewed by media outlets such as Univisión, Telemundo, CNN en Español, MSNBC, the New York Times, and the Los Angeles Times, among others.
Sarah Hobson executive director, West Marin Fund, CA
SARAH HOBSON is executive director of West Marin Fund, a coastal community foundation in the Bay Area. Formerly executive director of New Field Foundation and International Development Exchange, she has extensive experience in working with peasant and indigenous communities to advance their rights and resources. She has helped shape disaster response funding for smallholder farming communities confronting displacement, ebola, hurricanes, and violent conflict.
Savonala (Savi) Horne executive director, Land Loss Prevention Project, NC
SAVONALA (SAVI) HORNE is the executive director and senior attorney at Land Loss Prevention Project. She works with grassroots organizations to formulate legal strategies to address environmental equity and other rural justice issues. She also directs the Partners in Agriculture Program and coordinates the Southern Sustainable Research and Education project. She is a member of a National Environmental Justice advisory subcommittee and serves on the Rural Coalition board. She is a graduate of the City College of New York.
KEVIN (KIRBY) IRBY is a Texas native currently living in Rhinebeck, New York. Kirby is director at Threadspan, a multi-stakeholder collaborative seeking to contribute to the emergence of a regenerative Hudson Valley. Before Threadspan, he worked as an investment associate at Armonia LLC, a private equity firm focused on regenerative agriculture, and at C&S Wholesale Grocers, Inc., the largest wholesale grocery supply company in the U.S. He is also an active conservation biologist and previously worked with The Nature Conservancy on Martha’s Vineyard. Before his environmental career, Kirby worked in contemporary art and translation in France, and as a photographer in Spain. Kirby received his B.A. in biology and environmental studies with a minor in French from Middlebury College in Vermont, with additional coursework at Sciences Po Bordeaux, after attending The United World College of the Atlantic in St. Donat’s, Wales. He enjoys trail running, hiking, reading, analogue photography, spending time in his art studio, and irony.
Martin Jennings program officer, Northwest Area Foundation, MN
MARTIN JENNINGS is an enrolled citizen of the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe, located in the northern woodlands of Minnesota. With more than 30 years of experience in community and economic development activities in Tribal and rural communities, Martin assists the Northwest Area Foundation in its poverty reduction and prosperity building efforts spanning eight states and 75 Native nations. As a program officer, he identifies grant opportunities for Tribal nations and other communities; helps shape funding parameters and details; and facilitates partnerships between the foundation, grant seekers, grant recipients, and community. In his nearly ten years at the foundation, Martin has been actively involved in the foundation’s grantmaking in areas of enterprise development (micro/social enterprise), workforce development, providing access to capital, and personal financial capability development.
Martin believes in giving back to the community and over the years has served on various commissions, charitable boards, and advisory committees. As a traditional food harvester and gatherer, Martin sees traditional food and food system advocacy as a universal strategy to address the growing health, wellness, and economic disparities faced across our country.
TAMARA JONES draws on more than 20 years of experience providing strategic leadership that helps her clients overcome barriers to unlocking the full power of their missions. Her skill at leading organizations through effective planning and implementation led to her being honored as a 2011 White House Champion of Change. Her past leadership experience includes being a member of the executive committee for the Social Enterprise Alliance Greater Atlanta Chapter and board chair of The Common Market Georgia (which connects small and mid-sized farmers with large institutional buyers). In addition to running her strategic management consulting firm, Evident Impact LLC, Tamara currently serves as interim executive director of the Southeast African American Farmers Organic Network (SAAFON).
Sarah Kelley senior program officer, Island Foundation, RI
JONATHON LANDECK is advisor to the Seeds, Soil, and Culture Fund and managing director at New Field Foundation. Jonathon is an agronomist and non-formal educator by education and experience. He has held key management positions at the Organic Farming Research Foundation and the Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems, University of California—Santa Cruz.
Anna Lappé program director, food and democracy, Panta Rhea Foundation, CA
ANNA LAPPÉ is a national bestselling author and an internationally recognized expert on food systems. She is the author or co-author of three books on food, farming, and sustainability and the contributing author to a dozen more. She is the co-founder of three national organizations, including the Small Planet Institute and Small Planet Fund. In addition to her work overseeing the Panta Rhea Foundation’s Food and Democracy grantmaking portfolio, she leads Real Food Media, a collaborative initiative to spark conversation about our food system, catalyze creative storytelling, and connect communities for food system transformation. Anna is a frequent public speaker at universities and conferences nationwide. She has a master’s in international affairs from Columbia University and graduated with honors from Brown University. Anna is an active board member of Rainforest Action Network and Mesa Refuge, a writer’s retreat in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Brad Leibov president and CEO, Liberty Prairie Foundation, IL
BRAD LEIBOV has spent more than 20 years working to influence the underlying dynamics of our social, economic, and environmental systems by creating new tools, strategies, and social enterprises to help address our societal challenges. Since 2011, he has served as the president and CEO of the Liberty Prairie Foundation where he guides the vision and strategic direction of a leading environmental philanthropy with pioneering programs in food and agriculture, conservation and planning, and policy. Brad served as the co-chair of Fresh Taste from 2012 to 2017 and currently serves as the vice-chair of the Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems Funders.
Hector Lujan chief executive officer, Reiter Affiliated Companies, CA
HECTOR LUJAN is the CEO of Reiter Affiliated Companies (RAC), the largest fresh, multi-berry producer in the world and the leading supplier of fresh strawberries, raspberries, blueberries and blackberries in North America. RAC operates farms in California, Oregon, and Florida. Originally a family farming company, RAC is committed to leadership development and community involvement. Hector joined RAC in 2002 as vice president of Central Mexico for the company’s Mexican affiliate, BerryMex. In 2011, Lujan and his family relocated to the U.S. as he took on the role as RAC’s chief operating officer (COO); he was named as CEO in 2016. Hector’s expertise and perspective on immigration issues is widely respected in policy circles. Hector worked several years in the financial sector before joining Bionova Fresh, a subsidiary of the holding company Grupo Pulsar, where he managed its farming and marketing operations. He was instrumental in helping growers improve their practices, teaching growers that the more they put into their crops and worked the soil well and deep, the stronger the plant, the better the fruit, and the higher the yields.
Steve Lyon senior scientific assistant, Washington State University Bread Lab Plant Breeding Program, WA
STEVE LYON leads the breeding and field research portion of the Washington State University (WSU) Bread Lab. Steve (BS animal nutrition ’79, MS crop science ’02, WSU) was a commercial grain and livestock producer in eastern Washington for 13 years and has worked the past 26 years developing wheat varieties for WSU. In 2013 he earned one of the highest honors in his profession by having a new grain named in his honor – ‘Lyon’ barley, and on May 15, 2017 was named “Washingtonian of the Day” by Gov. Jay Inslee for developing western Washington’s first original wheat variety. Steve works closely with the Bread Lab’s PhD students and to date, has been instrumental in the public release of 15 wheat and 2 barley cultivars as well as 11 germplasm breeding lines.
Sriram Madhusoodanan deputy campaigns director, Corporate Accountability, MA
ANDREA MALMBERG has lived most of her life on the land with livestock and real food in the western United States. She holds a bachelor of science in agriculture and a master of science in natural resource sciences from Washington State University. After completing her studies in Zimbabwe and Argentina, Andrea became an accredited professional in holistic management. Seeing the need to bring the tools of human flourishing to rural communities, Andrea received a master’s in applied positive psychology from the University of Pennsylvania. As a result, she has created a platform that people throughout the world are using to manage and monitor their well-being.
With her husband Tony, she has run several regenerative land-based enterprises always with the purpose of honing her skills to enhance the well-being of people, animals, and our planet. She delights in ranching, cooking, and learning about what makes people tick, and finds purpose in being civically active and participating in the creation of healthy communities.
LIVIA MARQUÉS is the founding principal of Food Driven Strategies, where she provides guidance and consultation to organizations focused on community food systems as the catalyst for broader systemic change. She brings over 20 years of experience and technical expertise in promoting equitable, fair, sustainable, and economically viable local and regional food systems.
By working with producers and communities across the country in urban and rural areas, Marqués brings a unique skill set based on her diverse experience in the sustainable food and agriculture sector, the federal government and philanthropy.
She served in multiple positions at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, from District to State Conservationist and National Plant Materials Specialist for the Natural Resources Conservation Service. Marqués was Founding Director of the People’s Garden Initiative at the U.S. Department of Agriculture where she led this international effort to promote community-based agriculture. She also created “Share Your Harvest” a national campaign that in one year resulted in the donation of 1.2 million pounds of fresh produce to families in need.
Prior to Food Driven Strategies, Marqués served as a national program officer for the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, where she developed the Transnational Food Sovereignty investment strategy and managed a $30M portfolio.
An accomplished public advocate and passionate spokesperson, Marqués is the recipient of the President’s Volunteer Service Award, a finalist for the Samuel J. Heyman Service to America Medal for Citizen Services, and the Outstanding Alumnus of the College of Agriculture & Life Sciences at North Carolina State University.
Maricela Morales executive director, Central Coast Alliance United for a Sustainable Economy (CAUSE); steering committee member, 805 UndocuFund, CA
MARICELA MORALES helped start the Central Coast Alliance United for a Sustainable Economy (CAUSE) in 2001 and now serves as executive director. CAUSE’s mission is to build grassroots power for social, economic, and environmental justice through policy research, leadership development, community organizing, and advocacy in the central coast of California. Maricela’s work at CAUSE has included local living wage ordinances, expanding health coverage for the uninsured, women’s economic justice, race and gender equity in the green economy, state redistricting, advocating on behalf of children and farmworkers from hazardous pesticides, and the current Central Coast Farmworker Bill of Rights. She is a steering committee member of the 805 UndocuFund, a collective effort among Ventura and Santa Barbara County-based grassroots organizations that is supporting low-income immigrant families who were impacted by Southern California wildfires and subsequent debris flows but remain unable to access federal disaster aid.
Maricela is the first Latina and youngest city councilmember elected to the Port Hueneme City Council, where she also served as mayor. She was appointed by the California Assembly Speaker as an alternate to the California Coastal Commission and was co-chair of the California Roots of Change (ROC) Stewardship Council working for a sustainable food system for California. She is past president of the Ventura County Leadership Academy and member of the Women’s Public Vision for Politics, Religion and Civil Society of the Washington, DC-based Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR). She is former board member of the Mixteco-Indigena Community Organizing Project (MICOP) and presently serves as chair of the board of Future Leaders of America (FLA).
Maricela is the daughter of Mexican working-class immigrants. She is a graduate of Stanford University with a BA in human biology and a MA from Pacifica Graduate Institute.
Daniel Moss executive director, AgroEcology Fund, MA
DANIEL MOSS has spent the past decades in farming communities in Latin America, working and living at the nexus of human rights and community development. He has 20 years of experience in fundraising, communications, and organizational development through tenures with organizations such as Oxfam America, Grassroots International, American Jewish World Service, the Equitable Food Initiative, and the AgroEcology Fund. Daniel holds a master’s degree in international development and regional planning from MIT and lives in Jamaica Plain, MA with his family. He publishes frequently on water and food themes in National Geographic, Huffington Post, Earth Island Journal and other online media.
Stephen O’Brien director of strategic partnerships, New York City Department of Education, Office of School Food; board member, Urban School Food Alliance, NY
STEPHEN O’BRIEN has served as an outstanding leader in the New York City (NYC) Department of Education over the last 26 years, having dedicated his career to elevating the school meals experience for the 1.1 million students in the Big Apple. Mr. O’Brien helped found the non-profit group Urban School Food Alliance in 2012, whose goal is to provide quality meals for the health and wellness of the 3.7 million students in 11 major school districts in the United States.
He started his career in NYC in 1991 as a manager, responsible for three schools. He was soon recognized for using a chef’s approach when serving students. He became a citywide trouble shooter, reopening poor performing school sites. Since then, he has served as Deputy Director of Field Operations, Regional Director for Manhattan, and Director of Food and Menu Management. He currently serves as Director of Strategic Partnerships.
Mr. O’Brien has a broad understanding of the complexities involved in delivering a quality service to students. He has transformed school meals and cafeterias in NYC, making them a model for districts across the country. Some of the initiatives he has implemented include serving more locally-sourced produce, bringing salad bars to all NYC schools, serving whole grains, cutting out artificial ingredients, using compostable plates instead of polystyrene, and engaging students in the meal service.
As a key leader within the Urban School Food Alliance, Mr. O’Brien supports large scale market change to improve the quality of meals offered nationally. He coordinates and facilitated the inaugural Alliance meeting and continues to develop the Alliance by building relationships with members, partner organizations, and colleagues.
Mr. O’Brien has been honored for his work and participates in conferences and events to engage families and communities about school meals and nutrition education programming.
Mr. O’Brien holds an AOS in culinary arts, a BS in food service management with a minor in secondary education from Johnson & Wales University, and an eCornell Certificate in plant-based nutrition. He has an MPA degree from Baruch College, City University of New York.
He volunteers his time to facilitate international student exchange programs, mentors students at Baruch College, and enjoys traveling.
Tom Philpott senior reporter, Mother Jones Magazine, TX
TOM PHILPOTT is the food and agriculture correspondent for Mother Jones Magazine. Before joining Mother Jones in 2012, he spent five years as a columnist and food editor for Grist Magazine. In 2004, he was a co-founder of Maverick Farms, a small organic vegetable farm and center for sustainable food education in Valle Crucis, North Carolina.
Carol Pickering program officer, Dietel & Partners, ME
CAROL PICKERING joined Dietel & Partners in 2009 after a career path that took her through business and technology journalism and food businesses. Carol is responsible for various client program areas, working most closely with Tory Dietel Hopps and Ren Dietel. Carol started her career as a business reporter at The Writing Company in Portland, ME in 1995 and later joined the editorial boards of Forbes ASAP and Business 2.0 magazines as staff writer. In 2001, Carol left the world of technology journalism to join a startup food company. After selling the business in 2006, she joined another food business that closed its doors in 2009. During this time, Carol became active in Maine’s value-added food industry, where she helped start the Maine Food Producers Alliance, a nonprofit business association for Maine’s food producers. She is a trustee of the Pickering Foundation in Salem, MA, a foundation dedicated to preserving and promoting the history of the Pickering House and family. Carol is a graduate of the University of Puget Sound and Holderness School. She lives in Portland, ME with her husband and two children.
Jaime Pinkham executive director, Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission, OR
JAIME A. PINKHAM (Nez Perce) has spent most of his career advocating for tribal sovereignty, self-determination, and treaty rights. He is executive director of the Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission, which was established by four treaty tribes: Yakama, Warm Springs, Umatilla and Nez Perce. CRITFC provides the tribes with science, management, enforcement, litigation, and policy support. From 2009-17, he was vice president of the Bush Foundation in St. Paul, MN, leading the design and implementation of their Native nation building program supporting tribes across ND, SD, and MN. An outgrowth of the Foundation’s work was the creation of a native led non-profit, the Native Governance Center, where he was a loaned executive in 2016 to assist in their startup, and today continues to assist NGC as senior advisor emeritus. From 1990-2002 he worked for the Nez Perce Tribe and was elected twice to the Tribe’s governing body, successfully retaining the position of treasurer as the tribe was launching into gaming. He also led the tribe’s natural resource programs and was involved in salmon restoration, water rights negotiations, wolf recovery, and land acquisition. He currently serves on the Governing Council of The Wilderness Society, American Rivers Board of Directors and Board of Trustees at Northland College. He is chairman emeritus for the American Indian Science and Engineering Society, past president of the Intertribal Timber Council, and former member of the Advisory Council for the Udall Center’s Native Nations Institute for Leadership, Management and Policy at the University of Arizona. He has a forestry degree from Oregon State University and is a graduate of the Washington State Agriculture and Forestry Leadership Foundation’s leadership program.
STEPHANIE RANDOLPH is a member of the Cassiopeia Foundation team (formerly blue moon fund), an innovative philanthropic investment vehicle that supports its programmatic priorities solely through impact investing vehicles. In her role at Cassiopeia, Stephanie works to strategically identify investment opportunities that will advance environmental and social impacts, as defined by the founding family, while also producing financial returns. She provides intelligence and analysis on opportunities to drive social change, internal project management, and relationship stewardship across a diverse range of stakeholders to cultivate mutually beneficial strategic relationships.
Stephanie has a long history and passion for sustainable community development, particularly in Appalachia. Her experience in community and economic development, fundraising, and as a program manager influenced her approach as a grantmaker seeking to support holistic and sustainable strategies. She is currently the co-chair of the Energy and Natural Resources Working Group of the Appalachia Funders Network. Stephanie also co-leads a regional initiative to launch an impact investing platform that will connect impact investors with a pipeline of investable propositions in Central Appalachia. Before her time at the foundation, Stephanie served as the founding executive director of the Nicholas County Community Foundation in Summersville, West Virginia; worked for the Webster County Economic Development Authority and Mountaineer Foodbank; and served on the board of Philanthropy West Virginia. She holds a master’s of arts in communal service/nonprofit management and a master’s of arts in Hebrew Letters from Hebrew Union College—Jewish Institute of Religion.
Urvashi Rangan chief science advisor, GRACE Communications Foundation, NY
URVASHI RANGAN has been a scientific investigator, policy decoder, spokesperson, and advocate on a wide range of food safety and sustainability issues for the last 20 years. She is chief science advisor for GRACE Communications Foundation, providing scientific and communications support for programs and partners. She also consults with food advocacy groups and other funders on food safety, labeling, and sustainability issues. She helped funders in Herd develop a consensus around grass-fed baseline principles and has been active in educating groups about organic plus regenerative systems. Before GRACE and consulting, she spent 17 years at Consumer Reports and led several scientific investigations on food and other products with toxic hazards.
SANJAY RAWAL is of East Indian descent but spent his formative years in the United States. He was actually born in Africa where his father and mother were living briefly. Sanjay’s father spent nearly a decade working with indigenous West African tribes to preserve their seeds in a regional seed bank. Sanjay spent a decade in human rights before becoming a filmmaker. His first film, Food Chains (link: www.foodchainsfilm.com) chronicled what some consider the most successful activist indigenous movement in the West – the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW). The CIW are a group of tomato workers – primarily displaced Central American indigenous people – based on Seminole land in southern Florida. Food Chains documented their fight against large food conglomerates and featured Eva Longoria, Eric Schlosser, Forest Whitaker, Dolores Huerta, Kerry Kennedy, and Bobby Kennedy Jr. (all allies of the CIW). The film won a number of awards including the 2016 James Beard Award for Best Film and the 2016 BritDoc Impact Award as one of the most important films of the year. Sanjay’s second film, 3100: Run and Become (link: 3100.film) chronicles the world’s longest running race – the Self-Transcendence 3,100 mile race – but featured Navajo, San Bushman and Japanese monk runners too. The film will be released in 2018.
Amanda Reiman vice president of community relations, Flow Kana; secretary, Cannabis Farmer’s Association; board member, Open Cannabis Project; board member, California Cannabis Tourism Association, CA
AMANDA REIMAN is the vice president of community relations for Flow Kana, a branded cannabis distribution company that works with small farmers in California’s Emerald Triangle. She is also the secretary of the International Cannabis Farmer’s Association, a nonprofit that advocates for research and policies that favor sun grown cannabis cultivation through traditional farming methods, and a board member for the Open Cannabis Project and the California Cannabis Tourism Association.
After receiving her PhD from UC Berkeley, Dr. Reiman was the director of research and patient services at Berkeley Patients Group, one of the oldest dispensaries in the country, and the manager of marijuana law and policy for the Drug Policy Alliance, a national nonprofit that was engaged in the drafting and campaigns of legalization initiatives across the country and abroad. She also taught courses on substance abuse treatment and drug policy at UC Berkeley for 10 years.
Dr. Reiman is an internationally-recognized cannabis expert and public health researcher. Dubbed “The Brain” by Elle.com, she is a leader in the field of cannabis as a substitute for alcohol and other drugs and has presented her research on cannabis dispensaries and the use of cannabis as a substitute for opiates all over the world. Also an expert in cannabis policy on the local, national, and international level, Dr. Reiman was the first chairwoman of the Berkeley Medical Cannabis Commission and also sat on the Oakland Cannabis Regulatory Commission. She currently resides in Mendocino County, California.
Kim Richman founding partner, Richman Law Group, NY
KIM RICHMAN is a litigator of and for the people. Through an activist approach to law and policy, Kim endeavors to clean our adulterated food systems of contaminants ranging from trans fat and GMOs to synthetic ingredients and pesticides. Most recently, Kim’s mission-driven client base of consumers, NGOs, and progressive businesses is focused on eradicating glyphosate from oats, wheat, honey, tea, and other food products, as well as tackling factory farming practices that threaten animal welfare, the environment, and human health.
Quinton Robinson policy advocate, National Family Farm Coalition, DC
QUINTON ROBINSON is policy advocate for the National Family Farm Coalition, a Washington, a DC-based coalition of 26 local, state, and regional membership organizations representing small and mid-sized farmers. NFFC challenges existing farm, food, trade, and rural economic policy with policy alternatives that ensure that family farmers receive a fair price for what they produce and have access to the credit and land they need to remain in business; support new programs and policies that capture a greater share of agricultural profits in rural communities; reduce agribusiness corporations’ increasing control of the food system; and increase the effectiveness and capacity of its member groups. Quinton served for six years in the House of Representatives as legislative staffer to several members and for almost four years with the Committee on Agriculture before assuming the role of agriculture policy advisor with the Rural Coalition, which he held for six years. He has written policy position papers and drafted floor statements and legislative language, including some for the 2002 and 2008 farm bills in areas of civil rights, forestry, fisheries, food and nutrition, and land grant research and education. A licensed attorney, he was also responsible for drafting contracts and agreements and for informing members of Congress on federal laws and legislation impacting small farmers and ranchers.
A-dae Romero-Briones director of programs—Native Agriculture and Food Systems, First Nations Development Institute, CA
Tuesday, 6:00-9:00 pm: Addressing Inequities and Access to Organic Food in Low-Income Communities Biographical profile
A-DAE ROMERO-BRIONES (Cochiti/Kiowa) works as director of programs—Native Agriculture and Food Systems for First Nations Development Institute and manages the Native Agriculture and Food Systems Initiative at First Nations. She is formerly the director of community development for Pulama Lana’i. She is also the co-founder and former executive director of a nonprofit organization in Cochiti Pueblo, New Mexico. Ms. Romero-Briones worked for the University of Arkansas’ Indigenous Food and Agricultural Intuitive while earning her LL.M. degree in food and agricultural law. Her thesis was on the Food Safety Modernization Act as it applied to the federal Tribal relationship. She wrote extensively about food safety, the produce safety rule and tribes, and the protection of Tribal traditional foods. A U.S. Fulbright Scholar, Ms. Romero-Briones received her bachelor of arts in public policy from Princeton University, received a law doctorate from Arizona State University’s College of Law, and earned a LL.M. in food and agricultural law from the University of Arkansas. She currently sits on several boards, including the Lana’i Elementary and High School Foundation. She was also recognized as a White House Champion of Change in Agriculture. She currently sits on the National Organic Standards Board.
Margaret (Maggie) Rousu general manager, White Earth Land Recovery Project, KKWE Niijii Radio, MN
MAGGIE ROUSU is an enrolled member of Minnesota Chippewa Tribe from the White Earth Reservation. She has lived and worked on the reservation her entire life. Maggie graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work in 2005 and went on to work for her tribe for several years before coming to White Earth Land Recovery Project. In her spare time she enjoys spending time with her family, especially her grandchildren.
Sara Rummel engagement manager, Animal Agriculture Reform Collaborative (AARC), MN
SARA RUMMEL leads the Animal Agriculture Reform Collaborative (AARC) to bring together organizational leaders from across the country around a shared vision for a just and sustainable animal agriculture system. She led the initial founding members in shaping AARC’s role as a movement alignment hub and a shared theory of change. Now Sara is engaging organizational leaders to align their campaigns, create and share resources, and weave an increasingly interconnected network. Sara has 15 years of experience working on policy, campaigns, and organizing. She built coalitions on a variety of environmental, health, and economic justice issues as the legislative director for the Service Employee’s International Union (SEIU) Minnesota State Council, and at Clean Water Action Alliance of Minnesota. She has a MPA in environmental science and policy at Columbia University, a joint program between the School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA) and the Earth Institute, and a BA from Mount Holyoke College.
Dave Runsten policy director, Community Alliance with Family Farmers, CA
DAVID RUNSTEN is the policy director of the Community Alliance with Family Farmers (CAFF). He created and directed CAFF programs on dry farming wine grapes, agricultural water efficiency, farm food safety, and climate smart farming. He is a co-founder of the California Climate and Agriculture Network (CalCAN), co-chair of the Food Systems Integrity Committee of the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC) since its creation, and a member of the executive committee of NSAC. David is also a member of the California Roundtable on Agriculture and the Environment (CRAE) and a member of the California Roundtable on Water and Food Supply. David has worked in research on migration, immigrants, and immigration policy. He was the associate director of the UCLA North American Integration and Development Center from 1995-2006 and a consultant to the Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy. As research director of the California Institute of Rural Studies, he led research for a Ford Foundation study of rural poverty, research on Mixtec immigration to California, and research for the federal Commission on Agricultural Workers on post-IRCA farm labor supply.
Mikki Sager vice president, resourceful communities, The Conservation Fund, NC
MIKKI SAGER is vice president of The Conservation Fund, a national nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing environmental stewardship and sustainable economic development, and director of the Fund’s Resourceful Communities (RC) program. Mikki helps communities and faith groups implement triple bottom line efforts that promote sustainable economic development, social justice, and environmental stewardship. RC provides capacity-building assistance, has awarded more than $4.5 million in small grants to support communities’ triple bottom line efforts, and helped more than 500 grassroots and faith groups create more than 1,000 jobs and connect with each other and otherwise inaccessible resources. Over the past decade, RC has spearheaded special initiatives that are increasing access to healthy foods and active lifestyles for vulnerable communities; helping limited-resource farmers and commercial fishers access new community-based markets; helping faith groups leverage existing assets (land, buildings, transportation, volunteers) to engage more intentionally in their local and regional food economies; and leveraging the power of land and conservation resources to help rural and Native communities advance food sovereignty. Sager is a graduate of The Pennsylvania State University.
JOE SCHROEDER is Farm Aid’s farm advocate and provides a listening ear and critical connections for farmers across the country. He guides the strategic development and management of the Farm Advocate Link, a national network of farm advocacy organizations and individuals. Joe responds to crisis calls and emails from a diversity of farmers across the U.S. and territories on Farm Aid’s 1-800-Farm Aid hotline, most of which are onset by financial problems. Joe also leads Farm Aid’s disaster response work, coordinating resources with partners on the ground where natural disasters affect farmers.
Valerie Segrest native nutrition educator, Muckleshoot Indian Tribe, WA
VALERIE SEGREST is a native nutrition educator who specializes in local and traditional foods. As an enrolled member of the Muckleshoot Indian Tribe, she serves her community as the coordinator of the Muckleshoot Food Sovereignty Project and also works as the Traditional Foods and Medicines Program Manager. In 2010, she co-authored the book Feeding the People, Feeding the Spirit: Revitalizing Northwest Coastal Indian Food Culture. She is a Kellogg Fellow at the Institute of Agriculture and Trade Policy. Valerie received a bachelor of science in nutrition from Bastyr University in 2009 and a master’s degree in Environment and Community from Antioch University. Valerie inspires and enlightens others about the importance of a nutrient-dense diet through a simple, common sense approach to eating.
Farzana Serang executive director, Food Systems Leadership Fellowship, CA
JENNIFER SHECTER is the senior director of Content Impact and Outreach at Consumer Reports. In this capacity, she helps lead outreach and communication with manufacturers, media partners, and policymakers, coordinating public service activities and pursuing strategic initiatives to advance the organization’s mission of serving the consumer interest. Ms. Shecter has been with Consumer Reports for more than a decade, having served as the senior adviser to the president. She wrote speeches, op-eds, and briefing materials and advised on key organizational issues like product safety, food safety, and health care.
Before coming to Consumer Reports, Shecter wrote a weekly investigative newsletter for the Center for Responsive Politics, a nonprofit that tracks the relationship between campaign contributions, lobbyists, and legislation. A graduate of Vassar College with a B.A. in sociology, she is a native of Montreal, Canada.
Sean Sherman chef, NĀTIFS (North American Traditional Indigenous Food Systems), MN
CHEF SEAN SHERMAN (Oglala Lakota) has spent 27 years preparing, directly and indirectly, for the creation of The Sioux Chef and now NĀTIFS, focusing on revitalizing indigenous food systems in a modern culinary context. North American Traditional Indigenous Food Systems, or NĀTIFS, is his first nonprofit endeavor, informed by his life experience as a chef, with the vision of generating wealth and improving health in Native communities through food-related enterprises.
Born in Pine Ridge, South Dakota, Sean has extensively studied the foundations of indigenous food systems, including wild-harvested and cultivated crops. In 2014, his business, The Sioux Chef, launched as a caterer and food educator. Since then, Chef Sherman and his vision of modern indigenous foods have been featured in many publications such as The New York Times; in dinners with The James Beard Foundation in New York and Milan, Slow Food in Turin, Italy; and as a sponsored guest at the 2016 MAD Feed Symposium in Copenhagen by NOMA’s Rene Redzepi. Last year, his first cookbook, The Sioux Chef’s Indigenous Kitchen, was published by the University of Minnesota Press with co-author Beth Dooley.
Shirley Sherrod executive director, Southwest Georgia Project for Community Education, Inc, GA
SHIRLEY SHERROD is the executive director of the Southwest Georgia Project for Community Education in Albany, GA. For more than 30 years, Ms. Sherrod has devoted her life to the civil rights movement by working on social justice issues. Through her work at the Federation of Southern Cooperatives, she developed a program of outreach, education, and technical assistance for small and limited resource farmers throughout Georgia. She also serves as the Georgia State Lead for the Southwest Georgia Project for Community Education, Inc., Southern Rural Black Women’s Initiative (SRBWI). SRBWI promotes the first human rights agenda in the United States aimed at eradicating historical race, class, cultural, religious, and gender barriers experienced by southern rural black women. The initiative encompasses three states, operating in 77 counties in Georgia, Alabama and Mississippi. Ms. Sherrod’s work began in 1965 as an organizer with the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), Southwest Georgia Project. She helped start the land trust, New Communities, Inc., that occupies 6,000 acres of land.
Janie Simms Hipp director, Indigenous Food and Agriculture Initiative, University of Arkansas School of Law, AR
JANIE SIMMS HIPP, J.D., LL.M. is a citizen of the Chickasaw Nation of Oklahoma and serves as the founding director of the Indigenous Food and Agriculture Initiative at the University of Arkansas School of Law. Before launching the Initiative, she served in the Obama Administration as the senior advisor for Tribal relations to Secretary Tom Vilsack, and prior to her appointment within the Office of the Secretary she served in the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, USDA, as the National Program Leader for farm financial management, risk management education, trade adjustment assistance, and the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program. She also served at USDA Risk Management Agency as the Risk Management Education Director. Before her work in Washington, DC, at the national level, she experienced a domestic and international career spanning more than thirty-five years in the field of agriculture and food law and has worked alongside the Intertribal Agriculture Council for more than twenty years. She has managed more than $500m in grant portfolios to date and has been a licensed attorney in Oklahoma since 1984; she specializes in the intersection of food and agriculture law and Indian law. She has been recognized as distinguished alumni at her LL.M. alma mater, University of Arkansas; as distinguished alumni at her J.D. alma mater, Oklahoma City University; received the President’s Lifetime Achievement Award from former President Barack Obama for her national commitment to volunteer service; and most recently received the National Center for American Indian Economic Development’s 2017 Tim Wapato Public Advocate of the Year Award.
Lora Smith executive director, Appalachian Impact Fund, KY
LORA SMITH is executive director of the Appalachian Impact Fund (AIF), a social impact investment fund anchored at the Foundation for Appalachian Kentucky in Hazard, Kentucky. AIF supports economic opportunity in Eastern Kentucky through grantmaking and place-based investments in real estate and small business. Lora is a steering committee member of the Appalachia Funders Network (AFN), a network of investors focused on the shared goal of an equitable Appalachian economic transition, and co-chairs AFN’s Food and Agriculture Systems Working Group. Lora happily lives and works from Big Switch Farm in Egypt, Kentucky. She is a RSF Integrated Capital Fellow.
John Smillie executive director, Western Organization of Resource Councils (WORC), MT
JOHN SMILLIE is a graduate of Stanford University. He was an organizer and research coordinator for the Northern Plains Resource Council from 1979 to 1984, served as campaign director for the Western Organization of Resource Councils (WORC) from 1984 to 2015, and has been executive director of WORC since then. WORC is a regional network of eight community organizations in seven western states, with 15,190 members and 39 local chapters. John has been a trainer for WORC’s Principles of Community Organizing sessions, writer and editor of many WORC publications, and lead staff for several regional and national campaigns on agricultural and natural resource issues, including one that stopped commercial release of genetically modified wheat, and another that almost ended the U.S. beef checkoff.
Christina Spach national good food purchasing campaign coordinator, Food Chain Workers Alliance, SC
CHRISTINA SPACH is the National Good Food Purchasing Campaign Coordinator with the Food Chain Workers Alliance. She joined the Alliance with more than a decade of experience in social justice and grassroots organizing. She began her work in Southern Belize, developing community-based projects with local villagers that fostered local economies, environmental justice, and cultural preservation. Upon returning to the States, Christina became a community organizer and later national trainer for the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN). She was the education organizer for San Francisco Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment before joining the food justice movement in 2010 to advocate for racially equitable food and farm policy. She has traveled extensively throughout the U.S., Latin America, and Europe. Originally from South Carolina, she has returned to the South with a continued commitment to support social and worker justice efforts grounded in grassroots solutions.
Anim Steel executive director, Real Food Challenge, NY
ANIM STEEL is the executive director and co-founder of the Real Food Challenge, a campaign to redirect $1 billion of college food purchases toward local, fair, and sustainable sources within 10 years. Before Real Food Challenge, Anim led national initiatives at The Food Project in Boston, consulted with Economic Development Assistance Consortium, and developed employment training programs at the Bowery Residents Committee. Anim holds a BA in astrophysics and history from Williams College and a master’s degree in public policy from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. He is the recipient of a Prime Mover Fellowship for movement building and an Echoing Green award for social entrepreneurship.
Hilde Steffey acting director, Food and Farm Communications Fund, MA
HILDE STEFFEY joined the Food and Farm Communications Fund in 2017 to guide the Fund through a formative evaluation, strategic framing process, and program update. Before her work with FFCF, Hilde served as program director at Farm Aid, a national nonprofit working to advance a vibrant family farm-centered system of agriculture, where she regularly collaborated with food, farm, and philanthropic leaders across the country on strategic partnerships, campaigns, and program development. Hilde has a master’s degree in agricultural science and policy from Tufts Friedman School and a range of experience at various levels of the food system, from the halls of Congress to school cafeterias, and even on the seat of a tractor. Some of Hilde’s earliest memories are on her Grandpa Pete’s farm, just outside of Lincoln, Nebraska, and trawling for vine-ripened tomatoes in her mom’s salsa garden in Salt Lake City, Utah—both experiences inspiring a lifelong passion for food, farms, and the outdoors.
Kellie Terry program officer, Surdna Foundation, NY
KELLIE TERRY is a program officer on The Sustainable Environments Team at the Surdna Foundation. She began her career in 2002 at THE POINT CDC, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the revitalization of the South Bronx through arts and culture, youth development, and community development, and rose to executive director in 2004. Terry is a graduate of Holy Cross and currently a candidate for a master’s degree in urban and regional planning at Pratt Institute. She served as the board chair of The New York City Environmental Justice Alliance and is currently a board director of The Bronx River Alliance and The Norcross Foundation.
Mailee Walker executive director, Claneil Foundation, PA
MAILEE WALKER became executive director of the Claneil Foundation in 2007. Prior to joining the Claneil Foundation, she was vice president, communication/program officer of the Wells Fargo Regional Foundation. Mailee serves as a board member of The Philadelphia Award. She is co-chair of the Sustainable Agriculture and Food System Funders (SAFSF) and an advisory board member of The Center for Hunger-Free Communities. She is a member of the Forum of Executive Women, Asian Americans/Pacific Islanders in Philanthropy, and Asian Mosaic Fund Giving Circle. Mailee earned a BA in urban studies from Stanford University and an MBA in change management from the Wharton Graduate School of Business. She is an alumna of the Coro Fellows Program, the Center on Philanthropy’s Jane Addams Fellowship, and Leadership Philadelphia.
Matt Wechsler director/cinematographer, Hourglass Films and Right to Harm, IL
MATT WECHSLER is an award-winning director and cinematographer from Chicago and the founder of Hourglass Films. He is a self-taught filmmaker who grew up in a family video production business. After servicing 500+ clients over 12 years, Matt decided to hang up his work-for-hire hat to pursue his dream of documentary filmmaking. He has since been nominated for two local Emmy awards and has won several film festival awards. Matt’s passion to solve complex issues continues to drive his desire to make films.
Cynthia Wilson director, traditional foods program, Utah Diné Bikéyah, UT
CYNTHIA WILSON is director of the Traditional Foods Program, Utah Diné Bikéyah, a nonprofit organization in Bears Ears Monument lands that works to support indigenous communities in protecting their ancestral lands. Cynthia is a Navajo Tribal member of the Folded Arms People clan and born for the Towering House clan. Cynthia holds a M.S. degree in nutrition from the University of Utah.
Kristen Wyman director of outreach and programs, People’s Agroecology Process / Gedakina, Inc., MA
KRISTEN WYMAN is a member of the Natick Nipmuc tribe of Massachusetts and a land and food justice advocate in the movement towards self-determination for tribal peoples. In her position as program director with GEDAKINA, Kristen fills an important role of building youth and women’s leadership across tribal communities of the northeast. Her artistry with the quahog shell and community work is deeply personal and motivated by the important roles of women as landholders, farmers, culture bearers, artisans, and diplomats. Over the past decade Kristen has worked as a consultant with nonprofit organizations, state and federal agencies, and tribal governments to ensure indigenous knowledge is represented and incorporated in education initiatives, youth programming, and land conservation.
Katherine Zavala regional director, Latin America, Thousand Currents, CA
KATHERINE ZAVALA, a native of Peru, has been with the IDEX team since 2005 specializing in building partnerships, capacity-building support and advocating for social justice giving. Katherine travels regularly to Guatemala, Mexico and Peru as part of IDEX site visits and selection of new grantees. Katherine is passionate about amplifying global learning from IDEX Partners with the U.S. public, particularly in women’s rights, food sovereignty and climate resiliency. KatherineÊ¹â€²s most illuminating experience was volunteering with an indigenous women-led organization in Guatemala for five months, supporting their economic development and training programs. Katherine earned a Master’s in international relations from San Francisco State University in 2005. She currently is co- chair for the Latin American Funders Working Group, hosted at the International Human Rights Funders Group, and represents IDEX membership in the U.S. Food Sovereignty Alliance.
Kolu Zigbi program director, Jessie Smith Noyes Foundation, NY
KOLU ZIGBI has worked as program director at the Jessie Smith Noyes Foundation since 2000, where her values align with the Foundation’s emphasis on building the power of people—those who have been marginalized and most negatively impacted—to be actively involved in advancing solutions to the problems they face. She has managed grantmaking in the areas of Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems and Sustainable New York City, and provides direct technical assistance, coordinates evaluations, and lifts the visibility of grassroots organizations serving communities and constituencies working at the front lines of the food system. Her work nurtured the discourse on food justice and supported the inclusion of food chain workers as critical change agents for food system transformation. Kolu has a track record of leading shared learning and impactful collaborations. She brought together private foundations through two innovative funding initiatives that provided multi-year funding to grassroots organizations engaged in organizing and advocacy and co-founded Community Food Funders (http://www.communityfoodfunders.org/). She also co-developed a food justice curriculum which she co-taught for five years at Farm School NYC.
Jen Zuckerman director of strategic initiatives, World Food Policy Center, Duke University, NC
JEN ZUCKERMAN joined the World Food Policy Center at Duke University as director of strategic initiatives in July 2017. The Center’s research, educational programming, conferences and policymaker outreach will focus on collaborative problem solving, an approach that is critical — and rare — in the food policy arena. Previously, Jen was with the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina Foundation as the director of strategic partnerships where she led the Foundation’s efforts to bring new partnerships and resources to North Carolina while lifting up outside of the state the strong work taking place within North Carolina. She also served for ten years as the Foundation’s senior program officer for Healthy Living, working on increasing access to safe active environments and on providing sources for healthy, locally sourced food with a strong focus on early childhood development and food systems. Jen previously worked at NC State University’s Recreation Resources Service, where she helped parks and recreation agencies across the state develop partnerships for the benefit of community health. Jen has also worked in a variety of North Carolina nonprofits, including the North Carolina High School Athletic Association, Special Olympics North Carolina, and North Carolina Amateur Sports. She currently serves as the vice-chair of the Center for Environmental Farming Systems Advisory Board and the co-chair of the National Institute of Medicine Early Childhood Innovation Collaborative. Jen has also served on the steering committee for the North Carolina Institute of Medicine Early Childhood Obesity Prevention Task Force and the Statewide Prevention Task Force. She earned her undergraduate and masters degrees from NC State University in parks, recreation, and tourism management.