Favorite Part of Job? I love working with food system leaders throughout the state – from farmers to chefs to non-profit support organizations. I also work with a stellar staff at VSJF.
Most Inspiring Mentor: My biggest mentor is Ellen Kahler, Executive Director at VSJF. She is a dynamic, inspirational leader, and I am always learning new things from her.
Tell us something fun about yourself that few people know: My husband and I were the stag king and spring goddess at Montpelier’s All Species Day Parade and Pageant. I danced on the statehouse steps with dozens of lovely dancers and he stilted in the parade with a big stag headpiece.
Favorite Downtime Activity: Having fun with my kids kayaking, paddleboarding, and hiking. And I can’t forget watching them play sports – that is a big part of my weekends!
Favorite Vermont Escape: My favorite place in Vermont is the Northeast Kingdom, where I grew up until I was 12. Every year we spend time at my family’s camp on Miles Pond. I also love going to the Green River Reservoir (technically not the NEK but close enough) and Lake Willoughby.
Favorite Social Media: I've had a Twitter account for a little over a year and really like it now. It’s a great source of news and information and a way to connect with others with similar interests.
Favorite Website: I am biased, but I’d have to say the Vermont Food System Atlas. It’s a resource for Vermont’s food and agriculture sector, as well as the communication platform for the Farm to Plate Network. www.vtfoodatlas.com.
Vermont Business Person you would most want to Network with: I am fortunate to regularly network with hundreds of amazing food system and agriculture business leaders and entrepreneurs through my work. I am currently trying to network with owners of independent grocery stores because I believe that grocery stores are the next frontier for local food. Mike Comeau from Richmond Market is doing a good job with this, so he’s on the top of my list to get in touch with right now.
Career Highlights: I have worked across several sectors including education, health, climate change, transportation, economic development, and food systems, primarily in planning and research. I was one of the authors of the Vermont Long Range Transportation Business Plan and the author of the Regional Food System Plan for Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom. Currently I am the Farm to Plate Program Director at the Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund where I oversee the Farm to Plate Network, a collaborative of 300 organizations working toward increasing economic activity in the farm and food sector and increasing access to local, healthy food for all Vermonters.
Community Involvement: I have been an active volunteer with youth as a basketball coach, an Odyssey of the Mind coach, an ELF teacher, and as board member of The Children’s Room. I co-founded the Waterbury-Duxbury Food Council in 2007 and have done a variety of community-based volunteering through the council, including farm to school programs, community gardens, and hunger relief projects. I have been a regular volunteer for arts festivals in Montpelier, such as Ice on Fire and All Species Day. I also serve on my local planning commission.