2018 FMC Board of Directors Slate of Candidates
Posted On: December 7, 2018
Members of the Board of Directors are FMC member volunteers with demonstrated leadership experience in the field of farmers markets and local food, who support the FMC mission of strengthening farmers markets for the benefit of farmers, consumers, and communities. Please read the candidate biographies below and get ready to vote on January 8, 2019 after our member meeting.
Members of the Board of Directors must hold a committee chair or executive committee position, and must volunteer at least 50 hours per year. Board members develop FMC’s policies, provide oversight, approve FMC’s budget, raise funds, safely invest funds, and are actively involved in strategic planning. Terms of the directors are effective upon election and are for three years. FMC seeks to have leaders who represent a variety interests, skills, and geographic locations. This year in particular, the Board is seeking candidates with demonstrated experience and interest in fundraising.
All members whose dues are up to date at the time of the election will be able to vote to approve the whole slate of nominees as presented or only for select nominees. Members also have the option of a write-in candidate, provided that the write-in is an FMC member in good standing.
The following candidate biographies are based on their responses to the Nominee Questionnaire. We hope they help you get to know them, their interests, and their priorities for helping FMC fulfill its mission to strengthen farmers markets for the benefit of farmers, consumers, and communities.
Chief Operating Officer, The RobinHood Group
Elise Ashby founded the RobinHood Group and serves as its Chief Operating Officer. In the last few years she has taken over the management and operations of the Union County Farm and Craft Market and she serves as the Chair of the Ag+Art Tour in Union, she is the co-Chair of the Catawba Farm & Food Coalition’s Policy & Planning committee and the RobinHood Group is the fiscal agent for the Eat Smart/Move More-Union County. She recently received the Olde English District’s Annual Tourism award for her community and volunteer work.
The RobinHood Group provides capacity building, institutional strengthening and technical assistance for income generation to farmers and agri-business owners. The organization has added education and access to agriculture and farming initiatives to enhance skills of veterans, ex-offenders and at-risk youth. The RobinHood Group helps individuals establish businesses and nonprofits, helps farmers and agri-business owners and with USDA/RD funding is creating a business and agriculture training manual to help individuals establish farms and agri-businesses.
Senior Associate, Latham & Watkins
Morgan Brubaker is a senior associate in the Washington, D.C. office of Latham & Watkins where she is a member of the firm’s Technology Transactions Practice.
Morgan advises public and private companies, financial institutions, private equity firms and emerging companies on the structuring and negotiation of complex technology-related transactions and acquisitions focusing on intellectual property exploitation, licensing, development, customization and commercialization. Additionally, Ms. Brubaker counsels clients on data privacy and security matters including Payment Card Industry (PCI DSS) compliance, state breach notification laws, cross-border data transfer issues and drafting privacy policies.
Morgan maintains a robust pro bono practice counseling and advising non-profit organizations with respect to intellectual property strategy, protection, commercialization and commercial contracting.
Founder & Executive Director, Maryland Farmers Market Association
Amy Crone is the Founder & Executive Director of the nonprofit Maryland Farmers Market Association (“MDFMA”). MDFMA implements a statewide farmers market matching program, Maryland Market Money, which since 2014 has provided more than $700,000 in funding to increase food access and farmer sales. MDFMA provides services including technical assistance, an insurance program, and various educational opportunities for the farmers market community. Crone participates in a number of statewide initiatives and is a nationally recognized expert on federal nutrition assistance programs and is working to ensure that electronic processing of federal benefits will remain available at the national level. She has experience in speaking to a variety of audiences across the country about local food system issues and recently moved to a small farm.
Executive Director, Green City Market
Melissa Flynn is Executive Director of Green City Market (www.greencitymarket.org), Chicago’s premier farmers market connecting local farmers with the Chicago community. Melissa brings her talents in community building to Green City Market to further its mission to improve the availability of high-quality foods, connect people with local producers and farmers and promote a healthier society through education and appreciation for local, fresh, sustainably raised produce and products.
Since joining in January 2015, Melissa has improved the availability of high-quality foods in Chicago by establishing an evening farmers market at Gallagher Way at Wrigley Field and arranging a long-term home for Green City Market West Loop in the Mary Bartleme Park. Green City Market has markets in Lincoln Park – both outdoor and indoor during colder months, as well as a number of educational and community-based programs. Melissa launched new educational outreach through Edible Education programs at local elementary and high schools in Chicago, based on her training at The Edible Schoolyard Project in Berkeley.
With her expertise in community programs and developing the marketplace model for local sustainably grown food, Melissa has presented at the 2017 Illinois Farmers Market Association Statewide Annual conference, Michigan Farmers Market Association and hosted a Farmers Market Roundtable for farmers market directors from across the country.
Ms. Flynn lives in Chicago, IL with her husband and three sons and loves to spend her free time with her family getting outside, cooking, or rock climbing.
Dale Hazlewood (Incumbent)
Director of Special Events & Corporate Partnerships, Anderson Animal Shelter
Dale is a life-long gardener and micro-farmer, raising a wide variety of free-range poultry, fruits, and award-winning vegetables and flowers. As Vice President of the Illinois Farmers Market Association, Dale works to provide educational opportunities for statewide Farmers Market managers, vendors, and producers through workshops, webinars, and conferences. He was part of the team that created the award-winning ConnectFresh Illinois, an online database and resource that connects Illinois Farmers Markets, farmers and producers, and patrons. He also provided the content for ILFMA website and assists with their many marketing and fundraising initiatives.
Dale previously managed Aurora’s Farmers Market, Illinois’ oldest continuously operating market where he initiated FreshFirst, a very successful fruit, and vegetable prescription program. He brought this special market to a new level, with record revenues, vendor participation and attendance. Dale successfully received over $7,000,000 in federal, state and local grants to create and enhance SNAP, marketing, nutrition education, sanitation, online presence, vendor revenues, as well as the community gathering aspect of the market.
Additionally, Dale advocates for local food and culinary tourism and is known for his endless stream of ideas, targeted initiatives, and non-traditional resources.
Dale is the Director of Special Events and Corporate Partnerships for Anderson Animal Shelter, one of the largest and oldest humane organizations in Illinois. He organizes countless shelter events, festivals, and fundraising celebrations to not only generate revenue, but generate friends, supporters, and recognition as well.
Executive Director, Bloomfield Development Corporation
Christina Howell serves as Executive Director of Bloomfield Development Corporation (BDC), a non-profit working to promote, support, and enhance the neighborhood of Bloomfield in Pittsburgh, PA.
Christina’s work in community development includes positions at Community Design Center of Pittsburgh (now Design Center) and Mt. Washington Community Development Corporation. With BDC since 2014, she also worked in commercial real estate and in public relations at both the State Museum of Harrisburg and the Senator John Heinz History Center.
Currently, Christina serves as a board member for the East End Neighborhood Employment Center and is Treasurer on the Baum Centre Initiative. A three-year alumnus of AmeriCorps, Christina can be found every Saturday at the local farmers market she started with her current organization, Bloomfield Saturday Market.
Kim Hutchinson, PhD, MBA
Executive Director, Virginia Farmers Market Association
Dr. Hutchinson has been a nonprofit executive, management consultant, public policy expert, federal contractor and community advocate for building healthy, sustainable communities for more than 25 years.
Prior to joining Virginia Farmers Market Association, Dr. Hutchinson served as special adviser to the past four white houses focusing on health equity and thriving communities, with an emphasis on undeserved and underrepresented populations. in addition , Dr. Hutchinson has served as the President/CEO of complex philanthropic organizations, having demonstrated abilities in the areas of strategic planning and capacity building, collaborative and pooled funding and in building social impact collaborations that create systemic infrastructure change within communities. In addition, Kim’s focus on leveraging and maximizing support from the federal, state and philanthropic funding community and developing and implementing strategic political action and advocacy for issues impacting multiple populations on a global scale will be extremely valuable to creating systemic infrastructure change in the sustainable agricultural community in Virginia. Kim’s extensive abilities in the areas of domestic and international funding and donor development, grantmaking and outreach-including facilitating collaborative, pooled and social impact funds, leveraging $852 million dollars into $52 billion dollars of social impact funds to support sustainable thriving communities, as well as grants management, project development and management, financial and administrative management and planning, multi-tiered fundraising, community relations and the public and private partnership of voluntary health organizations in the not-for-profit sector; and, her ability as a forward thinker to create critical change by building cohesion among multiple constituencies, inspiring and motivating others, and engaging multiple networks in the community while focusing on maximizing collaborative funding, developing and implementing strategic political action, and advocating for issues that will cultivate vibrant and sustainable agricultural communities across Virginia is very exciting and will be extremely valuable to the field.
Upon being named Executive Director, Dr. Hutchinson stated “I have a tremendous amount of respect and passion for the work VAFMA has done across Virginia. The need for a united voice among the field to ensure full recognition that farmers, farmers markets, vendors, customers and organizations all play a critical role in the success and sustainability of farmers markets is imperative. I look forward to working with Virginia Farmers Market Association’s committed board, staff, and stakeholders across the Commonwealth to ensure we are an organization that represents our rich and diverse community in our mission to support farmers markets through education and training initiatives, while building opportunities for collaboration, networking, advocacy and innovation that supports the growth and sustainability of farmers markets statewide. VAFMA’s best days are in front of us and I’m honored to be part of its future.”
For 15 years prior to working in the non profit sector, Kim was a versatile executive manager and lobbyist for a global commercial real estate development and construction company.
Dr. Hutchinson is a native of Virginia and resides here with her family. She is an avid chef, artist, and golfer.
Executive Director, Blue Sky Funders Forum
Anupama is an accomplished leader in the non-profit and social sector in the United States and abroad. She has excelled in developing policies, programs and partnerships; fundraising; and managing organizations through phases of growth and change. She is a firm believer in the power of networks and collaboration to enable lasting change, and embodies that in her current role with the Blue Sky Funders Forum (https://blueskyfundersforum.org/). Previously, Anupama co-founded and led the National Farm to School Network (http://www.farmtoschool.org/) for more than a decade, shaping the growing movement to incorporate local procurement, gardens and food and farm education in schools and early care sites across the United States. Anupama is co-author of Food Justice (MIT Press, 2010), and speaks at national and international events regularly. She is a mom, loves to cook and travel.
Gary Matteson (Incumbent)
VP, Young, Beginning, Small Farmer Programs and Outreach,
The Farm Credit Council
Gary knows agriculture first hand. Until recently he was a small farmer operating a greenhouse business in Epsom, New Hampshire, and also raising beef for sale locally. In addition to having been an agricultural entrepreneur, he has served on the board of directors of his local Farm Credit Association, as well as several non-profit boards. Before leaving New Hampshire for Washington, DC, he was active in local government. Matteson holds Bachelor’s Degrees in agronomy and biology from the University of Connecticut.
Matteson now works at the Farm Credit Council, the trade association for the nationwide Farm
Credit System. He is an advocate for young, beginning, small, and minority farmer outreach programs. Matteson is responsible for spreading best practices for beginning farmer lending and training among Farm Credit Associations, such as providing training sessions in business leadership, governance, financial skills, and generating new program ideas to benefit beginning farmers. This includes work on emerging opportunities in local foods, sustainable agriculture, direct-to-consumer agriculture, and generational transition of farm businesses. In addition to working directly with farm groups, Matteson is active in policy related to new entrants to farming. He now serves on the USDA Advisory Committee on Beginning Farmers and Ranchers.