Board of Directors Election 2017 Slate of Candidates
Posted On: January 5, 2017
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 vote using the link provided in the membership email.
Members of the Board of Directors must hold a committee chair or executive committee position, and must volunteer at least 50 hours per year. The Board generally meets via conference call eight-ten times per year, with at least one face-to-face meeting. 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 fund raising.
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. Once you have read the biographies, please cast your vote using the link provided in your membership email. Voting closes at 11:59 pm EST on Monday, January 30, 2017.
Executive Director, Boulder County Farmers Markets
Number of years in the farmers market field: 3
My wife, three children and I are residents of Longmont, Colorado- a small and formerly-ag community outside of Boulder. My work history is primarily made up of working in small or entrepreneurial organizations in various roles. Prior to joining the Boulder County Farmers’ Markets, I managed teams of five to 30 for technology innovation companies including CEO of a provider of telecommunications program management and engineering solutions and Vice President of an air-filtration technology company with national distribution. My time in business allowed me to gain 20 years in business leadership, business operations, business development and product development experience.
I came to the Boulder County Farmers Market weary of the mission of profit-and-me-first. I have wholeheartedly applied by previous experience to our nonprofit mission of promoting local growers and supporting the connections with their community. The combination of my business experience and passion for the importance of reconnecting communities with their farmers and ranchers has led to growth in our existing markets, the successful launch of our fourth market, increases in farm sales at our markets, new collaborations, and accolades including earning the title of ColoradoBiz CEO of the Year for 2015 (first nonprofit selection in history of magazine), Boulder Business of the Year, and the pleasure of being a TEDx Boulder speaker advocating for connection to local food. Best of all, my kids eat a copious amount of fresh fruits and vegetables and love it.
Deputy Director of Markets, FRESHFARM (formerly FRESHFARM Markets)
Number of years in the farmers market field: 7
Nony Dutton is Deputy Director of Markets of FRESHFARM, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization whose mission is to promote sustainable agriculture and provide food access and equity in the Mid-Atlantic Region. In his role as Deputy Director Nony oversees the operations of 14 farmers markets that serve over 150 local farmers and producers.
Previously, Nony worked for a local bakery, running its farmers market operations and leading the procurement of local ingredients from market neighbors. Nony is a strong advocate for local sourcing practices and that healthy, sustainable food should be available to everyone.
Hugo Fernando Mogollon Pazmino
Executive Director, Community Foodworks
Number of years in the farmers market field: 2
Hugo Mogollon is the Executive Director of Community Foodworks. Hugo has 22 years of experience working for nonprofit organizations covering a range of issues from food systems to sustainability to biodiversity conservation. Previous to his role at Community Foodworks, he was the Executive Director of Finding Species, an international nonprofit organization. Hugo has deep experience in NGO management, planning, development, outreach, and stakeholder engagement, particularly in multicultural settings. A native of Ecuador, Hugo is fluent in both English and Spanish. He has a Bachelor of Science in biology from the Catholic University of Quito, Ecuador and an Executive Master’s degree in Natural Resources and Leadership for Sustainability from Virginia Tech.
Maritza Wellington Owens
Chief Executive Officer, Harvest Home Farmer’s Market
New York, NY
Number of years in the farmers market field: 23
Maritza Owens is the founder & CEO of Harvest Home Farmer’s Market, Inc. For more than 15 years she has been involved in some aspect of community- based planning, advocacy, environmental justice, economic development or public health. Her work in this arena led her to establish two farmer’s market in the south Bronx under the Healthy Start program. That was the beginning of what is now Harvest Home Farmer’s Market Inc. (HH). Today Harvest Home, a pioneer in bringing farmer’s markets to low-income New York City neighborhoods, is one of the city’s largest managers of farmer’s markets in these areas. Ms. Owens brings a wealth of experience as a recognized community organizer and is a peak performer with a high level of competency. Under her leadership she has successfully gained support for Harvest Home’s projects and initiatives.
Her professional career includes being the Director of Professional Membership- National Kidney Foundation; Director of Community Relations & Government Affairs at North General Hospital and the Associate Director of Economic Development – Mid-Bronx Senior Citizens Council Bronx, NY. She has a BS from Adelphi University,
Garden City, NY
Founder, RED Food
Co-Manager, Linden Hills Farmers Market
Number of years in the farmers market field: 2
I’m Katie Myhre. I am a graduate of St. Olaf College with a degree in biology and environmental studies, which makes me a “systems-thinker.” I came to food systems work from a soil health, scientific perspective,
but realized quite quickly that the science is out there – the culture and market is not. In response to hearing the struggles of reaching reliable markets apparent among farmers, I launched RED Food to develop market infrastructure connecting farmers with buyers. RED Food focuses on building on the momentum around markets in Minnesota to make the market space economically viable for small scale farmers. Within the market, I use technology to connect farmers to these markets and assist farmers in harnessing the opportunity of the farmers’ market model to supplement and diversify their sales. I created RED Food, which stands for Restaurants Eat Direct, as a part of this mission.
Over the last year, RED Food received numerous awards and funding from major organizations and business competitions, including St. Olaf College, MN Cup (U of MN – Carlson School of Management), Global Students Entrepreneurship Association, TEKNE Awards MN, and the Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation. For the past two years, I co-managed the Linden Hills Farmers Market, where my main work was to build connections between our farmers and neighborhood chefs. This past summer, I managed the Tiny Diner Farmers Market, another farmers market in Minneapolis, where I continued the work to diversify farm sales.
Gus Schumacher (Incumbent)
Founding Board Chair, Wholesome Wave
Number of Years in the Farmers Market Field: over 30
“As Founding Board Chair of Wholesome Wave, I have been focusing on development, policy advocacy , education, and strategic development as the non-profit developed from 2 persons in 2007 to 25 staff with a budget growing from $200,000 to over $ 5 million annually. Wholesome Wave is now operating with National Nutrition Incentive Network partners in 46 states, some 700 farmers markets and retailers and supporting farmers marketing healthy, local affordable produce to thousands of diet vulnerable families . These programs provide nutrition incentives through SNAP, WIC and Seniors vouchers . More recently, work has focused on expending the innovative Veggie FVRx fruit and vegetables prescription program . Programs are also underway to expand the interest in a Veterans Farmers Market Nutrition Program, working with nutritionists at VA Medical Centers and VA Clinics.”
Relevant Past Experience
2007-2017 Wholesome Wave
2001-2007 Managing Director-Washington DC Operations-SJH and Company of Boston, Massachusetts
2001-2007- Consultant -W.K.Kellogg Foundation-Battle Creek, Michigan
2003-2007- Board of Advisers, John Deere/Food Origins
1997-2001-USDA Undersecretary for Farm and Foreign Agriculture Service
1994-1997- Administrator, Foreign Agricultural Service, USDA and President, , Commodity Credit Corporation.
1990-1994-Senior Agricultural Project Manager, World Bank, Washington, DC
1984-1990- Commissioner of Food and Agriculture and Chairman of the Massachusetts Pesticide Board and Chairman of the Agricultural Preservation Restriction Board. Commonwealth of Massachusetts
1963-1984-Agricultural and Senior Rural Development Officer, World Bank, Washington DC
Swati J. Shah, MD, MPH, FACOG
Ob/Gyne hospitalist, Ob Hospitalist Group
New Orleans, LA
Number of years in the farmers market field: 20+ as a shopper, 3 as a community advisory team member
Dr. Swati J. Shah, after growing up in Texas and South Carolina, completed her undergraduate studies at The Johns Hopkins University, and then went on to complete her medical school training at Jefferson Medical College. She did her internship and residency in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Tulane University School of Medicine in New Orleans. Subsequently she stayed in the New Orleans area to have a successful practice for 10 years with Crescent City Physicians, Inc, a subsidiary of Touro Hospital and Infirmary from 1999 to 2009. Her responsibilities included an office practice, based primarily in the urban areas of the city, as well as volunteer teaching of medical students and residents. Upon completing her Master’s of Public Health degree, with a concentration in Maternal and Child Health within the Department of Community Health Sciences in 2009 from the Tulane University School of Public Health & Tropical Medicine, Dr. Shah went on to pursue various public health positions in the New Orleans and Southeast Louisiana areas. Throughout all her public health endeavors from 2009 through 2012, she has continued to provide ob/gyne services for a variety of patients, including the underserved via locums (contract) assignments to rural areas of the US. Through those years of travelling as an ob/gyne (2009-2015), she had the opportunity to work closely with many minority populations, including the Hawaiian, Mexican-American and Navajo people. These opportunities raised her cultural awareness of the impact that native and local foods have on the health of the individual, as well as the health of the community.
Currently, as of the past 15 months, while still living in her home in New Orleans, she is working as an Ob/Gyne Hospitalist in Baton Rouge where her primary responsibilities include caring for patients who have had no prenatal care or no prior gynecological care. Her hobbies and personal interests include: travel, jazzercise, zydeco, swing and salsa music with or without dancing, local farmers’ markets, gardening, cooking fine dining, and volunteerism in whatever opportunity that presents itself. Most recently, she has served on her college class’ 25-year reunion (2015) planning committee and is currently on the planning committee for the Society of Ob/Gyne Hospitalists Annual Clinical Meeting for both 2016 and 2017.
Nicky Uy (Incumbent)
Senior Associate, Farmers Market Program, The Food Trust
Number of years in the farmers market field: 11
My work has primarily been around opening and strengthening farmers markets in areas of high need, with over 80% of The Food Trust’s 25 markets located in areas that lack access to fresh food. The Food Trust has been offering EBT through wireless POS machines at its farmers markets since the early 2000’s and also operates the largest outdoor farmers market in Philadelphia’s Society Hill. I hope my experience growing and operating a network of farmers markets in communities with a wide range of diversity in income, population and resources will continue to be valuable to the Farmers Market Coalition board and its members.
I would also like to help expand the audience of farmers’ markets to make them more inclusive of traditionally marginalized groups. I think supporting and encouraging minorities and other previously socially disadvantaged groups to attend farmers markets as producers and consumers would be beneficial, not only to those groups and individuals, but to the local food movement in general which needs to be more inclusive on all levels, from production to retail, in order to succeed and support recent growth.
What do you see as the top three obstacles to future growth of farmers markets nationwide?
a) Lack of diversity on the grower side and more support needed for socially disadvantaged farmers and producers such as minorities, women and veterans. More outreach and access to loans, grants, and training for traditionally marginalized groups is necessary.
b) The need to be more inclusive in as many ways as possible is key to the continued growth and success of farmers markets, especially as more farmers market operators and farmers are able to access USDA funds and other resources that allow them to operate farmers markets and offer EBT. Farmers markets have the potential to be a gathering place in a community. Farmers markets can continue to grow their audiences by listening to what their customers and communities need and by including programming for individuals who have not previously been able to prioritize shopping for local food and/or healthy eating. Being inclusive of all potential customers in the community being served is necessary and crucial to the growth of farmers markets.
c) Connecting farmers markets and their operators to more institutions, government agencies, and strong on-the-ground partners. The farmers markets with the largest potential for growth are the ones with the strongest partnerships. Seeking new partners and strengthening existing ones allow markets to retain and grow their customer base to include new audiences that their partners reach. In the past five years, farmers markets have become more recognized as an effective public health intervention and the challenge now is to connect market operators and growers with institutions who are new to this approach to leverage partnerships that support farmers market growth.