Faculty & Presenters
Lead Instructor & Founder of True North Collective
Jennifer’s expertise in food systems developed during 20+ years of hands-on leadership experience leading farms, non profit organizations and in dynamic retail operations. Her farming career began in 2003 at Montgomery County Pennsylvania’s first certified organic farm, as the General Manager of the 5000 sq ft on-farm market, pick-your-own operation and wholesale sales channels. In subsequent years, Jen was recruited to GM and Chief Operating Officer positions to lead food, farm and retail businesses and nonprofits though startup, growth and contraction phases. Jennifer co-founded Kitchen Table Consultants, a leading food and farming business consulting firm before founding True North Collective. Jennifer guided the organization’s national growth through innovative and values based marketing, branding and businesses development strategies. Her client work focuses on the intersection between nonprofit and government organizations and the farmers, processors and aggregators they seek to serve.
Engineer / Extension Assistant Professor of Agricultural Engineering, UVM
Chris Callahan is the Extension Associate Professor: Agricultural Engineering at the University of Vermont. His work focuses on enhancing Vermont’s Food Systems supporting the analysis, design, evaluation and adoption of infrastructure and equipment that meets the needs of relatively small-scale food producers and processors. Chris enjoys working closely with farmers and others on multi-disciplinary projects that deliver practical, cost effective, safe and sustainable results.
Carolee is a consultant at CDS Consulting Co-op. Since 1984, Carolee Colter has consulted for consumer and worker co-ops and other small community-based businesses. Carolee started her career working for a co-op warehouse in 1973 and right away found that human resources were her niche because she has always been interested in what makes for a positive workplace. Throughout the years, she has helped hundreds of co-ops develop human resources policy, job descriptions, and training and evaluation programs.
Using a collaborative problem-solving approach, Carolee helps co-ops to create productive and satisfying workplaces. “The foundation of all the consulting I do is listening. People are more willing to embrace a decision if they have a voice and are heard. Every person brings a valuable perspective,” she said.
New Venture Advisors, Strategy Associate
Saloni is a Strategy Associate with New Venture Advisors. Saloni was most recently the co-founder and co-CEO of Fresh Takes Kitchen, a for-profit social venture making healthy eating accessible to lower-income individual and family customers through a meal delivery service marketed and distributed through partnering community organizations such as schools, churches and recreation centers. She previously worked as a Strategy and Operations Consultant for Oliver Wyman where she drove product optimization, procurement and staffing strategies for Fortune 100 companies. Then, as Managing Director for Teach for America, Saloni developed cross-sector partnership-building strategies addressing the unique needs of under-resourced urban and rural communities.
Saloni graduated Magna Cum Laude from Princeton University with a B.S. in Operations Research and Financial Engineering and holds an M.B.A. from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management. She combines her keen interest in sustainable agriculture, local food systems and food access as a leader of and important contributor to NVA’s studies and business plans.
Red Tomato, Director of Marketing
Susan Futrell is Director of Marketing for Red Tomato. She has been involved in food and sustainable agriculture endeavors for over 30 years. She spent 25 years in distribution, sales and marketing, including nearly two decades as Director of Marketing for Blooming Prairie Warehouse, a Midwest organic and natural foods wholesale cooperative, and in Central Region Marketing for United Natural Foods. She joined Red Tomato in 2005, where she is responsible for marketing, communications and brand management, and works closely with the network of farmers and scientists in Red Tomato’s Eco fruit program. She’s also a writer, and has an MFA in nonfiction writing from the University of Iowa. She divides her time between Massachusetts and Iowa, where she lives with her husband, Will Jennings.
Former General Manager, Mad River Food Hub
Mr. Gibbs brings a wealth of experience in meat production, food safety, and food system learning to Mad River Food Hub. His previous role as Chief Instructor, Senior Core Faculty at New England Culinary Institute (NECI) included training, educating and evaluating students in a post secondary standard based culinary arts program and co-managing the NECI Meat Fabrication Plant working closely with Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets meat inspection division. Mr. Gibbs was at NECI for 10 years, during which time he has been an active advocate for local food systems and producers, and a proponent for change in American agricultural policies that has traditionally favored grand scale production and large corporate interests.
Executive Director, Intervale Food Hub
Travis brings a breadth of experience and a joy to his work strengthening integrated food systems and running a diverse organization like the Intervale Center. He also enjoys more simple pleasures like cooking and home gardening with his family. Prior to joining the Intervale Center in 2006, Travis worked in agriculture and community economic development in Vermont, Central America and the Caribbean. Travis graduated from the University of Vermont Community Development and Applied Economics program and received his Master’s degree in International Agricultural Development from the University of California, Davis. He grew up on his grandparents’ dairy farm in Charlotte, Vermont and now lives in a farmhouse in Fletcher where he raises chickens, vegetables and pigs with his partner Sue and their sons and daughter.
RAFI-USA’s Executive Director
Scott Marlow currently serves as RAFI-USA’s Executive Director.
He previously directed the organization’s Farm Sustainability Program, providing in-depth financial counseling to farmers in crisis, education on disaster assistance programs and access to credit, and addressing the needs of mid-scale farmers seeking to increase the sustainability of their farms by transitioning to higher-value specialty markets.
His specialty is financial infrastructure, including access to credit and risk management for value-added producers. Scott has served on the steering committee of the National Task Force to Renew Agriculture of the Middle, the Organization Council of the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition, the Board of the Southern Sustainable Agriculture Working Group, the Board of the North Carolina Farm Transition Network, and currently serves on the NC Agricultural Advancement Consortium and the Advisory Committee of the NC Agricultural Development and Farmland Preservation Trust Fund.
Scott holds a Master’s degree in Crop Science from NC State University and a BA in Political Science from Duke University.
Founder and Director, Mad River Food Hub
Robin Morris is the founder and director of the Mad River Food Hub L3C, a food business incubator with licensed, shared use, vegetable and USDA meat processing, storage and distribution facility. Robin has 30+ years of Business Management Experience in the private sector, the last 15 years with multiple foods related businesses including CFO at American Flatbread Company. His years of experience helping new and existing businesses grow is now being applied to the food system.
R. W. Eli Moulton, III.
Moulton Law Group
With clients ranging from small start-up ventures to public companies, Eli acts as outside general legal counsel, providing expert advice on business issues such as intellectual property protection; employment and consulting relationships; equity incentive compensation; property leases; distribution, customer and supplier relationships; etc. Private equity transactions comprise a large portion of Eli’s practice – from multi-million dollar venture capital and mezzanine rounds to early-stage angel and family and friend offerings.
He also has substantial experience structuring, negotiating and closing M&A transactions, including public company mergers as well as small private asset acquisitions. Eli has taught several continuing legal education classes, among them: “Choice of Legal Entity,” “Representing the Small Business in Vermont” and “Mergers and Acquisitions.”
He is a founding board member of the Green Mountain Adventure Racing Association, the Burlington Referral Organization and an active member of the board of the Sara Holbrook Community Center.
Founder and Principal, New Venture Advisors
Kathy founded NVA in 2009 to bring advanced business strategy, thought leadership and entrepreneurial momentum to the emerging sustainable food industry. Her work has led to the launch of four food hub businesses including Blue Ridge Produce, a keenly-watched model for the rebuilding of local food systems, where she serves on the advisory board.
Kathy has over 20 years of marketing and strategic leadership experience with Fortune 100 companies. She served on the integrated marketing leadership team for a $5 billion product portfolio at Kraft Foods. Kathy previously managed accounts at Leo Burnett and Young & Rubicam, then the nation’s largest advertising agencies, developing national campaigns for Coca-Cola, Keebler, Frito-Lay and Miller Brewing.
Kathy graduated with honors from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business where she earned an MBA and received the Dean’s Award for Strategy for achieving the highest academic record in Strategic Management. She also completed the financial modeling and valuation training used by Wall Street firms.
UVM, Professor of Natural Resources
Taylor Ricketts, Ph.D. is a Professor of Natural Resources at the Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources at the University of Vermont. Taylor integrates natural and social sciences to address both fundamental scientific issues and real-world conservation problems. His recent work focuses on the economic benefits provided to people by forests, wetlands, reefs, and other natural areas. Other areas of interest to Taylor include: community and landscape ecology, ecosystem services, ecological economics, conservation biology, environmental policy, and biogeography. Taylor is co-founder of the Natural Capital Project, a partnership among universities and NGOs that maps and values natural benefits for different communities around the world. He has served as Convening Lead Author for the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, a 5-year, UN-sponsored effort to assess global ecosystems and their contributions to human wellbeing. These and other collaborations are part of Taylor’s continuing effort to link rigorous research with practical conservation and policy efforts worldwide. Before arriving at UVM in 2011, he led World Wildlife Fund’s Conservation Science Program for nine years and continues to serves as a Senior Fellow at WWF. Taylor is the author of over 70 scientific publications, and his work has been featured in over 100 stories, in more than 20 media outlets.
Executive Director, Red Tomato
Michael Rozyne has been a marketer of small farm products for three decades. He worked on conventional and organic farms in Maine, and was Purchaser and Marketer for a regional food distributor in New England. He was cofounder of the fair trade coffee company, Equal Exchange. In addition, he started Red Tomato in 1996 and served as Executive Director for many years. Rozyne now works as Red Tomato’s Evangelist – read about his new role here. He lives with his partner Kimberly and two daughters in Middleborough, Massachusetts.
In addition to his continued leadership at Red Tomato, Michael connects with others in the food movement by serving on the following boards:
Food Hub Consultant
Jesse has over 30 years of experience in distribution, retail grocery and the natural and organic products industry. She served for 20+ years as President and CEO of Blooming Prairie Warehouse, a major natural products distributor. She was Director of Natural and Organic Food for Roundy’s Supermarkets, and currently operates Prairie Ventures LLC, a consulting firm focused on business growth strategies. She helped to found the Iowa Valley Food Co-op, an online local foods cooperative, and serves as its business development coordinator.
She serves on the boards of Frontier Natural Products Co-op, National Farm to School Network (NFSN), Taproot Nature Experience for Children, and Riverside Theater; and on the Leonardo Academy Standards Development Committee of the National Standard for Sustainable Agriculture Practices. Jesse is past President of the Organic Trade Association, National Cooperative Bank Development Corporation, and Iowa City Public Library.
She holds a MBA with honors from University of Chicago and a MA in Clinical Psychology from University of Iowa.
Chief of Operations, Cherry Capital Foods
Evan Smith has over 35 years experience in international and domestic food distribution and logistics and is a licensed Customs Broker. Prior to joining Cherry Capital Foods as CEO in early 2009, he spent 8 years as the CFO of Food For Thought, a specialty food manufacturer of organic and conventional products. He has spoken nationally and internationally on food system issues and serves on the Michigan Farm to Institute Network Board, the Traverse City Food and Farm Network, the Grand Traverse Foodshed Alliance, Michigan Food & Farming Systems, and the Grand Traverse Regional Land Conservancy.
President, Regional Access
John Waite is the Executive Director at Franklin County Community Development Corporation (FCCDC).
Franklin County CDC; FINE Fiscal Manager, Food Processing Center (FPC)
John began work at the Franklin County CDC in March 2000 and oversees all of the organizations operations and programs. He has been involved with economic development in Africa, Central Asia and New York City since 1983. John has a BA from the University Massachusetts and a Graduate Degree from Columbia University, was a volunteer and staff person with the Peace Corps, worked with CARE International, and consulted for several Microfinance programs. John now spends much of his time expanding the Food Processing Center (FPC) including the focus on farms to institutions as a way to build the regional food system that is fair to all parts of the food value chain. Over 350 businesses have used the shared use food processing facility over the past 14 years and during the past few years the FPC has implemented a vegetable freezing venture which pays fair prices to famers and sells at reasonable prices to schools and institutions.
Owner, Third Wheel Cheese Company
Ann Karlen is the owner of Third Wheel Cheese Company and founding Director of Fair Food, launched in 2000 to build a sustainable and humane local food economy for the Delaware Valley by connecting regional family farms to the Philadelphia marketplace. In 2003, she opened the Fair Food Farmstand in the Reading Terminal Market, Philadelphia’s first all-local food retail grocery store.
She was a member of the Management Team that launched Common Market Philadelphia in 2008, one of leading food hubs in the northeast region, specializing in distributing local food to institutions. In 2011 she was appointed the Mayor’s Food Policy Advisory Council. Ms. Karlen consults with farmers and food producers, as well as intermediaries and wholesale buyers to help build lasting business relationships.
Value Chain Coordinator and Purchaser, Local Food Hub
Lisa Reeder worked as Value Chain Coordinator and Purchaser in Charlottesville, VA at the 501(c)3 Local Food Hub, which provides farmers access to wholesale markets. She held a BS in Commerce from the University of Virginia, a Chef’s Certificate in Health Supportive Cooking from the Natural Gourmet Institute for Food and Health in New York City, and most recently earned a Food Hub Management Certificate from the University of Vermont’s inaugural class in 2015. For more than 20 years, Ms. Reeder’s work focused on food quality, and equality, as central elements for resilient regional food systems.