National Kitchen Cabinet
Eric Becker is Clean Yield Asset Management’s chief investment officer, overseeing the firm’s portfolio management discipline. He joined Clean Yield in 2009 after 16 years as an equity analyst and portfolio manager for Trillium Asset Management. Eric co-founded Slow Money Boston and Slow Money Vermont, as well as the Vermont Food Investors Network. He serves as a trustee of Sterling College in Craftsbury Common, Vermont and is a board member of Soil4Climate. He was a founding board member of The Carrot Project, a sustainable agriculture finance organization. He is a senior fellow of the Environmental Leadership Program.
Mary Berry is Executive Director of The Berry Center, in New Castle, Kentucky. The Berry Center is putting Wendell Berry’s writings to work by advocating for farmers, land conserving communities, and healthy regional economies. Mary currently serves on the board of directors of United Citizens Bank and Trust, in New Castle, Kentucky, was appointed by President Obama to serve on Kentucky’s Farm Service Agency State Board, and is on the board of directors of the Schumacher Center for a New Economics in Great Barrington, Massachusetts. She writes for the periodical, Edible Louisville and speaks all over the country as a proponent of agriculture of the middle, in defense of small farmers, and in the hope of restoring a culture that has been lost in rural America.
Jim Cochran founded Swanton Berry Farm in 1983. Swanton Berry Farm is a 100 acre organic mixed fruit and vegetable farm located along California’s Central Coast. Its 26 full-time employees are represented by the United Farm Workers, and enjoy a generous compensation and benefits package, including low-cost housing and a bonus program that funds an Employee Stock Ownership Plan. Prior to that, Jim worked for four years with a federation of farmworker-owned production cooperatives based in Salinas, CA. Jim also co-founded The Food Commons, which is currently developing a prototype in Fresno, CA.
Amy Dickie is Principal at California Environmental Associates, providing strategic planning for environmental foundations and nonprofits. Much of her work has focused on sustainable food and agriculture, conservation, and climate change mitigation. Amy is the lead author of “Local Foods: A Guide for Investors and Philanthropists” and “Strategies for Mitigating Climate Change in Agriculture.” Amy has a bachelor’s degree in history from Stanford University and an MBA from the Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley.
Michael Dimock has been leading Roots of Change since 2006. From 2002 to 2007, he was Chairman of Slow Food USA and a member of Slow Food International’s board of directors where he worked with founder Carlo Petrini on international strategy and was instrumental in organizing the USA’s first delegation to Terra Madre in 2004. Michael’s love for food systems grew from his experience on an 11,000-acre cattle ranch in Santa Clara County in the late 1960s and a development project with Himalayan subsistence farmers in Nepal in the late 70s.
Paul Dolan was president of Fetzer Vineyards and CEO and is currently the Chairman of the Board for Demeter USA. He introduced the first national brand made from 100 percent organically grown grapes and led a transformation that put Fetzer at the forefront of organic viticulture. He served on President Clinton’s Council on Sustainability, was Chairman of the California Sustainable Winegrowers Alliance, and received the Environmental Business Leader of the Year Award from the California Planning and Conservation League in 2006. Dolan’s greatest passion is winegrowing at his family-owned Dark Horse Ranch, a certified Biodynamic vineyard. He is the author of “True to Our Roots: Fermenting a Business Revolution.”
Joan Gussow is a professor, author, food policy expert, environmentalist and gardener. The New York Times has called her the “matriarch of the eat-locally-think-globally food movement.” She is former chair of the Nutrition Education Program at Teachers College, Columbia University, where she still teaches her celebrated Nutritional Ecology course every fall.
Will Harris runs White Oak Pastures, the Georgia farm that his family has operated since 1866 (5 generations). In 1995 Will began transitioning his operation into the vertically integrated, pastured, multi-species livestock farm that it is today. Since Will implemented these changes, he has been recognized all over the world as a leader in humane animal husbandry and environmental sustainability. Will is the immediate past President of the Board of Directors of Georgia Organics. He is the Beef Director of the American Grassfed Association, and was selected 2011 Business Person of the year for Georgia by the Small Business Administration.
Carol Hewitt is an author, business owner, social entrepreneur and leader of Slow Money North Carolina. Her book, “Financing Our Foodshed: Growing Local Food With Slow Money,” tells the compelling, real life stories of twenty-two Slow Money North Carolina entrepreneurs — folks who grow, process, distribute, and sell local food — and the motivations behind the people in their communities who become their lenders. Carol helped start (and later helped finance the purchase of the land it occupies) the Shakori Hills GrassRoots Festival of Music and Dance in Silk Hope, NC that brings over 8,000 people together twice a year for four days to enjoy a wide diversity of music, dance, food and fun.
Rory Holland is an entrepreneur, having founded and sold a couple of companies and involved in a bunch more. He is a big fan of those who are taking outsized risks for the greater good and has a coaching practice, changeagents.com, to support those efforts. He is co-owner of Urban Digs Farm in Vancouver and is the founder of the Knives and Forks Investment Co-op, a slow money investment club. His passions are writing and compost making.
Fred Kirschenmann, a longtime national and international leader in sustainable agriculture, shares an appointment as Distinguished Fellow for the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture at Iowa State University and as President of Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture in Pocantico Hills, New York. He also oversees management of his family’s 3,500-acre certified organic farm in south central North Dakota and is a professor in the ISU Department of Religion and Philosophy.
Jarred Maxwell is co-founder of Austin Foodshed Investors and Local Leader for Slow Money Austin. Jarred is an active angel investor in more than a dozen local socially responsible companies and helped found the Sustainable Texas Investment Club in 2010 to provide a mechanism for non-accredited investors to put some of their investment dollars into local food companies. Jarred is a lifelong Texan and a rancher, managing over 400 acres of family ranch outside Lampasas in northern Burnet County.
Esther Park is the CEO of Cienega Capital, a single family investment firm utilizing an integrated capital approach to systemic change in the areas of soil health, regenerative agriculture, and local food systems. Esther also serves as a Board member at New Resource Bank, Nutiva, City Fresh Foods, and Custom Foods Holdings, and is an Advisor to Kitchen Table Advisors. Esther previously served as the Vice President for Strategy and Business Development at RSF Social Finance, and oversaw all lending activity from 2007-2011.
Martin Ping is Executive Director of Hawthorne Valley Association. Inspired by the work of Rudolf Steiner, Hawthorne Valley Association seeks to promote social and cultural renewal through the integration of education, agriculture, and the arts by engaging in a unique mix of cultural and economic endeavors. Martin sits on the Advisory Board for Ethical Markets.
Odessa Piper is the founder of L’Etoile, a pioneering farm-to-table restaurant in Madison, Wisconsin, which she established in 1976 and ran for 30 years. During that time she helped create local supply networks that enabled her to cook primarily from her region through all seasons of the year. Now resettled in her native New England, she continues to advocate for the gastronomy of the snow belt—its seasons, farmers, and artisans.
Don Shaffer has served as president & CEO of RSF Social Finance since 2007. RSF Social Finance has made $300 million in loans since 1984 and facilitated $150 million in grants. Don has been a social entrepreneur for many years, growing a for-profit education business, a software company, and a sporting goods manufacturer, in addition to a non profit, the Business Alliance for Local Living Economies (BALLE).
Nancy Thellman is the founder and co-leader of Slow Money Northeast Kansas, a network that spans seven Kansas and Missouri counties including metropolitan Kansas City. In 1999, Nancy and her family moved from the golf course to Juniper Hill Farm (Lawrence, KS). What was supposed to be a quiet country home is now a hard working certified organic vegetable production farm where her oldest son, Scott, is a proud first generation farmer. The move to the farm was the impetus for Nancy’s election to the Douglas County Commission where she is known for her penchant for soil conservation, local food policy work, and preservation of the sustainable small family farm.
Marco Vangelisti worked in finance for 25 years and for the last 6 in the investment management industry. He is a founding member of Slow Money and in the leadership team of the Slow Money Northern California network. He is a 100% impact investor and shares his experience doing direct Slow Money investments with communities around the country to help them increase their capacity for local investing through workshops and lectures. Marco developed Essential Knowledge for Transition – a curriculum for engaged citizens to understand the money and banking system, the economic system and the financial system and how we need to transform them. He speaks nationally as guest lecturer and author.
Jeff Wade is the Slow Money network leader for San Luis Obispo County, California. Jeff has worked in software product development, marketing, and sales. He sits on the SLO County Food System Coalition and is an independent consultant and SBDC coach to small businesses in Ag, Wine, Food and Tech.
Bryan Welch is a rancher and entrepreneur. After serving as the Publisher and Editorial Director of MOTHER EARTH NEWS and leading Ogden Publications for nearly two decades, he is now CEO of B The Change Media. He and his wife, Carolyn, raise organic, grass-fed landrace cattle, sheep and goats at Rancho Cappuccino near Lawrence, Kansas. Bryan’s award-winning book, “Beautiful & Abundant: Building the World We Want,” appeared in 2011.