A leader and Innovator in equitable community & economic development. 20+ years experience with a focus on food system change through sustainable business practices, entrepreneur mentorship, community organizing, undoing racism work, leadership development, policy and program creation, and education. Accomplished in organizational and systems development, marketing, and creative place making.
Founder and Executive Producer The Table Underground, WNHH Radio, New Haven, CT | 2017 - Present
Produce an innovative radio show, podcast and website featuring stories of marginalized peoples and perspectives on food and creative social justice. www.thetableunderground.com
Consultant, STORYSCAPE William Caspar Graustein Memorial Fund, New Haven, CT | 2018 - Present
Work as part of a team of artist/activists to create a state-wide series of events to gather personal stories on racism, education, and community building. This culminated in an interactive multi-media story listening exhibit. It is expanding into a website and podcasts to create tools for learning on racial and economic equity in education and community building as well as power and privilege in philanthropy.
Mentor in Residence, TSAI Center for Innovative Thinking at Yale, New Haven, CT | 2018
Developed a food business and social entrepreneurship curriculum and training. Mentored students on creating non-oppressive, environmentally sustainable, and financially successful food businesses, as well as how to work respectfully with the local community.
Inspiring Equity in Education Fellow, William Caspar Graustein Memorial Fund, New Haven, CT | 2017/18
Awarded a one-year fellowship for inspiring racial and economic equity in education. Focused on the use of storytelling as a tool for social change, advocacy and community building in the realm of community and school-based education.
CitySeed, New Haven, CT | 2008 - 2016
City-wide leader on effective and creative solutions to food issues through policy advancement, program development, deep community engagement, and broad-based coalition building. Energized communities to create just food system change, and address food apartheid by bridging racial and economic gaps.
Community Food Systems Director | 2011 - 2016
· Spearheaded development of the first city food policy: the New Haven Food Action Plan.
· Established a Food System Policy Director position for the City of New Haven.
· Designed and implemented community engagement efforts to create opportunities for geographically, racially and economically diverse community members to guide and lead the development of farmers’ markets/food access efforts as well as food education, urban agriculture and local food policy.
· Built and programmed a commercially certified kitchen at CitySeed for education, community building and entrepreneurship development.
· Raised over $300,000 through crowd sourcing, grants and foundation support.
· Designed and implemented media marketing strategies to raise visibility of food system change work on multiple platforms and engaged in public speaking.
· Served as Food Procurement Advisor to New Haven Public School’s USDA Farm to School Program.
· Worked with the Yale Law Clinic on Community and Economic Development to address state and federal regulations affecting locally sourced food and other food policy issues.
Food Policy and Community Projects Coordinator | 2008 - 2010
Directed a $90,000 Connecticut Department of Public Health grant aimed at improving health outcomes through community-based fresh food initiatives. Liaison to New Haven Food Policy Council.
Sustainable Food Consultant, New Haven, CT | 2007 - 2011
Consulted on local and ethically sourced food and good labor practices. Food system development approach including aggregation, distribution, production, menu development, staff training and marketing.
Elm City Market Co-op | 2011
Responsible for building a 1500 person member base and conducted market research for new urban food co-op.
Blue State Coffee | 2010
Transformed menu and food sourcing from conventional to sustainable for a multiple location cafe.
Yale University Sustainable Food Project and Yale Dining Services | 2008
Authored The Yale Sustainable Food Purchasing Guide for Institutions, conducting stakeholder research and identified best practices in sustainable food purchasing.
Executive Chef, Yale University Dining Services Thain Family Café | 2007
Created sustainable café within Yale University. Managed sourcing, menu development, scaling, production and staff training.
Assistant Manager, Big Green Truck Pizza & Douglas Coffin Catering, New Haven, CT | 2006 - 2007
Managed bookings, client communications, scheduling, special event and menu planning, for rapidly growing catering company and first of its kind pizza truck.
Owner, Chef, Spoon, Boston, MA & New York City, NY | 1999 - 2004
Owned and operated Spoon, a small, high-end, catering and private cooking business, with a focus on seasonal and local foods.
Chef, Boston, MA | New York City, NY | Vermont | 1995 - 2002
Cook and Pastry Chef in prominent restaurants, bakeries, catering companies and institutions:
NYC: Gramercy Tavern, Margaret Palca Bakes
Boston: The Catered Affair, Salamander Restaurant, La Bonne Maison Catering
Vermont: Farm and Wilderness Camps and Organic Farm
Head Teacher, Department of Human Services, Graham and Parks School, Cambridge, MA | 1998 - 1999
Assistant Teacher, Brooklyn Friends School Brooklyn, NY | 1993-1995
Sarah Lawrence College, B.A. Education | 1995
School for International Training, Cultural Immersion Program, Brazil | Spring & Summer 1994
Restorative Justice, Joe Brummer & Re-Center | 2018
Radio Boot Camp, Union Docs | 2017
Resistance Radio, Union Docs | 2017
Story Week, Donald Davison & Graustein Memorial Fund | 2014 & 2018
CEIO: Co-creating Effective and Inclusive Organizations & Deeper Change Forums | 2012 - 2014
Community Leadership Program, Graustein Memorial Fund, Cohort 12 | 2012 - 2013
Soul Fire Farm, Board of Directors | 2015 - present
ConnCAT, Culinary Program Development Team | 2014 - 2017
New Haven Food Policy Council, chair 2010 - 2013 | member 2006 - 2015
New Haven Public Schools, Working Group on School Food | 2007 - 2009
The Table Underground, Radio Show, Podcast, Blog | 2017 - present
New Haven Food Action Plan, Lead content developer for citywide food policy | 2013
New Haven Cooks/Cocina New Haven Cookbook, Developer, bilingual community cookbook | 2009
Yale Sustainable Food Purchasing Guide, Yale Dining and Sustainable Food Project (SARE Grant) Primary Researcher, Author and Designer | 2008
School Food Policy Primer, Key Contributor and Designer, Yale Law Clinic and New Haven Food Policy Council | 2008
Martha Stewart Kids Magazine, Article, recipes and food styling | 2005
Tagan’s Kitchen, Blog creator and writer | 2009 - 2015
New Haven District Wellness Manual, Led revisions of the New Haven Public School District Wellness Plan to create a usable manual for district-wide distribution to schools and parents | 2014
Allied Media Conference, Feeding Radical Movements (with Liberation Cuisine & AgitArte) | 2018
ArtSpace New Haven, Environmental Justice Summit, Moderator: Food, Water, Air: Basic needs as political battleground | 2018
Common Ground School, Panelist, Intersections of Restorative Practices and Social Justice Work | 2018
Food Solutions New England, Panelist, Successful Policy Interventions | 2016
WTNH Television, CT Style, Cooking and local food promotion, numerous episodes | 2010 - 2016
Yale Nourish New Haven Conference, Panelist, Local Food Justice and Sustainability | 2014
WNPR – Colin McEnroe Show, Panelist - Broccoli is Best! | 2014
CT Food Policy Council, Panelist - Strengthening Connecticut’s Food System | 2013
Yale University Food Symposium, Moderator, From Strategic Action to Systemic Change, Panelist, Food Policy Councils: A Path to a More Democratic and Sustainable Food System | 2013
National League of Cities Conference, Top Plays of the Day: Great Ideas for Children, Youth and Families, Presenter on New Haven School Food Change | 2009
CT NOFA, Panelist, Cultivating an Organic Connecticut, Conversation with CT Chefs | 2008
Languages: Conversational Spanish and Brazilian Portuguese.
Skills & Interests: Spiritual practice and healing work rooted in Yoruba orisa tradition and Judaism, artist, and parent advocate.
Computer Programs: Adobe creative suite, web design, Microsoft Office, social media platforms, Hindenburg audio editing software.