Board of Directors

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Hank

Adams

Hank Adams

|Harvest20, Sportsvision CEO 2002-16

Hank Adams is a technology entrepreneur who, since October 2017, has been CEO of Harvest 2O, a startup that used hydroponics  to produce smart, indoor home gardens that enable consumers to grow their own delicious food at home year-round. Previously, Adams was CEO of Sportsvision Inc., growing the leading sports tech company for 14 years before selling it in 2016. He is currently working on building a startup business in the food tech space.

Earlier, Adams was founder and CEO of Real Fans Sports Network, building it into a Top 5 Site on AOL in 1995 as the first social media sports site.  In 1997, America Online bought Real Fans.  Adams then spun Real Fans out from AOL in 1999 to form Ignite Sports Media, which he then subsequently merged with Sportvision in 2002.

Adams currently serves as Chairman of the Chicago Chapter of the Young Presidents Organization (YPO) and is on the Board of Chicago’s 1871 business incubator.  He is an investor, advisor and executive coach to multiple startups, including TeaSquares, a graduate Fellow of FamilyFarmed’s Good Food Accelerator program, and has developed relationships with key food business influencers such as Michael Pollan and Kimball Musk.

A Colorado native, Adams graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of Colorado with a BA in History and a BS in Finance, and earned an MBA from the Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University. He is married with three sons and lives in Evanston, IL.

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Dave

Donnan

Dave Donnan

|Senior Partner A.T. Kearney

David Donnan is a Senior Partner with A.T. Kearney, a global management consulting firm based in Chicago. During his career David has managed operating companies, run food plants and consulted to leading global retail and consumer product companies in technology and supply chain strategies, brand growth and mergers. He works with major hunger relief organizations such as Feeding America, Global Food Bank Network and Top Box as well as food startups in the Chicago area as a mentor.

Dave is widely recognized as an industry leader who actively speaks and writes on topics of importance to the agriculture, food and beverage, retail, and restaurant industries. He has presented at a variety of industry conferences for the Grocery Manufacturers Association, Food Marketing Institute, National Restaurant Association, International Grain Transportation Conference and the Retail Council of Canada. He has also appeared on Bloomberg TV and is quoted in various business journals including Business WeekThe Wall Street Journal, and Forbes.

Dave earned his Masters of Business Administration at the University of Toronto Rotman School of Business and his Bachelor of Applied Science in Industrial Engineering from the University of Toronto. He is on the board of Rubicon Organics, Family Farmed and the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. He lives in Chicago with his wife Karen.

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Charlotte

Flinn

Charlotte Flinn

|President, Flinn Consultants (Board Chair)

Charlotte Flinn is co-founder and president of Flinn Consultants, a 25-year-old consulting firm assisting industrial, service, professional, academic, government and not-for-profit clients to achieve and sustain optimum levels of business, leadership and organizational effectiveness. Consulting strengths include strategic planning, leadership and management development and executive coaching. She is Chair of FamilyFarmed board and has been associated with the organization for some 15 years. Charlotte is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate in Philosophy from Queens College in New York and a graduate in Organization Development from the Center for Organization Development at Loyola University in Chicago. Her leadership with environmental firms, sustainability and urban agriculture initiatives supports her long-standing interest in the environment in a sustainable economy. Flinn Consultants is best known for its long-term client relationships and its ability to partner with owners, entrepreneurs and senior executives. She lives with her husband Bob in Chicago.

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Anu

Goel

Anu Goel

|President of Client Growth Solutions with SPINS

Anu Goel is President of Client Growth Solutions with SPINS, the leading data, insights, and analytics company focused on the Natural, Organic, and Specialty products industries.  In this role, Anu works with hundreds of leading Good Food brands to help them achieve data-driven insights to accelerate growth.  Anu also works with leading investors focused on Good Food brands, having built unique solutions to help them find, analyze, and invest in winning brands.

Prior to SPINS, Anu was a part of the leadership team at Beam Inc., where he held several Sales & Marketing roles and helped grow the business from $1 billion to $3 billion globally.  Earlier, Anu was as a strategy consultant with McKinsey & Company, serving some of the world’s leading CPG brands on marketing & sales growth strategies.  He started his career in Finance with Brand Equity Ventures, investing in early-stage brand and retail businesses.

On the side, Anu is a Good Food investor and an advisor to non-profit organizations.  When Anu lived in Boston, he served on the Board of HBS Community Action Program, and he currently serves on Junior Achievement Worldwide’s Global Council.  A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and Harvard Business School, Anu is married with two children and lives in Evanston, IL.

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Anthony

Kingsley

Anthony Kingsley

|Local & Sustainable Product Lead at US Foods

Anthony Kingsley is the Local & Sustainable Product Lead at US Foods. In his role, Anthony is responsible for working within the Merchandising department to bring local and sustainable products to life. This involves engaging with internal stakeholders to define and standardize the US Foods approach and provide education around the dynamic topic of sustainability, as well as working with customers and external partners to share food provenance with diners and restaurants.

Anthony has over 10 years’ experience in sustainability and community development in Europe, SE Asia, and now the US. Before coming to US Foods Anthony worked as Sustainability & CSR Lead in the food-service management sector in London, UK. He holds a Master of Science in Sustainability & Management from Royal Holloway, University of London, and a Master of Arts in Politics from University of Birmingham, U.K.

Anthony is an award-winning sustainability professional with extensive experience in environmental impact assessment, food systems, life cycle analysis, community engagement and project management.

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Andrew

Lutsey

Andrew Lutsey

|Founder of Local Foods Grocer & Distributor

After beginning a career in real estate finance and private equity, Andrew found greater calling at Waseda Farms, his family’s 600-acre organic cattle, hog and poultry farm in Door County, WI. Working on the family farm shaped his vision for Local Foods, an innovative wholesale and retail company that streamlines the Midwestern supply chain for farmers and food buyers interested in locally-sourced products.  Local Foods operates a wholesale distribution business and a retail grocery store, butcher shop and café.  Under Andrew’s watch as CEO, Local Foods grew to exceed $10 million in annual sales with a team of 45 employees.  His primary focus was the oversight of strategic planning, management of the key leadership team, human resources, treasury/financial analysis and investor relations.

Through Andrew’s work at Waseda Farms, Local Foods and most recently consulting, Andrew has been involved in business planning, capital and debt financing, strategic planning, financial planning and analysis, operations management, operations analysis, A/P and A/R and many other functions that are inherent to the startup and operations of a food venture.  This work has helped businesses run more efficiently, operate more profitably, conserve cash, deliver better customer service, mitigate waste and provide clarity and confidence to investors, management and team members about the direction of the company.

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Marianne

O’Brien Markowitz

Marianne O’Brien Markowitz

|National Government Lending Director, CIBC

Marianne joined CIBC (formerly The PrivateBank) in 2017 as Managing Director and National Government Lending Director. This followed her tenure with the U.S. Small Business Administration (2009-17), during which she served as the SBA’s Midwest Regional Administrator and then, at President Barack Obama’s request, served on his Cabinet as acting National SBA Administrator.  Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel appointed Markowitz to serve on the City of Chicago’s Small Business Advisory Council in March 2013.

Prior to her time at the SBA, Markowitz served as the Chief Financial Officer for the Obama for America Presidential Campaign in 2008 and was previously a financial operations consultant for the launch of the Obama Exploratory Committee. She also served on the Obama for America Board of Directors from 2007 to 2009.

For more than 17 years, Markowitz provided finance and risk management expertise to a host of leading global institutions. Markowitz has a deep background in managing hyper-growth startup organizations, providing board level governance as well as designing and implementing global financial operations departments.

She received a B.S. degree from the University of Missouri and an MBA from DePaul University. From May 2010-June 2017 she served as a trustee on the board of the Lycee Francais de Chicago and is a member of the Chicago Economic Club. Markowitz lives in Lincoln Park with her husband Jeff and their daughter Maura.

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Adam

Murphy

Adam Murphy

|Assistant Professor, Department of Urology, Northwestern Medicine - Feinberg School of Medicine

Adam B. Murphy MD, MBA, MSCI is an academic urologist who studies the underpinnings of prostate cancer and health disparities faced by African Americans and other ethnic minorities. In his research, he noted that dietary habits, vitamin deficiencies, food desserts and zip codes were very predictive of prostate cancer and prostate cancer mortality. In Nigeria food storage quality suffers exposing their population to aflatoxin from molds and excess cancer risk. It became clear that good food is prevention and prevention is the best medicine. Dr. Murphy works to educate men about the connection between diet and cancer prevention and general health. He joined the board of Family Farmed to support their efforts to improve access to Good Food for all. Dr. Murphy is an Assistant Professor at Northwestern Medicine in the Department of Urology.

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Jamie

Ponce

Jamie Ponce

|Director of Strategic Partnerships, City Tech Collaborative

As Director of Strategic Partnerships with the City Tech Collaborative, Jamie works to drive breakthrough solutions to critical city challenges using technology, analytics, and cross-sector collaboration.  He previously served as Director of Innovation with the Environmental Law & Policy Center, a public interest and environmental advocacy group focused on clean energy, transportation, air, and water.  From 2012-16, Jamie was Chicago Director of Energy and Climate Innovation with the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group, where he led initiatives on energy, sustainable development, and climate in the office of Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and across a network of global megacities.

Prior to these roles, Jamie spent 10 years with global management consulting firm A.T. Kearney, specializing in corporate strategy, institutional effectiveness, and organizational development.  These efforts – including work with the Rocky Mountain Institute, Africare, and the Environmental Defense Fund – address some of the planet’s most pressing challenges across industries and ideologies.

Rooted in his family’s Spanish culinary traditions, having advised consumer packaged food clients, and as the convener of a municipal Good Food Task Force that resulted in Chicago’s becoming the second US city to adopt a Good Food Procurement Policy, Jamie is committed to mission-driven, market-based food system improvement.  He holds a B.A. from Indiana University, a Master’s degree in Public Administration from Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, and an MBA from Harvard Business School.

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Luke

Saunders

Luke Saunders

|Founder and CEO of Farmer’s Fridge

Luke Saunders is the Founder and CEO of Farmer’s Fridge, a network of 140+ automated smart Fridges stocked with wholesome, chef-curated salads, sandwiches, bowls, snacks and more. An entrepreneur at heart, Luke ran his first business, Bears’ Bikes, as an undergraduate at Washington University in St. Louis while majoring in International Studies. Shortly after graduating, a move to Michigan prompted Luke to take a role as a traveling salesman. Regularly challenged by finding fresh food on the road, Luke arrived at the concept for Farmer’s Fridge: good health starts with what we eat and eating well shouldn’t be hard. Drawing on his entrepreneurial experience, Luke set out to build a disruptive yet simple way to provide fresh, healthy food for all. Today, Farmer’s Fridge operates in locations across Chicago and Milwaukee, including O’Hare International Airport, Chicago’s famed Willis Tower and the University of Chicago. The company has been featured in The Atlantic, Entrepreneur, Chicago Tribune, Crain’s, USA Today, NBC Nightly News, Women’s Health and O! Magazine. In 2016, Luke was featured on the Forbes “30 Under 30” list. He lives in Chicago with his wife and son.

jimbiophoto

Jim

Slama

Jim Slama

|CEO & Founder

Jim Slama founded FamilyFarmed at a time when few people recognized the term “Good Food movement,” and demand for locally, sustainably, humanely, and fairly produced food was still a tiny sliver of the overall consumer market.

Under Slama’s leadership during more than 15 years since, FamilyFarmed has become an important catalyst in the booming, consumer-driven rise of the movement. He has helped to build a robust Good Food cluster in the nonprofit’s home base of Chicago while expanding the national scope and impact of its work.

In 2004, Slama created FamilyFarmed’s highest-profile event. Then a one-day Good Food Trade Show aimed at connecting local farmers with trade buyers, the event evolved into what today is the Good Food EXPO, held each March in Chicago, which covers the Good Food spectrum with thought-provoking panels and symposiums featuring leading experts, a food policy conference, a Good Food Marketplace where many of the Midwest’s leading farm and food producers exhibit, and a day-long, family-friendly Good Food Festival that is a big public celebration of the fast-rising Good Food movement.

Two other key elements of FamilyFarmed’s programming grew out of the EXPO. The Good Food Financing & Innovation Conference was founded in 2009 and first held in 2011 in partnership with the University of Chicago Booth School of Business to order to better connect food and farm entrepreneurs with the growing community of investors interested in Good Food businesses. Then the first day of a three-day Good Food EXPO, the Financing & Innovation Conference helped stimulate networking, but also exposed a need for more intensive entrepreneurial development. This need was addressed in 2014 by the creation of the Good Food Accelerator, which provides an intensive six-month Fellowship program for competitively selected entrepreneurs.

The Financing & Innovation Conference and Accelerator have combined over the past few years to help facilitate more than $50 million in financial deals for early-stage food businesses. Having taken on a life of their own, the Financing & Innovation Conference in 2018 was separated from the EXPO as a one-day stand-alone event in which the Accelerator team plays a central role.

The Farmer Training program is a comprehensive program that gives farmers the resources and tools they need to make sure their produce is of the highest quality, to manage food safety and other risks, and to nurture the relationships with customers that they need to be successful. FamilyFarmed has emerged as a national leader in farmer training, and with support of the USDA, we have trained over 14,000 in 43 states.

FamilyFarmed never stands still under Slama’s leadership. The organization on April 30 co-produced the successful Frontera 30th Anniversary Celebration fundraiser with Chef Rick Bayless’ Frontera Farmer Foundation. The organization has also recently held two Good Food is Good Medicine symposiums and is working to develop a broader program focused on the major impact food has on health.

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Jennifer L.

Worstell

Jennifer L. Worstell

|Partner, Natarajan | Worstell LLC

Jennifer L. Worstell is a partner in the Chicago office of Natarajan | Worstell LLC, and was formerly a partner in a National Law Journal Top 75 firm.  She concentrates her practice in the representation of financial institutions in real estate finance matters, including loan originations and modifications, creditors’ rights, loan enforcement, representation of buyers and sellers of real estate and general corporate and litigation support. Jennifer is a 1994 graduate of Indiana University, majoring in Business and French. In 1998, she received a JD from the Indiana University School of Law and an MBA in Finance from the Indiana University Kelley Graduate School of Business. Jennifer is also a 2008 graduate of The John Marshall Law School with an LL.M in Real Estate Law.

In 2011, Jennifer was on the Advisory Board and the Co-Chair of the Financing Farm to Fork Conference, and on the Advisory Board and the Chair of the 2012, 2013 and 2014 Good Food Financing Conferences.  She was Co-Chair of FamilyFarmed’s Good Food Financing & Innovation Conference in 2015, 2016 and 2017. She currently serves on the Board of Directors of FamilyFarmed and as the Board’s Treasurer.  Jennifer is a past president of the Chicago Mortgage Attorneys Association, is on the Advisory Board of The John Marshall Law School Center for Real Estate Law, and is a member of the Chicago Chapter of Commercial Real Estate Women, the International Women’s Insolvency and Restructuring Confederation, the Old Town Triangle Association Neighborhood Improvement Committee, and is a Treekeepers volunteer with Openlands.org.

Our Team

jimbiophoto

Jim

Slama

Jim Slama

|CEO & Founder

Jim Slama founded FamilyFarmed at a time when few people recognized the term “Good Food movement,” and demand for locally, sustainably, humanely, and fairly produced food was still a tiny sliver of the overall consumer market.

Under Slama’s leadership during more than 15 years since, FamilyFarmed has become an important catalyst in the booming, consumer-driven rise of the movement. He has helped to build a robust Good Food cluster in the nonprofit’s home base of Chicago while expanding the national scope and impact of its work.

In 2004, Slama created FamilyFarmed’s highest-profile event. Then a one-day Good Food Trade Show aimed at connecting local farmers with trade buyers, the event evolved into what today is the Good Food EXPO, held each March in Chicago, which covers the Good Food spectrum with thought-provoking panels and symposiums featuring leading experts, a food policy conference, a Good Food Marketplace where many of the Midwest’s leading farm and food producers exhibit, and a day-long, family-friendly Good Food Festival that is a big public celebration of the fast-rising Good Food movement.

Two other key elements of FamilyFarmed’s programming grew out of the EXPO. The Good Food Financing & Innovation Conference was founded in 2009 and first held in 2011 in partnership with the University of Chicago Booth School of Business to order to better connect food and farm entrepreneurs with the growing community of investors interested in Good Food businesses. Then the first day of a three-day Good Food EXPO, the Financing & Innovation Conference helped stimulate networking, but also exposed a need for more intensive entrepreneurial development. This need was addressed in 2014 by the creation of the Good Food Accelerator, which provides an intensive six-month Fellowship program for competitively selected entrepreneurs.

The Financing & Innovation Conference and Accelerator have combined over the past few years to help facilitate more than $50 million in financial deals for early-stage food businesses. Having taken on a life of their own, the Financing & Innovation Conference in 2018 was separated from the EXPO as a one-day stand-alone event in which the Accelerator team plays a central role.

The Farmer Training program is a comprehensive program that gives farmers the resources and tools they need to make sure their produce is of the highest quality, to manage food safety and other risks, and to nurture the relationships with customers that they need to be successful. FamilyFarmed has emerged as a national leader in farmer training, and with support of the USDA, we have trained over 14,000 in 43 states.

FamilyFarmed never stands still under Slama’s leadership. The organization on April 30 co-produced the successful Frontera 30th Anniversary Celebration fundraiser with Chef Rick Bayless’ Frontera Farmer Foundation. The organization has also recently held two Good Food is Good Medicine symposiums and is working to develop a broader program focused on the major impact food has on health.

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Bob

Benenson

Bob Benenson

|Communications Manager

Bob Benenson is leveraging four decades of experience as a journalist in his role as FamilyFarmed’s communications manager. He spent 30 years covering politics and elections for Congressional Quarterly in Washington, D.C., including 11 years (1998-2009) as the publishing company’s politics editor. After relocating to Chicago in 2011, Bob changed tracks and merged his desire for a mission-driven second career with his lifelong passion for food. His roles with FamilyFarmed include serving as managing editor for its Good Food News website, and he was lead editor and co-writer for its Direct Market Success farmer training manual. Bob also is an accomplished photographer whose work can be found at bobbenenson.myportfolio.com/ and at www.facebook.com/bblakeshoreview/.

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Chelsea

Callahan Huson

Chelsea Callahan Huson

|Programs Coordinator

Playing a key role in planning and execution for FamilyFarmed’s Good Food Accelerator.

Huson was fortunate was fortunate enough to grow up in a household that valued Good Food, which allowed her to develop a passion for sharing that Good Food with others at a young age. After graduating from Northwestern University with a BA in Psychology, Chelsea spent the summer helping develop Sustainable Nantucket’s Farm to School Program and educating kids in their youth garden. That summer Chelsea received just as much of an education as her students and knew she would always work to spread the Good Food love and grow the movement.

In the past five years Chelsea has lived, learned, and worked around the world, expanding her food knowledge along the way. She has served as an AmeriCorps at City Harvest in NYC in their nutrition education department, worked on farms in South America, managed the front of house at a bakery in DC, and assisted in event planning, operations and marketing at a variety of food focused non-profits, incubators, and urban farms. In 2015 Chelsea graduated from the University of Gastronomic Sciences in Pollenzo, Italy (aka the Slow Food University) with a Master’s in Food Culture and Communications: Human Ecology and Sustainability.

Chelsea was thrilled to move back to Chicago in 2016 and join the FamilyFarmed team as the Program Assistant, supporting our Good Food Business Accelerator and our farmer training program, Growing Success.

In her spare time, you can find Chelsea running around the city, wandering farmer’s markets, cooking up curious concoctions with the best seasonal and local produce, and photographing/writing about farms, farmers, food and animals (mostly goats). You can take a peek at her work here and on Instagram.

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Katie

Daniel

Katie Daniel

|Director of Operations & Development

Katie Daniel is FamilyFarmed’s development maven, oversees the operations of the growing nonprofit, and is captain of the organization’s Marketing and Communications team.

She’s lived on both coasts to and all around the middle and developed a love affair with food along the way. She comes from a multi-generational dairy farming family in southwest Wisconsin, and graduated with a B.A. in Gender & Women’s Studies from the University of Wisconsin.

Katie began her nonprofit career in Madison, Wis., at the Freedom from Religion Foundation (FFRF).  During that time she also volunteered with the Women’s Medical Fund, assisting low-income women access reproductive healthcare.  After helping FFRF make exponential gains in membership, operations, and fundraising, she moved to Chicago and contributed to development efforts at the Women’s Business Development Center (WBDC).

Katie brings nearly a decade in nonprofit management and development to FamilyFarmed. Her love of food and passions for social justice, entrepreneurship, and sustainable agriculture make FamilyFarmed a perfect home. She loves cooking, growing stuff, saving seeds, reading, hiking, floating, camping, video games, Wisconsin, and most of all, EATING.

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Sharon

Davis

Sharon Davis

|Accountant

Sharon Davis is a graduate of Xavier University in New Orleans and a CPA. She brings to the table over 25 years of accounting experience in the non-profit industry. She feels a sense of accomplishment and worth working with non-profit organizations because they are mission driven and strive to improve the communities that they serve. Besides the accounting tasks undertaken at FamilyFarmed, Sharon appreciates the experience of being part of the Good Food movement, the commitment to sustainable, locally grown food and Good Food on Every Table.

rebeccafabriziobio

Rebecca

Frabizio

Rebecca Frabizio

|Director of Entrepreneurial Programs

After receiving her BFA in Painting and Drawing from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Rebecca worked in museums and fine art galleries on the West Coast, assisting a broad range of professionals in these institutions. She was employed with the J. Paul Getty Museum, and moved on to manage fine art and commercial art studios, specializing in creative arts office administration and artist/client relations. Her most recent previous employment was as Production Coordinator and Studio Manager for a prominent commercial advertising photographer in Los Angeles, during which time she honed her project coordination and small business management skills.

Upon returning to Chicago, Rebecca’s strong personal interest in sustainable living sparked her desire to expand her own knowledge, as well as others’, of the Good Food movement. She is happiest when surrounded by good food, good art, and great people.

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Jacob

Horn

Jacob Horn

|Market Development Assistant

Jacob brings years of experience in urban agriculture, both through his studies and administering programs across the city of Chicago.  After graduating from Lawrence University where he helped run the student farm, Jacob moved to Chicago and was employed by the Chicago Botanic Garden and the Chicago Park District where he worked in crop production and educational programs.  While pursuing an MA in Sustainable Urban Development at DePaul University, Jacob focused on food related issues including urban agriculture practices, composting ordinances, and food access. Jacob is excited to bring his food related experience to Family Farmed’s Market Development program.

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Luiz

Magana

Luiz Magana

|Marketing and Communications Coordinator

Luiz Magaña, brings more than 10-years of experience working in the corporate and non-profit world as an Administrator, Program Coordinator and Marketing & Communications. Born and raised in the state of Washington, he grew up eating locally-produced food. Luiz moved to Chicago after high school to pursue his dreams of being a storyteller, and subsequently earned his BA in Film and Video from Columbia College Chicago. After college, Luiz began working at a financial consulting firm, Quantitative Risk Management, in their operations department. He worked for several years in the area of workforce development prior to joining The Resurrection Project in their Marketing and Communications Department. His love for storytelling, video, design and social & environmental justice has lead him to join the Good Food moment. In his spare time, he dreams of his next travel adventure across the world.

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Jay

McGhee

Jay McGhee

|Director of Market Development

Jay McGhee oversees FamilyFarmed’s Market Development and Farming Training programs. She is a marketing and business development professional with 15 years of corporate, private and non-profit experience. She earned her BS in Political Science and Pre-Law from Southern Connecticut State University and her M.B.A. from Mercer University. Jay began her career in the private sector where she concentrated on client development, firm messaging, project management, and new business. She has collaborated with partners in the United Arab of Emirates, Italy, and Trinidad/Tobago as the team lead of an international marketing committee with a new business focal point. Over the past 15 years and 4 states, she has served in leadership roles within high profile organizations, focused on business strategy, data analysis, relationship building, and organization visibility. She has also served as a board member for the Legal Marketing Association Southeast, and American Marketing Association, Austin.

Jay’s good food appreciation may be attributed to her south eastern New York upbringing where she was exposed to diverse cultures and cuisines. Jay is a lover of healthy, delicious, good food and enjoys spending some of her spare time creating new recipes. Ask her about her vegan chickpea omelet. It is amazing!

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David

Titus

David Titus

|Office Manager

David Titus, FamilyFarmed’s Office Manager, is an administrative operations professional with over 25 years of small business experience in both for-profit and non-profit settings. Originally from southwestern Ohio, he earned his BFA in Sculpture from Wright State University. David began his career at The English Language and Multicultural Institute, a non-profit program of the University of Dayton after which  he moved to Chicago in 1997 where he served extended tenures as Director of Operations at Otherwise Incorporated and as Studio Operations Manager at UBM Studios, respectively. He has also consulted on multiple small-business operations projects prior to joining FamilyFarmed.

David credits his rural Midwestern roots and extended visits to Southeast Asia as two complementary sources of his affinity for the cultural context of food and our collective appreciation of eating. An avid cook and collector of cookbooks and food writing, David relishes the creative nuances and precise science of cooking and food preparation.  In his free time, (when he’s not sharing food or preparing food or shopping for food or reading about food), he enjoys watching the Blackhawks or White Sox with his partner, Gerry and rescue cat, Duncan.

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Lisette

Medina

Lisette Medina

|Events & Partnerships Manager

It seems she’s always been planning something, which makes it no surprise that Lisette has focused on managing events since she moved back to Chicago from Texas in 2008. Armed with a bachelor’s in Radio/TV/Film from the University of North Texas, and a master’s in arts management from Columbia College Chicago, Lisette is excited to bring her many years of experience and natural abilities for relationship building (and maintaining!), organization, and fun to FamilyFarmed as its first in-house full-time Events and Partnerships Manager.

No stranger to food-related events, Lisette has seen the insides of several large high profile events including the Taste of Chicago, where she served as Assistant Restaurant Operations Manager for four years of the festival, Chicago Gourmet, the James Beard Awards, and Baconfest Chicago to name a few.

In addition to her work in events, Lisette is an ESL tutor who frequently talks with her student about all the places she wants to eat in this great city and sometimes gets recommendations. Because she’s always hungry.

She is also proud to be mom to the cutest bunny in all the land who sometimes shares his fancy salad with her. He’s the only one she’s never had to force to eat his veggies. You can follow him on Instagram @checksmarksthespot.

Consultants

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Atina

Diffley

Atina Diffley

|Lead Trainer – Wholesale Success/On-Farm Food Safety Workshops

Atina Diffley is an organic farmer, activist, public speaker, and author of the 2012 award-winning memoir, Turn Here Sweet Corn: Organic Farming Works. From 1985 to 2008, she and her husband Martin ran the Gardens of Eagan, an urban-edge, organic vegetable farm, which he started in 1973 as one of the first certified organic produce farms in the Midwest. The Diffley’s on-farm projects now include breeding sweet corn; mentoring beginning farmers, and transitioning non-organic land to organic.

Atina’s areas of expertise include post-harvest handling, brand-name marketing, greenhouse management, and organic farming systems. She is a co-author author/editor and lead trainer for Wholesale Success: A Farmers Guide to Selling, Postharvest Handling and Packing Produce, and the editor and designer of Roger Blobaum’s Organic History Website. She presently serves on the boards of the Organic Seed Alliance and the Minnesota Institute of Sustainable Agriculture.

Land use issues have been a central point of entry for the Diffley’s organic advocacy. In 1989, the 5th-generation Diffley family land was lost to suburban development and Atina and Martin collaborated with filmmakers to make the video documentary Turn Here Sweet Corn for PBS broadcasting. The Diffley’s started over on new land, but faced eminent domain again in 2006 when threatened by a crude oil pipeline owned by notorious polluters, Koch Industries. The Diffleys intervened as legal parties in the route proceeding and with the help of over 4,500 letter writing customers, attorney Paula Maccabee, expert witnesses, and the Minnesota Department of Agriculture, succeeded in creating an Organic Mitigation Plan that provides protections for the soil and certification of threatened organic farms in Minnesota.

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Shelby

Parchman

Shelby Parchman

|Good Food Accelerator Financing & Innovation Strategist

Shelby Parchman is a seasoned entrepreneur who, with a long track record of establishing and growing new businesses, has parlayed this experience into a career focused on assisting start-up and existing business ventures. After obtaining a Dual B.S. in Biology and Chemistry and then a Master’s in Analytical Chemistry, Shelby embarked upon a professional career as a research scientist with Baxter Healthcare Corporation and then the Amoco Corporation.

Whether as an entrepreneur or as a consultant, he has made significant contributions to the development and growth of start-up ventures and established businesses through funding and strategic growth strategies. In this work, he has assisted numerous organizations in obtaining funding through loans, equity, grants, and other financing strategies. Shelby is a serial entrepreneur who has started many successful small businesses including BHK Laboratories, Inc. and the Functional Beverage Group, Inc. Shelby has taught many entrepreneurs how to start and grow small businesses and has been a featured speaker at workshops sponsored by the City Treasurer’s Office and City of Chicago Office of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection. His work was featured in the Chicago Tribune’s Blue Sky Innovation Section – “Six ways to make sure you don’t tank your business plan.” Prior to becoming Managing Partner of InUrban Strategies LLC, Shelby was the Managing Director of Sunshine Enterprises where he successfully grew an entrepreneurship training and support program from twelve clients served in 2013 to over 300 clients served in 2017. In late 2017 Shelby formed InUrban Strategies where he focuses on economic development in underserved communities through personal financial strategies, entrepreneurial support, and new business development. Recognizing the potential growth in the good food industry, Shelby has become a partner in the Bronzeville Sausage Company, a rapidly growing company specializing in the development and distribution of chicken sausage products.

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Bob

Gillespie

Bob Gillespie

|CEO at Conference Software Solutions, Financing & Innovation Strategist at Good Food Accelerator

Bob Gillespie is a serial entrepreneur with over 25 years of experience in technology, leadership and operations. He believes that the ability to build great teams is the most important factor for success. Companies Bob has founded have gone on to raise over $60M in venture funding with an enterprise value of over $150M. In an advisory role, he has worked extensively with over 100 companies in an accelerator program, with his mentorship and network connections leading to new customers, partnerships and venture funding for the participating companies.

Bob has his MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business with concentrations in Entrepreneurship and Finance.

Bob loves baseball, is an avid reader, and a passionate traveler. His favorite activity is coaching his son is basketball and baseball. He hopes to visit at least 100 countries in his lifetime. He lives in the Albany Park neighborhood of the greatest city in world.