Network Leadership Team
Jess is a Doctoral Fellow at Antioch University New England where she is developing research that explores work in community food system efforts involving educational partnerships. Her fellowship is supported through the work I do in workplace and community gardening, which engages learning, service, and leadership for community food security and resilience. Elements of this work that inspire her most are creating connections, developing practices and building capacities through direct and collaborative experiences with land, food, and people.
Charlene is the Farm Food Lender at the New Hampshire Community Loan Fund, a nonprofit that turns investments into loans and education to transform lives across the state. She advocates for farmers, fishers, food producers and value chain businesses by providing financing and technical assistance to these entrepreneurs. Previously Charlene held the position of Manager of Business Education at the Community Loan Fund. She has a Bachelor degree in Business Administration from Eastern Nazarene College. She served on the Nottingham Select Board and Planning Board and many other elected and appointed positions in Town. She is an advocate for groundwater protection, land conservation and equality.
Jessica serves as Executive Director for the Greater Nashua Food Council. She implements the Collective Impact Model in the organization to foster collaboration between community members, organizations, institutions, businesses, and government. The collaborative efforts of the food council work to improve healthy food access for all people in the Greater Nashua Region. She also works as a food systems consultant, where she analyzes health data, food access data, and social vulnerability for her clients. With this data she makes food access improvement recommendations and creates tools that clients can use to identify areas where there are high social vulnerability, limited food access, and high rates of chronic disease.
Stacey is the Coordinator of the NH Farm to School program housed at the Sustainability Institute at the University of New Hampshire. NH Farm to School programs include NH Harvest of the Month, NH Gleans, NH TEEN Cook Off, and the Summer Institute. She also coordinates the NH School and Youth Garden Network. She serves as the state lead for the National Farm to School Network and volunteers with the Strafford County Master Gardeners, Seacoast Permaculture and Rochester Listens.
Chris has a broad background that includes education, farming, healthcare and energy & climate policy. His day job is focused on the development of statewide energy & climate plans & policy, and his is currently managing an effort within the NH Department of Environmental Services to incorporate considerations of climate change across the agency’s programs & activities. However, he falls asleep musing about resource sustainability and upcycling treasures from the dump, and when he isn’t playing dress-up with his two daughters, he is replacing his lawn with vegetable gardens and a diverse perennial polyculture.
Since 2017, Daniel has been the Community Food and Outreach Specialist for the NCAT Northeast Office. He spends part of his time as a technical specialist working on food systems, food markets, and on how farmers can best market their products. The other part of his time is working outreach for the office, managing the office social media, and creating video. Daniel currently has projects with Food Solutions New England and the New Hampshire Food Alliance and is exploring a project on socially just farming practices with the Agricultural Justice Project. At his core, Daniel is a community developer, with a BA in Peace and Conflict Solutions and an MS in Environmental Studies. Prior to joining NCAT, he served in the Peace Corps, worked for the National Park Service, and started his own consulting business.
Gavin is the co-founder of Genuine Local, the brainchild of two foodpreneurs who believed that making clean food with honest roots should be easier. GL helps food companies grow by providing business development and production assistance and also provides small batch co-packing services. Genuine Local can assist with label design, layout and compliance, business planning and pricing development, recipe scaling, product approvals, and more. His day-to-day role involves overseeing all operational activities in the kitchen. He is involved in production, food safety and am also a certified ServSafe Trainer and Proctor. His love of food and cooking started as a line cook in high school and into college, and was jump started again when his kids gave him a smoker for Father’s Day one year.
Lisa is the Coordinator for the Belknap County Conservation District. She has over 20 years experience working for Conservation Districts in New Hampshire; 16 years with Belknap County Conservation District and 5 with the Merrimack County Conservation District. Conservation Districts work with landowners and users, local, state & federal government agencies, nonprofits, and other local interests in addressing a broad spectrum of resource concerns. These concerns included but are not limited to agricultural viability, surface and ground water quality and quantity, nonpoint source pollution, erosion and sedimentation, stormwater, flooding, wetlands, wildlife habitats, energy and solid waste.
Nancy joined Vital Communities as the Food & Farm Coordinator in 2014. She works to support and grow our local food system and economy. Nancy has lived, worked, and farmed in the Upper Valley for more than 25 years. Nancy’s informal job title is Farmer-in-Residence: she also runs a pasture-based cattle farm in Norwich. Nancy is on the Board of the Norwich Farmers’ Market and a retired Norwich volunteer firefighter and EMT.
Heidi Barker is a Field Specialist based in Coös County with UNH Extension in Nutrition and Healthy Living. In her regional role, she is collaborating with community partners to create model programs to expand access and affordability for healthy, fresh foods. Highlights of this community level work include connecting farm to school initiatives in the Androscoggin Valley, partnering with other networks to support Granite State Market Match, and implementing Smarter Lunchroom Movement in Berlin schools.
After 11 years of contract marketing work (1995 – 2006) with the Hanover Co-op Food Stores, Allan Reetz was named communications director of the Hanover Co-op Food Stores. Acting as the Hanover Co-op’s full-time communications director allowed Allan to expand the work he’d been doing for the cooperative in the preceding decade. In 2016, Reetz was offered the Hanover Co-op’s newly-established position of public relations director. In addition to a full array of public relations duties, he expanded his long-standing work in local and regional collaborations and substantially increased public affairs involvement for the cooperative. In 2018, Reetz became the Hanover Co-op’s first director of public and government affairs to expand the cooperative’s advocacy locally, regionally, and nationally.
Lynda is CDI’s Emeritus Cooperative Development Specialist. She works with consumers, producers, harvesters, entrepreneurs and businesses to organize an operate democratically owned and controlled enterprises.She consults with startups and established co-ops on organizational development, feasibility analysis, market, business and strategic planning; governance; conflict resolution. Clients are challenged to look creatively at needs, assets and opportunities and to work collaboratively as they engage in problem-solving and change.
Shawn joined Seacoast Eat Local in May of 2019 as Program Director. Prior to working with Seacoast Eat Local, Shawn worked at the Gardiner Food Co-op in Gardiner, ME and at the Concord Food Co-op in Concord, NH. His work at co-ops included coaching new farmers and producers, crop planning, and customer education. As Program Director for Seacoast Eat Local, Shawn oversees the operational success of Seacoast Eat Local’s core programs. His role is also to coordinate fundraising, development, marketing efforts. In his work with Seacoast Eat Local, Shawn strives for a world of connected food communities where consumers have the knowledge and resources they need to eat more locally-grown food than food from away. He is also passionate about developing the business skills and opportunities of all farmers and growers.