Toni Liquori, Executive Director
Kathy Lawrence, Director of Strategic Development
John Glover, Program Director
Kymm Mutch, Regional Learning Lab Project Director
Laura Stanley, Vendor Relations Manager
Sheilah Davidson, Policy Program Manager and Stakeholder Liaison
Linda Elswick, National Procurement Initiative (NPI) Manager
Amy Rosenthal, Research & Data Manager
Thomas Forster, Government Relations Senior Advisor
Valued Former Staff
Meredith Modzelewski, Communications Manager
Peishien Chiou, former Media Monitoring Coordinator
Dorothy Brayley, former Learning Lab Manager
Claire Spencer, former Program Associate
Ruth Blackburn, former Program Associate
Toni Liquori, Ed.D, MPH • Executive Director, School Food FOCUS and Founder and Director, Liquori & Associates, LLC • email@example.com
Toni provides the guiding vision for the FOCUS team, networking with stakeholders and other change leaders to build collaborative partnerships. Her work today stems from her successful transformation of children’s food options in the New York City school system. She is a public health nutrition scholar as well as a skilled, experienced facilitator of large-scale institutional change across a variety of sectors. More than a decade ago, she developed the CookShop™ Program, a now-beloved food and nutrition education program in New York City schools that connects classroom education and school meals with regional farms. A longtime faculty member of Teachers College at Columbia University, Toni works with graduate students to deepen their understanding and engagement with food reform. She serves on the Advisory Board to the AFRI research project, Enhancing Food Security in the Northeast Through Regional Food Systems, and is also the founder of the NYC Nutrition Education Network (NYCNEN).
Kathy Lawrence • Director of Strategic Development • firstname.lastname@example.org
Kathy ensures that members of the FOCUS team have the tools, support and big-picture perspective they need. In her work with FOCUS, Kathy strives to shift people’s perception of school food toward a nuanced understanding of our food systems, which will then allow them to more effectively work for change. Previously, Kathy worked for nearly 20 years in sustainable agriculture, local food systems development, and non-profit management, serving as the Executive Director of the National Campaign for Sustainable Agriculture and directing Just Food, the New York City based non-profit organization that she founded in 1995. Her achievements at Just Food include initiating the Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) in NYC program and The City Farms, an urban agriculture and food access program. While developing the foundation for Just Food, Kathy coordinated public information, outreach and education for both the New York and Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Working Groups (NYSAWG and NESAWG) and gathered considerable experience in citizen advocacy at the United Nations on sustainable agriculture and food security issues.
John Glover • Program Director • email@example.com
Kymm Mutch • Project Director, Regional Learning Lab • firstname.lastname@example.org
Kymm brings a wealth of experience in food service management and systems change to her new position as Project Director for FOCUS’ Upper Midwest Regional Learning Lab. Prior to this new role, Kymm was the School Food Service Director for Milwaukee Public Schools (MPS), a district with 175 schools and over 80,000 students. Before becoming Food Service Director for MPS, Kymm was a procurement specialist and menu planner. As School Food Service Director, she had the opportunity to work closely with local urban farmer, Will Allen of Growing Power, to introduce locally grown produce into the school food supply chain through the USDA Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program. She also used the findings from the School Food FOCUS Saint Paul Learning Lab to inform her procurement work with local dairy manufacturers in Milwaukee in an effort to reduce the sugar content in flavored milk in the schools. Kymm is a registered dietitian with over twenty five years of experience in child and adolescent nutrition, eating disorder treatment, USDA meal programs, and childhood obesity prevention. She believes that sourcing food locally, eating more simply and healthfully and understanding how food is grown and prepared are significant keys to improving children’s lifelong health.
Laura Stanley • Vendor Relations Manager • email@example.com
Laura joined FOCUS in 2010 as coordinator of our now-groundbreaking work in the procurement of healthier, more sustainably grown chicken for schools. She currently leads FOCUS efforts to explore, expand, and strengthen supply chain relationships within the entire K-12 sector. A culinary school graduate, Laura previously directed the New York City’s Trans Fat Help Center, a clearinghouse of information and support for food-service professionals and a critical line of communication between the food industry and the NYC Department of Health. She began her career in food as a magazine writer and editor, most recently at Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia.
Sheilah Davidson • Policy Program Manager and Stakeholder Liaison • firstname.lastname@example.org
Sheilah coordinates the FOCUS Policy Working Group, made up of school food service professionals and FOCUS’ local and national partners, and implements strategies to promote the priorities they identify. An activist for more than 20 years, Sheilah is passionate about working with organizations that support solutions. She has worked on many social change initiatives, most recently with the National Campaign for Sustainable Agriculture. She earned a degree in Social Work from San Jose State University. Much of her education and work background is in leadership development and training, community organizing, and fundraising, involving a broad range of issues.
Linda Elswick • National Procurement Initiative (NPI) Manager • email@example.com
As manager of the National Procurement Initiative, Linda will be working closely with school districts across the country who have identified chicken as a priority food that they would like to ensure is healthier on the plate and healthier in the environment. Together they will facilitate new procurement and preparation strategies that enable districts to menu the chicken they want at a price they can afford. Linda taught at Teachers College Department of Nutrition Education and worked with teachers, schoolchildren, their parents and communities to choose whole, fresh, sustainably grown foods. Over the past 25 years, Linda has collaborated with a wide range of stakeholders including farmers, non-profit groups, and governments to advocate for sustainable food systems in the US, at the United Nations, and internationally. More recently, her experience has centered on farm animals and humane, sustainable agriculture as livestock production has become a key intersection of human, environmental, and animal health, labor working conditions and fair compensation, and infrastructure for regional production, processing and distribution. Linda holds Master’s degrees in Urban Affairs from Hunter College, City University of New York and in Nutrition Education from Teachers College, Columbia University. She is based in Lexington, Kentucky.
Amy Rosenthal • Research & Data Manager • firstname.lastname@example.org
Amy is responsible for coordinating research, evaluation and data collection projects for FOCUS, as well as monitoring other school food initiatives and research projects to inform FOCUS’ practices. She is currently pursuing a Masters degree in Food Studies at New York University, where her research focuses on scalable, long-term ways to improve supply chains for healthful, regional and sustainable food . Prior to joining FOCUS, she spent three years with Environmental Working Group in Washington, D.C. A graduate of Stanford University, she is excited to be working for real changes that will help others share her love of good, clean food.
Thomas Forster • Government Relations Senior Advisor • email@example.com
Thomas is a food and agriculture policy expert who has worked for over 20 years with government and non-governmental agencies to address policy changes in school food, agriculture, nutrition, and economic security. Since 2002 he has worked closely with legal and agency professionals to secure legislative and administrative changes affecting public procurement and leveling the field for small to medium scale farmers and processors. The primary arena for this work has been successive policy changes in Farm Bills and Child Nutrition Reauthorization that support healthful, regional and sustainable agriculture. Thomas also teaches food policy and governance in the Food Studies Program of the New School for Public Engagement in New York. He contributes to UN food and agriculture policy debate and has worked for philanthropies interested in sustainable food systems. Before joining School Food FOCUS Thomas was policy director for the Community Food Security Coalition in Washington, during which time he led on instituting geographic preferences for school food and the authorization of a national farm to school grant program. He graduated from Reed College and the University of Oregon with degrees in philosophy, planning and design, and operated an organic farm for 15 years.
Marion Kalb planned, managed, and coordinated the annual convening of our entire network, the National Gathering. Previously, she was the Director of the Training and Capacity Building Program for the Community Food Security Coalition, and directed the federal Communities Putting Prevention to Work initiative. Working with 10 communities nationwide, she coordinated the training and technical assistance component for food access strategies. Marion is also co-founder of the National Farm to School Network, and has worked on Farm to School issues since 2001. She also spent 10 years as the Executive Director of Southland Farmers’ Market Association. She has testified at Congressional and state briefings, and advocated successfully for the use of local products in school meals, and to allow produce sampling in farmers markets. With a Master’s degree in Urban and Rural Planning, Marion joined the Peace Corps, and worked with the United Nations Food & Agriculture Organization, as an agriculture extension agent in Gabon, Central Africa. She has worked over 25 years on food and farming issues, with an emphasis on state and federal policy. Marion’s work is highlighted in Temra Costa’s book, Farmer Jane.
VALUED FORMER STAFF
Meredith Modzelewski facilitated the sharing of information, successes, and best practices among those working tirelessly to make school food more healthful, more regionally sourced, and more sustainably produced — and spread the good word to the rest of the world through social, digital, and traditional media. After three and a half years in corporate public relations, Meredith made a move in a direction that matched her enthusiasm for improving nutrition and public health, and for supporting sustainable food systems. She co-founded and coordinated a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program in her Brooklyn neighborhood for three years, and is involved in the good food movement in New York and nationwide.
Shien monitored media coverage of events and issues important to School Food FOCUS.She has cooked professionally in New York City for several years and is also a graduate student in the Program in Nutrition at Teachers College, Columbia University. As someone who loves to feed others, she is thrilled to have been part of the effort to bring more fresh, local food into our nation’s schools.
Dorothy worked intensively with the school districts chosen to pilot collaboration with community partners, suppliers, researchers, and others. She provided direct assistance and served as the Learning Lab team facilitator for two pilot districts, Saint Paul, MN, and Denver, CO, and helped to bring on our third pilot district, Chicago, in early 2010. Dorothy is currently the executive director of Kids First, which she co-founded in 1998.
Claire’s diverse background includes a BS in resource economics from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst as well as five years assisting small businesses in administrative, managerial, and fiscal roles. Her role as the Program Associate incorporated this skill set as an integral team member in the support and execution of School Food FOCUS.
Ruth’s role as a Program Associate was twofold: to serve as a liaison between School Food FOCUS and the C.S. Mott Group for Sustainable Food Systems at Michigan State University specifically in the area of developing and sharing new information and resources; and to assist in determining ways that the work of FOCUS fit within the goals and initiatives of the Kellogg Food and Fitness communities. Ruth worked as a program associate with the C.S. Mott Group for Sustainable Food Systems at MSU, and as a consultant with the Ann Arbor Ecology Center’s Healthy Food in Michigan Hospitals initiative, a project of Health Care Without Harm.