Food Tank will be hosting our inaugural Seattle Summit titled “Growing Food Policy” this Saturday, March 17, along with our partners, the Environmental Working Group, Food Action, Garden-Raised Bounty (GRuB), the Natural Resources Defense Council, and Seattle University’s Center for Environmental Justice and Sustainability.
We will hear from more than 30 speakers and panelists with a range of backgrounds, including farmers, government officials, restaurateurs, nonprofit leaders, and more. Local journalists from the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, The Seattle Times, Seattle Weekly, Grist, and others will moderate panel discussions among these diverse food leaders.
Tickets to attend this event in person are SOLD OUT, but you can apply up for our wait list HERE. Please join the conversation and tune in to the Summit livestream on Food Tank’s Facebook page or FoodTank.com. You can also catch up on past conversations and watch archived videos on Food Tank’s YouTube Channel after the Summit. Don’t forget to engage with us on social media using #FoodTank!
Here is a preview of the all-star line up of food leaders and innovators speaking at the 2018 Seattle Summit to advance the conversation about growing food policy!
Congressman Earl Blumenauer (OR-3), a member of the U.S. House of Representatives, has focused on issues including agriculture policy reform, healthy community food and water access, protecting farmland, and expanding opportunities for family farmers in the marketplace.
Lynsi Burton, Reporter for The Seattle Post-Intelligencer (SeattlePI), covers a range of topics and examines the influence of food choices on issues such as public health, the environment, and social justice. In addition to writing for SeattlePI, she covers grassroots social justice movements for YES! Magazine and tests recipes for Seattle-based food blogger and cookbook author Richa Hingle.
Adam Callaghan is the editor for Eater Seattle and the former editor for Eater Maine. He has written extensively about food and dining news, highlighting topics such as changes in the local restaurant industry and local chefs.
Bethany Jean Clement is a food writer for The Seattle Times. Her work has been featured in the Best Food Writing series, edibleSEATTLE, and more. Previously, she was a food writer and managing editor for The Stranger and a staff writer and managing editor for Seattle Weekly.
Steve Cohen, as the Food Policy and Program Manager for the City of Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability, brings more than 40 years of experience working with Oregon direct-market farmers and works on a wide range of topics, including food security, land use planning, waste reduction and prevention, climate change, and economic development.
Ken Cook, President and co-founder of Environmental Working Group, is an influential voice in food and farm policy debates in the United States. He was named among author Michael Pollan’s list of “The World’s Seven Most Powerful Foodies” in 2011 and has appeared in numerous print and broadcast media outlets, such as 60 Minutes and The Washington Post.
Claire Cummings, Bon Appétit Management Company’s first Waste Programs Manager and a 2015 winner of Saveur’s Good Taste Award, has worked on programs and initiatives focused on tracking kitchen waste, reusable containers, and food recovery, including launching the food rescue program Imperfectly Delicious Produce.
Melony Edwards, Farm Manager at Willowood Farm of Ebey’s Prairie, has held multiple food industry roles, having worked in restaurants, on cruise ships, and at Whole Foods Market before joining the field crew at Willowood Farm in 2016. She is also active in local initiatives such as a program connecting African American students interested in farming with farms in the Pacific Northwest, in collaboration with Finnriver Farm and Cidery and Port Townsend Land Trust.
Whitney Ellersick is the Senior Director of Nutrition Services for Portland Public Schools. She was the 2015 Oregon Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Recognized Young Dietitian of the Year, and in 2011, she was highlighted among Foodservice Director’s “rising industry stars under the age of 30.”
Renee Erickson, chef and owner of Sea Creatures, is the winner of a 2016 James Beard Foundation award for Best Chef: Northwest. She also authored the book A Boat, a Whale & a Walrus: Menus and Stories, which features seasonal menus centered around the Puget Sound region.
Ernesto Fonseca, as CEO of Hacienda Community Development Corporation (CDC), leads efforts to provide affordable housing and services such as homeownership education and small business development, as well as to support food entrepreneurs through Hacienda CDC’s Latino Market. He has also worked to assess the effects of community development on health factors such as food access.
Mark Freeman is the Senior Manager of Global Dining Services at Microsoft and an award-winning leader in the corporate foodservice industry. His work with the Microsoft’s dining program involves design, construction, and procurement activities internationally as well as providing more than 45,000 meals per day at Microsoft’s headquarters in Redmond, Washington.
Ben Friedman is the co-founder and co-CEO of the slow-food, fast-casual restaurant Homegrown Sustainable Sandwiches. He is a 2016 Forbes “30 Under 30” honoree and a member of the Seattle Hub of the World Economic Forum’s Global Shapers Community, “a network of inspiring young people under the age of 30 working together to address local, regional, and global challenges.”
Chip Giller, founder and CEO of the online, environmentally-focused news outlet Grist, is a Heinz Award winner and was recognized as a “Hero of the Environment” by TIME magazine. He has also been featured in print and broadcasting outlets including Newsweek, and PBS’s NOW.
Mia Gregerson (D-SEATAC) is a Washington State Representative who has worked on issues including hunger and local food entrepreneurship. As a Representative, she has sponsored food policy bills such as HB 1685 – 2015-16: Establishing a Washington food policy forum.
Rosalinda Guillén, Executive Director of Community to Community Development, became a farm worker in Skagit County, WA at ten years old. She works toward equity for farm workers as a leader in rural justice and sustainable agriculture policy, and she has been active in the labor and food sovereignty movements, focusing on immigration issues, labor rights, and trade agreements.
Stephen Jones, PhD, is the Director of The Bread Lab at Washington State University and the recently named Clif Bar & King Arthur Flour Endowed Chair in Organic Grain Breeding & Innovation. With a PhD in genetics, he breeds grains specially developed for regions in the U.S., including the coastal West.
Sharon Lerman, Food Policy & Programs Manager for the City of Seattle Office of Sustainability & Environment, has played a leadership role in efforts to strengthen Seattle’s food economy and expand healthy food access, including developing the Fresh Bucks food access program and adopting a Food Action Plan.
Mark Lipson, Senior Policy and Programs Specialist at the Organic Farming Research Foundation (OFRF), advocated for Congressional support for organic research funding leading up to the 2008 Farm Bill and served as the first Organic and Sustainable Agriculture Policy Advisor to the Secretary of Agriculture from 2010 to 2014.
Mike Lufkin, Local Food Economy Manager for the King County Government, oversees the county’s Local Food Initiative and works with food and farm stakeholders in developing and implementing programs to improve food access and strengthen the local food system.
Anindita Mitra, Board Member for Sustainable Seattle and Founding Principal of CREÄ Affiliates, advocates for sustainable community development and has worked internationally in urban design. Her leadership experience includes the design of large parks and green building projects, as well as membership in groups such as the Mayor’s Green Building Task Force and the Seattle School District’s Race and Equity Committee.
Sara Morris, President of The Beecher’s Foundation, has more than 25 years of for-profit and nonprofit leadership experience. Before joining The Beecher’s Foundation, she served as President and CEO of the Alliance for Education, supporting more than 53,000 students in Seattle’s public schools and driving change in urban public education.
Mark Musick has been involved in a range of food and agriculture activities and initiatives, including co-founding the Tilth Association, farming on an organic farm, developing a farm-direct buying program for a local grocery chain, serving as farm program manager at Pike Place Market, and developing food waste reduction initiatives for Seattle.
Amanda Oborne, Vice President of Food and Farms at Ecotrust, joined Ecotrust 2010 after working for 15 years in private enterprise. Fast Company named Amanda among their “Most Creative People in Business,” and she has also appeared in the Stanford Social Innovation Review and on Civil Eats.
John Piotti, President of American Farmland Trust, joined American Farmland Trust in 2016 after serving for ten years as President and CEO of Maine Farmland Trust. In 2013, he was featured in Maine magazine’s “50 People Who Have Made a Difference in Maine.”
Kristen Rainey leads the procurement strategy for Google’s food program. Her responsibilities include food and beverage sourcing for more than 220 cafes in 55 countries serving Google employees, as well as leading sustainability efforts focused on food waste prevention and plant-forward diets.
Katie Rains, Executive Director of Garden Raised Bounty (GRuB), was the founding Director of the Washington Free Clinic Association and a volunteer with GRuB before taking on her current leadership role in 2013. Now, as Executive Director, she supports and leads the organization’s team of youth, families, veterans, volunteers, and staff.
Anne Schwartz, farmer and owner of Blue Heron Farm, has worked for four decades as a farmer in Washington’s Skagit Valley. She has also been engaged in state and local organic certification issues and advocated for the creation of Washington State University’s Center for Sustaining Agriculture and Natural Resources. Along with other leadership roles, she was a 35-year member of the Washington Board of Tilth Producers.
Nicole Sprinkle is a writer and restaurant critic for Seattle Weekly. Her writing has appeared in publications and blog sites such as Books for Better Living, The New York Times’ “Motherlode,” and Taste.
Alexis Taylor, as Director of the Oregon Department of Agriculture, focuses on Oregon’s agriculture policy, working with a variety of government and stakeholder groups. Before her 2016 appointment, she oversaw the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Farm and Foreign Agricultural Services (FFAS), which encompasses the Farm Service Agency, Risk Management Agency, and Foreign Agricultural Service. There, she worked to strengthen market opportunities for U.S. agricultural products and led the Women in Agriculture Initiative.
Phillip Thompson, PhD, is the Director of the Center for Environmental Justice and Sustainability at Seattle University. He has received multiple commendations as a faculty member at Seattle University, including the Seattle University Alumni Association’s Distinguished Teaching Award in 2015 and the 2011-2012 Father James McGoldrick Fellowship.
Nancy Tosta has served in numerous leadership roles, including the Board of Directors of Tilth Alliance, the Board of Supervisors of the King Conservation District (KCD), the Regional Food Policy Council, and the KCD Regional Food System Review Team. She has worked in multiple levels of government and has consulted for governments and foundations in areas including environmental justice and health, climate change, rural economic development, and food systems.
J.T. Wilcox (R-Yelm) is a Washington State Representative. He worked for 23 years at his family’s farm, where he fulfilled roles including Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer. He has also served in leadership roles with state, national, and international food and agriculture groups and associations.
Vicki Wilde, as a Senior Program Officer for Global Development and Agricultural Development and Gender at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, works toward equal access to opportunities in agriculture for women in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. She has also worked with smallholder farmers in Asia and Africa for the United Nations and was the founder and Executive Director of African Women in Agricultural Research and Development.
Join the conversation and help us build better food policy online or in person on March 17!