National Office Staff
Richard McCarthy embodies the phrase “think globally; act locally.” He joined Slow Food USA as Executive Director in January 2013, having previously served as Executive Director of Market Umbrella, an internationally recognized non-profit mentor organization for farmers markets, community building and sustainable economic development. After Hurricane Katrina, Richard played a key role in restarting the local agricultural economy in the New Orleans area, aiming to help provide returning residents with a sense of normalcy and resilience through the revival of farmers markets.
From 2005 – 2007, Richard served as a founding President for the Farmers Market Coalition, the national voice for farmers markets, which contributed to the development of the U.S. Department of Agriculture Farmers Market Promotion Program, yielding $32 million over seven years to farmers market innovation and professionalism.
Richard was named a “Hero of the New South” in 2012 by Southern Living Magazine and a “Public Health Champion” in 2004 by the Tulane University School of Public Health. He earned his master’s degree at the London School of Economics and is a graduate of The American University of London. When he’s not dreaming up new projects, he enjoys playing racquetball, gardening and cooking vegetarian meals with his family at home.
Kate joined Slow Food in 2009 as Director of Development and then spent seven months as Interim Executive Director before assuming her current role. Prior to Slow Food, she worked for The Nature Conservancy, where she served as a fundraiser for the Conservancy’s China program and its climate change initiative, and where she helped initiate a board development program to share best practices among the Conservancy’s 55 Trustee boards. Kate began her career in television journalism, working in production for the ABC News programs World News Tonight and Nightline. She is a graduate of Columbia University. A native of southern Ohio, Kate has loved having the opportunity to live on the east coast and in California, but she still has a soft spot for Midwestern summer thunderstorms, the smell of newly-cut grass and fresh-picked Ohio sweet corn.
Network Engagement Manager
Isabel joined Slow Food USA in May 2013 after working on and writing programs for a nonprofit urban farm in Richmond, VA. She loves connecting people within her community to their local food system and is especially nerdy about compost. Coming from a family that did NOT garden, farm or cook, she experienced a sharp learning curve when she embarked to learn these things as a young adult. Originally from the Washington DC area, Isabel received her Masters degree in Social Work Administration, Planning and Policy Practice with a concentration in Food Justice from Virginia Commonwealth University. She also completed a graduate certificate in nonprofit management and was a scholarship recipient for Growing Power’s Growing Food and Justice for All Initiative in 2011. Her work is underwritten by her strong commitment to food sovereignty, and she especially enjoys writing programs and defining outcomes for food justice initiatives. Isabel believes that growing and sharing food is a powerful way to combat larger issues of poverty as well as a means to create sustainable communities. An avid naturalist, she’s looking forward to discovering a whole new portion of the Appalachian Trail in New York State with her two dogs Norma & Chloe.
National School Garden Program Manager
Lauren, a native of Western Massachusetts, joined the SFUSA team in August 2014. She is a 2013 graduate of Hamilton College in Clinton, NY where she majored in Environmental Studies and co-founded her college's chapter of Slow Food. Lauren also served as a U.S. delegate to the International Slow Food Conference and International Congress Terra Madre in 2012 and will represent the Northeast Region for a second time at the 2014 world gathering. In addition to SF, she also spearheaded Hamilton's Real Food Challenge initiative, the nationwide campaign/network of student activists working to shift 1 billion dollars in university food purchasing from industrial to “real.” As a 2013-2014 Thomas J. Watson Fellow, Lauren pursued her independent research project "A Sustainable Future for Food and Farming: Modern Technology and Traditional Wisdom" in Tanzania, India, Bhutan, Bolivia, the Netherlands, and Iceland. A yoga and new recipe enthusiast, Lauren is thrilled to move to Denver where she looks forward to taking advantage of all the Rocky Mountains have to offer.
Associate Director of Strategic Initiatives
Megan joined Slow Food USA in 2013 as Manager of Biodiversity Programs, before assuming her current role in 2014. Previously, she managed the Logan Square Farmers Market, one of the largest and most respected markets in the Midwest. Megan completed her MA in Food Anthropology at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. She continues her research in association with the SOAS Food Studies Center and the Food and Heritage Research Network. She is a founding board member of the Chicago Rarities Orchard Project and an experienced theater artist, having obtained her BA in Theater from UCLA. During a decade spent as a restaurant professional, she roasted coffee on the side of a volcano, baked pies, poured wine older than her parents, planted radishes on rooftops, and much more. It was somewhere between the blueberry patch and the circus field at Bread and Puppet Theatre's farm in Vermont that she realized her passion for beautiful and simple food, storytelling, and community building would guide her life's work.
Operations and Programs Assistant
Brittani joined Slow Food USA in the summer of 2013, after graduating from Case Western Reserve University with a BA in Medical Anthropology, Environmental Studies, and German. Having always had a strong interest in food, her passion for eating locally and sustainably grew after a gastronomy course in high school, more specifically a life-changing honey tasting. This later led to Brittani continuing her education in food at university through electives and attending Terra Madre in 2012. Being so inspired by that experience, she co-founded Case Western's own Slow Food campus chapter and continues to work with the Slow Food Youth Network. As a native New Yorker, she is a fan of hole-in-the-wall restaurants; the less glamorous, the better and trying obscure cultural foods. In addition to interests in all things food-related, Brittani enjoys going to the theatre, watching soccer (or football) games, traveling, and learning new languages. She has a long list of places to visit, but is always looking for more suggestions.
Executive Assistant and Office Manager
Gaby joined Slow Food USA in July 2014, right after graduating with a Masters degree in Food, Culture and Communications: Human, Ecology and Sustainability from the University of Gastronomic Sciences in Bra, Italy. It was a delight to return to the New York area where she had worked as the Assistant Project Manager for the Latino International Theater Festival of New York (LITF/NY), an organization that promoted Latino Theater and culture to the diverse communities. Gaby considers herself a citizen of the Americas, having been born in Nicaragua, raised in El Salvador and Mexico, and studied her undergrad in Cultural Anthropology/Latin American Studies in Canada (UBC in Vancouver). Indigenous food, farms, markets and culture were a part of her life growing up and led to her interest in learning more about how the food system could be more sustainable and fair to farmers in the Global South. On her spare time she loves to ride her bike, walk aimlessly through the many beaten paths of Brooklyn, and find the next best ethnic food joints.
Chloe joined Slow Food USA in August 2013. Her previous development experience includes exploring corporate partnerships for Invisible Children, as well as donor stewardship work with Food and Water Watch in Washington DC. Raised in South Florida, Chloe's passion for food grew while working for a local community garden in her neighborhood. Chloe has a Bachelor's degree in Global Environmental Politics from American University in Washington, DC where she served as Campus Coordinator for Food Day and rallied college students around sustainable food and farming issues. She spent 5 months living in Dakar, Senegal studying French, Wolof, International Development and eating lots of mangos. Her personal bucket-list includes learning to brew her own beer, raising chickens and running a half marathon.
Director of the National School Garden Program
Andrew Nowak was the Project Director for Slow Food Denver’s “Seed to Table” (STT) school food program from 2001-2012, growing the program from four school gardens to more than 60 school sites. Andrew helped to develop a “Youth Farmers’ Market” (YFM) program that appeared in 32 school sites last year and received funding from the CO Department of Agriculture to implement the this model in food deserts in Denver. In addition, Andrew developed the food safety protocols and procedures for the “Garden to Cafeteria” program that allows students to grow produce for the school lunch program and is a model for similar programs around the country. For the past five years, Andrew has been the community partner for Denver Public School’s School Food Learning Lab (School Food FOCUS), helping the District source local foods for the cafeteria, to train the school kitchen staff how to scratch cook and to implement salad bars throughout the district’s cafeterias. In 2010, the governor appointed Andrew to the “Colorado Farm-to-School Task Force” and, in 2011 he became Executive Director of Real Food Colorado to promote the development of “Farm-to-School” programs throughout the state. On the National level, Andrew is a “Hall of Fame Chef” with Share Our Strength’s “Cooking Matters” program and was one of six chefs invited to the White House in 2010 to help develop the “Chefs Move to Schools Program.” He earned his Ph.D. in Psychology at the University of Iowa and has been a culinary professional for over 30 years.