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National Office Staff

Richard McCarthy

Executive Director

Richard McCarthyRichard 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.

Lauren Howe

National School Garden Program Manager

Lauren HoweLauren, 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 represented 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, Couchsurfing and new recipe enthusiast, Lauren is thrilled to be living in Denver, Colorado where she is taking advantage of all the Mile High City and Rocky Mountains have to offer: community gardening, rock climbing, hiking Fourteeners, road cycling, and skiing.

Megan Larmer

Director of Strategy & Community Engagement

>Megan LarmerMegan joined Slow Food USA in 2013 as Manager of Biodiversity Programs, before moving into her current position. Previously, she managed the Logan Square Farmers Market, one of the largest and most respected markets in the Midwest. Megan holds an MA in Food Anthropology from 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.

Chloe Lyon

Development Manager

Chloe LyonChloe 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.

Andrew Nowak

Director of the National School Garden Program

>Andrew NowakAndrew 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.

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