Slow Food USA’s State Governors coordinate the Slow Food community at a state level, with the goal of growing and energizing the chapters, members and supporters in their state. State Governors also help coordinate regional activities. Some governors may have specific programmatic or thematic representations on the regional and/or national level.
We are currently seeking governors for states with vacancies – if you’re interested in considering this role or if you have questions about Slow Food activities at the state level but don’t see a governor listed for your state, please email email@example.com
Mara Welton co-owns and operates 2-acre Half Pint Farm with her husband Spencer in Burlington, Vermont’s Intervale. Mara farms because she loves good food – and started her specialty veggie farm in 2003 to provide Vermont with locally grown niche produce. Mara loves that farming keeps her grounded, inspired, and eating the best possible food everyday! Mara helped to re-launch Slow Food Vermont in 2007, and brings with her a passion for food and traditional foodways, enthusiasm for the process of seed to plate, exciting and educational event planning and general good organizational skills, and an ability to trust and empower her fellow board members to keep Slow Food Vermont always engaging. When Mara is not farming, she is: running, experimenting in the kitchen, reading about food, snuggling with her dachshunds, traveling abroad, speaking at conferences, entertaining, and pining for the growing season.
Michelle Moon came to Slow Food via an interest in food and regional culture, cultivated in the kitchens and gardens of a family with roots spreading from Texas to Providence, Ireland to Italy. A lifelong educator, she develops cultural programming for museums, currently overseeing adult programs at Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, MA. A co-founder and co-leader of Slow Food Seacoast from 2006 to 2009, she enjoys shaping educational events that bring New England food traditions into the 21st century. She attended Slow Food Nation, helped pioneer a Seacoast Local Food Networking Group to collaborate on strategies for building a local, sustainable food system, and served as Education Coordinator for the first NH Fish & Lobster Festival in September 2009. At the rare times when she is not thinking about food, Michelle’s vision for a nation and region built of interconnected, vibrant local cultures finds her involved across the community, in projects as diverse as shoreline protection, local media, and local music.
John Forti is a nationally recognized lecturer, garden historian, ethnobotanist and garden writer. He is the Director of Horticulture for the Massachusetts Horticultural Society, the oldest horticultural society in the nation. Before taking on this new position, he was the Curator/Director of Historic Landscapes at Strawbery Banke Museum in Portsmouth, NH.
He previously served as the Director of Horticulture at Plimoth Plantation Museum where the gardens and seed program he created brought international attention to the preservation of Pilgrim and Wampanoag heirloom crops.
John co-founded and served as the board chair for Slow Food Seacoast. He serves on the bio-diversity committee for Slow Food USA and is co-Governor for Slow Food Massachusetts. He also serves as chair of the board for the Herb Society of America’s New England Unit, and won the 2014 Award for Excellence in Horticulture from the national office.
He was also recently granted the award for “Civic Improvement through Gardens” from the Garden Club of America.
Thousands on Facebook follow his posts where he blogs as The Heirloom Gardener.
John Haddad is a seasoned marketing professional and writer in Richmond, Virginia. John is also very involved in Central Virginia’s food landscape and has written about food for Style Weekly, Richmond Magazine, Flavor, Foodshed, and Grid. He writes a blog, Epicuriousity.net and is a founding member and current chair of Slow Food RVA . He also started an innovative program at Linwood Holton Elementary School, Know Your Veggies, which connects students and their families to local and seasonal produce through interaction with local chefs and farmers.
Jan Wesley grew up in Greenville, South Carolina eating from plastic green plates isolated into meat and 3’s marching through Cafeteria lines and after-church dinners. Then, chased by a bull and pecked by the hens trying to take away their eggs on her first farm experience, food instantly went from boring repetition to an exciting challenge! College took her to Italy to learn how to paint, and food entered the realm of romantic artistic expression. Painting is by far her world of joy, apart from gazing lovingly in the eyes of her husband and children, but setting the table for a great dinner party ranks at least second. Venturous projects are in her nature: recycling bins on Main St. covered in art, editing the artwork for her husband’s new book, and managing rental property and small farm in Italy, making wine and olive oil, with no added bulls or chickens.
In 2010 she determined to locate the first USA-based Earth Market in Greenville and, in 2011 the reality came to pass, continuing to be fueled by passion. She was named activist of the year in 2011 by the Carolina Farm Stewardship Association, a great honor from folks she considers her heroes. She is a currently the Chapter Leader for Slow Food Upstate in Greenville, since 2009, a board member since 2007, and member since she can remember. She is a partner with Salute! LLC, a new business project that creates traditional liqueurs from fresh ingredients. Jan is a board member with the Metropolitan Arts Council Greenville, SC. She writes quarterly for AT HOME Magazine on garden to table, and occasionally other publications, like the Wall Street Journal Magazine.
Mark Williams grew up in the South in a family whose background includes restaurateurs and farmers. A chef by trade, Mark co-founded Slow Food Bluegrass in 2005 in hopes of bringing together members of Kentucky’s sustainable agriculture and culinary communities in order to promote local and organic food. Through free or low cost events, the chapter has reached out to a diverse group of partners on school garden, childhood nutrition, food justice and other food education projects. He has a passion for organic and heirloom gardening, traditional southern cuisine, and sharing what he has learned with others. Mark is currently the Executive Chef at Brown- Forman, an American-owned wine and spirits company, which owns Jack Daniel’s and Southern Comfort. He has worked as a chef in some of the world’s greatest culinary destinations. Mark is on the Board of Advisors for Sullivan University National Center for Hospitality, a founding member of the Napa Valley Culinary Alliance, and is a member of the Southern Foodways Alliance and the International Association of Culinary Professionals.
Gabby Othon Lothrop is the Managing Director at East End Market, a neighborhood market and cultural food hub inspired by Central Florida’s local farmers and food artisans. She joined the Market team with experience in grass-roots work for the Good Food Movement. She became deeply involved with Slow Food and the Central Florida local food scene when she took on the role of Director of the Audubon Park Community Market in 2009, and has worked since then to grow the market and the small businesses that make it a successful weekly gathering. This led her to co-found A Local Folkus, a local food events and marketing company that produces the farmers market, annual Harvest Festivals, and other events that celebrate farm to table living in Central Florida. In addition to her day job, Gabby has served in various leadership roles with Slow Food Orlando, most recently as chapter leader. She is proud to serve in these various roles, where she hopes to align her work and values in an environment where regional food community stakeholders can come together. Gabby is a native of Panama and has gained much of her appreciation for food through her extensive travel throughout the U.S., Latin America and Europe.
Eve is a native Chicagoan raised by parents who thought they were Italian (they weren’t). Her childhood revolved around the dinner table, and her fondest memories are of her family cooking together and watching reruns of “The French Chef.” She went on to study international relations, development economics, business and linguistics, and holds degrees from The College of William and Mary, University of Chicago, and Northeastern Illinois University. She spent time living in Virginia, France and China before returning to Chicago. Eve is a product manager at Motorola Mobility, a division of Google.
Eve was drawn to Slow Food through its message of “good, clean and fair”, which speaks to both her love of food and her hope for social justice. She joined the board of Slow Food Chicago in 2011, and led the chapter for two years before moving to the Midwest governorship.
Eve lives in the northern suburbs of Chicago with her husband, 3 superlative cats, and a vegetable garden.
Jennifer Casey connects heritage foodways to healthier people and places. She brings her experience as a registered dietitian, writer, gardener and professional cook to her many health and food advocacy efforts. She is the Director of Development & Communications for the Fondy Food Center—a nonprofit that connects Greater Milwaukee to local, fresh food through its farmers market and farm. Before coming to Fondy, she ran the Diabetes and Community Health programs at Milwaukee’s only American Indian Health Center, where she had the opportunity to learn about, and incorporate into programming, traditional foods as a source of wellness.
She grew up in the Midwest, where she now resides—relishing its wild asparagus, heritage apples, grass-fed dairy, and abundant fresh water. Her appreciation for diverse cuisine and cultures has been influenced by years spent in Washington, California, Vermont, and New York, but began at home with her Irish and Sicilian family’s home cooked meals and celebrations.
Her involvement in Slow Food started in 2008 when she joined the leadership team of Slow Food Wisconsin Southeast, and soon after, she started the Milwaukee Apple Project. She has been involved with Slow Food on local, regional, and national levels, especially related to the Ark of Taste. She is now the Slow Food USA Regional Governor for the Upper Midwest and leads the Midwest Ark of Taste Committee. In 2010, Jennifer had the honor of being a delegate to Terra Madre – an incredible experience which affirmed that food can be a powerful tool for building connections and making change—and she is looking forward to Terra Madre 2014.
Claudine Martyn is a classically trained Chef, a Sommelier, Cooking Instructor, Culinary Tour Guide, Menu and Recipe Consultant, Cheesemaker and Food Stylist. Claudine’s love of food and cooking inspired her to pursue her dream of becoming a chef after working many years as a paralegal and law firm administrator.
She left her career and moved to Paris, France where she graduated from Le Cordon Bleu in 2000 with a double major Claudine is an advocate for local farmers and producers and shares her passion for natural and organic food through her work with Slow Food. Claudine was chosen as a Chef Delegate to Slow Food’s Terre Madre Conference in Italy. Claudine has taught cooking classes in the U.S., Italy, France and Croatia. She also leads culinary tours to Italy and France. She loves teaching people about the benefits of eating fresh local food and learning where their food comes from. Claudine teaches 800 children annually at the Dallas Farmers Market how to make a meal with the fresh produce they buy there.
Claudine is serving as the Governor of Slow Food For Texas and Oklahoma. She is on the Board of Les Dames d’Escoffier and the American Institute of Wine and Food. She now lives in Winnetka Heights Historic District in Dallas.
Grit Ramuschkat became active in the Slow Food movement after experiencing Slow Food Nation in 2008. In a panel discussion Carlo Petrini used a metaphor that stuck with her. He wished for the audience to become bumble bees and buzz from flower to flower, pollinating them with the notion of good, clean and fair food. This motivated Grit to do exactly that: find ways to educate and excite others about all things food. She started a book club on the topic of food and politics that is still active today, became a board member of Slow Food Austin organizing fundraising events and farm tours and wrote weekly, food-related blog entries for a local CSA farm. In 2010 she attended Terra Madre as a US delegate. Meeting people from all over the world that work for the same cause felt truly inspiring. Upon moving to Albuquerque in 2013 Grit revamped the dormant Slow Food Chapter here.
It was a four-hour, nine-course dinner with Italian cousins in a small town outside of Venice that first introduced Marilyn Noble to the concept of Slow Food. One of the cousins turned to her and said, “This is how eating should be… slooow. Slow Food – it’s what we do here in Italy.” Not only does Marilyn embrace the idea of a long enjoyable meal with good friends and family, she is passionate about the concept of good, clean, and fair food, as well. Marilyn joined the Slow Food Denver board in early 2009 and served as the Board Chair in 2013-14. During that time, she helped the chapter grow and evolve into the premier food organization in the Denver Metro area. SFD is best known for the school garden program, but their outreach has extended into the community through the CAFÉ microgrant program; the farm tour series; cooking, canning, and baking classes; and close collaborations with other organizations such as Denver Botanic Gardens, Denver Urban Gardens, Grow Local, History Colorado, and many others. In addition to her work with Slow Food Denver, Marilyn is the co-chair of the Slow Food Southwest/Mountain Ark of Taste committee. In her professional life, Marilyn is the communications director for American Grassfed Association, in addition to being a writer and book editor. She is the author of four best-selling cookbooks, and her articles have appeared in numerous magazines and online including Huffington Post and CNN.
Charity Kenyon was born in Berkeley, California and grew up in the East Bay. Her parents had black thumbs, but embraced Julia Child’s French Cooking and fine wine. A stint in Denmark as an exchange student followed by gardening classes under Alan Chadwick at UC Santa Cruz and meeting her (future) husband, Mike Eaton, underlie abiding interests in environmental protection and gardening. Charity joined Slow Food Sacramento in 2003 and has served as Event Committee Chair, Membership Director, and Chair of the Nominating Committee. Since July 2011, she has served as the Slow Food USA Governor for the Central Valley of California, Chair of the Policy Committee of the newly formed Slow Food California Region since 2012, and as an International Councilor representing Slow Food USA at International Council meetings since 2012. Charity has, with a group of Governors, spearheaded Slow Food advocacy on the Farm Bill and against genetically engineered foods and seeds. Charity and Mike own Kingbird Farms, a 5-acre farm in Southern Sacramento County where they grow fruits, vegetables and several Ark of Taste varieties for a 20-family CSA and one of Sacramento’s leading restaurants, as well as the local food bank. They are a WWOOF (Worldwide Opportunities on Organic Farms) site that hosts young people from around the globe that are eager to learn more about organic growing techniques. Mike serves on the Slow Food California Regional Ark of Taste Committee. In 2012 Charity retired from her law practice, which emphasized First Amendment litigation and appeals.
Dominick Fiume’s path to Slow Food goes back to his roots in Reggio Calabria, Italy, where he was born. His family was among the many families who made their way to the U.S. to improve their lives, and with them came the seeds of tomatoes, beans, and other vegetables, as well as cuttings of fruit trees they had grown for generations. The family settled in Connecticut and continued to work the land, despite the dramatic difference in climate that had them wrapping layers of blankets around fig trees to protect them from the heavy winter chill. Dom left New England for Southern California to attend the University of California, San Diego, where he earned a degree in economics.
Today, Dom operates a boutique residential real estate brokerage in the area. A food advocate, he also rediscovered his farming heritage while also developing a passion for the Slow Food movement. A member since 2002, he is a co-founder of the thriving Slow Food Urban San Diego chapter, earned a Master Gardener certificate from the University of California, and is on both the Ark of Taste Committee and the California Food Policy Committee. Dom is back to raising vegetables from the seeds of his Italian relatives. At the family farm, he also tends old-growth olives, collects eggs from heritage hens, and is passionate about preserving cultural food traditions.
Laurie Carlson – bio coming soon! Area: Hawaii
Gerry Warren is a retired Clinical Professor in Rehabilitation Medicine and Bioengineering at the University of Washington Medical School. He is a past president of the Enological Society of the Pacific Northwest, chair of its judging of Northwest wines and founding chair of the Auction of Northwest Wines. He and his wife Diane have an organic garden and enjoy cooking and wine making. He is founder and now co-leader of the Slow Food Seattle. He is involved in their Northwest Ark, Presidia and RAFT projects.
Cheryl Brock served on the Slow Food Portland, Oregon steering committee for five years, including three years as chair from 2011 through 2013. With the group she focused on continuing to build the network of farmers, chefs, food activists, and eaters through partnerships, programming, and community outreach and education. Providing opportunities for others to learn more about our food system and become “co-producers” attracted her to Slow Food.
Her career in marketing and leadership of art and cultural nonprofits took her to communities throughout the Pacific Northwest, then to Flagstaff, Arizona. She moved to Portland to get back into the rain, and now has a garden full of herbs and vegetables.
Cheryl continues to serve nonprofits and educational organizations through consulting in program management, fund development, and communications. Her volunteer interests include mentoring youth on healthy cooking and planting trees throughout the urban area.