February 23 | 10:00-11:30 am EST
The fifth session explores defining what values drive community solutions surrounding food insecurity by engaging with government, nonprofit, and private food assistance providers and the persons they serve. Values impact our individual and collection motivations, and define our beliefs and behaviors. Our values drive our personal choices and also impact the way we communicate and design and implement policies, programs, and services. Speakers and panelists will be invited to share values through the lenses of the organizations and communities they represent.
Register for one or all of the sessions on Michigan State University Extension registration page.
View the Pre-session Reading Materials to have a better understanding of the topics that will be covered during Session Five.
Session Five Panelists
Director of Treasury and Tax
Mary works in Munson Healthcare in the Treasury department. She ran the food pantry for St. Patrick’s Catholic Church for 18 years as a volunteer leader. She has served as the chair of the Operating Committee of the Northwest Food Coalition since March of 2018. Mary also participated on the systems team that created the Food Security System Map. She has a B. A. in business administration from University of Notre Dame and a Masters of Public Health Administration from the University of Chicago.
Food Coalition Coordinator, Food Rescue Coordinator
Goodwill Industries of Northwest Michigan
Bachelor of Social Work, Central Michigan University
Val works for Goodwill in the Food Rescue program. She coordinates the Northwest Food Coalition monthly member meetings and the gathering of pantry and meal site statistics on people served. She organizes collaborative activities for members such as food drives. She has experience with many food programs serving Northwest Michigan such as Commodity Foods. Val served as a Community Service Coordinator for 27 years at the Northwest Michigan Community Action Agency (NMCAA). During her time at NMCAA, Val helped found the Northwest Food Coalition in 1994. While coordinating the Food Coalition, Val also helped start Food Rescue in 2009.
She is a Traverse City native and lives there with her husband and partner in crime. She loves art and floral design.
Megan has spent her career dedicated to community growth and development, land and water conservation and restoration, food and farming systems, housing, transportation, and access to nature and outdoor recreation. Pairing her professional experience in community and organizational development with a personal zeal for building trust and openness in decision-making, Megan founded Parallel Solutions in 2014. http://www.parallelmi.com
She is a 1999 graduate of Miami University (Ohio) with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Geography and a Bachelor of Philosophy degree from the School of Interdisciplinary Studies/Western College Program. She earned a Master of Arts in Organizational Management from Spring Arbor University, and pursued additional training in mediation, mindfulness, and workplace diversity.
East Bay Charter Township
Beth Friend holds a bachelor’s degree in Economics and a master’s degree in Agricultural & Natural Resource Economics from West Virginia University. She was elected as Township Supervisor in 2016 with over a decade of local government experience. Throughout these years, Beth has served on numerous boards and commissions, including terms as a Township Trustee and a Grand Traverse County Commissioner.
The Township Supervisor’s duties are to manage and supervise public improvements, works and undertakings; to manage and to be responsible to the Board of Trustees for the efficient administration of the township government. The Supervisor also assumes the duties as personnel director of all township employees. The Supervisor is the Chief Assessing Officer of the township and serves as the Secretary of the Board of Review. The Supervisor is the township’s legal agent, develops the township’s budget, and appoints several commission members with concurrence from the Board of Trustees.
Kori L. Woodruff, MSN, NP
Kori L. Woodruff is a Cardiac Nurse Practitioner in Traverse City, Michigan. She graduated with honors in 2003. Having more than 18 years of diverse experiences, Kori affiliates with many hospitals including Munson Medical Center, and she cooperates with many other doctors and specialists in Munson Medical Group. Kori is passionate about people’s need for healthy food and she sees the effects of diet in the office in the patient population.
Co-owner / Marketer
Providence Organic Farm
Andrea Romeyn is the Co-owner and Marketer of Providence Organic Farm, established in 2006, located in Antrim County, Michigan. Ryan, Andrea and their team grow certified organic produce on over 25 acres, and raise pastured pork, small herds of Belted Galloway Beef, and Katahdin Lamb, with the help of a working Border Collie named Blue. Farm products are marketed through Community Supported Agriculture (CSA), farmers markets, Providence’s on-farm store & café, and wholesale markets in Northern Michigan.
Andrea enjoys communicating with CSA members via weekly newsletters, hosting school tours, working the markets, and hosting community classes at the farm; especially focusing on nutrition and the joy of eating well to feel amazing. Providence has a share donation program for their CSA members. Donated funds purchase CSA shares that are donated to Good Samaritan Food pantry. Providence is also a supplier of produce to the Northwest Food Coalition’s Farm2Neighbor program.
Empire Food Pantry
Bill was raised in Michigan and attended University of Michigan. He spent his working life in California as a rocket scientist and Aerospace Engineer. He was chief engineer of a medium size aerospace company. When he mostly retired he brought his California wife to live in his parent’s summer cottage on Glen Lake. They are third generation there, but the first ones to make it a year around home. That was 18 years ago. He was soon introduced to the Empire Area Food Pantry and took a leading role. He enjoys finding deals on food for their clients and is amazed at the wide variety which comes from Food Rescue.
Bill also enjoys doing a little consulting as a designated FAA engineer helping companies approve modifications to mainly large passenger aircraft.
Fair Food Network
Oran Hesterman has spent his career inventing and testing systems that create ecologically and economically sustainable ways to provide healthy food to all. He is the founder and CEO of Fair Food Network, a national nonprofit dedicated to growing the good for a more just and sustainable food system. Fair Food Network’s Double Up Food Bucks program doubles the value of federal nutrition benefits (SNAP or food stamps) spent at participating markets and grocery stores, helping people bring home more healthy fruits and vegetables while supporting local farmers.
His renowned book, Fair Food: Growing a Healthy, Sustainable Food System for All, shares an inspiring and practical vision for changing not only what we eat, but how food is grown, packaged, delivered, marketed, and sold. He introduces people and organizations across the country who are already doing this work in a number of creative ways, and provides a wealth of practical information for readers who want to get more involved.
Facilitator/ Technical Support
District Director – District 3
Michigan State University Extension
Jennifer serves as the District Three Director and provides administrative oversight for the six county MSU Extension offices in Northwest Lower Michigan including; Antrim, Benzie, Grand Traverse, Leelanau, Kalkaska and Manistee Counties. She has worked for MSU Extension for 22 years and prior to this assignment she worked as an extension educator providing supervision for SNAP-Ed nutrition instructors as well as taught food safety education for the community. She has been active in multiple leadership positions within her community; PTO president at two schools as well as served as President of MEAFCS (Michigan Extension Association of Family and Consumer Science Educators). Jennifer has been an active member of the Northwest Food Coalition by linking the nutrition and food safety resources to the pantry members.
She lives in Traverse City with her two daughters and her golden doodle. Jennifer enjoys participating in her daughter’s school and sporting events as well as hiking on our beautiful northern Michigan trails or boating on the bay.