Meet the SFS 2012 Board Candidates

Chef Robin Leventhal

Chef Robin Leventhal

Rob Salvino

Rob Salvino

The nominating committee of the Slow Food Seattle board of directors has completed the process of selecting a slate of four candidates for board positions that will be proposed for election by voice vote at the annual meeting on Sunday, April 1st.

Renai Mielke

Renai Mielke

Anna Li

Anna Li

The nominees submitted background questionnaires that were evaluated by the committee and the board. Those selected as potential candidates were interviewed by a committee member. Our criteria for selecting candidates were – who would bring balance, enhancement, and experience to help us reach our goals.

Our bylaws stipulate that the members of the Slow Food Seattle Board of directors be elected by the membership. The nominating committee with the approval of the Board prepares a slate of candidates for board positions to be voted on by the membership attending the annual meeting.

During the past year there have been resignations of two members because of their job commitments. Our bylaws provide for the appointment of members to fill the unexpired terms of those resigning. This resulted in the appointment of Anna Li and Renai Mielke. Anna and Renai are now being placed on the ballot to be elected for a two-year term.

The board further considered and approved the applications of two additional candidates for board positions, Robin Leventhal and Rob Salvino.

Learn a little about the candidates below by their responses to the questions we posed and more in person at the

Annual Members Meeting on Sunday, April 1st.

The candidates are:

  • Robin Leventhal, website Follow Robin on Twitter Find on Chef Robin Leventhal on Facebook
  • Anna Li, TwizzlePop Marketing
  • Renai Mielke, website  Follow Renai on Twitter Find Renai on Facebook
  • Rob Salvino, Terra Preta Sales


Are you familiar with Slow Food and if so what aspects of the organization have been of most interest to you?

  • Robin – When I first heard of Slow Food, as in NOT Fast Food, it was on a trip to Italy after College Graduation. I was a big gardener and ceramicist at the time and had just begun my curiosity in the kitchen as more than just post college survival meals. I can thank my Italian roommate who taught me the recipes she had learned from her mother.This was in rural Maine where eating from the sea was a way of life and the table was very much a pleasurable experience. I ate this up as if I was famished. Not malnutrition from lack of food but rather devoid of soul. Very much the antithesis of what I grew up with. While my parents know good food, they did not know how to share the table with good conversation. Growing up, meals were about sustenance, and very devoid of pleasure. Butter, sugar and salt were forbidden in our household. And it seems my mother only knew how to kill what was already dead. What Barbra, my Italian roommate taught me was how fun and delicious dinner can be. I embraced the Slow Food philosophy the second I read about it, as it resonated with this new found appreciation of what sharing the table really can be.Our health is multi-faceted. Fundamentally, if we take care of ourselves then theoretically we will live a long and healthy life. But, in this day and age when time is short and opportunity for indulgence is everywhere, how do we find that balance? As a cancer survivor I know firsthand how vital a good night sleep and avoiding stress is to maintain our health. I embrace living well, sugar in moderation but to deny ourselves what the earth gives us would only deny our true potential.
  • Anna – I have been a member of Slow Food for a number of years. During my membership with the Seattle chapter, I furthered the Makah Ozette Potato presidium by spearheading an effort to use the potato in The Essential Baking Company’s Potato bread. The Makah Ozette was featured in the retail loaves during its season and the local potato, heirlooms, and Slow Food Seattle were featured in flyers inside the bread bags along with an extensive PR campaign. I feel Slow Food is a terrific organization that helps promote and educate about heirloom, local, and sustainable food systems, and the joys of sharing the table.
  • Renai – I love the awareness that Slow Food Seattle brings to the sustainability and harvest practices of Pacific Northwest seafood through social media and sponsored events, as well as Slow Fish. I’ve spent five years working in the seafood industry, and am also the daughter of an Alaskan commercial fisherman – seafood sustainability is what sparked my initial interest and love for food politics..
  • Rob – Although I have not followed it closely I am familiar with the Slow Food organization. In fact, I was living in Rome in 1985 when the first McDonalds restaurant opened up at the base of the Spanish Steps—an event which ultimately gave rise to the Slow Food movement. What most interests me about Slow Food? There isn’t just one thing. On the one hand there’s the appreciation of good food and food traditions. The commitment to healthy communities, sustainable agriculture, and the biodiversity of our food supply are just as important if not more so since they touch all of us.

Which volunteer or professional organizations have you been a member and what was/is the extent of your involvement?

  • Robin – HUTCH: Actively do outreach for the Premier Chefs Dinner. Cooked for it in 2005, have sat on the board from ’06 – present. This is a lifetime position for me as a Cancer Survivor. I want to see this research facility succeed in their pursuit of finding better treatments and ultimately cures for cancer. Northwest Pottery: Do outreach for the annual auction as well as teach a class combining my two passions: cooking and ceramic. This is about creating something special to share with someone. It’s about the aesthetics of pleasure, sharing and giving. The class culminates with a potluck where we share a table featuring students’ favorite dishes, both culinary and ceramic. My hope is they take away a few of the ingredients for a more meaningful and passionate life. FareStart: Have done 3 dinners over the past 10 years. I believe intensely in the vision and mission of this organization and am actively seeking employment as a Chef Instructor at their downtown location. My choice to return to teaching is threefold. I love facilitating people in their own personal discovery. Every day that I teach, I learn, thus perpetuating my own growth. But ultimately, it’s the importance of giving back that I feel teaching is important and rewarding work that not only empowers me but supports my community.
  • Anna – I have been involved with a number of organizations over the years in addition to my involvement with Slow Food Seattle. My experiences include member of Chefs Collaborative, volunteering for Seattle Tilth, board member of the Seattle Skating Club, member of Green Guerillas, founding member and board member of the Skating Club of Darien.
  • Renai – I am currently a member of the Puget Sound Mycological Society. I have in the past donated my time to Alleycat Acres; auction items, financial support, and time to Community Alliance for Global Justice/SLEE.
  • Rob – Organizations that I belong to or recently belonged to include Chefs Collaborative, Washingon Tilth, Seattle P-Patch, and PCC Farmland Trust. My volunteer life tends to mirror my personal and professional life. Over the past 15 years, my wife and I have been busy raising two very active boys so I’ve been involved in youth sports and schools. I’ve been a basketball and baseball coach. I was treasurer for the kids’ elementary school. I’ve had a keen interest in healthy food and healthy farms since the early 90s. Back in the early 90s while I was the chairman of the Chicago Sierra Club, I organized a group of members into a sustainable agriculture committee. We held conferences. We educated the broader community on the importance of healthy food and healthy farms.

Slow Food Seattle is dedicated to activities that create responsible and pleasurable experiences at the table. Please provide a brief description of your interest and activities related to such objectives.

  • Robin – I feel my connection to the table both through my background in ceramics and over 20 years in the culinary industry give me a unique angle on the pleasure of sharing a meal. It becomes even more powerful when we have been responsible for its creation. From planting the seeds for the lettuces in the salad to making the dressing and all the components that accompany it, I can facilitate that entire experience.
  • Anna – My interest in food and sharing its pleasures runs long and deep such that it is a core aspect of my being. I come from a family of foodies that conjures up memories such as my dad rousing a 4 year old me in the wee, early hours to get freshly made napoleons from the bakery and my having a distinct preference for the French-style powdered sugar versus the Italian-style iced napoleons. Or, my making soft pretzels at age 10. Or, the summer I picked raspberries with my 7-month pregnant sister so that we could put up that year’s supply of jam. Summers in Seattle, I’m obsessed with growing and harvesting from my peach tree and bringing forth the year’s heirloom tomatoes and other seasonal treats. I am an avid Farmers Market participant. I have also been a member of a supper club where a group of friends would gather together to prepare a multi-course themed meal. Knowledge is traded and everyone goes home nourished body and soul.All of this is to say that I have a devoted interest in food and that I believe that Slow Food is a wonderful hub where participation and the sharing of information with like-minded folks can result in the magical.
  • Renai – I maintain a “lifestyle” blog that focuses primarily on whole and wild foods, foraging, connecting with the outdoors and local farmers, and enjoying the Pacific Northwest through food and community. I have an interest in nutrition and herbal remedies, and believe strongly in eating out of respect, awareness, and pleasure.
  • Rob – Who doesn’t love a party? I believe that it is incumbent upon Slow Food Seattle to host events that people on both sides of the food equation together in a fun and informative manner. One of the particularly intriguing challenges that I think about all of the time is how to bring good food to the masses and reduce what tends to be an activity among the cultural elites (think Jamie Oliver). I don’t have an answer, but I’d love to share ideas with others like you.

What attributes/skills would you bring to the Board of Directors and what roles would you see yourself contributing to on the board.

  • Robin – What I bring to Slow Food is my passion for sharing the magic of life. As a chef, I know how wonderful a delicious meal can make us feel, satisfying not only our bellies but our soul. I want to be around for as long as possible to make as much delicious food, share insight on how someone can find their own personal bliss and then continue that cycle of pleasure into their communities. It will be a better world, one bite, one lesson, one shared meal at a time.
  • Anna – I have worked professionally in marketing for many years. My experience includes developing and executing brand positions, advertising, public relations, events and new media solutions. I have held positions with Ogilvy & Mather NY, Young & Rubicam, American Express, and ABCNews.com at Starwave. As the Director of Marketing and Sales at The Essential Baking Company, I became well versed in the issues and regulations of organics and “clean” food. I have managed internal, external and multi-departmental teams, and have worked on projects requiring innovative solutions. I hope to contribute to Slow Food’s efforts through my team building, marketing, communications and organizational skills.
  • Renai – I work professionally as an Accounting Specialist, have done event planning and small-scale catering for previous employers, have an always expanding desire for knowledge of wild foods (just beginning to learn about mycology), bake a mean gluten free brownie, and am a social networking geek. I’d be happy to use any of these skills through Slow Food Seattle and would be open to contributing in any areas that were deemed a good fit.
  • Rob – My professional life centers around sales and marketing, so it would be straightforward for me to bring those skills to the Board of Slow Food Seattle. I also have some experience with finance and accounting and if push came to shove I would accept a treasurer role. I don’t like Facebook or other social media (note the similarities between slow food and slow communication) but I do know that it’s a valuable modern communication tool. I know some tricks of the trade regarding it.

You can find a current list of the Slow Food Seattle board here.

Join Slow Food in September: Donate in any amount to become a member!

Join Slow Food USA

Slow Food is working to add more voices to our powerful network of changemakers demanding a just and healthy food system. From now through September 30, 2011, your donation in any amount this month makes you a member of Slow Food USA.

Membership donations are critical to this movement – 75% of the operating budget of Slow Food USA comes from charitable contributions from individuals just like you and me. These donations help the organization reach and educate new people, support local chapters in their outreach and projects, and lead national campaigns to improve food and farming for everyone.

Though there are a variety of membership benefits, the best part is knowing your contribution plays a critical role in bringing people together to plant gardens and share food, to support farmers and local food traditions, to teach the next generation about good food, and ultimately to transform food and farming in the U.S.

ENGAGE

  • Help shape the direction of the slow food movement.
  • Receive invitations to attend local, national and international events and enjoy discounts where available.
  • Learn about opportunities to volunteer on local and national projects.
  • Your contribution – in any amount during September – makes you a member of Slow Food USA.
  • Your contribution of $60 or more also includes regular discounts on books, publications, and other products.

Join Slow Food in September!GET INFORMED

  • Learn about important national and international food issues.
  • Access exclusive online and offline content, including opportunities to communicate with leaders in the food movement.
  • Get tips on cooking, gardening, and “going slow”
  • Stay up-to-date on the latest food news.

CONNECT

  • Become a part of our active online community. 
Connect with people who care about slow food locally.
  • Join your local Slow Food USA chapter (that’s us, Slow Food Seattle!).
  • Get an exclusive Slow Food USA member card (with a donation of $25 or more).
  • Support a movement that is local, national, and global.

 

Annual SFS Membership Meeting: Jan. 30

Join us for our Annual Slow Food Seattle Membership Meeting & Potluck on Sunday, January 30, 2011!

Free to all current SFS Members ~ Only $25 to join Slow Food!

We’ll share some wonderful food, introduce our current board members and the slate of new candidates, as well as take some time to chat about the different programs and areas that Slow Food Seattle is currently working on in the our community.

SFS Members – please register for this FREE event: RSVP by Saturday, January 29th via Brown Paper Tickets

Bring a dish and bring the family!

Please bring a potluck dish (any course you prefer) and a non-alcoholic beverage to share. This meeting is FREE and open to all current Slow Food Seattle members and their families.

Dishes should be ready to serve and include serving utensils. Bring your own plates, flatware and glasses, etc. We’ll provide cards for you to label your dish with its name & yours. Please note any dietary information that may be helpful to fellow members.

Share the Slow Food experience with friends and family: $25 makes you a member!

Join Slow Food USA for $25!

Event Info:

DATE: Sunday, January 30, 2011
TIME:
2:00 to 4:00 PM
LOCATION:
Montlake Community Center | 1618 E Calhoun St, Seattle, 98112
Free Parking | Directions

Questions? Contact Jennifer Johnson at info@slowfoodseattle.org or 206.423.4673.

Join the Slow Food movement for $25!

Join Slow Food USA

Slow Food USA wants to add 10,000 more voices to our powerful network of changemakers demanding a just and healthy food system. From now through October 22, 2010, your donation of $25 or more makes you a member of Slow Food USA. This opportunity will be offered for a limited time only.

CONNECT

  • Join Slow Food hereBecome a part of our active online community. 
Connect with people who care about slow food locally.
  • Join your local Slow Food USA chapter (that’s us, Slow Food Seattle!).
  • Get a Slow Food USA membership card.

GET INFORMED

  • Access information about important national and international food issues and quick updates with the latest food news.
  • Access exclusive online and offline content, including opportunities to communicate with leaders in the food movement.

ENGAGE

  • Help shape the direction of the slow food movement.
  • Receive invitations to attend local, national and international events and enjoy discounts where available.
  • Learn about opportunities to volunteer on local and national projects.
  • Receive email alerts that let you know when to take action.
  • Your contribution of $25 or more makes you a member of Slow Food USA.
  • Your contribution of $60 or more also gives you access to special offers just for Slow Food USA members.

Line-up for this weekend’s Artisan Food Festival

We’ve got the schedule confirmed for the Slow Food Seattle booth (look for us near the Chef Demo stage) at the Pike Place Market Artisan Food Festival coming up this weekend on Saturday, Sept. 25 and Sunday, Sept. 26.

Readers to EatersOur friends at Readers to Eaters will be joining us with books and speakers on both days. Readers to Eaters promotes food literacy through community food events, education programs, book publishing, and a mobile bookstore.

Saturday, Sept. 25

Sunday, Sept. 26
Come by and learn more about what we do at Slow Food Seattle, our upcoming events, and how to get involved in the Slow Food movement.

Need a map of the festival? Right-click on the Adobe logo to download. Adobe Acrobat PDFLook for us near the Chef Demo stage.

The last quarter of the 20th Century has seen a craft food renaissance world wide. Slow Food, the powerful consumer movement founded in Italy as a counter to fast food, is said to be the biggest consumer based food movement in history. The U.S.-the country that invented the supermarket-now boasts almost 5,000 farmers markets. At the heart of it all is the famous Pike Place Market. On September 25th and 26th, Seattle will celebrate artisan food in the heart of our country’s oldest public market and a leading food trendsetter.

Pike Place Market FoundationThe Pike Place Market Artisan Food Festival is produced by The Market Foundation and is a benefit for the Pike Place Market’s human service agencies: Pike Market Medical Clinic, Child Care & Preschool, Senior Center and the Downtown Food Bank. More info can be found at www.artisanfoodfestival.org.

Seeking Nominees for the Slow Food Seattle Board

Know a good candidate? Help grow our board.

[Thank you for all the nominee submissions, stay tuned for an announcement of the final list of candidates – we are no longer accepting additional nominations.]

The Nominating Committee of Slow Food Seattle (SFS) is soliciting nominations of people who may become candidates for new positions on our board of directors.

The first section below describes the duties and expectations of a board member and the second section is the questionnaire one would use to make an application to the nominating committee.

The nominating committee will evaluate the applications, possibly interview the nominee and determine who would be a candidate based on the attributes they would bring to balance the needs and existing strengths of the board.

The nominating committee will select a slate of candidates for board approval. They will then circulate bios of the candidates to SFS members by email and call for a vote at either the annual meeting or by email.

Please send nominees to info@slowfoodseattle.org no later than February 22, 2010.

Duties and Expectations for a Seattle Slow Food Board Director

  1. Be or become a member of Slow Food and commit to a three year term as a (volunteer) director.
  2. Attend monthly Board or special meetings throughout the year plus annual retreats.
  3. Bring a skill set or cardinal knowledge to the board. i.e. event planning, accounting, IT, marketing, social media, graphic design, farming, fishing, food preparation, etc.
  4. Have the capacity to contribute to building the Good, Clean, Fair philosophy in our community and collaborating with other like-minded organizations.
  5. Be actively involved in making policy decisions that ensure Seattle chapter activities and communications reflect Slow Food core values.
  6. Contribute time, ideas, and effort in creating and implementing at least one event within a calendar year.
  7. Support Slow Food Seattle’s effort to recruit and maintain an active chapter membership by creating inclusive and balanced programming.

Questionnaire for Board Nominees


To apply please copy this section into a word document or email, respond to each question and send to our nominating committee.

  1. Contact and personal information.
  2. Are you familiar with Slow Food and if so what aspects of the organization have been of most interest to you?
  3. Which volunteer or professional organizations have you been a member and what was/is the extent of your involvement?
  4. Slow Food Seattle is dedicated to activities that create responsible and pleasurable experiences at the table. Please provide a brief description of your interest and activities related to such objectives.
  5. What attributes/skills would you bring to the Board of Directors and what roles would you see yourself contributing to on the board.