The nominating committee of the Slow Food Seattle board of directors has completed the process of selecting a slate of 6 candidates for new board positions that will be proposed for election by voice vote at the annual meeting on Sunday, March 21. Our solicitation of the membership produced 15 nominees who 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.
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, March 21.
Are you familiar with Slow Food and if so what aspects of the organization have been of most interest to you?
Mike Clark: I first became acquainted with Slow Food in Chicago 5 years ago. I was Corporate Chef for a large restaurant group. We investigated applying for a Slow Food logo on one of our concepts. I am most interested in developing relationships between farmers, fisherman, and other producers and chefs. I want to find ways for consumers to access this food through improved marketing and distribution. I want to continue the work of others in educating the market about the “real costs” of what appears to be inexpensive food. I want to try to inspire the chefs of the future to “see” what they can do.
Grace Doyle: Although I only recently became a member of Slow Food Seattle, I have been familiar with the slow food movement for many years and have actively pursued the tenets of slow food in both my personal life and in my career as a communications manager working with Snoqualmie, Washington state’s leading sustainable and organic wine producer. I am particularly interested in Slow Food’s goals of working for changes in food policy, especially as it relates to childhood nutrition; in preserving traditional methods of food production and preparation through the passing of those skills to new audiences; and in increasing appreciation and support of good, pure food and drink through fun, community-based activities and communications.
Patricia Eddy: We’ve been Slow Food members for about 6 months. We are interested in outreach, and in particular, with connecting people/consumers/eaters with those who grow and produce their food. We have maintained a list of restaurants that source locally and ethically for nearly a year now and we are excited that Slow Food Seattle has started to do the same. In particular, we would love to help Slow Food Seattle with outreach and social media. There has been very little blog activity and we feel that we could help with that.
Kathy Egawa: I was a founding member of Prairie Land Slow Food in Champaign-Urbana, Illinois, and I am a member of Seattle Slow Food. I attended the October 2009 Slow Food event at Town Hall when Erika Lesser visited and shared the updated Slow Food mission … that the food we eat should taste good; that it should be produced in a clean way that does not harm the environment, animal welfare or our health; and that food producers should receive fair compensation for their work. I am committed to all aspects of the organization, and particularly work with children, as they are where change most readily takes place. I make ways to focus on food in my work with kids and teachers (see helpforreaders.blogspot.com), and plan to increase that work in the future.
Beth Maxey: I have been involved in Slow Food since 2000, first as a professional member of the Boston Chapter, at The University of Gastronomic Sciences, in Parma, Italy, at Slow Food International in Bra, Italy, and then in New Zealand, where I worked through Slow Food International with Maori delegates to Terra Madre, 2007. In 2008 I moved to Seattle and began building, Feast, a catering business based on Slow principles. Though I joined Slow Food here in Seattle, the demands of building a business kept me from being as involved as I would have like to have been in the Seattle Chapter. I am most interested in learning about sustainable producers and their products and in communicating that appreciation to the people that share my food, whether it is at my home or through my business. I am also passionate about fostering conviviality and taking the time to share with each other through the enjoyment of food.
Meghan Slattery: I am familiar with Slow Food. I have volunteered at an event with Lucy in the past as well as attended some events hosted by Slow Food. I have been most impressed and intrigued by the organizations initiative on biodiversity. I was extremely interested in the presidia program to save the Makah Ozette potato and would be excited to find other food species that can be brought back from extinction as well.
Which volunteer or professional organizations have you been a member and what was/is the extent of your involvement?
Mike Clark: n/a
Grace Doyle: In connection with my position at Snoqualmie, I have volunteered on the committees charged with creating Vinewise, the Washington state self-certification program for vineyard and winegrape grower sustainability, and Winewise, the state self-certification guidelines for sustainability in wineries and wine production facilities. My involvement has consisted of helping to draft and copy-edit checklists for various sections of each program and promoting these programs to media and consumers on a regional and national level, including the writing and distribution of press releases and news items as well as coordination of spokesperson interviews. I have also been active on the alumni board of Boston University, spearheading events and communications for the university’s Young Alumni Council and College of Communication alumni group.
Patricia Eddy: n/a
Kathy Egawa: The majority of my volunteer and professional work, beyond my work with Slow Food, has been for education organizations, including:
- Serving as a founding member of the Prairie Land Slow Food convivium in my community and working with others to showcase the products of local farmers, and hosting monthly events to educate others about the potential of more healthful eating, as well as the economic benefits of eating locally grown products.
- Raising money for the national school garden program by hosting a fundraising dinner with its founder, Alice Waters.
- Coordinating a project between the Pierce County Utilities Department and the National Science Foundation that increased teacher knowledge and resources related to energy issues.
- Steering a national professional organization as a member of the board that oversaw program development, budget and administrative procedures, annual conferences, and resource development.
- Serving in top management of a national professional organization for educators, specializing in services to membership that promoted their learning, their use of web-based resources, their collaboration in innovative state and national projects, and their ability to access resources.
- Conceptualizing, bringing to fruition, and serving on the Board of a national clearinghouse for school-based leaders who promote teacher learning through collaboration.
- Collaborating with media providers and foundations and content leadership in the development of a series of public television programs designed to improve teaching nationwide.
Beth Maxey: I have been extensively involved in Slow Food. As a chef (2002-5) I worked with the Boston and Ipswich chapters researching and recreating ‘typical New England’ cuisine for a series of events. We did some great dinners in historic farmhouses on The Cape. In 2006 I moved to Parma, Italy, where I earned my Masters in Communicating Quality Products and then worked in Bra, throughout New Zealand and in Turin on Salone Del Gusto and Terra Madre 2007. My responsibilities involved working with the Auckland and Wellington Chapters of Slow Food in New Zealand. I traveled to New Zealand to research Maori food ways and help and coordinate delegates to Terra Madre. SInce 2008 I have been the been the food editor of The Arc Magazine. Previously I published with SLOW and Food & Foodways.
Meghan Slattery: I was on the board of Girls on the Run San Diego for two years as their CFO and Chair of the Finance and Development committees. I passed on that position in December and have since linked up with the local chapter of Girls on the Run to Chair their fundraising committee. I have not joined that board and have only committed to chairing this committee, which leaves me with time to pursue work with other organizations.
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.
Mike Clark: I am developing a small farm on Vashon Island. I have built a brick oven on my farm. Over this last summer I began to network around the Island distributing my artisan breads under the name Maggie’s Farm Bakery. I have also started a subscription pizza event on the farm using produce from the garden: The Outlaw Pizza Company.
Grace Doyle: I feel very strongly that the most effective way to increase awareness of and appreciation for good, clean, fair foods is through enjoyable experiences that educate and engage without preachiness or elitism. Over the past several years I have participated in and coordinated many such events focused on spreading the word about organic and sustainable wines, including Snoqualmie’s annual “Greener Living and Harvest Celebration” in Prosser, which I conceived as a way of connecting the local community to the winery’s efforts both in the vineyards and among their neighbors; Chef’s Table dinners highlighting locally produced food and wines at Seattle restaurants including Lark, Tilth, and the Dahlia Lounge; and wine tastings at Green Festivals and green-focused events throughout the Northwest. I also spent a year as the wine sponsor, through Snoqualmie, for monthly Seattle Greendrinks networking events, where I presented and poured organically produced wines for a rotating group of several hundred consumers. As an interested consumer, I have attended farm open houses in Massachusetts, upstate New York, Washington, and California and numerous events promoting small farmers, food producers, and restaurants across the country. All of these experiences have convinced me of the value of joyful, food-related experiences to connect people to their local environment, neighbors, and stomachs. I am very excited about the possibilities for working with Slow Food Seattle on this kind of programming, and to brainstorm and carry out new activities to reach a wider audience and grow committed membership.
Patricia Eddy: We are ultimately dedicated to pleasurable experiences at the table. We cook approachable, attainable meals, that don’t take many special skills or esoteric equipment. We’re experimental cooks, but we’re not necessarily gourmet cooks. We try to make good food accessible to everyone whether they are gluten free, vegetarian, or even vegan. We try to provide meals that are reasonably priced and we provide options for variations. We believe that eating locally and sustainably doesn’t have to be a chore.
Kathy Egawa: Sharing food with others is my greatest passion. I shop on a regular basis at a number of the farmers markets in my own efforts to be a responsible food consumer, both for my own health and in promoting local producers. I open my home to food events as a way to share and enjoy learning about food with others. In the six months, as an example, I led two tamale-making sessions with friends, hosted an artisan beef tasting with “beef geek” Carrie Oliver, and co-hosted a session on dumpling making with cookbook author Andrea Nguyen. I treated our daughters-in-law to a pie-making class with Kate McDermott, and attended Jon Rowley’s late night Walrus and Carpenter Oyster Picnic on Totten Inlet.
Beth Maxey: I am passionate about bringing people together to enjoy a meal and each other. Part of enjoying the people around us and the things that we consume is interacting with them consciously and respectfully. Both personally, and through my business, I am continually seeking out, discovering, and sharing traditional and sustainable products that excite me. This often takes the form of slow relaxed meals centered on a cuisine, product or producer that I have discovered and want to share. One of my goals and hopes for Slow Food Seattle is that, as a community, we can have more regular meals together. I think this is important for the SFS community, even necessary. I will work to develop these meals and organize them so that they are at a scale where our members can really get to know each other, at a regularity where a sense of community identity is developed and at a price (or donation) point (or other contribuition or trade scheme) that allows all of our members to participate comfortably.
Meghan Slattery: My experience with such activities is not professional, but I have been a food lover my entire life and have grown in to avid cook as an adult. Cooking is one of my passions and I especially love using fresh local ingredients.
What attributes/skills would you bring to the Board of Directors and what roles would you see yourself contributing to on the board.
Mike Clark: I have been a chef for 37 years. I spent 18 of those years working for a very successful group in Chicago. I came out to the Northwest to explore a closer relationship to Turtle Island and the land that supports us. I have always been a very conscientious consumer. I studied horticulture in college. I studied artisan breads at San Francisco Baking Institute. I am currently working as a Culinary Arts Instructor at Bates Technical College in Tacoma. When I first came to the Seattle area I was working as Sales Manager for The Plitt Company a wholesale seafood distributor. During those 3 years I developed a network with local chefs in some of the best area restaurants.
Grace Doyle: As a communications professional for more than a decade, I have honed a variety of skills that would be valuable to the Board, including event planning, media relations, social media outreach, and partnership networking. I am also detail-oriented and strong in follow-through, and I have strong relationships with a variety of local media, restaurants, wineries, green businesses and organizations, and key influencers. I would like to apply these skills towards helping Slow Food Seattle build an exciting, effective programming schedule to increase active membership and move forward to inspire change on both a legislative and individual level.
Patricia Eddy: As for what we’d bring to the board, I would hope that we could bring fresh perspectives. We have relationships with a wide variety of farmers and food producers and we are active in the community. We are planing on a large edible garden this year and hope to encourage yard sharing and “plant an extra row” for local food banks. We are active in social media and would love to help Slow Food become more active on Twitter and in the online community.
Kathy Egawa: I am an experienced educator who brings vision, leadership and energy to my work. I can collaborate with others to develop a vision, an agenda, and bring it to fruition with the support of other board members, as well as the larger Slow Food membership. Engaging “food literacy” will be a great extension of my work as a literacy leader.
Beth Maxey: My primary goal is to develop regular intimate SFS community meals, described above. It has sometimes been a challenge to build a small independent business that is sustainable as a business, uses sustainable ingredients and pays sustainable wages. Because I have faced these challenges with Feast I have an intimate understanding of what sustainability really means in the market place and to many of the producers SF works to support. My solution to this challenge has been to identify my clients and focus on communicating the value of my products and the sustainable products I use specifically to them. This experience and understanding will help me to work effectively with SFS in supporting our local producers and connecting them with the food lovers and consumers that will appreciate and support their products.
Meghan Slattery: My professional experience relates to finance and accounting. I worked as an auditor in San Diego for three years and a tax accountant for three years prior to that. As mentioned previously, I was also the CFO for Girls on the Run San Diego for two years while I was down in California. I moved back up to Seattle in September to pursue my MBA at Seattle University. Along with my accounting expertise I have also spent the last two years working in the fundraising/development arena of a non-profit as a board member of Girls on the Run. This included running a fundraising leg of the chapter for adult running teams that raised over $75k, grant writing, planning fundraising events and managing direct mail and multi-media fundraising campaigns. This also included creating and managing the stewardship program for our donors and coordinating donor and volunteer “thank you” events. Taking these skills into account, I see myself contributing to the board of Slow Food in many ways. I see myself being an asset on the financial side as well as the business development and fundraising sides of the organization. Relationship development is half the battle as a non-profit and I would be happy to attend meetings and events in order to get more people involved and on board with the organizations initiatives.