Meghan Strauchon – President Term: through 2017
Ellen Dickenson — Treasurer Term: through 2017
Lydia Peabody — Vice President Term: through 2018
Dwayne Desaulnier — Secretary Term: through 2019
Kashif Hoda – Term: through 2017
Gordon Williams Term: through 2019
Eli Feghali – Term: through 2018
Marc Cutler – Operations Manager
Board of Directors Meetings 2017
Mondays, 6:30 – 9 PM
Hope Lodge 125 S Huntington Ave, Jamaica Plain, MA 02130
CCTV: 438 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge
January 9 – Cambridge
February 6 – Jamaica Plain
March 6 – Cambridge
April 3 – Jamaica Plain
May 1 – Cambridge
June 12 – Jamaica Plain
July 10 – Cambridge
August 7 – Jamaica Plain
September 11 – Cambridge
October 2 – Jamaica Plain
November 6 – Cambridge
December 4 – Jamaica Plain
Annual Meeting October 25
Members are invited to attend any Board of Directors meeting.
My love affair with food and the communion we share around the table began as a young child, while helping my mother prepare meals for our active family of 8. As I developed as a chef, I realized that along with my love of food, I had wanderlust and a desire to experience the cultures, cuisines and lifestyles of other parts of the world. I began traveling as much as I could – India, Thailand, Jordan, South Korea, Morocco, Portugal, Peru, Kenya, France, Mexico- I absorbed the colors, sounds, smells, tastes and textures of the cuisine and its people. These experiences have enriched my life and my talents as a chef. I have an insatiable appetite for food, travel and wellness and look forward to each dish, each trip as a new experience to celebrate.
I love working as a private chef and small-events caterer and event planner at Shop|Chop|Create, a company I founded in 2009 that is committed to high-quality, nutritionally dense, flavorful and fresh food prepared for individuals, couples and families in the Greater Boston area. Sourcing local, fresh and organic food is important and I have consistently relied on local farmers, artisan producers, sustainable seafood and grass-fed meat and poultry to create dynamic and wholesome meals for all palates and diets.
After working with a diverse group of clients I began noticing that many, if not all, were looking not only for hand-crafted meals, but for greater health and wellness. Good food was only part of the equation, so I began incorporating health and nutrition consultations into my visits. I work to bring clients “whole health” – a balance of physical, emotional and psychological wellness. I love this new direction and will be enrolling in a Health Coaching Certification program in the upcoming year.
In addition to my love of food and whole health, I have a passion for learning and hold a J.D. from New England Law and a B.A. from The College of the Holy Cross.
Lydia was raised in northern Minnesota with an awareness of the importance of community, education, and natural spaces. She completed her undergraduate degree in physics, then spent two years volunteering with Peace Corps in Namibia teaching science and working on school and community development projects. Working with the young people in Namibia led her to shift her professional focus from science education to youth development, which seemed more essential to student success. She spent her free time in Namibia attempting to make every recipe in the Peace Corps Namibia Cookbook – a pastime that nearly motivated her to become a chef.
Lydia moved to New Zealand and continued to work in youth development, science education, and adult education and training roles over the following 7 years. She also took up triathlon, surf lifesaving (particularly surf boat rowing), Toastmasters, and a habit of periodically travelling for extending periods of time. Through these diverse experiences she discovered her interest in leadership development, which led to a stint as an operational analyst for a large gas company (fascinating, lots of great skill learning, but not a good fit!).
More recently, Lydia returned to the US to complete a master’s degree bringing together her love of science with outdoor education and youth development. She has continued to pursue career opportunities that allow her to bring these interests together, most recently as the Youth Program Director at Science Club for Girls.
I work as an executive in the media and technology industry. It’s an industry of great change, uncertainty and challenge which is exactly the kind of environment I like to work in. I began my career as a journalist, valuing the community service proposition of the role as well as the constant and daily learning offered by the profession. I believe strongly in the social and economic benefits of informed communities.
I worked my way to the national bureau chief position at a Canadian news network and reported from a number of countries including two conflict zones. But I put the editorial focus of my career on hold when the internet opened up in the mid-1990s. I fell in love with technology and the promise it held for connecting, informing and educating. I’ve remained firmly committed to the news and information sector but my focus and contributions have been on the technology side.
I’ve served as general manager at a web incubator in the early days of the web and from there moved to business development positions focused on the partnerships and sales that married technology and info. One of my most significant areas of work has been to change the way The Associated Press distributes its news. AP is the world’s biggest news company and I led a project to shift AP from satellite to internet delivery. I was also responsible for product management of the portals APs provides to news companies around the world.
In a fairly recent phase of my career, I took on the challenge of managing technical products at WebMD. This role was fascinating not only because of the scale of WebMD’s traffic but the absolute requirement that the technology deliver accurate and precise information. It was a very gratifying role to improve and create the tools, technology and information provided to medical professionals and their patients globally. A second, recent detour from my news and info work was to take an 18-month break to work in my community and launch a local staffing firm in underprivileged areas of NJ. It was a tremendous and incredibly valuable opportunity for me. The role left me with life-changing learnings and experiences which I’ll never forget. We changed people’s lives and it was work I am so grateful I could do.
A native of Nahant, Massachusetts, Ellen grew up surrounded by the ocean and finding creative ways to entertain herself. Her favorite things to do growing up were sailing, swimming, riding her bike, running, scrambling over boulders, scouring tide pools for interesting life forms, reading, and fixing stuff. To be honest, her hobbies haven’t changed much.
Ellen joined Harvest Co-op as a member in 2005 upon returning to the area from Montreal. Having graduated with a B.Sc. in Biology from McGill University, Ellen was at that point working in a research lab in MIT’s Department of Biology. While studying the various roles played by structures found at the ends of chromosomes, she picked up a side job teaching workshops to elementary school students at the Museum of Science. This experience convinced her that she was far more interested in encouraging other people to become scientists than she was in being one herself, so she moved to the School of Engineering to manage the Lemelson-MIT Program’s InvenTeams national grants initiative, which funds teams of high school students across the country to build their inventions.
After six years at MIT, Ellen pursued her M.B.A. at UMass Amherst’s Isenberg School of Management, where she was able to pursue her passion for education and local food systems. She developed operations strategies for several education-focused nonprofit organizations in Amherst and Boston, a well as a collection of business plans to improve local meat processing infrastructure commissioned by Community Involved in Sustaining Agriculture (CISA). A vegetarian since middle school, Ellen found this to be an incredibly challenging, but rewarding project that connected her to the local food system beyond her CSA share and trips to the farmers market.
Currently, Ellen works for Boston After School & Beyond, a nonprofit organization that strives to expand the learning opportunities available for Boston’s young people that allow them to develop the skills that they need to succeed academically and professionally. Aside from BASB’s mission, Ellen’s favorite part of her job is the opportunity to experiment with blurring the boundaries between schools and the greater community, as well as collaborating with a broad and diverse group of educators, policymakers, business leaders, and other stakeholders in Boston.
When she’s not rushing between her office, schools, and community centers, you will most likely find Ellen on her bike, reading a book or cooking in her apartment in Somerville, enjoying the nightlife with friends, or looking at the horizon.
Kashif works in a small biotech company. He moved to Cambridge in 2009 from Florida and before that he lived in California and India, where he was born many summers ago. He lives in Cambridge with his wife and a two-year old daughter.
Food become an important issue for Kashif since before his daughter was born and hence even though he has been a shopper at Harvest Cambridge he finally decided to become a member and get more involved in the issues related to food.
He has a BS in Biochemistry and Cell Biology from University of California, San Diego and has worked in bio-tech industry and non-profit for over a decade.
He is also the founder editor of news website TwoCircles.net which reports on issues of marginalized communities of India. He is active on twitter at @kaaashif.
Gordon Williams is a composer, musician and educator in Boston. Gordon believes strongly in the communal benefits of music and has worked with a number of community groups; serving on the board of directors for the Orchestra on the Hill, assistant directing Community Band- Wenham, and performing and conducting with the Ipswich Summer Band. Gordon works in the Education and Community Initiatives department at Boston Ballet. Gordon strives to make art relevant and accessible. He has presented interactive events in festivals such as Make Music Boston, ArtWeek Boston and Figment.
In addition to music, Gordon is also passionate about food. He particularly enjoys finding new local ingredients at the grocery store, cooking his favorite Jamaican recipes, and mushroom hunting.
Eli Feghali is the Director of Communications at the New Economy Coalition (NEC) and Co-Editor of Beautiful Solutions. Born in Beirut, Lebanon, Eli immigrated to the United States with his parents when he was a year old. He has spent the majority of his professional life working as a communications specialist and community organizer. Eli has particular expertise in strategic communications, press relations, digital media strategy, and web design. His lifelong commitment to activism and social change began during his undergraduate career at Vanderbilt University, when Eli founded a student activist organization dedicated to addressing economic inequality. Through NEC and Beautiful Solutions, Eli works to tell the story of what another world could look like — and how we can get there. Eli lives in Cambridge, MA, where he enjoys walking his dog Rondo and watching as many Boston Celtics games as possible. Despite his love for pizza, Eli is vegan.