At our January 17, 2019 annual meeting, we will be holding elections for open seats on our board of directors. Note that this is a regular full council meeting. As such everyone is welcome and encouraged to attend; the vote itself will only take up a small time slot.
According to our bylaws, members who are present will participate in the vote. Anyone who wishes to join as a member prior to the vote may do so including on January 17; you may become a member on our web site right now or at the January 17 meeting, in which case, please come early and bring the $25 of membership dues – we accept check, exact change cash, and card.
Below are the profiles for candidates who have nominated themselves for election to the board, in alphabetical order, by last name. Please read through them all to give them equal consideration.
The 2019 Milwaukee Food Council Board of Directors candidates thus far are: Luke Davies, Melissa DeNomie, Angela Kingsawan, Danielle Nabak, Barbara Richards, and Erika Villafuerte.
Please scroll all the way down to view all of the candidates’ profiles.
My name is Lucas Davies and I am currently a senior at the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee, where I am working towards obtaining a Bachelor of Science Public Health (BSPH). I am writing to the Milwaukee Food Council as I believe I would be a sound fit to fill a board position to assist in efforts towards building Milwaukee’s food culture into one that is equitable and fair.
I would like to learn more about what I can do to serve the City of
Milwaukee. My hope is that I can learn, teach, and apply other tools to be able to better aid in community programs and sustainability efforts. I have experience in carpentry, urban agriculture, traditional agriculture, and leadership.
With 4 years of active military experience in serving as a United States Marine, I have worked in several leadership positions. I believe that in joining the Milwaukee Food Council I could both gain in personal professional experience as well as using that to give back and better community connectedness and food security efforts. Thank you for your time and consideration.
I’d like to submit my nomination for a position on the board of the Milwaukee Food Council. Food access, the food system, and food justice are of interest to me, both as a program manager at Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW), and as a graduate student at University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. I am particularly interested in innovative approaches to improving access to healthy food throughout Milwaukee. In addition to my professional and academic interest, improved food access is of great personal interest to me as well.
As a community engaged researcher at MCW, I have worked with local organizations on projects focused on food access. I currently work with Feeding America Eastern Wisconsin on Farm Link, a regional food hub that aggregates locally grown produce for distribution; I’ve worked with Fondy Food Center to establish a city-wide farmers market coalition aimed at improving inclusivity at Milwaukee area farmers markets (a key goal was to increase the number of local markets that accept SNAP benefits). My dissertation research will look at community-academic projects aimed at addressing food access, food justice, and food systems. My work at MCW and UWM has allowed me to attend various conferences (e.g., Community Food Systems Conference, Hunger & Health Summit, Assn for the Study of Food & Society) to learn more about national efforts to address challenges related to food. I believe my academic/professional experience, and insights gleaned through conversations with practitioners and scholars working on topics related to food, will be an asset to the Milwaukee Food Council.
I also recognize that the topic of food is vast, and that there are various orientations to the topic. Some efforts are concerned with the exploitative and unsustainable corporate global food system, others with concern over the impact global climate change will have on the food system, and still others are focused on improving access to food in neighborhoods where political forces have driven grocery stores out of urban areas. At this moment of increasing interest in the topic of food, it is difficult to stay abreast of all the scholarship on the entire vast topic of. Yet I believe I have a good handle on what’s happening within the food movement and have been particularly interested in food sovereignty and food justice, and scholarship that looks critically at the food movement. More important than the scholarship around food, though, is the day-to-day work being done to improve access for ALL people to the healthy culturally appropriate food, in ways that help all individuals maintain their dignity. I feel fortunate for opportunities to work with leaders in our community who are committed to this mission.
I believe I have practical skills that can be helpful to the MFC. I have twelve years’ experience writing/administering grants and building multi-sector partnerships and collaborations. As a program manager, I am responsible for leading meetings and maintaining communication with project team members. As a community-engaged researcher, all of the research I conduct is in partnership with community organizations, which requires strong networking and collaboration skills, something I think I do relatively well. I am a member of the American Public Health Association; I have served on the board of the Bay View Community Center, and currently serve on Froedtert Cancer Center’s Community Advisory Board. I am available and willing to attend regularly scheduled MFC meetings.
I believe my diverse skills and interests, and academic understanding of the various threads within the food discussion, make me a strong candidate for the MFC Board of Directors. I appreciate your consideration of my application.
My name is Angela Kingsawan and I am a third generation City of Milwaukee resident. I am a lifelong indigenous gardener, herbalist, seed steward, and caretaker of Turtle Island (earth). I have held my full time position at Core el Centro for two years and contracted for approximately a year before being a permanent hire. Currently at Core el Centro, I lead two herbal apprenticeships and manage a rooftop and urban garden. I have also created an urban herb farm within the city to supply my business, Yenepa Herbals L.L.C. I grow all of the plant materials used in my products. Besides making herbal medicine, beauty products, body care, and cleaning products, I also grow rare/endangered indigenous foods. I contract services through my business across the state and beyond with both native and non-native organizations. These services include: creating gardens, teaching permaculture ethics, gardening workshops, herbal demos, nature walks, herbal medicine consultations, “food as medicine” cooking demos, yoga classes, and children/adult make your own product parties. For native organizations, I specifically offer classes on decolonization and healing historical trauma through earth connection, seed exchanges and seed/food sovereignty workshops.
I have been on the board for the annual Milwaukee Cancer Symposium, Three Oaks Circle, and currently Share the Care 2019. Through a number of organizations, I have acquired nonprofit experience, fundraising, grant writing, community engagement, management, networking, event/program planning, and volunteer/program planning. I have attended MFC meetings on and off for the past two years. There are things I would like to see improved upon. With that in mind, I would like to join the MFC board to lend my unique voice to bring awareness of native peoples and plants to the food culture and equity & justice of Milwaukee. I also have ideas that could make Milwaukee economically vibrant while remaining ecologically sustainable, some of which I have begun implementing in my own business. Through connections I have made across the City of Milwaukee with other diverse organizations, I see potential partnerships and growth of the MFC and the city as a whole. If elected, I will make the space in my schedule to fully commit to the MFC. Thank you for your consideration.
Please accept this letter and supplemental materials as self-nomination for the 2019 Milwaukee Food Council Board of Directors election. My education, passion for advancing population health
through food, and experience working in Milwaukee communities make me an extremely qualified candidate for a MFC board position.
My education and professional training as a dietitian provide a science- and evidence-based platform that grounds my work in the community. I spent two recent years working for the Clarke Square
Neighborhood Initiative building relationships with community leaders and residents, community organizations, and other agencies in order to facilitate collective conversations and work on health
and wellness, arts and culture, and economic development strategies. I am proud to offer a vast network of community development connections specific to the Near South Side (ie. Journey House,
Pete’s Fruit Market, El Rey, Sixteenth St Community Health Center) and throughout Milwaukee (ie. Milwaukee Police District 2, WWBIC, Zilber Family Foundation). I currently work for UW-Extension
in Milwaukee County as a Healthy Communities Coordinator, where I support Milwaukee Schools in improving nutrition and physical activity through policy, systems, and environment change. This
role allows me to work towards improved population health through food and physical activity. Since beginning this role in May of 2018, I have been an active participant of the Milwaukee Food Council Policy Committee. As a member of the Board of Directors, I commit to strengthened participation and leadership on this committee. I also have interest in the Community Engagement Committee.
I am personally and professionally committed to equity and justice. I am fortunate that my professional experiences have exposed me to a great deal of diversity, which has grown my cultural competency and humility, as well as encouraged me to engage in more colorful problem solving. I welcome relationships with those who look, speak, and live differently than me. I look forward to my own continued growth as a champion of equity and justice throughout my term with the MFC Board of Directors.
I can see that the Milwaukee Food Council has great opportunity for growth and accomplishment. I am eager to use my network of connections and passion for supporting communities through food as a catalyst for this change. Though I do not have previous service as a board member, I am confident that my experience in grant writing, community engagement, nonprofit culture, and networking add significant value to my candidacy.
I look forward to growing and prospering with the Milwaukee Food Council Board of Directors and Community. At this time, I am available to attend all 2019 MFC meetings.
Barbara Richards has served on the MFC Board for a year. Ms. Richards currently is MFC Corresponding Secretary and co-chair of the MFC Policy Committee. Ms. Richards currently serves on the board of the LGBT Community Center; the Volunteer Leadership Council of the Great Waters Group of the Sierra Club and is conservation Chair and Newsletter Chair; the Steering Committee of the Interfaith Earth Network; and the Governance Board of Reflo: Sustainable Water Solutions. Ms. Richards is a long time home gardener, member of Bread for The World, and participant in the VGI Blitz. Ms. Richards organized Friends of Milwaukee’s Downtown Forest to promote permaculture design in urban spaces. Ms.Richards is committed to a collective impact approach to the resilience and relevance of Milwaukee’s food system. Ms. Richards skills include Community engagement, non profit experience, networking and event planning.
I’m running for the board again because living understanding how food can be a key factor in living as healthy as possible and getting that information to everyone that wants it is important to me. I have special interest in serving, our lower income and ethnic populations that often are underserved and don’t have the time or resources to look further into getting access to healthier foods and how to bring these options into the needed areas of the city.
I also feel that these past 2 years on the board, we have just started to engage a little more with the diverse community outreach and would like to be part of taking it a little further and touching all cultures with this needed information.