AMANDA BEAL is president and CEO of Maine Farmland Trust. Her lifelong interest in how we produce food began as a child growing up on her family’s dairy farm in Maine, as well as on the coast of Casco Bay, where she has fond memories of digging for dinner in the clam flats alongside her grandfather and warming the bench of his smelt shanty in the winter. Before joining Maine Farmland Trust, Beal worked for several years as a consultant on food systems-related projects for a number of fisheries, agriculture and other food-focused organizations and businesses and was a co-author of the publication: “A New England Food Vision: Healthy Food for All, Sustainable Farming and Fishing, Thriving Communities.” She holds an Master of Science from Tufts University, having completed the agriculture, food and environment program at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy, and is a doctoral candidate at the University of New Hampshire in the natural resources and earth systems science program.

ANNE HAYDEN joined Manomet in September 2012 as coordinator of a newly launched collaborative effort to restore the groundfisheries of eastern Maine. Previously, Hayden was an independent consultant focusing on marine research, policy and management. Her recent projects include an assessment of the potential impacts of climate change on Maine’s lobster fishery and an analysis of the mismatch between ecological and management boundaries in federal fisheries management programs. Hayden has served on the boards of Maine Audubon Society, the Maine chapter of the Nature Conservancy and the Penobscot East Resource Center. Currently, she is a member of the Maine State Board of the Conservation Law Foundation and the Davis Conservation Foundation. Hayden is an adjunct lecturer in environmental studies at Bowdoin College. She holds a bachelor’s degree in American history and literature from Harvard, a Master of Science in environmental studies from Duke and is working towards a doctorate in interdisciplinary studies from the University of Maine.

KAREN VOCI is president of Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Foundation, the corporate philanthropy of Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, a leading regional health services company. In 2016, Voci was also named vice president of Harvard Pilgrim Health Care. For the past 10 years, she has focused the foundation’s strategic initiatives on preventing childhood obesity and improving access to healthy foods. Under her leadership, the foundation has raised the visibility of its employee giving and service programs, promoted the foundation’s expertise in health equity, and expanded its portfolio to include Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts and New Hampshire.

In 2015, Voci implemented the foundation’s new strategic grants initiatives, the Healthy Food Fund, a nearly $2 million program to increase the distribution of fresh, healthy food and support healthy aging in select communities in the region. She also leads Harvard Pilgrim’s corporate sponsorship program.

Voci previously was senior vice president of programs for The Rhode Island Foundation. She has served as a board member of Grantmakers in Health and is currently a board member of the Big Sister Association of Greater Boston, an executive committee member of the Massachusetts Healthy Aging Collaborative, and a trustee of both the Boys and Girls Clubs of Boston and the Retik Mello Charitable Foundation. She also serves on the advisory council for Tufts University’s Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy, and is on the board of advisors of the Food Voice.

Voci has a bachelor’s degree in sociology from Simmons College and a Master of Arts in sociology from American University.

JOHN WILLIAMS, an ardent cyclist, has been a longtime member of the Bicycle Coalition of Maine and was tapped to be the executive director in August 2017. Most recently, he served as the executive director of the Maine Pulp and Paper Association. He’s a graduate of the University of Maine, where he earned a master’s degree in geology. In 1995, he joined the administration of then-Gov. Angus King, where he led the Maine Waste Management Agency and, subsequently, the state’s Land Use Regulatory Agency. He and his wife have biked through many states, several Canadian provinces, the Netherlands, Croatia, Austria, Cornwall, Ireland and Slovenia.

LESLIE BRIDGERS is the features editor of the Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram. A native of Connecticut, Bridgers came to Maine to attend Bowdoin College and never left. She got a taste for the farming life and a hands-on education in environmental science while attending the Mountain School in Vermont, a high school semester program with an emphasis on experiential and outdoor education. During her decade as a news reporter, mostly covering municipal government, she wrote stories on a wide range of topics, including land use. She tries to take in all the natural resources Maine has to offer from atop Munjoy Hill in Portland.

PEGGY GRODINSKY is the editor of Source and of the Food & Dining section at the Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram; she also oversees the paper’s books’ coverage. Previously, she was executive editor of Cook’s Country, a national Boston-based magazine published by America’s Test Kitchen. Grodinsky spent several years in Texas as food editor at the Houston Chronicle. She has taught food writing to graduate students at New York University and Harvard Extension School. She worked for seven years at the James Beard Foundation in New York, spent a year as a journalism fellow in East Asian Studies at the University of Hawaii, and holds a bachelor’s degree in English from Oberlin College. Grodinsky is deeply interested in conservation, and is trying to become a gardener.


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