SARAH ALEXANDER is executive director of the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association. A native of rural Ohio, she

Sarah Alexander. Photo by Audra Bayette/Maine Family Photography

attended Northwestern University, where she became interested in fixing food systems, protecting the environment and fighting for the rights of indigenous people. While at school, she began working with the White Earth Land Recovery project. After college she completed a year-long environmental organizing fellowship with Green Corps, working on campaigns in several states. From there, she moved to the White Earth Indian Reservation in northern Minnesota, where she spent three years continuing her work with the White Earth Land Recovery Project, helping to restore traditional food systems and stopping the genetic engineering of wild rice. Next she headed to Columbus, Ohio, to work as a farm apprentice, followed by a stint helping to expand the urban agriculture program at the American Community Garden Association. She moved to Washington, D.C., and spent nearly 10 years at Food & Water Watch, working to protect organic standards, strengthen consumer labeling and fight for genetically engineered food labeling. In 2015, Alexander moved to Maine, and just before starting at MOFGA last August she worked as a senior strategist at M+R Strategic Services, coaching progressive nonprofits.

 

DREW DUMSCH is president and CEO of The Ecology School in Saco. He graduated from  Kalamazoo College with a BA in English in

Drew Dumsch. Courtesy of The Ecology School

1990, then went on to get a Masters degree in the same subject from the University of Tennessee. Dumsch worked as a naturalist in California and Chicago, and since 1991 has been an ecologist, naturalist and educator in Maine. He founded The Ecology School in 1998. He is an active member of the Maine Environmental Education Association (MEEA), New England Environmental Education Alliance (NEEEA) and the North American Association of Environmental Education (NAAEE).  In 2015, he won a Source award from the Portland Press Herald. When not working to advance the cause of ecology, conservation, systems thinking and sustainability education, Drew spends time with his wife, Lisa, and two daughters, Nia and Sophie, on the Nonesuch River behind their house.

 

 

 

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

Karen Voci Courtesy of Harvard Pilgrim Foundation

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 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 advisers 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.

 

Vaughan Woodruff. Photo by Mark Schumpert

VAUGHAN WOODRUFF is founder and president of Insource Renewables, a worker-owned solar contracting firm serving residential and commercial clients across Maine. Before getting involved in the solar industry, Vaughan was the director of a residential outdoor school in California and worked as the community development director for a nonprofit organization focused on providing affordable sustainable housing in the western United States. Vaughan lives in his hometown of Pittsfield.

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Leslie Bridgers. John Patriquin/staff photographer

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.  Courtesy of Portland Press Herald

PEGGY GRODINSKY is the former editor of Source at the Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram. She now oversees the paper’s food, books and outdoors coverage. In 2017, her story on a dishwasher and a chef appeared in an anthology of “Best of Food Writing.” Previously, she was executive editor of Cook’s Country, a national 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.