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Experienced in strengthening community-based programs and small businesses through the development and implementation of creative concepts and marketing solutions. Dedicated to collaborative problem solving with a demonstrated ability to develop key coalitions and build relationships with a shared sense of purpose. Strong ability to develop and oversee new programs and projects and improve existing programs through effective project management skills. Excellent written, verbal and interpersonal communication skills – a team player, focused on results.
Virginia Cooperative Extension/Virginia Tech
to April 2014
- Promoted consumer and institutional awareness of local food and farms throughout the eight-county region of Shenandoah Valley by overseeing the Shenandoah Valley Buy Fresh Buy Local chapter. Worked closely with area farmers, institutions, and food-related businesses to increase local food procurement.
- Developed and implemented marketing and communications plan to increase brand awareness of Shenandoah Valley Buy Fresh Buy Local chapter. Created and regularly updated organization's website and increased social media presence (i.e. Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Foursquare). Produced website content (i.e. blog posts about area farm and food initiatives, farmer profiles, etc.). Coordinated graphic design projects and printing of Buy Fresh Buy Local collateral material (i.e. bumper stickers, bags, placards, signs, maps).
- Coordinated with businesses to develop promotional events, including chairing the committee for "Food Day in the Shenandoah Valley" 2011 and 2012. Formed project teams of motivated stakeholders (including Friendly City Food Co-op, Clementine, and Harrisonburg Downtown Renaissance) and recruited volunteers to plan and advertise local food and farm-related events throughout the region.
- Managed the development of annual Shenandoah Valley Buy Fresh Buy Local guide (a printed directory of over 200 farms, community supported agriculture operations, farmers markets, agri-tourism destinations, restaurants, local food grocers, cooperatives, etc.). Produced the 2011, 2012 and 2013-2014 editions. Responsible for all outreach, content development, fundraising, design, and distribution throughout the region (averaged 35,000 copies printed per edition).
- Initiated and produced the “Creating a Culture of Conservation” video series to share local farmers' efforts to protect water quality and market their agricultural products directly to the public. Responsible for all writing, casting, directing, production, and distribution of this project.
- Coordinated meetings for the Shenandoah Valley Food and Farm Network, a community of producers, businesses, organizations, institutions, and agencies collaborating to strengthen the regional food economy. Provided support for stakeholder projects by organizing educational "field trips" to glean ideas from similar communities in Ohio and New York's Hudson Valley.
- Produced educational and marketing workshops and programming for producers throughout the region, including producer/buyer networking events and the 2012 and 2013 Virginia Farm-to-Table Conference.
- Collected data and organized existing local, state, and national data to leverage support for organization, as well as reports, presentations, external marketing materials, and educational materials for farmers, consumers, and others involved in regional food system and water quality initiatives.
- Engaged regional school nutrition directors and food service personnel to identify opportunities and evaluate supply and demand for Shenandoah Valley food and farm products.
- Helped produce the Virginia Farm-to-Table Plan (http://pubs.ext.vt.edu/content/dam/pubs_ext_vt_edu/CV/cv-3/SPES-27.pdf) by assisting in listening sessions hosted throughout the state and providing food system research and analysis.
- Won 2011 Statewide Program Excellence Award for outstanding interdisciplinary program “Modeling Good Nutrition with Local Produce, Healthy Menu Options and Nutrition Education at Northern Virginia Junior Summer Camp.”
- Selected to participate in a month-long vocational exchange program to Taiwan in 2013 to study regional food systems, food safety practices, and regional agricultural marketing initiatives in Taiwan. Rotary International provided this opportunity, which was offered on a district-wide, competitive basis.