Kristen Suokko, Executive Director
In 1998 she moved to Charlottesville, Virginia to work in environmental philanthropy for the W. Alton Jones Foundation and the Blue Moon Fund. After a six-month trip to Asia with her family in 2012, Kristen returned to Charlottesville to first chair the board and then become Executive Director of Local Food Hub.
Kristen holds a degree in Russian from Middlebury College and has served on a number of boards and civic organizations in and around Charlottesville. She lives in downtown Charlottesville with her husband and two children and enjoys cooking, hiking, and doing winter sports.
Kristen’s favorite season for local product is the fall when she’s brought back to her Finnish and New England roots with the abundant supply of root veggies, tubers, and hardy greens.
Contact Kristen at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Alan Moore, Director of Distribution & Business Development
After receiving his master’s degree in Environmental Studies, Alan moved back to Central Virginia in 2009 to help launch Local Food Hub. As Director of Distribution and Business Development, Alan understands the many pressures faced by local growers and utilizes his expertise in cultivating new markets for local food to enhance Central Virginia’s food and farm economy.
Alan lives in western Albemarle County with his wife, Erin, and his two children, Olivia and Henry. He enjoys spending his free time with his family, gardening, cooking, playing soccer, and enjoying the beautiful outdoors.
Alan’s favorite season for local product is all summer long when sweet fruits overflow his kitchen, like peaches, blackberries, and tomatoes.
Contact Alan at email@example.com.
Adrianna Vargo, Director of Grower Services
Having children underscored the importance of producing fresh, wholesome food, and thus supporting vegetable production became Adrianna’s primary mission. In 2010, the family moved to Maple Hill Farm, formerly the Local Food Hub’s certified organic educational farm, to manage the farm and support the then community-based learning center. While she appreciates living a life close to the land and influenced by the changing seasons, she also loves the constant challenges farming provides and the broad knowledge and skill-base needed to be a successful farmer. Adrianna works directly with Local Food Hub’s producers to provide training and technical assistance.
Adrianna’s favorite season for local product is winter when growers are getting creative with season extension methods to grow delicious Asian greens, sweet carrots, nutritious spinach and other hardy winter vegetables.
Contact Adrianna at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lisa Reeder, Value Chain Coordinator
Lisa re-entered the Charlottesville local food scene as Foodservice and Produce Manager for feast!, a Charlottesville-based gourmet grocery and fine foods store. The experience at feast! solidified Lisa’s devotion to the vibrant food and talented, dedicated farmers of this region, and in 2007 she established A Local Notion to write, consult, and teach on the topic of seasonal, local foods in Central Virginia. After the birth of her son, Lisa transitioned to Local Food Hub in 2010 and continues her life’s work of eating, cooking, talking about, and promoting local foods.
Lisa’s favorite season for local product is early fall, when lunch can be no-cook summertime salads (like marinated red onion, green beans, sweet peppers and tomatoes) and evenings are cool enough for stovetop dishes like fresh okra gumbo, risotto with October beans, and braised cabbage and tomatoes. Recent food adventures include Swiss chard and faro dolmades, overwintered poached pears in vermouth, and cherry pit-infused apple cider vinegar.
Contact Lisa at email@example.com.
Matt Baer, Sales and Systems Manager
Matt joined Local Food Hub in June 2013 with a desire to continue increasing access to local food throughout Virginia and to overcome barriers that currently exist in the local food network. At the Local Food Hub, Matt works to strengthen relationships with our customers and increase the effectiveness and efficiency of our work. When not working, Matt enjoys all things food/wine/beer in and around Charlottesville and the beautiful environment around us.
Matt’s favorite season for local product is late spring. You can never have too much lettuce, asparagus, or spring onions, and the season is such a relief after a harsh winter.
Contact Matt at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Will Clark, Warehouse Manager
After much traveling and cooking, Will came to Charlottesville to work with the Local Food Hub in 2013 to oversee that same fresh, locally sourced product he so admired while in the restaurant industry. Will stays busy on the side with music, running and playing basketball, as well as working on his own family’s farm in Central Virginia.
Will’s favorite season for local product is spring because of asparagus! It’s the gift that keeps on giving, long after the patch is planted. Clipped and eaten fresh from the stalk or charred on the grill, they are the ultimate spring treat (besides succulent strawberries, of course!).
Contact Will at email@example.com.
Laura Brown, Communications & Marketing Associate
Longing for her hometown and to support the small, local farmers she grew up with, Laura joined the Local Food Hub in summer 2014. Overwhelmed by the beauty and the bounty of Central Virginia that she hungered for while in D.C., Laura spends her free time attending as many farmer’s markets as she can, cooking fresh, local foods, training for and competing in endurance sports with her boyfriend, and spending as much time as possible outside with her dogs.
Laura’s favorite season for local product is late spring when radical radishes don her daily salads to spice up the local flavor.
Contact Laura at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kevin White, Warehouse Associate
Kevin joined Local Food Hub in 2013 to handle product delivery, packaging, and distribution. When not preparing items for the next day’s delivery from inside a 40-degree walk-in cooler or chatting with our producers about the items we might see next week, Kevin enjoys spending time relaxing with his wife and their eight dogs. Aside from the occasional landscaping job on the weekends, Kevin travels around the state and region with his dogs to compete in various dog show events. Rumor has it his dogs are some of the most beautiful and well mannered you’ll ever come across.
Kevin’s favorite season for local product is the fall when apples are in full flux. Of all of the delicious Virginia varieties, Kevin’s favorite is Gold Rush. Known for their excellent fruit quality and long storage ability, they can be enjoyed well into spring, just in time for other delicious fruit availability to fulfill the Gold Rush gap.
Contact Kevin at email@example.com.
Rod Crawford, Warehouse Associate and Delivery Driver
In his free time, he enjoys being active and playing competitive sports. Whether weightlifting, running, or playing racquetball with friends, Rod is always on the move.
Rod’s favorite season for local product is early summer when red cherries are so fresh and sweet, it reminds him of a favorite comfort food of homemade cherry pie.
Contact Rod at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Melissa Luce, Accounting and Benefits Coordinator
A native of Southern California, Melissa grew up watching once thriving farms of San Fernando become overrun with industrial sprawl. Seeking greener pastures and a life closer to farm land, Melissa moved to Twin Oaks Community in Louisa, VA, an intentional community focused on farming, land preservation, and agricultural development. Having lived in an environment where people grow and process much of their own food, Melissa believes it is vital to the health of our larger community to support and stay connected to our food and to those who grow and prepare it.
Melissa has many years’ experience at Twin Oaks and other small businesses and nonprofits keeping the books, handling paperwork, and managing the day-to-day operations. She has also helped work in gardens all over Virginia and in far-off places such as Kamona, Mali, and Northeast Missouri. She enjoys spending her free time in nature, and has logged over 3000 miles backpacking in the San Gabriels, Sierra Nevadas, and the length of the Appalachian Trail. She often spends weekends hiking in the local Blue Ridge Mountains, or canoeing down the local rivers. In the summer, she can be found gathering berries or helping out in her friends’ gardens.
Melissa’s favorite season for local product is late summer, when the tomatoes are ripe, the peppers are turning red, and the basil has yet to bolt, because that’s when it’s time to make batches of salsa and pesto – for fresh eating as well as freezing.
Contact Melissa at email@example.com.
Marisa Taylor, Director of Philanthropy
Marisa Taylor joined Local Food Hub as Director of Philanthropy in May 2015. She brings more than a decade of experience in the nonprofit sector, and has a technical background and robust fundraising skill set that will help us further our mission to partner with Virginia farmers to increase community access to local food.
Marisa earned a B.S. in Information Technology from Western Governors University and a Certificate in Negotiation and Conflict Resolution from the University of New Mexico. Prior to joining Local Food Hub, Marisa held leadership roles with the Virginia Institute of Autism, Cottonwood Classical Preparatory School, and the World Adult Kickball Association.
Marisa’s favorite season for local product is spring, when strawberries are ripe and juicy. Growing up in southern Louisiana, she learned how to make everything-strawberry. One of Marisa’s most cherished memories is making jam with her mother and grandmother, a tradition she continues with her daughter, Iris.
Contact Marisa at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Scott Bryant, Warehouse & Delivery Associate
Scott joined the Local Food Hub team in fall 2014. Profile coming soon!
Contact Scott at email@example.com.